The House passed a clean debt ceiling bill, averting a global economic catastrophe and leading to a steep decline in the sales of bandanas tied around sticks. If forecasts are correct, the forthcoming winter weather might force Washingtonians to dip into their quinoa surplus from the last dozen times it was supposed to snow. And an openly gay football prospect is being accepted by the NFL, while a poll finds three-quarters of Americans have a favorable view of France. When reached for comment, scientists could not confirm whether we truly exist or are merely projections in Rick Santorum's nightmare. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, February 11th, 2014:
BOEHNER CONCEDES: HOUSE PASSES CLEAN DEBT CEILING VOTE - Rumors that the speaker wanted to name the borrowing limit bill, "Fine, Try Controlling A Conference With Both Louie Gohmert And Justin Amash, Dipshit," proved untrue. Mike McAuliff and Sabrina Siddiqui: "The House of Representatives approved a rise in the nation's debt limit Tuesday, setting up passage of a bill in the Senate that would allow the nation to continue paying its bills this year. The measure, which boosts the current debt ceiling of $17 trillion before the government would have been forced to default at the end of the month, passed 221 to 201, with 28 Republicans joining 193 Democrats in voting yes. Republicans in the Senate have not committed early to letting the measure proceed quickly in their chamber, but several said privately they expect it to pass. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised his counterpart in the House -- Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- for shepherding the unpopular but vital legislation through the lower chamber, where similar measures have sparked dramatic, damaging showdowns for the last few years. 'I commend Speaker Boehner for doing the right thing,' Reid told reporters as the House was moving the legislation….Still, many Republicans were angry that their side gave in so easily. 'We're dumbfounded. I just think we go from one extreme to the other,' Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said after leaving a Senate GOP caucus meeting. "Isn't there some choice in America between defaulting on your debt and doing nothing? Shutting the government down to defund Obamacare was a tactical choice that never made sense to me. But this is another extreme of raising the debt ceiling without addressing any of the fundamentals of why we're in debt.'" [HuffPost]
@LisaDCNN: Repubs voting yes: Boehner, Calvert, Camp, Cantor, Coble, Collins (NY), Dent, Fitzpatrick, Grimm, Hanna, Hastings (WA), Issa, King (NY), LoBiondo, McCarthy (CA), McKeon, Meehan, Miller, Nunes, Reichert, Rogers (KY), Roskam, Royce, Shimkus, Smith (NJ), Valadao, Wolf.
OBAMA TO SIGN MINIMUM WAGE ORDER TOMORROW - Dave Jamieson and Sam Stein: "President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Wednesday setting a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour for workers under federal contracts, an administration official confirmed to The Huffington Post. The signing will take place at the White House, where the president is expected to be flanked by low-wage workers who called on him to issue the order. Other details, including who exactly will be covered under the order's language, will be made public tomorrow, the official said. By signing the executive order, the president will make good on a policy proposal he laid out during his State of the Union address earlier this month. Neither the House nor the Senate has passed a minimum wage bill since the president first proposed raising the pay last February, so the president said he would hike the wage-floor himself for workers under federal contracts." [HuffPost]
ISSA AND CUMMINGS FEUDING AGAIN - Looks like Elijah isn't getting an invite to next year's Issa Cream. Roll Call: "In their first hearing examining last year’s Navy Yard shooting, Republicans and Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee clashed on lessons to be learned from the tragedy. The GOP focused largely on Office of Personnel Management policies governing the federal security clearance process that allowed Aaron Alexis access to Building 197 of the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, when he fatally shot 12 people. A report issued before Tuesday’s hearing suggested the 450 local police departments that refuse to cooperate with federal background investigators deserved some of the blame for allowing Alexis access. Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., also pointed to the OPM’s lack of monitoring of security clearance holders and its prohibition on the use of Internet or social media in conducting background investigations as key shortcomings. Democrats on the frequently contentious committee shot back with their own, dueling reporton the findings of a committee investigation into the security clearance process. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., the panel’s ranking member, argued that the majority’s report was “incomplete” and overlooked allegations of corruption and mismanagement at U.S. Investigations Services, the private firm holding contracts for the bulk of federal background investigation work." [Roll Call]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A tea party Republican and a Los Angeles Democrat are teaming up on legislation that would help unemployed people move to find work. The American Worker Mobility Act would create a new program within the Department of Labor that would give people who can't find a job near where they live vouchers worth up to $10,000 to help them transplant themselves. "This unique program will harness the diversity and size of our nation to put more Americans back on the job," Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), the bill's sponsor, said in a release. "There are thousands of Americans who would be happy to move across the country or their state to chase their American Dream, but they cannot afford it." The relocation vouchers would be available to people who'd received serious job offers in other places, as well as those who wanted to move somewhere at least 60 miles away with an unemployment rate at least two percentage points lower than the rate in their current area. Congress recently let federal unemployment compensation expire, essentially abandoning the only federal policy that assisted the long-term jobless. Nearly 4 million workers have been out of work six months or longer. [HuffPost]
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WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS LATEST OBAMACARE EXTENSION - Sam Stein: "One of the president's top advisers on Tuesday accused Republicans of being transparently political in their criticisms of delays made to the Affordable Care Act. Gene Sperling, the outgoing director of the White House National Economic Council, said that the administration's decision to further delay the employer mandate was designed to make the health care law less disruptive in its early years. Arguments otherwise came out of a partisan fixation with tearing the law down, he added. 'Let's just be honest -- the Republican criticism is that the president is taking into account the need to lessen disruptions to small businesses and employers?' Sperling said incredulously, speaking to a group of reporters at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor...The forceful pushback was the first offered by the White House after it announced Monday that employers with 50 to 99 employees will not be required to provide them with health coverage until 2016, as opposed to 2015. Employers with 100 employees or more, meanwhile, will only be required to cover 70 percent of full-time workers in 2015, rather than 95 percent. And during a press conference on Tuesday, the president himself defended the decision to lesson the business penalties." [HuffPost]
How to properly respond to an Onion article: @RepMikePompeo: I realize this is satire, but for the record, if this happened, it should be Kansas beef. http://onion.com/1dhkWdH
YELLIN MAKES FIRST CONGRESSIONAL APPEARANCE AS FED CHAIR - The Illuminati threw a really tasteful after party in secret cave where Beyonce hoards the world supply of gold and penicillin. Times: "Janet L. Yellen, the new chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, told Congress Tuesday the central bank maintained its optimistic view of the economy and its determination to retreat slowly from its stimulus campaign. Ms. Yellen’s first public remarks as chairwoman were hard to distinguish from the final public remarks of her predecessor, Ben S. Bernanke. She told members of the House Financial Services Committee that she was not seeking to change the Fed’s course. 'I expect a great deal of continuity,' said Ms. Yellen, who was most recently the Fed’s vice chairwoman. Referring to the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy, she said, 'I served on the committee as we formulated our current policy strategy, and I strongly support that strategy.'... Ms. Yellen reiterated the Fed’s optimistic assessment that economic growth would strengthen this year, and said the Fed would continue to cut back its monthly bond purchases unless there was a 'notable change' in the Fed’s economic outlook." [NYT]
