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Wednesday, December 3, 2014
706 Days Until Election Day 2016A bust of President Obama is 3D-printed: the most amazing thing in human history. Also spending bill news: It's Wednesday, December 3, 2014, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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Capitol Hill News
- Boehner Unveils Shutdown/Immigration Plan In a closed-door meeting Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) unveiled his plan to keep the government open – and respond to President Obama’s immigration executive order – to the House Republican Conference. And the rank-and-file didn’t like it very much.
- The plan is an appeal to the tea party members who have caused Boehner so much trouble for the past three years. For the conservatives, included in the plan is a vote this week on a bill by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) preventing the “executive branch of the Government to exempt, by Executive order, regulation, or any other means, categories of persons unlawfully present in the United States from removal under the immigration laws.”
- In exchange, House GOP leaders hope their conservative members will vote next week on the so-called “Crominbus” bill, which will fund the government and avert a December 11 shutdown. The “Cromnibus” is a combination of “CR,” or continuing resolution (a short-term spending proposal), and “omnibus” (the Hill lingo for a full, long-term spending package). This spending proposal, authored by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), combines both in that it fully finances 11 of the 12 annual appropriation bills for the fiscal year – a full “omnibus”. Almost.
- The 12th appropriation bill funds the Department of Homeland Security, and under Boehner’s plan, will only be funded through March – the “CR” part of the package, since this a much shorter term than an omnibus proposal. Funding the DHS for less time is a punitive act, again the House GOP’s response to President Barack Obama for issuing an executive order on immigration. The idea is that since DHS implements most of the executive order, “isolating the agency’s funding in such a way would signal that House Republicans are serious about continuing to fight, in a piece of must-pass legislation, the president’s executive orders,” according to Roll Call.
- On Capitol Hill for a House Homeland Security Committee hearing Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called the short-term funding of DHS a “very bad idea,” citing programs from Secret Service to border security that would be adversely affected.
- The question is whether Democrats will go for it. The lack of full funding for DHS won’t be popular among congressional Democrats, of course, but if it is the only way to avoid a government shutdown, they may go for it. Democrats may even gain some power in the process, if Republicans are forced to turn to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her caucus, if theirs does not produce enough votes for the plan. In such a scenario, Pelosi may be able to give DHS full funding.
- The reality is: both sides don’t want a government shutdown. But they really don’t want to stay in session past next week. And leaders from both parties will do whatever they can to pass a bill, and then get home for the holidays.White House Watch
- Smithsonian Creates a 3D Presidential Portrait File this under, “items that should have gotten WAY more attention”.
- The White House released a video yesterday that got no attention in the mainstream media, despite the fact that it is awesome. The video showed the first 3D-printed bust of a U.S. President being created.
- Back in June, Autodesk and 3D Systems, a team of 3D-digital-imaging specialists, led by the Smithsonian and in collaboration with the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, came to the White House to visit President Obama. They had Obama sit in a chair for one full second, with 50 LED lights, 8 sports photography cameras, and six wide-angle cameras surrounding him, and then walked around the President with “structured 3-D light scanners,” capturing 3D images of all angles of the President’s face.
- The video, seen here, released by the White House on Tuesday, shows the process of capturing the images and then the just-days-long process of creating the bust.
- This bust, on view at the Commons Gallery of the Smithsonian Castle starting Tuesday, is not an artist’s likeness of Barack Obama – it very much is Barack Obama. Or an objective 3D likeness of him, created from millions of measurements gathered and made into an easily-printed bust of President Obama, the first such bust made for any U.S. President or any head of state. Get it: head of state!
- There is something odd about this process, in that it totally replaces artists of the past, with accurate art of the future – leaving no room for the abstract, or artistic vision, just presenting a completely-exact portrait of the President in the third dimension. Just something to think about.
- But, you must admit: this is pretty amazing. #geekingout
- The President’s Schedule At 11:15 AM, President Barack Obama will speak to members of the Business Roundtable, an association of top corporate CEO, and answer their questions.
- At 12:30 PM, President Obama will sit down for lunch with Vice President Joe Biden.
- At 2:40 PM, the President will meet with incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), just the third one-on-one meeting the two have ever had. As McConnell prepares to take control of the Senate next month, the agenda for the meeting will probably include tax breaks, which expire December 30, and the new spending bill, replacing the old one that expires December 11.
- At 4 PM, Obama will speak at the 6th annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, a tradition he started in 2009, and has continued every year of his presidency. The conference “provide[s] leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference,” according to the White House.
- The President will close this busy day with his traditional meeting (5:35 PM) and dinner (7:30 PM) with Combatant Commanders and Military Leadership.