A Hill flack brought a concealed gun to the Capitol, as opposed to all those interns who show off by displaying their guns on the Metro. Republicans continue to advocate returning refugee children to central America, noting that Emma Lazarus never said ANYTHING about scared kids. And President Obama placed the blame of the Malaysian Airlines attack on Vladimir Putin even though no there are no photos of shirtless Putin karate chopping it into submission. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 18th, 2014:
OBAMA THROWS DOWN GAUNTLET - AP: "President Barack Obama spoke about Thursday's Malaysia Airlines crash, calling the deaths of the 298 passengers 'an outrage of unspeakable proportions' and saying 'we know at least one American citizen' was killed. Obama named Quinn Lucas Schansman as the victim from the U.S. Obama also called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine. 'This was a global tragedy. An Asian airliner was destroyed in European skies, filled with citizens from many countries, so there has to be a credible international investigation into what happened,' Obama said in a statement delivered from the White House Friday. 'Russia, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine must adhere to an immediate cease-fire. Evidence must not be tampered with,' Obama continued. 'It’s time for peace and security to be restored in Ukraine,' Obama said. Obama repeated sentiments shared by U.S. officials, saying it's believed a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists took down the jet." [AP]
So this is going to go well: "The United States is 'very concerned' that international investigators were only given 75 minutes to survey the wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines jet shot down over rebel-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, the State Department said Friday. 'Those who say they are going to participate in or welcome this investigation need to give unfettered access, and obviously we didn't see that when these individuals were there for 75 minutes,' State Department press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday." [The Hill]
You best go back to the lawn from whence you came: "Sen. John McCain said Friday that the tragic shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 might never have happened if the United States had armed Ukrainian forces battling against Russian-backed separatists. The Arizona Republican also said there’s no reason to wait for an international investigation of the site of the crash in eastern Ukraine. McCain pinned the blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin, but said the U.S. does have some responsibility for not arming the Ukrainians in their fight against separatists and other Russian elements." [Roll Call]
HONDURAS IS SAFE ENOUGH FOR KIDS, SAYS GUY WHO WOULDN'T LEAVE HOTEL - Milan Simonich: "Congressman Steve Pearce said Wednesday that most immigrants from Central America who are crossing illegally into the United States are driven by economic reasons, not fear of physical danger in their homeland. Pearce, R-Hobbs, said he was part of a seven-member working group from the U.S. House of Representatives that visited Guatemala and Honduras over the weekend…. Pearce said he and the rest of the House delegation that visited Honduras and Guatemala did not venture from their hotel very often because of the dangers, but the message they received in both countries was consistent: 'Send back our children.'" [Santa Fe New Mexican]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Rae Gomes: "When I found out I was pregnant, I was earning just enough to cover rent and bills. During my pregnancy, I hastily applied and interviewed for jobs, hoping they would be flexible and accommodating. I was offered a full-time job two weeks after my son was born but tearfully turned it down when I realized I had no way to make it work while caring for a newborn." America isn't very nice to moms. [The American Prospect]
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BORDER NEGOTIATIONS AS CRAPPY AS EVERYTHING ELSE THIS WEEK - Elise Foley: "President Barack Obama asked Congress last week for $3.7 billion in funding to care for the more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors who already entered the U.S. illegally this fiscal year, handle their removal cases and attempt to deter more from coming. Administrative officials have said the current funds for the crisis will run out by the end of August, so there's little time to waste, particularly with only two weeks left in the congressional calendar until September. Democrats have called for Congress to appropriate the full amount, but Republicans argue it's too much, either saying they shouldn't allocate any money or, more commonly, that they should allocate far less than requested. The House Appropriations Committee is still working on its proposal for how much funding to give the president, based on recommendations by a working group of Republican members commissioned by Boehner. The working group has not released its recommendations publicly, but according to a report from National Journal, it will propose changing a 2008 law to allow for quicker deportations, bringing in more immigration judges, keeping minors in detention until their cases are heard and sending National Guard troops to the border. Related proposals are piling up. Most of them would amending the 2008 law that puts unaccompanied minors from countries other than Mexico and Canada through immigration court proceedings, which slows their removal from the United States. Democrats have largely opposed changing that law because it could give minors with legitimate claims to stay in the U.S. too little time to make their case. Republicans may need Democratic votes for their funding proposal in the House, and it will certainly need support from the Democratic majority in the Senate. But the issue of changing the 2008 law could cause problems. Both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have voiced opposition to a bill that would change that law." [HuffPost]
BuzzFeed's Benny Johnson gets himself hassled by bored, kinda stupid guards at federal buildings.
