POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Funny-Looking Animals Mysteriously Dominate News Cycle As Weed Legalized In D.C.

02/26/2015 04:29 pm ET | Updated Feb 26, 2015

Chris Christie took to the stage at CPAC and bemoaned the "elites in Washington," a point we hope he expands on during his next "Morning Joe" appearance. The Department of Homeland Security is another day closer to running out of funds, at which point TSA agents will be forced to hold a massive yard sale of everybody's sunblock, mouthwash, and Swiss Army Knives. And asked what he would do about DHS funding, John Boehner blew a kiss at reporters, meaning the speaker has entered the all-too-familiar nonverbal phase of the shutdown drama. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, February 26th, 2015:

JAMES INHOFE DISPROVES CLIMATE CHANGE WITH MAGICAL SNOWBALL - The Republican chairman of the Senate Environment Committee observed that it is cold outside, therefore scientists are liars. James Inhofe, ladies and gentlemen: "We keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record. I ask the chair, you know what this is? It's a snowball just from outside here. So it's very, very cold out. Very unseasonable." Inhofe continued: "Some outlets are referring to the recent cold temperatures as the Siberian Express, as we can see with the snowball out there, this is today, this is reality."

NET NEUTRALITY WINS - Dana Liebelson: "The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to approve strong net neutrality rules in a stunning decision that defies vocal, months-long opposition by telecom and cable companies and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Democratic Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn joined Chairman Tom Wheeler to approve a rule that reclassifies consumer broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC intends to use this new authority to ban 'paid prioritization,' a practice whereby Internet service providers can charge content producers a premium for giving users more reliable access to that content. The FCC also intends to ban blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. These regulations also apply to mobile access.

"A few months ago, such rules were considered a pipe dream of net neutrality advocates. Last fall, Wheeler was reportedly still considering a 'hybrid' approach to net neutrality that would have made major concessions to telecom and cable companies, who contend that strong regulations will hinder investment and innovation. But President Barack Obama came out in support of Title II and tough net neutrality rules in November, and Wheeler had to contend with that position as well as millions of comments from the general public in support of net neutrality. Tech start-ups like Tumblr, as well as Silicon Valley giants like Google, also advocated for strong net neutrality rules." [HuffPost]

"When I make decisions, I'll let you know," Boehner said. "That's just a kiss, that's all."

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - This is what it looks like when a city responds to homelessness by policing bodily functions: "A Fort Lauderdale police officer was 'relieved of duty with pay' Monday afternoon after a video surfaced onYouTube showing the officer pushing and slapping a homeless man at a Broward bus terminal, Fort Lauderdale police confirmed Monday night. 'Relax. I am telling you right now what's going to happen,' he said as Laclair, wearing gray sweats, sat on the ground. 'I'm escorting you out right now. You are not going to go pee. You are not supposed to be here.'" [Miami Herald]

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LYNCH NOMINATION CLEARS JUDICIARY - Jen Bendery: "The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to confirm Loretta Lynch as the next U.S. attorney general, bringing her one step closer to becoming the first African-American woman to hold the post. The panel voted 12 to 8, with all Democrats voting for Lynch. Republicans were split: Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) supported her nomination, while Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), David Vitter (La.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Texas), David Perdue (Ga.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) opposed her. Senators in both parties have hailed Lynch's qualifications. Hatch described her as 'well-qualified,' and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Lynch has "the character, the determination and the experience to be a strong, independent attorney general.' Lynch's critics all opposed her for the same reason: concerns about her stated intention to defend President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration." [HuffPost]

Number of llamas who briefly escaped captivity today: 2

Number of CPAC speakers who said "circle jerk" while on the main stage: 1

Left groups are secretly roaming the halls of CPAC, so naturally they outed themselves to us: "[O]n the first day of the conference this year, one of the leading Democratic opposition research groups dispatched its staff to make the trek out to National Harbor, Maryland, in the early hours of the morning. Roaming the halls of CPAC on Thursday were five members of the group, American Bridge. They were wearing attendee badges, meaning they paid for the privilege of being there. And they were wielding cameras, five in all." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]

