We're really going to try to avoid using the phrase 'boots on the ground' as it sounds like the title of a C&C Music Factory comeback album. Lisa Murkowski deftly exploited the Ice Bucket Challenge for political purposes, recalling the time Chuck Grassley ghost rid his whip to connect with young voters. And Colleen Hanabusa is suing to stop Friday’s special election in Hawaii. Did you know that "aloha" means "goodbye" and "hello" AND "cease and desist"? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, August 13th, 2014:
MEDIA MATTERS ABSORBING CREW - A source familiar with the development tells HuffPost Hill that the left-leaning media watchdog will acquire Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. More to come later on HuffPost...
ADMINISTRATION MULLING TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN IRAQ -. National Journal: "The Obama administration has consistently said that there will be no combat troops on the ground as part of its ongoing operation in northern Iraq to push back ISIS and bring humanitarian aid to thousands of under-siege Yazidi civilians. Now, it's sounding like the U.S. may come close. Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, told reporters on Wednesday that the U.S. is considering sending ground troops into Iraq to help the humanitarian mission to rescue the Yazidis. Military advisers will give their recommendations on the use of troops to the White House in the next few days, following an assessment from about 130 Marines and special-operations forces now in Iraq. The distinction here is that these would not be combat troops, as much as ground forces with the specific mission of helping rescue Yazidi refugees. Ground combat with ISIS would not be part of the plan. Whether the humanitarian troops would be forced into combat scenarios is another question entirely, and Rhodes admitted that best laid plans don't always work out. "There are dangers involved in any military operation," Rhodes said." [National Journal]
NOT A SINGLE DAMN: NRCC WON'T APOLOGIZE FOR FAKE NEWS SITES - The Hill: "House Republicans aren’t backing down from criticism that they’re disguising their political ads as fake news sites. The National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) independent expenditure arm has launched microsites designed to look like local news pages that dole out favorable information about GOP candidates and damaging information about Democrats. They say the tactic, which is being used in about two dozen House districts, is a strong way to target voters ahead of the elections. Instead of voters receiving direct mail that may be headed straight for the trash, they are searching the Internet for information on candidates, and Republicans want the NRCC’s viewpoint to be the one they see first. And in an era in which news sites frequently cater to the right or the left, political operatives say they’re providing information in the same way as a campaign blog. And traditional news sites themselves have come under scrutiny from media critics for sponsor-generated content, essentially paid advertising that looks like a news story. The Federal Trade Commission announced last fall that it would begin examining the practice. “Campaigning in the 21st century means reaching voters online. This innovative digital effort is focused on getting the truth out about Democrat candidates, so it’s perfectly understandable why Democrats would be both scared of it and jealous they didn’t think of it first,” NRCC spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said." [The Hill]
ACLU FILING REQUEST TO ID OFFICER WHO SHOT MICHAEL BROWN - Jen Bendery: "The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed formal requests on Tuesday to obtain a copy of the police incident report naming the officer who shot Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed Saturday while walking down the street in a St. Louis suburb. The ACLU submitted its requests to the Ferguson Police Department and the St. Louis County Police Department. Both were filed under the state's Sunshine Law, which stipulates that records of public governmental bodies be made open to the public. Diane Balogh, communications director for the ACLU of Missouri, said the group filed the requests specifically to find out the identity of the police officer. The Ferguson Police Department originally planned to release the officer's name on Tuesday, but then decided not to, citing threats against the officer. In the meantime, the Justice Department is overseeing an investigation into the shooting and Ferguson has become a scene of daily protests and vandalism, with police even using tear gas on people standing in their own backyards. 'If they don't follow through, we will file a lawsuit and hold a press conference,' Balogh told The Huffington Post. 'There have been other situations where we've actually had to sue the police department because they haven't fulfilled the Sunshine Law requirements.'" [HuffPost]
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OBAMA SUDDENLY PRO-WORKER - For a while, it seemed like he thought The Hedge Fund Makes Us Strong. Dave Jamieson: "Kicking off what he deemed a 'year of action,' Obama announced that by executive order he would set a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour for workers under federal contracts, a move he urged Congress to follow with a raise to the federal minimum wage. The announcement was a clear response to a coordinated campaign by a group of progressive allies, including minimum wage workers, and it augured similar executive actions to follow. 'This outside agitation has really helped push the president to do the right thing,' Paco Fabian, a spokesman for Change to Win, which includes the Service Employees International Union, said recently. 'And he certainly deserves credit. For the first time in a long time we have a president taking executive action to help workers.' The contractor minimum wage was just one in a slew of liberal workplace reforms Obama has undertaken unilaterally in recent months. He directed the Labor Department to make more workers eligible for overtime pay. He expanded minimum wage protections to cover previously excluded home care workers. He signed an executive order barring discrimination against LGBT workers by federal contractors...Most of these proposals are relatively limited, applying only to workers whose pay is funded by taxpayers, rather than all U.S. workers. And in their nature as executive rules and actions, they can be easily undone by a future president with the stroke of a pen. But for the progressives who've agitated for these policies -- in many cases going back years -- the reforms are meaningful and can help set higher standards for private employers." [HuffPost]
