POLITICS
10/15/2013 06:18 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

HUFFPOST HILL - None Of This Will Be Funny When We're Eating Soup Out Of An Old Boot

House Republicans' fiscal strategy collapsed again, so it's only a matter of time until John Boehner asks Democrats for a fully-fueled plane and $5,000,000 worth of bearer bonds in a Mexico train station locker. Markets continue to drop, but futures of oil drums filled with flaming trash continue to skyrocket. And Senate conservatives want to cut their staffers' pay as part of a fiscal deal. Nothing encourages a staff assistant to arrive early and leave late quite like homelessness. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, October 15th, 2013:

HOUSE GOP STEPS ON RAKE, SLIPS ON BANANA PEEL,
SPLITS PANTS, REVEALS HEART-PATTERN BOXERS TO AMERICA
- Things are getting scary. As such, we're raising our "Weapon With Which You Should Protect The Fire" debt default warning system from "frying pan" to "pool cue whittled into a shiv." Jerry Markon, Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman: "The House Rules Committee has postponed its hearing as support for Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) new plan appears to be in serious doubt. The hearing is a necessary first step before a vote, so a vote is now unlikely on the plan tonight. Just prior to the postponement, the conservative outfit Heritage Action said it opposed the measure, and rank-and-file lawmakers normally supportive of leadership expressed alarm that they had shut down the government and would get nothing for it except a punitive measure hurting their own staff's healthcare, according to GOP chiefs of staff." [WashPost]

@RobertCostaNRO: Confirmed: tonight's vote is dead

@CNBC: BREAKING: Fitch Puts U.S. Credit Rating on Negative Watch, Maintains AAA
Rating

David Vitter's staffers are being so screwed by his behavior you'd think he paid them to meet him in a hotel with a box of Huggies: "Vitter's proposal [does] away with the 'Obamacare exemption' for Washington officials including members of Congress and most of their staff...the exemption doesn't actually exist...its only real impact is to force a pay cut upon members' own loyal and hard-working aides...But this afternoon, the 'full Vitter' was back in full force, affecting staffers as well as top officials, reported [National Review's Robert] Costa: 'Conservatives...are now asking the leadership to expand the language. The leadership is expected to comply as a way of winning support.'" [New Republic]

NOT BEING PAID HURTS YOUR FINANCES: REPORT - That is, until the revolution finally comes. Dave Jamieson: "The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers across agencies, says it polled its membership on the financial effects of the government shutdown. Though the findings should come with a caveat -- this was a union poll of union members -- the federal workers surveyed said they were anxious about their bills, taking on debt to stay afloat and generally pessimistic about the future of government work. Of the 400 members who responded, 84 percent said they were currently furloughed, and 71 percent of that group said they had already undergone furlough days due to sequestration, according to NTEU. Among the union's other findings: 84 percent said they have cut back on necessities; 72 percent said they are getting further into debt; 70 percent said they are having difficulty making ends meet; 57 percent said they have contacted their creditors to let them know they are furloughed; 48 percent said they are delaying medical treatment to save money." [HuffPost]

[K Street friend swoops in, buys beers for everyone]: "As if things weren't dire enough on Capitol Hill, Senate staffers learned Tuesday that they have received their last paycheck until government funding is renewed by their bosses. Due to the now two-week government shutdown, the regular Friday paychecks for all Senate employees will not be disbursed unless a bill is passed to resume government funding by Friday, according to a memo sent to all Senate employees." [Politico]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - In her job with the Social Security Administration, Julie Pierce of Beverly, Mass., helps make sure the right checks go to the right people. Since the government shutdown started two weeks ago, the right checks have not been going to Pierce. She received only a partial paycheck last Friday and is really hoping the shutdown ends before November. "If we don't get our next check, that will put me at risk of not paying the mortgage," she says. While the furlough has given her more time to spend with her children, Pierce, 36, says it has not been enjoyable at all. "When you're locked out, forced out and just very aware of the work not getting done," she says, "you don't get this sense that you're on vacation." Hang in there! [HuffPost]

