The House voted to exclude Nazis from Social Security, making it the first time this century lawmakers appropriately called someone a Nazi. It’s becoming increasingly clear that net neutrality might be the only kind of neutrality Rand Paul opposes. And Congress might cut a land deal that will benefit Iran, but, hey, at least it's budget neutral? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014:
OBAMA TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO CARE ABOUT EBOLA AGAIN - Sam Stein: "Amid nationwide protests over police tactics, intense scrutiny of an expansive immigration policy and growing concern about military strategy in the Middle East, President Barack Obama will drive 10 miles northwest on Tuesday to discuss a crisis that’s largely slipped the public consciousness. Appearing at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, he will reacquaint America with Ebola." [HuffPost]
CONGRESS TAKING STAND AGAINST NAZIS - Susan Ferrechio: "House lawmakers voted Tuesday to block federal benefits for people suspected of participating in Nazi-era war crimes. The unusual bill was brought quickly to the House floor after the Associated Press reported in October that expelled suspected Nazi war criminals had collected millions of dollars in Social Security payments. 'To think Nazis are receiving Social Security benefits derived from tax receipts of the American people is sickening and morally wrong,' Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., said on the House floor. 'And today, Congress will move to put an end to it.'" [Washington Examiner]
HuffPost's Donte Stallworth has a piece today about the pull of Trutherism and his own escape from it.
BOEHNER TRYING TO AVOID SHUTDOWN - Mike McAuliff, Sam Stein and Elise Foley: “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) stepped back on Tuesday from an immediate confrontation with President Barack Obama over immigration, taxes and funding the government, deferring a showdown until a new Republican Congress is sworn in next year. Though no plans have been formally announced, early reports suggest that House Republicans will pass the yearly massive appropriations bill to fund the government through next year, since current funding runs through Dec. 11. But they want to break out funding for the Department of Homeland Security and pass that as a continuing resolution, keeping the funding for the agency at current levels until March. Their strategy to get through the lame-duck session also includes the possibility of a disapproval vote on the president's executive action on immigration. The decision to separate DHS funding from the rest of the budget is purely political. Republicans will control the Senate come 2015, in addition to having an increased majority in the House. That additional leverage could be funneled into a confrontation with Obama over his move to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.” [HuffPost]
RAUL LABRADOR: AMERICA LOVES SHUTDOWNS - The Idaho Republican doesn't understand why party leaders want to rule it out. “We had a shutdown a year ago, and we just got the biggest majority we’ve ever had in the House since 1928, and one of the largest majorities we’ve ever had in the Senate," Labrador told reporters today, according to Roll Call's Matt Fuller. "So I don’t understand their reasoning for taking anything off the table." Roll Call
TODAY’S MOST CONGRESS-Y STORY John McCain: Iran hawk. Mike McAuliff: “Congress may use must-pass legislation in the next two weeks to slip through a controversial land deal that would help a company that jointly owns a uranium mine with Iran, sources told HuffPost. The company, the international mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, has been trying for nearly a decade to acquire 2,400 acres of the federally protected Tonto National Forest in southeast Arizona -- land that sits atop a massive copper deposit. Under legislation offered in the House and Senate, the company's subsidiary, Resolution Copper -- which Rio Tinto co-owns with another international mining giant, BHP Billiton -- would get land originally set aside during the Eisenhower administration to conserve the environment and protect sacred Native American sites...The Iran link comes from Rio Tinto's Rossing uranium mine in Namibia, in which Tehran owns a 15 percent stake. That connection hasn't bothered many members of Congress, but the linkage has become more important in recent years as legislators have ratcheted up their rhetoric against Iran and called for even tighter sanctions to stop the Islamic Republic from becoming a nuclear power...according to opponents of the deal, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and backers in the House are trying to attach the deal to must-pass legislation -- most likely the National Defense Authorization Act, which comes from the Armed Services Committee that McCain will chair starting in January.” [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Joe Scarborough says the idea Michael Brown put his hands up is a lie. Most witnesses said Brown's hands were up. It's hard to read newspapers and wave them around at the same time.
