POLITICS
11/08/2013 05:41 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

HUFFPOST HILL - Chris Matthews Thinks Yo Momma So Fat

George W. Bush is working to expedite the rapture, a sign of his continuing commitment to sending people to the great beyond. A Whig was elected to public office in Pennsylvania, meaning America might finally get the expanded canal system it so sorely needs. And Democrats will soon unveil a universal pre-K bill. Expect Republicans to strongly oppose the socialistic "sharing is caring" portion of the curriculum. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, November 8th, 2013:

@juliebosman: Breaking: Simon & Schuster tells NYT it is pulling Benghazi book. "We are suspending the publication" and notifying stores to return books.

MORE RAND PAUL PLAGIARISM - Looks like somebody is going to have to hand in his Danny Taggart Medal of Individualism to the Randian Society. Salon: "In his speech at the Value Voters Summit on October 11, Paul appropriated written material from the Gatestone Institute, a think-tank chaired by John Bolton. The transcript of the speech has been removed from Paul's web site - as have the transcripts from numerous other speeches while Paul battles an ongoing plagiarism scandal - but it can be found using Google cache. Paul's speech draws -- without attribution -- from two Gatestone Institute articles, "The Degradation of Christian Women Under Islam," published on September 11, 2013 , and "Muslim Persecution of Christians," published on April 18th. While several elements of Paul's speech were taken word for word from Gatestone, in other cases a single word or two was changed or added. Paul did not attribute Gatestone's writing or research anywhere in the speech, as it was originally posted on his web site." [Salon]

@jbendery: VP's office says Biden just bumped into Whoopi Goldberg on the train. Confirms they are not in the Quiet Car. pic.twitter.com/13xQwGbH5G

HALPERIN AND HEILEMANN DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR RULES - Marc Tracy in TNR tells the story of the big scoop in the original Game Change, that time Harry Reid said that Obama was a "'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he later put it privately." Tracy's piece is fun and worth the read, but the gist is this: Heilemann and Halperin broke the most basic promise journalists make to sources, the condition under which they are speaking. The duo famously rely on "deep background" reporting, which means the information can be used but not quoted or directly attributed. That was the condition under which they won a Reid interview, but they flagrantly violated it by directly quoting Reid. You can tell they knew they were breaking the rules by the strange way they presented only parts of sentences instead of full sentences -- after all, if the interview was on the record and allowed to be quoted, why not share the whole quote? -- and by the weird attribution of "as he later put it privately." Privately? To whom? A couple of reporters who made the (apparently correct) calculation that the upside of breaking their word was worth it. For non-journalists, this might seem a trivial thing, but it's actually a BFD and they know it. We asked former Reid spokesman Jim Manley about the incident (he also talked to Tracy) and Manley tells us: "To paraphrase that great line from Shakespeare -- or maybe it was from Animal House, I can't remember anymore, but what can I say, I fucked up and trusted them. They did damage to Senator Reid and I will always be sorry for that." (Halperin and Heilemann didn't respond to a request for comment.) [TNR]

CHRIS MATTHEWS FATSHAMES - Laura Goldman with the scoop. HuffPost: "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's weight has been a key concern during his years in the public eye, prompting the release of a medical report declaring Christie 'fit to serve as governor' during his reelection campaign last month. But the potential presidential aspirant's bulk has also been the butt of jokes. Blogger Laura Goldman caught MSNBC's Chris Matthews taking the latest crack at it on Thursday. Matthews was speaking at Thinkfest, a weeklong event sponsored by Philadelphia magazine at the Rittenhouse Hotel, when magazine editor Tom McGrath asked Matthews' take on Christie's potential 2016 bid. 'Two days after Election Day, Chris Christie has crushed his opponent. Is he gonna be the Republican ...' began McGrath. 'The one I feel for is his wife,' Matthews cut in. After a brief pause, some chuckled as McGrath asked, 'Why's that?' 'Did you just say, 'crush?'' Matthews said. 'I mean, use your imagination.' The crowd erupted." Goldman tells us the crowd contained many highschoolers. [AUDIO]

PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST REFLECTS ON 2013 ELECTIONS - HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist -- who refuses to visit Healthcare.gov because he doesn't want it to steal his cookies -- sees Tuesday's results as further evidence of a long Democratic decline. "When our transvaginal probe candidate comes within a hair of winning after everyone in the party gave up assuming he'd lose by double digits, I'm gonna jump to the conclusion that we're gonna have the election day I predicted we would 2 years ago," PSLGOPL writes. "I'm rooting for Obama." Thanks, PSLGOPL!

