Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Dems Deploy Payroll Tax Robots

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Rick Perry criticized the Supreme Court's "eight unelected" judges, reminding us of the time Bush v. Gore was decided in sudden death overtime. L.L. Bean has dispatched hoards of fleece-clad lobbyists to Charlotte to combat an anti-camping equipment measure. And Mitt Romney's campaign went after Newt Gingrich for, ahem, *divorcing* himself from Paul Ryan's budget proposal. A lot of *stability* in that government spending plan, yessir. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, December 9th, 2011:

HOUSE REPUBLICANS UNVEIL PAYROLL TAX PLAN, AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE WHITE HOUSE ISN'T HAPPY ABOUT THIS - The Hill: "House Republicans on Friday released their legislation to extend the payroll tax cut, reform and extend unemployment insurance, and delay changes to the Medicare reimbursement rate for doctors. The move sets up a vote on the year-end package as early as Tuesday. The 369-page bill is titled the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011 and is sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. The legislation will add $25.3 billion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO estimate could be a problem for GOP leaders, who already face resistance from members who do not want to extend the payroll tax cut, a top priority for President Obama." [The Hill]

Democrats are now robocalling in support of the payroll tax extension. Mike McAuliff: "Democrats emboldened by the belief that they are winning the debate on cutting payroll taxes -- an opinion echoed this week by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- are rolling out a string of robocalls in 10 House districts to capitalize on the advantage. The spots pick up on Democratic leaders' vow to not go on Christmas vacation until this year's 2 percent payroll tax cut is extended through 2012." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Dean Haehnel of the Minneapolis area is watching Congress anxiously. He said he lost his job as a marketing director for a mutual fund company in July, meaning his six months of state benefits will expire at the beginning of January. If Congress doesn't strike a deal to reauthorize federal jobless benefits, Haehnel will be ineligible for the additional weeks of federal benefits given the long-term jobless since 2008. Per the GOP drug test proposal, he said he'd be willing to pee in a cup to keep the money flowing if he hasn't found work by then. "It's a little bit ludicrous, but I have no problem doing it if that's what it takes," Haehnel said. "They think that's the issue?" They probably don't, but they're doing this anyway, aren't they? [HuffPost]

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

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION PREPARES FOR HIPPIE PUNCHING - Jason Cherkis and Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman: "When the Democratic National Committee picked Charlotte to host its September 2012 convention, city leaders saw it as a boost to the local service economy. Hotels would be filled, restaurants would be booked, and party spaces would be rented. Up until a few months ago, officials only had to worry about the would-be traffic congestion on Trade Street as lobbyists shuffled to the next cocktail party. But now, they have to be concerned about feistier visitors known as Occupy Wall Street. If Charlotte officials fear having another Chicago '68 on their hands, they're hoping to take one essential weapon out of the hands of activists: their tents. On Oct. 27, the Charlotte city manager released a draft ordinance that makes camping on public property a 'public nuisance' and would prohibit 'noxious substances,' padlocks and other camping equipment that city officials fear could impede traffic and create public safety issues. The Charlotte City Council has not yet voted on the ordinance, and some argue its language is vague and may violate First Amendment rights." No word on whether the city council will take up the "anti-dreadlocks and clothing patched together with duct tape" measure. [HuffPost]

NLRB: WE'LL GET YOU YET, CAPITALISM! - Dave Jamieson: "Bringing a months-long saga to a close, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced Friday that it has withdrawn a controversial complaint it filed against the Boeing Company earlier this year that Republicans used to hammer President Obama and Democrats repeatedly over jobs and federal regulations. 'This is the outcome that we always preferred,' said Lafe Solomon, acting general counsel of the NLRB, which officiates labor disputes between workers and employers. 'I think it's the best resolution possible.' In April, Solomon filed a complaint on behalf of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers alleging that Boeing broke labor law when it tried to establish a production line for its 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina. Solomon said the move to South Carolina was retaliation against Boeing's unionized employees in Washington State for having gone on strike in the past. If the parties couldn't settle, Boeing feasibly could have been forced to take the production line to back Washington." [HuffPost]

