Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Satanists: Rick Scott Can Go To Hell

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News that Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o's late girlfriend was never actually alive will probably have tea partiers demanding the long-form Lennay Kekua in no time. We can't wait for Allen West's new radio show and its daily segment on guns, Get The Lead Out. And dog abandoner Rick Scott has the support of the Satanic Temple. At the time of publication, the Satanic Kennel was withholding its support. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, January 16th, 2013:

INAUGURAL SHADINESS - Christina Wilkie and Paul Blumenthal: "With only days to go, the Presidential Inaugural Committee has released the names of more than 990 inauguration 'benefactors,' with additional donors expected to be identified soon. What's really interesting is not who is listed; it's who is missing. Conspicuously scarce on the list are the holy trinity of political fundraising: ultra-wealthy, top-dollar donors; reliable, midlevel campaign contributors; and corporations... An analysis by The Huffington Post found less than 2 percent of the biggest contributors to Obama's first inauguration are listed as 'benefactors' this time around -- 18 out of more than 440 donors who gave the $50,000 maximum in 2009. Of the 22 individuals who made donations of more than $1 million each to Obama's reelection super PAC, Priorities USA Action, only four -- Kareem Ahmed, Fred Eychaner, Barbara Steifel and, through Stream Line Circle LLC, Jon Stryker -- have chipped in for the inauguration." [HuffPost]

This is only a prelude to "Kucinich/Combs/Carnival Dunk Tank": "Former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has signed on as a regular contributor to Fox News Channel. The former Ohio congressman unsuccessfully ran for president in 2004 and 2008, and recently ended his congressional career. Fox said Wednesday that Kucinich will make his debut in his new role on 'The O'Reilly Factor" on Thursday night. Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes said he's always been impressed with Kucinich's fearlessness and thoughtfulness on the issues." [AP]

LESLEY STAHL FAIL - John Harris, Lesley Stahl, George Stephanopoulos and a bunch of other media honchos come in for a tongue lashing from Remapping Debate for showing up at Pete Peterson's "fiscal summits" and parroting his deficit silliness. Larry Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute, who does not do such parroting but does get Peterson money, tells this story about Lesley Stahl, the CBS "60 Minutes" reporter. "I was on a panel at the summit (the one before the last one). She was the moderator of the prior panel. She said something like 'of course everyone knows and agrees that we need to raise the eligibility age for Social Security.' When she came off the stage to the holding area I talked to her and told her that life expectancy for those in the bottom half had not increased all that much in the last thirty years and the increase in the eligibility age had already exceeded that increase. She responded, 'Oh, that's interesting, you should talk about that'. I was shocked that she showed no regret, no self-reflection and no inkling of wanting to know more." Funny thing is, he has shared the same data with Peterson himself, he said, and Peterson now includes it in a Powerpoint presentation that gives a much more nuanced take on Social Security and the retirement age that you'd find from the media at his own events.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) wants enrollees in the state's job-training programs to prove they're not on drugs. A recent executive order creating a "Workforce Arizona Council" designed to review the state's job-training efforts calls for the board to "adopt policies that will require persons enrolling in a taxpayer-funded job training program to be drug-tested." Brewer's office did not respond to a request for more information about her order Wednesday.
Two other states have recently had job trainees pee in cups to prove they're living clean. In each state, the test results suggested unemployed workers in job training actually live a lot cleaner than most people; less than 1 percent of jobseekers had used drugs. But whatever. [HuffPost]

Drug testing the downtrodden -- SO hot right now!

