Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Jay Carney Doesn't Have An Answer For Your Civil Rights Movement, But Will Get Back To You

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Massachusetts' government tweeted that 'sexual assault is always avoidable,' which is one step above saying the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. Satanists will display a statue of Lucifer in front of the Oklahoma statehouse -- and you thought the state couldn't get any weirder after it almost made a Flaming Lips tune its official song. And a study finds that parents who try to politically indoctrinate their children often drive them to the other side of the spectrum. Third Way's leaders will be devastated when their children all flock to No Labels. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, May 1st, 2014:

WHITE HOUSE DUCKS QUESTION ON BIDEN'S SUPPORT FOR LGBT EXECUTIVE ACTIONS - Joe Biden: the LGBT movement's best and most powerful backseat driver. Jen Bendery: "White House press secretary Jay Carney on Thursday dodged questions about Vice President Joe Biden's apparent support for an executive order banning job discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors. The White House has long avoided explaining why President Barack Obama won't take executive action on the matter, even though he made a 2008 campaign promise to do so. But on Tuesday, Biden seemed to offer an opening, telling The Huffington Post in an interview, 'I don't see any downside' to doing it -- a small win for LGBT rights groups perplexed by the president's reluctance to act. Carney demurred when asked if the president agrees with Biden. Instead, he shifted the focus back to Congress and said the most effective way to stem LGBT job discrimination is to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- something Biden also emphasized in his remarks. That bill is stalled in the House. 'I just don't engage in discussion about speculative executive orders,' Carney said. 'There is legislation on Capitol Hill that we strongly support and we'd like to see passed by the House.' When it was noted that Biden was willing to weigh in on a speculative executive order, Carney said, 'No, I think he answered a question about it, as I have repeatedly. And I'm happy to ... I try not to engage in speculation about any executive action the president may or may not take.'" [HuffPost]

LAWMAKERS PLAYING HOT POTATO WITH UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - Delaney and Sabrina Siddiqui: "It's entirely up to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) whether 2.6 million unemployed Americans get their benefits back, at least according to the two senators most involved in legislation to restore the compensation. Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday, Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the principal co-sponsors of an unemployment insurance restoration bill that passed the Senate last month, rejected Boehner's suggestion that the House bill can only pass if the White House offers concessions. 'There are Republican members who are on our side,' Heller said. 'I realize who's in the majority over there [...] and if it takes convincing, I'll continue to try working with the speaker and anybody on either side of the aisle in the House of Representatives to try and move something forward.' Boehner has repeatedly stated his objections to the Senate bill, which cleared the upper chamber in April. The speaker recently added that the only way he would consider the measure would be if the White House came up with jobs provisions to include in the bill. Reed and Heller disagreed with Boehner's rationale, pointing out that their legislation would create jobs and was also paid for in accordance with the requests of Republicans in both chambers." [HuffPost]

Great limousine liberal color from the Free Beacon: "At the elegant Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown Chicago, wealthy donors, Democratic politicians, and representatives from left-leaning activist groups met for a conference hosted by the Democracy Alliance, a progressive donor network that funnels millions of dollars to undisclosed activist groups and political causes... 'Oh yeah I’ve heard of [the Free Beacon],' said one attendee named Scott Nielson when asked about the event’s secrecy. 'Further questions are pointless.'...David Axelrod dined at the hotel’s restaurant Deca, which had a sign outside advertising its $100 grilled cheese sandwich filled with '40-year aged Wisconsin cheddar infused with 24K gold flakes.'" [Free Beacon]

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WHITE HOUSE STAFFER PAID TO STARE AT JOURNALISTS' TWEETS - Not unlike journalists themselves. Yahoo: "For the Obama White House, tweets from reporters are a kind of early warning system. It’s up to Jessica Allen, 24, to sound the alarm. Allen, whose official title is 'media monitor,' tracks journalists’ tweets and flags them in mass emails that land in the in-boxes of more than 80 Obama aides, including chief of staff Denis McDonough, White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler, press secretary Jay Carney and senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer. The result? Reporters who regularly cover Obama have become familiar with seemingly out-of-the-blue emails or telephone calls from officials taking issue with their tweets — often thoughtfully and constructively, sometimes with obscenity-laced yelps of outrage...On Monday, during Biden’s speech on economic issues, Allen sent at least six emails to her list, each with up to three tweets, chiefly observations from reporters about the remarks, one official told Yahoo News. Including messages about breaking news stories, White House officials say, her daily total runs easily into the hundreds of emails, and many more when the president’s schedule includes a high-profile speech or a press conference. While White House communications staff track her alerts closely, other officials have been known to route her messages into email folders and check them just a couple of times a day, one Obama aide said." [Yahoo]

Today in political discourse: "After calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an 'Uncle Tom' recently, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) defended his comments to CNN, saying, 'But I'm black.'" [HuffPost]

MARK PRYOR IS BORING - And by boring we mean boring -- would make Herb Kohl sleepy in conversation boring. WaPo: "In private moments, Mark Pryor likes to ask his fellow senators a personal question: What was the thing that got you started in politics? Some have told him it was the Vietnam War. Others say it was the conservative vision of Ronald Reagan. In most cases, these scarred old pols started out as idealists, with a determination to change something very big in American life. Pryor himself can’t come up with an answer like that...Pryor, 51, is the son of former Sen. David Pryor (D-Ark.): he grew up in Little Rock, and moved to the Washington area after his father was elected in 1978. Mark Pryor graduated from Walt Whitman High School in suburban Maryland, where football teammates called him “Donny” because he looked a little like Donny Osmond. And that might be the single most colorful fact in the entire Mark Pryor biography...Pryor’s father is a great storyteller, part of a great and entertaining tradition in Arkansas politics. Mark Pryor still isn’t. Last week, addressing supporters gathered in a small-town courtroom, the senator looked around and started to say something about his previous career as an attorney." [WaPo]

