Jon Huntsman may not be very popular here in the States but his dad insists that, in China, he's the big man on campus ... uh ... at the Central Committee. Herman Cain saying he needs to lighten up on the campaigning is like a communications major saying he needs a less intensive course load. And marijuana legalization advocate and presidential candidate Gary Johnson wants Americans to know he is fighting for them and ... OH MAN, WHOA, HIS HANDS LOOK WAYYYY COOL AND DEEP ... OH SHIT, I'M GONNA MISS THE DEADLINE TO GET ON THE BALLOT....WAIT, WHAT WAS I SAYING? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, October 28th, 2011:
LIBERAL CHAMPION, BROUGHT TO YOU BY SKDKnickerbocker - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is in town to crack some heads at Treasury, rouse the rabble and, of course, do it all from the cozy confines of the office of SKDKinckerbocker, Peter G. Peterson's PR firm. HuffPost Hill stopped out to see him, and paused in the hallway for a chat with former Dem Hill guy Doug Thornell, busy trumpeting the virtues of repatriating tax-evading capital on behalf of the WIN America coalition. Anita Dunn, who set up the meetings, led us and some fellow travelers back for a discussion on building a progressive movement. We bid Hilary Rosen adieu, and took it to the streets. Who's streets? K Street's.
MIDWESTERN OCCUPY PROTESTERS FOCUS ON HOUSING, DONTCHA KNOW - Tyler Kingkade: "As the Occupy Wall Street movement enters its seventh week of protest against income inequality, some Midwestern Occupiers are zeroing in on housing issues affecting their communities. Occupy Minneapolis successfully pressured U.S. Bank this week to postpone a Twin Cities woman's eviction. Now they're planning 'Operation F,' a campaign pushing for a foreclosure moratorium by occupying foreclosed homes. 'What we started to do was to make preparations, digging in and taking the occupations to peoples' homes,' said Ben Egerman, a protester at Occupy Minneapolis. The protesters will go to houses where the homeowners face eviction and 'occupy' the homes to highlight the ongoing mortgage mess. And in Iowa, Occupy activists met Thursday with state Attorney General Tom Miller, who is leading a nationwide investigation of bad faith foreclosure dealings by big banks, to voice their concerns." [HuffPost]
THE WORLD IS OUR BORED LAZY OVERPAID BUREAUCRAT'S OYSTER - HuffPost Hill's favorite Bored Lazy Overpaid Bureaucrat (BLOB) had another productive week. She bandwidthed the functionality of an outdated program and implemented the overseeing of a productivity-boosting piece of P2P software. "It's been another strenuous day putting your tax dollars to good use over here in the federal government," BLOB writes. "I rolled in at around 10:30, checked out some conference calls, played a little Tetris, and enjoyed an hour-and-a-half lunch off-site. In an effort to break up the monotony of my days, I also (excitedly) downloaded a new internet browser to use for all that internet shopping. I'll probably head out soon to avoid rush hour traffic and get an early start on what will likely become a holiday weekend. Percentage of the day spent doing actual work: 10. Percentage of that work that could have been done by someone making at least half my salary: 100. Likelihood of working from home on Monday: pretty high." Great optics, BLOB!
