A reporter touched Hillary clinton’s knee, probably to investigate its role in telling her legs to stand down. Harry Reid says he likes everyone, even the fatties. And Skadden Arps employees are actively campaigning to have a group of street musicians near their office removed. If you ask us, the law should require them to take a two-year cooling off period. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, May 22nd, 2015:
STATES CONSIDERING MERGING INSURANCE EXCHANGES - Due to the death panels, there simply won't be enough people left to run the individual ones. Sarah Farris: "A number of states are quietly considering merging their healthcare exchanges under ObamaCare amid big questions about their cost and viability. Many of the 13 state-run ObamaCare exchanges are worried about how they’ll survive once federal dollars supporting them run dry next year. Others are contemplating creating multi-state exchanges as a contingency plan for a looming Supreme Court ruling expected next month that could prevent people from getting subsidies to buy ObamaCare on the federal exchange. The idea is still only in the infancy stage. It’s unclear whether a California-Oregon or New York-Connecticut health exchange is on the horizon. But a shared marketplace — an option buried in a little-known clause of the Affordable Care Act — has become an increasingly attractive option for states desperate to slash costs. If state exchanges are not financially self-sufficient by 2016, they will be forced to join the federal system, HealthCare.gov." [The Hill]
Read the story about how a Wall Street Journal reporter touched Hillary Clinton's knee and everyone in the room practically DIED.
WALL STREET FATCATS FOILED BY SCRAPPY STREET BAND - From the internal Skadden Arps email obtained by Above the Law this week: "As many of you are aware, a group of musicians have established themselves on the other side of 15th Street near the Treasury Building, and their 'playing' is making it difficult for people in the 1440 building to work. Originally, they were only performing between noon and 2pm two days a week, but as of this week, they have been performing every day and longer hours. We tried negotiating with the band to relocate to another location, but were unable to convince them to move." Washingtonian reports today that someone from the firm tried to pay the band $200 to go away. The firm has also apparently tried calling local police AND the Secret Service, but it turns out bringing 30 seconds of joy to passersby is a legal way to make a living in this great nation (at least until Skadden Arps manages to change the law). Here's to you, Spread Love Band. May your bucket be plentiful.
DAVE DOWNER - Each year, on the last Monday of May, millions of Americans ditch work to hit the beach, light up the barbecue or catch a ballgame in honor of those who died serving our country. To top it off, we typically get paid just as if we'd clocked in for the day -- not a bad way to kick off summer. That is, unless we happen to work on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. Compared to their better-paid counterparts, American workers in low-wage jobs are vastly less likely to get paid holidays through work. That means come Memorial Day, they face a downer of a choice: Either show up and work the shift, or forgo a day's pay in order to relax on the holiday. Among private-sector workers whose pay falls in the bottom quartile, not even half enjoy access to paid holidays, according to the most recent estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet more than 90 percent of workers in the top quartile receive such benefits." [HuffPost's Dave Jamieson]
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HARRY REID PREFERS BEATINGS TO K STREET - Manu Raju and Burgess Everett: He noted that 'maybe someday' his vision would return if research on retina transplants advances.'If my other eye was like this, I’d need a seeing-eye dog,' he said...'Since Reid stunned the political world two months ago by announcing plans to retire at the end of this term, a spirited race has emerged in Nevada for his seat. Reid has endorsed the former Nevada attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto, even as Democratic Rep. Dina Titus is considering a run. He said Titus 'can make her own decision' and said the two were 'friends.' He even praised the Republican who may run for his seat — Rep. Joe Heck. 'I like him,' Reid said. 'I like everybody.' Reid indicated that he intends to split time in retirement between his home state and D.C. But he said a lobbying career is definitely not in his future. 'I would rather be taken to Singapore and caned,' he said." [Politico]
March 2017: QGA Public Affairs announced today that it has hired Harry Reid to go to Singapore to chew gum.