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OBAMA AND BIDEN UNVEIL GUN CONTROL PROPOSALS - Sam Stein and John Rudolf: "President Barack Obama unveiled on Wednesday the most sweeping effort at gun control policy reform in a generation... The proposal... is broken down into four key subsections: law enforcement, the availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition, school safety and mental health. In an effort to touch on all four of those elements, the president recommended requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales; reinstating the assault weapons ban; restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines; eliminating armor-piercing bullets; providing mental health services in schools; allocating funds to hire more police officers; and instituting a federal gun trafficking statute, among other policies. The cost of the package, senior officials estimated, would be roughly $500 million, some of which could come from already budgeted funds. Because these recommendations require congressional approval, the administration is supplementing its proposal with 23 executive actions that will be taken immediately. Those actions include requiring federal agencies to hand over relevant data for a background check system; providing law enforcement officials, first responders and school officials with better training for active shooting situations; directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence; and many more." [HuffPost]

ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO PROMOTING USE OF ASSAULT RIFLES CROSSES THE LINE, PEOPLE SHOCKED - The NRA released an ad that mentions President Obama's daughters. We're still waiting for the ad about Marion Robinson's porcelain animal collection and the need for armor-piercing bullets. LA Times: "Denouncing President Obama as an 'elitist hypocrite,' the National Rifle Assn. released a new video attacking the president for opposing universal armed guards in schools while his own daughters are protected by the Secret Service. 'Are the president's kids more important than yours?' the ad asks, 'Then why is he skeptical of putting armed security in schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards in their school?' ... The White House swiftly condemned the NRA's ad. 'Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,' White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. 'But to go so far as to make the safety of the president's children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly.'" [LA Times]

@TheFix: John Boehner immediately moves to put onus on Senate, says House will consider any gun legislation Senate passes.

The NRA is not pleased: "Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy," the group said in a statement issued today, adding that it will, "continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law." [HuffPost's Christina Wilkie]

If one congressman is correct, we need to be on guard in case President Obama starts erecting statues of himself. Nick Wing: "A day after threatening to file articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama over aspects of his campaign against gun violence, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) criticized the planned rollout of the president's gun policy proposals, saying that it reminded him of Saddam Hussein.'He's even using children, it reminds me of Saddam Hussein when he used kids to ...' Stockman said on Fox News Tuesday night, before being cut off by host Greta Van Susteren. ' 'Well, I think that's a little bit of a stretch, but anyway, congressman, always nice to see you,' she said." [HuffPost]

LEAHY TO PUSH VAWA RENEWAL - Jen Bendery: "Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has several big-ticket items on his agenda this year -- gun violence and comprehensive immigration reform among them -- but he singled out one as his first priority: the Violence Against Women Act... Congress typically reauthorizes VAWA with broad support, but the legislation expired last year for the first time since its 1994 inception. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill with new protections for the LGBT community, Native Americans and immigrants, and House Republican leaders refused to bring it up for a vote, charging that it was politically driven. Instead, House Republicans passed their own bill along party lines without the added protections. In the end, neither side would concede and the both bills fizzled out along with the 112th Congress." [HuffPost]

KEN SALAZAR LEAVING INTERIOR - Salazar, king of the bisons, dauphin of the caribou, tsar of the trout, is leaving the administration. Why did he ever take the job again? "Salazar, who oversaw a moratorium on offshore drilling after the BP oil spill and promoted alternative energy sources throughout the nation, will step down in March. Salazar, a former Colorado senator, has run the Interior Department throughout President Barack Obama's first term and pushed renewable power such as solar and wind and the settlement of a longstanding dispute with American Indians... Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, a longtime Obama ally, is among those mentioned as a potential successor to Salazar, along with John Berry, director of the White House Office of Personnel Management. Berry is a former assistant Interior secretary and director of the National Zoo. Gregoire, whose term expires Wednesday, also is considered a candidate to replace Lisa Jackson at the Environmental Protection Agency." [AP]

An oral history of President Obama's first term features this quote from Joe Biden seriously not giving a flip about the government funding showdowns: "I thought we should have let them shut the government down, let them have a taste of what it was. I think we would have been in a stronger position. I was in the minority on that. If we could take a position back -- I don't know, the president might agree with me. I know he wondered about it. I think it would have been better to have them face the music right then and there." [NYT]

