12/08/2014 04:47 pm ET Updated Dec 08, 2014

White House Chef Leaving, Presumably Will Advise Hedge Fund

The “cromnibus” has been delayed, which gives Washington more time to realize that “cromnibus” would be a much better name for a Denver food truck that sells pot brownies than a legislative catch-all. Republican campaign financiers are trying to increase their returns by shedding deadweight loss known as "democracy." And it costs the New York Times $96,000 to have one of its reporters travel with President Obama to Asia. That’s an outrage, considering the money could fund not ONE, but TWO reporting positions for well-connected recent college grads with rich parents. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, December 8th, 2014:

Obama’s on “Colbert” tonight. From Chris Johnson’s pool report: “The actual content of the show is embargoed until 11:30 pm ET, but take it from me: Funny.”

OBAMA'S ASSAULT ON THE 40 HOUR WEEK CONTINUES - At least Boxing Day will get the respect it deserves. Barack Obama: "By the authority vested in me as President of the United States of America, by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. All executive branch departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Friday, December 26, 2014, the day after Christmas Day, except as provided in section 2 of this order." [WhiteHouse.gov]

CROMNIBUS DELAYED - Matt Fuller: "The release of the 'cromnibus' has been delayed as lawmakers across the Capitol continue to work out a number of issues on the spending bill. House and Senate appropriators expected to finish the legislative language of the cromnibus — a combination of a continuing resolution and an omnibus — by Monday afternoon. But negotiators are still dealing with a number of issues, according to GOP aides. The House was expected to release the text of the bill Monday night. That now seems unlikely, as does a vote on the bill in the House Wednesday. 'The playing field of questions is much larger than we previously realized,' one senior Republican aide said." [Roll Call]

CONAN THE BARBARIAN'S PRAYER TO CROM, which we imagine John Boehner reciting on his balcony, went like this: "Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad…. Valor pleases you, Crom... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!" Thanks, CTB!

HECKUVA JOB, RONNIE - Seriously though, good job. Tory Newmyer: "With the Ebola crisis seemingly in hand, Ron Klain, the veteran political operative the White House plucked from a venture capital gig to coordinate the government’s response, is planning a late-winter return to the private sector. Klain has committed to former AOL chief Steve Case that by March 1, he’ll be back on the job as president of Case Holdings and general counsel for Case’s venture firm Revolution LLC, Case tells Fortune." [Fortune]

Several senators, including Chris Coons and John McCain, had demanded Obama appoint an Ebola czar back when everyone was panicking. HuffPost Hill tried to get a reaction from various quarters but everyone's all "meh" about the Ebola czar winding down.

For this amount of money, the Times could publish literally hundreds of articles on how Brooklyn is having its moment: “White House reporters who went on President Obama’s trip to China, Myanmar and Australia last month were in for a surprise when they saw the bill: For example, a trip that was estimated to cost The New York Times an eye-popping $60,000 wound up costing $92,111...So what’s the final tally [traveling apart from the president]? If you go with the most expensive version of the itinerary, it’s $5,287. That’s the cost of the flights when you send a second reporter, and you have to consider the lost time from that reporter being pulled away from other possible assignments.” [NYT]

This Town This Town-ingly This Towns: @ronfournier: What happened to #EricGarner was not funny. It was horrible. I was wrong to use his last words in a Joe Biden meme. I am sorry.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Absolute horribleness via Dana Liebelson: "Twitter is under fire for failing to quickly stop the spread of personal information allegedly belonging to 'Jackie,' the woman who described being brutally gang raped in a November Rolling Stone article, despite recent efforts to beef up anti-harassment measures. Last week, Rolling Stone reported that it had doubts about the accuracy of Jackie's description of being raped at a University of Virginia fraternity party in 2012. On Sunday, a conservative blogger posted what he claimed was the woman's full name, and wrote, 'I'm giving Jackie until later tonight to tell the truth and then I'm going to start revealing everything about her past.'" [HuffPost]

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SURGEON GENERAL NOMINEE PROBABLY MOWING HEIDI HEITKAMP’S LAWN RIGHT THIS MINUTE - Sabrina Siddiqui: “With the Senate likely to vote this week on surgeon general nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy, a handful of red state Senate Democrats will determine whether President Barack Obama's pick for the nation's top public health post is confirmed. Democratic Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), John Walsh (Mont.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) are among those who have yet to come out publicly in support of Murthy, even as a few key members of the caucus said they would be willing to vote for the Harvard- and Yale-educated physician if his nomination is brought to the floor. Murthy's nomination has been stalled since March, when controversy erupted over his advocacy for stricter gun laws. But health care activists have been making a final push for a confirmation vote during the lame-duck session, given the widespread Republican opposition toward Murthy. Democrats can either confirm Murthy with a simple majority vote, or face the reality that the nomination will die next year in a GOP-controlled Senate.” [HuffPost]

The Obama's personal chef, Sam Kass, is leaving.

