POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Joe Biden Soon To Have Neck Tattoo

02/04/2015 05:48 pm ET | Updated Feb 04, 2015

Joe Biden visited the offices of VICE Magazine, which makes sense because we could totally see him starring in video features on the strange world of Slovenian strippers' bridge tournaments. Aaron Schock will pay his decorator for her "Downton Abbey"-ification of his office, but he'll still notify his staff assistants by pulling a cord that rings a bell by their desk. And the GOP's immigration gambit might lead the Department of Homeland Security to shut down, but Republicans aren’t worried as the invisible hand of the market will pick up each undocumented immigrant by their shirt collar and fling them back across the border. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, February 4th, 2015:

CONGRESS STILL DEADLOCKED ON DHS FUNDING - Classic case of Democratic obstruction. Elise Foley: "The Senate on Wednesday held a redo of its vote to move toward funding the Department of Homeland Security and blocking the president's deportation relief -- and the vote failed again. The vote was the second in as many days on funding the department, which will run out of money on Feb. 27. This time, the vote tally was 53 to 47, with 60 votes needed to move forward. It showed that with mere weeks to go until the deadline, the parties are no closer to a compromise. Senate Democrats proved they can remain united in favor of a 'clean' bill without immigration-related measures. Republicans reiterated they don't want to pass anything without those riders, and will vote on the measure again this week. For now, there's no end in sight to the gridlock. Republicans' hope on Wednesday was that they could pick up the Democrats who said last year that President Barack Obama should not take executive actions on immigration. The president ended up delaying his actions until after the election, and then announced in late November plans to expand deportation relief and work authorization to some undocumented parents of U.S. citizen children and legal permanent residents. He also expanded his 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA, that does the same for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children." [HuffPost]

The National Journal reports that Rand Paul's guy in Iowa is not very popular, which will hurt Paul's chances! Probably a bigger problem than his long association with a quack medical group.

RYAN BUDGET NOT VERY FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE - Nice to see you again, Bush economics! Mike McAuliff: "The first bills promoted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as the new chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee would add nearly $100 billion to the deficit over 10 years. Ryan, a deficit hawk during his time as the chairman of the Budget Committee for the previous six years, made his fame proposing budgets that aimed to dramatically cut domestic spending and balance the budget within a decade. But in his first legislative act as head of the committee that will be central to expected tax reform efforts over the next two years, Ryan pushed through a package of seven tax cut bills that would add $93.5 billion to the deficit in the next decade. The largest, a measure that lets small business write off expenses more quickly, would add $77 billion to the deficit. Other measures would allow companies to inflate the value of food donations (including things like old Twinkies), make it easier to donate retirement savings, and conserve land, among other things. Although Republicans generally require new expenses to be paid for by cuts elsewhere in the budget, they don't when it comes to tax cuts. As a result, none of the proposed measures came along with savings from another portion of the budget." [HuffPost]

Aaron Schock, he of the Downton Abbey office: "haters gonna hate." He says he plans to pay his decorator, so that's good.

CHUCK SCHUMER IS ENJOYING HIMSELF - The irresponsibility of not governing. Sam Stein: "Reclining on his couch, a bottle of water in his hand, his tie loosened and his shoes off, he waxes about his newfound liberties. 'It is actually fun. It is really fun to be in the minority,' he tells The Huffington Post. 'You have a little more freedom in the minority. It is easier to take a theme, stick to it and constantly go after it.'" [HuffPost]

Joe Biden has apparently visited the office of Vice Magazine, for some reason, and proclaimed "I'm a weird guy!"

JEB BUSH ESPOUSES VACCINES - Well, his dad was the head of the CIA, so... er… chem trails? Igor Bobic: "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday addressed the debate over vaccinations, an issue that has tripped up several of his potential presidential rivals in recent days. 'Parents ought to make sure their children are vaccinated. Do we need to get into any detail on that?" Bush said bluntly in a speech before the Detroit Economic Club. 'Parents have a responsibility to make sure their children are protected. Over and out.' … Wednesday's address was Bush's first unpaid speech since he announced his interest in running for president. The former governor, who has not run an electoral campaign in twelve years, spoke with the aid of a teleprompter, though his rushed pace created a somewhat stilted delivery. He appeared much more natural in a short Q&A session that followed." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Tuesday evening formally proposed drug testing for people who want unemployment benefits, but there's just one problem: President Barack Obama won't allow it. Read my story for background on this epic pissing match.

