POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Government Shutdown Tantalizingly Possible!

Eighty-one percent of Americans would rather hear Christmas music than political ads on the radio, though that doesn’t count “White Christmas,” which Republicans cite as proof that global warming is a hoax. HuffPost staffers asked management to recognize their unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, because we’ve always wanted to strike in solidarity with the writers of “Chicago Fire.” And the Supreme Court will likely rule on the constitutionality of President Obama’s immigration order by next June, which might constitute a campaign violation as it will basically be one giant piece of earned Hispanic-targeted media for Hillary Clinton. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, December 1st, 2015:

OBAMA GETS TINY SUPREME COURT WIN ON IMMIGRATION - We hereby award a smattering of political points. Cristian Farias: "It looks like President Barack Obama may get a chance to defend his immigration policies in court before he leaves office. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a request from the federal government that essentially secures timely consideration of Obama's executive actions on immigration -- raising the likelihood that the justices will hear the case in the spring and decide it by the end of June, when their current term ends. Since the administration filed its appeal of the case to the Supreme Court in late November, Texas and U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli had been embroiled in a procedural tussle over timing. Texas, the lead plaintiff in 26 states' suit against the executive actions Obama announced last year, had been seeking to delay consideration of the appeal, while Verrilli argued that a delay was unwarranted. Supreme Court clerk Scott Harris said Tuesday in a notice to lawyers for the parties that Texas would have until Dec. 29 to respond to the administration's appeal. This effectively puts the dispute on track to be considered at the justices' Jan. 15, 2016, conference." [HuffPost]

GOP CONSIDERING INSERTING REFUGEE RIDER INTO OMNIBUS - Scott Wong: "GOP leaders and appropriators are considering tucking the House-passed bill tightening screening for Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the must-pass omnibus spending measure, Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told The Hill. The refugee bill cleared the House just before the Thanksgiving break on a big 289-137 vote, with support from 47 Democrats and all but two Republicans. Senate Democrats, however, have vowed to filibuster the bill in the upper chamber, leaving McCaul and other backers focusing on the massive omnibus as another option to get it to President Obama’s desk. To avert a government shutdown, Congress must pass the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill by a Dec. 11 deadline." [The Hill]

Good luck with that: "Progressive and political money groups say they will intensify their lobbying in the coming days to prevent four campaign finance measures from hitching a ride on a year-end spending deal. With a deadline to reach agreement on government-wide funding less than two weeks away, the effort will be no easy pitch. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., authored one of the measures, which would relax limits on coordination between political parties and candidates." [Roll Call]

HIGHWAY BILL SAVES CROP INSURANCE - Looks like you'll have to get your fiscal conservatism somewhere else: As promised, Republican leaders in the House are undoing cuts to crop insurance that had been included in the budget bill Congress approved in October. "By including language in the Highway Bill conference report to fully repeal a provision that was designed to kill crop insurance, the Speaker and the Majority Leader are working to keep their promise to me and to all of rural America," Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) said in a statement. Giant and profitable agribusiness firms can breath a sigh of relief.

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SPEAKER RYAN FEELING MENTAL HEALTH LEGISLATION - Mike McAuliff: "The priority of Congress after the deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado over Thanksgiving weekend should be to fix the nation’s mental health system, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) argued Tuesday. Speaking to reporters after meeting with his members, Ryan offered his condolences to the families of the three people killed and nine injured in Colorado Springs on Friday, when a shooter opened fire inside the women's health clinic. 'What happened is appalling, and justice should be swift,' Ryan said. 'Clearly we can do more.'" As far as what more Congress could do, Ryan was not definitive, but he did not call for looking at some of the more popular measures proposed in Congress, such as beefing up background checks. He said the 'common denominator' in all the nation’s frequent mass shootings is mental illness." Other common denominators: bullets, guns. Just sayin'. [HuffPost]

