President Obama’s approval rating has hit the lowest point of his tenure, with only 40% happy with the job he’s doing running the country:

NEW: President Obama hits a career-low 40 percent job approval rating in today's new ABC/WaPo poll.

— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) October 15, 2014

Nor are Americans happy with the president’s handling of ISIS:

.@ABC News poll: Pres. Obama's approval rating on ISIS fell from 50% to 35% in 14 days:

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 15, 2014

And Democrats, in general, are polling at 30-year lows:

Damn RT @AaronBlakeWP: The Democratic Party hits a 30-year low: 39% favorable rating

— John Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) October 15, 2014

All of this is affecting the 2014 midterms:

scary times = anxious voters. and that means a tough backdrop for Dems this fall.

— Rick Klein (@rickklein) October 15, 2014

Make no mistake – Dem Gov candidates now own President Obama's sinking approval ratings & failed policies:

— Jon Thompson (@JonThompsonDC) October 15, 2014 Gardner leads Udall in Colorado Senate race BB PIN: 2ab2cc5b

— PB PLUS OIL AND GAS (@GeorgeBasa) October 15, 2014

Gardner hits 50 – rare threshold in key Senate races this fall – in new #COSEN poll. h/t @benyc

— Rick Klein (@rickklein) October 15, 2014

Chuck Todd: Obama’s Dismal Approval Result Of ‘Weak’ Foreign Policy via @FreeBeacon

— Chris (@Chris_1791) October 15, 2014

NEW Post-ABC poll: Republicans hold sizable turnout edge, helped by weaker Democratic brand

— Post Polls (@PostPolls) October 15, 2014

Democrats find themselves at their lowest approval since 1984. Obsess a little more about climate change, you clowns

— JWF (@JammieWF) October 15, 2014

Dear Louisiania: you give Obama horrible approval ratings, so why are you even THINKING about re-electing a Senator who supports his agenda?

— Kevin Eder (@keder) October 15, 2014

Obama approval in new Des Moines Register poll: 39%. Wow.

— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) October 11, 2014

But this poll says voter apathy is quite high this cycle, suggesting anything can still happen come election day.

Biggest takeaway from our poll: America is TUNING OUT upcoming elections, which could produce surprising results

— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) October 15, 2014

Stay tuned. It’s going to be a fun November 4th!


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Hickenlooper had worried about damage to Colorado’s image.

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Rick Wilking / Reuters

DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper — who opposed the referendum that legalized marijuana in his state — said Monday he hasn’t seen the economic fallout he feared.

Hickenlooper, whose priority has been luring businesses and entrepreneurs to Denver, Boulder, and other hubs, had worried a view of Colorado’s as the stoner state could “distort all the work that we’ve done” in presenting a pro-business image, he said in an interview.

“We haven’t seen it yet,” he said of the feared negative economic impact. “That’s why we have been so aggressive and rigorous with implementing the regulations.”

The referendum legalized the use of marijuana, as well as possession of up to an ounce, for all Colorado residents over 21. Titled “Amendment 64,” it went into effect on Dec. 10, 2012, after passing by a 9% margin of the popular vote the previous month, though legal sales of marijuana didn’t begin until January of this year.

Hickenlooper, to the fury of the referendum’s supporters, opposed it, but has worked with the nascent legal industry to impose a strict regulatory and tax regime — and he said the industry has been as cooperative as he always thought it would be.

“We predicted that this would be an industry that would function like any other industry — that they would be no more or less driven or acquisitive than any other industry and they would be no more or less given to regulation and supporting regulation,” Hickenlooper said between bites of breakfast burrito at a long desk in his Capitol office. “They look at their self-interest just like another business, but it’s a whole different framework: No one has ever had a self-interest like this, where they have got to protect the right to do in a state what’s illegal nationally.”

“The industry was a great supporter of our very stiff tax rates; generally they’ve been supportive of our pretty stiff regulation,” he said.

Colorado residents can purchase up to an ounce of marijuana only from specialty licensed retail shops. Currently, only already-existing medical marijuana dispensaries are eligible for a recreational license, though this restriction will lift in October of this year. Retailers must properly label all products with clear information regarding warnings, serving size, and potency, and any marijuana magazines must be treated like pornography by being placed behind the counter. Additionally, those who choose to grow their own plants at home are limited to six plants, with only three flowering at any given time.

