America is about to fulfill its commitment to put cleats on the ground. The White House has a fairly generous family leave policy, which we imagine the president will make use of when Beyonce gives birth to his third child. And hipsters in Brooklyn are making juries in the borough decidedly more pro-prosecution. Who knew that dudes named Clove in plum-colored pants had so much in common with soccer moms and Sam's Club dads? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, June 16th, 2014:
RACE TO BE SPEAKER IN 10 YEARS GETTING KIND OF NASTY - As nasty as political battles can be, you really have to relish the one that permits contestants to question each other's ability to count. Roll Call: "A source close to Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam... said the 90-plus members in the House who have pledged to vote for the Illinois Republican are 'rock solid,' while Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise’s numbers are 'soft' and' all over the place since Thursday — at 100, 120, over 100, etc. etc. 'No one wants a whip who can’t count,' the source continued, 'and no one wants a whip who overpromises and under-delivers.' Roskam was working out of his West Chicago office Saturday and Sunday, according to that source, and he has secured the backing of some top surrogates from 'red' states (a criticism of Roskam’s candidacy is that the leadership table needs more representation from traditionally conservative strongholds). ... Meanwhile, a GOP aide familiar with Scalise’s whip campaign, the Republican Study Committee chairman, said the congressman spent Saturday in Washington, D.C., taking meetings and making calls... Monday morning, said the aide, he was back in his office on Capitol Hill pounding the proverbial pavement. Among the 50 lawmakers whipping for Scalise is a member of leadership: Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, whose backing of Scalise shows that not everyone in the so-called 'establishment' is automatically standing with Roskam, the candidate who already has a leadership appointment. Others include Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, Aaron Schock of Illinois, Ann Wagner of Missouri and Renee Ellmers of North Carolina." [Roll Call]
SUPREME COURT HANDS SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST A VICTORY - Laura Bassett: "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in an unanimous opinion Monday that the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List has standing to sue over an Ohio law that prevented it from making false statements about a political candidate in 2010. SBA List tried to erect billboards in Ohio in 2010 that accused then-Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) of supporting 'taxpayer funded abortion' because he voted for the Affordable Care Act. Driehaus successfully filed a complaint against the group under an Ohio law that prohibits 'false statements' during a political campaign, because federal dollars cannot be used to pay for abortions except in cases of rape and incest. Driehaus withdrew his complaint after losing his reelection race, but SBA List continued to challenge the Ohio law against false political speech on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment right to free speech. Two lower courts ruled that the group could not continue to challenge the law in district court because it was no longer facing a sufficiently imminent injury, but the Supreme Court unanimously reversed those decisions Monday in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Helene Jorgensen and Eileen Appelbaum: "The United States is the only high-income country that does not mandate paid family and medical leave. Instead American workers rely on a patchwork of employer-provided benefits, private insurance, state programs, public assistance, and savings to make ends meet during a leave event. About 30 percent of private-sector employees taking unpaid leave incur debt as result of their leave. More than 2.5 million employees cannot afford to take leave to care for self, a family member with a serious health condition, during pregnancy, to bond with a new child, or to care for an injured military service member every year." [Center for Economic and Policy Research PDF]
Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It's free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
OBAMA DRAFTING EXECUTIVE ORDER BANNING LGBT DISCRIMINATION AMONGST GOV'T CONTRACTORS - LGBT Americans shouldn't be prevented from needlessly making more money than their federal counterparts who perform the same exact job, dammit. Jen Bendery and Sam Stein: "President Barack Obama has directed his staff to draft an executive order that would ban workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors, a White House official told The Huffington Post. The move is the clearest indication to date that the administration is prepared to take action on LGBT rights where Congress has fallen short. Notably, the official would not say whether the president will sign the order into law on Monday -- suggesting the White House is leaking the news to warn lawmakers that they have a limited window to pass more sweeping workplace discrimination legislation before he acts without them. 'The president’s intentions are clear,' the official said, when asked whether Obama would sign the order. 'We will keep you posted.' Obama’s plan to draft an executive order comes after years of inaction on this front. The administration has been calling on Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal for employers nationwide to fire or harass someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill passed the Senate, but as it stalled in the House, pressure mounted on the president to act in ways that don't require legislative approval." [HuffPost]
IRAQ CRISIS: U.S. WILLING TO WORK WITH IRAN - Because if there's one thing that John Kerry is famous for, it's being unclear about his views of military intervention in Iraq. AP: "The Obama administration is willing to talk with Iran over deteriorating security conditions in Iraq and is not ruling out potential U.S.-Iranian military cooperation in stemming the advance of Sunni extremists, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday. Kerry also said in an interview with Yahoo! News that U.S. drone strikes 'may well' be an option. Kerry said Washington is 'open to discussions' with Tehran if the Iranians can help end the violence and restore confidence in the Iraqi government. Asked about possible military cooperation with Iran, Kerry said he would "not rule out anything that would be constructive.' However, he stressed that any contacts with Iran would move 'step-by-step.' U.S. officials said earlier there is a possibility that Undersecretary of State William Burns may discuss Iraq with an Iranian delegation at nuclear talks in Vienna. 'We're open to discussions if there is something constructive that can be contributed by Iran, if Iran is prepared to do something that is going to respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and ability of the government to reform,' Kerry said. The Obama administration is also considering unilateral airstrikes to slow an al-Qaida-inspired insurgency that is threatening the government of President Nouri al-Maliki. Kerry said Monday those are still an option." [AP]
