San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is expected to announce he's taking the first step to being elected to another office in a few years. A group of Republicans dedicated to overturning Obamacare are reportedly meeting weekly -- almost as regularly as the House is voting to overturn the actual law. And the military will not pay for Chelsea Manning's sex change, a surprisingly close-minded decision from the people who've done such a fabulous job with their sexual assault crisis. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, August 22nd, 2013:
MILITARY NOT RECEPTIVE TO MANNING'S GENDER SWITCH - You don't say. Ryan Reilly: "Chelsea Manning, who used to be known as Bradley Manning, announced Thursday she wants to live her life as a woman. But under military policy, it may be impossible for her to begin making the transition from behind bars as she serves a sentence in relation to her disclosures to WikiLeaks. 'The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder,' Kimberly Lewis, a spokeswoman for the Fort Leavenworth, Kan., military prison where Manning is expected to serve her sentence, told NBC News. ACLU officials say that policy is problematic...'The official policy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and most state agencies is to provide medically necessary care for the treatment of gender dysphoria, and courts have consistently found that denying such care to prisoners based on blanket exclusions violates the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution,' [ACLU spokesman Chase] Strangio said." [HuffPost]
Scott Rasmussen is leaving Rasmussen Reports, and is no doubt avoiding the internet today so he doesn't have to read the 1,000,000 "Rasmussen poll indicates Scott Rasmussen is staying put" jokes. [Roll Call]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - California is surprisingly stingy about giving people food stamps. Evan Halper: "Liberal California discourages eligible people from signing up for food stamps at rates conservative activists elsewhere envy. Only about half of the Californians who qualify for help get it. That stands in contrast to other states, including some deeply Republican ones, that enroll 80% to 90% of those with incomes low enough to qualify. That public policy paradox — one of the country's most liberal states is the stingiest on one of the nation's biggest benefit programs — has several causes, some intentional, some not. It also has two clear consequences: Millions of Californians don't get help, and the state leaves hundreds of millions of dollars of federal money on the table." [L.A. Times]
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BOEHNER-ALLIED SUPER PAC LOBBYING FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM - HELL MAYBE YOU CAN'T: "Senior GOP aides of a super PAC linked to Speaker John Boehner are lobbying House Republicans to pass the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, legislation that Boehner has said he will not bring to the House floor. The lobbying effort is coming under the umbrella of the American Action Network, a nonprofit 501(c)(4) “action tank” led by former senator Norm Coleman, which is touting the “major positive economic impact” of the Senate bill in e-mails sent to individual House Republican offices. AAN is housed in the same office as the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC associated with Boehner, and the two organizations share senior aides, including Brian O. Walsh, the president of both organizations, and Dan Conston, the spokesman for both...The AAN’s e-mail, sent to GOP offices, touts the number of jobs the group estimates the Senate bill would create for the congressional district and state of that office. The group also released an embeddable “widget” that allows users to find out how many jobs the Senate bill would create in the district of their representative." [National Review]
BOB FILNER OUT - NBC San Diego: "San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has agreed to resign as part of a deal reached this week with city officials, NBC 7 News has learned. Filner, spotted leaving City Hall with packing boxes Wednesday night, will formally vacate the office following a closed session of City Council Friday, according to several sources. Filner's attorney has a letter of resignation drafted for his signature upon approval of the tentative settlement by councilmembers. The mayor said goodbye to his staff Wednesday before he left his office at City Hall in his security detail’s SUV. Sources say the packing boxes in the backseat contained Filner's office effects. City officials announced just before 7 p.m. Wednesday a proposed solution had been reached in the scandal that has consumed the city of San Diego since it first broke July 10...U.S. Rep. Scott Peters speculated the agreement involves picking up Filner's legal fees. 'The hard thing for the City Council is going to be, he’s not going to leave for free,' Peters said Thursday." [NBC San Diego]
HOUSE GOP TO USE DEBT CEILING AS LEVERAGE IN ANTI-OBAMACARE EFFORT - House Republicans, exhausted after weeks of telling twenty-somethings not to get their growths treated, are now refocusing on how to undo President Obama's signature accomplishment through legislation. Sam Stein: "Seemingly conceding that shutting down the government in order to defund the president's health care law would be a dangerous political gamble, House Republican leadership is now looking at the idea of using the debt ceiling as a pressure point instead. On Wednesday evening, Reuters quoted an aide to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as saying that the need to raise the nation's debt ceiling was a 'good leverage point' to force action on Obamacare... A Cantor aide told The Huffington Post that there are talks about using the debt ceiling to push for postponements or structural changes to the law, but not getting rid of the law entirely. 'Not repeal,' said the aide, when asked what was in the cards. 'One of many things we can pursue on debt limit [is] potentially the individual mandate delay and codifying the business mandate delay. And perhaps other aspects.' The thinking among GOP leadership is that the Obama administration opened the door to a discussion about altering the health care law when it chose to delay the employer mandate, which requires businesses with over 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance, for a year." [HuffPost]