Hickenlooper said his main remaining worry is polling suggesting that legalization has persuaded young people that marijuana is perfectly safe, when many neurologists believe it can impair a developing brain.

He also said the benefits of tax revenues from the legal product can be overstated.

“The other governors tease me, they say, ‘I wouldn’t be so rigorous if I had $130 million in tax revenue projected,’” he said. “But that’s a drop in the bucket compared to how the world thinks of your state as a place to build a business.”

Hickenlooper, indeed, is running for reelection on a platform of economic growth and pro-business management. His state weathered the economic crisis better than most, and his regular emails to supporters bely much concern that marijuana has derailed its growth.

“While the rest of the country’s economy is slowly picking back up, we’re thriving here in Colorado,” he wrote earlier this month.

Weed also appears unlikely to be a central election issue. Hickenlooper opponent Bob Beauprez recently told ABC News that he’d look for “a way to agree with” Hickenlooper on marijuana regulation.

Hickenlooper said he was “surprised” that Beauprez, a former congressman, had chosen to enter the race. “I would have thought he would have supported a lot of our economic development stuff,” he said.

Colorado, though, is the fulcrum of nearly every other divisive issue in the country: Hickenlooper is under assault from the right for his support of gun control, and from the left for backing the natural gas extraction technique known as fracking. Republicans, in particular, see an opportunity in tying Hickenlooper to the Affordable Care Act, which he supports, although Colorado’s state-run health insurance exchange has not been as troubled as

“I am concerned that it is going to be a difficult year for Democrats and I am going to be painted with that same brush,” he said. And while he pointed to a rare decrease in the rate of growth in health care costs as a sign that the Affordable Care Act’s cost-control measures are working, he says he doesn’t expect that to help much with the politics. He also said he doesn’t anticipate wanting President Obama (or any other out-of-state figure) to campaign for him.

“As a campaign thing, when I walk into a room and say how many people hate the ACA, half of the hands or two-thirds of the hands in the room go up,” he said.

Hickenlooper also quietly came out for marriage equality toward the bottom of a press release March 3, a decision he described Monday as a “nuance” and natural evolution from his longtime support for equal civil marriage rights, while leaving churches free to make their own decisions.

“The debate had changed sufficiently that I think people can understand that supporting civil marriage is a way of saying I support every single right for every single person,” he said.

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New York Senator Chuck Schumer said on Friday that during his meeting with Chuck Hagel, the Secretary of Defense nominee had convinced him that his views on Israel and Iran had changed over the last few years.

“Well look, as is clear, I had my doubts about Chuck Hagel and in fact made them public on the meet the press show,” Schumer said on Nachum Segal’s morning radio show. “That was before he was nominated.”

“The president asked me to meet with [Hagel] before I made any decisions, that was only fair,” Schumer told the Orthodox Jewish radio host, who has been a leading local critic of his support for the former Republican senator.

“I asked him many many probing questions,” Schumer said, about Iran, Israel, the Palestinians, Hamas, and Hezbollah. “His answers were not pat, were not check-the-box.”

“He was sincere,” Schumer said. “He basically said look, the bottom line is the world has changed since 2005, 6, 7. Iran is far more dangerous and far more militant than it was then, everyone would agree with that. He said Hamas and Hezbollah are closer to Iran and more militant and worse.” ”

Hagel, Schumer said, had “convinced me that he had changed his views.”

Schumer said Hagel “satisfied my concerns,” but “I’ll be watching him like an eagle.”

The senator pled ignorance of a report from earlier this week that President Obama had been privately saying that Israel “doesn’t know what its best interests are.”

“I don’t know which instance you’re referring to,” Schumer said. “I’m not familiar with that statement, I’ve been busy with other things.”

“When I disagree with [Obama] I make it public,” Schumer said. “I think I’m basically the only major Jewish official, or any official, that has disputed their view of Israel and Palestine, in other words, whatever you think of settlements, whatever you think of borders, the reason there’s no peace is because the Palestinians don’t want a Jewish state.”