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From the Bureau of Labor Statistics: "Both the number of unemployed persons, at 11.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.3 percent, changed little in October. Among the unemployed, however, the number who reported being on temporary layoff increased by 448,000. This figure includes furloughed federal employees who were classified as unemployed on temporary layoff under the definitions used in the household survey. [BLS.gov]

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DEMS DRAWING UP PLANS FOR UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL PUSH - Hey, remember education policy? Joy Resmovits: "Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, are preparing to introduce an extensive bill that would legislate President Barack Obama's plan to expand preschool dramatically, according to an early draft of the bill obtained by The Huffington Post. Some observers expect the introduction of the 'Early Childhood Education Improvement Act of 2013,' as it's called in a draft dated Nov. 6, as soon as next week. The bill is described as a 10-year initiative to improve education for children from birth through their fifth year. It would create a new federal-state formula for grants to fund the expansion of preschool for poor 4-year-olds. States would funnel the new money down to various entities, ranging from school districts and charter schools to child care centers and Head Start programs, that demonstrate they can be 'high-quality, local providers,' according to a bill summary...States would contribute matching funds based on their proportion of eligible children. States would qualify to participate in the program by meeting a number of criteria, including whether they currently provide kindergarten; whether they align learning standards for the youngest students with existing K-12 standards; and whether they have or create comprehensive data systems to track preschool students (including Head Start children), as well as K-12 students." [HuffPost]

ADMINISTRATION CONSIDERING OBAMACARE FIX - Sam Stein: "The Obama administration is considering a fix to the president's health care law that would expand the universe of individuals who receive tax subsidies to help buy insurance, an administration source told The Huffington Post. President Barack Obama on Thursday apologized to people who were being 'disadvantaged' because of the Affordable Care Act's stricter regulations and requirements. In doing so, he told NBC News' Chuck Todd he was exploring ways to ease hardships that have included dropped plans and higher premiums...The most popular idea for a fix on the Hill is legislation that would entitle someone who purchases health insurance coverage through the end of this year to keep that coverage. Other legislative responses may include extending the health exchange enrollment deadline or or delaying the penalty for not purchasing coverage. Obama is also considering a different approach. According to the administration source, the White House is "looking at an administrative fix for the population of people in the individual market who may have an increase in premiums, but don't get subsidies.' Such a fix would address the issue of 'sticker shock' that has been popping up across the country, as individuals are losing their coverage and finding only higher-cost alternatives." [HuffPost]

OBAMA TAPS NEW ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT ADVISER - Good luck with that. Kate Sheppard: "President Barack Obama has tapped Dan Utech to serve as his top adviser on energy and climate change, replacing longtime adviser Heather Zichal who announced last month that she was stepping down. Utech currently serves as the deputy director on these issues within the White House Domestic Policy Council. Utech was a senior adviser to former Energy Secretary Steven Chu before joining the White House, and before that worked for the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee. He also served as an energy policy adviser for Hillary Clinton when she was a senator. Utech's appointment comes at a critical time in the implementation of Obama's climate plan, which was announced in June and has rolled out through a series of executive and agency actions. Environmental groups rushed to praise Utech's selection on Friday." [HuffPost]

SENATE MORMONS INCREASINGLY SUPPORTIVE OF LGBT RIGHTS - Amanda Terkel: "Members of the Mormon Church were key backers of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the Senate, reflecting what Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says is a shift in attitudes toward the LGBT community. The Senate voted 64-32 on Thursday to ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Ten Republicans backed the measure, including three Mormons -- Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.). And Reid, the Mormon Church's highest-ranking member in the federal government, was the man responsible for making sure the legislation received a vote...In an interview with a small group of reporters this week, Reid opened up about his faith and how it fit with his support for LGBT equality, saying he had warned the church not to throw its support behind Prop. 8. 'I told one of the leaders of the Mormon Church, 'Don't do this, don't stop this stuff in California. It's nothing but trouble. It's not going to work. You go back and tell everybody back in Salt Lake what I said, because it's not going to work here. You're not creating a good, positive example for the church,'' he said." [HuffPost]

