The political world was shocked to learn that a governor whose existence had just come to its attention moments prior was resigning. Ruth Bader Ginsburg admitted she was a little drunk at the State of the Union, though not because she had to drink every time the president said "economy" or John Boehner frowned. And House Republicans still can’t agree on what bill will be designated "H.R.1" though we think they should take their cue from online comment boards and have it only say "first!" This is HuffPost Hill for Friday, February 13th, 2015:
OREGON GOVERNOR TO STEP DOWN AMIDST CORRUPTION SCANDAL - And not a "took someone else's place in the CSA waitlist" kind of Oregon scandal. An actual one. Mollie Reilly: "Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) is resigning from office Friday amid allegations of corruption, the governor announced in a statement...According to The Oregonian, his resignation is effective Wednesday. Last week, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced that the governor and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, were under investigation over whether Hayes had used her relationship with Kitzhaber to benefit her consulting business. 'Recent allegations relating to Gov. Kitzhaber and Ms. Hayes are very serious -- and troubling,' Rosenblum said. 'My office is considering all of our legal options to ensure that we are best serving the state.' Kitzhaber, who was elected to a fourth term as governor in November, reportedly waffled over whether to step down. According to the Oregonian, Kitzhaber had decided to resign on Tuesday, but changed his mind and announced Wednesday that he would remain in office. However, as KOIN reported Friday, the governor ultimately decided to step down after the state's top Democrats said they could no longer support him." [HuffPost]
HOUSE VOTES TO RAISE DEFICIT - Mike McAuliff: "The House voted 272 to 142 to make permanent a number of temporary provisions that are aimed at helping businesses earning up to $2 million. The main cut, which would add $77 billion to deficits over 10 years, allows businesses to immediately write off new equipment purchases up to $500,000. Temporary versions of the measure have been passed about a dozen times before, generally as economic stimulus measures. Since it's popular and it's been passed so many times before, Republicans argued, the policy should be made permanent...More than 30 Democrats crossed the aisle to support the measure. Indeed, Democrats like the general idea of extending the tax break. But they also want to pursue the elusive bipartisan goal of reforming tax laws more broadly. Democrats say that the tax cuts Republicans are pushing would, if made permanent, would add more than $800 billion in total to the deficit. And that's revenue that won't be available for comprehensive tax reform. Rep. Sander Levin (Mich.), the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, accused Ryan and the GOP of trying to "rig" the game." [HuffPost]
WHITHER H.R. 1? - Symbolic sadness. Billy House: The U.S. House of Representatives is six weeks into its new session without saying which legislative priority will become H.R. 1. The symbolic prized designation in past sessions has gone to proposals including the No Child Left Behind Act, the Sept. 11 Commission proposals and the Family and Medical Leave Act. This year, Republicans who control the House left the number vacant as of Friday, as Congress begins a week-long Presidents’ Day break." [Bloomberg]
Haircuts: Arthur Delaney, Tim Murphy.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - "Gov. Scott Walker's administration believes the eventual benefit to Wisconsin's workforce will offset any initial costs that come from the plan to drug test public aid recipients...Mike Huebsch, secretary of the state Department of Administration, told reporters Tuesday he believes the opportunities created by such a plan will exceed the initial cost of implementing it." Opportunities are magical. [The Capital Times' Jessie Opoien]
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HOUSE GIVING VRA ANOTHER TRY - Jen Bendery: "House lawmakers are giving another push to legislation that went nowhere in the last Congress: a bill to restore the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. The bill, introduced Wednesday by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.), responds to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down Section 4 of the law in 2013. In a 5-4 vote, the court declared it was time to update the section, which required certain states and localities with a history of minority voter suppression to clear changes to their voting laws with the Justice Department. The justices left it up to Congress to come up with a new formula for designating which regions of the country require special scrutiny. The Sensenbrenner-Conyers bill, known as the Voting Rights Amendment Act, updates that formula by making it apply to all states and jurisdictions with voting violations in the past 15 years, and by creating "uniform transparency requirements" to keep communities informed about voting changes." [HuffPost]