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The flower, as a reproductive organ, evolved with one primary purpose in mind – to attract pollinators like insects or birds. This function has driven their astounding evolutionary explosion of distinct colors and shapes, some of which have even come to resemble various recognizable figures, plants or animals. [Read more…]

The colors of these flamboyant orchids attract insects and birds, signaling that these flowers are full of tasty nectar. Their shapes, on the other hand, often evolve to attract or accommodate specific pollinators while dissuading parasites or other, less desirable pollinators. Some flowers are more welcoming to bees, while others are perfect for hummingbirds or different insects.

Their stunning colors and biodiversity have attracted another type of creature as well – us. Orchid lovers value flowers like these for their resemblance to other recognizable objects which, while coincidental, is still definitely entertaining!

Monkey Face Orchid (Dracula Simia)




Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

Image credits: Christian Kneidinger

Image credits: José Roberto Rodrigues Araújo


Naked Man Orchid (Orchis Italica)

Image credits: Ana Retamero



Hooker’s Lips (Psychotria Elata)

Image credits: unknown

Dancing Girls (Impatiens Bequaertii)

Image credits: unknown

Laughing Bumble Bee Orchid (Ophrys bomybliflora)




Swaddled Babies (Anguloa Uniflora)

Image credits: unknown

Parrot Flower (Impatiens Psittacina)

Image credits: unknown


Image credits: Bruce Kekule

Snap Dragon Seed Pod (Antirrhinum)

Image credits: unknown

Flying Duck Orchid (Caleana Major)

Image credits: Michael Prideaux

Image credits: Robert Andrew Price

Orchid That Looks Like A Tiger


Happy Alien (Calceolaria Uniflora)

Image credits: Butterfly voyages

Image credits: Julio Martinich

Angel Orchid (Habenaria Grandifloriformis)



Dove Orchid Or Holy Ghost Orchid (Peristeria Elata)

Image credits: Saji Antony

Image credits: Reji

Image credits: M.a.h.S

Orchid That Looks Like A Ballerina

Image credits: Tere Montero

White Egret Orchid (Habenaria Radiata)

Image credits: Rachel Scott-Renouf


Image credits: Torisan3500

Darth Vader (Aristolochia Salvadorensis)


Image credits: unknown


P.S. We always try our best to credit each and every photographer, but sometimes it’s impossible to track some of them. Please contact us if you know the missing authors.


Read more:!/andersoncooper/status/270905488386957312

Warning: The photo below is graphic and brutal.

a half dozen men on motorcycles just dragged the body of a man down a main street in #Gaza. They were yelling he was a spy for Israel

— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) November 20, 2012

.@rabbi_sykes excuse me, but how am I apologizing for Hamas by reporting them dragging a body through the streets? That is deeply offensive

— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) November 20, 2012

Dear Lord. Twitter users express their horror at this vicious brutality perpetrated by Hamas.

@andersoncooper #Gaza Re: Palestinians dragging suspected spy behind mtrcycle: The horror of this brutality is debilitating.

— Doreen Remen/ APF (@doreenremen) November 20, 2012

PRAY. “@andersoncooper: Men dragging body behind motorcycle in #Gaza City. They were yelling he was a spy for Israel.

— Regine Gabayno ☃ (@FightingAgine) November 20, 2012

Savages RT @andersoncooper: Men dragging body behind motorcycle in #Gaza City-They were yelling he was a spy for Israel

— NCN(@nikkibama) November 20, 2012

Fascism: Gaza has it.

— Joshua Treviño (@jstrevino) November 20, 2012

Of course, some sick souls defend the terrorists.

Look at some of the responses to this tweet by Hamas sympathizers.…

— RB (@RBPundit) November 20, 2012


@mehrtarar @oboe_cop @andersoncooper By law any country gives either a captial punishment to a spy or life imprisonment!

— Ahmed Jilani (@ahmedjilani) November 20, 2012

@andersoncooper Why are you there?… Where are your reports on the children on this international day of children?