NATION'S FOREMOST BARISTAS TO GET MUCH DESERVED RAISE - No longer will Seattle's coffee purveyors be underpaid for their coffee foam art. Dave Jamieson: "The mayor of Seattle announced Thursday that he'd developed a plan for a $15 minimum wage that had wide backing from the city's lawmakers, labor leaders and business community. The proposal unveiled by Mayor Ed Murray would gradually raise the city's minimum wage from $9.32 to $15 over the course of three to seven years, making it the highest city wage floor in the nation. The speed of the hike for individual employers would depend upon how many workers they have and the value of the non-wage benefits they offer. 'Once again Seattle has chosen to collaborate and Seattle workers are going to get a raise,' Murray said at a Thursday news conference, according to the Seattle Times. Murray's plan is just a proposal for now, and it would require the city council to write legislation and pass it. But the mayor said the plan enjoyed broad support from the commission he'd tasked with developing it, with 21 members of the 24-member committee having agreed to it." [HuffPost]

Wicked fail, state of Massachusetts: "The official Twitter account for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sent out a message on Wednesday that 'sexual assault is always avoidable,' sparking outrage over the suggestion that rape victims could somehow have avoided being assaulted. The tweet, which linked out to a blog post in honor of the state's Sexual Assault Awareness Month, was taken down at 9 a.m. Thursday morning, 12 hours after it was first posted. Geoff Kula, director of the Massachusetts government's website, issued a statement and a set of apologetic tweets." [HuffPost's Laura Bassett]

TEA PARTY LOSING CLOUT WITH ALASKA GOP - A states-rights movement is naturally going to have a hard time finding its footing in a place where a secessionist party has thrived. Anchorage Daily News: "The Alaska Republican Party's biennial convention kicks off Thursday in Juneau. But a whole swath of the faithful will be missing: the Ron Paul backers and tea party members who overwhelmed and overthrew the traditional leadership at the last convention, in 2012. Two years later, the struggle for control of the Republican banner appears to have subsided, following the state executive committee's ouster of the new chairman elected in the conservative wave in 2012, Russ Millette. Millette said he and his supporters are disillusioned with the party and won't even be making the trip to Juneau...Some of the Ron Paul supporters and tea party members are now defecting to an alternative group, the Alaska Republican Assembly, which is planning its own convention and "Freedom Fair" in Wasilla later this month. The group is headed by Daniel Hamm, who has been a member of the Republican Party's central committee. Its convention poster advertises a speech by Rafael Cruz, the father of U.S. Senator and tea party darling Ted Cruz, as well as Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican who challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010." [ADN]

O-o-o-o-oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping across an infinite valley of misery AND HELLFIRE: "In January the Satanic Temple announced plans to erect a monument glorifying the Dark Lord on the front lawn of the Oklahoma Statehouse. An Indiegogo campaign was launched with what seemed like a somewhat lofty goal of $20,000, but by the time donations ended almost $30,000 had been raised. Now an artist trained in classical sculpture is toiling away in New York, crafting a Baphomet figure sitting beneath a pentagram and flanked by two children gazing upward in loyalty. When it is finished, it will be cast in bronze and, the Satanists hope, eventually displayed in Oklahoma. The statue is a direct response to the state's installation of a Ten Commandments monument outside the Capitol in 2012. " [VICE]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a cat vibraphone.

STUDY: YOUR IRRITATING DINNER TABLE POLITICAL LECTURES ARE TURNING YOUR KIDS AGAINST YOU - Just remember that the next time you mansplain to your daughter about the complexities of running a business and why Obamacare is such a burden. Atlantic: "It’s understandable that parents with strong beliefs would feel it is their duty to see their children adopt those beliefs. But, however well-meaning these efforts are, they may be in vain. A study recently published in the British Journal of Political Science, based on data from the U.S. and U.K., found that parents who are insistent that their children adopt their political views inadvertently influence their children to abandon the belief once they become adults. The mechanism is perhaps surprising: Children who come from homes where politics is a frequent topic of discussion are more likely to talk about politics once they leave home, exposing them to new viewpoints—which they then adopt with surprising frequency. The study, led by researcher Elias Dinas, also shows that these changes are especially likely to happen during the college years. Conservative culture warriors have warned for years that universities are outposts of liberal indoctrination—and the study seems to confirm at least some of that warning." [Atlantic]

COMFORT FOOD

- We're pretty sure there isn't a chapter in "The Game" about asking out a TV news correspondent while on-air... while shirtless... during a wildfire. [http://bit.ly/SbTsit]

- How long it would take to watch some of the most popular television shows of the last 15 years from start to finish. [http://bit.ly/1rSEeeo]

- A handy guide to optimal fridge and freezer use. [http://bit.ly/1rJf2VZ]

- This pro-creationist movie trailer has us hoping the film will be like "The Room"... but with Jesus. [http://bit.ly/1lDpkXB]

- The iPhone case that doubles as a perfume dispenser. [http://yhoo.it/1lDjd5J]

- The latest iteration of Brian Williams rapping. [http://bit.ly/1mhZTxR]

- How to make a tiny bicycle out of two cigarette lighters. [http://bit.ly/1pSNSQG]

TWITTERAMA

@toddzwillich: Covering? She's Rep Issa's spox RT @rorycooper #FF @beccaglover who is covering the Oversight hearing on Benghazi -- happening now.

@daveweigel: Bliss was it to be alive during the mayoralty of Rob Ford; but to be a reporter or jerk on Twitter was very heaven.

@studiesincrap: Someone do a mashup of the Bundy/Sterling quotes over acoustic guitars, followed by Cool J's forgive-you verse from "Accidental Racist"

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