President Obama nominated a guy named Bro Adams but regrettably not as Secretary of Lax Pennies and Dip. The commander-in-chief also marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, a hollow piece of legislation that did absolutely nothing to solve the New Black Panther problem. And Louisiana Republicans are calling for Vance McAllister to resign after it was revealed he carried on an affair. Eminent Cajun political scholar Doublé S. Tandard was unavailable for comment. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, April 10th, 2014:
HOUSE VOTES TO CENSURE LOIS LERNER - We're not sure if censuring someone for a non-scandal is better or worse than voting to defund ACORN after it ceases to exist. Mike McAuliff: "Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted on party lines Thursday to hold in contempt of Congress the former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the agency's inappropriate scrutiny of political nonprofits. This is the first time congressional lawmakers have acted to hold someone in contempt for asserting his or her Fifth Amendment rights since the McCarthy era. Lois Lerner was in charge of the IRS' exempt organizations unit when it looked to the names of organizations -- rather than what they were doing, according to the IRS inspector general -- to select some for extra scrutiny in determining whether they were actually eligible for tax-exempt status. Most of the groups singled out were conservative. Lerner twice refused to testify before the House Oversight Committee, first professing her innocence and then invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Her refusal to answer questions infuriated Republicans, who insisted that she waived her rights when she asserted that she had done nothing wrong." [HuffPost]
Actual presidential statement: “I’m proud to nominate Bro as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and look forward to working with him in the months and years to come.” [HuffPost]
William "Bro" Adams, who is the former president of Colby College, also looks like he could moonlight as a "generic businessman" stock photo model.
HOUSE PASSES RYAN BUDGET,
SOLVING BUDGET PROBLEMS FOREVER - If you're going to deprive poor people of needed services, at least try to imbue the initiative with a positive tone ("The Grit and Determination Stimulus," etc). Roll Call: "The House narrowly approved Rep. Paul D. Ryan’s spending blueprint Thursday, 219-205. It’s an important symbolic victory for the Wisconsin Republican and potential GOP presidential contender. No Democrats voted for the 10-year-spending plan and the bill won’t go anywhere in the Senate, but the document has come to represent a marker for where the Republican Party, its leaders and rank-and-file House members stand on fiscal policy. Twelve Republicans defected (See who opposed the budget, and why, here). The last time the Ryan budget passed the House, there were 10 Republicans who opposed the measure. Ahead of the vote, Ryan called it a 'balanced budget that pays down the debt,' to loud applause from his colleagues. Ryan said the Republican plan boils down to a simple question: “Who knows better, the people or Washington?'" [Roll Call]
BOEHNER PUNTS UNEMPLOYMENT TO OBAMA - What would make House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) support a Senate-passed bill to restore long-term unemployment insurance to more than 2 million Americans? Ask the White House. It's no secret that Boehner opposes Senate legislation reauthorizing long-term unemployment benefits, as he has previously stated that the bill is "unworkable." But when asked on Thursday whether he would heed calls from the bill's Republican co-sponsors to take up the measure in the House, Boehner said that the next steps were up to Obama. "Listen, I made clear to the president last December that if he wanted us to consider an extension of emergency unemployment benefits, it would have to be paid for and it would have to include things that would help get our economy going," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill. "They have not put forward anything with regard to how we would create more jobs. And so the ball's still in their court." Pressed further on what specific jobs provisions he would like to see, Boehner again punted to the White House. "You'll have to ask the administration," he said. "I made it clear what it would take for me to consider it. They've not had any suggestions." Their suggestion is probably something like "Pass the Senate's unemployment bill." [w/ HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From the mailbag of misery, another person whose unemployment insurance ended when Congress let federal benefits expire: "We have not been able to pay rent since the end of January and have struggled to make rental payments before that because my husband hasn't been able to find permanent work for over a year. And there is no way he can go and even look for work without the unemployment. He can't even get on the bus to get to an interview because we can't afford the 2 dollars to get on the bus and the 2 dollars to get home. We have no where to go, and the court date for our eviction is next week. I have 2 children. And we don't even have a car to live in. while The House and Senate 'debate' on what to do there are people like us who are drowning and won't be able to come back." [Hang in there!]
