POLITICS
10/27/2010 06:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

HUFFPOST HILL - OCTOBER 27TH, 2010

Fie on all the naysayers who say the GOP is short on ideas! John Boehner is going to hit the ground running on his first day as speaker by ... figuring out what he's going to do on his first day as speaker. Utah Senate candidate Mike Lee proposed a budget that would return America to a simpler, more respectful time when its citizens wrote 'S's like 'F's and died at 50. And Mean Jean Schmidt had a Eureka! moment, discovering the one topic that shouldn't be explained to young children with puppets. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, October 27th, 2010:

LARSON MAY CHALLENGE HOYER FOR LEADERSHIP SPOT - Leading tomorrow's Roll Call: A competitive House Democratic leadership race appears to be brewing in the event the party loses the majority, writes Kathleen Hunter. "Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is considered the heir apparent to lead the Democrats if Pelosi stepped aside after a GOP rout on Nov. 2. But a source close to Caucus Chairman John Larson said Wednesday that Members had approached the Connecticut lawmaker about possibly mounting a challenge to Hoyer. And other ambitious junior Members could jump into a race as well, including Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Caucus Vice-Chairman Xavier Becerra."

EXCLUSIVE: MCCAIN FLAGRANTLY BREAKING HIS OWN LAW - When Democrats complained that John McCain's Senate campaign was illegally spending its money to back Raul Grijalva's opponent Ruth McClung, McCain whipped out docs showing he had filed with the FEC to make the independent expenditure. But that means he can't coordinate with the McClung campaign. HuffPost Hill snagged an email from the McClung camp to activists urging them to come into the McClung headquarters to do phone banking. The contact they give is a McCain staffer, Mike Sistak. It'd be difficult to define coordination any more clearly than that. Andrew Herman, a top election law attorney, calls the flagrant coordination "absurd" and "ridiculous." "It's certainly not within the letter and spirit of the law that bears the name of Mr. McCain," he said. Why does McCain hate Grijalva so much, beyond the obvious? Paging Howard Zinn: It's copper and uranium. "It's those two issues, the uranium industry up in the Grand Canyon and Resolution Copper," says Grijalva, who has blocked mining for both materials, digging that McCain wants to get going. "McClung doesn't have a campaign infrastructure," says Grijalva. "But McCain does have an infrastructure. And so their presence in these last remaining days will essentially be the McCain campaign." (McClung's camp says they're paying for half the costs of the office and that the staffer was listed as a matter of convenience to activists.)

MCCAIN TO CAMPAIGN FOR SHARRON ANGLE THIS FRIDAY - Tiring of calling Barbara Boxer a total pain in the arse and aiding and abetting Raul Grijalva opponents, the Arizona senator -- who seems to have a masochistic history of associating himself with Tea Party pols -- will headline an event for the Nevada Senate candidate. He will be joined by Jon Voigt and Michael Reagan. Review Journal: http://bit.ly/azdqPn

Angle on when she'll start talking to the press: "Once I get elected." Sam Stein: http://huff.to/cAI10m

DC METRO BOMB PLOT FOILED - Looks like we've found something about the Metro that will scare Tea Party tourists more than the Green Line. TBD: "The FBI has arrested an Ashburn man accused of plotting to bomb Metrorail stations. 34-year-old Farooque Ahmed was taken into custody after being indicted on three counts, including two counts of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group, and collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit agency." http://tbd.ly/9RZxXD

@GlennThrush: Metrorail bomb plotter targeted 4 stations in Virginia, according to the indictment: Pentagon City, Chrystal City, Courthouse, Arl Cemetery...@GlennThrush: Metrorail plotter didn't target anything, it turns out. He was instructed to target 4 Virginia stations by FBI agents posing as AQ

MIKE LEE: GOP WILL CUT FEDERAL SPENDING BY 40 PERCENT - At a campaign rally last week, the Utah Senate candidate made the claim about his party's agenda for the 112th Congress, detailing a three-point plan to extend the Bush tax cuts, compose a budget 40 percent lighter and then threaten a government shutdown if it's not passed. Newsweek called John Boehner's office for comment. Spokesperson Michael Steel responded: "That's not the commitment we made in 'The Pledge to America.'" Despite its rather outlandish objectives, this would-be budget does provide some real fusion between the GOP's policy platform and its fetishization of a bygone, Rockwellian Americana that never really existed. Picture if you will an America where every school is one-room, the mail is delivered in horse-drawn carriages and Radio Flyers are the latest in smart car technology. Newsweek: http://bit.ly/9c86Zw

Boehner man Michael Steel didn't dig on the Newsweek questioning, says Newsweek: "When asked whether threats to shut down the government were on the table, he hung up." Steel responds to HuffPost Hill: "I actually explained that we want to cut spending to pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels three times before I hung up - and would have been happy to explain that we want to cut the size of the government, not shut it down. He just needs to ask questions faster."

