A majority of Americans support President Obama's handling of Ukraine but disapprove of his Ukraine policy -- it's always nice to start off the week knowing that no one pays attention to your work. There ain't no party like a Steve Stockman hot tub party because a Steve Stockman hot tub party *generates huge pageviews for news outlets.* And Fox News either misspelled "spelling bee" "spelling be" out of carelessness or because the extra "e" was left out because of... Benghazi. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, March 10th, 2014:
THEY'RE UP ALL NIGHT TO GET WONKY - Kate Sheppard: "Senators planning to stay up all night Monday talking about climate change say the marathon session is the 'opening salvo' in a renewed effort to pass legislation curbing greenhouse gas emissions. 'We have a simple message for all Americans: We're not going to rest until Congress acts on the most pressing issue of our time,' said Sen. Brian Schatz, a freshman Democrat from Hawaii, who organized the all-nighter on the Senate floor. The overnight session is meant to 'make sure everybody across the nation knows we're taking this seriously, and that there is a stirring in the Senate on this issue,' said Schatz. Participants said they will make the point that climate change is 'real, caused by humans, happening now, and it is solvable,' he said. 'We are the cause, but we are also the solution.' Thirty senators have signed up to participate in the event, including Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), who joined the lineup since it was announced on Friday." [HuffPost]
OOF VINCE GRAY - Ann E. Marimow, Mike DeBonis and Paul Schwartzman: "Mayor Vincent C. Gray knew about the illegal 'shadow' campaign that helped get him elected in 2010, and personally asked a D.C. businessman for help funding the operation, federal prosecutors said Monday. At a court hearing, prosecutors alleged for the first time that Gray (D) understood that he had to keep the illegal campaign a secret. In fact, Gray and the businessman, Jeffrey E. Thompson, agreed that the candidate would refer to Thompson as 'Uncle Earl' to keep the scheme hidden, prosecutors said. 'Gray agreed to keep Mr. Thompson’s support secret,' Asst. U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson said at the hearing. The new details were revealed at a hearing at which Thompson pleaded guilty to funneling more than $2 million in illegal contributions to federal and local political campaigns, including Gray’s 2010 bid to oust then incumbent Adrian Fenty. Gray, who has long denied wrongdoing, dismissed prosecutors’ charges as 'lies' and vowed to serve out his term and continue his campaign for a second term. 'It’s shocking to me,' Gray said during an interview in his sixth floor office at the Wilson Building. 'Lies. These are lies.'" [WashPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Betsy Andrews, a 54-year-old substitute teacher, reflected on her long unemployment spell during an interview with HuffPost's Eugene Mulero. "When I did job coaching with a company here in the Seattle area they said they get 100 to 200 resumes for every listing they post. They talk about how great Seattle is, like our employment is better. And I'd say that's a little bit true now, but I think it's worse for people who are older who have experience and are highly educated. I know several people, highly educated, in their 40s, late 40s, early 50s, maybe, and I definitely think there's age discrimination and I think people can figure that out by your resume. Being unemployed for so long I was kind of going crazy." [HuffPost]
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ADMINISTRATION REVERSES MEDICARE CHANGES - However you'll still have to bring two forms of identification to your death panel. The Hill: "The Obama administration is abandoning a surprise plan to alter Medicare’s drug coverage after withering criticism from Congress and K Street. Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner alerted lawmakers Monday that her agency would not go forward with a proposal to give insurers more leeway to limit the number of drugs they cover for Medicare beneficiaries. Critics argued that making the change, which was designed to save money, would have hampered seniors’ access to necessary drugs. Democrats worried the issue would hurt them in the midterm elections, and House Republicans had scheduled a vote this week on a bill blocking the regulation from going forward. The about-face is the latest example in which the Obama administration has changed its healthcare policies to try to benefit the president’s party. Tavenner's announcement means Medicare will continue to subject six classes of prescription drugs to stringent rules requiring insurers to cover nearly all medications in those classes. If the change had gone forward, only three classes of drugs — cancer, HIV and anti-seizure medications — would have been subject to those rules." [The Hill]
AMERICANS A LITTLE UNCERTAIN ABOUT UKRAINE - A majority of Americans support President Obama's actions toward the situation in Ukraine, but oppose aid, which is a key tenant of his agenda. Then again, a majority of Americans seem to like "Two and A Half Men." CNN: "Slightly more Americans approve than disapprove of how President Barack Obama has so far handled the crisis in Ukraine, but that has not affected the President's overall job approval rating, according to a new national poll. The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicates that economic sanctions against Russia appears to be the only option that a majority of Americans support that's available to the U.S. to try and end the crisis in the Ukraine...Forty-eight percent of people questioned in the poll say they approve of how the President has so far handled the Ukraine crisis, with 43% giving Obama a thumbs down and 9% unsure...Nearly six in 10 of those questioned say they support economic sanctions against Moscow by the U.S. and its allies in an attempt to force Russia to remove its forces from the Crimean peninsula, and try to prevent Russia from sending forces to other parts of Ukraine. Nearly four in 10 oppose economic sanctions. Last week the Obama administration laid the groundwork for sanctions against Russia...By a 52%-46% margin, Americans are against economic aid to Ukraine. Nearly six in 10 say no to canceling the G-8 summit meeting between the leaders of Russia, the U.S., and its Western allies. Just over three-quarters oppose sending weapons and other military supplies to Kiev." [CNN]
