POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Hillary Clinton Has Politically Advantageous Views: Source

04/21/2015 05:00 pm ET

Hillary Clinton’s campaign will focus on the middle class, its advisers keep telling semi-secretive gatherings of elites. The Senate proved it can still operate as the founders intended by solving an artificial crisis it created. And Congressman Stephen Knight proved Suge Knight isn't the only California Knight who threatens to drop people. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, April 21st, 2015:

SENATE REACHES DEAL ON TRAFFICKING BILL, LYNCH NOMINATION - Jen Bendery: "Senate leaders announced Tuesday that they've resolved a weeks-long standoff over a sex trafficking bill containing controversial anti-abortion language, clearing the way, at last, for U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch to get her confirmation vote.... Aides to Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) have been working for weeks to break the impasse. As introduced, the bill would have collected fees from sex traffickers and put them into a new victims fund that would be subject to the Hyde Amendment, the federal provision that bars the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape and incest. Democrats objected to the abortion language in general, but more so because the bill expanded the Hyde Amendment to include private funds. Under the deal announced Tuesday, the bill will create two funding streams. The first one flows from fines collected from sex traffickers, and would be used for survivor services like health care. This stream would not include Hyde Amendment restrictions. The second one would come from community health center funds that are already subject to the abortion limits." [HuffPost]

David Rogers asks whether Henry Hyde himself would have agreed with today's Republicans on abortion, and the answer is of course that he probably wouldn't have.

TOMORROW IS EARTH DAY - Rarely is the question asked: is our power plants polluting? Kate Sheppard: "The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says the final rules for reducing U.S. power plant emissions will be done by mid-summer, and she's not particularly worried about legal and political attempts to block them. The draft rule, released in June 2014, calls for a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants by 2030. The EPA received more than 2 million comments on the proposed rules from citizens, states and private companies. 'We’re really comfortable that we can get this rule done in mid-summer and do justice to a full evaluation of all those comments, so that we can make sure that it gets over the finish line really solid,' EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told The Huffington Post. 'It's going to be solid legally, and it's going to get some tremendous progress moving forward to address carbon pollution that’s fueling climate change.'" [HuffPost]
Hillary Clinton's legion of consiglieres spent the day insisting she wants to " topple" the 1 percent.

HARRY REID GOES FULL BOEHNER ON TPP - "You couldn’t find a person to ask this question who feels more negatively about it than I do," Reid told reporters about so-called Trade Promotion Authority, according to Roll Call's Steven Dennis and Niels Lesniewski. "Not only no, but hell no." [Roll Call]

ALSO: Obama said Elizabeth Warren is wrong about TPP.

CLINTON AIDES TALK 2016 WITH SENATE DEMS - Unclear if Podesta brought with him plastic takeout Chinese containers filled with Walnut sauce. Laura Baron-Lopez: "Senior campaign advisers to Hillary Clinton met with Senate Democrats during their weekly luncheon on Tuesday to talk about the former secretary of state's presidential bid. John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, and Amanda Renteria, her political director, met with Democrats to talk broadly about the campaign, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters afterward. Reid joked that Podesta and Renteria are well-known within the Democratic caucus, given that 'Podesta has been everybody's chief of staff.' … Podesta and Renteria didn't take any questions from the caucus, but the visit signals Clinton's focus on wooing as many Democrats as possible to her side early. Podesta, Renteria and additional Clinton aides plan to meet with more congressional Democrats Tuesday evening at the home of Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), according to Politico." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A day in the life of a welfare recipient, according to Republican legislation: Surf and turf for breakfast. Then some actual surfing. Maybe buy a car? Mid-morning seance with a psychic advisor. For lunch: nachos, cookies and a coke. A trip to the casino for some afternoon gambling. Time to do some drugs! Drugs, drugs, drugs. Shopping spree at the mall. Crab legs for dinner. An evening cruise. [w/ HuffPost's Nick Wing]

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PIPELINE REGULATOR SUCKS - But… but… the jobs! Elana Schor and Andrew Restuccia: "Government auditors later found that the federal agency in charge of pipeline safety was a dismal failure at implementing more stringent regulations, in part because it deemed the rules 'too costly for the pipeline industry compared with the expected benefits.' Six months after the blast [near Bellingham, Washington in 1999], the head of the National Transportation Safety Board, the independent agency investigating the Bellingham explosion, strode into a meeting of pipeline executives to unleash a brutal critique of the federal regulators and of the industry he believed shared the blame for obstructing reform. 'There is nowhere today the sense that the Office of Pipeline Safety is in charge,' Jim Hall said then, 'or that its regulations, its inspections, its assets, its staffing and its spirit are adequate to the task.' Bellingham was supposed to change that. But more than 15 years later, Hall says he sees little evidence of meaningful improvements. 'Unfortunately,' he told POLITICO, 'I think I would give the same speech today.'" [Politico]