Former Congressman and the likely stand-in for De Niro in "Meet the Parents 7: Stand At Attention, Clownface!" Allen West will co-host a web radio show on PJ Media starting on February 4th. The show, called "Next Generation," will be co-hosted by LA radio gabber John Phillips and former Daily Caller reporter Michelle Fields and will focus on issues important to young Americans. In a post on PJ Media, West said he was moved to take action by the possibility that future generations won't be able to get drunk, eat nachos and shout with 50,000 other people. "I looked over at my two daughters, dressed in K-State purple, and thought about my first college bowl game. I considered the cost today to attend a BCS bowl game, and thought about how the college-bowl experience will be something that will be harder for future generations to afford," he wrote. [PJ Media]

What with his new career in radio a lock, West won't run for his old seat in 2014

RICK SCOTT RECEIVES SATANISTS' BLESSING - ABC News: "The Satanic Temple is planning its first major rally, which will be held in support of Florida Gov. Rick Scott later this month for -- which might sound ironic -- signing a bill that allows for the possibility of prayer in public schools...The Florida bill that has delighted the Satanists is Senate Bill 98 and gives students 'sole discretion in determining whether an inspirational message is to be delivered' at a student assembly. The bill prohibits school officials from participating in or influencing whether an inspirational message will be delivered...'The Satanic Temple embraces the free expression of religion, and Satanists are happy to show their support of Rick Scott...,' the Temple said in a release announcing the rally. 'This is a great country. Everyone has a voice,' Gov. Scott's press secretary wrote in an email to ABCNews.com when asked about the rally." [ABC News]

WHITE HOUSE CHANGES ITS 'WE THE PEOPLE' STANDARDS - It is now four times as hard to elicit a response to your White House petition. This is probably for the best, as we were days away from a movement coalescing around an FBI task force dedicated to finding out the contents of the sign spotted by Ace of Base. Nick Wing: "The White House announced Tuesday that petitions submitted through its online platform will now need 100,000 signatures to warrant an administration response, a fourfold increase from the previous 25,000 signature threshold...Phillips wrote that in last two months of 2012 alone, the 'We the People' program registered 2.4 million new users and hosted 73,000 petitions, in which 4.9 million signatures were processed. The digital platform received widespread coverage in the wake of the November elections, when residents in all 50 states filed separate petitions asking the White House to secede from the union after President Barack Obama's reelection." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Sure, the weather may make you feel like you're in a John Cusack romcom, but these white lion cubs will hopefully perk you up.

PUCK BUDDIES - HuffPost DC: "Meet Craig Brownstein, Caps fan and founder of a blog for, as he puts it, "boys who like boys who like hockey." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Mario Kart fanatics staged a real life race with bananas and the like. [http://bit.ly/SJL6Ob]

- Normally, bad lip reading in football leads to a missed audible. This time, it's hilarious, courtesy of Bad Lip Reading. [http://bit.ly/V7iLSL]

- One television viewer had the odd experience of watching a police chase on television that passed by his house. [http://chzb.gr/VIi9S0]

- Sick puppy cured by vodka. [http://huff.to/Up8TA6]

- Today's Google Doodle honors the inventor of the zamboni, Frank Zamboni, Jr., with an 8-bit video game. [http://bit.ly/XDHISS]

- The robotic ketchup dispenser set to the 20th Century Fox theme on a flute. U cray cray, internet. [http://bit.ly/snG83D]

- Is Lance Armstrong a psychopath? Maybe! [http://bit.ly/13CpeX3]

TWITTERAMA

@KagroX: WH said to have rooftop missile defense. Elitist Obama won't let YOUR house have one, though!

@delrayser: The only thing that stops a bad guy giving an anti-gun-control speech is a good guy giving a gun control speech. Hopefully.

@jennyrogersDC: My driver on the 96 furious over the cover of the Express today. "Passengers, they're attacking his gray hairs now!"

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