Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Super Committee Democrats Announce What They'll Eventually Cave On

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Rick Santorum might be the family values candidate, but his parents never taught him that you can't assassinate all your problems away. Democrats are upset that Republicans use the partisan term "Obamacare" when referring to the not-at-all-partisanly-named Affordable Care Act. And Rick Perry's latest bold move involves low production values and a promise that he'll follow in the steps of President Obama. Third place, here he comes! This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, October 26th, 2011:

SUPER COMMITTEE DEMOCRATS UNVEIL DEFICIT PROPOSAL, INCLUDES MEDICARE CUTS - "The early reviews among progressives is that the outlines, as introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), contain a mix of good and bad policy. The good is the reliance on revenues and the decision to include between $200 billion and $300 billion in new economic stimulus in the presentation. The bad is that the plan calls for around $400 billion in Medicare savings, half of which would be drawn from reducing benefits to recipients. The confusion stems from the party's willingness to shoot far above the $1.5 trillion target that the super committee is supposed to aim for." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]

BAUCUS CONSTITUENT: PLEASE LET ME REMAIN ON CLIFF - The folks at Strengthen Social Security would like you to meet Baucus constituent Roberta Taylor, a resident of Livingston, Mt. who relies on $1,600 a month in Social Security Disability payments and who would appreciate not being pushed off a cliff. "Without Social Security I'd have to live with my elderly parents and do some kind of work, which would jeopardize my health even more," Taylor says. "Find another way to settle your budget problems and your arguments on Capitol Hill." [Strengthen Social Security]

REPUBLICAN SUPER COMMITTEE MEMBER TO PROPOSE TAXING OVERSEAS INCOME - Dave Camp, the Ways and Means chairman and Republican member of the Joint Select Committee on Hey, The Chamber Won't Get Off Our Case About This Crap, is set to propose, gasp, a revenue-increasing proposal that would impose levies on companies' foreign incomes. It's about time corporations step up and pay for the tax breaks we will award them later! WSJ with some of the possible components: "A 25% overall rate, at least as a working assumption, even though the bill might not spell out the actual rate because it's focused only on international issues. Mr. Camp has long advocated lowering corporate rates from the current 35% to a maximum of 25%...A potentially controversial rule that could require old foreign earnings to be returned to the U.S. and taxed over 8 years or so, even if they have been reinvested permanently. Some are calling this 'forced repatriation.'...Switching to a territorial tax system, meaning that U.S. multinationals would no longer be expected to pay tax on their regular overseas earnings. That would align the U.S. with most other developed countries." [WSJ]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Georgia may be the next state to reduce jobless benefits so it can have an easier time repaying federal unemployment loans. The state's labor commissioner suggests hiking biz taxes $21 per worker, reducing weekly benefits by $30, and joining the handful of other states that have shortened benefits duration from 26 to 20 weeks. That's more equitable than slashing benefits and biz taxes simultaneously, like Florida did, but it's a great example of "shared sacrifice." See how much shared sacrifice sucks? [timesfreepress.com]

WELFARE DRUG TESTS SAVE NO MONEY - Republican lawmakers in several states want to copy Florida's law that drug tests welfare recipients in an attempt to save money. But the federal judge who halted the scheme Monday on constitutional grounds ridiculed a conservative think tank's estimate of the law's savings. "Though the State offers, as evidence of the cost savings, a pamphlet from the Foundation for Government Accountability," U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven wrote in her order, "the data contained in the pamphlet is not competent expert opinion, nor is it offered as such, nor could it be reasonably construed as such." DDD first noted the report's shortcomings on Sept. 28. [HuffPost]

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CONGRESS ENGAGED IN VICIOUS PROPER NOUN WAR - Democrats in Congress are upset that Republicans are using the term "Obamacare" -- the pejorative term for the Affordable Care Act -- in taxpayer-funded congressional mass correspondence. "Salley Wood, a spokeswoman for the Republicans on the House Administration Committee, said the parties 'don't always agree' on how the franking rules apply but that Obamacare is an instance where Republicans have conceded ground to expedite the process. 'A bipartisan commission means bipartisan consent,' she said. 'The franking commission has an obligation to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used for personal, partisan, or political reasons,' said Gregory Abbott, the Democratic spokesman for the committee. 'There has been a long-standing agreement on both sides of the commission that the phrase does not meet this standard.'" [Roll Call]

The Supreme Court will rule on November 10th whether to consider the various challenges to health care reform, Mike Sacks reports.

