POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Gaaaaaaaaay TIDE!!!

02/09/2015 05:14 pm ET | Updated Feb 09, 2015

Aaron Schock’s "Downton Abbey" scandal is in its second week -- don't tell us what happens, we DVR'd it. Will Brian Williams’ Katrina anecdotes be Williams’ Obama’s Katrina? And Jeb Bush's new tech guy has tweeted a number of times about "sluts." He has been reprimanded and reminded to only tweet inoffensive things about women -- y'know, mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds and what not. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, February 9th, 2015:

SCOTUS GREENLIGHTS GAY MARRIAGE IN ALABAMA - Until now, marriage in Alabama had been between one man and one woman who are both 17 and expecting a child because of intense social pressures and a general absence of -- or information about -- birth control. Ryan Reilly: "The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to halt same-sex marriages in Alabama, paving the way for the first gay couples to marry in the state that day. But a handful of probate judges in Alabama have reportedly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples -- or issue any marriage licenses at all -- because Alabama’s top judge instructed them to defy the federal court ruling. Upon the request of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, a federal judge put a stay on the ruling that overturned the state's ban on gay marriage, but that stay expired on Monday. The Supreme Court had the opportunity to intervene by temporarily putting a hold on same-sex marriages, but declined to do so in a 7-2 decision on Monday. As a result, Alabama becomes the 37th state where gay marriage is allowed." [HuffPost]

Jeff Sessions is upset.

Makes sense to us: "The United States Supreme Court will end discrimination against same-sex couples this June — and even justices who oppose the coming decision appear to know it’s going to happen. On Monday morning, Justice Clarence Thomas made explicit what had been growing apparent to observers for months: The court — at least a majority of the justices — has made up its mind on the issue of whether the U.S. Constitution bars states from treating same-sex couples differently than opposite-sex couples in marriage laws. In denying the Alabama attorney general’s request to keep a U.S. district court order that strikes down Alabama’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages on hold while the state appeals, the Supreme Court — even as it considers marriage cases out of four other states — made it clear that the justices will not stop same-sex couples from marrying in the meantime when a judge strikes down a ban." [BuzzFeed]

YOU WIN THIS ROUND, ANDY HARRIS - Aaron Davis: "The D.C. Council abandoned plans to hold a hearing on how to tax and regulate marijuana on Monday after the District’s new attorney general warned it could subject city lawmakers and their staff members to fines and even jail time. The move amounted to a setback for advocates of full marijuana legalization and underscored the halting way the District may be forced to implement Initiative 71, the ballot measure approved overwhelmingly in November by District voters." [WashPost]

Rhino Bar, a favorite haunt of RINOs, is closing.

JEB BUSH HIRES DOUCHEBAG STANDARD MALE TECH PROFESSIONAL - Ethan Czahor is an absolute rockstar in the #slut disruption space. Andrew Kaczynski: "Time magazine reported on Monday that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has hired Ethan Czahor, a Santa Monica-based techie who co-founded Hipster.com, to be his chief technology office for his political action committee, Right to Rise." Czahor rushed to delete several tweets in which he called women "sluts." [BuzzFeed]

HuffPost Haircuts: Sam Stein. Did somebody in This Town get a haircut? Send tips to HuffPostHill@huffingtonpost.com.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - New legislation would require Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to show photo identification when they use their government-issued debit cards to buy food. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) introduced the SNAP Verify Act last week. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) offered a similar bill in January. "This act seeks to protect those who truly need SNAP assistance, and ensures those who would defraud recipients and the U.S. taxpayer are unable," Salmon said in a statement. [HuffPost]

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AARON SCHOCK ENJOYS THE FINER THINGS - And not just his extensive collection of tchotchkes from the twilight of Imperial Russia. Politico: "He charters private planes and employs a personal photographer. In Aspen, Colorado, he stays at the Little Nell, a five-star resort near the ski slopes. In Las Vegas, he prefers the pricey Wynn hotel. While in Vail and San Francisco, it’s the Four Seasons. In Miami Beach, he’s sampled the Delano, Fontainebleau and the exclusive Soho Beach House. And in Beverly Hills, he’s tried both the Peninsula and the Beverly Wilshire. Illinois GOP Rep. Aaron Schock raises a lot of money, for himself and other Republicans — he had $3.2 million in the bank at the end of December. And through his web of campaign committees, the 33-year old lawmaker also spends lavishly...In addition to staying at expensive hotels, Schock has also spent more than $90,000 in campaign dollars on private air charters, an unusually high sum for a rank-and-file member of the House. His allies say it’s necessary so he can quickly hop between Republican districts across the country. House financial records also show that he has spent thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on private planes, which his office says helps him get around his Illinois district." [Politico]

The president Voxsplained some things to Vox, including his desire for a constitutional limit on filibusters.