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A LESSON ON RECENT HISTORY, COURTESY PHIL KLEIN: "Republican congressional leaders are in the midst of a difficult struggle between a restive conservative base and the limits of their own power. If they're looking for a way to navigate through these difficult waters, they should take a lesson from the Democrats." [Washington Examiner]

HOW THE THING THAT KEEPS GRANDPA FROM DYING MIGHT RUIN THE WORLD ECONOMY - Christina Wilkie and Grim: "As the outlines of a potential budget deal in Congress grow clearer, the medical device industry is hanging on tenterhooks. Having waged a lobbying battle since 2009 against an excise tax of 2.3% on medical device sales, the industry secured a victory Tuesday morning when House Republican leaders told rank-and-file members that the deal they would bring to the floor includes a 2-year delay of the tax. The Senate and White House are unlikely to support doing away with key funding for the health care law - the tax is projected to raise as much as $30 billion over 10 years to help fund the law - bringing the U.S. one step closer to default, as an Oct. 17 deadline looms. But the industry has a friend in the right place: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) repeatedly championed the cause of medical devices during fiscal cliff talks, according to a Democratic source who attended the meetings but requested anonymity to speak freely. And at this year's State of the Union address, a CEO from a medical device company was among his special guests. Boehner's crusade on behalf of the industry results from a quirk in the American political system, namely that while Boehner may be the speaker of the House of Representatives, he is also first and foremost the representative of the 8th District of Ohio -- medical device country." [HuffPost]

OBAMACARE TO PICK UP WHERE THE NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY LEFT OFF - Soon doctors will be standing outside of polling places, casting menacing glances at your grandmother. National Journal: "The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the 'Motor Voter' law, requires government agencies to offer individuals the opportunity to vote--and that includes the newly opened Obamacare exchanges. That gives some Republicans one more reason to oppose the law. If low-income applicants lean Democratic, the argument goes, the exchanges could boost the party's voter rolls. 'The practice raises longstanding suspicions on the right that the ACA exchanges are designed for political as well as regulatory purposes,' said Tim Miller, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute...According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, voter registration must be offered on the ACA exchange application because of the Medicaid eligibility determination. To be in compliance, CMS says they are including language on the paper and online applications that says, 'If you want to register to vote, you can complete a voter registration form at usa.gov.' States that have opted to create their own exchanges are able to develop their own applications and choose how they enforce the National Voter Registration Act requirement." [National Journal]

SUPREME COURT TO TAKE UP GREENHOUSE GAS CASE - Maybe the government will finally recognize that the warmer air is just God's breath as he yells at us for gay marriage. AP: "The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority in developing rules aimed at cutting emissions of six heat-trapping gases from factories and power plants. The justices said Tuesday they will review a unanimous federal appeals court ruling that upheld the government's unprecedented regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming. The question in the case is whether the EPA's authority to regulate automobile emissions of greenhouses gases as air pollutants, which stemmed from a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, also applies to power plants and factories. The case will be argued in early 2014." [AP]

POLL: BOOKER LEADING AHEAD OF SPECIAL ELECTION - If he is elected, as is widely expected, sources say he will team up with Jeff Flake to found the "Oh isn't he adorable?" Caucus. Quinnipiac: "One day before the special election for New Jersey's U.S. Senate seat, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the Democrat, leads former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, the Republican, 54 - 40 percent among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll completed last night and released today. This is virtually unchanged from a 53 - 41 percent Booker lead in an October 9 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. Gender and racial gaps persist in today's results: Women back Booker 58 - 36 percent while men back the Democrat 50 - 45 percent. White voters go 50 percent for Lonegan and 47 percent for Booker, as black voters go Democratic 93 - 1 percent. Independent voters are divided 46 - 46 percent. Five percent of likely voters remain undecided and 4 percent of those who chose a candidate say there's a 'good chance' they will change their mind by tomorrow." [Quinnipiac]