MITT ROMNEY EMPLOYING SOLYNDRA LOBBYIST FOR FUNDRAISER - This morning, Mitt Romney attended a D.C. fundraiser at the American Trucking Association (which seems as incongruous as a Jon Tester fundraiser at the American Doyley Manufacturers Association but whatever) that was co-hosted by a lobbyist who had previously lobbied on behalf of GOP bogeyman Solyndra. "The list of attendees revealed by POLITICO includes Alex Mistri, managing director of The Glover Park Group. Despite working at a predominantly Democratic lobbying firm, Mistri is a reliable GOP donor and Romney supporter. He has donated $2,500 to his presidential bid so far this cycle, on top of the $1,000 he gave to Romney's Free and Strong America PAC...In the third quarter of this year, Mistri was one of a group of Glover Park lobbyists Solyndra hired to help with congressional outreach. According to a financial disclosure filing, the purpose of the contract was to introduce company officials to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. For its services, the Glover Park Group was to be paid $20,000, a relatively paltry sum." [HuffPost]

Palm, meet face. Face, meet palm: "Santorum was especially forceful regarding countries who pose a nuclear threat, advocating for the selective assassination of scientists from countries such as Russia, North Korea and Iran." [Easley Patch]

Roll Call's Steven T. Dennis is moving to the White House beat. He'll pass the time by flicking the ear of the Salem Radio reporter in front of him and not being called on by President Obama. We wish him all the best.

OAKLAND POLICE BADLY INJURE OWS PROTESTER - Jason Cherkis: "The Oakland Police Department fired tear gas on Occupy Oakland demonstrators Tuesday night as they marched through downtown, determined to reclaim the camp that officers destroyed that morning. As the marchers zigged and zagged in search of safe ground, authorities bombarded and barricaded the activists into a drawn-out stalemate that resulted in further arrests. The local police's use of force seriously injured an Occupy activist and Iraq War veteran. Scott Olsen, 24, remains sedated on a respirator, in stable but critical condition at Oakland's Highland Hospital after being hit in the head with a police projectile. Olsen's roommate, Keith Shannon, 24, told The Huffington Post that Olsen is still in the emergency room. 'Right now, he's under sedation,' Shannon said." [HuffPost]

PERRY RUNS FIRST TV AD - It sucks. Yes, we're aware that the goal of the Perry campaign is for the media to talk about it and YES we're talking about it. Still, we were REALLY hoping for some kind of high-production Rick Perry "Morning in America" thing (which would feature monster trucks instead of the newlyweds and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders instead of an old guy raising the American flag). In the spot, Perry stands in front of a gray backdrop that literally looks like it was designed in Microsoft PowerPoint. "As President I'll create at least two-and-a-half million new jobs, and I know something about that." He doesn't actually say how he'll create those jobs, but this is a 30-second spot, and he's got things to do and medium-sized creatures to exterminate with a laser-sighted pistol. "I'll eliminate President Obama's regulations that hurt other sources of domestic energy like coal and natural gas. That will create jobs and reduce our reliance on oil from countries that hate America." [CNN]

@stevebenen: Perry's vow: 2.5 million jobs in 1st term. Private sector jobs created since March 2010: 2.56 million bit.ly/rxqHtb

Oops: "The FEC requires essentially three different boxes to be checked - the candidate to verbally acknowledge approval of the message, a written disclaimer saying who paid for it, and a written disclaimer on the approval. Perry's ad misses that last piece - it says 'Paid for by rickperry.org' in text across the screen, but is missing text saying he approved it."