FLOTUS ON THE TRAIL - Christina Wilkie: "Over the coming year, Obama is poised to set a new precedent for American first ladies, doing more than any first lady before her to help ensure that the president is reelected. Armed with a sharper message in recent weeks, Obama bears little resemblance to the reluctant campaigner of early 2008, who was fond of telling donors that initially, she 'wasn't exactly thrilled by the idea' of her husband running for president. Since mid-May, the first lady has headlined 23 fundraisers for the Democratic party, 9 of them in the past month alone. That's nearly as many as President Barack Obama himself has done -- his tally stands at 13 since Sept. 30. The first lady's predecessor, Laura Bush, headlined 13 fundraisers for her husband's reelection in all of 2003 combined."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Ohio might require the jobless to pass a drug test to qualify for benefits. The Columbus Dispatch reported the state's director of Job and Family Services, Michael Colbert, says he always hears from employers that would-be job applicants have dirty pee. DDD called an agency spokesman and told him it sounded like pure demagoguery. The spokesman said Colbert is just repeating what the agency hears from businesses. So DDD called up the Ohio Manufacturers' Association. A spokesman said the group hears complaints of drug test flunkage from its 1,400 members on a weekly basis. Seems that is about as specific as anyone will get. Sorry, unemployed people: You are all on drugs. [Columbus Dispatch]
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SPY AGENCIES BUYING A LOT OF $16 MUFFINS - Andrea Stone reports that Congress approved $54.6 billion in 2011 to fund the United States' various intelligence agencies. We can only imagine the awkward HR memos circulating right now in the CIA ("When purchasing piano wire, please opt for steel ones and not the pricier copper kind. And if you're going to set up your sniper rifle from a hotel, try to make it a Comfort Inn and not a Four Seasons, please???"). "Director of National Intelligence James Clapper -- whose office was created after the 9/11 attacks to oversee the government's 16 intelligence agencies -- made the disclosure in a dry news release Friday. The top line number represents the aggregate amount of money lawmakers doled out for the National Intelligence Program's black budget last year. 'Any and all subsidiary information concerning the NIP budget, whether the information concerns particular intelligence agencies or particular intelligence programs, will not be disclosed,' Clapper said, adding, 'such disclosures could harm national security.'" [HuffPost]
HERMAN CAIN TO 'SLOW DOWN' ALREADY MOLASSES-SLOW CAMPAIGN - Herman Cain has stumbled across the fact that to build campaign momentum these days, you should campaign like you're actually just in it to build publicity for yourself. The problem with this approach is that most of its adherents (Cain, Gingrich) don't actually want to be president. "We're trying to slow down a little bit, make sure he's rested, make sure he's focused," J.D. Gordon, Cain's vice president for communications, told Howard Kurtz. The goal is to achieve a "more deliberate pace...so we don't make those kinds of mistakes." We give it a few weeks until Cain staffers are giving pointers to Santorum aides. [Daily Beast]
Cain has raised $3 million thus far in October. That's more than his previous three months combined. If Cain can keep this up, he might have a 4Q haul in the tens of millions, not unlike Mitt Romney and Rick Perry (who was the Herman Cain before Herman Cain was the Herman Cain). Expect Cain's next ad to end with Mark Block smoking with the aide of one of those super patrician long-stemmed FDR cigarette holders. [WSJ]
BofA BACKING OFF DEBIT FEE - We over here at HuffPost Hill get tired of telling you we told you so (kidding!), but we'll keep doing it as long as we have to. Bank of America is backpedaling on its $5 debit fee under fierce pressure from consumers. While credit clearly goes largely to us, we suppose North Carolina Dem Brad Miller, who responded with legislation making it easier for people to switch accounts, and the PCCC, which got thousands of BofA customers to pledge to move their money, deserve some, too. [Reuters]
MITT ROMNEY DOES NOT COMPUTE SCIENCE - In a speech yesterday, Mitt Romney reversed his earlier position that humans are partially responsible for rising global temperatures and declared that the cause of the increase is unknown. This sudden scientific skepticism is baffling as Romney himself is a well-known human-supercomputer cyborg and therefore is, by his very nature, one of the truest realizations of scientific knowledge. He must be so conflicted, the poor thing. "My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet," he said at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. "And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us. My view with regards to energy policy is pretty straightforward: I want us to become energy secure and independent of the oil cartels." [HuffPost's Lucia Graves]
JON HUNTSMAN'S DAD: MY SON IS THE MITT ROMNEY OF CHINA - Jon Huntsman Sr. talked about his son's fledgling campaign with the Desert News and basically implied that if Americans were a people who mostly lived in third world conditions and acquiesced to disenfranchisement, they might like Jon Huntsman more . Actually, come to think of it... "If he were running for president of China, he would have already won the election," he said. "But he's had to come here and start from scratch." In lieu of a tax plan, we hear that Jon Huntsman will start handing out copies of "Quotations from Chairman Mao" at campaign stops. [Desert News]
GARY JOHNSON IS SO HIGH - "Heading off an embarrassing blunder, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will file his paperwork for candidacy in New Hampshire's primary today - the day of the filing deadline. Johnson almost missed his chance to appear on the first-in-the-nation primary ballot. When the campaign realized Thursday that Johnson's paperwork was in danger of not being filed, the governor took a plane up from Arizona so he could sign the papers in person, according to press spokesman Elizabeth Renda." [CNN]
Johnson will be glad to know that a bipartisan group of nine lawmakers (Thanks, Rohrabacher!) sent a letter to Obama today mad about his medical marijuana crackdown.