ANALYSIS: GINGRICH IS DEFINITELY IN FIRST, PEOPLE NOT ENTIRELY AWARE THAT HE'S NEWT GINGRICH - Mark Blumenthal: "A slew of new polls shows Newt Gingrich leading the race for the Republican nomination, both nationally in three of the first four primary and caucus states. However, a close reading of both the recent polls and a recent focus group of Republicans shows that rank-and-file Republicans are far from a final decision" [HuffPost]

Team Romney continues to hammer Newt Gingrich for...things. Sam Stein: "Mitt Romney's campaign continued its assault on Newt Gingrich in a web video Friday, again going after the former Speaker for his comments disparaging Rep. Paul Ryan's budget. Coming on the heels of Thursday's conference call, in which Romney surrogates attacked Gingrich for calling the Ryan budget 'right-wing social engineering,' the web video advances the idea that Romney is the more stable conservative in this two-man race. But it's not being done without a cost. The Ryan budget, not that long ago, was an albatross for the Republican Party, specifically because of its proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher system." [HuffPost 2012 Liveblog]

Ron Paul will give America's knee-jerk contrarian teens and 20-somethings something to do a bit longer this election cycle. Politico: "In a far cry from his ragtag 2008 effort, Ron Paul is looking beyond the traditional early state contests and gearing up for a long primary slog that lasts at least through Super Tuesday. It's a strategy that could make Paul a player at the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla. The Texas congressman's long-haul approach is designed to take advantage of new GOP proportional allocation rules that enable candidates to amass delegates without finishing in first place, and to leverage the unique attributes of his campaign -- an intensely loyal following and a steady flow of money that will likely enable him to continue for as long as he chooses." [Politico]

AMERICA, MEET THE MOST ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATE THE ESTABLISHMENT HAS NEVER HEARD OF - Ken Fletcher is running for the House seat that will be vacated by Barney Frank at the end of the 112th Congress. His website features endorsements from pretty much the Bay State's entire Democratic delegation AND a thumbs up from none other than the "Hon. President Barack Obama (D)." Despite his widespread ... um ... acclaim?, Fletcher is currently the only person listed in the "SUPPORT OUR CAUSE" widget at the bottom of his endorsements page. Also, Fletcher's picture is very blurry, so there's kind of a John Galt thing at work. [Ken Fletcher For Congress, via @conoryunits]

@JoshDorner: Perry, when referring to SCOTUS, just attacked "8 unelected" judges. The Supreme Court has 9 justices. #iacaucus

Mitt Romney is doing a great job of winning the 2012 general election in 2011. Keep it up Mitt! Matt Lewis: "As you probably heard, some Mitt Romney surrogates hosted a conference call today to attack Newt Gingrich. Because Romney is attempting to win a Republican primary -- and cast Newt Gingrich as unacceptable to conservatives -- you probably assume that center-right journalists or conservative bloggers got to ask some questions, right? Wrong. Here's the list of reporters and media outlets who were permitted to ask questions: 'JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS; MARK HALPERIN, TIME; LLOYD GROVE, THE DAILY BEAST; EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, TPM; DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES; PHIL RUCKER, WASHINGTON POST.' That's it. No Townhall.com, HotAir, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, National Review, Weekly Standard, American Spectator, or Washington Times ... you get the picture." [Daily Caller]

Just try to think of this as the 4H club but ... you know ... more central to kids' livelihoods: "Tom Cotton, a GOP candidate for Congress, says he would like to see more children working long hours out in America's agricultural fields. The Republican from Arkansas' fourth district apparently isn't a big fan of child-labor laws pertaining to farms. 'We need more young people who've worked all day in the fields, not less,' the Army reservist and Harvard grad fumed in a recent post on his 2012 campaign website (his italics). "It's time to tell Washington to get off our land." [HuffPost's Dave Jamieson]

TYLER KINGKADE'S NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - An ad that basically blamed women for getting date raped because they were too drunk gets pulled in Pennsylvania. The governors of Rhode Island, Washington, Colorado, and Vermont are all asking the feds to reclassify marijuana. Aasif Mandvi, a 'reporter' for The Daily Show, asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott in a press conference if he would 'pee into this cup.' Bob Casey wants Apple to pull an app that lets you make your own driver's license. Oh, no! Our house is on fire! And we forgot to pay the firefighter fee! Apparently Subway thinks they should own the rights to the word 'footlong.' Jimmy John's is better anyway. Thanks, Tyler!