HOLDER BACKS RESTORATION OF FELONS' VOTING RIGHTS - It's a shame that we're depriving our reformed felons the right to wait in long lines to vote in their districts that have been gerrymandered into political irrelevance. Ryan Reilly: "Attorney General Eric Holder is putting the weight of the Obama administration behind restoring voting rights to former felons, calling laws that disenfranchise millions of Americans 'unnecessary and unjust,' and saying they are rooted in 'centuries-old conceptions of justice that were too often based on exclusion, animus, and fear.' Holder, who has made criminal justice reform a central focus of his over the past several months, said the policies had a disparate impact on minority communities and echoed those enacted during the post-Civil War era...Such laws disenfranchise an estimated 5.8 million Americans, more than the individual populations of 31 states, Holder said. He called Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) a 'leader' on the issue of restoring voting rights to former felons, and said Paul's 'vocal support for restoring voting rights for former inmates shows that this issue need not break down along partisan lines.'" [HuffPost]
WASHINGTON GOVERNOR HALTS EXECUTIONS - Drip lethal injections are inhumane. You gotta go with a French press. Seattle Times: "Gov. Jay Inslee is calling a moratorium on executions while he is governor. 'Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility,' Inslee said during a news conference Tuesday morning. 'And in death penalty cases, I’m not convinced equal justice is being served.' Inslee said there was 'too much at stake' in death penalty cases in what he termed an 'imperfect system.' Inslee cited the high cost of trials and appeals, the apparent randomness in which death penalties are pursued and concerns that executions do not deter crime as reasons for his decision. Inslee said he is not asking the state Legislature to abolish the death penalty...There are currently nine men on Washington’s death row. He said that if a death penalty case crosses his desk for action, he will issue a reprieve, which will potentially only be in effect while Inslee is governor. He said he does not intend to commute any death sentences...When questioned, Inslee acknowledged the moratorium may not necessarily save money, particularly since appeals will still likely be filed. However, the move could prompt county prosecutors to not seek the death penalty in some cases, thus realizing some savings." [Seattle Times]
AMERICANS ACTUALLY LIKE FRANCE: POLL - Gallup: "As French President Francois Hollande visits the U.S. this week, including being honored at the first state dinner of President Barack Obama's second term, 78% of Americans view France favorably. This represents a full restoration of France's U.S. image more than 10 years after it tumbled to 34% favorable in 2003, when France refused to back the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Overall favorability toward France in the U.S. is near the record of 79% measured in 1991 and 2002. The 1991 reading may have reflected Americans' appreciation for France's active participation in the 1991 Gulf War, and the 2002 poll came shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when Americans may also have welcomed French moral support." [Gallup]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a contrite cat. '
THE DAILY CALLER DOES NOT LIKE THE SPLENDOR OF BO AND SUNNY OBAMA'S EXISTENCE - Is it just us or would Neil Munro be history's worst dinner guest? Daily Caller: "Poverty and unemployment are at near-record levels, the economy is stalled, and a record 47 million Americans are on food stamps, yet aides for first lady Michelle Obama’s tweeted out a picture of her two dogs apparently dining at a table laid with crystal and china. 'Bone appétit!,' the aides added to the insensitive tweet, using the language of France’s queen Marie Antoinette, who was executed by radicals in 1793. One dog appears to be wearing a jeweled necklace. The other is wearing a red ribbon. Obama’s media courtiers applauded the ostentatious display of canine luxury. 'Bo And Sunny Obama Get Decked Out For The State Dinner And It’s Pretty Adorable,' says the headline on an article at the Huffington Post." [Daily Caller]
- Matthew McConaughey's character from "True Detective" [http://bit.ly/1eRooMm]
- A Molson beer fridge at the Olympic games only serves Canadians [http://ti.me/1eNO8uF]
- Do you find it increasingly difficult to pair your love of knitwear with your love of goats? Us too. [http://bit.ly/1bJjdJW]
- Giant dogs. [http://huff.to/1iXy2wV]
- Bill Gates recorded an adorable video after his Reddit AMA -- it still doesn't absolve him of Windows ME, however. [http://bit.ly/1nsg5Y9]
- Electronic musician Pogo released a song mixed entirely with sound clips from "Willy Wonka."
- Parched giraffe walks into a bar. [http://wxch.nl/1bugT9J]
@JeffYoung: Twitter: Where journalists essentially force you to read their gchats with each other in real time.
@pourmecoffee: I paid for the livestream of Bob Costas' dreams and it's all fire and marching Orcs. Horrifying.
@dceiver: MAJORITY OF AREA CONGRESS BEHAVES NORMALLY, ONLOOKERS SAID TO BE 'SHOCKED' AS HEADLINE WRITERS CARBO-LOAD
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