— Free Gaza Movement (@freegazaorg) November 20, 2012

@mehrtarar @andersoncooper He is a bloody Mossad agent, pinpointing the locations of where the rockets are being fired by the resistance!

— Ahmed Jilani (@ahmedjilani) November 20, 2012

@mehrtarar @andersoncooper Prophet(pbuh) ordered killing of the enemy in the state of war, a defensive war. That is exactly whats happening

— Ahmed Jilani (@ahmedjilani) November 20, 2012

@mehrtarar @andersoncooper Besides How much have you followed this liar and fabricator called Anderson Cooper? you watch too much of CNN!

— Ahmed Jilani (@ahmedjilani) November 20, 2012

@mehrtarar @andersoncooper A Ruthless Massacre which is not even touched by bbc , cnn is being carried out in Gaza for the last 6 days

— Ahmed Jilani (@ahmedjilani) November 20, 2012


Twitchy will continue to monitor and update with further developments.

More sick defense of Hamas.

@andersoncooper Actually, he deserved to die this way but can u pls tell ur followers about this pic too? #Gaza…

— ابراهيم الفرحان (@IbrahimAlfarhan) November 20, 2012

@andersoncooper How can an awesome/well educated reporter like you defend Israelis terrorist occupation of Palestine, is it the money?

— Ahmad Kurdi (@Plasticly) November 20, 2012

Update: More than one man was viciously killed and brutalized; Reports indicate 6 men.

Just saw pictures of one of the Palestinians executed by Hamas for collaboration with #Israel. Body dragged behind motorbikes. Won’t RT.

— Iyad El-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) November 20, 2012

The bodies of the six Palestinians executed for collaborating with #Israel were dumped in a #Gaza street.

— Iyad El-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) November 20, 2012

Warning: Graphic video at the link.

Video: Hamas’ ruthlessness and brutality: execution of 6 Palestinians in Gaza by Hamas’ terrorists #PillarOfDefense

— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) November 20, 2012

And, soulless and sickening responses to the vicious brutality.

@ofirgendelmanThose executed this evening are spys for the IDFand located many houses for the isreali intelligence . they deserve death

— shadicoo (@shadicoo1) November 20, 2012

@ofirgendelman they deserve it!

— Nezar Ghourab (@NGhourab) November 20, 2012

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We like to label people as either good or bad based on some of their most famous actions, but the truth is rarely that cut and dried. Even the vilest person might have done good at some point in their life. It may not excuse their other actions, which can be indefensible. But it shows that oftentimes these caricatures of evil are far more complex characters.

10Benedict Arnold

The Bad:
For Americans, the name Benedict Arnold is synonymous with treason. For everyone else who might not have heard of him, Benedict Arnold was a Revolutionary War general who initially fought for the Americans but switched sides in 1779, plotting to surrender West Point to the British. Although his plan was discovered and Arnold wasn’t successful, he eluded capture, living a long and happy life in England. His escape likely contributed to his infamous image as the worst traitor in American history.

The Good:
His betrayal forever tarnished his reputation, but Benedict Arnold had been a prized and successful American general. He believed in his cause so much that he actually spent his own money to train and equip his men. He also had several decisive victories that contributed significantly toward the overall war effort. These included capturing Fort Ticonderoga and the Battle of Saratoga.

Arnold even has his own memorial at Saratoga, the Boot Monument. It has the distinction of being the only war memorial in the US that omits its honoree’s name. The inscription states: “In memory of the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot . . . winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution.”

9Fred Phelps


The Bad:
Fred Phelps was head of the Westboro Baptist Church, a self-proclaimed religious organization that many instead label a hate group. It’s also unofficially named the “most hated family in America” since the group mainly comprises Phelps’s own family members. They gained notoriety for protesting the funerals of soldiers and for their motto “God Hates Fags,” which they shout at every opportunity.

The Good:
Before starting an organization that hates everyone else in the world, Fred Phelps was a successful lawyer in the 1960s. In fact, he was a civil rights activist who took on cases of racial discrimination. He fought the Jim Crow laws and often won, earning his black clients significant settlements for discrimination.

Phelps filed lawsuits against the Topeka School District, the Topeka Police Department, and the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department to secure equal rights for black citizens. He even received awards from local branches of the NAACP and Blacks in Government.