@aasif_mandvi: No Correspondent pieces on The Daily Show tonight, just some former senator from Illinois with a weird name. Snooze fest!

TERRIFYING FEVER DREAM FROM PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST Our favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist is all excited that Harry Reid might go down faster than his serotonin levels next week. Inside PSLGOPL's twisted brain, "the class warfare finger-pointing that the Democratic Party started to help provide a narrative for passing their socialist legislative agenda will result in Harry Reid getting taken out for living in a $15 million apartment in the Ritz Carlton." Thanks, PSLGOPL! PS: If congressional Democrats were genuinely interested in class warfare, your obscenely rich liberal hedge fund and private equity clients would be paying the same tax rate as their secretaries by now.

PolitiFact rates the 2010 campaign in its entirety "Barely True." http://bit.ly/cD8noN

In Soviet Russia, moments teach you: "Mikhail Gorbachev, who pulled Soviet troops out of Afghanistan more than 20 years ago after a bloody decade-long war there, says victory in Afghanistan is 'impossible,' and that America is risking another Vietnam if it doesn't withdraw its own troops soon." AOL News: http://aol.it/d6AzUR

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Glenn Beck on Wednesday blathered about how "99ers" -- people who've exhausted 99 weeks of unemployment benefits but haven't found work -- are being used as political pawns by Democrats and unions. So, just how many 99ers are there? Sad fact: Nobody actually knows. The Department of Labor tells HuffPost that it does not have the micro-level or individual claimant data to make an accurate estimate. With the multiple tiers of federally-funded benefits, the different number of weeks available in different states, and individual workers' potential stops and starts -- not to mention the congressional lapses -- nobody has figured out a reliable way to track the people who've used 99 weeks of benefits and still haven't found work. :(

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

LIBERAL GROUPS FRUSTRATED WITH DCCC SPENDING - Sam Stein on the Democrats' House campaign arm weather-coating the glass ceiling: Reps. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.), Carol Shea-Porter (D-Fla.), Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Penn.) found their re-election contests shunned. So too did Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), though earlier in the cycle the DCCC spent roughly $20,000 attacking her opponent...And while each of the aforementioned female candidates may have ground to make up against their challenger, so too do several male candidates who have been given healthy backing by the DCCC. Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) has received more than $950,000 from the committee's independent expenditure fund despite trailing his opponent by an average of six percentage points. Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Tex.), down ten points, has received more than $620,000. Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), down six, has received roughly $40,000." http://huff.to/cjoZzE

DEMS' SLIGHT-OF-HAND PLAN FOR MIDTERMS - Somewhere, a Glenn Beck segment producer is smiling. Kasie Hunt in Politico: "With just six days left until Election Day, a key component of the Democratic strategy to hold the House is becoming clear: In more than a dozen close races, Democrats are encouraging and advancing little-known, conservative third-party candidates in an attempt to fracture the Republican vote enough to eke out narrow victories. Behind-the-scenes collaboration between local Democratic officials and tea party activists in a handful of isolated races has already been reported -- just last week, in suburban Pennsylvania's open 7th District, Democratic nominee Bryan Lentz finally admitted his campaign's role in helping a tea party candidate get on the November ballot after months of avoiding the question." http://politi.co/ddAxMO

ALASKA JUDGE STRIKES BLOW TO MERCOWSKEE CAMPAIGN - That Murkowski's ad team hasn't composed a "Mickey Mouse Club"-style jingle to sear the correct spelling of her name into the brains of the electorate is still a mystery. "An Alaska judge on Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order stopping state elections officials from handing out names of write-in candidates at polling places. The ruling is a setback for the campaign of incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was defeated in the August GOP primary by tea party favorite Joe Miller and is mounting a write-in campaign." AP: http://apne.ws/a4WN6s

Tonight in Roll Call: "According to a Roll Call analysis of Senate financial disclosure forms filed in 2010, more than half of the chamber's membership, 54 lawmakers, reported a minimum net worth of more than $1 million, and another four Senators fell short of that mark by less than $100,000. In addition, more than half of the Senate's members saw their individual fortunes grow in 2009." http://bit.ly/aYVVc4
HISPANIC GROUPS TARGETING SHARRON ANGLE - After running a campaign that has placed Latinos somewhere between Yucca Mountain and identical twin conventions at Mandalay Bay on the Nevada continuum of terribleness, Sharron Angle has provoked a response from several Hispanic groups. AP: "Vota and Campaign for Community Change said Tuesday that their print and radio campaign will stress the importance of the Hispanic vote against rising immigration fervor. The radio commercial released Tuesday calls the Republican Party 'shameless' and slams Angle for portraying Hispanics as "criminals and thugs" in a series of illegal immigration ads." http://bit.ly/cOnBbj

