The White House is planning a new regulatory push -- that sound you heard was half of CNBC's Wall Street audience punching their tiny desk TVs. During college, Scott Walker was cited for violating his Wisconsin university's campaign rules, which might explain his general disdain for Badger State educators. And John Dingell is retiring after nearly 60 years in Congress, during which time he witnessed the proliferation of broadcast journalism, cable news and cheeky internet slideshows showing how old John Dingell is. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, February 24th, 2014:
You keep congressing, Congress: "Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, blocked a bid Monday to vote on bills to combat sexual assault in the military, saying he wanted a vote on Iran sanctions in return." [Article Soon From Mike McAuliff]
DEMOCRATS WILL FORCE MIN WAGE VOTE THIS WEEK - HuffPost Hill hears House Democrats will file their discharge petition to force a minimum wage vote this week. They'll have a hard time getting the 18 or so Republican votes they need to pass it.
UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION FORECAST: STILL MOSTLY DOOMED - With Sam Stein: "Stalled in their attempts to pass an extension of federal unemployment benefits, Senate Democrats are now placing their hopes in the hands of two Republicans. Senate Democratic leadership is eyeing Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Dan Coats (R-Ind.) as the most likely yes votes for any plan to restore those benefits -- which lapsed on Dec. 28, 2013 -- and extend them into the future. A leadership aide told The Huffington Post that the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been in touch with both Kirk and Coats staffers in hopes of finding a mutually agreeable way to pay for the benefits. Democrats are glad that neither senator has stepped away from those discussions. 'They could have walked away a long time ago,' said the leadership aide. Even if the Senate passes an extension, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is unlikely to play along. House Republicans will either consider their own version of the legislation or, more likely, not consider anything at all." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - "Food pantries are bracing for increased demand after another round of cuts to food stamps. The latest Farm Bill reduces Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding by $8.6 billion at a time when area food banks are already helping more people. 'We fed 837 people last month, and every time we're open we get at least five new families that are coming in. It is impacting our community,' said Natalie Newcomer of Maranatha Food Pantry. The Farm Bill passed earlier this month will cut SNAP benefits by $8.6 billion over 10 years. 'Our pantries have already been witness to about a 15 to 20 percent increase in new people coming in over the past several months, and we're concerned that level could go up again by another like amount in the rest of 2014,' said Joe Arthur, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank." [PublicOpinionOnline.com]
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DINGELL TO RETIRE AFTER NEARLY 60 YEARS IN CONGRESS - He's even older than Lorde! Jen Bendery: "Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) is retiring from Congress after 59 years. Dingell will make the announcement Monday at a luncheon in Downriver, Mich., according to the Detroit News. 'I’m not going to be carried out feet first,' he told the paper. 'I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.' Dingell is the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history, first coming to the House on Dec. 13, 1955 at the age of 29. He succeeded his father, John Dingell Sr., in a special election that year and went on to win a full term in 1956. Since then, he has been reelected 29 times. He is also one of two remaining World War II veterans in Congress; the other is Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas). Dingell officially became the longest-serving member on June 7, 2013, when he was feted by colleagues in both parties and by President Barack Obama for the milestone. Over the past five decades, he has worked with 11 presidents, served with 2,419 House colleagues and cast more than 25,000 votes. The Michigan Democrat will leave behind a legacy of hallmark legislation impacting civil rights, the environment, health care and workers' rights. He presided over the passage of Medicare in 1965, and he wrote the Endangered Species Act, the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act." [HuffPost]
OBAMA ORDERS SWEEPING REGULATORY PUSH - We can't wait for the nuance in the explanatory slideshows that BuzzFeed PRO will run. The Hill: "President Obama has ordered his officials to step on the gas and clear as much of his regulatory agenda as possible during the twilight of his time in office. The clock is ticking, creating a sense of urgency in the administration to crank out his new rules without delay. Just a year into the president’s second term, experts and former administration officials say it is do-or-die time for scores of regulatory initiatives across the federal government that could shape his legacy. So Obama is spurring agencies on...Topping the administration’s to-do list is Obama’s climate initiative, which includes higher emissions standards for power plants. The president has set strict deadlines to ensure the regulations are put in place by the summer of 2016. A related rule imposing new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for big rigs and semi-trucks was put in motion last week. Observers say the timing of that announcement reflects concern that any delay would jeopardize chances of putting the rules in place before Obama is out of office." [The Hill]
