02/13/2013 06:04 pm ET Updated Apr 15, 2013

HUFFPOST HILL, sponsored by America's Health Insurance Plans - NRA Readying For America's Mad Max-tastic Future

Democrats are SO EXCITED that Marco Rubio took that hilarious sip of water during his response to... wait, why was Rubio there, again? It's clear that Wayne LaPierre isn't giving up crazy for Lent, given his new Daily Caller op-ed. And to truly appreciate the creepiness of Lindsey Graham's statement that, "I own an AR-15. I saw the movie 'Django.' I like Quentin Tarantino," try imagining it as an OKCupid bio. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, February 13th, 2013:

WAYNE LAPIERRE'S DAILY CALLER OP-ED IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK IT IS - Git yer dehydrated food packets and yer AR-15 and yer least dovetailed "Left Behind" installment because the government man is coming. Take it away, Wayne: "Meanwhile, President Obama is leading this country to financial ruin, borrowing over a trillion dollars a year for phony 'stimulus' spending and other payoffs for his political cronies. Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won't be enough money to pay for police protection. And the American people know it. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face--not just maybe. It's not paranoia to buy a gun. It's survival. It's responsible behavior, and it's time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that." [Daily Caller]

EXECUTIVE BRANCH CAN'T STOP WRITING MEMOS ABOUT HOW IT CAN KILL YOU - Just so long as these things stay memos and don't devolve into fundraising emails from drones ("Hey"). Ryan Reilly: "Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office revealed Wednesday that the Obama administration has yet to show members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence seven additional opinions laying out the legal basis for targeted killing. Disclosure of the existence of the additional seven opinions from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel came the day after President Barack Obama pledged greater transparency during his State of the Union address. Feinstein (D-Calif.) said there were a total of 11 OLC opinions related to targeted killing. Senators had already seen two of them and an additional two were made available to senators -- but not their staffers -- last week, leaving seven that haven't yet been disclosed." [HuffPost]

Rand Paul'd: "Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul announced Wednesday that he plans to place a hold on the nomination of John O. Brennan to run the CIA until he receives information related to the administration's use of armed drones...The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on Brennan's nomination, after the panel held a closed-door session Tuesday with the nominee." [Roll Call]

Lindsey Graham today on his Benghazi antics: "If this were a Republican president, then I guaran-damn-tee-ya Democrats would be doing a whole lot more than I'm doing." Kind of like how Democrats drove all the officials involved with the WMD fiasco out of government...

MICHAEL BRUNE ARRESTED - The Sierra Club broke today with a 120-year-tradition of playing nice when its leader, Michael Brune, was arrested in front of the White House protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. It's not easy for liberal groups who operate inside the White House orbit to break with it, so HuffPost Hill give this a big radical thumbs up. It comes a day after the president promised to do what is in his power to save the planet. Presumably that includes not actively wrecking it. [AP]

RUBIO: GOVERNMENT ISN'T GOING TO HELP YOU. ME? MAYBE - Addressing the nation on Tuesday night, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio came with a simple message. "More government isn't going to create more opportunities. It's going to limit them. And more government isn't going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs," Rubio said. "More government isn't going to help you get ahead. It's going to hold you back." That might be true for you. It's not true for Marco Rubio.

Read this rundown of Rubio financial shenanigans and tell us if you really think he has national potential. That's a rhetorical question. Don't actually tell us.

@thegarance Rubio selling home in "same working-class neighborhood I grew up in" -- $675K, pics via Curbed http://bit.ly/VbrOT0

GOP SENATORS SLOWING DOWN HAGEL CONFIRMATION BECAUSE SECRET SERVICE WON'T LET THEM WET WILLY THE PRESIDENT - The Hill: "Republican senators are blocking a vote on former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) this week unless he provides additional financial information, setting up what Democrats say is the first-ever filibuster of a Defense secretary nominee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on Hagel's nomination when he said it was clear Senate Armed Services ranking Republican Jim Inhofe (Okla.) and others would block a motion to proceed to a vote. But Republicans say they aren't filibustering Hagel's nomination, only delaying the vote in order to get answers to their outstanding questions on payments to Hagel and paid speeches, as well as answers from the White House about last year's Benghazi, Libya, attack. Republican senators said Wednesday they were confident they had 41 votes to block a vote on Hagel's nomination this week, even though some GOP senators have said they are opposed to filibustering a Cabinet nominee." [The Hill]