Like Tammy Haddad's brunch, but with slightly less griping about Sidwell's English curriculum: "Ann Dibble Jordan’s birthday party just got a lot more interesting. Two of the guests -- President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- have hardly been seeing eye-to-eye on foreign policy of late. So the big question is whether they can employ their expert political skills to diminish any awkward moments. In fact, Clinton’s team says the two will be 'hugging it out' Wednesday evening. In that huggable spirit, here are some subjects that might be safe for Obama and his former presidential rival and secretary of state." [Politico]
HANABUSA THREATENING LAWSUIT TO STOP SPECIAL ELECTION - Amanda Terkel: "Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) may take legal action to stop Friday's special election to decide Hawaii's Democratic Senate primary, arguing that it's too soon for two storm-ravaged precincts to get out and vote. Hanabusa is challenging Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and the winner is expected to be the victor in November as well, given the state's strong Democratic makeup. The state held its primary elections Saturday, but because of a tropical storm that swept through, voting was canceled in two precincts in the district of Puna. Schatz currently has a 1,635-vote lead. On Monday, Hawaii's Office of Elections announced that voters in the two affected precincts will get a chance to vote in person Friday, which is a state holiday. According to Honolulu Civil Beat, the results will be announced that same evening. According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hanabusa wants to delay the election until residents can fully recover from the tropical storm. She would also like to give voters in two other Puna precincts the chance to vote Friday, and may go to court to do so." [HuffPost]
Lisa Murkowski will see your dime-a-dozen- photo-ops on snowmobiles and raise you A MEME: "Bucket, schmucket. Sen. Lisa Murkowski just became the daredevil philanthropist to beat after fearlessly plunging into icy Alaskan waters. “I’m gonna challenge every single member of the United States Senate … Demonstrate your commitment to getting rid of ALS,” the Alaska Republican prodded fellow pols who have yet to participate in the viral fundraising campaign." [Roll Call]
COLORADO'S MARIJUANA MARKET IS DOPE - See what we did there? Matt Ferner: "Depending on whom you ask, Colorado's marijuana black market has either vanished or expanded since weed was legalized in the state. Mexican pot farmers have anecdotally said they're taking a beating, but one illegal Colorado drug dealer told The Washington Post that his business was growing. So which is it? Turns out that's a tough question to answer. A comprehensive market analysis, released by the Colorado Department of Revenue's Marijuana Enforcement Division in July, looked at supply and demand in the state's marijuana market, but the report did not offer granular detail about the supply side. So The Huffington Post spoke exclusively with Adam Orens, one of the lead researchers on the analysis, who broke down the supply side numbers -- including the current best guess on the size of the black market. The report released last month is likely the world's first post-legalization study of a marijuana marketplace. It was prepared by the Marijuana Policy Group, a collaborative effort of BBC Research & Consulting -- Orens' employer -- and the University of Colorado, Boulder, Business Research Division. Researchers found a lot of demand: an estimated 130 metric tons a year, 'much larger than previously estimated,' the report notes. Of that 130 metric tons, the study indicates that 77 came through two regulated supply channels -- 55 metric tons, or 42 percent of the total, from medical marijuana shops and 22 metric tons, or 17 percent of the total, from recreational marijuana shops." [HuffPost]
Today in literal institutional racism: "Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday that the military will allow female service members to have a wider range of hairstyles after the services came under fire for using derogatory language and banning many styles that are popular with African-American women. The controversy started in March, when the Army released new rules regarding tattoos, hairstyles, grooming and uniforms for soldiers. One of the new regulations banned women from having twists, dreadlocks and multiple braids/cornrows that are bigger than a quarter of an inch. Black service members quickly spoke out about the rules, arguing that they were racially insensitive and objected to language that called such styles 'matted' and 'unkempt.' Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard started a petition about the matter on the White House website, writing, 'These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent.'" [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are swimming corgis.
FORMER HUFFPOST HILL INTERN: STAR - Daniel Lippman no longer works with us and now our coppy is filed with errrors. Capitol File: "For Daniel Lippman, doing anything other than what he’s doing now is unimaginable. Politico announced the full-time hire of Lippman in June as a researcher-reporter working alongside the venerable Mike Allen in the production of 'Playbook,' the publication’s morning must-read newsletter. Having joined Politico in a part-time capacity in February, Lippman was well-known by top talent at the Rosslyn news outlet even then. In 2009, Politico profiled Lippman for being recognized by Washington media as the GW student with a penchant for e-mailing reporters to flag misspelled names, grammatical errors, and broken hyperlinks in published pieces of work. 'Since I read so much news, I’d notice errors and typos,' Lippman says, 'I just thought, it only takes me a couple of minutes to send off a quick note, and they can fix the story so thousands of readers won’t see that inaccuracy in there.'" [Capitol File]
- Cats partying to an EDM version of the Meow Mix jingle.
- Timelapse video of Parisincorporating 40,000 pictures.
- Computerized noses might soon scan for illegal drugs at border crossings, that is if there are any illegal drugs left.
- "Florida man kills his room-mate and asks siri where to hide the body."
- Dog tries to save fish by splashing water into its gills.
- Fifty Shades ... of kittens
- A sportscaster squeezed in 20-plus Robin Williams references into his nightly broadcast.
@EvanMcSan: Area Reporter Just Realized He Came Back From Vacation To Tweet About Two Adults Hugging
@brianbeutler: Bacall —> Bogart —> Casablanca —> Morocco —> Libya —> Benghazi —> Hillary
@igorbobic: Can’t believe we sent troops into Iraq barefoot.
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