8Fidel Castro

The Bad:
For 50 years, Castro ruled Cuba as a repressive socialist state. He came to power by overthrowing President Fulgencio Batista’s military dictatorship, and some say that one dictator was simply replaced with a worse one. Castro allied himself with the communist Russians and took their side during the Cold War, allowing them to install nuclear sites in Cuba and trigger the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Good:
Castro’s socialist policies achieved some of their goals. During the early years of his reign, Castro instituted some of the most comprehensive plans for education and healthcare in Latin America. The National Health System provides the Cuban people with free preventive, curative, and rehabilitation services. As a result of this, Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world and also one of the highest life expectancies in Latin America at 78.22 years.

After the Cuban Revolution, the Federation of Cuban Women was founded to ensure that women receive rights and opportunities, as well as access to a better education. Cuban education is free at every level, and morning and after-school care is also free for working parents. Meals and uniforms are free, and “mobile teachers” are available for children who cannot come to the schools. However, Cuban education does come with a price—a significant portion focuses on Marxist ideology, ensuring that Cubans embrace communism from an early age.

7Lizzie Borden

The Bad:
On August 4, 1892, Abby and Andrew Borden were murdered inside their Massachusetts home with an axe. Their daughter, Lizzie, was accused of the crime. A highly publicized trial followed, and Lizzie Borden was actually acquitted of the crime. Despite this, most people still believed her to be guilty, and she became an outcast.

The Good:
Lizzie Borden may or may not have been a killer. We will probably never know for sure. However, we do know that she was a huge animal lover. One of the few places where she wasn’t ostracized after the trial was the Animal Rescue League of Fall River, a local animal shelter. To repay this kindness, Lizzie left the organization $30,000 in her will.

Her family had been quite wealthy, and she inherited a large sum of money and a big estate once her parents died. She gave $3,000 to each one of her servants and various other sums of money and pieces of jewelry to friends and family members.

6Christopher Johnson

The Bad:
Compared to the other people on this list, Christopher Johnson really isn’t such a bad guy. However, he still is a career criminal with multiple felony convictions. Most recently, he was accused of pimping (according to him, he merely escorts and protects working girls, listening in on their conversation with customers).

The Good:
Whether or not Mr. Johnson worked as a pimp is irrelevant in this case. What matters more is what he did while “looking after” his friend who was with a customer. She was contacted by a client, later identified as Dell Rainbow Vanderschuit, who wanted her to bring him a little girl. Someone around nine years old would have been ideal.

The conversation lasted about half an hour and got increasingly detailed and graphic. Johnson heard every word and was disturbed enough to look past his displeasure for law enforcement and contact the cops. Catching a child molester is one of those rare opportunities when everyone else puts aside their differences for the greater good. The police were happy to work with him.

Vanderschuit was caught. He’d already done time in jail for sexually assaulting a child in 1993, so there’s a very good chance that Christopher Johnson saved a little girl that day.

5Bartolomeu Portugues

The Bad:
Bartolomeu Portugues was a ruthless Portuguese pirate active in the 17th century. He had several impressive victories, most notably capturing a Spanish ship carrying a fortune in cargo and gold off the coast of Cuba. He hasn’t been written about extensively, which is one of the main reasons that he isn’t particularly well known today.

The Good:
Bartolomeu’s most significant contribution to the world of piracy was the Pirate Code, a rulebook he introduced with the goal of bringing order and proper behavior to a previously uncivilized arena. This code was surprisingly strict and instilled a sense of discipline into pirates. It also made the pirate ship a fairly egalitarian society, which afforded sailors the same privileges as the captain or the first mate.

More than that, though, the code introduced ideas that were really innovative for their time, such as fair treatment of prisoners. Each captain was free to adapt the code to his liking, but some surprising entries stuck around. For example, the infamous Blackbeard’s code stated that any attempt to rape a woman was punishable by death. Any pirate who lost a limb in combat would receive fair compensation.

