President Obama finally got a Facebook page, so now he can wile away the hours scrolling through photos of his composite ex-girlfriends. Some Christians are upset that Starbucks’ red cups don’t contain holiday greetings, echoing the campaign to emblazon "CHRIST OUR SAVIOR IS BORN" across every Tickle Me Elmo's torso. And Jeb Bush said he would enthusiastically kill Baby Hitler ("Hell yeah"), even though doing so would also kill the first mildly amusing thing he's said all year. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, November 9th, 2015:
BUT IS IT GOOD FOR THE CRUZ? EMBELLISHED HISTORY EDITION - "I was a crusader against tyranny" is the conservative version of claiming you were at Woodstock. Jason Horowitz: "Since he was a boy, Senator Ted Cruz has said, all he wanted to do was 'fight for liberty' -- a yearning that he says was first kindled when he heard his father’s tales of fighting as a rebel leader in Cuba in the 1950s, throwing Molotov cocktails, running guns and surviving torture… But the family narrative that has provided such inspirational fire and biographical heft to Mr. Cruz’s speeches, debate performances and a recently published memoir is, his father’s Cuban contemporaries say, an embroidered one...In interviews, Rafael Cruz’s former comrades and friends disputed his description of his role in the Cuban resistance. He was a teenager who wrote on walls and marched in the streets, they said -- not a rebel leader running guns or blowing up buildings." [NYT]
Ted Cruz doesn't like the idea of an athiest president. Go fig!
DEPORTATION CAN BE FUN! - File this one alongside "prison will really give me time to catch up on my reading." Elise Foley and Roque Planas: "It's not so bad to deport children to what was until recently the murder capital of the world, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Friday, since Honduras is 'a beautiful country' with 'gorgeous resort zones.' More than 200,000 unaccompanied minors or mothers traveling with their children have fled to the United States from the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador over the last two years, with many of them asking for asylum or other humanitarian relief. All three countries are plagued by out-of-control gang violence and inadequate criminal justice systems. El Salvador and Guatemala are both still recovering from civil wars that ended in the 1990s, while Honduras suffered a coup in 2009. But the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chairman said he saw on a recent three-day trip to Honduras and Guatemala that the implication that deporting children there is 'sending them into a war zone' is incorrect." [HuffPost]
DELANEY DOWNER - Tom Cotton sees a link between Social Security Disability Insurance and societal collapse. "It’s hard to say what came first or caused the other: population decline or increased disability usage. Or maybe economic stagnation caused both. Regardless, there seems to be, at least at the county and regional level, something like a Disability Tipping Point," Cotton said today in a speech at the Heritage Foundation. "After a certain point, when disability keeps climbing and becomes endemic, employers will struggle to find employees or begin or continue to move out of the area. Population continues to fall, and a downward spiral kicks in, driving once thriving communities into further decline. Not only that, but once this kind of spiral begins, communities could begin to suffer other social of plagues as well, such as heroin or meth addiction and associated crime." Yikes!
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OBAMA HAS TREMENDOUSLY AWKWARD MEETING WITH NETANYAHU - Now that he has Facebook, he should know what to talk to visiting dignitaries about, though. Julie Hirschfield Davis: "President Obama on Monday said it was time for him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to move beyond their 'strong disagreement' over the Iran nuclear deal and work together on confronting Iranian misbehavior and bolstering Israel’s security, as the two leaders had their first encounter since their feud over the agreement brought their relationship to a bitter low….Mr. Netanyahu, who has choreographed his visit to Washington in part tomend fences with the Obama administration and Democrats who were alienated by his aggressive tactics in lobbying against the nuclear deal, did not mention the accord during a short appearance, in which the two leaders did not take any questions from reporters. But he had warm words for the president, and said he shared Mr. Obama’s goal of eventually resolving the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians with a two-state solution." [NYT]
CONGRESS TO HONOR VETERANS WITH GRUELING TWO-DAY WORKWEEK - Just like our boys stormed Utah beach and then adjourned to attend Main Street parades, so too will our fearless senators. Niels Lesniewski: "Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an aggressive plan for what could be a two-day workweek ahead of the Veterans Day holiday. The Kentucky Republican secured a consent agreement Nov. 5 that sets up a Tuesday morning vote on the Senate agreeing to a House-passed revision of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, clearing one must-do item off the calendar. While the changes to the policy measure reflect the funding levels for the Pentagon in the recent bipartisan budget agreement, eliminating one key reason President Barack Obama vetoed the original measure, a disagreement remains over potentially closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba." [Roll Call]
