House Democrats will try to push through immigration reform, a gambit which has just as much of a shot as them retaking the chamber. The title of Anthony Weiner's forthcoming Business Insider column is "Weiner!" which has all the subtlety we've come to expect from the place that published "Why Do Some People Hate Jews?" And Scott Brown is such a regular Joe, why, he's as unqualified for elected office as the next guy. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, March 24th, 2014:
@mkraju: Senate votes to cut off filibuster and proceed to #Ukraine aid package on a 78-17 vote
HARRY REID DOES HIS THING - "A spokesman for Republican House Speaker John Boehner called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid 'unhinged' on Monday, after Reid charged Republicans may have had a helping hand in emboldening Russia to annex Crimea. 'Since a few Republicans blocked these important sanctions last work period, Russian lawmakers voted to annex Crimea and Russian forces have taken over Ukrainian military bases,' Reid said Monday, according to The Associated Press. 'It's impossible to know whether events would have unfolded differently if the United States had responded to Russian aggression with a strong, unified voice.' Reid was referring to the stalling of a Ukraine aid package in the Senate, after Republicans objected to a provision that contained reforms to the International Monetary Fund. But House and Senate GOP aides noted the Republican-controlled House had passed similar legislation without the IMF provisions, which Republicans have said is not a necessary attachment to a Ukraine aid bill. 'The Senate Majority Leader sounds completely unhinged,' Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told Business Insider in an email." Reid is probably still hinged, according to our sources. [Business Insider]
MCMORRIS RODGERS AVOIDS ETHICS INVESTIGATION - The House GOP Conference has a future, after all! Politico: "The House Ethics Committee will not appoint a special investigative panel to look into allegations that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) improperly used official funds in a Republican leadership race and to cover campaign-related activities. But the secretive committee will not formally drop the case against McMorris Rodgers. Reps. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) will continue to review the matter under their own authority, although there is little likelihood that McMorris Rodgers will face any charges or sanctions. The Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent watchdog, recommended that the Ethics Committee conduct a full probe into the case after a former aide came forward with the claims against his ex-boss. OCE originally forwarded its recommendation to the Ethics Committee shortly before the Christmas holiday." [Politico]
HuffPost Haircuts: Brad Shannon (h/t Brad Shannon). Hairweek: Sam Stein (belated).
SCOTT BROWN IS INCREDIBLE - Steve Peoples: "Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown is suiting up his campaign armor again — faded blue jeans, cowboy boots and a storied pickup truck —this time in New Hampshire as he tries to make modern history and help the GOP reclaim the Senate. But a week after Brown joined New Hampshire's Senate race, it's unclear if the every-man appeal that fueled his rise in Massachusetts is enough to revive his political career north of the state line. There are early signs that the state's famously feisty voters may be reluctant to embrace the recent Republican transplant. 'New Hampshire people want New Hampshire people,' said Kim Pratt, a 52-year-old self-described independent voter, sitting at the Red Arrow Diner's breakfast counter as Brown shook hands nearby during a weekend visit. 'He's not really a New Hampshire person. He's a politician from Massachusetts.'"
OMG: "Outside after a breakfast of corned beef hash and eggs, Brown acknowledged the challenge. 'Do I have the best credentials? Probably not. 'Cause, you know, whatever. But I have long and strong ties to this state,' he told The Associated Press. 'People know.' Brown spent the first year and a half of his life living in New Hampshire before his family moved to Massachusetts." [Associated Press]
Scott Brown is like a mix of Bulworth and King Ralph.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our prize-winning series PASTED: The Email of the Jobless, another letter from one of the 2 million missing out on unemployment insurance thanks to Congress: "I just need time and my UI to be able to find a job. I feel so desperate and cry constantly. I can see why people commit suicide. The desperation is real and terrible. I wish these horrible people would spend a day in our shoes so they would know what desperation feels like. They have no compassion." [Hang in there!]
DDD and Ryan Grim joined HuffPost Live to discuss the lapsed benefits.
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WHY THE HOUSE BUDGET VOTE WILL BE TRICKY FOR JOHN BOEHNER - Kristina Peterson and Michael Crittenden: "As it did last year, the budget would likely assume a repeal of the 2010 health law and allow the GOP to say it has a plan to balance the budget in the next decade, both core principles for the midterms. The strategy isn't without political risk. This spring's House GOP budget would have to propose spending cuts deeper than the previous blueprint, to make up for a gloomier economic forecast from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. And to pass the House, the GOP budget would have to overcome the objections of many of the 62 House Republicans who voted against the December bipartisan budget deal, because most, if not all, Democrats will oppose the Republican blueprint. 'If the House Republicans are going to go forward with a budget they better have the votes to pass it, because if they don't, they're going to look weak and divided and give Democrats lots of ammunition to use against them,' said Ron Bonjean, co-founder of Singer Bonjean Strategies and a former senior Senate Republican staffer." [WSJ.com]
HOUSE DEMS TO PUSH AHEAD WITH IMMIGRATION REFORM - Collectively interrupting the giant diner that is John Boehner's House of Representatives. Elise Foley: "House Democrats are hoping to reignite the debate over a comprehensive immigration reform bill this week through a procedural stunt meant to force a vote or, at the very least, create a pressure point for Republicans who are stalling on the issue. A senior Democratic aide said Monday that the procedural move, known as a discharge petition, will be unveiled at a Wednesday morning press event, followed by members signing onto the document on the House floor.Faced with a minority in the House and a majority conference that largely opposes their efforts, Democrats have turned to the discharge petition maneuver this year on issues such as unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage and now immigration. If a petition receives 218 signatures, it will force a vote on the House floor, even if the legislation in question is opposed by the majority party leadership that controls the House calendar. Democrats hope to pressure Republicans to hold a vote on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, which they argue could pass if it went up for a vote before the entire House. A GOP leadership aide said it's unlikely the petition will get the required signatures, and if it does not, there is no chance the bill will go for a vote. Even if they don't get the 218 signatures needed to force a vote on the immigration bill, Democrats hope the petition will give them something to mobilize around, better preparing them to push Republicans to support reform." [HuffPost]
@attackerman: House intelligence committee's Rogers & Ruppersberger will hold a press conference tomorrow AM about their domestic phone metadata proposal.