CHRISTIE PROBE WIDENING - Amanda Terkel: "Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have subpoenaed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for documents on its chairman, David Samson, who is a close ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). According to The New York Times, it's not yet clear whether the records request is related to the Bridgegate controversy surrounding the Christie administration, but it appears 'to represent a significant widening of the scandal.' In recent months, Christie has faced significant national scrutiny after documents showed that members of his inner circle closed down access lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, in what appeared to be political retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. The move caused massive traffic jams for several days in September. The New Jersey state legislature and New Jersey federal prosecutors are investigating the scandal. Samson, who has denied having advance knowledge of the lane closures, is a prominent New Jersey attorney and a founding member of the firm Wolff and Samson. Since the Bridgegate scandal broke, there have been an increasing number of reports about the financial benefits Samson has reaped from his position at the Port Authority." [HuffPost]
FORMER CHRISTIE AIDES TRYING TO DUCK SUBPOENAS - AP: "Two figures in a political payback plot that has overshadowed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration will attempt to convince a judge that they shouldn't be forced to turn over documents to a legislative panel. Lawyers for former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien and fired Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly have asked the judge to throw out their subpoenas. They say handing over personal emails, text messages and planning calendars would be like testifying against themselves. They also cite the possibility of criminal prosecution as a legal basis for not complying with a request for correspondence involving a plot to create traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge. More than a dozen individuals and organizations close to Christie have complied with similar subpoenas. Oral arguments are scheduled for Tuesday." [HuffPost]
MAJORITY OF YOUNG REPUBLICANS SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE - In between purchasing Barbour jackets and browsing Long and Foster listings for places in McLean, America's young political conservatives have found the time to embrace same-sex matrimony. Pew: "Young people continue to be the strongest proponents of same-sex marriage. And as public support for same-sex marriage continues to grow, the gap between young and old is nowhere more striking than within the Republican coalition. Today, 61% of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage while just 35% oppose it. By contrast, just 27% of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry...The relative liberalism of young Republicans on issues of homosexuality goes beyond their support for gay marriage. Just 18% of Republicans under 30 say “more gay and lesbian couples raising children” is a bad thing for American society, while 26% say it is a good thing (56% either say it doesn’t make a difference or they don’t know). By comparison, majorities or pluralities of older Republicans say this trend is a bad thing for society." [Pew]
Wee repurt, u decyde: "Fox News Misspells 'Spelling Bee'"
STEVE STOCKMAN HOT TUB EXTRAVAGANZA - Even better than that time Kevin Yoder went skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee. Dave Weigel: "On Saturday night, as CPAC ended and its thousands of attendees scattered, I followed some friends and reporters to find what was already known as the 'Stockman party.' Rumor had it that Stockman was hanging out in a suite at the Gaylord, the monumental hotel/resort that had hosted the conference. Now that an attendee has leaked photos from the party, I might as well report that the rumor was true. One of the hotel's suites—living room, den, veranda, garden, hot tub—was playing host to dozens of people. There were students, strategists, and reporters, decompressing after three days of networking and panels. And there was Rep. Steve Stockman, a few days on from his defeat in the Texas GOP Senate primary, holding court near a stack of Little Caesars pizzas. He was dressed down in a pullover, talking to young conservatives who seemed stoked to be in his presence. They filled their cups from a rapidly diminishing stash of brown and clear liquors...I happened to arrive just as Stockman was offering $20 to anyone who'd jump into the hot tub. I proposed a toast, to "screwing with the left." The cups were raised; Stockman amended the toast. 'Fuck the left!' said the gentleman from Texas' 36th District." [Slate]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's how to wake someone up with a dog and laser pointer.
This must be what it's like when Justin Timberlake runs into Joey Fatone: "Mitt Romney, 2012 GOP presidential nominee, and his former running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, tweeted Sunday that they bumped into each other at the airport. But was the encounter all that coincidental? A Romney aide said the photo was taken at Jacksonville International Airport in Florida, where the former Massachusetts governor was headed home from the American Enterprise Institute's annual world forum this weekend in Sea Island, Georgia. Ryan, too, was at the private event. Ryan joined CBS' "Face the Nation" for an interview from Sea Island on Sunday." [CNN]
- A Spotify playlist aimed at subliminally influencing the listener. [http://bit.ly/1kb1n8r]
- Decidedly unhappy-looking people dancing along to Pharrell Williams' "Happy" at the World Indoor Bowls Championships. [http://bit.ly/1geGbOe]
- And here are "Star Wars" characters dancing to "Happy." [http://huff.to/1kb1Bwf]
- An airbag deploying in slow motion. [http://bit.ly/1cP4vlh]
- Marty from "True Detective" watches the Red Wedding from "Game of Thrones." [http://bit.ly/1fk47v2]
- NASA is forecasting sinkholes, which scare us about as much as snakes scare Indiana Jones. [http://bit.ly/1lOu2mL]
@pourmecoffee: Everybody announcing their Future of Journalism launch date please line up alphabetically, state your site name, and keep the line moving.
@loisbeckett: 10 Ways Journalists Explain How They Explain Reality
@mollyesque: idea: Steve King vs. Pete King vs. Angus King: BEST POLITICAL DEBATE EVER
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