HUFFPOST HILL - GOP: Government Needs To Get Out Of Our Atmospheric Particles

10/25/2011 05:27 pm ET | Updated Dec 25, 2011

Parents of boomerang millennials must be sick and tired of paying for their kids meals, doing their laundry and funding their $1,500 Rick Perry donations. Sorry about that job you lost, but don't worry: Republicans are eradicating bike lanes and farm dust regulations as fast as they can. And America will no longer be dogged by the age-old question: "Hey, what would happen if we fused 1960s tobacco advertising techniques with the work of the Russian technopop group t.A.T.u. ... and then threw Herman Cain into the mix?" Thanks, Herman-Cain's-latest-campaign-video! This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, October 25th, 2011:

IN DEREGULATORY PUSH, REPUBLICANS ATTACKING DUST - Farm dust: it's not just the name of an upper you can purchase behind a trailer at the Iowa State Fair, it's also the House GOP's latest thing that's destroying America. Well, not really. It's actually being used as a cover to, you know, deregulate a bunch of shit. Mike McAuliff: "At issue was a measure sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), dubbed the "Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011," that she and other backers say will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from slapping onerous new burdens on farmers. But Democrats argue that the EPA has no plans to regulate farm dust -- a position that EPA administrator Lisa Jackson publicly reaffirmed last week -- and that the proposal is just the latest push in the House GOP's ongoing war on environmental regulations...The problem with the bill, [Democrats] said, is that it does not actually target farm dust, its language instead bars the EPA from regulating 'nuisance dust,' which is defined as a range of things including 'windblown dust' and particulate matter that is 'generated from natural sources, unpaved roads, agricultural activities, earth moving, or other activities typically conducted in rural areas...If the bill became law, Democrats argued that such vague language could effectively block the EPA from enforcing any rules on particulate pollution first instituted in the Reagan administration." [HuffPost]

OBAMA FUNDRAISER WON'T TALK TO YOU - An email from Merrillyn J. Kosier, executive vice president of Ariel Investments, to Jen Bendery, who'd asked to speak to Obama fundraiser Mellody Hobson about her friend the president. "Dear Jen--Thank you for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, Mellody Hobson is not able to participate due to her exclusive arrangement with ABC and Good Morning America. We wish you continued success at the Huffington Post." Hey Merrillyn! We didn't wanna interview you anyway! Hmph.

Oh, hey, President Obama just conceded something to the GOP: "President Obama supports passage of House GOP legislation that would eliminate a tax compliance rule affecting big government contractors and pay for it by limiting Medicaid eligibility, the White House announced Tuesday." Those sick, poor people have it too good, anyway. [TPM]

@jbendery: Boehner spox: Despite WH support today for 2 GOP bills, Obama needs to "actually engage in the legislative process" to help create jobs.

ELIZABETH WARREN: "I CREATED MUCH OF THE INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATION FOR" OCCUPY WALL STREET - There's only one word for stuff like that: oof. Especially when it gets you headlines like this in the Boston Globe: "Warren claims credit for Occupy Wall St. protests." Oof. The NRSC likes it: "Warren's decision to not only embrace, but take credit for this movement is notable considering the Boston Police Department was recently forced to arrest at least 141 of her Occupy acolytes in Boston the other day after they threatened to tie up traffic downtown and refused to abide by their protest permit limits." Oof. [Daily Beast]

MIKE LEE TAKES CITIZENS UNITED TO ITS LOGICAL ABSURD CONCLUSION - Paul Blumenthal reports that the Utah senator is looking to open up a super PAC within his preexisting leadership PAC, you know, like a Russian nesting doll of casual corruption. "Having two separate, segregated accounts under the banner of his Constitutional Conservatives Fund would allow Lee to accept unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and individuals. Earlier this month, the Federal Election Commission announced that most political action committees may open a separate, segregated account to accept such unlimited contributions -- 'soft money' -- so long as the funds are spent solely on independent expenditures, campaign ads and materials. Groups with the double accounts are known as hybrid PACs. The FEC issued the ruling after it reached an August consent judgment on the same issue in the case of Carey v. FEC. The question that Lee raises is whether this new rule applies to leadership PACs, which are created by a lawmaker. Lee plans on using the Constitutional Conservatives Fund to support conservative candidates through independent expenditures much as Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) did with his leadership PAC in the 2010 midterm elections." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DATELINE DOWNER - Christina Altieri joined an Occupy New Hampshire meeting in Manchester because she'd lost her job. "I just got laid off from working at the girl's shelter," said Altieri, 22. "The shelter closed due to a lack of funding." The Antrim Girls Shelter, where Altieri worked as a residential counselor, closed earlier this month after it lost funding due to a decline in referrals from the state. Altieri said she thought it unfair society would take away resources from girls in need. For her part, she said she had enough money for November's rent but not any more. [HuffPost]

