You Can Breathe Now: Senate Reaches Fiscal Deal
Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have reached a bipartisan deal to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling, they announced in Senate floor speeches today.
“This is far less than many of us had hoped for frankly,” McConnell said. “But it’s far better than what some had sought.” The deal does not include any major tweaks to the Affordable Care Act, but it does require people getting subsidies under the program to verify their income. It also calls for a conference committee to settle bigger budget issues like the sequester cuts, the Washington Post reports.
Reports earlier indicated that John Boehner would not only allow the House to vote on the bill, but would have it vote first to streamline the Senate’s procedural process. But a spokesman for Boehner earlier said that “no decision has been made about how or when a potential Senate agreement could be voted on in the House,” the Hill reports.
Jay Carney said the White House wouldn’t officially weigh in until the bill is voted on, but that “the president applauds leader Reid and minority leader McConnell for working together to forge this compromise.” Ted Cruz, meanwhile, decried the deal, but said he would not attempt to block it in the Senate. “There’s nothing to be gained from delaying this vote one day or two days,” he said.
White House, FunnyOrDie Join Forces To Promote ObamaCare
The White House knows that the best way to get people’s attention is with funny viral videos, so they have turned to the popular video site Funny or Die to create some 20 projects to promote the Affordable Care Act and get more young people enrolled in the new health insurance marketplaces. The alliance resulted in one particularly surreal-sounding meeting between Obama and celebrities like Amy Poehler, Jason Derulo, Michael Cera, and Jennifer Hudson in the Roosevelt Room.
Funny or Die’s president of production says it has been a mammoth marketing task to take on. “The simplest way to put it was, they had spent all this time and energy and money on the biggest movie of their lives and had no marketing budget in which to promote it,” he says. “I just thought that was the craziest thing I’d ever heard.” Up against them are a number of powerful, well-funded conservative groups working just as hard to convince Americans to opt out of ObamaCare. One group, Generation Opportunity, released its own satirical YouTube video this week, amassing over a million views so far. The first Funny or Die ObamaCare video will premier on September 30.
President Obama And Jay-Z Totally Text Each Other
During an interview with radio station Hot97, Jay-Z revealed that him and Renegade text each other all the time… ’cause they’re that close.
According to Jay-Z, te president uses lots of sports analogies, and offered up this example:
“When he was getting elected the second time, he was like, ‘Hey, you know, fourth quarter, just give me the ball.’ I said, ‘Word.’”
Man Arrested In Ricin Laced Letters Scare
A man has been arrested in the mailing of letters laced with toxin to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker,
The man was identified as Kenneth Curtis of Tupelo, Mississippi, but not much more is known about him at this point, though both letters were signed, “I am KC and I approve this message.” Each also contained the message, “to see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.”
The letters were flagged at mail-sorting facilities before reaching their intended targets. Initial tests turned up positive for the poison ricin, but NBC News reports that it’s still not clear just how potent the letters were. Further tests are under way.
Someone Tried To Poison Obama With Ricin
The Secret Service intercepted a letter addressed to President Obama after a “suspicious substance” was detected on it.
The substance turned out to be ricin, the same substance found on a letter to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker yesterday, the Dow Jones news wire is reporting.
Authorities already have a suspect in the case of the letter sent to Wicker
And before we start getting paranoid, Gawker notes that there’s a history of ricin false positives that have been used to justify hasty security action… so chill.
The History Channel’s Satan Looks Just Like…
History channel has been broadcasting a very successful miniseries based on the bible… so it’s no wonder viewers took to the internet after noticing that Satan looks a little too much like President Obama.
Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni plays the role of the fallen angel. A number of Twitter users noticed the similarity between Ouazanni and Obama on Sunday. Among them was Glenn Beck, who first tweeted that the series was “one of the most important shows in decades,” then posted a screenshot of Ouazanni and asked if others thought he looked like “That Guy,” Beck’s preferred term for Obama.
Sylvia Burwell Could Be Obama’s New Budget Director
President Barack Obama has nominated Walmart Foundation chief Sylvia Burwell as budget director.
Sources say that Obama will name the 47-year-old veteran of Bill Clinton’s White House tomorrow.
Burwell directed philanthropic efforts from Wal-Mart’s Arkansas headquarters and she will bring an outsider’s view to the White House, and she’s female—unlike most of Obama’s other choices for top jobs.
Obama Sworn In Today, Inaugural Party To Be Held Tomorrow
Washington is pretty much ready for tomorrow’s inauguration party… even if Obama is sworn in today.
Yes, President Obama will quietly be sworn in for a second term today, due to a Constitutional quirk that mandates that the commander in chief be sworn in at noon on January 20. Because that fell on a Sunday, when inaugurations aren’t held, Obama will take the oath at the White House today and tomorrow’s ceremony is essentially a re-enactment, reports the AP.
Chief Justice John Roberts—who famously flubbed the oath four years ago—will swear the president in both times. Joe Biden was also sworn in this morning in a small ceremony at the Naval Observatory, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor administering the oath.