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ROMNEY AHEAD IN 2016 GOP POLL - Same great taste, half the The Hill: “In a crowded field, Romney takes 20 percent of the Republican vote, followed by Dr. Ben Carson at 10 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 9 percent, Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) at 8 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 8 percent, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) at 6 percent and Romney’s 2012 vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) at 6 percent. Rounding out the list of Republicans with 5 percent or less are Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), Govs. Scott Walker (Wis.), Rick Perry (Texas), John Kasich (Ohio), Bobby Jindal (La.) and Mike Pence (Ind.), and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.). Strategists have told The Hill that Romney is unlikely to run, and they believe he’s enjoying a nostalgia tour that might not hold were he to become an actual candidate. The CNN/ORC poll asked voters who their preferred candidates are if Romney doesn’t run, and here, Bush leads the pack with 14 percent, a considerable spike from the same poll in July when he only pulled 8 percent.” [The Hill]
ARABIC, MOTHERF**KER, DO YOU SPEAK IT? - Th “During Tuesday morning's House Foreign Affairs joint subcommittee hearing on ‘ISIS and the Threat From Foreign Fighters,’ two lawmakers questioned the qualifications of a U.S. official handling that aspect of the crisis in Syria. ‘Do you speak Arabic?’ Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) asked Robert Bradtke, who serves as the State Department's senior adviser for partner engagement on Syria foreign fighters. ‘I do not speak Arabic,’ Bradtke responded. ‘Do you have any expertise in the Arab world? Did you ever serve?’ Connolly followed. Bradtke, a 40-year State Department veteran, said the Middle East was not his ‘primary expertise’ but noted his extensive diplomatic travel experience. ‘But you were never assigned to the region?’ Connolly closed. ‘No, I was not assigned to the region,’ Bradtke said.” [HuffPost]
RAND PAUL NOT KEEN ON NET NEUTRALITY - Dana Liebelson: “Silicon Valley companies want strong rules to protect net neutrality, but Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a likely GOP presidential contender who is vying to be seen as tech-friendly, is not in their corner. When asked by The Huffington Post on Tuesday morning whether he has concerns about a plan backed by President Barack Obama, which would reclassify the Internet as a utility and ban companies from charging for better Internet access, Paul said, ‘Yeah, I don't want to see regulation of the Internet. I think it's the wrong way to go about it.’... Paul has a history of opposing net neutrality, and his aversion to reclassifying the Internet as a utility is consistent with that. In 2011, he co-sponsored a bill to repeal net neutrality regulations adopted by the FCC. The next year, BuzzFeed reported that Paul backed an online manifesto that sought to block government net neutrality rules.” [HuffPost]
TEXAS DOING WHAT IT LOVES BEST - Amanda Terkel: “Scott Panetti is just about out of options. On Wednesday at 6 p.m. CST, the state of Texas will end his life, even though his lawyers say Panetti is severely mentally ill and an execution would violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. One of the only people who can stop the execution, at least temporarily, is Gov. Rick Perry (R). But with time running out, Perry is so far staying silent, despite mounting pressure on him to intervene. Panetti is on death row for the 1992 murder of his in-laws, whom he killed while his wife and daughter were watching. He has suffered from schizophrenia and other mental illnesses for over 30 years and been hospitalized more than a dozen times. ..Panetti is now left with few options. The most direct route goes through Perry, who can delay the execution for 30 days, in order for further evaluations of Panetti's mental state to be made. (By law, however, the governor cannot single-handedly lift the death sentence.)...Perry has so far remained silent about what, if anything, he will do. When asked for comment, spokeswoman Lucy Nashed simply replied, ‘This case is pending before the courts.’” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a sheep straight chillin’.
- Beautiful video of a knife being forged.
- Muppets performing “Hip Hop Hooray”
- Website generates Shakespearean insults.
@KagroX: Everybody grow pointy sideburns for Douchember.
@timothypmurphy: President Obama phones me announcing his decision to appoint me as Defense Secretary. I'm honoured and happy.
@mollyesque: If we’re scoring this Louisiana Senate debate on who can start the most answers with “Yeah,” Bill Cassidy is killing it.
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