POLITICS
09/11/2014 05:17 pm ET Updated Sep 11, 2014

HUFFPOST HILL - Excited Congress Unboxes New War

President Obama solemnly observed the 9/11 attacks the way most presidents do: by supporting military action in Iraq. Jeff Flake and Martin Heinrich will appear on survivalist reality show “Rival Survival,” though whether it can top Bernie Sanders and Jon Tester’s “Naked and Afraid” appearance remains to be seen. And D.C. public school children were asked to fill out a venn diagram comparing George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler. At least they didn’t compare Bush to Michelle Rhee or anything…This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, September 11th, 2014:

ANOTHER SPANKING FOR RUSSIA - Reuters: "President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States will join the European Union in imposing tougher sanctions on Russia's financial, energy and defense sectors after Moscow sent troops into eastern Ukraine last month, and will provide details on the new steps on Friday. 'These measures will increase Russia's political isolation as well as the economic costs to Russia, especially in areas of importance to President (Vladimir) Putin and those close to him,' Obama said in a statement." [HuffPost]

Breitbart.com is on the case of the Ginger Jihadis and the natural tedency of redheads to be evil.

HELL YES YOU CAN: BOEHNER BACKS OBAMA'S ISIS PLAN - "John, I will give you D.C. war." Igor Bobic: "House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday urged Congress to authorize the arming and training of opposition forces in Syria, a key element of President Barack Obama's plan to defeat Islamic State militants threatening the Middle East. But the Ohio Republican expressed concerned that, even if implemented successfully, it would take years to defeat a group that poses such a threat to America. 'We ought to give the president what he’s asking for,' he told reporters at a weekly press conference. The president on June 26 asked Congress for $500 million to arm and train Syrian rebels, which he again urged Congress to approve in a prime time address to the nation Wednesday evening." [HuffPost]

The chuckleheads aren't so sure: "After the meeting, the GOP whip team, headed by newly minted Whip Steve Scalise, met in his third-floor office to continue the discussion. But members emerging from the meeting said they do not yet know whether they will pass the authorization alone or as part of a must-pass government spending bill the House expects to take up next week. The team will fan out and gauge members' support. Earlier in the conference-wide meeting, many members were pressing Boehner to hold a separate, stand-alone vote on Obama's request to arm pro-Western Syrian rebels, rather than mesh it with a must-pass government spending bill as the president asked." [National Journal]

The House voted on yet another anti-Obamacare thing today.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The hell? Police in Kansas City, Missouri say someone threw a Molotov cocktail at Rep. Emanuel Cleaver's (D-Mo.) office there early Thursday morning, breaking a window but failing to start a fire. Police responded to an alarm at Cleaver's office around 3:00 a.m. "Upon arrival they observed a window on the northwest side of the building to be broken out," the Kanas City Police Department stated in an incident report. "On the ground below the window they observed two broken bottles with paper towels sticking out the necks of the bottles resembling a Molotov cocktail. There was a chemical odor resembling that of lighter fluid. The only damage appeared to be the broken window." The CBC is mad. [HuffPost]

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CHRIS CHRISTIE VETOES PUBLIC SMOKING BAN - Someone's gotta stick up for vices. Kate Sheppard: "On Wednesday evening, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed a bill outlawing smoking in public parks and limiting it on beaches in the state. The measure had gotten nearly unanimous, bipartisan backing in both chambers of the state legislature, and both environmental and public health groups supported it. 'While I appreciate the sponsors' concerns regarding the health risks poses by smoking and secondhand smoke, I am not persuaded that a prescriptive, one-size-fits-all State ban on smoking in public parks and beaches is advisable at this time,' Christie said in a statement on the veto." [HuffPost]

BOEHNER PREDICTS VOTE ON CR NEXT WEEK - "Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that the House is still on track to vote next week on a funding bill to avert a government shutdown, but he didn't say whether President Obama's request to authorize training and arming Syrian rebels would be attached to the measure…Yet Boehner shot down rumors that leaders had decided to link Obama's Syria request to the continuing resolution (CR) funding bill. Some members have been clamoring for separate votes on the items. 'Not true,' Boehner said about a plan to tie the Syria language to the CR. 'There is no decision that's been made on how we're going to do this.'" [The Hill]

Nuh uh "Though the law will be a year older, Republicans will push a vote to repeal Obamacare if they take back the Senate in November, a top GOP senator told reporters Thursday morning. 'I suspect we will vote to repeal early to put on record the fact that we Republicans think it was a bad policy and we think it is hurting our constituents,' said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), appearing at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. 'We think health care costs should be going down, not up. We think people should be able to keep the insurance that they had. They are worried about the fact that the next shoe to drop is going to be employer coverage.'" [HuffPost's Sam Stein]

Ari Fleicher recalls what it was like to be next to George W. Bush -- history's greatest president, he might add -- on 9/11.