OBAMA TO PROVIDE NEW PROTECTIONS FOR LGBT EMPLOYEES - Now that he's asked everyone if they're gay, the president is ready to act decisively. Jen Bendery: "President Barack Obama on Monday will sign an executive order banning workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers of federal contractors and the federal government. The executive order has two components: It prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity -- a move that affects 24,000 companies employing roughly 28 million workers, or about one-fifth of the nation's workforce -- and it explicitly bans discrimination against federal employees based on their gender identity. Senior administration officials outlined details of the executive order in a Friday afternoon call. To the relief of the LGBT community, there is no sweeping religious exemption in the executive order. Obama is simply adding the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing executive order that protects employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. President George W. Bush amended that executive order in 2002 to allow religiously affiliated federal contractors to prioritize hiring employees of their particular religion, however, and Obama is keeping that language intact." [HuffPost]
John McCain, dove: "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says he would have been hesitant about ordering a ground invasion of Iraq had he been elected president in 2000. 'You’ll find this surprising, but I think I would’ve been more reluctant to commit American troops,' McCain said at CNN’s 'Politics on Tap' event in Washington on Thursday. The persistent war hawk, who endorsed George W. Bush after failing to pick up sufficient steam in the 2000 presidential race, said his foreign policy experience would have aided him in seeing past dubious evidence that ultimately led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. 'I think I would have challenged the evidence with more scrutiny,' McCain said, as quoted by CNN. 'I hope that I would have been able to see through the evidence that was presented at the time.'" [HuffPost]
46,000 DRUG OFFENDERS' SENTENCES SHORTED - Eric Holder's guest spot on "Orange is the New Black," season 6 is going to be so heartwarming. Ryan Reilly: "The U.S. Sentencing Commission on Friday afternoon voted unanimously to allow federal prisoners behind bars for certain drug trafficking crimes to petition to have their sentences reduced. The change is expected to impact around 46,000 current federal prisoners, and to lower sentences by an average of more than two years. The commission, made up of seven people, voted to allow tens of thousands of prisoners to petition judges for a sentencing reduction based on new guidelines. The implementation of the change will be delayed, however, with the first prisoners affected by the change likely to be released early in November 2015. 'This amendment received unanimous support from Commissioners because it is a measured approach,' Judge Patti B. Saris, the chairwoman of the Sentencing Commission, said in a statement. 'It reduces prison costs and populations and responds to statutory and guidelines changes since the drug guidelines were initially developed, while safeguarding public safety.' The Justice Department initially had not backed the whole proposal, instead suggesting a middle path that would only make around 27,000 prisoners eligible. That position was the result of a compromise, because many U.S. Attorneys across the country had been opposed to any retroactive reforms." [HuffPost]
CAN JANET YELLEN HELP RUN THE ILLUMINATI, HAVE A FAMILY AND HAVE IT ALL?!? - #NotAllFedChairs. Mike McAuliff: "Janet Yellen in February became the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve and the first woman to hold that job, and has so far run Fed policy not all that differently from her predecessor, Ben Bernanke. But somehow, members of Congress seem to view her very differently indeed from Bernanke, whom they treated with the sort of respect generally reserved for the person setting the nation's monetary policy. In Bernanke's last briefing to the House Financial Services Committee last July, committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) was more than polite. 'This chairman considers you to be one of the most able public servants I have ever met,' Hensarling told Bernanke. 'Our nation will always, always be grateful.' 'No one questions your desire to help our country,' added Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.). But when Yellen gave the same monetary policy briefing on Wednesday, Hensarling even begrudged her the three-hour time limit he regularly granted Bernanke. The treatment she received was more like, well ... mansplaining." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a child who isn't happy to have her nose stolen.
FLACK BRINGS GUN TO CAPITOL - Guys, we know things got heated over the highway bill, but let's all take a step back. The Hill: "A House staffer was arrested Friday morning for carrying a gun into the Cannon House Office Building. Ryan Shucard, press secretary for Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), was arrested at about 9:15 a.m. Friday, according to U.S. Capitol Police Public Information Officer Shennell Antrobus...Shucard is currently being processed at the U.S. Capitol Police headquarters. Bill Tighe, Marino's chief of staff, told The Hill that Shucard has been placed on unpaid leave until further notice. Tighe said that the office, at this point, does not believe that Shucard intended to cause a threatening situation. 'At this point, we believe this was an accident,' Tighe said." [The Hill]
PLAYBOOK facts of life: Don't bring guns to the Capitol.
- iPhone emergency alerts that would actually help. [http://some.ly/1zRsyO0]
- Two dudes lip-sync a conversation between two 60-year-olds. [http://huff.to/1r9pOrk]
- Closing out this week's Weird Al-palooza, here's the parody singer's take on college football anthems. [http://bit.ly/Wi5lFg]
- Baby sloths eating vegetables are Woody Harrelson's spirit animals. [http://bzfd.it/1n1ype0]
- Voice actor goes to the zoo, hilarious commentary ensues. [http://huff.to/1nTC4ey]
- A mashup of kids cursing in movies. [http://bit.ly/1zRtbr5]
- An oral history of "The Terminator." [http://bit.ly/WhTvez]
@LOLGOP: REMINDER: If you're a big fan of Ronald Reagan and Vladimir Putin, you just like bad actors who ride horses.
He's running. RT @SabrinaSiddiqui: Ryan Gosling sighting at #nn14 @ Cobo Center, Detroit instagram.com/p/qmsn_1xYK1/
@DaveWeigel: This is all part of Obama’s plan to draft an army of transgender soldiers and send them to war with Russia.
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