Final vote is on Friday. Hagel should be confirmed.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Arthur is still on vacation. :-(

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JACK LEW CONFIRMATION HEARING ABOUT AS EXCITING AS JACK LEW - Zach Carter: "Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's nominee for Treasury Secretary, maneuvered around questions during a Wednesday confirmation hearing about his work at bailed-out bank Citigroup during the financial crisis, including his controversial investment in a Cayman Islands fund. [Orrin] Hatch pressed Lew on his activities at Citi, where Lew was Chief Operating Officer of the company's Alternative Investment Unit. Little is known about Lew's precise role at Citi, but the unit he helped manage was responsible for some of the most disastrous bets the bank placed prior to its bailout. Lew appears to have arrived after the bets were placed, but has not detailed his work mitigating the damage...Hatch asked Lew whether he was involved with controversial securities maneuvers that eventually drew charges of wrongdoing from the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also asked whether Lew was a competent manager or someone who held 'a political trophy position.' In response, Lew said that while he had been aware of his unit's operations, he was not responsible for them." [HuffPost]


A message from America's Health Insurance Plans: The health care law fully takes effect next year. Millions get coverage for the first time. Will coverage be affordable for everyone? It's time for affordability. www.AHIP.org/affordability


CORY BOOKER UNLEASHES THE LAUTENBEAST - Unless Newark's mayor finds a way to save every single Garden State resident from a burning building and/or exhumes them from a snowbank, his path to the Senate is going to be messier than anticipated. NYT: "If Mr. Booker was hoping to nudge Mr. Lautenberg toward the door, his announcement has had precisely the opposite effect. Mr. Lautenberg, a fighter dubbed 'swamp dog' by a past opponent, has embraced his job with new vigor. He has taken a leading role on the issues of the day: fighting for recovery money for his hurricane-hit state and pushing for gun control after the shootings in Newtown, Conn. And he brightens at the prospect of tussling with a man half his age, even speaking openly to his staff about running again. He has jabbed at Mr. Booker, joking that he deserves a spanking for trying to unseat a fellow Democrat, and noting that the well-traveled mayor has no shortage of work to do in his own struggling city. 'I'm going to finish the work I'm doing,' he said in an interview." [NYT]

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORMERS UPSET WITH STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS - Washington's favorite pushovers, good governance types (they're basically the political version of the stapler guy from "Office Space" -- but we sure they'll torch the Capitol eventually), were given no love in last night's address. Paul Blumenthal: "Campaign finance reformers and government watchdogs were disappointed Tuesday night when President Barack Obama failed to include any messages around money in politics in his 2013 State of the Union address. This was actually the first of Obama's State of the Union addresses where the president did not mention any steps that reformers have championed to reduce the influence of big money or lobbyists in the political system. 'Historically, President Obama has spoken forcefully about his commitment to addressing the money in politics crisis, but has failed to follow through with anything of substance,' said Josh Silver, president of campaign finance and lobbying reform organization United Republic and the director of Represent.us, an effort to pass a campaign finance reform bill. 'This week he abandoned even the pretense of leading reform.'" [HuffPost]

Poland Spring responds to Marco Rubio's on-air water gulp.

SOTU scorecard: " A majority of Americans who watched President Barack Obama's State of the Union address said they had a very positive reaction to his speech, according to a survey of people across the country who viewed Tuesday night's address. But a CNN/ORC International poll also indicated that less than four in ten think the speech will lead to more bipartisan cooperation. Fifty-three percent of speech watchers questioned in the poll had a very positive reaction, with 24% saying they had a somewhat positive response and 22% with a negative response." [CNN]

LINDSEY GRAHAM IS NOT COMPENSATING FOR ANYTHING, NOT AT ALL - The South Carolina senator today, during a press conference on guns, came about *yay* close to professing his love for BMX bikes and Insane Clown Posse. Sabrina Siddiqui: "Many lawmakers have touted themselves as responsible gun owners amid the national debate on gun control. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took things a step further on Wednesday while pushing back against the call for new gun laws -- by professing his love for Quentin Tarantino and his violent movies. 'Being from South Carolina, I've owned guns all of my life,' Graham said at a press conference. 'I own an AR-15. I saw the movie "Django [Unchained]." I like Quentin Tarantino.'" [HuffPost]

