David Brooks called mistakes leading up to the Iraq war “data points in a larger education,” which is, oddly enough, what William Randolph Hearst said about the Spanish-American War. President Obama has long espoused a Kenyan anti-colonial philosophy, so why is he so upset about colony collapse disorder? And Claire McCaskill tweeted her displeasure with “Game of Thrones,” much like that time when Louie Gohmert bemoaned "Mad Men" losing its slow-boiling ennui and transcendent meditations on materialism and intimacy. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, May 19th, 2015:
MCCONNELL PLANS VOTE ON HOUSE PATRIOT ACT BILL - Plus a voice vote on S.RES.211 "I Miss You, Jim Bunning, I Miss You So Very Much." Burgess Everett: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he will allow a vote on the House’s surveillance reform bill this week, even though it may not be able to pass the Senate. McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that the Senate needs to see “where the votes are” to keep in place expiring PATRIOT Act provisions. McConnell favors a straight extensions of current law. A bill he has introduced would keep in place bulk data collection programs, which were exposed by Edward Snowden. But the popular House-passed bill would eliminate it." [Politico]
BOEHNER WANTS OBAMA TO 'START OVER' ON WAR AUTHORIZATION - Because Congress is hard. Jen Bendery: "House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hasn't taken any action to authorize the ongoing war against Islamic State militants. But on Tuesday, he criticized President Barack Obama's proposal for authorizing the military campaign, and said Obama should just withdraw it. 'The president's request for an Authorization of Use of Military Force calls for less authority than he has today. I just think, given the fight that we're in, it's irresponsible,' Boehner told reporters. 'This is why the president, frankly, should withdraw the Authorization of Use of Military Force and start over.' It's been nine months since the U.S. began bombing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, without new congressional authorization. The Constitution requires Congress to declare wars, but in this case, Obama has said he doesn't need lawmakers' sign-off because a sweeping 2001 AUMF covers his actions." [HuffPost]
Ebony and ivory, in our mailbox: "ACLU & Tea Party Patriots Co-Sponsor TV Ads Calling for Washington to Rein In Government Surveillance"
HILLARY DOES THING! - Congrats, Sidney Blumenthal! You're a Hillary "friend!" ...for "a long time!" That's gotta be worth at least a few mil in net worth! Boomshakalaka! Igor Bobic: "Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called for the immediate release of email correspondence sent during her tenure as secretary of state, saying that the email records are 'not mine, they're the State Department's.' 'Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do,' the presidential contender told reporters during a campaign event in Iowa. She urged State Department officials to 'please move as quickly as they possibly can to get them out.' … Clinton also brushed off concerns raised in The New York Times about her correspondence with Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend. The two were in communication about Libya while Clinton was at the State Department. 'He's been a friend of mine for a long time,' Clinton told reporters Tuesday. 'I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are.'" '[HuffPost]
Committee For Americans Who Don't Want Alex Seitz-Wald To Be Big-Footed By Richard Wolffe Or Whoever Once The Clinton Campaign Heats Up
Haircuts: Jess McIntosh (h/t television)
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives wants to stop poor people from buying junk food with food stamps. Under proposed new legislation, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's 45 million enrollees would only be able to use their benefits for lean meat, poultry and food products approved under a separate federal nutrition program that supports nutrition for pregnant women, infants and children. Energy drinks out would be out; Enfamil in. "Over the years, the nutrition portion of food stamps has become obsolete," Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), who authored the legislation, said in a statement. "Today, beneficiaries can use taxpayer dollars to purchase nearly anything in the grocery store. Meanwhile, families barely living over the poverty threshold are pinching pennies and clipping coupons to make ends meet." [HuffPost]
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HEDGE FUND MANAGERS SAVED FROM PENURY FOR AT LEAST A COUPLE OF YEARS - No child should have to suffer through their father coming home from his job in Stamford in an Acura wearing a suit from *gulp* Macy's. We can't let the innocent suffer. Richard Rubin: "'Any major changes to private equity’s most favored tax break won’t happen until 2017,' House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said. Ryan said he’s excluding the taxation of carried interest from this year’s bipartisan attempt to revamp business taxes, sparing fund managers from any change. 'That is on the individual side of the code, so it’s not something that we’re looking at right now,' Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said at an accounting conference in Washington Tuesday...Obama wants to tax the carried interest of private-equity managers, venture capitalists, some hedge fund executives and real estate managers as ordinary income instead of capital gains. That proposal would raise $17.7 billion over a decade, according to the Treasury Department. Carried interest is the profits interest that private-equity managers receive in the companies they take over and manage." [Bloomberg]
