A reporter asked, "is Obamacare President Obama's Iraq war?" at long last allowing "What about your gaffes?" to retire. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka warned that he will "never stop working to end [the] career" of politicians who support entitlement cuts, though how organized labor will put a dent in Rand Paul's ophthalmology practice is beyond us. And a woman nearly fainted during an Obamacare rally in the Rose Garden when she suffered an acute case of excessively obvious metaphor. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, October 21st, 2013:
SEBELIUS OF TUBES: HHS SECRETARY TO TESTIFY ON HEALTHCARE.GOV FUNCTIONALITY - Really, this is going to be a fantastic opportunity for a bunch of people over 50 to squabble about internet, which can only end with an awkwardly phrased question about "tabs." Jen Bendery: "Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before a House committee on the glitches that have plagued the Obamacare health insurance website, HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters told The Huffington Post Monday. House Republicans have been demanding that Sebelius testify in a Thursday House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on the delays and error messages that people have been facing when they've tried to enroll in the health insurance exchange portion of the program. White House officials say the problems stem from a higher volume of participation in the website than expected, but top Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), are insisting that Sebelius come explain the problems to them...The House committee issued a press release later Monday announcing that several of the health care law's top contractors will testify at Thursday's hearing. CGI, Serco and Equifax have confirmed they will be there. Sebelius, meanwhile, is expected to testify on Wednesday, Oct. 30, per the committee." [HuffPost]
@j_strong: is Obamacare President Obama's Iraq War?
GIVE THIS PIECE A CHANCE - Greg Sargent: "A new Washington Post/ABC News poll once again drives home a core truth about our politics right now: Disapproval of Obamacare does not translate into support for GOP tactics against the law. We've long known that to be the case. But the new Post/ABC poll takes this further, confirming that the horrific web-based problems we're seeing right now with the Obamacare exchanges -- which Republicans cite as evidence the law is a catastrophe that must be blotted from the landscape - are not producing support for the GOP position, either." [The Plum Line]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Tomorrow's jobs report will probably nudge the unemployment rate down a tenth of a percentage point and say the economy created 150,000 jobs last month... just like they all say lately. Here's your pregame analysis: "Businesses added 166,000 jobs in September, payroll processor ADP said. Economists expected ADP to report 180,000 additional jobs, according to a consensus forecast... Federal government spending cuts have 'begun to take a toll on job creation,' says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which helps ADP conduct the survey. 'The run-up in interest rates may also be doing some damage to jobs in the financial services industry.'" [USAToday]
Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It's free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
OBAMA SORRY ABOUT YOUR TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES - Perhaps if you try blowing in Healthcare.gov's cartridge you might have better luck. Jeff Young: "President Barack Obama said Monday that there's 'no excuse' for the technical problems that have plagued the rollout of the Obamacare health insurance website, and promised all Americans would have access to health coverage under his law. 'There's no sugar-coating it. The website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process,' Obama said from the White House's Rose Garden... The president said he is 'confident' that the myriad problems with the website, HealthCare.gov, will soon be fixed. The site is the access point to the health insurance exchanges the federal government is operating in more than 30 states...While consumers can sign up for insurance until March 31, other pressing deadlines are nearer. People have until Dec. 15 to choose a health plan that will be in place on Jan. 1. And the new year also marks the beginning of Obamacare's individual mandate that nearly every legal U.S. resident obtain some form of health coverage or face tax penalties. A health plan must be chosen by Feb. 15 to avoid paying a portion of the penalty...Obama offered no details about the nature of the technical problems with HealthCare.gov, and said nothing specific about how or when his administration and the private contractors overseeing the enrollment system will repair them. Private-sector experts in information technology have joined the effort, Obama said. 'We're well into a tech surge to fix the problem,' he added." [HuffPost]
