You know it's spring in Washington when members of Congress have spurned the unemployed and everyone is watching baseball. George W. Bush is literally painting himself a better legacy. And Eric Holder said the government would be willing to reclassify marijuana as less dangerous than heroin. If you're trying to gauge his sincerity, you should know he also praised the expertise of Congress. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, April 4th, 2014:
PEOPLE SURE ARE TIRED OF GETTING DEPORTED CONSTANTLY - Immigration activists are gearing up for a major day of action on Saturday directed squarely at President Barack Obama, demanding he halt deportations that split immigrants from their families and communities. There will be about 80 events Saturday as part of the #Not1More campaign, the latest in a slew of upcoming and ongoing movements against deportations. The fact that they're not letting up -- if anything, immigrant rights groups are becoming more vocal -- shows that Obama's recent announcement that the Department of Homeland Security will review deportation policies isn't enough for many activists. They want action now, and they will stake out the White House, go without food and rally until they get it. "We want to keep our families together," said Tania Unzueta, who is organizing the #Not1More campaign with the advocacy group National Day Laborer Organizing Network. [HuffPost]
John Boehner's breakfast routine is probably not safe.
HARRY REID 'CAN'T REMEMBER,' IS 'BRAIN DEAD,' 'OFF HIS MEDS,' POTENTIALLY ON DRUGS, AND MORE! Harry Reid is mean to people, and other people are mean back. Mike Huckabee might've had the best recent jam: "Poor Harry Reid. Either he is off his meds and he clearly needs some assistance immediately -- he needs to be rushed to an emergency room -- or the man is just brazenly unable to tell the truth." Amanda Terkel has compiled several more for your amusement. [HuffPost]
Democrats' Koch attacks recall the GOP's Soros effort of yesteryear, Politico's Ken Vogel has been reporting on Twitter. We tried to get Vogel to put his observations in an actual story instead of just strewing them all over stupid Twitter. He replied, "there's always @HuffPostHill ;)." Damn you, Vogel!
GRASSROOTS TRYING TO SCREW UP SENATE NOM DEAL - Since when can't lawmakers just have their backroom deals? Must be all those smoking bans. Jen Bendery: "Progressives in Pennsylvania have been working for weeks to derail an apparent deal between their U.S. senators to submit a conservative Republican judicial nominee to the White House -- and it looks like they're gaining momentum. More than 20,000 people have signed a petition urging Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) not to recommend corporate lawyer David J. Porter to President Barack Obama for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. A coalition of state lawyers, advocates and community members collected the signatures and plans to deliver them to Casey on Monday, according to the Pennsylvania Coalition for Constitutional Values…. 'Porter's kind of been this right-wing, anti-worker guy. I've got no confidence that the guy could be impartial,' Rick Bloomingdale, the president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, told The Huffington Post…. The deal under discussion would give Democrats three or more nominees in exchange for Sen. Pat Toomey (R) getting one GOP pick, Porter. Pennsylvania currently has eight district court vacancies, one of the worst rates in the nation." [HuffPost]
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SECRETLY REASONABLE ABOUT POT: CLAIM - It almost sounds like the Justice Department wants to evolve on the issue. Ryan Reilly: "The Obama administration would be willing to work with Congress if lawmakers want to take marijuana off the list of what the federal government considers the most dangerous drugs, Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday. 'We'd be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress,' Holder said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. 'It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made.' Several members of Congress have called on the administration to downgrade cannabis on its own without waiting for congressional action. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, the attorney general has the authority to 'remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.' Holder didn't indicate Friday that he would be willing to do that unilaterally." [HuffPost]
The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney Godsplained religious liberty on HuffPost Live.
BUSH JOBS HOLE FINALLY FILLED...ALMOST - The latest jobs report contained a politically important fact for Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) -- America finally replaced the jobs lost from the "Bush economic policies," the House minority leader said Friday, blaming Republicans for the slow pace of recovery. Pelosi's declaration came shortly after the Labor Department announced the U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, in the latest sign of ongoing job growth too tepid to bring down the unemployment rate. But private payroll employment did pass a milestone Democrats wanted to commemorate. "I have to note that today we have replaced all of the jobs lost under the Bush economic policies and recession that that took us into," Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill….Pelosi was referring to the fact that private-sector payroll employment reached 116 million in March, beating its December 2007 peak of 115.9 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Great Recession started at the end of 2007 and officially ended halfway through 2009…. Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the liberal Economic Policy Institute, said the numbers may have political or psychological value, but not much else... "I cannot think of anything economically meaningful about passing the December 2007 employment level," Shierholz said. [w/ HuffPost's Mike McAuliff]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Many commentators thought the lapse of long-term unemployment insurance in December would contribute to declining labor force participation, since a searching for work is a condition of receiving benefits and without the benefits people might just give up all hope of finding work. Instead, the participation rate has been going up. The March jobs report doesn't do much to help the cause of lawmakers who want to reauthorize the federal benefits. Meanwhile, the long-term jobless aren't going anywhere soon: "The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 3.7 million, changed little in March; these individuals accounted for 35.8 percent of the unemployed." [BLS.gov]
You can also get your Downer in limited-edition C-SPAN form.