CHRISTIE'S APPROVALS PLUMMET Monmouth University: "Public opinion of Chris Christie has further eroded since the Bridgegate emails were released last month. The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll found the governor’s job approval rating has dropped 20 points over the past year. In addition to growing suspicion of his involvement in the toll lane closures, New Jerseyans grade Christie’s handling of Superstorm Sandy recovery much less positively than they did when he was running for re-election. Currently, Gov. Christie’s job rating stands at 50% approve to 44% disapprove among New Jersey residents and 49% approve to 46% disapprove among the state’s registered voters. His approval numbers have dropped 9 points since the January Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll which was taken just days after the state first learned that it was 'time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.' Christie’s job rating has now dropped by a total of 15 points since the scandal and it is off by 20 points from the high water mark of 70% recorded twelve months ago. In fact, the 49% voter approval number in the current poll is the first time Christie’s positive job rating has dipped below the 50% mark since 2011." [Monmouth University]
One can only stray too far and still be on John McCain's lawn: "Members of Arizona's congressional delegation, including its two Republican U.S. senators, are speaking out against the controversial anti-gay legislation known as SB 1062, urging Gov. Jan Brewer (R) to veto it. On Monday, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) tweeted that they oppose the legislation, which the state House and Senate passed last week. The bill would allow business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples on the grounds of 'religious freedom.'" [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
U GONE WRONG, UGANADA - Reuters: "The United States said on Monday it is reviewing its relationship with Uganda's government, including U.S. assistance programs that are heavily focused on fighting HIV/AIDS, after its president signed a law imposing harsh penalties for homosexuality. 'Now that this law has been enacted, we are beginning an internal review of our relationship with the Government of Uganda to ensure that all dimensions of our engagement, including assistance programs, uphold our anti-discrimination policies and principles and reflect our values, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement." [Reuters]
VIRGINIA POL CALLS PREGNANT WOMEN 'HOSTS' - Which is true if they are carrying Rosemary's Baby but untrue in pretty much every other instance... and Terry McAuliffe. Rosemary's Baby and Terry McAuliffe. That's it. Laura Bassett: "A pregnant woman is just a 'host' that should not have the right to end her pregnancy, Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin (R) wrote in a Facebook rant defending his anti-abortion views. Martin, the former chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, wrote a lengthy post about his opinions on women's bodies on his Facebook wall last week in response to a critical Valentine's Day card he received from reproductive rights advocates. 'I don't expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive,' Martin wrote. 'However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it.' Martin voted for Virginia's mandatory ultrasound bill and supported a fetal personhood bill, which would ban all abortions and could affect the legality of some forms of contraception. The Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition had sent him a Valentine's Day card asking him to protect women's reproductive health options, 'including preventing unwanted pregnancies, raising healthy children and choosing safe, legal abortion.'" [HuffPost]
IN SOUTH TEXAS, RACIST AIR? Mollie Reilly: "A U.S. Senate candidate is facing fierce criticism after saying ranchers should be free to shoot 'wetbacks' on sight, using a derogatory term that the candidate describes as 'normal' in his home state. Texas Republican Chris Mapp, who is challenging Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in the upcoming GOP primary, made the remarks during an interview with the Dallas Morning News' editorial board. The board noted Mapp's remarks in its February 16 endorsement of Cornyn. 'South Texas businessman Chris Mapp, 53, told this editorial board that ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on to their land, referred to such people as 'wetbacks,' and called the president a 'socialist son of a bitch,' the editorial reads. Mapp later defended his remarks to the San Antonio Express-News, claiming use of the racial epithet is as 'normal as breathing air in South Texas.'" [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are dogs chasing shadows.
COLLEGE SCOTT WALKER WAS QUITE THE TROUBLEMAKER - Walker probably wishes he could have a college problem like the Aqua Buddha now. Amanda Terkel: "Walker breaking the rules while campaigning goes back... to his time as a college student at Marquette University, which the Democratic super PAC American Bridge is trying to remind people.... In 1988, Walker wanted to become president of the school's student government, known as the Associated Students at Marquette University. He was running against John Quigley, a liberal student, in a race that became incredibly contentious. Election rules said that presidential candidates could not begin campaigning until after they registered, which started on Feb. 3. Walker, however, was caught campaigning on Jan. 24...At [a meeting of the Delta Chi fraternity], according to a student in attendance, Walker asked the fraternity members, 'What can ASMU do for the Inter-Fraternity council?' and told them he intended to run for president of ASMU in a few weeks." [HuffPost]
- RIP Harold Ramis. [http://bit.ly/1juzDv9]
- Vice's documentary about Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea is up. [http://bit.ly/1k12zdR]
- Foods you should be refrigerated but aren't [http://bit.ly/1hqfCnA]
- The strangest ad for a grocery store we've ever seen. [http://huff.to/OuqiJL]
- A trailer for HBO's upcoming tech show, "Silicon Valley." [http://bit.ly/1o0JclM]
- The Super Mario/"Seinfeld" is terrifying and odd. [http://bit.ly/1cvFsGR]
- Speaking of Mario, an ancient Chinese instrument replicates the 8-bit Italian plumber's theme music perfectly. [http://bit.ly/1fnzmLd]
@harrisj: It's like Tinder but for doughnuts
@pourmecoffee: It's not healthy for America that our brightest minds are either spying on us or coming up with new ways to make a taco. That can't be good.
@anamariecox: New fave CPAC panel: "Clairvoyance and Hard Data: Electoral Trends for 2014, 2016, and…2040"
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