BEADS??? - Trust us, you don't even want to know how this one factors into the planned invasion of Texas. Tennille Tracy: "The White House is backing efforts to scrutinize the link between pesticides and a dramatic increase in honeybee deaths. In a report Tuesday, a White House task force said it wanted to see the number of honeybee deaths drop to 15% during the cold winter months when bees are particularly vulnerable. The task force laid out a multipronged strategy to research the problem and to improve and expand honeybee habitats. Winter loss rates are well above the task force’s stated goal, reaching 23% in the most recent winter. The annual loss rate, meanwhile, reached 42% for the 12-month-period ending in April, the U.S. Agriculture Department said earlier this month. Among the many causes scientists are researching is the role played by pesticides, and particularly a class known as neonicotinoids, which are often applied to crops. Pesticides are absorbed by plant tissues and then transferred to pollen and nectar. Bees, used to pollinate many different types of crops in the U.S., exhibit a wide range of sensitivities to the neonicotinoids, the report said." [WSJ]
No one tell them about the Agenda 21 special forces amassing off the coast of Florida: "It didn't take long for a conservative blog to connect the U.S. military's upcoming 'Jade Helm 15' training exercise to President Barack Obama's order Monday that banned certain military-grade equipment from being given to local law enforcement agencies. Michele Hickford, the editor-in-chief of former Rep. Allen West's (R-FL) website, noted the timing of the President's order and the military exercise, which some people believe is a cover for the implementation of martial law, in a blog post published Monday." [TPM's Catherine Thompson]
STENY HOYER SUPPORTS STENY HOYER BEING ELECTED DEMOCRATIC LEADER - He also supports that donation his leadership PAC just made to your reelection campaign. *wink* Bridget Bowman: "House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., agreed Tuesday morning that congressional salaries should increase. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., made the case for a lawmaker pay raise during a Rules Committee meeting Monday night, arguing that the high cost of living in the District of Columbia will lead to a situation where only wealthy people can afford to serve in Congress. 'I agree with Mr. Hastings,' Hoyer said in his weekly pen-and-pad briefing with reporters Tuesday morning. He echoed Hastings’ argument, noting that the current salary “dictates the only people who can serve are the rich. I don’t think that’s what the Founding Fathers had in mind.' … Members of Congress earn an average annual salary of $174,000. In April 2014, then-Rep. James P. Moran made headlines by making a similar argument for a pay raise." [Roll Call]
ALAN GRAYSON IS ONE CLASSY GUY - No word on when he and Scott DesJarlais will form the "Women! Am I right?" Caucus, but we suspect it will be soon. Jesse Byrnes: "The saga between Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and his estranged wife took another turn after an agreement on terms for their divorce fell apart. 'I'll sum it up for you: Gold diggers gotta dig. That's all I gotta say,' he told local ABC affiliate WFTV on Monday after leaving the courtroom, accusing Lolita Grayson of reneging on an agreement. His estranged wife of 25 years, Lolita, filed for divorce early last year. The House member and former telecom company co-founder has sought an annulment on the basis of bigamy, and they appeared to reach terms last month on an annulment, which would not require equal division of $30 million in assets." [The Hill]
DAVID BROOKS CHAMPIONED AN AVOIDABLE WAR THAT LEFT 200,000 PEOPLE DEAD, BUT IT'S COOL BECAUSE HE NOW HAS A SERENE UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN FALLIBILITY AND A BOOK ABOUT MORALITY THAT YOU SHOULD BUY AND PONDER WHILE ON THE ACELA - In terms of an Iraq war booster shamelessly fusing his record with a book promotion, this is almost as bad as "Big Russ and Me: Why My Dad Didn't Mind My Softball Interview With Dick Cheney." Brooks: "The Iraq war error reminds us of the need for epistemological modesty. We don’t know much about the world, and much of our information is wrong. A successful president has to make decisions while radiating hesitancy, staying open-minded in the face of new evidence, not falling into the traps that afflict those who possess excessive self-confidence....These are all data points in a larger education." [Times]
Mikey loves it, naturally: "PLAYBOOK FACTS OF LIFE: Presidential candidates talking about Iraq, rather than parsing the question, might want to take a page from Brooks and focus their answers on: 'Here’s what we learned ... '" [Politico]
Chait summarizes the problem underlying the whole debate: "This is how the dodge works. Step 1: Prevent a Senate report from looking into whether the administration lied. Step 2: Ignore the existence of the report that did show the administration lied. Step 3: Pretend that an intelligence failure and a deliberate effort to cook the intelligence are mutually exclusive. It was a mistake, therefore it could not have also been a crime." [NY Mag]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a baby panda.
CLAIRE MCCASKILL DONE WITH 'GAME OF THRONES' - "Claire McCaskill says she wants to keep America safe, but if she can't predict that there will be gratuitous rape scenes in 'Game of Thrones,' how can she predict when Iran will get the bomb?" Igor Bobic: "The Missouri Democrat, who often personally opines on newsy topics via her Twitter account, on Tuesday sounded off against a particularly brutal scene in the latest episode of "Game of Thrones," HBO's TV adaptation of the fantasy book series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.' 'Ok, I'm done Game of Thrones.Water Garden, stupid.Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.It was a rocky ride that just ended,' [she tweeted]. Fans of the series erupted in outrage on Sunday after young Sansa Stark, one of the show's few remaining beloved protagonists, was raped by her new husband, Ramsay Bolton, a psychopath who has an affinity for skinning people alive. The 'Black Wedding,' as it is being called by fans online, never occurred in the books -- Sansa's friend is subjected to Ramsay's torment instead." [HuffPost]
- Navy's humongous new gun was made by Bae Systems. Make of that what you will.
- A scene from "Bloodsport" transformed into a Mentos commercial.
- Voice actor ably offers his services to replace Harry Shearer's replacement
@aedwardslevy: Idea: compile favorability ratings for literally every human being in America
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