COURTING THE JOBLESS VOTE - A labor-affiliated group is targeting 50,000 unemployed voters in Ohio, urging them in a mailer sent this week to re-elect Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland over Republican challenger John Kasich. http://huff.to/aI1hOB

Gun Control Group's Seven-Figure Ad Campaign A Boon To Endangered House Dems: - From Lucia Graves: "Americans United for Safe Streets, a gun control advocacy group, is set to launch a seven-figure ad campaign Thursday. Ads will target a handful of Republican hopefuls and could be a boon to their Democratic counterparts, including Philadelphia-area Democrat Bryan Lentz, Ohio Democrat Betty Sutton, Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly, and Michigan Democrat Gary Peters."

WaPo ON SPEAKER BOEHNER: HE'LL WING IT - Paul Kane in WaPo: "In the fall of 1994, Gingrich spent long afternoons plotting the first 100 days of his tenure as speaker. After the 2006 elections, Pelosi spelled out an ambitious agenda that began with a promise to pass a major piece of legislation every day for the first week of the new session. Boehner has no such grand plans in mind if he winds up presiding over a Republican majority. He does not fancy himself a grandiose political thinker in the mold of Gingrich or a steely operator like DeLay or Pelosi. Those close to him say he would probably bring a few big items up for votes fairly quickly. One would be a package of spending cuts based on points outlined in the GOP's Pledge to America. He is also mulling the timing of a long-shot bill to repeal - or significantly curtail - the Democrats' health-care law." http://wapo.st/9yFi9L

If things don't go her way, Nancy Pelosi is going to hand over the keys to the speaker's jet, remind John Boehner to jiggle the toilet handle and then peace out, according to CQ, which says Democrats are "increasingly convinced" that she won't want to lead a minority (though the sources don't claim to have any direct knowledge). CQ: "Democrats on Capitol Hill and K Street are increasingly convinced that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have little interest in being Minority Leader -- and may start preparing to leave Congress altogether -- if Republicans win the House next week. Pelosi and her allies adamantly refuse to entertain questions about a possible Democratic minority. But Democratic sources say they have a hard time imagining the 70-year-old, independently wealthy California Democrat would want to return to the less-powerful post that she held for four years before becoming speaker in 2007, particularly after having spent the past four years driving the Congressional agenda." http://bit.ly/bRr0KZ

O'DONNELL GETS ALL LITIGIOUS ON LOCAL RADIO STATION - Sometimes it really feels as if campaign handlers are just aspiring CIA "clean-up" agents without the requisite discretion. WDEL: "In a Tuesday afternoon appearance on WDEL, O'Donnell, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, answered a variety of questions from listeners as well as the host. The audio and video of interview segment was broadcast live on WDEL 1150AM and streamed on WDEL.com, the station's website. At the conclusion of the interview, a representative from the campaign who had been in the broadcast studio with O'Donnell asked that the video be turned over to the campaign and not released. He stated that the videotaping had not been approved by the O'Donnell campaign. O'Donnell also told show host Rick Jensen that she would sue the radio station if the video was released." http://bit.ly/aqX8eE

Several House Democrats have lost their "dey terk er jerbs!" endorsements: "Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, or ALIPAC, rescinded two of its endorsements to Democrats yesterday, claiming their Republican challengers better represent the group's anti-illegal immigration, pro-enforcement stances. Reps. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Jim Marshall (D-Ga.) were two of the six Democrats backed by the group, which mostly endorses Republicans. Both candidates support enforcement-first immigration efforts." Washington Independent: http://bit.ly/9ETSXP

CAPITOL HILL CLUB SUED FOR RACIAL DISCRIMINATION - Gawker: "Kim Crawford, who says she worked as the club's assistant comptroller and human resources manager for more than ten years--the last eight without a raise--has filed a complaint in federal court [pdf] alleging she was repeatedly passed over for raises while 'less qualified, less deserving male and white counterparts were given' pay bumps. And she says she was fired in July after taking seriously, and investigating, a racial discrimination complaint from the club's acting executive chef." http://gaw.kr/9u5RKv

If the judge had ruled otherwise, would voters have had to rip their WWE apparel off, Hulk Hogan-style? AP: "A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Connecticut's top election official to allow voters to wear World Wrestling Entertainment garb to the polls, ruling that it could not be considered political advertising for Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon, the company's former CEO. U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton issued a stipulated order requiring Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz not to apply state election laws that restrict political advertising within 75 feet of polling places to the wrestling fans who wear WWE clothing, paraphernalia or merchandise on Tuesday." http://bit.ly/cvbQCd