GEORGE W. BUSH RAISING MONEY FOR RAPTURE-FOCUSED GROUP - Our 43rd president, clearly having just finished thumbing through his "Left Behind" graphic novel [Editor's note: Those actually exist], wants to make a difference. Mother Jones: "Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization's goal: to 'restore' Israel and the Jews and bring about about the second coming of Christ. Messianic Jews have long been controversial for Jews of all major denominations, who object to their proselytizing efforts and their message that salvation by Jesus is consistent with Jewish theology." [Mother Jones]

We're actually a bit surprised to learn that elections in Kentucky aren't decided through feats of strength: "Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2014, invited her opponent to join her at the gun range. In an email to supporters Friday, Grimes emphasized her support of the National Rifle Association and slammed McConnell for 'pandering to Washington lobbyists.'...Grimes also tweeted her invitation, along with a photo of herself shooting a gun." [HuffPost]

SUPPORT OUR BORED TROOPS - With the wars winding down, hopefully we'll see a return of peacetime goofball army flicks like "Stripes." Defense One: "There's an old saying that war is 99 percent boredom and 1 percent sheer terror. Now that the war in Iraq is over, operations in Afghanistan are winding down and budget cuts are curtailing training missions, several Joint Chiefs told Congress on Monday they're worried that their troops are 'bored.' Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said he recently met a group of young pilots who are eligible for an incentive bonus to stay in the force. 'Of that group, there were six to eight in the group, none of them had accepted the bonus to that point in time,' Welsh told the Senate Armed Services Committee, during a hearing on the impact of sequestration. "That doesn't necessarily mean they're planning to leave the Air Force, but it certainly means they're keeping their options open as a minimum...now a return to garrison life, where a soldier's biggest worry is passing barracks and uniforms inspections. The top brass argues that maintaining high standards during peacetime is an important measure of professionalism and discipline. But they're also worried that their troops are bored." [Defense One]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a remake of "The Hunger Games" starring cats.

PHILADELPHIA ELECTS A WHIG - Congrats to this fiscally conservative, socially liberal man on his victory. You are now more successful than No Labels, sir. AP: "Voters in Philadelphia have elected a Whig to public office for what the victor believes may be the first time in nearly 160 years. Robert 'Heshy' Bucholz, a member of the Modern Whig party, campaigned door-to-door and won 36 votes to his Democratic opponent's 24 on Tuesday to become an election judge in the city's Rhawnhurst section. Election judges, who serve four-year terms, receive about $100 annually and are responsible for overseeing equipment and procedures at the polls. Now a heavily Democratic city, Philadelphia's last Whig mayor was elected in 1854...Previously an independent, Bucholz said he joined the Whigs three years ago because of their fiscally conservative but socially liberal views. They represent a sensible 'middle path' between Democrats and Republicans, especially in light of the recent government shutdown, he said. 'That pretty much told us we can't trust either party and the system is broken,' Bucholz said Thursday. Four U.S. presidents were Whigs in the mid-1800s. The party largely disappeared in the 20th century, but was revived in 2007 by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were upset at the lack of bipartisanship in Washington, according to the group's website." [AP]

COMFORT FOOD

- Hit this button and...voila: Pizza! [http://bit.ly/1c5wptf]

- When not violently suppressing LGBT activists, Russia's police cover completely heterosexual music like Daft Punk. [http://bit.ly/18cJM8k]

- Brooklyn Chicago couple broadcasts all their fights on Twitter. [http://nym.ag/17S9mD5]

- A meditation on Blockbuster. RIP. [http://es.pn/1aupDKS]

- Jetpacks are awesome, as this GoPro video clearly proves. [http://bit.ly/1bfzFAv]

- High-fiving cat is the ideal workout buddy. [http://huff.to/1gwHZ6f]

- As if "No Country For Old Men" wasn't warning enough, let this video warn you against the dangers of compressed air. [http://bit.ly/1d4jwk2]

TWITTERAMA'

@bananalise: Two people who love each other very much RT @TIME: What will It take to make a woman President? ti.me/1fofhkT

@dceiver: I would still read a regular column from Rand Paul about his favorite casseroles or how he lifehacked some household chores

@PatrickHowleyDC: @Ray_Harmon @jbarro I've not only heard of, but seen, glory holes in back alleys constructed from cardboard

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