POLITICS
01/27/2015 05:56 pm ET Updated Jan 27, 2015

HUFFPOST HILL - GOP Proudly Driving Department It Created Into The Ground

The guy who flew a drone onto the White House grounds was sloshed, making it the third most dangerous thing ever visited upon the White House by a drunk (the first two being "Boris Yeltsin ordering pizza in his underwear" and "Ulysses S. Grant's presidency"). Mike Pence gave up on his dream of a state-sponsored news agency, which his a shame considering no other governor looks more like a Fox News anchor. And Mike Huckabee finds it off-putting when women swear in meetings more than when men do, though given his policy positions, most women probably would be offended by anything Mike Huckabee would want to call a meeting about. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, January 27th, 2015:

OBAMACARE NEARING ENROLLMENT GOAL - At that point, Phase Three will be complete and all citizens will be expected to hand over their guns, sports trophies and any financial securities they may own. Their complimentary "Welcome To The New World Order" audio CD, recorded by President Obama and Sandra Bernhard, should arrive shortly thereafter in the Commumail. Jeffrey Young: "More than 9.5 million people have signed up for private health insurance coverage this year using the Obamacare exchanges, the Department of Health and Human Services disclosed Tuesday, putting the program within striking distance of meeting its enrollment targets. The deadline to choose a health insurance plan on the Affordable Care Act's exchange marketplaces like HealthCare.gov and Covered California is Feb. 15. Federal officials projected at least 10.3 million would be enrolled by that date, and that at least 9 million would have this form of health coverage by the end of the year. The new figures do not reflect how many enrollees have paid for their insurance, which is the final step to securing coverage. With the technical failings of HealthCare.gov and several state-run health insurance exchange websites behind them, the marketplaces mostly are managing this year's sign-up period smoothly. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 42 percent of enrollees through mid-January -- 3 million people -- are new to the exchanges." [publication]

The guy who crashed his quad-copter "drone" on the White House grounds was drunk, it turns out.

DEMS DEMAND CLEAN DHS BILL - That is, one without the Republican rider that rudely asks millions of people to leave the country, probably via Spirit Airlines. Elise Foley: "The entire Senate Democratic caucus signed a letter Tuesday afternoon to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressing support for Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has called for a 'clean' bill to fund DHS -- meaning one that has no riders attached, including the legislation approved earlier this month in the House…. In December, Congress approved funding through the end of the fiscal year for every department except DHS, which was funded only until the end of February. That decision was made because Republicans hoped to use the DHS bill to block policies advanced by the president that could allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. temporarily and work legally. Republicans say the executive actions were unconstitutional and an overreach of Obama's authority." [HuffPost]

Jonathan Chait roiled the political-media internet today.

BOEHNER MAYBE GETTING LITIGIOUS - Hell No vs. You Can't. Foley: "House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told GOP members on Tuesday in a closed-door meeting that the body could take legal action against President Barack Obama over his deportation relief policies. 'We are finalizing a plan to authorize litigation on this issue -- one we believe gives us the best chance of success,' Boehner said, according to an email from a source in the room. National Journal first reported the news. The source said the plan would take the form of a resolution that would allow the House to file its own lawsuit, join a suit from 26 states or take other legal action. The House would continue to work on legislative efforts to combat the president's executive actions, the source said. The House voted earlier this month to fund the Department of Homeland Security -- a must-do by the end of February to avoid an agency shutdown -- along with measures to block the president's executive actions on immigration. The largest components of those actions are deportation relief programs: one that would grant temporary work authorization and the ability to stay in the country to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. years ago as children, and another that would do the same for parents of Americans and legal permanent residents." [HuffPost]

BOEHNER ADMITS BANANA PEEL SLIPPAGE - Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell: "Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, whose ranks swelled as a result of last November's elections, have gotten off to a clumsy start this year, House Speaker John Boehner said on Tuesday, as legislative initiatives have been derailed by attacks from inside the party. 'There have been a couple of stumbles,' Boehner told reporters after meeting in a closed session with his rank-and-file." [Reuters]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Simon McCormack: "His lawyer said every doctor who's ever examined him has determined Warren Hill is intellectually disabled, but tonight, unless the Supreme Court intervenes, the Georgia death row inmate will be executed.
On Tuesday morning, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Hill's request for clemency. 'The clemency board missed an opportunity to right a grave wrong. It is now up to the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that an unconstitutional execution of a man with lifelong intellectual disability is prevented,' Hill's lawyer, Brian Kammer, said in a release. 'Mr. Hill's disability means that he has the emotional and cognitive functioning of an 11-year-old boy.'" [HuffPost]

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HAWKS BACK OFF IRAN SANCTIONS BILL - Jen Bendery: "Hawkish Senate Democrats are backing off an aggressive push for Iran sanctions legislation, saying they'll give President Barack Obama breathing room to let international talks play out over Iran's nuclear program. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that he and nine other Democrats told Obama they will pull their support for a sanctions bill until at least after March 24, when international negotiators aim to reach a deal with Iran to curb its ability to develop a nuclear weapon. Menendez and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) are coauthors of the legislation, which would impose new sanctions on Iran if international talks fall apart. Negotiations have been underway for about 18 months. 'This morning, many of my Democratic colleagues and I have sent a letter to the president telling him that we will not support passage of the Kirk-Menendez bill on the Senate floor until after March 24 and only if there is no political framework agreement,' Menendez said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing." [HuffPost]

NET NEUTRALITY ACTIVISTS BRACING FOR… WIN - Dana Liebelson: "[Next month,] the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to grant a major victory to net neutrality advocates... For months, the battle over net neutrality has centered on whether the FCC will reclassify consumer broadband Internet as a utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Reclassification would empower the FCC to block Internet service providers, or ISPs, from charging content providers like Netflix more for reliable Internet access -- thereby hampering, for example, a person's ability to quickly and affordably stream 'House of Cards.' (ISPs maintain that they won't create a second network for faster service.) FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has indicated that he supports Title II -- a proposal backed by President Barack Obama -- and it's widely believed that Wheeler will go that route. Republicans contend that such a move would qualify as government overreach, and they have introduced legislation that would essentially gut the agency's authority. That bill's fate is unclear, given that it's unpopular among many Democrats but still makes big net neutrality concessions that telecom and cable companies might not favor. Regardless, advocates say that Title II authority won't mean much unless the FCC creates enforceable rules and doesn't allow loopholes." [HuffPost]

WE MIKE PENCE, YOU DECIDE - It'd still probably do better than Current. Michael Calderone: "When the Indianapolis Star broke the news Monday night that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a possible 2016 Republican contender, was planning to launch a 'state-run news outlet' to compete against local media outlets, journalists widely took umbrage on Twitter over an idea that seemed more likely to come out of an authoritarian country than a Midwestern state...Now, amid the rising backlash, Pence may be backtracking on his plans for the news service, called Just IN….Matthew Tully, a political columnist at the Star, suggested Monday night that Pence didn't grasp the First Amendment. 'When creating our government, our founders put freedom of the press into the constitution,' Tully wrote. 'Right there in the First Amendment. Now Pence is acting as if he thinks the press should be our government.' Pence apparently heard the criticism: The governor called Tully on Tuesday morning and walked back his administration's plans for Just IN." [HuffPost]

Mike Pence is also expanding Medicaid, per Obamacare.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a lizard who thinks it's a dog,

MIKE HUCKABEE HAS SOME ADVICE FOR ALL U LADIEZ - Keep that mouth as pure as your chastity, hunnies. Jesus is watching (and listening!). Mollie Reilly: "According to Mike Huckabee, it's 'just trashy' for a woman to curse in the workplace. In a Friday radio interview highlighted by ThinkProgress, the former Arkansas governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate detailed the culture shock he experienced while filming his Fox News show in New York. 'In a business meeting that you might have in the south or in the midwest there in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the F-bomb and use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting,' Huckabee told Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson. 'In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women do it. You just are looking around saying, 'My gosh, this is worse than locker room talk.' This would be considered totally inappropriate to say these things in front of a woman. And for a woman to say them in a professional setting, we would only assume that this is is a very, as we would say in the south, 'That's just trashy!'" [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Will you (or rather your school district) have a snow day? The internet can help you with that.

- Baby goat is fearless.

- Dog learns about ice.

TWITTERAMA

@katherinemiller: To Be Honest, Everything's Awful Right Now PAC

@nickbaumann: What we really need is an explainer of that Jonathan Chait article.

@rgay: So much struggle for the white man. Feeling so much for his burden this morning. Hugs.

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