Presidents will gladly give outgoing cabinet honchos a reference letter, but "senior administration officials" would likely do more harm than good. Conservative pundits are demonstrating that inappropriate comparisons to Jim Crow America are the surest way to go viral since cats first started wearing suits. And Ted Cruz thinks Joe Lieberman should replace Chuck Hagel, though Lieberman would probably scuttle his own nomination just to irk the president. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, November 24th, 2014:
FERGUSON GRAND JURY DECISION IMMINENT - CNN: "After months of waiting, this question should be answered soon: Will Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson be indicted for killing teenager Michael Brown? State and federal sources told CNN the grand jury decision will be announced some time Monday. The prosecutor's office said that a decision has been reached, but news of what that is will come later in the day." [CNN]
HuffPost's Ferguson liveblog is here.
HAGEL OUT - Times: “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel handed in his resignation under pressure on Monday, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and the struggles of his national security team to respond to an onslaught of global crises. In announcing Mr. Hagel’s resignation from the State Dining Room on Monday, the president, flanked by Mr. Hagel and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., called Mr. Hagel critical to ushering the military 'through a significant period of transition' and lauded ‘a young Army sergeant from Vietnam who rose to serve as America’s 24th secretary of defense.’ Administration officials said that Mr. Obama made the decision to remove Mr. Hagel, the sole Republican on his national security team, last Friday after a series of meetings between the two men over the past two weeks.” [NYT]
BUT IS IT GOOD FOR THE CRUZ? @jmhattem: Ted Cruz says Joe Lieberman would be a "strong option" for next SecDef
Michele Flournoy is a likelier replacement.
Wai Hagel went bai: “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down, after he and President Barack Obama concluded that his low-key style—despite his military experience in Vietnam—isn’t well-suited for the expanding war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). The sudden change at the top of the President’s national-security team comes after the Administration seemed slow to react to ISIS’s rise over the past year, and responded with what many inside the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill saw as a timid bombing campaign launched in August. Some Hagel allies were quick to defend him, saying he was doing the job the way the White House wanted him to do it. But others said his languid style—on display during his lackluster confirmation hearing in January 2013—left him vulnerable to criticism from those who want a more aggressive military strategy.” [Time]
Helpful Matt Yglesias item on how much better conservatives would love our emperor president if he were an actual caudillo like Augusto Pinchet.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Associated Press: "A Cleveland officer was less than 10 feet away when he fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun near a playground, and video of the shooting is clear about what happened, police said Monday." It's clear the shooting didn't need to happen, in other words. [AP]
Reminder that FDR once tried to ruin Thanksgiving and everyone hated him for it.
DAVE DOWNER - This says a lot about the power balance between labor and capital right now. "Camp Bow Wow is a doggy day care franchise. The company has more than 100 North American locations where pets board overnight, and it also offers in-home pet-sitting services. Camp Bow Wow workers look after dogs. But before they can do that, they apparently have to sign strict noncompete contracts similar to the ones used by Jimmy John’s." [HuffPost's Dave Jamieson]
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CONGRESS SUCKIER THAN USUAL - They really brought their pale, jowly, baggy-eyed game faces. Politico: “GOP leaders had a grand vision for the new Congress: Focus on a bold conservative agenda — not last year’s business and the deadline-driven crises that have long dominated Washington. So much for that. Congress left for Thanksgiving without checking anything big off its to-do list during the lame duck, leaving just 10 days to fund the government when they come back in December and likely pushing big items like authorizing force against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants and the confirmation of an attorney general into 2015. As Republicans take the reins of both chambers of Congress for the first time in nearly a decade, their new agenda will be consumed with leftover business, a reality check for many in the party who had hoped to come out swinging in the new year on tax reform, trade deals, energy legislation and changes to Obamacare.” [Politico]
RAND PAUL WANTS ISIS WAR DECLARATION - Jeremy Peters: "Senator Rand Paul is calling for a declaration of war against the Islamic State, a move that promises to shake up the debate over the military campaign in Iraq and Syria as President Obama prepares to ask Congress to grant him formal authority to use force." [NYT]
RON JOHNSON TAKES NOTE OF THE WACKY TABACKY - “Wait, have you been talking to my face for, like 17 hours?” added Johnson. Roll Call: “Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., likely the next chairman of the Senate committee with oversight over Washington, D.C., said Thursday that he would like to hold a hearing on marijuana legalization. When asked about his view of marijuana legalization in D.C., Johnson told a group of reporters, ‘What we can do is we can hold hearings to find out how it’s all working, to highlight the issues, highlight the problem, try and define the problems. So I think that’s what we should really do.’ ... ‘I can’t support it myself because I think it sets a really bad example for young children,’ Johnson said. ‘But states are doing that. Let the voters decide … Again, I like local control of those issues and then what we can do here in Congress is hold hearings, find out, how’s it working? What kind of problems are there?’ When it was pointed out the voters in D.C. did decide to legalize marijuana, Johnson said, ‘Apparently,’ and walked away.” [Roll Call]
DEMS NARROWING LIST OF CONVENTION SITES - Bizarro Universe Vice President John Edwards is super bummed it won’t be in Birmingham. "The Democratic National Committee says it has narrowed its list of potential locations for the 2016 Democratic convention to three finalists: New York, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio. The list eliminates two previous contenders -- Phoenix, Arizona and Birmingham, Alabama. ‘We’re thrilled to move to the next step of the selection process to determine where Democrats will come together to nominate the 45th President of the United States,' said DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a statement... The DNC also announced that it has narrowed the potential dates of its convention in 2016 to the weeks of July 18, July 25 and August 22.” [NBC News]
MIKE HUCKABEE IS AWFUL - From MikeHuckabee.com: "Some are threatening violence if they don’t get an indictment. I’m old enough to have seen this mob justice mindset before -- from lynch mobs who didn’t like the legal process, so they took the law into their own hands."
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a K9 snow maze
HAITIAN-AMERICANS NOT FEELING THE LOVE - We promise this will be the only Mia Love-related name pun you’ll read here (save our suggestion for her Hispanic outreach initiative: “Mia’s casa es su casa”). Diane Jeanty: “Mia Love was not what America's Haitian community expected for its first member of Congress. Love, a Mormon Republican from Utah, will be the GOP's first black female member in Congress when she comes to Washington in the new year. Despite the historic moment, many Haitian-Americans find themselves wrestling with whether to support Love because of their unease with her political views and her religion...The representative-to-be was also snubbed by a New York group called the Haitian Roundtable, which is committed to civil engagement and philanthropy in Haiti. The organization congratulated several Haitian-American politicians on their electoral victories via Twitter, but they were all Democrats. ” [HuffPost]
- You can, and should, lead a horse to water, because it’ll think it’s FABULOUS.
- Video from aboard an old Norwegian warship being used fortarget practice.
- Infographic detailing cities that wouldn’t exist without air conditioning
@andylevy: .@BarackObama why did u fire katherine heigl
@elisefoley: If you don’t have anything smart to say, tweet.
@john_dingell: Today is also likely the only day that Meryl Streep and I will be wearing the same thing. pic.twitter.com/Kql9JPkhLN
So, who wore it best?
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