POLITICS
02/03/2015 05:01 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2015

HUFFPOST HILL - I'm Laura Linney, And THIS Is Aaron Schock's Office

Thom Tillis isn’t sorry about opposing a minimum wage increase, but he hopes restaurant employees will find comfort by keeping their hands smeared with poop all day. As a nod to Rand Paul, we hope the next "To Kill A Mockingbird" installment details Boo Radley’s lifelong battle with the side effects of a vaccination. And snark all you will about Aaron Schock’s baroque Hill office, but we had a most illuminating discussion about L’esprit des lois with Montesquieu during the congressman’s last salon. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015:

Rand Paul's super Aqua Buddha-tastic response to the controversy over his vaccine comments: "I did not say vaccines caused disorders, just that they were temporally related -- I did not allege causation."

DHS FUNDING: SENATE DEMS DUST OFF THEIR FILIBUSTER - Elise Foley: "Senate Democrats blocked a bill on Tuesday that would have funded the Department of Homeland Security while gutting key Obama administration immigration policies, including one that keeps undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from being deported. The bill failed in a 51 to 48 vote...The two GOP 'nay' votes were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who voted against moving forward so he could bring the bill for a vote again, and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) did not vote. No Democrats voted for moving to a full debate on the bill. Congress needs to approve funding for DHS by the end of February to avoid an agency shutdown, but is currently at an impasse over whether to do so without measures to block President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration." [HuffPost]

Two can play at this game: "Before the Senate voted Tuesday against proceeding on a House-passed Homeland Security Department funding bill, Boehner called on Senate conservative firebrands to help pass the measure, loaded with provisions blocking President Obama's immigration policy. At the same time, he and his lieutenants took aim at vulnerable Senate Democrats, daring them to vote 'no.' ... Boehner's subtle jab at the two senators betrays an increasing frustration among House Republicans with GOP senators pushing the House to pass legislation they do not have the votes to pass in the Senate." [National Journal]

TED CRUZ GOT HIGH, YO! - To be fair, they're much more relaxed about this sort of thing in Canada. Daily Mail:"Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz smoked marijuana in his youth, his campaign told Daily Mail Online on Tuesday -- putting him in the same camp as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who acknowledged his high school pot-smoking days on Friday. 'Teenagers are often known for their lack of judgment, and Sen. Cruz was no exception,' a Cruz spokesperson said. 'When he was a teenager, he foolishly experimented with marijuana. It was a mistake, and he's never tried it since.'" [Daily Mail]

AARON SCHOCK HAS A GLORIOUS OFFICE - We always saw Schock as more of a minimalist, reclaimed wood, faux-Miro paintings kind of guy. WaPo: "Bright red walls. A gold-colored wall sconce with black candles. A Federal-style bull’s-eye mirror with an eagle perched on top. And this is just the Illinois Republican’s outer office. 'It’s actually based off of the red room in ‘Downton Abbey,’ said the woman behind the front desk, comparing it to the luxurious set piece at the heart of the British period drama...A blond woman popped out of an inner office. 'Want to see the rest?' she asked. She introduced herself as Annie Brahler, the interior decorator whose company is called Euro Trash. She guided me to Schock’s private office, revealing another dramatic red room. This one with a drippy crystal chandelier, a table propped up by two eagles, a bust of Abraham Lincoln and massive arrangements of pheasant feathers...A staff member then came and asked me to please delete the photos from my phone. So started a day of back-and-forths with a congressman’s office about interior design." [WaPo]

ThinkProgress would like to remind you that Schock voted against PBS funding.

And now this: Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) violated House rules by accepting free interior decoration services and improperly using campaign funds to pay for furniture in his congressional offices." [CREW]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Classic! Immigration hardliner Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said Tuesday that "illegal aliens" may be to blame for the recent measles outbreak that began in California and has continued to spread to other states. [HuffPost]

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MITCH MCCONNELL BRIEFLY SYMPATHETIC FIGURE - Sam Levine: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday voiced support for vaccinations and spoke about the issue in personal terms. 'As a victim of polio myself, I'm a big fan of vaccinations,' McConnell told reporters on Tuesday. McConnell was struck with polio when he was 2-years-old, and the disease affected his left leg. He underwent physical therapy for two years before regaining normal use of the leg. McConnell was one of several Republicans who voiced support for vaccinations on Tuesday. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that 'all children should be vaccinated,' and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) urged all parents to get their children vaccinated." [HuffPost]

"Look! Over there! A thing!" "New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a possible 2016 presidential contender, canceled three scheduled media appearances in the UK on Tuesday, amid a controversy over his comments on measles vaccinations...Christie canceled two question-and-answer sessions and a press statement he was due to make after meeting UK finance minister George Osborne. 'We just decided we're not going to have availability today,' said Maria Comella, Christie's head of communications, after the last scheduled appearance was canceled." [HuffPost]

SCOTT WALKER BUDGET IRRITATES EVERYONE - Also, we thought "Jock Tax" involved the physical and verbal abuse of yearbook staff members. Samantha Lachman: "[Walker's] budget, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday evening, has already infuriated education advocates and some state lawmakers because of its planned $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin system. Another potential flashpoint is Walker's proposal to fund a new Milwaukee Bucks stadium, which is expected to cost $500 million, in order to prevent the basketball team from leaving the state when its contract with the current arena expires in 2017. To make up the shortfall, Walker plans to have the state issue $220 million in bonds for the new facility. These bonds would be paid back by projected growth in income taxes from Bucks players and from visiting teams. Money from visiting players will be raised through what is known as a "jock tax," or a tax on income they earn while playing in Wisconsin." [HuffPost]

THOM TILLIS: HAND WASHING A FECAL MATTER FOR THE STATES - Nailed it. But seriously, everyone knows the invisible hand of the market carries around a bottle of Purell, so we're all good. MSNBC: "Sen. Thom Tillis’ constituents might want to think twice before shaking his hand. The Republican senator from North Carolina said on Monday that he’d support letting restaurants opt out of hand-washing requirements for employees. At a question-and-answer event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, Tillis used the rather alarming anecdote to illustrate his larger beliefs on government regulation. The freshman senator said he was at a North Carolina Starbucks in 2010 with a constituent when she challenged his views on allowing businesses to opt out of certain regulations. They were sitting next to the coffee shop’s restroom when an employee emerged...Instead, Tillis believes that full disclosure of such lax hygiene policies would be a strong enough deterrent on its own to put the store out of business. 'The market would take care of that,' he said." [MSNBC]

MIKE HUCKABEE WAS A TOTAL SQUARE BEFORE IT WAS STILL UNCOOL - In a past, or quite possibly this one, Mike Huckabee was the person in charge of measuring the distance between the knees and skirt and hem of 1950s dance goers. BuzzFeed: "In 1973, Mike Huckabee, a graduating senior of Hope High School on his way to Ouachita Baptist college, began writing a column called the “RAPture Express” for the Baptist Trumpet. The Trumpet was the weekly newspaper of the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas...In a dating column, Huckabee advises his readers to date other Christians and not 'lost people,' although he says his readers should still associate with them...After a letter to the editor accused Huckabee of having 'straddled a fence” in his column about dancing, he praises looking at both sides of an argument: 'I don’t want other young people to stay away from dances just because I do.'" [BuzzFeed]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's some golden retriever puppies.

Like Benghazi, but quite possibly real: "Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor whose mysterious death has gripped Argentina, had drafted a warrant for the arrest of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, accusing her of trying to shield Iranian officials from responsibility in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center here, the lead investigator into his death said on Tuesday." [NYT]

COMFORT FOOD

- Aerial video Apple's massive new headquarters being constructed.

- Forty-five-minute realtime rendering of light traveling from the Sun to Jupiter, complete with Philip Glass-esque music.

- We just discovered Tinder in Brooklyn.

- Fabulous, Adult Swim-y synopsis of every 90s commercial ever.

- In the future, you'll be able to control cars with your watch.

TWITTERAMA

@blakehounshell: If you guessed that the biggest Internet stories of the day today would be Harper Lee and Argentina, congratulations.

@LOLGOP: Republicans mad at Democrats because two of their 2016 frontrunners spouted anti-vaccination junk. Sorry, party of personal responsibility!

@RepMarkTakano: Does his Chief of Staff answer to "Carson"? MT @bterris: Rep. Schock decorated his office like Downton Abbey.

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