ESA Lands Spacecraft On Comet, NASA Just Wants A Vending Machine That Works

Europeans successfully landed a spacecraft on a comet, while Americans successfully emailed its grandchildren that some abnormally cold weather proves global warming is a hoax. Elizabeth Warren might be given a Senate leadership position, our guess is Vice Chair of Covering Harry Reid's Left Flank While He Runs for Reelection. And Mary Landrieu, in a move that in no way had anything to do with her reelection, called for a vote on the Keystone Pipeline. If it were a political move, she would've finished her speech by taking a bite out of an oyster po' boy while second lining out of the Senate chamber. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, November 12th, 2014:

TESTER LIKELY PICK FOR DSCC CHAIR - All possible candidates will be interviewed aboard his combine. Politico: "Senate Democratic leaders are likely to name Montana Sen. Jon Tester to run the party’s campaign arm in the 2016 election cycle, a key position central to the party’s efforts to retake the majority, according to two sources familiar with the deliberations… 'If it were offered, I would absolutely take a look at it and see if we can make it work,' said Tester after leaving a morning meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). 'It would allow me to get in our leadership meetings, which is very important to me. Raising money is never fun, but that’s part of the job too. So I guess you take the good with the bad.'... A decision to name Tester to the post could come as soon as Thursday, Democratic sources said." [Politico]

And this: "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is under consideration for a leadership position in the Senate Democratic caucus, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. Senate Democrats will be holding their leadership elections Thursday morning. A source saw Warren coming out of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office Wednesday." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel and Ryan Grim]

LANDRIEU TAKES CAMPAIGN TO SENATE FLOOR - Kate Sheppard: "Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), whose future in the Senate is still unclear, is making a big push to get a vote on her legislation to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline… Landrieu called for a unanimous consent vote to move to debate on a bill that would approve construction of the 1,660-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Texas. The measure, which Landrieu co-authored with Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, passed in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June… Landrieu has the support of the Republican caucus, as well as of some Democrats. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) also spoke on the floor in favor of the bill on Wednesday, casting it as a fair response to Democrats' defeat in last Tuesday's election… Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) told The Huffington Post he will also vote for the Landrieu-Hoeven measure if it is brought up." [HuffPost]

GOP PINING FOR REID'S SEAT - AP: "Senate Republicans, riding high after capturing the majority, said Wednesday that a top priority in 2016 will be defeating Democratic leader Harry Reid. 'It's not just about being in the majority, it's about expanding the majority at this point,' Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., told reporters. "We'll do whatever it takes to make that happen.' ... In 2016, Republicans will be trying to protect 24 seats to the Democrats' 10. Heller said he and other Republicans have spoken to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who easily won another term last week, about challenging Reid. 'I think he'll want to assess and we'll give him a little time to do that,' Heller said of Sandoval. Other potential challengers are newly elected Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison and Rep. Joe Heck." [AP]

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FCC OPEN TO OBAMA'S NET NEUTRALITY PROPOSALS - "On Monday, President Barack Obama went public with his support of an aggressive approach to protecting net neutrality. Shortly after that, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler told a gathering of business representatives and public interest groups that he was taking the president's comments under advisement and that he would need the groups' support in the coming fight over net neutrality, according to multiple sources in the meeting... One attendee, who declined to be named in order to avoid speaking on behalf of his organization, said that he thought Wheeler would ultimately go along with Obama. 'Personally, my sense coming out of the meeting was it was more likely than not that he would end up doing what the president asked,' the attendee said." [HuffPost]

GOP ASSAILS CHINA CLIMATE AGREEMENT - Mike McAuliff and Kate Sheppard: "But for McConnell, making progress does not include the new deal with China. He made that clear when he was asked whether he would also aim to move his caucus more towards the middle in the hopes of getting deals done with the White House. 'The problem is the president continues to send signals he has no intention of moving to the middle,' McConnell said. 'I was particularly distressed by the deal that apparently he has reached with the Chinese on his current trip, which, as I read the agreement, requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years while these carbon emission regulations are creating havoc in my state and other states around the country.'" [HuffPost]

