In an historic development, the U.S. government changed its posture toward a harmless plant. The 47 percent have dwindled to 43 percent, welcome news for President Obama's sequestered gift budget. And the White House said anonymous quotes are nonsense, but HuffPost Hill was told otherwise by a senior government official with knowledge of the situation who was also totally stoned. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, August 29th:
@AP: BREAKING: UK leader David Cameron loses preliminary vote on Syria in stunning defeat for government.
Can't imagine how that happened, what with all the good advice Jim Messina's selling him.
MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX SALIVATES, LICKS CHOPS - And is scanning its wall map for more countries to bomb, in case the whole Syria thing doesn't happen. Austin Wright: "A U.S. attack on Syria could translate into big bucks for defense giant Raytheon, which makes the Tomahawk cruise missile that’s said to be President Barack Obama’s weapon of choice. Reports that the White House is planning an attack to punish Damascus for the use of chemical weapons sent Raytheon’s stock price to a 52-week high this week -- and have reawakened grumblings in Congress that the military doesn’t buy enough Tomahawks. 'There are many of us who have been concerned for years about maintaining our missile capabilities,' said Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), a member of the House Armed Services Committee." [Politico]
GRAYSON THROWS A BOMB - Citing his responsibility to represent the views of his constituents, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said Thursday that he can't support an attack on Syria that his voters strongly oppose. "One thing that is perfectly clear to me in my district, and I think is true in many other districts from speaking to other members, is that there is no desire, no desire on the part of people to be the world's policeman," Grayson said on SiriusXM's "The Agenda with Ari Rabin-Havt," which aired Thursday morning… "Nobody wants this except the military-industrial complex." Grayson also noted Raytheon's huge stock uptick, presumably kicking himself for not buying it. If he didn't. [HuffPost]
GAYS OK NOW - Sam Stein: "The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Thursday that when it comes to taxes, it will recognize same-sex couples' marriages even if they live in a state that does not. The decision, which was prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, marks the latest political progress for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community." [HuffPost]
POT OK NOW - Just 261 days after Holder said the federal response to marijuana legalization was coming “relatively soon,” it’s finally here. Ryan Reilly and Ryan Grim: "The United States government took an historic step back from its long-running drug war on Thursday, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults. A Justice Department official said that Holder told the governors in a joint phone call early Thursday afternoon that the department would take a "trust but verify approach" to the state laws. DOJ is reserving its right to file a preemption lawsuit at a later date, since the states' regulation of marijuana is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act." [HuffPost]
Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project, called the guidance "one more concrete step towards more sensible drug policy in this country." "We support the attorney general's decision not to interfere with individuals and entities that are complying with state marijuana laws, thereby respecting states' voter-approved and common-sense approaches to regulating marijuana," Edwards said. "As the DOJ guidance makes clear, if states and local governments that have enacted laws legalizing marijuana create strong and effective regulatory systems, the federal government will defer to them to enforce those systems." [HuffPost]
U.S. ATTORNEY TO HOLDER: MEH - The US Attorney in Colorado, John Walsh, has shown literal interest in obeying previous directives on medical marijuana, responded to Holder's news today that he will still continue to pursue "cases involving marijuana trafficking directly or indirectly to children and young people." Young people? Indirectly?
DAVE DOWNER - An epic story from Dave Jamieson: "Dawn Hughey had worked at Dollar General for just four months when she was named manager of a store in the Detroit suburbs in 2009. Having recently moved home after a stint in California, Hughey hoped the new honorific -- and its attendant annual salary -- would help her start a new life in Michigan. But like other managers in America's booming dollar store industry, Hughey quickly came to believe she was a manager in name only. The major dollar store chains -- Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar -- have thrived by offering customers rock-bottom prices that rival Walmart's, a business model that requires shaving labor costs wherever possible. For a manager like Hughey, that meant working far beyond a 40-hour week… In interviews and court documents, former and current store managers claim major dollar store companies classify them as managers merely to evade overtime obligations and to pay them less money. Those managers' employees, in turn, have accused the companies of illegally shorting them on pay and forcing them to work off the clock due to payroll constraints. Several workers told The Huffington Post that they lost their jobs or their hours once they got hurt or encountered health problems, leading to bitter feelings and long legal battles. 'We're disposable,' Hughey said." [HuffPost]
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I HAVE A DRE -- ACTUALLY I HAVE A PRIOR COMMITMENT - Emma Dumain: "The Senate’s only black lawmaker wasn’t invited to speak at Wednesday’s 50th anniversary March on Washington, because Tim Scott’s office declined an invitation to attend the ceremony as a spectator, according to a source connected to the event. 'Much of the speaking program was created based on those who were able to confirm availability to attend the event, and thus were able to speak at the event,' the source explained. And based on an email exchange obtained by CQ Roll Call, the South Carolina Republican did receive an invitation to attend the festivities commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivery of the famous 'I Have a Dream' speech." [Roll Call]