Also heard at CPAC: "The Senate's slow, guys" - Mia Love

TED CRUZ MAKES HUMOROUS COMMENTS - At one point, Cruz made a crude joke about Bill Clinton, uttering 'youth outreach' when asked by Hannity to play a word-association game about the former president. As for the other Clinton, Cruz had some pre-packaged lines. 'We could have had Hillary here, but we couldn't find a foreign nation to foot the bill,' he said, alluding to a Washington Post story from the day before about donations made to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state." [HuffPost]

OBAMA BEING MACHO ON IMMIGRATION - Elise Foley: "President Barack Obama said Wednesday that Republicans can go after his immigration programs in the courts and in Congress, but his confidence will not be shaken. 'In the short term, if Mr. McConnell, the leader of the Senate, and the speaker of the House, John Boehner, want to have a vote over whether what I'm doing is legal or not, they can have that vote,' Obama said at a town hall in Miami hosted by MSNBC and Telemundo's José Díaz-Balart. 'I will veto that vote because I'm absolutely confident it's the right thing to do.'" [HuffPost]

WALKER FUNDRAISING OFF OF RIGHT-TO-WORK BILL - "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) campaign sent a fundraising email Thursday boasting that he is once again taking on unions and stands ready to sign legislation that would deal a serious blow to labor forces in the state. 'Governor Scott Walker will sign legislation to make Wisconsin a 'Right to Work' state, prohibiting employees from being forced to join a union against their will. It's the right thing to do for job creators and employees alike,' reads the email sent by Friends of Scott Walker, the governor's political arm. 'But you know how it is: It threatens the power the Big Government Labor Bosses crave and they are going to come after him with everything they've got.' The GOP-controlled Wisconsin state Senate approved a right-to-work bill Wednesday, and the measure will now head to the GOP-controlled Assembly, where it's also expected to pass. Walker has promised to sign the legislation when it reaches his desk." [HuffPost]

"Russ Feingold has been reaching out to supporters in recent weeks to discuss a 2016 Senate bid to retake his old seat from Republican Ron Johnson, sources with knowledge of the calls told The Huffington Post. The progressive Wisconsin Democrat was wiped out of the Senate in the tea party wave of 2010, but since then, many supporters have been keeping their fingers crossed that he'd run again -- in a presidential election year likely to be more favorable to Democrats. Multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity told HuffPost that in recent months, Feingold has talked to Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), among others. Feingold will step down in March from his position as the State Department's special envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, the sources indicated, and can't make an announcement before that. But he toyed with reporters on Tuesday during an event at the U.S. Institute of Peace by referring to his aide, Mary Irvine, as his "once, current and, I hope, future chief of staff."

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a cat playing with a chicken.

BOEHNER TELLS KUNCKLESHEADAS TO LAY OFF SELFIES - And those damn selfie branches! Roll Call: "Eleven months to the day after Speaker John A. Boehner reminded members to wear 'appropriate business attire' on the House floor, the Ohio Republican was singing a familiar tune Wednesday. 'Members should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House, however brief their appearance on the floor may be. You know who you are,' Boehner said, a reminder he has issued each of the past three years…'Members should refrain from engaging in still photography or audio or video recording in the chamber,' Boehner said. 'Taking unofficial photographs detracts from the dignity of the proceedings and presents a security and privacy challenge for the House.'" [Roll Call]

COMFORT FOOD

- KFC is debuting edible coffee cups.

- A heavy metal version of Mary Poppins.

- A 24-year-old Amy Poehler in a 1995 sketch show pilot.

TWITTERAMA

@dceiver: The tears of Comcast and Verizon execs taste so delicious you guys

@ObsoleteDogma: RINO—> This means he read the NYT in the first place RT @igorbobic: "I'm giving up the New York Times for lent," Christie says

@FamousDC: You down with F-C-C?
Yeah, you know me!

#NetNeutrality

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