ALABAMA GIVES UP - Amanda Terkel: "At least 43 of Alabama's 67 counties are now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, following a federal judge's order Thursday reiterating that marriage equality is legal in the state. Same-sex marriage officially became legal in Alabama Monday, a result of U.S. District Judge Callie Granade's ruling on the matter in January. But many counties in this conservative state initially refused to comply. They were following orders from Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R), who told the county probate judges that the federal decision did not apply to them. On Thursday, Granade attempted to provide some clarity. In an order directed at Probate Judge Don Davis of Mobile County, Granade said there were no more excuses for denying same-sex couples marriage licenses. Shortly thereafter, the county began complying. Other counties have started to follow suit. On Thursday, before Granade's order, there were just 23 counties in Alabama marrying same-sex couples, according to the Human Rights Campaign. That number had nearly doubled as of Friday midday, according to data from the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and calls made to probate judges' offices by The Huffington Post." [HuffPost]
BUBBA BE BARRED? - Ryan Grim: "Headed into the 2016 presidential campaign, the Hillary Clinton camp has been confident it will be able to raise the kind of money that can scare off any Democratic challenger and compete with the GOP in the general election. Part of that confidence comes from knowing that two of the planet’s best fundraisers -- former President Bill Clinton and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe -- are core members of the team. But it may not be that simple. Lawyers involved with Hillary Clinton's as-yet-undeclared election effort are studying whether campaign finance laws significantly restrict the activities of both men, according to sources close to the discussions. For the former president, the question comes down to coordination: While a super PAC can legally raise unlimited amounts of money from high-dollar donors, it cannot coordinate with the candidate or the campaign. As a spouse of the candidate, it’s unclear how involved Bill Clinton can be in the super PAC’s activities." [HuffPost]
No amount of liquor and no amount of therapy can undo these mental images: "Two months after a discrimination lawsuit accused Rep. Blake Farenthold of creating a hostile, sexually charged work environment, the Texas Republican claims his former communications director was fired for not showing up to work and lying about the circumstances of her absence. In a detailed, 14-page response filed by attorneys from the Office of House Employment Counsel, Farenthold, 53, denied that he was attracted to 27-year-old staffer Lauren Greene or that he had the “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” Greene alleged in her complaint." [Roll Call]
MORE LIKE GIN-BURG! HEH… HEH… HEH… - ::SOBS:: Times: "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg admitted Thursday night to not being “100 percent sober” when she dozed off at last month’s State of the Union address. She said she had vowed to stick to sparkling water at the Supreme Court justices’ dinner before the speech, but couldn’t resist the 'very fine California wine' that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy had brought. 'And so I got a call when I came home from one of my granddaughters,' Justice Ginsburg told the crowd at a discussion with Justice Antonin Scalia held by the Smithsonian Associates. 'She said, ‘Bubby, you were sleeping at the State of the Union!’" [NYT]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some kittens and a robot.
Until now Joe Biden thought of Grindr as a biker gang he rode around with in the 70s: "Vice President Joe Biden may have given a shout-out to an 'old butt buddy' during a speech in Iowa on Thursday. During a stop at Drake University to talk about the Obama administration's economic policies, Biden scanned the room looking for an old friend. 'Neal Smith, an old butt buddy, are you here Neal?' Biden said. 'Neal, I miss you, man. I miss you.' CNN noted Biden was referring to 94-year-old former Rep. Neal Smith (D-Iowa). Some news outlets, including CNN, have suggested Biden made the remark because of a stuttering problem, and actually said: "Neal Smith, an old bu-buddy, are you here Neal?" [HuffPost's Amber Ferguson]
- Dudes reading texts they sent their girlfriends.
- Childhood fantasy # 4,201,883 realized: a pen that writes in chocolate.
- Incredibly high-def timelapse of Rio.
@paigelav: So far today I've had avocado toast, made a spa appointment, did yoga, got an email from a KKK Imperial Wizard. Pretty good day I guess.
@nycsouthpaw: DUCKS IN DISARRAY
ORE-GONE: KITZ QUITS AS BLITZ HITS
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