MAJORITY OF WOMEN OPPOSE CONTRACEPTION COVERAGE REFUSAL BY CORPORATIONS: POLL - Because who is the disembodied Walmart smiley face to say whether someone can have Yaz? Laura Bassett: "More than two-thirds of U.S. women voters oppose allowing corporations to refuse to cover contraception in their health plans because of religious objections,according to a new poll released Monday by Hart Research Associates. The poll, commissioned by Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Women's Law Center, surveyed women between the ages of 18 and 55 ahead of the Supreme Court case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. The Christian-owned craft supply chain will argue before the court on Tuesday that the Affordable Care Act violates its religious freedom rights by requiring it and other for-profit employers to cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives in their health plans. But 68 percent of the female voters who would be affected by the Supreme Court's decision disagree with Hobby Lobby, according to the new poll, and more half say they disagree 'strongly.' Eighty-four percent of women agreed with the statement that the decision to use birth control 'should be a woman’s personal decision, and her boss should not be able to interfere with it.'...The poll shows that women also oppose other kinds of religious freedom laws, such as the one recently considered in Arizona that would let businesses refuse to serve same sex couples because of religious objections to homosexuality." [HuffPost]
DOJ TO REFORM HALFWAY HOMES - One more attempt to upgrade our penal justice system from "dystopian nightmare" to " Kafkaesque fever dream." Ryan Reilly: " The Federal Bureau of Prisons intends to impose new requirements on the more than 200 federal halfway houses throughout the country, mandating that they provide treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues, permit cell phone use and provide transportation so that inmates can pursue jobs, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday. The new regulations, which will be posted online Monday, will also expand access to electronic monitoring equipment, like GPS ankle bracelets, which should allow more use of home confinement for former inmates re-entering society. All halfway houses will have to offer standardized cognitive behavioral programs for federal inmates, and the Bureau of Prisons will set guidelines for the qualifications of instructors as well as the size and length of the classes, Holder said. 'For the first time, we will require all 200-plus halfway houses in the federal system to offer standardized treatment to prisoners with mental health and substance abuse issues,' Holder said in a video." [HuffPost]
Ted Cruz's Winston Churchill impression -- if you want to call the sound of an oboe run through a trash compactor an *impression* -- is terrible.
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a child who knows some bad words.
ANTHONY WEINER TO PEN BUSINESS INSIDER COLUMN - The former congressman used to be known for expressing strong opinions on a new media platform. Now he will express strong opinions on a new media platform. From Business Insider's writeup: "The new column, which will be titled 'Weiner!,' will run on the last Friday of each month beginning this week. It will feature Weiner's thoughts on the top political issues of the day imbued with his unique insider's perspective. As a native New Yorker, Weiner isn't afraid to throw elbows. However, Weiner isn't all about histrionics and political brawls. In his recent mayoral race, Weiner's platform included 125 'Keys To The City,' a datacentric pair of books filled with policy ideas aimed at keeping New York "the Capital of the Middle Class." We believe the unique combination of brashness and wonkiness that made Weiner one of last year's most memorable candidates and one of the most high-profile advocates for health care reform during his time in Congress will make him a perfect fit for Business Insider." [Business Insider]
- Koala bear wants a hug. [http://bit.ly/1lh9W4D]
- We love badminton and could probably beat you at it. Here is an epic volley between professional players from Poland and China. [http://bit.ly/1kYkKlD]
- Enter a year in "The Office Time Machine" and it will generate every reference the show made to events from that year. [http://bit.ly/1pt0FUy]
- Groundbreaking emergency shelter. [http://bit.ly/1dHO3Um]
- Dogs can't handle magic. [http://huff.to/OOsED3]
- Woman eats 72 oz steak in under two minutes. America. [http://bit.ly/1nUBjTX]
- Street performer given big break on YouTube -- and he didn't have to slip on anything. [http://huff.to/1iuWnv1]
@jbendery: In Univision interview, POTUS says FLOTUS is ready for "nice trips" post-WH life. Interviewer: "Give her tequila shots & she’ll be relaxed."
@daveweigel: Wonder if the Democrats’ Koch offensive will convince as many voters as the 2010 “Chamber of Commerce takes foreign $” campaign.
@timothypmurphy: Kind of amazing that The Breakfast Club was released 50 years ago this week.
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