4David Berkowitz

The Bad:
One of the most notorious serial killers in American history, David Berkowitz (aka the Son of Sam) terrorized New York in the ’70s, killing six people and wounding seven others on a year-long killing spree. Also known as the “.44-caliber Killer,” Berkowitz had a relatively low number of victims, but his crimes were highly publicized, so he became very notorious upon his capture.

The Good:
In jail, Berkowitz became a born-again Christian. That alone doesn’t say much—it’s pretty hard to tell when a criminal feels genuine remorse for his actions, and good intentions don’t bring victims back from the dead. It appears, though, that Berkowitz really is a different man. He has refused to seek parole, stating that he should remain in prison for the rest of his life.

A more substantial development came in 2005, when Berkowitz sued one of his former lawyers, Hugo Harmatz. Harmatz had several items of Berkowitz’s, including old pictures and letters, and was planning to publish a book with them. Berkowitz was only willing to give permission for the book if the profits went to his victims’ families. The two eventually reached a settlement, and part of the money went to the New York State Crime Victims Board.

3Jim Jones

The Bad:
Jim Jones led the People’s Temple, an American religious cult that later moved to Jonestown in Guyana. There, in 1978, over 900 of its members committed mass suicide. Over 300 of them were children. Before this, Jones’s group murdered five people, including a congressman investigating them.

The Good:
Like Fred Phelps, Jones spent the first half of his life fighting discrimination of African Americans. From an early age, Jones was a sympathizer with the plights of the black community despite (or perhaps because of) his father’s ties with the KKK. In fact, one of the main reasons that Jones started his own church was the disappointment he felt with segregated churches.

In 1960, Jones was appointed director of the Human Rights Commission of Indianapolis. He spent his time integrating many prominent establishments such as churches, hospitals, restaurants, an amusement park, and the police department. This earned praise from the Urban League and the NAACP and the scorn of many white locals who didn’t share his integrationist views.

2Saddam Hussein

The Bad:
Saddam Hussein was probably once the most feared man in the world. Technically the president of Iraq, the “Butcher of Baghdad” really ruled as a dictator and showed incredible brutality toward anyone who opposed him.

The Good:
Before he was president, Hussein was vice president and still wielded a lot of power and influence. One of his biggest projects was education. He started the “National Campaign for the Eradication of Illiteracy,” providing free and compulsory education for all residents.

Iraq began providing social services that were almost unprecedented in the Middle East. Farmers received subsidies, and the entire agricultural industry was mechanized and modernized. Soldiers’ families received support, and the government instituted a new public health system that granted free hospitalization for all citizens. This work earned Saddam an award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


The Bad:
At this point it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction, but it is said that Caligula was one of the most sadistic and depraved rulers in history. His perversity and cruelty have been the focus of all historians who talked about him.

The Good:
The reign of Caligula was, without a doubt, a bloody one, but it didn’t start out like that. The people welcomed him with open arms and, according to Suetonius, gave him a huge celebration that lasted for three months. It helped that he followed the despised Tiberius on the throne.

Suetonius is the main and oftentimes only source we have for parts of Caligula’s reign. According to him, Caligula started off with many politically motivated actions that helped his people. He gave bonuses to the army and the Praetorian Guard to keep his troops happy. He invalidated the treason papers ordered by Tiberius and allowed those in exile to return home. He boosted public morale with popular spectacles. He granted magistrates power without having to answer to him. He allowed historical writings that had been previously banned. He gave breaks to those impoverished by taxes.

This lasted for the first six months of his reign, after which he reportedly began to turn into the tyrant we know today.

Read more:

A congressional aide expects the bill to pass the House before stalling in the Senate.

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People stand in what remains of a dismantled student camp in Bolivar Square, in Caracas. AP Photo/Fernando Llano


Updated with comment from a State Department spokesperson.

WASHINGTON — The State Department has backed off of its pressure against a Venezuela sanctions bill coming to the House of Representatives floor on Wednesday, the bill’s author said.

“I’m not saying that the State Department loves it,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Miami congresswoman who introduced the bill, said on Tuesday. “But this time they’re not actively against it. I have not heard of anybody being called to say ‘do not support it.’ Last time we did get folks telling us the State Department called them to say ‘don’t vote for it.’”