FUN FACT ABOUT OBAMACARE - Even though Thanksgiving is over and you can't use this stat to rhetorically triumph over your racist uncle, here it is, via Jonathan Cohn: "Hospitals have cut down on deadly medical errors, saving around 87,000 lives since 2010, according to a new government report. Pinning down the precise reasons for this change is difficult, to say nothing of predicting whether the decline will continue. Improvement has slowed in just the last year, the report suggests. But many analysts think government initiatives within the Affordable Care Act have played a significant role in the progress so far. In short, Obamacare may literally be saving lives." [HuffPost]

All we want for Christmas is video of Chris Christie yelling at a glacier: "GOP presidential hopeful Chris Christie agrees that humans are contributing to climate change, but doesn't think that makes it an international crisis. When asked by Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' on Tuesday whether he believes climate change is occurring and man-made, the New Jersey governor replied, 'The climate has been changing forever and it will always change and man will always contribute to it. It's not a crisis.'" [HuffPost's Ruby Mellen]

BEHOLD HILLARY'S ARMY OF LICKSPITTLES - No wonder she can endure ten-plus hours of congressional grilling -- she's got an ego reserve the size of Montana. Nick Gass: "From 'so fit n sparkly' to 'you sounded and looked wonderful,' Clinton's inbox was full of affectionate messages as she departed Foggy Bottom...From fellow staff members to former ambassadors to at least one Republican strategist, Clinton's departure from the Obama administration brought on a host of compliments and plaudits from within the department and far beyond...Clinton received thanks from Sen. Barbara Mikulski on Jan. 29 for inviting her to her goodbye reception, with the Maryland Democrat tapping out a message to the secretary on her BlackBerry. 'What a terrific time. Thanks so much for including me. Loved the. Toast- the downton abbey schtick( am a fan. R U ?). Most of all seeing. You. - so fit n sparkly. - as well as. Prez Bill - Chelsea n Uma. What fun.'" [Politico]

Hulluva job, Humie: "Among the 7,800 pages of emails released, one stood out: On Jan. 22, 2012, Clinton referred to Mitt Romney as "Mittens" and Newt Gingrich as "Grinch." Awww. 'If Mittens can’t beat Grinch in Florida, there will be pressure on state Republican parties to reopen or liberalize ballot access especially in the caucuses, which as we know are creatures of the parties’ extremes,' Clinton wrote in an email to longtime confidante Sidney Blumenthal." [Mashable]

What Scott Walker has been up to after leaving the 2016 presidential race.

EVEN 'CHRISTMAS SHOES'? Ariel Edwards-Levy: "It may be irritating to wake up the day after Thanksgiving to find Christmas music jingling on virtually every radio station, but it hardly compares to the annoyance of listening to politicians months before heading to the polls, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds. Eighty-one percent of Americans would rather hear Christmas music than campaign ads, according to the survey, while just 7 percent would prefer the commercials. Maybe that's a low bar to clear. But despite the annual wave of grinching that tends to accompany the start of Christmas Music Season, most Americans at least kind of enjoy the festivity. Just 17 percent say they're not at all looking forward to hearing Christmas music, while a 55 percent majority are similarly unenthused to hearing commercials for next year's election." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a dog who likes balloons.

BUT WHERE IS OUR INFLATABLE RAT -- WE WANT AN INFLATABLE RAT - Really just to place by Ryan Grim's desk. Michael Calderone: "Huffington Post employees have asked management to voluntarily recognize their union after an 'overwhelming majority' of editorial and HuffPost Live staff members signed union cards signaling their support for representation. The Writers Guild of America, East, which is working to organize staff at HuffPost and other digital media outlets, sent a written request Tuesday to management. More than 220 of the roughly 350 eligible employees have signed cards... HuffPost's management can now choose to either voluntarily recognize the union or compel all eligible employees to vote on whether or not to join it, a process administered by the National Labor Relations Board." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- The best way to calm a crying baby.

- Every ohhh! from "The Sorpanos."

TWITTERAMA

@seungminkim: Feel really bad for the reporter who hit "play" instead of "record" at Senate GOP mics today. I have notes if you need help ....

@NYTMinusContext: Let’s get some nice clean-cut college kids who aren’t amphetamine addicts

@AndrewStylesUSA: Shorter Hillary emails…

Incoming: You are the greatest living human.

Outgoing: Pls print, then tell which knob to turn on the picture box.

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