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HOW PAUL RYAN WOULD CHANGE THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM WILL AMAZE YOU - Just Kidding! "[P]olicymakers couldn’t achieve cuts of this magnitude without substantially scaling back eligibility or reducing benefits deeply, with serious effects on low-income families and individuals." [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
WHY BUSH PAINTS - Jamie Stengle: "Former President George W. Bush is displaying his portraits of world leaders in the first exhibit of his work as an artist. The portraits, which include everyone from a grim-looking Russian President Vladimir Putin to a smiling likeness of the late Czech playwright and President Vaclav Havel, are part of an exhibit opening Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. He even did a self-portrait. The exhibit called 'The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy' runs through June 3. 'I spent a lot of time on personal diplomacy and I befriended leaders and learned about their families and their likes and dislikes, to the point where I felt comfortable painting them,' he said in an introductory video to the exhibit….Bush, who started painting in 2012, three years after leaving office, said reading an essay by the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on painting inspired him to take lessons." [Associated Press]
HANDFUL OF HOUSE REPUBLICANS WANT JOBLESS AID BILL - Alan Ota: "A bipartisan five-month extension of jobless aid in the Senate appears to be driving a wedge between segments of the House Republican Conference….Rep. Peter T. King of New York said Thursday he and Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo of New Jersey had sent a letter urging Boehner and his team to move the Senate proposal (HR 3979) or an alternative.... 'We respectfully request that the House immediately consider this bill or a similar measure to restore unemployment benefits to struggling Americans,' the letter said…. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, head of the Republican Conference, said party leaders had not decided how to handle the measure and would discuss it next week. 'There will be a conversation. We’re waiting to see what the Senate actually passes,' she said." [Roll Call]
What Rodgers said seems significant. A much different tone than Boehner's taken on this.
THE RETURN OF THE BACK-ALLEY ABORTION - Laura Bassett: "The proliferation of well-trained, regulated, legal abortion doctors in the last 40 years has led to 'dramatic decreases in pregnancy-related injury and death,' according to the National Abortion Federation. Now, however, Texas and other states are reversing course. State lawmakers enacted more abortion restrictions between 2011 and 2013 than they had in the previous decade, a trend that appears likely to continue in 2014. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that nearly 300 anti-abortion bills are currently pending in state legislatures. The new restrictions have had a significant impact on women's access to abortion. A Huffington Post survey last year found that since 2010, at least 54 abortion providers across 27 states had either closed or stopped performing the procedure. Sixteen more shut their doors after Texas lawmakers passed some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country last summer. A federal appeals court upheld two of the new restrictions in a ruling last week. As a result, researchers and women's health advocates say, women today are resorting to many of the same dangerous methods they relied on in the pre-Roe era: seeking out illegal abortion providers, as Karen Hulsey did, or attempting risky self-abortion procedures." [HuffPost]
CBS apparently wants Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman, according to Mashable.
COULD OBAMA BEAT PUTIN AT A BUNCH OF STUPID GAMES? - Emily Swanson and Ariel Edwards-Levy: "A recent Fox News poll found that voters think Vladimir Putin would beat President Barack Obama at a game of chess. So, we wondered, if chess represents strategic thinking and the ability to anticipate your opponent's moves, what could other classic games tell us about how skirmishes between the two leaders will play out? We took the idea to its logical conclusion (yes, this is the logical conclusion -- quiet) and asked Americans to weigh in on a new HuffPost/YouGov poll." Putin wins at chess, but what about Risk, Twister, and Hungry Hungry Hippos? [HuffPost]
CNN FOUND PICTURES OF THE MISSING PLANE!!!! - Only the pictures were taken by plane buffs way before the plane went missing and therefore contribute nothing to the important story of the plane's disappearance. Jason Linkins: "Great work, plane buffs! And fantastic job, CNN, for proving unequivocally that prior to its disappearance, the aircraft that became 'missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370,' definitely, definitely existed." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Check out these breathtakingly sexist ads from Life Magazine in the 1960s, courtesy Matt Stoller.
CAPITOL HILL RESTAURATEUR DOING THE ROMNEY - Xavier Cervera sold Hawk & Dove and all his other Hill restaurants to a Boston private equity firm. Naturally, the firm has taken them into bankruptcy. What seems odd is the new CEO is Cervera's brother, and the bankruptcy seeks to lower the debt owed to Cervera. If anybody understands this please email firstname.lastname@example.org. [WSJ]
- Competitive walking was a big thing in the 1870s [http://n.pr/1lum1Ru]
- Jack Kingston's Obama impersonator nails the president's voice [http://youtu.be/xmhOVz5Ucx4]
- Actually decent Date Lab date [http://wapo.st/1gtvYcR]
- The toilet of the future? [http://huff.to/1kxFoaZ]
- Winston Churchill's parrot was still alive 10 years ago and still saying the F word about Hitler [http://bit.ly/1kxMfBn]
- Celebrities that look like mattresses [http://imgur.com/gallery/wFiGa]
- A helpful list of raw items that could kill you [http://wapo.st/1mQuZeJ]
@SabrinaSiddiqui: Area Photographer Once Took Picture Of Object
@aedwardslevy: Days of the week, by Fridayness http://t.co/8iwMxoZQKg
@swin24: george w. flush those portraits down the toilet
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