Congress Returns Just In Time To Destroy Holiday Spirit

Just like you, Congress is working through some leftovers, only the Department of Agriculture isn't funded when you eat a turkey cranberry sandwich. On this day in history Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus. Today conservatives carry on her legacy by solemnly playing Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist." And The Supreme Court appears to be divided about privacy on social networks, but, then again, Antonin Scalia does probably refer to Facebook as "you know, the yearbook you can see on the television phone." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, December 1st, 2014:

CONGRESS TO DO HOMEWORK THREE HOURS BEFORE CLASS - And then, like you did in 7th grade, blame Harry Reid. Politico: “December was supposed to be a sleepy month for Congress — a chance to finish up a productive lame-duck session and leave the decks clear for the new Republican majority that takes control in January. Instead, the next two weeks have morphed into a minefield. Government funding is suddenly in peril, as conservatives fume over President Barack Obama’s decision to end the deportation threat for millions of undocumented immigrants...First up: funding the government. The government will shut down Dec. 11 unless a funding bill is passed, and Speaker John Boehner of Ohio — the most powerful Republican in power until January — has to quell the furor within the House Republican Conference over Obama’s immigration order to avoid an unwanted and dangerous December showdown...One scheme has emerged as a favorite. The leadership would like to craft two bills to fund the government: one that would keep most of the government open through September 2015, and another that would fund immigration enforcement agencies through the first few months of the year. There’s also the potential for stand-alone legislation to try to target Obama’s executive action.” [Politico]

Unfortunate words were spoken at a Marion Barry memorial today. RIP.

TORTURE REPORT LIKELY DUE NEXT WEEK - Ali Watkins: “Rumblings around DC say Sen. Dianne Feinstein's torture report will likely drop sometime next week. The release dates suggests the charged negotiations over the document are wrapping up, but it's yet to be seen whether Feinstein and her Intelligence Committee will prevail in releasing information the White House and CIA have fought tooth and nail to keep secret.”

REID MULLING EXTENDED LAME DUCK SESSION - “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) warned senators that they might have to stay in session through the week of Dec. 15. In comments on the floor, Reid said he hoped the Senate could avoid staying at work the week before Christmas, but warned an additional week of work was possible. ‘We have a lot to do and not a lot of time to accomplish it,' Reid said. 'We might have to be here the week before Christmas, however Mr. President, not into the Christmas holiday.’ Both the House and Senate are scheduled to recess for the year by Dec. 12, but Reid said that if the Senate fails to pass bills funding the government, reauthorizing defense spending, extending tax deductions and clearing nominations, he would extend the session through the week of Dec. 15-19.” [The Hill]

The Daily Caller "investigates" whether the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery is black. Unsure this is the conversation about race we're supposed to be having.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Throwback welfare politics via Amanda Terkel: "When Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) joins the House of Representatives in January, he'll bring with him his longtime enthusiasm for the issue of welfare reform. He has said in the past that the current welfare system is 'destroying families' and railed against single parenthood. On Sunday, Grothman continued his crusade to reform welfare, saying the government is currently bribing single parents to have children out of wedlock and stay unemployed. 'So your viewers are aware, a single parent with a couple kids can easily get $35,000 a year in total benefits between the health care and the earned income credit and the FoodShare and the low-income housing and what have you,' Grothman said." The only problem with Grothman's comments is that they are not true. [HuffPost]

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OBAMA ISSUES NEW POLICE STANDARDS - Times: “President Obama on Monday announced that he would tighten standards on the provision and use of military-style equipment by local police departments, but he stopped short of curtailing the transfer of such hardware or weapons to the local authorities. After a review of the government’s decade-old strategy of outfitting local police forces with military equipment, the White House concluded that the vast majority of these transfers strengthen local policing, but that the government should impose consistent standards in the types of hardware it offers, better training in how to use it and more thorough oversight. Mr. Obama announced the steps at a cabinet meeting that was called to deal with lingering tensions from fiery clashes between the police and protesters in Ferguson, Mo., which broke out after a grand jury declined to indict a police officer for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager.” [NYT]

But what does for Iowa and New Hampshire?!? “Hillary Clinton will likely run for president of the United States. But forgive the U.S.'s neighbors to the North for thinking the former secretary of state is considering a bid at prime minster, too. Since leaving the State Department in 2013, Hillary Clinton has headlined six events in Canada and organizers in the country announced two more appearances in two different provinces on Monday.” [CNN]

OBAMA SUPPORT UP AMONGST HISPANICS - 2024 Barack Obama just got an extra round of applause during his convention keynote speech. WaPo: “Emory University political science Prof. Alan Abramowitz noticed something in Gallup's weekly assessment of President Obama's approval numbers: His approval among Hispanics has shot up by 14 points over the past two weeks. It's now at 68 percent -- the highest it has been this year, and at a level last seen in early 2013. Here's how Hispanic approval has compared to the president's overall approval since February, according to Gallup...Obama's approval had declined after he announced that he would postpone taking executive action until after the election was over. Earlier this year, Gallup noted that Hispanic approval had dropped fairly sharply after the 2012 elections.” [WaPo]

PRO TIP: DON’T BE PUBLICLY CRITICAL OF CHILDREN - Paige Lavender: “Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), resigned Monday following a Facebook post that criticized Malia and Sasha Obama's appearance at the annual White House turkey pardon ceremony, according to NBC News. According to screenshots posted by Gawker on Saturday, Lauten wrote to the first daughters, asking them to ‘try showing a little class.’...Lauten's apology came after many on Twitter and Facebook accused her ofcyberbullying the Obama daughters. Lauten acknowledged those who were angered by her statements in her apology.” [HuffPost]

SCOTUS DIVIDED ON FACEBOOK PRIVACY CASE - Reuters: “The U.S. Supreme Court appeared conflicted on Monday over whether to uphold the conviction of a Pennsylvania man found guilty of making threatening statements to his estranged wife, law enforcement officers and others on social media. The nine justices, hearing an hour of oral arguments in a closely watched case testing the limits of free speech online, considered an appeal filed by Anthony Elonis, who served prison time for posting a series of statements on Facebook in 2010 after his wife left him. The case touches upon the rise of social media and how people use it to express strongly held feelings. But the legal question is whether prosecutors needed to show Elonis' intent to threaten, or if it was enough for them to show merely that a reasonable person would have felt threatened.” [Reuters]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a pug taking a bath .


- Dog wakes from a nap to sing ”Let it Go.”

- A look at the military’s longtime fascination with “Star Wars.”

- The most disturbing thing you’ll see this Christmas.


@dciever: "How is babby formed the Daily Caller investigates"

@elisefoley: Twitter Investigates: Is It A Good Idea To Post Articles Asking If People Are Black?

@swin24: god forgive me for this ostensibly racist google search I'm about to perpetrate in the name of necessary research...

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