JEB BUSH SHOWS HE'S READY TO RUN GOVERNMENT: STARTS CONTRACTING OUT THINGS LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW - Rumors that President Jeb Bush will leave office only to be hired back for more money as an Accenture-provided commander-in-chief are unconfirmed. Thomas Beaumont: "The concept, in development for months as the former Florida governor has raised tens of millions of dollars for his Right to Rise super PAC, would endow that organization not just with advertising on Bush's behalf, but with many of the duties typically conducted by a campaign. Should Bush move ahead as his team intends, it is possible that for the first time a super PAC created to support a single candidate would spend more than the candidate's campaign itself — at least through the primaries. Some of Bush's donors believe that to be more than likely. The architects of the plan believe the super PAC's ability to legally raise unlimited amounts of money outweighs its primary disadvantage, that it cannot legally coordinate its actions with Bush or his would-be campaign staff." [AP]

Take a page from John Boehner and just chill out and focus on your milk soup: A Republican congressman threatened to fight a protester during a heated exchange over President Obama’s illegal immigration order. 'If you touch me again, I’ll drop your ass,' Rep. Stephen Knight (R-Calif.) shouted at a protester in a YouTube video posted over the weekend...'You told me you didn’t vote for amnesty and you did. I looked it up on the Internet. You lied to me,' a protester named Mike told Knight, before patting the congressman on the shoulder and walking away. Knight, an Army veteran and longtime Los Angeles police officer, went over to the protester and confronted him. 'Mike, Mike,' Knight says. 'Hey, if you touch me again, I’ll drop your ass. All right? Don’t, don’t touch me. Don’t, don’t touch me. Don’t touch me.'" [The Hill]



Photo of Trey Gowdy rocking a stellar suit-tie combo. Also holding an American flag-patterned AR-15 with Ken Buck. Also possibly breaking D.C. law.

DEA CHIEF RESIGNING - WaPo: "The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to resign soon, according to U.S. officials, following revelations about “sex parties” involving prostitutes overseas and other misconduct among its agents. Michele Leonhart, who has served at the helm of the DEA since 2007, has come under heavy criticism on Capitol Hill since an inspector general report last month documented a series of episodes in which agents hired prostitutes. Agents were also found to have had sex parties with some women hired by drug cartels in Colombia. White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday declined to confirm Leonhart’s pending resignation, which was first reported by CBS News...A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said it was unclear when a formal announcement would be made." [WaPo]

HILLARY CLINTON BURNS BOOKS - We'll be donating $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation to smooth over that joke. Sam Stein and Michael Calderone: "The impending publication of a book examining donations made to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton's tenure at the State Department has put the former secretary and her allies in a familiar place. For decades now, the Clintons have been trying to kill critical books in the crib, starting from Bill's first run for the White House in 1992 to Hillary's current run. It's become a form of political art: a well-calibrated brew of aggressive 'fact-checking' and passive-aggressive dismissals, amplified just loud enough to drown out the book itself. Clinton and her team don’t 'trust the ability of readers, viewers, voters to process the best obtainable version of the truth,' journalist Carl Bernstein told The Huffington Post, recalling how the 2008 Clinton campaign dismissed his biography, A Woman in Charge, early in the election cycle. The playbook has been dusted off once more in response to the latest work, a soon-to-be-released 186-page book by Peter Schweizer, a conservative-leaning writer, titled Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich." [HuffPost]



First Grumpy Cat now vape GIFs. U so cray, Wall Street Journal.

WALKER REALLY NOT A FAN OF IMMIGRANTS - We eagerly await details of his plan colonize the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and send all our foreign-born citizens there to live out their lives amidst the cancerous flotsam. Igor Bobic: "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, an expected GOP presidential candidate, took it a step further Monday by sounding some critical notes about the number of those who immigrate to the U.S. legally. 'In terms of legal immigration, how we need to approach that going forward is saying… first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages...' Walker said in an interview with Glenn Beck, according to Breitbart News...By aligning himself with an immigration hawk like Sessions, Walker may be hoping to placate conservatives wary over his previous support for a pathway to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants. He has since reversed that position after, he said, 'talking not just to citizens all across the country but to governors in border states who face real serious concerns about what’s happening on our border and elsewhere.'" [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is some more footage from the ongoing puppy-door stopper war.

THEY SEE ME TROLLIN' - How did people publicly embarrass others before online domain registrations? Amanda Terkel: "A group of Indiana state legislators who voted for the state's much-maligned 'religious freedom' bill now have their domain names redirecting to a site with statistics about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, thanks to an activist who wants the lawmakers to support broader non-discrimination protections. Konrad Juengling, who lives in Oregon, bought the domain names for Republican State Reps. Martin Carbaugh, Dale Devon, Douglas Gutwein, Kathy Kreag Richardson, Don Lehe and Donna Schaibley. The address DonnaSchaibley.com, for example, now redirects to the site about LGBT issues, which is hosted by the Human Rights Campaign." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- GoPro video of what a man's dog does after he leaves.

- The elevators to the top of the 1 World Trade Center observatory feature a video of downtown Manhattan's development since the 1500s.

- Oculus Rift game teaches you how to survive a plane crash.

TWITTERAMA

@aedwardslevy: I'm already bored of using "horse race" as an adjective. Let's pick a new phrase. (I like "steeplechase")

@joshgreenman: Tomorrow is Earth Day, for all you Earth exceptionalists.

publication: What's this, the 30-year veteran DEA chief is stepping down for losing the drug war? Oh, nm, it's because some agents hired prostitutes

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