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Surgeon general a total stoner: "Dr. Vivek Murthy, the nation's newest surgeon general, says that marijuana "can be helpful" for some medical conditions, and wants science to dictate policy on the federally banned substance. 'We have some preliminary data that for certain medical conditions and symptoms, that marijuana can be helpful," Murthy said during a Wednesday interview on 'CBS This Morning' in response to a question about his stance on marijuana legalization. While Murthy didn't take the opportunity to endorse legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, he did add that he believes U.S. marijuana policy should be driven by science and what it reveals about the efficacy of using the plant for medical purposes. 'I think we're going to get a lot more data about that,' Murthy said. 'I'm very interested to see where that takes us.'" [HuffPost's Matt Ferner]

For some reason Brian Williams felt he needed to pretend he'd been aboard a helicopter shot down in Iraq. Stars and Stripes caught him.

HONDA INTRODUCES BILL REVOKING REDSKINS TRADEMARKS "But what about the one revoking Nationwide commercials? Mollie Reilly: "Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) introduced legislation Tuesday that would revoke trademarks for the Washington NFL team for as long as the franchise keeps its controversial name. 'It is unbelievable to me that, in the 21st century, a prominent NFL franchise is calling itself by a racial slur,' Honda said in a statement. 'Team names should not be offensive to anyone. Allowing trademark protection of this word is akin to the government approving its use. Removing that trademark will send a clear message that this name is not acceptable.' The bill would officially deem the word 'redskins' a disparaging term, making it ineligible for trademark under the Lanham Act. The legislation would retroactively revoke the team's existing trademarks and block new ones using the term. Honda co-sponsored similar legislation in 2013." [HuffPost]

GAY MARRIAGE NOT LIKED IN GAYEST PLACE IN AMERICA - C'mon, Alabama. Lila Shapiro: "A legal group is leading the fight against Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore over his opposition to gay marriage. Last week, Moore wrote in a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley that he planned to oppose a federal judge’s recent ruling that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. He referred to the decision as 'judicial tyranny' and said that any Alabama judges who obey the federal court ruling and allow marriage licenses to be issued would be in 'defiance of the laws and Constitution of Alabama.' This week, Moore doubled down on his position, with a letter and memorandum to Alabama’s probate judges, telling them that they are not required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples once the ruling goes into effect next week...In response to Moore’s statements, last week the Southern Poverty Law Center…. filed a judicial ethics complaint against him, charging the chief justice with numerous ethical violations and accusing him of undermining 'public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.' On Tuesday, the SPLC filed a supplement to its ethics complaint, pointing to a radio interview in which Moore stated that, if the U.S. Supreme Court were to determine that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, he would face a “very hard decision” whether to follow the law of the land." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR -

BARACK OBAMA AND MITT ROMNEY: NOT FRIENDS - Don't expect any Bush 41/Clinton buddy-buddy world traveling after Obama leaves office. Sam Levine: "President Barack Obama was displeased with Mitt Romney's 2012 Election Night concession call, and briefly considered appointing Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court, one of his closest former advisers reveals in a new book. The adviser, David Axelrod, says Obama thought Romney suggested the president was only re-elected because he got out the black vote, according to an advance copy of 'Believer: My 40 Years in Politics' obtained by the New York Daily News. Obama was 'unsmiling during the call, and slightly irritated when it was over,' Axelrod writes in the book, scheduled to go on sale next week. Romney also reportedly told Obama that he had done a good job getting out the vote in Cleveland and Milwaukee, which Obama interpreted to mean black people." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- The man who places "The Mountain" on "Game of Thrones" broke a 1000-year-old weightlifting record.

TWITTERAMA

@toddzwillich: CLOTURE VOTE II: THE RECONSIDERING

@newtgingrich: I am watching Black Sunday-1977 movie about terrorists attacking super bowl-38 years ago- and still our elites refuse to face reality

@seungminkim: Downton Abbey decor, vaccine ride-alongs, no hand-washing in bathrooms. This week is so weird.

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