KOCH INDUSTRIES NOT ENTIRELY AWFUL - "Koch Industries, Inc., the corporation led by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, is holding discussions with a coalition of strange bedfellows to tackle criminal justice reform. In conversations with people like Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and organizations like the ACLU, the Koch brothers are homing in on reducing overcriminalization and mass incarceration, as well as reforming practices like civil forfeiture. Progressives, rather than giving the Kochs the stink eye, are welcoming their efforts. Koch Industries general counsel and senior vice president Mark Holden told The Huffington Post that he met with Booker and his staff a few weeks ago...Booker and Koch Industries also attended a criminal justice discussion held on Jan. 28 by the Constitution Project, a nonprofit. Joining them were Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.). Koch Industries shared a panel with former Obama administration official Van Jones. Jones has been a longtime critic of the conservative-cause financiers, but on criminal justice, they are finding common ground." [HuffPost]

You know what other Alabaman staunchly opposed a federal civil rights mandate?

CLINTONLAND INFIGHTING IS BACK, BABY! - One of 2008's hottest trends is back, maybe John McCain will start a campaign and suspend it just for old time's sake. Politico: "David Brock on Monday abruptly resigned from the board of the super PAC Priorities USA Action, revealing rifts that threaten the big-money juggernaut being built to support Hillary Clinton’s expected presidential campaign. In a resignation letter obtained by POLITICO, Brock, a close Clinton ally, accused Priorities officials of planting 'an orchestrated political hit job' against his own pro-Clinton groups, American Bridge and Media Matters. Those groups – along with another pro-Clinton group, the super PAC Ready for Hillary – had their fundraising practices called into question last week by a New York Times report. It pointed out that veteran Democratic fundraiser Mary Pat Bonner got a 12.5 percent commission on funds she raised for Brock’s groups, and a smaller percentage commission on cash she raised for Ready for Hillary. In his letter to the co-chairs of Priorities’ board...Brock alleged that “current and former Priorities officials were behind this specious and malicious attack on the integrity of these critical organizations.'" [Politico]

Rubio staffs up: "Senator Marco Rubio has hired a coveted former aide to Mitt Romney to oversee his political activities in the Northeast and probably in a New Hampshire campaign, signaling that he is serious about a presidential bid. Jim Merrill, who directed both of Mr. Romney’s New Hampshire primary bids, is joining Mr. Rubio’s political action committee as a senior adviser, a position that would put him at the helm of the Florida senator’s campaign in the first-in-the-nation primary state." [NYT]

If Bernie Sanders' campaign song isn't his rendition of "This Land is Your Land," we'll be sorely disappointed: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says he will be running to win in 2016 if he decides to challenge Hillary Clinton in a Democratic primary. 'I am giving thought to running for president of the United States,' Sanders said in a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington on Monday. 'But don't tell my wife. ... 'I will not be a spoiler,' Sanders said, reiterating previous comments that he's made about how he would not run as an independent but as a Democrat." [The Hill]

STAFFER STOLE BILL YOUNG'S ROLODEX - You gotta admire that hustle. It will save the staffer a great many networking happy hours and the attendant "who do you know at UNC" name game and forced conversations about why Petworth is really great. Roll Call: "A staffer who worked for the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young Jr., R-Fla., says her colleague, a one-time case assistant who was subsequently promoted to constituent service representative after Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., took control of the seat, surreptitiously copied Young’s star-studded contact list. Harry Glenn, Young’s former chief of staff, told CQ Roll Call that office staff was alerted by the Clerk of the House in fall 2013 that any sensitive information — save for ongoing casework — had to be purged. But Kathy Corapi, a former constituent services coordinator who worked for Young from 2008 until Jolly took office in March 2014, told CQ Roll Call that her former co-worker, Nicole Smith, made off with a cache of private emails and personal cellphone numbers Young had collected over his 40-some years on Capitol Hill." [Roll Call]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a dancing owl.

MORE BRIAN WILLIAMS STORIES UNDER SCRUTINY - Well, Walter Cronkite did report on the moon landing, and everyone knows that didn't happen. WaPo: "[F]or Williams, few stories illustrated that predilection to talk more than his takes on Katrina — the stories with which he made his bones. The stories that are now taking heat. Among them: The one he told about witnessing a suicide at the Superdome. Or the one he told about watching a body float past the Ritz-Carlton, perched at the edge of an otherwise dry French Quarter. Or the one about the dysentery he said he got. And, finally, the story he told about the Ritz-Carlton gangs. Three separate individuals told reporters no gangs infiltrated the Ritz-Carlton...In September 2005, the Times-Picayune reported that numerous stories of violence and gunfire had been wildly exaggerated in the days following Katrina. Rumor begat rumor. New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass said he had a perfect anecdote to illustrate that effect." [WaPo]

COMFORT FOOD

- A dispatch from the North Korean Film Festival.

- America's paper size is all wrong.

TWITTERAMA

@JohnDingel: I follow far too many journalists on here.

@aedwardslevy: Crucial '16 constituencies, a partial list:
White men
White women
Minorities
Moderates
Single ladies
Mythical swing voters
Iowans
Twitter

@timothypmurphy: And the bagels! RT @GovMikeHuckabee Washington, DC is the roach motel of politics. People go in but don't come out.

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