Paul Broun, who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss, called shotgun: "As a Member of the House of Representatives for the last few years, I have fought tooth-and-nail against President Obama's agenda at every turn. I was the first Member of Congress to call him a socialist who embraces Marxist-Leninist policies like government control of health care and redistribution of wealth..." He must be referring to Lenin's lesser known pamphlet, "What Is To Be Done To Boost The Customer Pool
For Private Insurers." [AJC]

Paul Broun should dial up every municipal, state and federal elected official and call them a socialist, just to be safe. You never know who my be president in 2020.

WE'RE GIVING MEDALS TO DRONE OPERATORS NOW - Sgt. Menendez distinguished himself conspicuously at his LAN party by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his dating life above and beyond the Call of Duty multiplayer guidelines. AP: "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce Wednesday that for the first time the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it from afar. The Associated Press has learned that the new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for 'extraordinary achievement' related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made. A recognition of the evolving 21st Century warfare, the medal will be considered a bit higher in ranking than the Bronze Star, but is lower than the Silver Star, defense officials said." [AP]

Gives him more time to catch up on his (harmless) emails, we suppose: "Gen. John Allen, caught up and later cleared in a scandal over emails with a Florida socialite, is likely to withdraw from consideration for the job of top NATO commander, three U.S. military officials have told NBC News. A Pentagon investigation last month cleared Allen of wrongdoing, but U.S. military officials said that Allen does not want to drag his family through a nomination process in which the emails would almost certainly come up." [NBC News]

RON PAUL TO APPEAR ON THE RADIO - Catch him before Agenda 21 takes him away from us! Nick Wing: "Starting in March, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will be taking his libertarian-leaning voice to talk radio, where he'll deliver one-minute radio commentaries twice a day. Courtside Entertainment Group announced the upcoming launch of "Ron Paul's America" in a statement on Wednesday...Paul addressed the career move, saying he was ready to deliver dispatches with an angle that people were 'hungry' to hear. 'I am very excited to have this opportunity to take the message of freedom to more people than ever, especially now when our country needs it so much,' said the former congressman and presidential candidate." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cat knocks on doors in a very strange way .


- History's coolest Teen Jeopardy! contestant gives phenomenal final answer. [http://bit.ly/XA0Te3]

- "Die Hard" redone with claymation. Yippie kay clay, mother----. [http://bit.ly/XyIWjM]

- Valentine's Day is tomorrow, which means you're either going to have your TV-watching plans interrupted or are depressed. Either way, we're sorry. Here's a video on the science of love. [http://chzb.gr/Y7i2LT]

- "Seven Sites You Should Be Wasting Time On Right Now," including "Crabify," which puts crustacean limbs on celebrities. [http://huff.to/ZanDYP]

- Daschund is not fazed by this wall. [http://bit.ly/X4MB8Z]

- An honest trailer for "The Notebook." Enjoy your Valentine's Day, chumps. [https://bitly.com/shorten/]


@elisefoley: Blocking nominees is the new holding press conferences to yell about nominees.

@dceiver: Marco Rubio! WHAT ABOUT YOUR CARAFES?

@pourmecoffee: If you can't stand up to applaud protecting the right to vote, maybe being an elected representative isn't the right job for you.



5:30 pm: Help prolong the Republican Party's political life while you shorten yours at Jerry Moran's "Burgers and Shakes" fundraiser benefiting his NRSC PAC. [NRSC, 425 2nd Street NE]

6:00 pm: Steny Hoyer, who we strongly feel needs an Onion-style Joe Biden treatment (we're sure he'd appreciate the attention), is the man of the hour at a campaign function benefiting his reelection. [DNC, 430 South Capitol Street SE]


1:00 pm: Nothing says love quite like the soft, doe eyes and come-hither lips of Jim Inhofe. The Oklahoma senator hosts a "Valentine's Lunch" because love is in the air. [Johnny's Half Shell, 400 North Capitol Street NW]

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