Ros-Lehtinen’s bill, which would freeze assets and ban entry to the U.S. for people found guilty of human rights abuses against Venezuelan protesters, passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this month despite a campaign by the State Department to pause the bill and its counterpart in the Senate. Ros-Lehtinen hopes to pass it by a voice vote on Wednesday.

Roberta Jacobson, the State Department’s assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, had argued that the Venezuelan opposition had said they were against the bill — something Venezuela’s opposition coalition, known as MUD, later denied. The opposition has engaged in talks with the government aimed at resolving months of political unrest that have resulted in the deaths of more than 40 people.

Ros-Lehtinen chided Jacobson for the apparent error, saying she had “stepped in it.”

“I think it’s because she made such a terrible mistake by mischaracterizing the Venezuelans’ opposition to the bill that now the State Department’s a little gun-shy about further getting involved in our bill,” she said.

Ros-Lehtinen said she wished the bill included harsher penalties, including provisions that prevented the U.S. from purchasing oil from Venezuela, but that she had ended up deciding not to include that.

“I don’t think we should keep buying Venezuelan oil because that’s money that’s going to [President Nicolas] Maduro,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “That’s a positive action we could take. We had it a little bit in the bill and then we scrapped it altogether because it’s controversial.”

“I don’t think that issue is going anywhere,” she said. “We can’t get Congress to do it, so we can’t get the Obama administration to do it.”

She declined to discuss the names of officials she would want the administration to put on the sanctions list, saying, “I don’t want to raise Venezuelan expat expectations.” The Venezuelan expatriate community in South Florida has been instrumental in pushing for sanctions.

A Congressional aide familiar with the bill said the State Department’s position on Venezuela sanctions remains that “they have the authority to do this and they’d like to control the timing of this,” whether or not they are still making calls on the bill.

“I do anticipate it’ll pass with an overwhelming bipartisan vote” in the House, the aide said. But “I think it still has a real uphill battle in the Senate… I would predict this passes in the House and doesn’t move in the Senate.” The Senate version of the bill, introduced by Sens. Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio, passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a 13-2 vote.

The aide pointed out that the administration can move ahead with sanctions on its own without legislation, and may do so. Venezuela’s government’s talks with the opposition have broken down; Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that “there has just been a total failure by the government of Venezuela to demonstrate good-faith actions” in the dialogue.

“The State Department and White House definitely do not want this,” said David Smilde, a professor of sociology at Tulane University and Senior Fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America who has researched Venezuela for 20 years. “But the unanimous support in the House Foreign Relations Committee and the 13-2 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including support from Democrats means this is not a battle they are going to put a lot of energy into.”

“This issue is really only important to a handful of lawmakers and their Florida constituents,” Smilde said. “However, they happen to be the leading voices in the FRCs of both houses of Congress and they support sanctions. Other congressmen are not likely to spend their political capital opposing this since it is not important to people in their district.”

“We have made clear that when it comes to sanctions, no options are off the table,” a State Department spokesperson said. “We share the concern of those in Congress regarding the human rights violations that have been committed as well as the lack of respect for democratic norms being exhibited by the Venezuelan government. We also believe it is important that those who order or commit human rights violations face the consequences of their actions.”

“However, we also believe the long-term solution in Venezuela will require meaningful dialogue among Venezuelans about that country’s serious and worsening economic and social problems,” the State Department spokesperson said. “That is the sort of dialogue the Union of South American States (UNASUR) and the Vatican have been trying to mediate. This will not be an easy or a quick process, and the dialogue needs to yield concrete results, but getting Venezuela back on a democratic course will require a concerted international effort. We need to ensure that whatever we do in terms of sanctions, both in timing and in substance, is calculated to support our larger objectives of seeing that Venezuela returns to full respect for democratic practice and human rights.”

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This list is best read while listening to this song and eating Godfather’s Pizza. These are the things we’ll miss most about the campaign.

Whitney Curtis / Getty Images

5. Rick Perry’s glorious accent

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Allison Joyce / Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

6. Mitt Romney’s beautiful hair

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

7. The fact that they let Joe out

Carolyn Kaster / AP

8. But most of all, we’ll miss debate night gifs

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