Harry Reid made a comment that falls somewhere between, "Where are you really from?" and the list of fake names from that crash landing last year. It turns out Rand Paul does think Dreamers should be deported, so we expect him to come back to the table and finish that burger finally. And Mitt Romney said, "It is cold" after Paul Ryan dumped ice water on him. Ryan then got back in the car and resumed driving to Canada. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, August 22nd, 2014:
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION STRATEGICALLY RETREATS IN WAR ON RELIGION - Though it still feels comfortably enough like a "Season's Greetings" -type policy. Laura Bassett: "The Obama administration announced on Friday a new accommodation for religious nonprofits that object to covering the full range of contraceptives in their employee health care plans. The new accommodation will allow religious nonprofits, such as Catholic schools and hospitals, to opt out of covering birth control by notifying the Department of Health and Human Services of their objections. HHS and the Department of Labor will then arrange for a third-party insurer to pay for and administer the coverage for the nonprofits' employees so that women still receive the contraceptive coverage guaranteed to them by the Affordable Care Act.... The original accommodation required religious nonprofits to directly ask a third-party insurer to pay for and administer the contraception coverage if the nonprofit objected to covering it. But several nonprofits sued the administration over the rule, claiming that the act of filling out a form violated their religious beliefs by serving as a 'permission slip' for its employees to use contraceptives. The administration developed the new accommodation to pre-empt those lawsuits, which legal experts expected the Supreme Court to take up next year." [HuffPost]
How's the religious liberty crowd like it? Here's the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty's statement: "This is latest step in the administration’s long retreat on the HHS Mandate. It is the eighth time in three years the government has retreated from its original, hard-line stance that only 'houses of worship' that hire and serve fellow believers deserve religious freedom. Ninety percent of religious ministries challenging the mandate have received relief from the courts, and we are hopeful the administration’s new rule will reflect the robust protections that have always been given to religious individuals in this country."
RUSSIA'S DOING STUFF - Seems bad. "Frustrated by a week of delays, Russia sent over 130 aid trucks rolling into rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without the approval of the government in Kiev. Ukraine called the move a 'direct invasion' that aimed to provoke an international incident." [AP]
USA MAD - National Security Council's Caitlin Hayden: "Today, in violation of its previous commitments and international law, Russian military vehicles painted to look like civilian trucks forced their way into Ukraine. While a small number of these vehicles were inspected by Ukrainian customs officials, most of the vehicles have not been inspected by anyone but Russia. We condemn this action by Russia, for which it will bear additional consequences."
Haircuts: Dave Jamieson.
BIRTHDAYS: WELFARE REFORM - Eighteen years ago today Bill Clinton signed the law turning Aid to Families with Dependent Children into Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Here is the most important fact about the reform: "Over time, TANF has provided basic cash assistance to fewer and fewer needy families, even when need has increased." Fewer families served -- that's why conservatives call welfare reform a success and liberals call it a failure. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
HARRY REID SPEAKS WITH NO JACKASS DIALECT, UNLESS HE WANTS TO HAVE ONE - Burgess Everett: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is apologizing for comments he made in 'poor taste' about Asian people. The apology was prompted by remarks he made Thursday to the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas and after video was posted by conservative trackers. 'The Asian population is so productive. I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are,' Reid said to applause, remarks first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. After a man was introduced to the podium, Reid said: 'One problem I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.'" [Politico]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Here is an excuse for the Federal Reserve to abandon the unemployed just like Congress has: "A new paper to be presented Saturday at the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole conference makes a claim likely to raise eyebrows at the meeting: The problem of long-term joblessness following the recession is vastly overstated by a focus on what the authors see as the wrong sort of data." Friday reminder that unemployed people don't get weekends. [WSJ]
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RAND PAUL DITCHES DREAMERS - Sam Stein: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said in an interview published Thursday that he supports legislation ending the president’s program to defer deportation for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Speaking to Breitbart News during a medical mission in Guatemala, Paul lent his backing to House Republican efforts to address the crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern U.S. border. 'I’m supportive of the House bill and I think it will go a long way to fixing the problem,' Paul said. " [HuffPost]