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JOE LIEBERMAN STILL A PAIN TO DEMOCRATS - Running in Roll Call, from David Drucker: "Sen. Joe Lieberman is chaffing Democrats with his opposition to President Barack Obama's jobs bill, but there's little they can do to rein in the retiring Connecticut Independent. Perhaps most disconcerting to Democrats has been Lieberman's recent discussions with two Republicans about their campaigns to capture his Senate seat in 2012. During a brief telephone interview, Lieberman said the Republicans asked to talk to him and that he would be happy to hold similar discussions with the Democratic candidates in the race if they request it; he said they haven't. But the Senator said he wouldn't apologize for the meetings in any event, emphasizing that he was elected as an Independent in 2006 and that he would continue to conduct himself as such. "

POLL: CAIN IN THE LEAD, BUT 'AMANDA HUGANKIS' STILL A CONTENDER - A new survey from CBS News and the Times gives Herman Cain a four-point lead over Mitt Romney, 25 percent to 21 percent. However, 80 percent of respondents say they still haven't made up their mind for sure. In all fairness to Cain's campaign, the poll doesn't account for their new web ad featuring their chief-of-staff smoking a cigarette, techno music and Cain flashing the most shiteating-iest grin in history. That will surely give Cain a huge bump in the polls. Seriously, who can forget Lyndon Johnson's famous "Daisy" ad featuring techno and a small girl who plucked a flower and then proceeded to smoke a cigarette, stare at the camera ... and then a nuke exploded. Powerful stuff. [NYT]

HuffPost Hill's dream ticket

About Cain's weird smoking video... Cain's campaign chief-of-staff and in-house Joe Camel-wannabe Mark Block appeared on Fox News today to explain the random clip of him sucking on a cancer stick. "You walk into a veterans' bar in Iowa, and they're sitting around smoking," he said, "and we are resonating with them." Those vets are busted. As the good folks at National Journal point out, that's not possible. "In 2008, Iowa lawmakers passed legislation that prohibited smoking in, among other places, bars." [National Journal]

RICK PERRY INTRODUCES WEIRDLY COMPLICATED PLAN TO SIMPLIFY TAX CODE - One-time laser-guided pistol enthusiast and presidential longshot Rick Perry today unveiled a sweeping economic proposal centered on an optional flat tax. "The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate," Perry wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial. "The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents." Perry later re-unveiled the proposal at an event in South Carolina, probably because he didn't want to be constrained by the stuffy standards of the Wall Street Journal (behold the wonky first sentence from his op-ed: "The folks in Washington might not like to hear it, but the plain truth is the U.S. government spends too much."). [WSJ]

Perry was TOTALLY JOSHING about all that birther stuff...maybe. "I'm really not worried about the president's birth certificate [but] it's fun to poke at him a little bit and say 'hey, how about let's see your grades and your birth certificate,'" he said on CNBC this morning. [TPM]

CHILDREN OBVIOUSLY REPAYING RICK PERRY FOR ALL THAT HPV STUFF - When they're not watching Dora the Explorer videos or playing in sandboxes or learning how to drive or utterly draining marriages of romance, children are suspiciously giving a lot of money to Rick Perry's campaign. Christina Wilkie: "Recently filed federal election disclosures show an unusually high incidence of the live-at-home children of donors also contributing to the Perry campaign, more than other Republican candidates, provoking questions as to whether some of the donations to Perry's campaign are actually coming from the kids. Those questions have serious implications. Federal regulations limit the amount of money that an individual can legally donate to a political campaign, and stop short of prohibiting minors from donating to politicians. But they do set up clear restrictions. Under current law, three conditions that must be met for a minor to donate to a political campaign: that the donation was made knowingly and voluntarily; that the funds donated must belong to the minor in question; and that the parents may not reimburse the child for the donation." [HuffPost]

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is running for a second term so, naturally, his campaign published a music video staring MC Hammer.

