Americans will pull a Congress by only working a few day this week and not really trying that hard. Sony will begrudgingly allow people to pay to see the most widely discussed movie of the year, showing that sometimes principles truly do trump commerce. And President Obama has been hitting the gym. Do you even lift, Bo? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 and we’ll return in the new year. Happy holidays!
GRIMM GUILTY - Christina Wilkie: "Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) pled guilty to one count of felony tax fraud on Tuesday. Appearing in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Grimm's lawyers said the lawmaker would plead guilty to the fourth count of a 20-count indictment that federal prosecutors brought against the congressman in April." [HuffPost]
PELOSI: GRIMM MUST GO - Ashley Alman: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling on Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) to resign. Grimm's unfavorable reputation was drawn back into the news Monday when it was reported he would plead guilty to charges of tax evasion. Pelosi responded Tuesday by calling on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to urge the embattled representative to remove himself from Congress. 'Clearly, Speaker Boehner must insist that Congressman Grimm resign immediately,' Pelosi said in a Tuesday statement." [HuffPost]
@ChadPergram: Boehner spox Micheal Steel: We won't have any announcements until the Speaker discusses the matter with Mr. Grimm.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: HuffPost Hill returns in the new year.
OBAMACARE SIGNUPS REACH 6.4 MILLION Wow, think about all those phones! The Hill: “A total of 6.4 million people bought healthcare from the federal government in the first month of open enrollment, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Tuesday. About 1.9 million people gained coverage for the first time, making up just under one-third of all signups, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a briefing. The robust enrollment tally – which does not include California, New York and a dozen other states that run their own exchanges – puts the administration on track to outpace its goal of 9.1 million signups by February. State marketplaces have independently reported just over 1 million sign-ups outside of the federal marketplace, and will be included in the government’s official count next month.” [The Hill]
GOP WARMING TO LYNCH - Seung Min Kim: “President Barack Obama’s pick to be the next attorney general is winning over Republicans. Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has met privately with several Republican senators in recent weeks, earning some of their early support ahead of what is expected to be a contentious set of nomination hearings early next year. So while Republicans have vowed to use the nomination process to take on Obama over his executive actions on immigration, Lynch’s early success suggests that the ugly fight won’t necessarily tank her prospects of becoming the nation’s next chief law enforcement official. ‘I want to see what happens in the hearings,’ Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said. ‘But certainly I’m supportive.’ McCain, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) all said in interviews they have met with Lynch privately and are inclined to vote in favor of her nomination.” [Politico]
The NYPD is apparently not a bastion of racial harmony. Don't tell Peter King.
OBAMA GETTING SWOLE - From the latest ennui-filled pool report: "POTUS is starting Tuesday with a trip to the gym. Pool van [linked] up with motorcade at 7:42 am in Kailua and made the short drive to Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Pool van separated at 7:48 am and we're holding at Starbucks. Weather is mostly cloudy at the moment, but no rain." Thanks, White House pool reporters!
Great profile of HuffPost fellow Donte Stallworth by the Washington Post's Kent Babb.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Wow, the economy. Thank you, President Romney. "U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday, as the Dow climbed above the 18,000 mark for the first time in history and the S&P 500 set a new intraday record after an unexpectedly strong report on economic growth. The gains pushed the Dow as high as 18,051.14, and the index is now up about 175 percent from a 12-year low hit on March 9, 2009." [Reuters]
SCHOOLS BROKEN: REPORT - Rebecca Klein: “New information released by the Education Department this week shows that in nearly every state, the neediest schools aren't getting the most experienced and qualified educators. As part of the Obama administration's Excellent Educators for All initiative, the Department of Education published ‘educator equity profiles’ for every state and the District of Columbia. The profiles compare the qualifications of educators who teach in low-income, high-minority schools with those who teach in wealthier areas. The Excellent Educators of All initiative is an effort to ensure that all students have equal access to the best educators, regardless of background. The initiative calls on individual states to develop, by June 2015, plans for reversing the trends that cause inequitable distribution of teachers. The ‘educator equity profiles’ were originally sent to the states for review in November, and are intended to inform states' plans by helping them understand their current shortcomings.” [The Hill]
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST’S YEAR END REVIEW, PT. 2 - HuffPost Hill’s Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who keeps checking his bookshelf for “Interstellar”-style gravity messages from future Tony Podesta, sent us a second round of the things he was thankful for in 2014. “I am grateful that MSNBC and Deborah Turness continue to air ‘All In with Chris Hayes’ despite its ratings. Chris' voice and ironic delivery is less annoying than Maddow's. I don't understand why more self loathing viewers don't tune in,” PSLGOPL writes. “I am grateful for Amy Pascal. She makes me feel better about myself. It’s really good to know that white, rich Democratic donors can be pretty closed minded too. I am sad that Obama confuses his drone policy as necessary, but waterboarding as criminal. I don’t know about you guys, but I’d rather get accidentally waterboarded than accidentally killed by an errant drone strike.” See you next year, PSLGOPL!
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s an a**hole cat.
SONY TO ALLOW ‘INTERVIEW’ SCREENINGS - CNBC: “Sony Pictures announced on Tuesday that it will allow "The Interview" to open in selected theaters on Christmas Day after all, despite a hacking that the United States blamed on North Korea. ‘We have never given up on releasing 'The Interview,' and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,’ Sony Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement. He added that Sony is continuing to ‘secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience.’ Lynton's statement came after Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas confirmed to NBC News that the Texas theater chain will run the film. The theater's website posted multiple showtimes beginning Thursday for a location in Richardson, Texas.” [CNBC]
- High-speed M&M color sorting machine is this year’s most uselessly awesome invention.
- The Cards Against Humanity Foundation bought an island off of Maine and named it “Hawaii 2.”
- Slow-motion fire breathing.
- A heartwarming Super Nintendo Christmas tale.
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