RUTH BADER GINSBURG CONTINUES TO GO ROGUE - Shadee Ashtari: "Although the U.S. Supreme Court was 'once a leader in the world' in the battle for racial equality, recent decisions by the high court undermine its role in solving a 'real racial problem' in America, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained in an interview with The National Law Journal on Wednesday. Citing recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and racially biased stop-and-frisk policies, Ginsburg reflected on the perpetuation of racial segregation in America, comparing the challenges with those of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. 'Once [gay] people began to say who they were, you found that it was your next-door neighbor or it could be your child, and we found people we admired,' she said. 'That understanding still doesn't exist with race; you still have separation of neighborhoods, where the races are not mixed. It's the familiarity with people who are gay that still doesn't exist for race and will remain that way for a long time as long as where we live remains divided.'" [HuffPost]
JAMES FOLEY MURDER A TERRORIST ATTACK - Benjamin Hart: "Ben Rhodes, the White House's Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications & Speechwriting, said that journalist James Foley's execution at the hands of the Islamic State, the militant group formerly known as ISIS, constituted a terrorist attack. At a press briefing from Martha's Vineyard, where President Barack Obama is on vacation, NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker quoted former deputy director of the CIA Mike Morell, who had said of the Foley execution: 'this is ISIS' first terrorist attack against the United States.' Welker asked Rhodes if he agreed with that assessment. 'Well, absolutely,' Rhodes said. 'When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack against our country and against an American citizen.'" [HuffPost]
IMMIGRATION GROUPS SUE DHS - "Immigration and civil rights groups filed a suit Friday against the federal government, alleging it is trampling on due process by making it nearly impossible for women and children to make the case they should not be deported to their native countries where they face dangerous conditions. ... The immigrant rights groups alleged that deportations from the Artesia facility have come through fast-tracked removal proceedings that provide little chance for mothers and children to make a case for why they should be allowed to stay. The facility is about three and a half hours away from El Paso, Texas, and from Albuquerque, New Mexico, making visits from lawyers difficult, and the suit alleges the women's phone calls with attorneys have been cut off after three minutes. The women have been forced to recount stories of abuse, including sexual assault, in front of their children and were told repeatedly by ICE agents that they would be deported, regardless of individual circumstances, according to the lawsuit." [HuffPost]
DAN SNYDER FINALLY THWARTED - Just kidding. Annys Shin: "The Washington Post editorial board said Friday it will stop using the word 'Redskins' when referring to Washington’s football team, joining a growing list of other commentators who have renounced the term because they believe it disparages Native Americans." Another way to do this is to just stop saying the name without seeking prior affirmation. [WashPost]
BTW: The best alternate team name is Washington Department of Football. Hail to the Doffs! May you find yourselves with a point surplus at the conclusion of Saturday's field hearing in Baltimore.
MITT ROMNEY'S ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE IS PRETTY FUNNY - He gets an assist from Paul Ryan, who seems maybe a little bit too eager to douse his former running mate. How does it feel, Mitt? "It is cold." Yes. Yes it is. [Facebook]
ROMNEY CRAPS ON HILLARY CLINTON - Robert Costa: "'Looking at her record, seeing how ineffective she was in securing more security, is going to be a great handicap for her in the general election,' said Romney. 'I don’t think it’ll hurt her in the primary, but it will in the general. 'That picture of her with the foreign minister of Russia, smiling ear to ear with that red reset button, I presume that’s going to be an ad. Of all the miscalculations in foreign-policy history, that stands out as an unfortunate one.'" [WashPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Check out these dino footprints.
RIP SNOWY OWL - Perry Stein: "The daredevil snowy owl who liked to fly low over the District's busy streets this year was found dead in Minnesota, the Raptor Center announced today. It appears the owl was, yet again, hit by a vehicle. The rare snowy owl… gained celebrity status in D.C. when he decided to perch downtown in January, posing for urban bird lovers' iPhone cameras. The owl, however, couldn't stay still for long and was hit by a bus on 15th and Eye streets NW one morning about a week after he first alit here. He sustained some head trauma, but luckily, survived the collision." [City Paper]
- Jerk cats eat dogs' food. http://huff.to/1rqsgwc
- 10 beautiful interracial arrests. http://bit.ly/1tf73E3
- Photos of your friendly neighborhood BDSM enthusiast. http://huff.to/1qxNbqL
- How ducks do it. (Do NOT click on the image!) http://bzfd.it/VLKbi0
- Garfield continues to be a reverse inkblot that can make sense out of gibberish. http://bzfd.it/1v6uCkt
- Ten wedding trends that must go. (Yes, this list is too short.) http://huff.to/1l1AtnB
@john_dingell: Pretty accurate photo, to be honest. RT @fmanjoo: This old man delighted by his phone stock art is the best. http://on.recode.net/1pmnz3Z
@timothypmurphy: Jesus RT @intelligencer Paul Ryan Gets Mitt Romney All Wet Just Like in Your Favorite Fan Fiction
@jackmirkinson: Thank god he remembered the r RT @elisefoley: "Sometimes I say the wrong thing.” RT @igorbobic: Uhhhh wtf Harry Reid http://politi.co/1mvTb26
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