John Boehner turned 65, meaning his age and his general disapproval of young people and new things are finally aligned. Boehner and his leadership team are choosing committee chairs, while Darrell Issa is figuring out ways to capture the media’s attention with Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs or the like. And tax reform already appears to be dead in the 114th Congress. Though as the old saying goes, "If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try writing a few self-righteous op-eds about grand bargains." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, November 17th, 2014:
ISSA SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR... A NEW DARRELL ISSA - The Hill: "House Republican leaders met Monday to begin deciding committee chairmanships for the next Congress, including the leader of the powerful Oversight Committee. The House Republican Steering Committee, which consists of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), select committee chairmen and regional representatives, is interviewing candidates for open slots.... At least one major open chairmanship was up for grabs Monday: that of the House Oversight Committee. The current chairman of that committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), is losing the gavel in the next Congress due to term limits. Four Republicans are vying to replace him: Reps. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Mike Turner (Ohio), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and John Mica (Fla.). Whoever wins the race will instantly become one of the highest-profile Republicans in the House, as Oversight has used its subpoena power for aggressive investigations of the Obama administration." [The Hill]
INSURANCE INDUSTRY GROWING TO LOVE OBAMA - It's kind of a "When Harry Met Sally"-style years-long tale of missed connections and crossed wires, except Barack Obama is Harry and global health services enterprise Cigna is Sally. Times: "But since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, the relationship between the Obama administration and insurers has evolved into a powerful, mutually beneficial partnership that has been a boon to the nation's largest private health plans and led to a profitable surge in their Medicaid enrollment. The insurers in turn have provided crucial support to Mr. Obama in court battles over the health care law, including a case now before the Supreme Court challenging the federal subsidies paid to insurance companies on behalf of low- and moderate-income consumers. Last fall, a unit of one of the nation's largest insurers, UnitedHealth Group, helped the administration repair the HealthCare.gov website after it crashed in the opening days of enrollment." [NYT]
OK - "The U.S. House of Representatives will honor the late Czech leader Václav Havel Wednesday with a bipartisan ceremony featuring a musical tribute performed by ZZ TOP bandleader and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Billy F Gibbons, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced today." [Office of the Speaker]
Haircuts: Ali Watkins (h/t/ Amanda Terkel).
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THIIIIIIS IS YOUR BIRTHDAY SONG, IT DOESN'T LAST TOO LONG... HEY! - Happy birthday, John.
GOP USED TWITTER TO COORDINATE WITH OUTSIDE GROUPS - CNN: "Republicans and outside groups used anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data ahead of the midterm elections, CNN has learned, a practice that raises questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws that prohibit coordination. The Twitter accounts were hidden in plain sight. The profiles were publicly available but meaningless without knowledge of how to find them and decode the information, according to a source with knowledge of the activities. The practice is the latest effort in the quest by political operatives to exploit the murky world of campaign finance laws at a time when limits on spending in politics are eroding and regulators are being defanged." [CNN]
TAX REFORM DEAL, LIKE EVERYTHING, IS HOPELESS - Like our planet, the dream of tax reform will one day die, rendering all work on it meaningless. Weep for our planet. And for tax reform in Congress. WaPo: "Less than two weeks after Republicans won control of Congress, acrimony over immigration is dampening hopes for cooperation on more ambitious initiatives, with President Obama and GOP lawmakers bracing not for compromise but for combat. White House officials insist that Obama remains interested in finding common ground when Republicans consolidate their hold on the Capitol in January, with an overhaul of federal tax laws at the top of everyone's agenda...However, lawmakers say that instead of engaging with Republicans, Obama has provoked them on a range of issues, most explosively his threat to unilaterally halt deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants. And instead of starting work on tax legislation that would be politically and substantively challenging under the best circumstances, Republicans are threatening another bitter partisan showdown that risks shutting down the government." [WaPo]
BIG DEM MONEY FIGURING OUT BIG DEM PROBLEM - DEM$ In DI$ARRAY. Politico: "Interviews with about a dozen donors and operatives -- many of whom attended the annual winter meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a liberal club of wealthy donors, in Washington last week -- pointed to several weaknesses in the Democratic big money circuit, from poor messaging to a lack of diversity among consultants. As these outside organizations, which range from super PACs to environmental groups, start planning for the next election cycle, here are five steps Democrats interviewed said they must take...Some expressed frustration with how much money the groups spent on Senate races such as those in Arkansas and Kentucky, which many Democrats now admit their candidates were unlikely to win. (Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Kentucky Democrat Alison Grimes lost by nearly 20 points. Democratic outside groups spent at least $16 million on behalf of Pryor and $11 million on behalf of Grimes.)" [Politico]
BENGHAZI: STILL A THING - Uber, but for Benghazi answers. Roll Call: "Remember the Select Committee on Benghazi? The panel convened to probe the 2012 attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, was created in the spring and had its first public hearing in September -- but otherwise has been quiet. Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told CQ Roll Call Friday the committee will meet 'in public and in private' between now and the end of the lame-duck session, which is currently open-ended. 'I can't give you any more specifics,' he said as he exited the House chamber following votes on Friday, 'but Mr. [Elijah E.] Cummings and I were just chatting about it.'" [Roll Call]
This is a slideshow of dollar bills being minted and we are obsessed with it.
JERRY BROWN STILL RAISING MONEY - LA Times: "Less than two weeks after winning a fourth term, Gov. Jerry Brown plans to collect more money for his reelection committee Monday at a Sacramento reception with lobbyists and their clients. The invitation, obtained by The Times, suggests contributions of $5,000 for a "private reception and sit down conversation" with the Democratic governor at Mulvaney's B&L, a few blocks from the state Capitol. The event is unusual. Typically, candidates who continue to raise money after being elected do so to retire campaign debt. But Brown, who coasted to reelection, appears to have none to repay. As of Oct. 18, the governor still had nearly $21 million in his reelection account, according to the committee's most recent finance statement. In an interview with The Times before the election, Brown said he might use whatever reelection money was left over to campaign for ballot measures over the next four years. He declined to specify what issues they might involve." [LA Times]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's an Irish dog who can't run.
- Squirrel pinches GoPro camera, runs up a tree.
- Taylor Swift's eighth grade video project has surfaced.
- Italian cook has a very hard time pronouncing
- Christmas candy corn is an abomination unto THE LORD.
@NancyPelosi: Happy 65th Birthday, @SpeakerBoehner! Welcome to Medicare and Social Security!
@downworthy: Forget The Haters -- It's Okay To Be Skinny And Gorgeous! Here's Why Your Modified Plastic Body Requires No Justification.
@GideonResnick: Uber but for granting life its meaning
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