By the way, Florida AG Pam Bondi gave the Daily Show a cup of pee labeled "Pam Bondi" in response to the Scott stunt. HuffPost actually called Bondi's office and asked if it was really pee or apple juice. Turns out it was the latter.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Puppy takes on mirror, mirror wins.

TODAY IN JB WEATHER REPORT HISTORY FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10 2010 - Let's cut to the chase... Snowpocalypse III on the way? No. This morning, I was alerted to a few tweets worried about a potentially bad low pressure system moving eastward that could become a nor'easter and damage the Eastern Seaboard Sunday into Sunday night. The short answer is that, while we can expect rain/snow/freezing rain (there's a difference) on Sunday into Monday morning, there should be minimal precipitation and no chance of anything sticking. The massive low pressure system will be riding the jet stream, coming to the south (warning to people heading to Northern Arkansas -- you may be hit hard) before tracking northeast. We will be either grazed by the southern edge of the storm, or get a direct hit. Either way, it's a very good sign. We don't want to be on the "left" side of the storm, as that would be the side that is bringing cold precipitation (snow). We'll be on the better side -- the rain side. Up the East Coast, the chance of bad snow will be higher, but we're talking New England, maybe New York at the southernmost (if the storm hits us directly). Friday into Saturday: Cold tonight, warming to the 40s tomorrow with clear skies. That was wildly inaccurate, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- The oil may have burned for eight days, but if you wear this, the fire in her heart will burn forever. [http://huff.to/u6oyAz]

- Thing goes boom. Into the sky. Wow. [http://bit.ly/s2vD6a]

- The year in band names, from the A.V. Club. [http://huff.to/urmeWr]

- Martial arts hand is menacing, small. [http://huff.to/s20sdb]

- Martial arts children are menacing, adorable. [http://bit.ly/sRaAUi]

- Owl says "OH HAI" to a dog. [http://huff.to/rO9wtQ]

- AT-AT liquor cabinet is perfect to store your alcohol that you drink when you want to forget that you're the type of person who buys AT-AT liquor cabinets. [http://huff.to/v1iaYh]

- Leslie Knope word cloud is effervescent, will undoubtedly improve your mood. [http://huff.to/uARxzv]

TWITTERAMA

@owillis: dear mainstream media, do you think breathlessly regurgitating trump may have connection to why people increasingly distrust you?

@brianbeutler: Free metaphor idea for Tom Friedman: Dems and Rs are Coke and Pepsi in a country yearning for ginger beer. Thank me later.

@delrayser: To be fair, Perry probably just thinks that Justices Kagan, Sotomayor & Ginsburg only count as 2/3 of a Justice each.

ON TAP
By @tylerkingkade

TONIGHT

5:30pm: Elizabeth Warren is out west collecting cash with Maria Cantwell at the Fighting for Main Street Reception. [911 Pine Street, Seattle, Wa.]

SATURDAY

7:15pm: John Thune wants you to have a martini with him in a kickoff to the holidays reception. [152 West 52nd Street , New York City]

9:00pm: The Capital Club's 20th Annual Santa Soiree will have a performance by the Winn Brothers Band. Black tie required. Addressing people as a lady or a gentlemen and the attitude it takes to drink in Georgetown is also needed here. [3206 M St. NW]

SUNDAY

1:00pm: Both Scott Brown and John Larson will have fundraisers at the Redskins v. Patriots game Sunday. [FedEx Field]

MONDAY

4:00pm: Blake Griffin, Vince Carter, Dwight Howard, Carmello Anthony, and a number of other basketball starts will play in the Obama Classic Basketball Game to help the president raise money. [Washington, D.C.]

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Filed by Eliot Nelson