Dad and dad are fighting: "Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain are enduring a rare split on foreign policy, breaking over whether the U.S. should cooperate with Iran to aid the Iraqis. Graham (R-S.C.) twice suggested on the Sunday shows that the United States must work with Iran to quell rising sectarian violence in Iraq — partially to ensure that the Iranians do not become 'the biggest winner' in the Middle Eastern chaos. But McCain (R-Ariz.) rejected this tactic on Monday morning, issuing a statement that didn’t name Graham but clearly drew a line of disagreement between the two foreign policy hawks. McCain said partnering with Iran 'would be the height of folly,' while describing a long record of supporting terrorist acts in the Middle East." [Politico]
WHITE HOUSE MAKES FAMILY LEAVE POLICY PUBLIC - Sam Stein: "[T]he focus on working fathers raises questions about the Obama administration's own family leave policies. Is the White House actually practicing what it preaches when it comes to its employees? It's not an easy answer to find, as the White House doesn't make it public. But according to Jessica Santillo, a spokesperson for the administration, the White House 'provides up to six weeks of paid leave and employees can use any of their accrued leave, such as sick or annual leave, or unpaid leave, for the other six weeks.' This applies to mothers and fathers alike and encompasses cases of 'birth or adoption; leave to take care of a sick parent or close family member or child; or can also be used to take time off if you are sick or injured yourself.' The White House does not provide on-site day care for mothers with young children, an Obama administration official told The Huffington Post. However, it has 'installed more nursing mother rooms on the White House campus, and provides emergency low-cost backup child care.'" [HuffPost]
GAY SEX VIOLATED ALABAMA LAW AS RECENTLY AS LAST WEEK - There's a tremendously lewd "The South will rise again" joke to be made here. ThinkProgress: "A law is still on the books in the state of Alabama which provides that a person is guilty of 'sexual misconduct' if they engage in '[a]ny act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another' — meaning that oral and anal sex of any kind is a crime under Alabama state law unless it is enjoyed with one’s spouse. Because Alabama is also a marriage discrimination state, this law has obvious implications for gay people in that state. Indeed, the official commentary to the law explains that it was enacted to 'make all homosexual conduct criminal.' ... On Friday, however, an Alabama appeals court handed down the state’s first decision declaring this law unconstitutional. This isn’t a particularly surprising decision. The Supreme Court held in its landmark 2003 opinion in Lawrence v. Texas that the Constitution forbids laws prohibiting consensual, private sexual activity between adults. If an Alabama court allowed the state’s sex ban to stand, it would have done so in direct defiance of the Constitution and the Supreme Court of the United States." [ThinkProgress]
All it takes is a mild anxiety disorder to REALLY enjoy the funnel cake at Walt Disney World: "Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed into law a medical marijuana bill in Florida. Senate Bill 1030, nicknamed the Charlotte’s Web bill, will allow for the use of a low-THC medical marijuana in Florida. It’s not to be confused with Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would also expand the use of medical marijuana in Florida...Florida has become the 23rd state in the country to allow medical marijuana, and the District of Columbia also has legalized medical marijuana. There also are federal efforts moving through Congress to block the DEA from raiding medical marijuana centers in states where it’s legal." [Orlando Business Journal]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a dog who loves the World Cup.
BROOKLYN HIPSTERS ARE DISTORTING THE JUDICIAL PROCESS - ew York Post: "Brooklyn’s courthouses are being rocked by the 'Williamsburg Effect.' The influx of well-off and educated white people to trendy neighborhoods such as Williamsburg is rapidly 'gentrifying’ the borough’s jury pool — and transforming verdicts, lawyers and judges told The Post. It’s good news for prosecutors in criminal cases — and bad news for plaintiffs in civil lawsuits, they said. 'The jurors are becoming more like Manhattan — which is not good for defendants,' noted veteran defense lawyer Julie Clark. 'They are . . . much more trusting of police,' Clark said of the jurors. 'I’m not sure people from the University of Vermont would believe that a police officer would [plant] a gun.' ... The percentage of white people in Brooklyn grew from 41 percent to 50 percent between 2000 and 2012, according to US Census data. Rents in the borough also spiked by 77 percent over the same period, according to a recent report by the city comptroller’s office." [NY Post]
- Guy films his dad's reaction every time he gets a tattoo. [http://chzb.gr/1i1X2qQ]
- Baby goat has a hard time exiting its pen. [http://bit.ly/1n5bP0j]
- Dude superimposed himself onto the video for Britney Spears' "Work Bitch." [http://huff.to/1uysNrQ]
- "Boyish Good Looks" catalogs the men described by the media as such. [http://bit.ly/1iBsF5C]
- Dad catches a home run while holding his baby in his other arm. Happy Father's Day, guy. [http://huff.to/UGa17u]
- An old Exxon commercial was basically the precursor to "White Guys in Google Glass." [http://bit.ly/1ya0rc6]
- Darth Vader's "I am your father" in twenty different languages. [http://bit.ly/1nKH3wX]
@JeffYoung: How come every time a journalist changes jobs, he or she is "nabbed" or "poached" or whatever? Sometimes, people just get new jobs.
@pourmecoffee: ALERT: Avoid open areas, isolated trees, and water if near a former Bush official lecturing about Iraq as a lightning strike is probable.
@LOLGOP: FYI: The GOP says they can't pass immigration reform because they don't trust the president they lost to because they didn't pass reform.
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ryan Grim (email@example.com) or Arthur Delaney (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e