TYLER KINGKADE'S HERE'S SOME NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - Republican Attorney General of Utah: the GOP is not in danger of losing Latino voters, we already lost them. New Hampshire already has a regressive tax system with no income tax. However, Republicans in the state are pushing a constitutional amendment to forbid ever adding an income tax. Meanwhile, Colorado voters will decide if they are "standing up for better schools" or if they are "job killers" when they vote on a potential tax increase this year. In Portland, Maine, a chemical bomb was tossed into the OccupyMaine encampment. More than 100 people, some involved in Occupy Iowa and some union members, protested outside of a Heritage Foundation dinner featuring Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The U.S. Census Bureau found New York City is the most unequal when it comes to income distribution. Vigils were held nationwide for an Iraq War veteran who had his skull fractured when Oakland police shot tear gas at him and the crowd of protesters he was in. And the grand total of arrests made in connection with Occupy Wall Street protests stands at 2,750 as of Friday afternoon. Thanks, Tyler!
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dog plays darts.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Let's dispense with the formalities and talk about Snow. Is the upcoming storm overhyped? It looks like it. Most of the time, snow tends to get worse the more inland one goes. The reason is the ocean. The Atlantic -- more specifically, the warm water current known as the Gulf Stream -- acts as a heater in the winter (and a cooler in the summer, but let's forget about that for now). Coastal areas, while they may get more precipitation, are more likely to be in the "rain" band. Yes, there may be some snow flakes falling, but we're most likely to see rain falling through most of the weekend, with snow coming Saturday night. Might the snow wash away? I'd think so. But remember, a few degrees cooler, and there will be more snow. There will be messy driving conditions (hint: Don't drive if you don't have to!), but there's no need to build a supply of Oreos and canned beans. Thanks, JB!
- A digital clock made entirely out of LEGOs. LEGO is the new steampunk. [http://huff.to/slO4Lx]
- Skateboarding dog in Paris is a dog that skateboards in Paris. [http://huff.to/vFCHrF]
- The "Phantom Tollbooth" turns 50 this year. Here's a short (with hopes of being longer) documentary about it [http://huff.to/rMptaP]
- Are you having a good Friday? That's good. Anyway, an asteroid the size of a city block will fly dangerously closet to Earth in a few weeks. [http://huff.to/w1AYG6]
- Japanese guy puts on 231 pairs of underpants (briefs, mind you), and sets a Guinnes World Record. Good on that guy. [http://huff.to/u7G9QZ]
- HuffPost Comedy compiled 13 of Someecards' best Halloween offerings. [http://huff.to/thnBtT]
- Souped-up ambulance drag races. This is why America is doomed. It's also why America is awesome [http://huff.to/vA0Ar2]
- Heartwarming multimedia story of an erroneous text. [http://huff.to/uT1Ms2]
@SimonMaloy willard.i.am #MittRapNames
@OsamaInHell: Can't decide which costume would freak more people out: HPV Vaccine or Oakland cop. Might have to go as a "Soy Bomb" again.
@anamariecox: I don't understand the big deal: wasn't Perry already limiting his participation in debates? Mostly to grunts and murmurs?
@MichaelTurk: You're Unemployment Rate is 9.1%, Charlie Brown. #RejectedPeanutsSpecials
Tonight, 5:00 pm: FreedomWorks hosts a Tea PART-AYYYYYY at its Washington HQ. Actually, it's a happy hour, but we strongly encourage you to rip your shirt off, wave it above you and yell WOOOOOO a lot. [400 North Capitol Street NW, Suite 735]
Today - Sunday: Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson contributes to agriculture a bit with his Goose Hunt Weekend fundraiser. Peterson, according to the never-wrong Wikipedia, once said "I will not support any kind of climate change bill - even if you fix this - because I don't trust anybody anymore. I've had it." Never change! [Eagle Lake, TX]
Today - Sunday: Because, really, would you want to be in New Jersey this weekend? Have you seen the forecast? Scott Garrett let's those pasty thighs catch some rays at a Key Largo getaway weekend. [Key Largo, FL]
Today - Sunday: While the rest of Congress appears to be fleeing south for their mid-Fall weekend fundraisers, Florida's Vernon Buchanan heads north for a West Virginia retreat. [Greenbrier Hotel, West Spring, WV]
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