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SUPREME COURT CAMPAIGN FINANCE DECISION BENEFITS GOP - Paul Blumenthal: "Who will benefit first from McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission? The Republican Party and the financial industry are already primed to take advantage of the Supreme Court's April 2 ruling. The decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, ended longstanding aggregate limits on campaign contributions, which would have prevented a donor in this election cycle from giving more than $48,600 to federal candidates, more than $74,600 to political parties and PACs, and more than $123,200 overall. Now, a small class of wealthy donors, including billionaires Sheldon Adelson and David Koch and a host of financial industry titans, stands ready to crash past those limits. A review of FEC records by The Huffington Post found 190 donors who are approaching or even surpassing the now non-existent aggregate limits for the 2013-2014 election cycle. The vast majority of them heavily favor Republican Party committees and candidates. The financial sector, already the largest funder of federal political campaigns, also stands to gain even more influence, as the plurality of these 190 donors work for banks, hedge funds, investment firms or real estate developers." [HuffPost]
ANGUS KING THREATENS TO SWITCH PARTIES BECAUSE ANGUS KING PROBABLY WANTS SOMETHING - We hope all those Mainers traveling between Augusta and Portland in 2016 and beyond enjoy their freshly paved, newly-expanded roads. The Hill: "Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats, will decide after the midterm elections whether to switch sides and join the Republicans. He is leaving open the possibility of aligning himself with the GOP if control of the upper chamber changes hands. 'I’ll make my decision at the time based on what I think is best for Maine,' King told The Hill Wednesday after voting with Republicans to block the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure at the center for the 2014 Democratic campaign agenda. King’s remarks are a clear indication that congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle will have to woo the 70-year-old senator in order to recruit him to their side. That lobbying battle could be especially intense if King’s decision determines which party will control the chamber in the next Congress. If Republicans pick up six seats this fall, they will be running the Senate in 2015. But a pickup of five would produce a 50-50 split and Democratic control, with Vice President Biden breaking the tie. King could tip the balance." [The Hill]
HELL NO, THAT CAM! BOEHNER WON'T WEIGH IN ON KISSING CONGRESSMAN'S FUTURE - Things like this really confirm our nagging suspicion that John Boehner would deliver history's most awkward sex talk to his kids. Sabrina Siddiqui: "If Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) thought he could put a growing controversy over kissing one of his staffers behind him, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday seemed to suggest otherwise. Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Boehner offered his first comments on the incident since a surveillance video leaked on Monday that shows McAllister kissing his district scheduler Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock at his Monroe, La., office. McAllister, who is married, apologized to his constituents; but Boehner, a stickler for discipline, hinted the freshman congressman has some decisions ahead of him about continuing in his role. 'I expect all members to be held to the highest ethical standards, and this is no different,' Boehner said. 'I've talked to Rep. McAllister. I won't share with you the kind of conversations I have, but I have had a conversation with him. And he's got decisions that he has to make.' McAllister has so far maintained he has no intention to resign, but has pledged to win back the public's trust." [HuffPost]
@Philip_Elliott: MONROE, La. (AP) - Jindal calls on congressman to resign after caught on video with another woman.
O hai, Rodney Alexander: "Former 5th District U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Ruston, who resigned abruptly last summer to take a job in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s cabinet, said he won’t rule out a run for his old job next fall. Alexander, who won six terms in the U.S. House beginning with the 2002 election, said he has been saddened by the scandal that has rocked his successor, U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, R-Swartz, and the 5th District. 'I would never say anything is off of the table,' Alexander, Jindal’s secretary for veterans affairs, told The News-Star this morning. 'If I felt like the people of Louisiana and the 5th District wanted me for a particular purpose or office, I am willing to serve them.'...The Louisiana Republican Party is expected to call for McAllister’s resignation sometime on Thursday." [The News Star]
SEBELIUS: OBAMACARE SIGNUPS TOP SEVEN MILLION - And not one of them contains a Benghazi answer. Politico: "At least 7.5 million people have signed up for health coverage through the Obamacare exchanges, and the number is still rising, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday. President Barack Obama had said that 7.1 million Americans enrolled as of April 1, but that tally didn’t count all the last-minute enrollment surge numbers from state-run exchanges or the people allowed to complete signup after March 31. 'As of this week, 400,000 additional Americans have signed up and we expect that number to continue to grow,' Sebelius told a Senate Finance Committee hearing. People who had trouble completing their signup by the March 31 deadline were given until April 15 to finish in the federal exchange that serves 36 states. Some states are allowing a longer grace period. Not everyone who signs up pays their insurance premiums so the final enrollment number is likely to be lower. But these numbers surpassed the White House target of 7 million signups — a projection set by the Congressional Budget Office before the HealthCare.gov website disaster last October. CBO had later revised its estimate to 6 million, but the signup surge blew past that benchmark in late March." [Politico]
Joe Manchin really making us miss Big Daddy: "Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) praised Charles and David Koch for 'providing jobs' during an interview on “Fox and Friends” Thursday, defending the billionaire oil magnates against recent attacks from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) 'People want jobs. You don’t beat up people. I mean, I don’t agree with their politics or philosophically, but, you know, they’re Americans, they’re doing -- paying their taxes,' Manchin said. 'They’re not breaking the law. They’re providing jobs.' Reid has taken to the Senate floor several times in recent weeks to attack the Koch brothers’ multi-million-dollar ad campaigns targeting vulnerable Senate Democrats." [HuffPost]
A video mashup imagines a world where Republicans were environmentalists.
