Chuck Schumer has a habit of crashing college graduation ceremonies -- the only thing more challenging than procuring a gown for the senator, we suspect, is finding him a capers/mayonnaise/American cheese Schumwich. Bob Corker offended the Little People of America, so it's definitely going to be very awkward the next time he shows up for a meeting. And President Obama chewed gum during a D-Day commemorative ceremony. Remember, freedom -- like that pack of Doublemint -- costs a buck-o'-five. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, June 6th, 2014:
HOUSE NOT TAKING UP IMMIGRATION IN JUNE - Who can find the time what with all the Bowe Bergdahl prosecuting and ACORN defunding? The Hill: "House Republicans will take up an extension of highway programs, tax credits and appropriations over the next month, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told lawmakers in a Friday memo. Conspicuously missing from the memo was any mention of an immigration bill. The White House and Democrats have pressed Republicans in the House to move on immigration reform, but GOP leaders have come under heavy counter pressure from groups opposed to giving any form of "amnesty" to illegal immigrants. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has repeatedly said House Republicans don't trust that President Obama would enforce laws to On healthcare, Cantor hinted at possible action on the GOP ObamaCare replacement but did not offer any specifics of policy or a timeframe for a vote. Cantor's memo devoted just two sentences to healthcare: "Our committees continue to work to expose the harmful effects of Obamacare and refine different policies that reduce costs, expand access and provide patients with greater control over their healthcare. We will be discussing these policy options with you in the weeks ahead in anticipation of additional floor action." [The Hill]
Horrifying pictures of immigrant kids crammed in federal holding cells obtained by Breitbart Texas. "The influx of unaccompanied children across the southwest border has resulted in an urgent humanitarian situation," a DHS official says. Yikes.
RAND PAUL WEIRDNESS ALERT - Katie Glueck: "Sen. Rand Paul on Friday likened Democrats to the recently released Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in a speech here at the Texas GOP convention. 'Mr. President, you love to trade people,' the Kentucky Republican said to laughs, a reference to the deal made for the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. 'Why don’t we set up a trade? But this time, instead of five Taliban, how about five Democrats? I’m thinking John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi…'" [Politico]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Gersley Kendricks figures Congress has given up on him. Kendricks, 63, has been unemployed since early last year and without an income since Congress declined to renew long-term unemployment insurance at the end of December. He is one of the nearly 3 million people who have missed out on compensation since then. Democratic efforts to revive the benefits have stalled. Friday's news that the economy added 217,000 jobs and the national unemployment rate held at 6.3 percent in May probably won't change the situation. Lawmakers have moved on. "They're setting their sights on other things, like what happened with the guy from Afghanistan, and those are bigger issues right now," Kendricks said. "I don't know if and when they'll give attention to unemployment again." [HuffPost]
DOUBLE DOWNER - The Senate passed a bill in April that would have given Kendricks and others checks for the benefits they'd missed, but the bill's sponsors have suggested it's been too long to keep trying to enact retroactive benefits. Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) simply ignored the Senate bill, and a House GOP leadership aide said press interest has dwindled to "perfunctory" levels. Gersley has followed the news closely and is realistic about the political situation, but that doesn't mean he's given up hope for Congress to do something. "You still can't wash away people like myself, people that's been unemployed for over a year. [You can't] forget about them now," he said. "That would be just really devastating." [HuffPost]
TRIPLE DOWNER - The largest homeless shelter in D.C., the Community for Creative Non-Violence, doesn't have working fire alarms.
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TYRANNICAL SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT'S HEALTH TAX NOT THAT WIDESPREAD - Roll Call: "It’s the tax at the heart of Obamacare, but just more than 1 percent of Americans will end up paying it, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) slashed their estimates for how many people will pay the individual mandate tax penalty in 2016 by a third — to 4 million from 6 million — citing exemptions granted by the Obama administration, including exemptions for people whose plans were cancelled because they did not meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirements. That’ll lead to $4 billion in revenue in 2016 and $5 billion a year after that — a drop of about $3 billion a year. It will still generate $46 billion over a decade, the CBO said Thursday.CQ Roll Call’s Rebecca Adams has reported extensively on this issue, noting that the IRS isn’t expected to do much to enforce the mandate anytime soon There are also numerous exemptions that mean 87 percent of the 30 million people who will still be without insurance will be able to avoid the tax. That includes illegal immigrants — who aren’t eligible for Obamacare benefits — and low-income people." [Roll Call]