HIGH COURT TO HEAR CLASS ACTION CASE - Dave Jamieson: "On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a crucial case that could tighten the rules dictating how workers and consumers band together in the first place -- which could limit their ability to bring class-action lawsuits and other collective actions against corporations. The case, Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, involves a group of pork-processing workers in Iowa who claimed the meatpacking giant shorted them on overtime pay…At issue are the federal rules of procedure judges must follow when 'certifying' a class of plaintiffs -- the first step in all class-action cases. Both plaintiffs and corporations put up their biggest legal fight at the certification stage, which can easily take years to complete. If a handful of workers can’t adequately show that they represent a 'class' of thousands, the certification fails and the case essentially dies. Each employee is then left to sue on their own, and most don’t have the resources to do that." [HuffPost]
In other SCOTUS news: "Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is a stickler for evenly distributing the workload of the Supreme Court, but he plays favorites among his eight colleagues when assigning the court’s most important decisions. Not surprisingly, Roberts calls his own number more than anyone else’s and assigns the next highest number to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the pivotal justice on the ideologically divided court, according to a new study by Harvard law professor Richard J. Lazarus published in the Harvard Law Review. On the other hand, Roberts has never assigned Justice Sonia Sotomayor the court’s opinion in a major case in her six terms on the court, Lazarus found, an omission that he wrote 'could be a bit portentous.' In looking broadly at the chief justice’s 10 years on the job, Lazarus found that Roberts hesitates in assigning big decisions to the court’s most conservative and liberal members — Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas on the right, and Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the left. Roberts pays “little regard to seniority” in assigning major decisions, Lazarus found." [WaPo's Robert Barnes]
CHRISTIE GETS THE VOTE OUT - Rest assured, there won't be many traffic problems in Fort Lee's voting locations next year. Samantha Lachman: "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed a package of election reforms passed by the state's Democrat-controlled legislature Monday...The Democracy Act aimed to implement automatic voter registration when voters apply for driver's licenses. (Eligible voters have the option to opt out before they are automatically registered with Department of Motor Vehicles information.)... The bill also included provisions creating two weeks of in-person early voting and enacting online voter registration...turnout, which was 30.4 percent in last year's midterm elections, [ranked] among the worst in the country. Roughly 1.6 million eligible New Jersey residents are not registered to vote. Christie's veto wasn't a surprise, as he had said in June that he thought the bill would increase fraud and that he didn't think citizens should be registered automatically. On Monday, he further justified his opposition to the legislation by saying he thought it would be too cumbersome and costly." [HuffPost]
JEB BUSH WOULD KILL BABY HITLER - Waiting for the Ben Carson campaign press release insisting that their candidate would operate on Baby Hitler's brain, rewiring it to become a crusader for good by killing Baby Stalin and Baby Pol Pot. Scott Conroy and Jon Strauss: "Have you ever wondered whether, if given the opportunity, Jeb Bush would go back in time to kill Adolf Hitler in his crib? Well, wonder no more. 'Hell yeah, I would!' the former Florida governor told HuffPost. 'You gotta step up, man.' The question initially arose when The New York Times Magazine polled its readers last month and found that a plurality of respondents said they would, in fact, kill Hitler as a baby. Bush was then asked the question directly via the email address that he distributes widely to public audiences: Jeb@jeb.org. But he did not answer the inquiry until asked on camera by HuffPost, while riding on his campaign bus in New Hampshire." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a tiny armadillo.
PRESIDENT FINALLY GETS FACEBOOK PAGE - Finally, the commander-in-chief has the means to project a heavily curated depiction of his life and work. Paige Lavender: "Obama posted a message and video to the page encouraging people to speak out about climate change. The message comes ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will take place in Paris later this month. In the video, Obama takes a walk through his backyard, which is also a national park...Obama's comments on climate change come just days after he rejected TransCanada's application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which he said "would have undercut" America's role as the "global leader" on combatting climate change. This is not Obama's first social media page. The president joined Twitter in May." [HuffPost]
- POV video of pizza being made, because food porn shouldn't be hamstrung by 20th century technology.
- Monkey is hungry. Monkey will take your sandwich.
- Disabled guinea pig is given a wheelchair.
@GrahamDavidA : White House pooler @EvanMcSan reports that Obama's motorcade is "rolling" at 4:20 p.m. I bet it is. #choomgang #roofhits
@dceiver: You know who else tried to "fix" it?
@igorbobic: Scene: The WHITE HOUSE
THE PRESIDENT: "So, uhh, how do I post a like?
MALIA: "Ugh, DAAAAAD"
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