Obamacare Amuse Bouche – House votes later tonight for 37th time to repeal Obamacare… Here’s some prep for that:
VIDEO – 36 Anti-Obamacare Votes in 14 Seconds – http://abcn.ws/13pOqN3
#ObamaCareInThreeWords: An Online Debate- http://abcn.ws/YZoyf8
Metaphor Alert, Umbrella Edition - Meanwhile, across town, Obama weathers storm with help from Marine, umbrella – http://abcn.ws/10v6bgu
We’ll get to the news in a sec. First, let’s ride…
Tomorrow: Bike to Work Day - So lube up your chains, people. The ABC DC bureau got a head start. pic.twitter.com/N1g43tj9Uk
Pro Tips from Notable Commuters –
Sub Note: We did not hear back with tips from Denis McDonough, the White House Chief of Staff and former bicycle commuter, who said in January he was benched by the President when he achieved a cabinet level position. Tsk tsk, Mr. President.
But the White House has somehow weathered the #letdenisride campaign, which hasn’t gotten much traction since January. http://bit.ly/12yCDOU
We also did not hear back from Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, who respectfully declined our request for a cycling interview after breaking his shoulder in a bike accident last month. Get back in the saddle, Justice.
Anyway, meet our cycling panel -
Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize Winner, Director, National Cancer Institute, Cycling Badass
Christiane Amanpour, ABC News Global Affairs Anchor
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, and Chairman of the Capitol Bike Caucus
Three recommendations? -
Varmus - KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE ROAD FOR POTHOLES, VARY THE ROUTE FOR INTEREST, KEEP BIKES WELL MAINTAINED AND CARRY SPARE TUBES. (Caps are his)
Amanpour – Bike and bike to work! I do almost every day. It’s great exercise and great for the soul, not to mention quick and much safer now that so many cities have expanded bike lanes.
Blumenauer – If you can shower at work and keep your work clothes at the office, it makes your morning (and your coworkers’ mornings) much more pleasant. Try out multiple routes to find one that gets you there safely, reliably, and enjoyably. To help motivate yourself, keep track of how much money you’re saving on gas, parking, or transit.
Varmus – 12 MILES, MAINLY THROUGH ROCK CREEK PARK
Amanpour – My commute is not long but it’s fun and I bike everywhere.
Blumenauer – In DC, it’s about a mile each way, and I am constantly biking to meetings on and around the Hill. In Portland, my commute is about 2 miles each way, and I try to bike to all the meetings, events, and appointments I can.
Varmus – DEPENDS ON THE WEATHER: MY FINE MERLIN ROAD BIKE WHEN ITS FINE, MY SHODDY TRAIL BIKE WHEN ITS WET OR COLD
Amanpour – I ride an old fashion street bike with basket attached to the back so I can carry my work bag and/or shopping!
Blumenauer – I ride a Trek Portland, of course. Sadly, it has been discontinued. Now mine is vintage, which is very Portlandia.
A Funny Story About Being Hit? -
Varmus – GETTING HIT IS NOT FUNNY BUT NEARLY ALL MY ACCIDENTS (ABOUT ONE A DECADE) HAVE BEEN THE RESULT OF MY OWN CARELESSNESS
Amanpour – Luckily I have never been hit and I notice drivers are nicer and more aware of bikers now. But you do have to brace yourself for what I call the Lance Armstrong wannabes: super-suited, oakley-wearing, racing-bike riding hell raisers who think they own the park and let you know it. I have noticed though they have calmed down a lot since Lance’s fall from grace!
Blumenauer – Cycling can be dangerous, but it’s not as dangerous as many people think and is getting safer as more people ride and we invest further in infrastructure. I’ve been bike commuting for a long time, so some close calls are inevitable.
Varmus – I DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE WEATHER
Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Note -
Obama Names OMB Official as Acting IRS Commissioner- President Obama today appointed Office of Management and Budget official Danny Werfel to serve as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. Werfel, 42, replaces Steven Miller, who was asked to resign Wednesday in the wake of revelations that IRS employees inappropriately targeted conservative groups. http://abcn.ws/16mlrkz (Abby Phillip)
And there’s late word from AP that a second official, Joseph Grant, the commissioner head of the tax exempt division who had been on the job only since May 8th, will resign next month too.