STEVE KING'S BRAIN REFUSES TO WORK - David Edwards: "Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told a crowd in South Carolina this week that unemployed people were like children who wanted to eat before they had done their chores. At a closed-door Charleston event put on by conservative activist Mallory Factor, King said that there were over 100 million people between the ages of 16 and 74 who were 'simply not in the work force.' 'Now, what kind of a family, if you had six kids and a third of you kids would say, ‘I’m not doing the chores, mom’?' he opined. 'If any of them say, ‘I refuse, I’m not going to participate, I’m not going to contribute to the American GDP,’ pretty soon those kids would be on the -- you get to eat after you do the work! Not just in hopes that one day you might actually do the work!'" [Raw Story]
There are 89 million people not in the labor force. Here is a remedial lesson from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for King, who is too lazy to understand the difference between being unemployed and not part of the labor force: "The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed. The remainder -- those who have no job and are not looking for one -- are counted as 'not in the labor force.' Many who are not in the labor force are going to school or are retired. Family responsibilities keep others out of the labor force." [BLS.gov]
WOULD YOU LIKE SOME LABOR UNREST WITH THAT? - Candice Choi and Sam Hananel: "Fast-food protests are underway in cities including New York, Chicago and Detroit, with organizers expecting the biggest national walkouts yet in a demand for higher wages. Similar protests organized by unions and community groups over the past several months have brought considerable media attention to a staple of the fast-food industry -- the so-called 'McJobs' that are known for their low pay and limited prospects. But it's not clear what impact, if any, they will have on business. In New York, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined about 300 to 400 workers and supporters in a march before flooding inside a McDonald's near the Empire State Building on Thursday morning. Shortly after the demonstration, however, the restaurant seemed to be operating normally and a few customers said they hadn't heard of the movement. The same was true at a McDonald's a few blocks away. The lack of awareness among some illustrates the challenge workers face. Participating workers, who are asking for $15 an hour and the right to unionize, still represent a tiny fraction of the industry. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which works out to about $15,000 a year for full-time employees." Good thing their chance of success determines whether they're doing the right thing. [Associated Press]
SEQUESTRATION IN YO BRAIN - Sam Stein: "New data compiled by a coalition of top scientific and medical research groups show that a large majority of scientists are receiving less federal help than they were three years ago, despite spending far more time writing grants in search of it. Nearly one-fifth of scientists are considering going overseas to continue their research because of the poor funding climate in America. The study, which was spearheaded by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and will be formally released next week, is the latest to highlight the extent to which years of stagnant or declining budgets, made worse by sequestration, have damaged the world of science." [HuffPost]
Earlier this year Republicans mocked scientific research in their sequestration talking points.
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a sleeping baby in a toy car.
FBI ARRESTS (ALLEGED) CREEP - Aaron Blake: "The FBI has arrested a man accused of making violent threats against freshman Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) -- threats that included her decapitation. Aniruddha Sherbow was arrested Wednesday in Tijuana, Mexico, and turned over to FBI agents in San Diego, according to the FBI. ... 'I, Aniruddha Sherbow, with the Divine as my witness, do hereby solemnly vow to find Tulsi Gabbard, wheresoever she may be, and to sever her head from her body,' he wrote, according to local reports. ... It's not Gabbard’s first run-in with Sherbow. In 2011, a judge issued a three-year restraining order against him after a series of threatening and abusive phone calls and text messages to Gabbard, who was then a city councilwoman."
WHITE HOUSE: ANONYMOUS SOURCES ONLY TRUSTWORTHY IF THEY'RE US - Justin Sink: "[White House spokesman Josh] Earnest said the anonymous sources cited in the AP story should not carry the same weight as on-the-record statements from lawmakers who have reviewed classified intelligence reports. 'I leave it to you to decide whether or not you believe anonymous quotes that are included in AP stories, or an on-the-record statement from people who have looked at exactly the same information and reached a different conclusion,' Earnest said, citing, among others, public statements by President Obama saying that the Assad regime was definitively responsible for the attack. Earnest's repeated denials prompted CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett to note that the wire service was a 'trusted news organization' and AP White House correspondent Julie Pace to note that “you guys talk to us anonymously all the time.' 'I'm just saying that anonymous sources -- what you also say to me on a regular basis when I and others speak anonymously to you is that you place more credibility in on-the-record statements, right?” Earnest said. 'That's all I'm directing you to right now.'"[The Hill]
- Seven sites you should be wasting time on right now. [http://huff.to/15gWw27]
- A guy bought an animatronic band from a kids restaurant and made it perform "Pop Lock and Drop It." Warning: You will have nightmares. [http://bit.ly/PUmfO]
- A Christian documentary assailing pornography is... FANTASTIC. [http://huff.to/15lDyAA]
- In 1964, Isaac Asimov had a terrifyingly accurate sense of where humanity would be in 2013. [http://bit.ly/17i7Z1j]
- What with "twerk" being added to the dictionary, The Atlantic went back and checked to see how the 1990s' contributions to the lexicon have fared. [http://bit.ly/154KKBW]
- Bow down to the king of shawarma. [http://bit.ly/140oqhY]
@bradjshannon: A PUFF PUFF PASS RT @samsteinhp: curious to see who, if anyone, attacks Holder over giving pot smokers in CO and Washington a pass
@timothypmurphy: You guys must've been torn on that one. RT @foxnation: New Black Panther Leader’s Gun Charges Dropped
@igorbobic: aaand scene RT @BuzzFeedAndrew: Foam Finger inventor says Miley Cyrus 'degraded an honorable icon.' http://bit.ly/14aIA3B
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