PREMATURE EXULTATION - Byron York: "President Obama invited a number of people to stand behind him as he delivered his speech on the state of Obamacare at the White House Monday morning. One of them, Janice Baker, a small business owner from Delaware, introduced the president, and Obama spoke of Baker and the others gathered there as people who have benefited from Obamacare. But after reading the White House-provided descriptions of each of those behind the president, it's clear the administration was stretching to present people who, beyond supporting Obamacare, have actually gained from it in any tangible way." [Examiner]
Why is Barack Hussein Obama trying to kill pregnant women? "A pregnant and diabetic woman who nearly fainted during President Obama's health care speech Monday says she's fine. 'I'm ok world -- just got a little lightheaded,' tweeted Karmel Allison. 'Thanks, @BarackObama for catching me!' She added: 'And good thing this pregnant diabetic is pregnant :)' Interrupting his speech at the White House to tend to Allison, Obama said: 'There you go, you are OK. I'm right here. I got you ...'" [USA Today]
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CHIEF KIND OF PEEVED AT TED CRUZ - Free idea: Someone find out what Jim Bunning thinks of Ted Cruz. Christina Wilkie: "Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that he sees Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as a tennis player who 'rushes the net all the time,' but has lousy footwork. Speaking to reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Donohue added that he doesn't personally know Cruz, the insurgent Texas Republican who led the GOP-engineered government shutdown earlier this month. But, he continued, 'I sort of think about him as a tennis player. If you're going to rush the net all the time, you better have a lot of motion to the left and right. He hasn't proved that to me yet.' When a reporter noted that some business groups wish Cruz would 'sit down and shut up,' Donohue replied, 'Well that might be one thing we could work on.' While Donohue said he believes Cruz 'still has a lot of relationships to make' in Washington -- a thinly veiled swipe at the senator -- he also said the Chamber 'is going to try and work with him wherever we can.' The bottom line, Donohue said, is that Cruz currently, 'doesn't have the votes to do what he wants to do.'" [HuffPost]
Donahue also reiterated the Chamber's acceptance that Obamacare is here to stay: "The Chamber, which has put millions of dollars behind its support of many Republicans in the House and the Senate, has long dismissed the push to try to undo President Obama's health care law, preferring to focus on fixing parts that they believe are unworkable. Donohue said [at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast this morning] 'there's no way you're going to get rid of that bill... It will not, however, support Democratic control of the House of Representatives, Donohue said. 'Given a choice,' he said, 'I would not like to see this administration with the White House, the Senate and the House.'" [ABC News]
LABOR NOT BUDGING ON ENTITLEMENTS - Prepare yourself to know more about chained CPI than you'd ever thought you would. Dave Jamieson: "With fresh Capitol Hill budget battles on the horizon, the head of the leading labor federation planned to issue a blistering warning to unions' Democratic allies on Monday, saying the AFL-CIO would 'never stop working' to end the political careers of Democrats who cut entitlement programs. 'No politician ... I don't care the political party ... will get away with cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Don't try it,' AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, according to prepared remarks for a speech in Las Vegas, Nev. According to the draft, which was supplied to HuffPost by the AFL-CIO, Trumka stressed his point for Democrats who may be wobbly on the issue. 'This warning goes double for Democrats,' he said. 'We will never forget. We will never forgive. And we will never stop working to end your career.' The AFL-CIO has long opposed any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and the labor federation has suggested in the past that it would consider pulling support from Democrats who help make those cuts happen. But Trumka's remarks on the issue Monday amounted to a far more aggressive threat: That the AFL-CIO would actively use its war chest to unseat Democrats on the other side of the issue." [HuffPost]
The Benghazi Hoax - a new ebook by David Brock, Ari Rabin-Havt, and Media Matters for America tells the inside story of conservative attempts to an attack on America into a partisan witch hunt. Benghazi was not a scandal - it was a hoax. Learn the truth - buy The Benghazi Hoax today.