Who had that job before? A woman named Sarah Hall Ingraham, reports John Parkinson. Her job today? She’s head othe IRS Obamacare unit.
‘Fired’ IRS Commissioner Planned to Leave Post in June- It appeared that President Obama had taken decisive action late Wednesday when he announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had demanded the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller amid the growing scandal over targeting conservative groups. But it turns out that Miller was subject to a term limit that would have forced him out of the job in three weeks. http://abcn.ws/11HHJfg (Phillip)
Obama’s ‘Mensis Horriblis’ – With scandals raining down on Washington this month, George Stephanopoulos takes viewer questions on Benghazi, the IRS and journalists’ phone records – http://yhoo.it/YMRG73
Boehner Says Scandals Show Obama’s ‘Arrogance’ – http://abcn.ws/18O9HpJ (John Parkinson)
Scandal City Threatens Obama Agenda – Rick Klein’s analysis – Whether or not there’s ultimately, to borrow the president’s words, ” ‘there’ there” inside the various scandals, this week’s swirl has broad implications for the president’s second-term agenda. By one estimate, a third of committees in the GOP-controlled House are currently investigating at least one aspect of the Obama administration. http://abcn.ws/18O0mOv
Tea Party Finds Vindication in IRS Scandal - Chris Good reports: Tea party activists descended on Washington today, promising to sue the Internal Revenue Service and claiming vindication in their long-held complaints about perceived government overreach.
At a news conference on Capitol Hill this morning, activists joined Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to lambaste the federal government for targeting them with extra scrutiny as they applied for tax-exempt status as public-advocacy groups. Tea partiers say the lengthy questionnaires, some of them 30 questions long, cost them hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars as they sent stacks of paperwork to the IRS and were held in legal limbo for years, uncertain of what activities they could pursue, and cut off from skeptical donors scared away by their pending status. http://abcn.ws/16mGovN
Obama: No Special Counsel Necessary for IRS Scandal- There’s no need for a special counsel to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, President Obama said today. “My main concern is fixing a problem and we began that process yesterday by asking and accepting the resignation of the acting director there,” Obama said during a drizzly Rose Garden news onference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. http://abcn.ws/107pLjb (Phillip)
Why Tax-Exempt Groups are a Political Minefield for the IRS- Must-read explainer from Abby Phillip – To be sure, tax-exemption is one perk of receiving 501(c)4 status from the IRS, but the real reason the tax-exempt status has in recent years become a popular vehicle for groups that straddle the line between advocacy and politics is that the status allows them to do political work and keep their contributions hidden. http://abcn.ws/110363P
Found in Translation - Beautiful reimagining of tired English metaphor by translator of Turkish PM – “You are looking at the part of the glass that is empty. I choose to look at the part of the glass that is full.”
Obama Weathers Storm With Help From Marine, Umbrella- With a trio of scandals rocking the Obama administration, a dark could has descended over the White House in recent days.
Today, that clouds literally opened up on President Obama. But don’t worry; there is sunshine at the end of this story. Running 47 minutes later, President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan stepped out into the Rose Garden for a joint press conference as a light sprinkle began to fall. http://abcn.ws/13pK9t4 (Mary Bruce)
SCOTUS Watch: Keep an Eye on Srikanth Srinivasan- Keep your eye on Srikanth “Sri” Srinivasan, the principal deputy solicitor general of the United States. This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The nomination will now move to the full Senate.http://abcn.ws/107v8ih (Ariane De Vogue)
He’s not Anthony Weiner. He’s you. – Filming what looks like campaign commercial and spied by NBC NY – http://bit.ly/15QNgkS
John Edwards Returns, Will Speak At Conference on ‘Historic Trials of the Century’ - http://abcn.ws/10IIbTR
Legislation Aims to Strengthen Prosecution of Sexual Assaults in Military-Days after the second sex crime scandal in the last month hit the military, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would take prosecution of sexual assaults in the military out of the chain of command, preventing military commanders from handling the cases of subordinates. http://abcn.ws/18NZLwd (Arlette Saenz)