JOHN OLVER TO RETIRE - The veteran Massachusetts representative announced today that he will not seek reelection. "Last December, I announced that I intended to seek to continue my congressional service beyond 2012. Over the past six months, circumstances within my family have substantially changed, and I now find I must reconsider my earlier decision," said in a statement. Olver represents Massachusetts' First Congressional District, a solidly liberal district that covers the Berkshries in the western part of the state and part of its center. So unless an Amherst gender and sexuality professor or a Lenox-area Japanese Bizen potter decide to run for the seat as a Republican, it should be an easy hold for the Democrats. [iBerkshires]

Elizabeth Warren's last remaining primary challenger, businessman Alan Khazei, has dropped out of the race. "She has struck a chord, no doubt about it," Khazei told the Globe. "It's definitely affected my position. So fundraising has been tougher, and in terms of attention ... It's challenging. Things have definitely shifted." We guess you could say that Warren "created much of the intellectual foundation" for Khazei's decision, eh Daily Beast? Eh? Eh??? [HuffPost]

OBAMA IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THAT KEYNESIAN BUSH - Bloomberg: "Obama's White House has approved fewer regulations than his predecessor George W. Bush at this same point in their tenures, and the estimated costs of those rules haven't reached the annual peak set in fiscal 1992 under Bush's father, according to government data reviewed by Bloomberg News." [Bloomberg]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dog wants to say "hello" to newborn baby.

The latest from the American Mustache Institute: "Mortal Scribe, While we have not quite reached home plate, to use a sports euphemism, we are in deep discussions with the administration of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to support his reelection campaign."

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Who's in the mood for some rain? Oh, I bet you all are! Thankfully, we'll be getting a lot more of it, in the form of light showers. The rain will continue through Tomorrow, so enjoy it. Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- Guy juggles two Rubik's Cubes with one hand while solving a Rubik's Cube with the other hand. Humans are awesome. [http://bit.ly/tyUCWc]

- Scenes from "Mad Men" but with its most grating actress, January Jones, removed. [http://bit.ly/rgwH3f]

- Halloween or Williamsburg demonstrates the gray area that exists between hipsters and people celebrating on October 31st. [http://bit.ly/t8JdIa]

- It's hard being a Wookie in the Wookie library. [http://bit.ly/twHAfQ]

- A car crash tested at 120 MPH. Spoiler: there's not much car left. [http://bit.ly/tezKCf]

- As this first-person video of a firefighter rushing into a burning house clearly demonstrates, rushing into a burning house is freaking scary.[http://bit.ly/vxntov]

- A boy is reunited with his missing cat. Notice how the cat COULDN'T CARE LESS. Cats are terrible, selfish creatures. [http://bit.ly/tYRTzt]

- Arrested at an Occupy Wall Street protest and want to alert your friends and family? There's an app for that. [http://bit.ly/rYyofe]

TWITTERAMA

@daweiner: "I woke up to find he had changed all our protest signs to 'You Occupy My Heart' and a conflict-free ring." - Future NYT wedding piece

@delrayser: I thought flash bangs were when groups of women spontaneously cut their hair to look like Zooey Deschanel's.

@joward11: Subject header on Bachmann e-mail to supporters just now: "Can I send you a fleece?" #seriously

ON TAP

TONIGHT

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 PROBABLY BE SOME GAYS. [Los Angeles, CA]

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]

TOMORROW

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Brad Sherman attends a campaign function where $1,000 makes you a "friend" but $2,500 makes you a "co-sponser." Wouldn't you rather be his friend? Is Brad Sherman a bad friend? IS THIS WHAT YOU'RE TELLING US, SHERMAN FOR CONGRESS? [National Democratic Club Townhouse, 40 Ivy Street SE]

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: John Barrow is the beneficiary of a "Halloween Birthday Bash." He's from Georgia so expect incessant references to "Devil Went Down To Georgia." [21st Century Townhouse, 434 New Jersey Ave SE]

7:00 pm: Tom Dachle and his wife Linda welcomes the whole gang (Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn and Steve Israel) for a DCCC fundraiser at their home. Do you think they hide the breakable things when lawmakers come? [Home of Linda and Tom Daschle]

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Filed by Eliot Nelson