POLITICS
01/28/2016 05:45 pm ET Updated Jan 28, 2016

HUFFPOST HILL - Tonight's The Night, Excited Jeb Bush Says To Mirror

The frontrunner with the irritatingly pouty face will not attend tonight’s GOP debate, though the second-place candidate with the irritatingly pouty face will. Senate Democrats are asking for $400 million in emergency relief to help their reelection chances … and for Flint, too. And Bernie Sanders flip flopped on a gun bill because nothing matters and all you eager-eyed college students tromping around Black Hawk county with yard signs should just give up now before your spirits are irrevocably crushed. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, January 28th, 2016:

HUCKABEE JOINING TRUMP ANTI-DEBATE EVENT - He'll make a great executive director of Trump's Presidential Council on Terrible Dad Jokes About Brown People. Maggie Haberman: "Mike Huckabee, the winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses who has been struggling to gain traction in this year’s race, will appear with Donald J. