The Supreme Court considered the case of King versus Burwell, which could have far reaching consequences on whether you let that rash be. The Senate failed to override President Obama’s Keystone XL pipeline veto, though the Constitution does allow for another option: running endless web ads with a smoky female voiceover about how the Keystone XL pipeline creates jobs. And in a storyline that’s straight out of a children’s book, Eleanor Holmes Norton is urging the Capitol to let children sled on it tomorrow. We’re not sure if "The Big Bad Architect of the Capitol" makes for a great villain but who are we to judge. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, March 4th, 2015:
WHITE FLIGHT - D.C. doesn't do well in winter… or summer… or really any time. AP: "Nothing gets Congress moving like the forecast of snow. The House, followed by the Senate Wednesday, reached rare bipartisan agreement on the desire of lawmakers to beat a forecasted snowstorm out of town. The town being Washington, D.C., where anything white falling from the sky disrupts schools, the federal government, air traffic and roads. Congress wants no part of the chaos, at least this week, when up to eight inches is forecast to fall on the region early Thursday morning. Better, the House resolved Tuesday, to pass a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security and adjourn. The Senate Wednesday concurred, calling a vote to override President Barack Obama's veto of legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Senate leaders set the last vote of the week for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. But that wasn't good enough for Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., known as the chamber's most vocal denier of man-made climate change. 'Is there any way you could change that to 2:20 from 2:30?' Inhofe asked on the Senate floor. 'There are four people who can't make planes, otherwise.'" [AP]
OBAMACARE HAS ITS DAY IN COURT...AGAIN - Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young: "The interplay on Wednesday between the justices and the attorneys representing the Obama administration generally aligned with partisan expectations and covered familiar ground: the meaning and context of a few key words in the statute and what Congress was trying to do when it wrote the law. The justices spent a great deal of time discussing federalism -- specifically, whether the plaintiffs' reading of the Affordable Care Act would cause inappropriate federal coercion of state governments. Critically, Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice and possible swing vote, seemed particularly animated about the issue, and repeatedly asked tough questions of Michael Carvin, the plaintiffs' attorney. 'It seems to me that under your argument, perhaps you will prevail in the plain words of the statute, there's a serious constitutional problem if we adopt your argument,' Kennedy said to Carvin." [HuffPost]
GOP BRACES FOR CRUSHING FEELING OF POINTLESSNESS - "Madame Speaker, I rise today to… aw, hell, what's the point *slouches down in seat, starts mindlessly flicking at smartphone screen.* Manu Raju: "Republicans on both sides of the Capitol were shaken at the party’s handling of the DHS funding dispute that led to a monthlong standoff, paralyzed the GOP agenda and prompted serious questions internally about whether their newfound majority can deliver anything significant over the next two years. The fear among House Republicans is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be too quick to heed Democratic demands and push through watered-down bills on education, trade, health care and the budget. And the worry among Senate Republicans is that their House counterparts will scuttle hard-fought compromises that offer the only way to overcome filibusters and get bills to President Barack Obama’s desk." [Politico]
VAN HOLLEN IN - Chris Van Hollen took a step closer to his destiny today, entering the Maryland Senate race. State Sen. Jamie Raskin, the popular progressive who represents the D.C. suburbs, will likely jump into the race for Van Hollen's seat, sources told HuffPost Hill. Raskin's wife is, for now, the more famous member of the power couple -- former Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin is now a deputy Treasury secretary. Progressive group Democracy For America, meanwhile, is polling its members to see if they'd be interested in drafting Donna Edwards, the Prince George's congresswoman who knocked out Al Wynn with netroots support. Rep. John Sarbanes, whose dad Paul served in the Senate for about a century and a half, is also being floated as a candidate, though with him and Van Hollen it's unclear how much earnest, liberal white guy space there is.
WYDEN WOULD GET A LEFTY OPPONENT IF HE BACKS TPA/TPP - If Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) pushes through a massive free trade deal using fast track authority, an Oregon progressive party would likely oppose him in the coming general election, Working Families Party State Director Karly Edwards told HuffPost Hill. The WFP typically endorses Democrats, unless they break too far from the WFP's progressive-populist agenda. Edwards said that the ultimate decision is up to WFP members at next summer's convention, but trade will be the biggest issue. "Our voters are very interested in trade and that will be a deciding factor in who gets our nomination," she said. "It's hard for me to imagine a situation where Working Families voters find it in their hearts to forgive a vote like that."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Enjoy this cri de couer from Pat Ames in the Salt Lake Tribune's letters section: "This morning I stopped at a 7-Eleven for my $1.25 morning coffee refill. The woman in the checkout line ahead of me paid for her carton of cigarettes with cash and her four-pack of Red Bull with the SNAP card she held in her well manicured hand. She left the store and climbed into her newer Denali that's worth more than three times my old RAV. How does one qualify for food stamps while still being able to afford cigarettes and a nice SUV?" Nice one, Obama! [SLTrib.com]
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HOUSE GOP REALLY HITS THE SWEET SPOT: HILLARY'S BENGHAZI EMAILS TO BE SUBPOENAED - Short of seeking out Barack Obama's Facebook messages will Bill Ayers about his dream of death panels, you don't really get more in the GOP scandal wheelhouse than this. WaPo: "A House investigative committee is preparing to send out subpoenas later Wednesday to gather a deeper look into former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton’s nearly exclusive use of personal e-mails to do her official business as the government’s top diplomat, according to people familiar with the probe. The House Select Committee on Benghazi, which first discovered Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail based on a home server in its inquiry into a fatal 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, is asking for all e-mails related to the attack from all Clintonemail.com accounts and any other staff members’ personal accounts. The subpoenas are expected to go out to the State Department later Wednesday. The move escalates the panel’s conflict with Clinton and could complicate her expected run for president." [WaPo]
SENATE FAILS TO OVERRIDE KEYSTONE PIPELINE VETO - Thereby preventing a job from ever being created again. RIP jobs. Kate Sheppard: "The Senate tried, but failed, to override President Barack Obama's veto of legislation authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday. The measure drew 62 'yes' votes, with nine Democrats joining Senate Republicans in voting to override the veto. A two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, is needed to override a presidential veto. The Senate's original vote on the legislation in January yielded 62 "yes" votes as well. Obama vetoed the bill last week, arguing that the bill "conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest -- including our security, safety, and environment. Because the proposed pipeline crosses an international border, the State Department is tasked with taking the lead on the decision about whether to grant a permit for the project. The department's consideration process is ongoing." [HuffPost]
ALABAMA STOPS ISSUING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LICENCES - Haaaaaaaaaate tide! Amanda Terkel, Julia Craven, Maxwell Tani, and Jesse Rifkin: "Overnight, Alabama has largely gone from a marriage equality state to one where most same-sex couples can no longer get married. All but one of the Alabama counties that had been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples told The Huffington Post they are no longer doing so, after the state Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered local probate judges to halt same-sex marriages. That ruling has caused significant chaos and confusion for probate judges, who have been pushed and pulled in different directions as state and federal authorities dispute whether marriage equality is legal in Alabama...Prior to Tuesday's ruling, 49 of Alabama's 67 counties were issuing licenses to same-sex couples, according to data compiled by HuffPost, Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign. On Wednesday, 41 of those counties told HuffPost they were no longer accommodating gay couples. Only one county, Macon County, said it would continue issuing licenses." [HuffPost]
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON: GODDESS OF WINTER DELIGHT - Eleanor Holmes Norton: Children's Book Protagonist. Washington Times: "There could be a silver lining to Thursday’s impending snowstorm -- the chance to sled on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. Asking U.S. Capitol Police officials to 'have a heart,' Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton requested a temporary waiver of the current ban on sledding at the Capitol grounds. U.S. Capitol Police reportedly turned away residents who were trying to sled on the Capitol grounds following a February snowstorm, citing prohibitions implemented in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Between 6 to 8 inches of snow are forecast to fall on the D.C. region Wednesday night into Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. And with the impending snowfall, Ms. Norton, the District’s non-voting representative to Congress, said her office has started receiving calls from families hoping to be able to sled down what she called 'one of the best hills in D.C. for sledding.' Lt. Kimberly Schneider, of the U.S. Capitol Police, was unable to immediately comment on the request or whether police might honor it." [Washington Times]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a rapping dog.
- To promote the film "Unfinished Business," the cast shot fake stock photos.
- Make any website look like it was designed in 1996.
- Short video looking at the recurring themes in the Coen brothers' films
@elisefoley: Do you think anyone in DC has ever proposed renewing their vows with saying “Honey, I’d like to make a motion to recommit?”
@jamespoulos: Hillary bows out. GOP field destroys itself in bonkers, ambition-fueled Game of Thrones. Hillary walks back in.
@JeffYoung: Amazing to think that, just down the hall from me, the Supreme Court justices are conducting the traditional post-arguments goat sacrifice.
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