Don’t call it a comeback, Aqua Buddha edition: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) maybe, probably, could have smoked some pot in college. ‘Let's just say I wasn't a choir boy when I was in college and that I can recognize that kids make mistakes,’ Paul said when asked about his previous marijuana use during an interview with Louisville WHAS11 published Monday. ‘And I can say I made mistakes when I was a kid.’” [HuffPost’s Matt Ferner]

GOP DONORS TRYING TO SEPARATE THE WHEAT FROM THE XENOPHOBIC, CONSPIRACY THEORY-PEDDLING CHAFF - Times: “Dozens of the Republican Party’s leading presidential donors and fund-raisers have begun privately discussing how to clear the field for a single establishment candidate to carry the party’s banner in 2016, fearing that a prolonged primary would bolster Hillary Rodham Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate. The conversations, described in interviews with a variety of the Republican Party’s most sought-after donors, are centered on the three potential candidates who have the largest existing base of major contributors and overlapping ties to the top tier of those who are uncommitted: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Mitt Romney...But the reality of all three candidates vying for support has dismayed the party’s top donors and 'bundlers,' the volunteers who solicit checks from networks of friends and business associates. They fear being split into competing camps and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for a bloody primary that will injure the party’s eventual nominee — or pave the way for a second-tier candidate without enough mainstream appeal to win the general election.” [HuffPost]

PRESIDENT’S APPROVAL AMONG AFRICAN-AMERICANS SLIDE - If the president doesn’t look out, he’ll be leaving office with only Chris Matthews and the National Association of Portuguese Water Dog Breeders will have his back. WaPo: “A Washington Post-ABC News poll last week showed African Americans being relatively unhappy with President Obama's response to what happened in Ferguson — at least compared to their usually overwhelming support for Obama. Even then, though, 63 percent still approved of his handling of the issue. A new poll conducted in the aftermath of the Eric Garner situation, though, shows a considerably grimmer picture for Obama. The NBC News/Marist College poll shows just 35 percent of African Americans approve of how he's handled the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island, where Garner was killed. Another 46 percent disapprove, while 19 percent are ‘unsure.’ His approval among blacks isn't much higher than his approval among whites (27 percent).” [WaPo]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a rottweiler cuddling with a cat.

POLITICAL STAFFER HAS SECOND JOB - WaPo: “Sen. Rob Portman’s communications director is the anti-Christ. More accurately, Caitlin Conant (née Caitlin Dunn) is the namesake of the anti-Christ in her co-worker’s latest work of horror fiction. In reality she’s quite nice. ‘I wanted her to be important, I wanted her to be a major character,’ says Brett Talley, 33, who in addition to being Portman’s speechwriter is also an author of three published horror novels and two ‘true ghost’ stories. His latest, ‘The Reborn,’ a book about a world where reincarnation is scientific fact and a blood test can determine who you are before you are born, is littered with characters named after people in his Senate office. ‘I consider it a gift. In horror novels being the anti-Christ is like the highest honor possible.’” [WaPo]


- “The Colour Clock” changes its color based on the hexadecimal color value of the time.

- The best pizza moments from 2014.

- Marco Pierre White shows how to finely chop onions.

- Bill Gate discusses the best books he’s read this year.


@BuzzFeedAndrew: We begin tonight with the breaking news. RT @andersoncooper: Prince William just got on my DC shuttle flight

@owillis: shorter prince william: i am literally waiting for my father and grandmother to die so i can get a job.

@drgrist: "Coal is cheap!"
But it’s dirty.
"Clean coal!"
But clean coal isn’t cheap.
[time passes]
"Coal is cheap!"
But it’s dirty.
"Clean coal!"

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