PELOSI: IMMIGRATION REFORM DELAY PARTIALLY DUE TO RACE - The Democratic leader, filing down the race card into a shiv. Elise Foley: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had some harsh words Thursday for Republicans who won't allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform, saying she believes it would be an easier haul for the GOP if undocumented immigrants were mostly from somewhere like Ireland. 'I think race has something to do with the fact that they're not bringing up an immigration bill,' she said at her weekly press conference. 'I've heard them say to the Irish, "If it were just you, this would be easy."' Pelosi and other Democrats have urged House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to allow a vote on an immigration bill that has support from a majority of the Democratic caucus and three GOP members. So far, they haven't had any luck: Boehner promised a piecemeal process, if anything, and has said passing even smaller-scale legislation could be difficult given distrust of the president within the Republican conference. Despite releasing principles for reform in January, there have been no votes on immigration legislation since then." [HuffPost]
PRESIDENT MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CIVIL RIGHTS ACT - An act that drove more votes to the Republican party than a gazillion Orcas. USA Today: "President Obama praised predecessor Lyndon Johnson on Thursday for knowing how to get things done, including civil rights laws that forged opportunities for millions and made possible the nation's first African-American president. Keynoting a summit on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Obama called Johnson 'a master of politics and legislative process who understood the power of government to bring about change.' Obama said, 'Passing laws was what LBJ knew how to do.' The Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the Voting Rights Act that Johnson signed a year later, swung open doors of opportunity for Americans who had been locked out for decades, Obama said. 'They swung open for you, and they swung open for me,' Obama told a friendly crowd at the LBJ library in Austin. 'And that is why I am standing before you today.'" [USA Today]
Jimmy Carter, liberal America's Statler (or Waldorf?), also weighed in on racial politics: "Race is the primary reason white Southern men support the Republican Party, former President Jimmy Carter told Salon in an interview posted Thursday. Carter also pushed back against using the Bible to trample human rights. When asked why white male Southerners have turned to the GOP, Carter said: 'It’s race. That’s been prevalent in the South ... . Ever since Nixon ran -- and ever since Johnson didn’t campaign in the deep South, the Republicans have solidified their hold there.' Republican proposals, such as cutting food stamps and assuming the guilt of minorities and the mentally ill who are in jail, appeal to the rich, he said." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a cat on a subwoofer.
- "Game of Thrones" with cats. [http://huff.to/1iAO9Qu]
- Firing a 150-year-old cannon from the Civil War. [http://bit.ly/1hDPyTS]
- A short video on who actually invented the internet. [http://bit.ly/1eue6i3]
- DMX meets the intro of "Reading Rainbow." [http://bit.ly/1hlsJJn]
- Flirt better with SCIENCE. [http://bit.ly/1sGWlFD]
- Want to know what a $100 grilled cheese looks like? [http://dnain.fo/1kNQ5GL]
- "New York Numbers" is an Instagram account that documents the various typefaces of New York City. [http://bit.ly/1hlyoPV]
@asmith83: What I've learned from all this is that it's best to sleep with prostitutes, not congressional aides.
@danielradosh: NYT 1995: "...a page on the World Wide Web, the graphical portion of the computer network known as the Internet." http://t.co/4l9mN1zOJV
@OfficialJLD: John Hancock not part of tattoo.It is birthmark.1962 photo. @RollingStone pic.twitter.com/zYoXzVXieE
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