@SenatorReid: I was just being honest. http://t.co/gtQKXfqMdS
DEMS TRYING TO BRING MODERATES INTO 2016 FOLD - tl;dr: Don't talk about anything concrete, just talk about "jobs." Emma Dumain: "On Thursday morning, New Democrat Coalition Chairman Ron Kind of Wisconsin met privately with Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York, both lawmakers confirmed to CQ Roll Call. Israel, charged with developing a unified narrative to help the minority pick up House seats next year, wanted to talk to Kind about the substance of the New Democrats’ 'American Prosperity Agenda,' 23 policy proposals that centrist Democrats contend are keys to winning again in swing districts. Israel had some news to share with Kind: DPCC-commissioned polling shows the New Democrats are onto something…. One of the things Israel wants to do as he synthesizes the many voices in the House Democratic Caucus is craft a narrative that can speak to as wide a reach of voters as possible and on which a majority of members can agree. The New Democrats’ 'American Prosperity Agenda' also seeks to frame issues using inviting, non-incendiary language — even as many of the agenda’s pro-business policies, such as an overhaul of the tax code, will be harder to sell in the party than the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal." [Roll Call]
TODAY'S SPIT TAKE AWARD GOES TO… - Birth control has a way of shutting that whole thing down. Laura Bassett: "Republicans in Congress are not known for their efforts to expand access to birth control, but on Thursday they introduced a bill that they claim would do just that. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) introduced legislation that aims to encourage pharmaceutical manufacturers to take the necessary steps to allow 'routine-use contraceptives' -- like the pill -- to be sold over the counter. Essentially, the companies need to obtain permission from the Food and Drug Administration. The proposed Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act would waive the FDA filing fee for such applications and put them at the top of the agency's priority list. 'It’s time to allow women the ability to make their own decisions about safe, effective, and long-established methods of contraception,' Gardner said in a statement. 'Most other drugs with such a long history of safe and routine use are available for purchase over the counter, and contraception should join them.' But the proposal also represents a GOP end run around the Affordable Care Act provision that requires most employers to cover the full range of contraception at no cost to women. Republicans have long opposed and even pledged to repeal that rule because they claim it violates the religious freedom rights of employers who are morally opposed to birth control." [HuffPost]
AMERICANS JUST A BUNCH OF POT-SMOKING QUEERBOTS - Ariel Edwards-Levy: "For the first time in at least 16 years, Americans are equally likely to describe themselves as socially liberal as they are to say they're social conservatives, a new Gallup poll finds. Thirty-one percent of Americans say they're liberal on social issues, with another 31 percent calling themselves conservatives and the rest identifying as moderates. In 1999, when Gallup first began tracking questions on ideology, Americans were 18 points more likely to describe themselves as social conservatives. Since then, the gap has narrowed, with the exception of a spike in conservatism at the beginning of President Barack Obama's first term. Much of the change is due to a long-term shift among Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party, a record 53 percent of whom now call themselves social liberals. A majority of Republicans still say they're social conservatives, but that number has also dipped in recent years, with an increasing minority in the party instead saying they're moderate on social issues." [HuffPost]
WASHINGTON IS FILLED WITH LIARS AND CHEATS - Nah, girl, she's just my bae pro tem, you're the real thing. Perry Stein: "The city topped a list ranking the country’s most adulterous cities for the third year in a row. The dubious title comes courtesy of Ashleymadison.com, a dating Website for married people looking for extramarital affairs, which culled through its membership data to determine which cities have the most members per capita. Ashley Madison claims to have more than 59,000 people registered on the site with a D.C. Zip code. (Note: This does include people who register for the site while visiting D.C. using a city Zip code.) And the neighborhood with the most cheaters? Capitol Hill, the land of politicians, staffers and lobbyists. The dating Web site says 10.4 percent of Capitol Hill residents are registered on the Web site. Tenleytown and Takoma Park finished second and third, respectively. With the exception of Capitol Hill, all of the top 10 D.C. neighborhoods are in the Northwest portion of the city, with the majority of the neighborhoods in affluent upper Northwest." [WaPo]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a gator battling a truck.
GOOGLE PROBLEM - Amber Ferguson: "Google has corrected an issue with its Google Maps search algorithm which had led users who searched for 'nigga house' to the White House. 'This week, we heard about a failure in our system -- loud and clear,' Jen Fitzpatrick, Google's vice president of engineering and product management, wrote in a blog post Thursday. The Huffington Post was first to report this week that entering the racist term in Google Maps led some users to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., where the White House is located. In other cases, the map pinpointed the historically black Howard University or a location of the Waffle House." [HuffPost]
- Chris Pratt gives drunken acting advice.
- Coldplay and the cast of "Game of Thrones" put on a musical.
- Three roommates throw garage sale with amazing video.
@stefanjbecket: The State Department should get Slack.
@timothypmurphy: "Watch our live video stream of Jim Webb's talk at the Scottish Games in Greenville, SC"
@elisefoley : Is “If you tweet it, I will retweet it” the greatest expression of friendship of our time?
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