BILL CLINTON STUMPING FOR FRANK 'SHOVE IT' CAPRIO - The 42nd president, kind of cementing himself as Obama's DH for disenchanted white candidates, will step up to the plate for the Rhode Island gubernatorial contender. Politico: "Some Democratic operatives have been furious at the White House for the president's snub of Caprio and his attendance at a Democratic Congessional Campaign Committee fundraiser held at the home of a supporter of Caprio rival Lincoln Chafee, an independent who backed Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign. 'It's like living in a political twilight zone. How rich is the irony that the President Obama won't endorse Caprio, but former President Clinton will,' one Democratic strategist told POLITICO Tuesday night." http://politi.co/9ZounY

Sarah, for the last time, it's spelled "r-e-p-u-d-i-a-t-e" RT @SarahPalinUSA: @ExaminerOpEdsgggg d}.}

C is for combined, Yuzpe regimen, that's good enough for me!: "Parents of Cincinnati elementary school students are upset over remarks made by U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt. She reportedly brought up the abortion issue in front of children as young as 6.The Catholic school asked not to be identified because it doesn't want to be drawn into political controversy. The school's principal told WLWT that the congresswoman was invited to be a guest speaker at an assembly in which students from first through eighth grade were present, and that most of Schmidt's remarks were not political." WLWT: http://bit.ly/bdiSJ1

TOM DART DROPS OUT OF CHICAGO MAYORAL RACE - "I have found it impossible for it to be compatible between running for mayor and being a father and husband," the Cook County Sheriff said at a news conference today (which inevitably will lead to some awkward questions if he decides to run for office some day -- "I'm soooo bored with being a father and husband," etc). Dart's departure leaves Rahm Emanuel, former school board leader Gery Chico and city Clerk Miguel Del Valle left standing. Tribune: http://bit.ly/b3PqoI

JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: you can expect patches of thunderstorms coming through early in the evening. The storm has pretty much fallen apart, but a strong low still remains in roughly the same place. Leftovers overnight will lead to a clearing tomorrow with temperatures in the 70s. Thanks, JB!

Baseball bonus!: In San Francisco, there are small pop-up showers. Don't expect them to influence the game. Temperatures will dip into the low-50s. It'll be perfect for pitchers. A home run addition, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- One of these dogs is not like the other. http://bit.ly/b76LPy

- Watch this karate expert fail gloriously. Probably karmic punishment for those cornrows. http://bit.ly/bj8JJ1

- An Arizona bookstore set up a massive domino effect sequence with books. http://bit.ly/dpR4Li

- This is exactly how we sneak drinks into the office. http://bzfd.it/ctV9Md

- This video is entitled "PEOPLE ARE AWESOME." That pretty much sums it up. http://bit.ly/bUh9Yn

- Someone turned "There Will Be Blood" into a Super Nintendo video game. http://bit.ly/9RklrT

- This monkey has the WORST table manners. http://bit.ly/cVZUVf

- One serving of this and you will have eaten you feelings for a year. http://bit.ly/bMzuk1

TWITTERAMA

@lizzieohreally: Norm Coleman, sprinting through the rain on 14th St. Apparently AAN does not do umbrellas.

@lehmannchris: So far as I can tell, terrorist plot to disable DC Metro system was successfully carried out many years ago

@fishbowldc: Politico email down. Now's you chance to win the afternoon, National Journal.

THE TUBE

TONIGHT: Arnold Schwarzenegger is on World News. Scott McAdams and Justin Coussoule are on The Ed Show. Harry Reid speaks with Rachel Maddow. Joe Sestak stops by The Last Word.

ON TAP

TONIGHT

7:00 pm: Die Antwoord, a kickin' fresh new rap duo that all the kewl kids are listening to, performs at 9:30 Club [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].

7:30 pm: Styx is calling their performance at the Warner Theatre "An Evening With Styx" which kind of suggests they'll be performing "The Grand Illusion" with a harpsichord and bongos [Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave NW].

TOMORROW

5:30 pm: HBO screens Wartorn: 1861-2010, its new documentary on combat trauma. Mike Mullen and Eric Shinseki will be on hand [The Pentagon].

6:30 pm- 11:00 pm: The National Journal continues its week-long celebration of its relaunch by hosting...what else... a relaunch party [600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC].

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffingtonpost.com), Ryan Grim (ryan@huffingtonpost.com) or Nico Pitney (nico@huffingtonpost.com). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e