"That said, I can't promises that they won't wake one morning to the empty, bug-eyed stare of their favorite pet's severed head." The Hill: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday pledged to work with Republicans when they are in the majority and eschew the strategy of obstruction he has accused them of using against Democrats. 'I am ready, Mr. President, to work with him in good faith to make this institution function again for the American people. I saw firsthand how a strategy of destruction was debilitating to our system,” he said, addressing the Senate chair. 'I have no desire to engage in that manner,' he said." [The Hill]

BUCK MCKEON LOVES OUR TROOPS, HIS SON - Bloomberg: "If Howard 'Buck' McKeon gets his way, one of his last acts as House Armed Services Committee chairman may be helping a home-state company that enlisted his son as a consultant. McKeon’s committee incorporated into this year’s Defense authorization bill a requirement that the Pentagon spend as much as $35 million a year on a pilot program that would hire private companies to place veterans in jobs… The company, Granite Bay Employment Solutions of Sacramento, previously had pitched its proposal to the Defense Department and was turned down. It hired Howard D. McKeon Jr., the chairman’s son, as a consultant. McKeon Jr. helped Granite Bay draft the legislative language, according to Kirk Uhler, who owns a minority stake in the company." [Bloomberg]

WENDY DAVIS FINGER POINTING - Sources close to her pink shoes say her footwear was displeased with the GOTV operation. Texas Tribune: "Consultants for Democrat Wendy Davis warned her campaign months ago that the Fort Worth senator was headed for a humiliating defeat in the Texas governor’s race unless she adopted a more centrist message and put a stop to staggering internal dysfunction. The warnings are contained in two internal communications obtained by The Texas Tribune and written at the beginning of the year by longtime Democratic operatives Peter Cari and Maura Dougherty. After the drubbing Davis got from Gov.-Elect Greg Abbott last week, they seem eerily prescient. “The campaign is in disarray and is in danger of being embarrassed,' Cari and Dougherty wrote in a lengthy memorandum on Jan. 6. 'The level of dysfunction was understandable in July and August, when we had no infrastructure in place — but it doesn’t seem to be getting better.'" [Texas Tribune]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a baby drumming.

'THE MAYOR REGRETS MISSING THE TOLLING OF THE BELL' - #deblasiosnewyork Times: "Mayor Bill de Blasio arrived late on Wednesday morning to a memorial service marking the anniversary of a 2001 plane crash in Queens, angering victims’ relatives who observed a planned moment of silence without him and providing perhaps the most striking example to date of the mayor’s well-chronicled habit of tardiness. The mayor had been scheduled to speak at 9:05 a.m. in Rockaway Park, Queens, where American Airlines Flight 587 crashed on Nov. 12, 2001, killing 265 people, including five on the ground. But according to his office, the mayor traveled to the ceremony by boat from Gracie Mansion, in Manhattan, “and the boat was delayed due to heavy fog.” The mayor missed the tolling of a bell at 9:16 a.m., the minute of the crash in 2001, arriving just after 9:20 a.m., his office said. “The mayor regrets missing the tolling of the bell,” Marti Adams, a spokeswoman, said." [NYT]


- The story behind that the lady emoji in the pink shirt.

- How to survive a free-falling elevator.

- "Alex from Target" speaks out.

- The inside story of former Purdue basketball coach Gene Keady's awful combover.


@SimonMaloy: How come we can land a spaceship on a comet but we can't reduce our debt through commonsense entitlement refo[crushed by meteor]

@meredithshiner: [Evergreen anecdote about lawmaker getting lost in the Capitol on first day dot tumblr dot blogspot dot com]

@elisefoley: Today I learned that Steny is not short for anything, it’s just a name.

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