POLL: MOST AMERICANS THINK GOP-CONTROLLED HOUSE 'BAD FOR THE COUNTRY' - But... but... Republicans sit ready to negotiate with the Senate, like in that photo of all those white guys! Ariel Edwards-Levy: "A majority of Americans think it is bad for the country that Republicans control the House of Representatives, and even more want House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to be replaced by another Republican, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday. Fifty-four percent think it's bad that Republicans control the House, the poll found. That's up from 43 percent in December 2012, during the last fiscal standoff. The figure is the first time a majority thought Republican control was bad for the country since CNN started asking in December 2010. Sixty-three percent of respondents want Boehner replaced, but by another Republican, which would not change GOP control of the House. The poll is yet another sign that the government shutdown has hurt the Republican party. An NBC/WSJ poll taken during the shutdown showed that 24 percent of people approved of the party, a record low. Gallup measured another record low for the GOP, with 28 percent approving." [HuffPost]
Bye: "Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) announced Monday that he will not run for a third term...The announcement comes as something of a surprise, considering that Griffin appeared to have a full-fledged reelection campaign going. He raised over $208,000 in the third quarter of 2013 for his reelection and had over $540,000 in cash on hand, despite having no announced Democratic opponent. The congressman blasted President Barack Obama, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for their 'violent rhetoric' in a recent tweet sent while the U.S. Capitol was on lockdown due to shots fired. He later deleted the tweet." [HuffPost's Luke Johnson]
That's okay. Robert Griffin can handle things from now on.
REPORT: THE KOCHS WILL BENEFIT FROM KEYSTONE XL, BECAUSE OF COURSE - This is the part of the John Grisham novel where it all comes together. Jared Gilmour: "Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline could generate $100 billion in profits for billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, according to a report released Sunday, which revealed the extent to which the Kochs would benefit from the tar sands development the proposed pipeline would help spur. A progressive think tank called the International Forum on Globalization completed the study, which found that the Kochs and their privately-owned company, Koch Industries, hold up to 2 million acres of land in Alberta, Canada, the proposed starting point of the Keystone XL. Several Koch Industries subsidiaries stand to benefit from the pipeline's construction, including Koch Exploration Canada, which would profit from oil development on its land, and Koch Supply and Trading, which would benefit from oil derivatives trading. The report also estimates that the Koch brothers have given about $50 million to think tanks and members of Congress who have pushed for the pipeline to be built." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are two trick-or-treating dogs.
MARRIAGE AS A HETERONORMATIVE INSTITUTION? FUGGEDABOUTIT!!! - GTL is the new LGBT. Star-Ledger: "At 12:01 this morning, dozens of gay couples were joined in matrimony as New Jersey became the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage. From city hall in Newark to the boardwalk in Asbury Park, pairs of brides and grooms tied the knot in joyous ceremonies that celebrated love while mindful of their newly granted legal status... on Friday... the state Supreme Court denied an attempt to delay a lower court's order that New Jersey begin allowing same-sex couples to wed Oct. 21. That decision, however, does not settle the issue. The state's top court only ruled that weddings could take place while an appeal of the lower court's order is considered. The state Supreme Court could prohibit gay marriage after it hears oral arguments on the case in January, though legal experts say last week's decision makes that outcome unlikely." [Star-Ledger]
- A supercut of movie characters running in slow motion. [http://huff.to/174XQ79]
- Has someone ever died in your house? For 12 bucks this website will tell you. Sadly, the service isn't called GhostSecure. [http://cnet.co/19WD4VJ]
- Clearly distracting herself from managing the War on Men, Ilyse Hogue sent us this hilariously demented engagement announcement. [http://bit.ly/H1Vvjt]
- Sad Etsy Boyfriends highlights the dour-faced dudes who model their girlfriends' creations. [http://bit.ly/h96aen]
- Graphics depicting national attitudes about the personalities of America's regions. People from Minnesota are friendly, dontcha know. [http://bit.ly/H5SO08]
- New York Bartender crushes rendition of Radiohead's "Creep." [http://bit.ly/17V5HzL]
@lehmannchris: Sorry, but when I hear "tech surge," I think of online porn.
@pourmecoffee: Breaking: President who overcame historic obstacles to pass landmark healthcare bill will not give up and quit over initial problems.
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ryan Grim (email@example.com) or Arthur Delaney (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e