KEN CUCCINELLI SURPRISED GOD HASN'T GIVEN AMERICA A GOOD WHOOPIN' - Laura Bassett: "Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been trying to downplay his outspoken opposition to abortion rights in his campaign for governor this year as part of an effort to win back the support of women voters. But in his speech to the Christian Life Summit last year -- unearthed Monday night by NBC12 -- Cuccinelli said he is surprised that God has not yet 'imposed' more judgment on America for allowing abortion to be legal. 'Really, given that God does judge nations, it's amazing that abortion has run as far and foully as it has, without what I would consider to be a greater imposition of judgment on this country,' Cuccinelli said. 'Who knows what the future holds?' Cuccinelli also criticized the Catholic church for its 'soft and weak' leadership on social issues. In a statement to NBC12, Cuccinelli's campaign did not directly address the comments. 'It's no secret that Ken Cuccinelli is proudly pro life,' his spokesman Richard Cullen said. " [HuffPost]

GLENN GREENWALD STARTING NEWS ORGANIZATION - Guess all those rumors about him going to Daily Download were unfounded, huh? BuzzFeed: "Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer and blogger who brought the Guardian the biggest scoop of the decade, is departing the London-based news organization, for a brand new, large-scale, broadly-focused media outlet, he told BuzzFeed Tuesday. Greenwald published revelations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about the extent of American and British domestic spying and about officials deception about its scope. He said he is departing for a new, 'once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity' with major financial backing whose details will be public soon." [BuzzFeed]

ANTONIN SCALIA ON 'THE BLACKS' - Can you imagine the things that come out of his mouth at the end of a boozy, heavily-attended Thanksgiving dinner? Paige Lavender: "During oral arguments on an affirmative action case on Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said the 14th Amendment protects everyone, not 'only the blacks.'... The high court debated Tuesday whether voters can ban affirmative action programs through a referendum. The case is centered around a 2006 Michigan vote that approved a ballot initiative amending the state's constitution to ban affirmative action programs in higher education. Scalia has brought race into previous arguments. In February 2013, Scalia suggested that the continuation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act represented the 'perpetuation of racial entitlement,' saying that lawmakers had only voted to renew the act in 2006 because there wasn't anything to be gained politically from voting against it." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a cat and dog fighting through a glass door.

BOB FILNER FINDS ONE WOMAN HE CAN'T HARASS: LADY JUSTICE - Plus she's a statue. CBS News: "Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, driven from office by sexual harassment allegations, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges involving three women. The most count alleged false imprisonment 'by violence, fraud, menace and deceit' but did not elaborate on the circumstances. Sentencing was set for Dec. 9...San Diego County sheriff's investigators had been interviewing Filner's accusers and said they would deliver their findings to the attorney general's office for possible prosecution. The state attorney general's office confirmed in August that it launched a criminal investigation...In exchange for his resignation, the city agreed to pay Filner's legal fees in a joint defense of the lawsuit, and cover any settlement costs assessed against the mayor except for punitive damages. The city - as required by state law - will also defend Filner against legal actions stemming from other alleged sexual harassment said to have occurred during his nine months in office as mayor." [CBS News]

COMFORT FOOD

- Baby bargains like a tea party congressman. [http://huff.to/1aJuYzM]

- Japanese kindergarteners perform "Day Man" from "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia." [http://bit.ly/1aFJxo8]

- A look at the U.S. government's bank statement, day-by-day. [http://ti.me/1gh5e4Z]

- Gorgeous stop-motion video made of paper silhouettes. [http://bit.ly/1cRfX3X]

- A documentary on Felix Baumgartner, the guy who broke the world record for highest atmospheric jump, is streaming for free. [http://bit.ly/GZ1Koi]

- If real world wives were treated the same way TV wives are treated by the internet. [http://bit.ly/19Pslju]

-Slow motion video of a golf ball hitting a steel plate at 150 mph. [http://bit.ly/pXuG9F]

TWITTERAMA

@nprscottsimon:This debt ceiling fracas reminds me of a diner who doesn't pay his bill: "Your food is terrible. And such small portions!"

@NickBaumann: Guys, it's okay. David Ortiz is going to come in and hit a eighth-inning grand slam to avert default.

@JohnCornyn: Beware fake Obamacare websites

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