A majority of Republicans oppose a shutdown, a new survey finds: "The poll, conducted by Republican pollster David Winston, found that
Louie Gohmert, explaining his master plan to rid you of the burden of being able to treat diabetes: "Since May, there's been a group of senators and about 10 or 12 House members, we've been meeting once a week trying to figure out what's the strategy (to remedy the nation's current financial and healthcare woes) and (Senator) Mike Lee took the lead on the strategy, and the strategy is to fund every part of government including some things some of us don’t care to fund and completely defund Obamacare." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
SCOTT BROWN NOT RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR - Of Massachusetts, to be clear. Fingers crossed, New Hampshire (or, really, anywhere)! AP: "Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown said Wednesday night he won't be a candidate for Massachusetts governor next year. The former Republican senator and state lawmaker spoke on WBZ-AM's 'NightSide With Dan Rea' radio program. 'I have decided, with my wife's blessing, that I will not be running for governor of Massachusetts in 2014,' Brown said. He said he wants to fulfill his commitments to the law firm where he works, and to Fox News, where he is a paid commentator. He said he'll continue speaking around the country about the need for bipartisanship." [AP]
Here's a thing we're chuckling at: "Lawyers who deal with foreclosure mills are struck by the ethical lapses of the attorneys at those firms, and how they could work on such criminal financial industry activities without speaking up. Says [defense attorney Blair] Drazic, 'I used to represent murderers, and I wouldn’t represent these people.'" [American Prospect]
RAND PAUL JOINING FORCES WITH (SOME) DEMOCRATS ON CHARTER SCHOOLS - Joy Resmovits: "Since the 2012 presidential election, expected 2016 contenders like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have flirted with education policy as a way to attract minority voters.
HOSNI MUBARAK OUT OF JAIL - We wish him all the best at his work-release job at the Alexandria Golden Corral. Josh Hersh: "The former dictator Hosni Mubarak left prison on Thursday, further walking back a revolution that has been rapidly unwinding since a military coup unseated Egypt's first democratically elected president in July. The former president, who had been ousted in a popular revolt in 2011, was arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including embezzling funds and ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising. But with the cases dragging on for years, and a friendly military regime taking over from the Muslim Brotherhood presidency that eventually replaced him, Mubarak's outlook took a sudden turn for the better. On Tuesday, a Cairo court ordered that he be released from pretrial detention pending the start of a new case against him. The military-backed government announced on Wednesday night that Mubarak, who was flown Thursday to a nearby military hospital, will be held under house arrest. He also remains on a no-fly list, and his bank accounts are still frozen." [HuffPost]
The NASDAQ broke today: "The nation's second-largest stock exchange, the Nasdaq, ceased trading for three hours Thursday after what it called a problem affecting quote dissemination. The glitch threw trading into turmoil for dozens of publicly traded companies, including high-profile firms such as Apple, Microsoft and Facebook. All traffic for the more than 3,000 shares traded on Nasdaq stopped at 12:14 p.m., the exchange said on its website. Illustrating the extent of the problem, the Nasdaq first said trading would resume at 2:45 p.m. ET. Not long after that, it said the market would fully reopen at 3:25 p.m., which it did with the index about 33 points higher." [NBC News]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a polite kitten.
One more horror story from Obama's America: "[A] House aide passing through the Longworth food court this morning about lost his lunch after getting an earful of the following, terribly unsavory status report. 'We serve good food here. Good food doesn’t have mold in it … and there’s been some mold in the food. We can’t serve food with mold,'" [Roll Call]
- Play "Mad Libs" with heavily redacted NSA documents! [http://bit.ly/1dvraFL]
- Why can you see the moon during the daytime? Knowing this will pay dividends when you have a seven-year-old. [http://bit.ly/18ML3nY]
- Greyhound takes on cheetah in slow motion. [http://bit.ly/19LMasK]
- Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield talk about the ear-biting fight. Kind of like that time A-Rod chatted with a small child about eating his heart for its life force. [http://deadsp.in/18Ms78X]
- Spaghetti is no longer a dish (or even a day in your middle school cafeteria) -- it's also a deadly weapon. [http://bit.ly/1auNEH7]
- Weightlifting puppy just wants to get huge. [http://bit.ly/16j5Fk8]
@dorseyshaw: MSNBC should make a Cable News Survivor reality show on the weekends with a cast of paid contributors. The winner gets 11pm during the week
@thestalwart: NASDAQ just needs to blow on the cartridge.
@morninggloria: Good riddance, Mayor Filner. Don't hit the door on the ass on the way out.
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