WOMEN SENATORS URGE NFL TO FIX DOMESTIC VIOLENCE POLICY - Come to think of it, Roger Goodell has proven himself such a terrible handler of crises he should think about running for Senate himself. Laura Bassett: "A group of 16 women senators penned a strongly worded letter to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday demanding that the league permanently dismiss any player who commits an act of domestic violence. The senators said they were 'shocked and disgusted' that the NFL only suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games after learning that he had knocked his then-fiancée unconscious in an elevator. The league suspended Rice indefinitely on Monday, but only after graphic video footage of the abuse leaked to the public." [HuffPost]

The Palin family reportedly got into some kind of brawl, though details are sketchy.

SENATORS TO APPEAR ON SURVIVAL REALITY SHOW -
"Madame President, time and again the Senator from New Mexico refuses to acknowledge what hardworking Americans see everyday: that I control the conch shell. WaPo: "Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has made another visit to a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean. But this time, he brought along a Democrat. Flake and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) visited the tiny island of Eru, part of the Marshall Islands. This is Flake’s third visit to a small remote Pacific Ocean island. But in a twist, Flake and Heinrich were accompanied by a crew from the Discovery Channel. Flake says the network, known for its adventure and outdoor programming, is preparing to air a television special that will air Oct. 29...Discovery Channel says the journey will air as a one-episode series, 'Rival Survival' on Oct. 29 at 10 p.m. ET." [WaPo]

What's next, ISIS AMNESTIY?!? "Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has been one of the lawmakers most vocally pushing Obama to do more about the Islamic State. But in an interview with National Public Radio Thursday morning, Rubio undermined the argument that it's actually possible to defeat the group by admitting that it has actually been 'defeated' in the past -- but only temporarily." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

"But is it good for the Cruz?," part 4,329: "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was booed off the stage at an event hosted by a Christian organization in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night. The conservative firebrand delivered the keynote address at an event hosted by In Defense of Christians, an organization that raises awareness of persecuted Christian and minority communities in the Middle East. But the audience turned hostile when Cruz said, 'Christians have no greater ally than Israel.'" [HuffPost's Igor Bobic]

CAPITOL TORN ASUNDER BY STYROFOAM WARS - Old timers may recall the Spork Rebellion of 1912 that nearly brought down the Republic. Kate Sheppard: "In July, District mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill into law that will phase out the use of [styrofoam] products at restaurants and food trucks by January 2016. But the House of Representatives is still clinging to its foam packaging so far. House cafeterias serve 240,000 meals each month, most of it via polystyrene plates, clamshell carry-out containers, coffee cups and soup bowls...When Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took over as Speaker of the House, she launched the Green the Capital initiative, which directed House cafeterias to use compostable cutlery made with corn-based plastic substitutes and carryout containers made with plant fibers, and instituted a composting program... But when Republicans took over the House in 2011 and installed Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the compostable cups and forks were quickly replaced with the old Styrofoam standbys." [HuffPost]

Michele Bachmann gets her gold watch: "[O]n Wednesday night, a sense that [Bachmann] would not fade from public life permeated the tributes and discussions among the guests packed into the National Republican Club of Capitol Hill’s Eisenhower Room. 'It was wall to wall people,' one attendee told CQ Roll Call, who also said the guests enjoyed mini crab cakes and other finger foods and some drinks from the bar. The attendee spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event was closed to the press. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., joined the lawmakers, staffers and conservatives who gathered to toast Bachmann. Scalise was the only member of House Republican leadership at the event, though Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, reportedly sent a staff member on his behalf. Other lawmakers spotted at the event included GOP Reps. Dana Rohrabacher of California; Tim Huelskamp of Kansas; Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho; Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. and Trent Franks of Arizona." [Roll Call]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a puppy and its leash that are a metaphor for the futility of existence.

DAMN, DC PUBLIC SCHOOLS, CHILL - DCist: "A single teacher is behind a D.C. Public Schools assignment that asked students to compare and contrast Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush. A photo of the Venn diagram was tweeted by Matt Ashburn, who said it was assigned to 6th grade students. In a statement, DCPS explained that the assignment was created by one teacher who used 'extremely poor judgment' while teaching about war and peace." [DCist]

COMFORT FOOD

- Fun pet Vines! Fun pet Vines! Fun pet Vines! Fun pet Vines!

- "Star Wars" without John Williams' score is not nearly as epic.

- One woman's day on an emoji-only social network

- "Dutch boy turns his dead rat into flying rodent."

TWITTERAMA

@juddlegum: should be "handperson of terrorism" RT @tperkins: Political correctness remains the handmaiden of terrorism. (2/2)

@mollyesque: My inbox has become more amusing since I started replacing all the PR pitch salutations with “Hey girl."

@daveweigel: I want one of those "regional accent" maps to track where people say "son of a bitch" and where they (correctly) say "sum'bitch."

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