FIRST WASHINGTON REPUBLICANS APPEAR IN AN 'IT GETS BETTER' VIDEO - To be fair, they're from New Jersey, which is fake America, so it doesn't really count. Still, we're pleased to report that three Republicans -- Reps. Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo and Jon Runyan were able to control their "no homo" reflex just long enough to film testimonials for the anti-LGBT bullying project, "It Gets Better." "There is no place in our society for bullying, especially when continued bullying leads to young adults taking their own lives," Runyan told HuffPost. "This issue goes beyond political affiliations. An individual's teenage years can be very difficult and it is important for our nation's youth to understand that it gets better." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

"Jon Lovett, who recently left his gig as a White House speechwriter, recently landed a pilot deal with NBC for 1600 Penn, a sitcom about a president and his or her dysfunctional family as they bumble their way through the business of the nation. The following is a spec script adapted from Lovett's pitch meeting with the peacock network." [WCP]

SUIT UP, HIPSTERS - "Over the past few months, as Republicans have focused their attention on cutting what they see as wasteful government spending, they've zeroed in on a surprising new target: bicyclists, and the programs that serve them." [MoJo]

CDC PANEL WANTS TO SAVE LIVES, ANNOY MICHELE BACHMANN - "An advisory panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Tuesday that boys aged 11 to 12 get vaccinated against human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV. The recommendation was made in a near-unanimous vote, with one member abstaining. The CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices already recommends that girls get the vaccine when they're 11 or 12, the age when the vaccine is most effective." [The Hill]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cat takes on baby

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - I think the bands of heavy showers last night caught most off guard (it did to me). But there's a tiny chance we see rain Tonight. It's not likely, though. We will be seeing more humidity and the colder weather Tomorrow, which may lead to some showers Wednesday evening. Thanks, JB!


- Competitive trampoline diving is the Olympic sport that never was but that absolutely should be. [http://huff.to/vHTlC0]

- Winter is coming. Allow this charming video to inform you about the history and rationale behind Daylight Saving Time. [http://huff.to/rpI0pT]

- High school running back jumps five yards into the endzone. This is either going to be the first in a long series of dazzling athletic feats that make up a remarkable career or the highlight of his life. [target="_hplink">http://huff.to/sz1b99]

- Dog snores, baby laughs. [http://huff.to/t0q6cD]

- Back in the 19th century, mothers would drape sheets over themselves when their child was getting their (very long exposure) photograph taken so they would sit still. Here are some mothers with blankets over their bodies from the 19th century. Enjoy. [http://huff.to/v8afaY]

- A collection of vertical gardens across the world. [http://huff.to/sz1b99]

- The best pair of socks you will ever buy. [http://huff.to/ugZ77u]

- Odd-looking Soviet-era bus stops. [http://huff.to/vG3PO7]


@AdamSerwer: Top LA Times stories right now: "Sharia" and "McRib." #Amurrica twitpic.com/75milj

@PourMeCoffee: New ad is just Mark Block eating a McRib and wiping off the sauce to praise Herman Cain.

@mikemadden: And now, a video loop of Herman Cain's campaign manager smoking a cigarette and Cain smiling: bit.ly/rOY4f1



6:30 pm: Tim Griffin, which is what you get when Arkansas voters stop voting Democrat just because that's what their registration card says, tries to keep the R-trend going in his state with a fundraiser. [220 E Street NE]

6:30 pm: We don't care how nifty the initialism is, just because "Democrats Wins Seats" gets Debbie Wasserman Schultz "DWS" doesn't mean she should use it as her PAC name. DWS will be raising funds for DWS with appearances by a few members of the House. [Charlie Palmer Steak, 101 Constitution Ave NW]


Evening: We mentioned on Friday how lawyers retained by House Republicans argue that LGBT Americans don't need legal protection because some of them are politically well-connected. Well...THIS IS PRECISELY WHY: Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer attend an L.A. fundraiser for the DSCC ... THERE WILL

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: The invite to Raul Gijalva's fundraiser featuring John Larson features the exclamation "iGrijalva!" overlayed on a giant mustache. +1. [21st Century Townhouse, 434 New Jersey Ave SE]

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: The speaker-in-waiting (heh) Heath Shuler lets representatives from the trucking lobby kiss the ring at an evening fundraising reception. [American Trucking Association, 430 First Street SE]

7:30 pm - 10:30 pm: Mark Critz is one of the last people we'd expect to see raising funds at a Kennedy Center performance of "Les Miserables" but, well, there you have it. [Kennedy Center, 2700 F St NW]

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