HALF OF AMERICANS SAY GAY MARRIAGE IS CONSTITUTIONAL - Considering Americans barely know who the vice president is, we can't say this opinion is grounded in deep jurisprudential knowledge, but it's nice nonetheless. WaPo: "Support for gay marriage has backed away slightly from its record high in March, but a solid majority supports it, and half go so far as to say that it is a right protected by the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. A full 50 percent say gay marriage is protected by the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause, an argument repeated by judge after judge in a string of federal rulings against state bans since a pivotal Supreme Court decision last summer. Some 43 percent do not believe gay marriage enjoys constitutional protection. Support for gay marriage overall — regardless of views on whether it is constitutionally protected — enjoys broader support, with 56 percent saying they back the right for same-sex couples to marry and 38 percent opposing it." [WaPo]
Bob Corker is sizeist: "Little People of America on Thursday said the Tennessee Republican’s use of the word 'midget' before a Senate Banking Committee vote on Tuesday was 'embarrassing and insulting.' Corker used the word as he chided colleagues Tuesday for letting Congressional Budget Office scores dictate policy debates. 'I’m sorry it just feels like a bunch of midgets up here worrying about some CBO issue,' 'he said...On Thursday afternoon, Corker apologized for his indelicate phrasing. 'I sincerely apologize for what was a poor word choice and in no way meant to offend anyone.'" [Politico]
ARE THERE HOLES IN THE CAPITOL'S SECURITY? - Pro tip: we're all going to die. National Journal: "I drove along this week with two senior staffers from a congressional office, who asked not to be named for this story. We approached the House side of Capitol Hill on New Jersey Avenue Southeast. A Capitol Police officer met us at the barricades. He checked the driver's parking sticker and ID and told us to pop the trunk, which contained golf clubs, a box, and two travel bags. He looked in the trunk for less than a second, closed it, and let us in, having never checked the bags or box or asked what was in them. I didn't show him any credentials, nor did he have a metal-detector wand in his hand. We then drove into the Rayburn House Office Building parking garage and found a spot a couple of levels down. We parked and walked right into the building, one staffer carrying a bag. There was no metal detector or major Capitol Police presence. We were now in one of the office buildings where lawmakers and their staff work every day, having gone through practically zero security. As we walked over to the Longworth House Office Building, one staffer told me that this day's arrival was normal." [National Journal]
NERDS COMBAT THE NSA - Can't they just become math lobbyists instead? Forbes: "In January, the math community had its big event of the year — the Joint Mathematics Meeting — where 3,000 mathematicians and math students gathered to talk about new advances in the field and jostle for jobs. The National Security Agency is said to be the largest employer of mathematicians in the country and so it always has a sizeable presence at the event to recruit new candidates… Thomas Hales, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who describes himself as a 'mathematician who’s upset about what’s going on,' is dismayed at the idea of the brightest minds in his field going to work for the agency... Hales gave a grant to the San Francisco-based civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation to fly a representative to Baltimore to try to convince mathematicians young and old not to go help the agency with data-mining and encryption-breaking... The EFF sent to the conference a newly-hired staff technologist, Yan Zhu, a woman whose dyed red hair surely helped her stand out. She had a tiny table — between a math educational software company and Mathcamp — while the NSA had a huge “awesome” booth with multiple people and “lots of swag,” including laundry bags with the NSA logo. She said it was tough competing." [Forbes]
Damnit, Obama: "President Barack Obama and other world leaders participated in a televised ceremony Friday to honor the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. While Queen Elizabeth II was being introduced, the camera cut to Obama -- who was caught chewing gum." [HuffPost's David McCabe]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is an owl.
CHUCK SCHUMER LIKES CRASHING GRADUATIONS - Sadly he doesn't warn the graduates of what snitches get. WSJ: "The commencement at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y., last month went pretty much as advertised. The orchestra played 'Pomp and Circumstance,' a priest gave the invocation and the keynote speaker offered advice on how to succeed. After the diplomas were awarded, someone showed up who wasn't on the program: New York Sen. Charles Schumer. 'My friends and I were like, 'Oh! Sen. Schumer is here. That's cool,' ' said graduating senior Amanda Rozsavolgyi. Mr. Schumer's sudden appearance spurred some late adjustments at the small private college. The school said it provided him with spare academic regalia and the provost tweaked his own remarks to introduce the senator. As colleges around the country go through the graduation ritual of speeches, handshakes and cheers, school officials in New York have been dealing with another ritual: the often unadvertised arrival of Mr. Schumer. Politicians at all levels of government often speak at commencement, but few have embraced the role as ardently as New York's senior senator. So far this commencement season, Mr. Schumer, a Democrat elected in 1998, has made remarks at at least eight colleges or universities in the state." [WSJ]
- Tetris turns 30 today. Here's a video retrospective. [http://bit.ly/1okVuZr]
- A supercut of movie tough guys. [http://bit.ly/1oAtvmM]
- Uber has been valued at $17 billion. What the hell. [http://cnnmon.ie/1kIcDv1]
- The engineering and mechanics of D-Day as originally portrayed in Popular Science. [http://bit.ly/1tOKtza]
- Cat tries to play with turtle. [http://bit.ly/1nXdHP4]
- History's most creative history cones. [http://bit.ly/1kQy2NP]
- Goats! Goats! So many goats! [http://bit.ly/1q0USY9]
@CIA: We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
@nowthisnews: For the first time in history the CIA is only following 25 people
@LEBassett: It has been settled. Baked Doritos are the O'Doul's of chips.
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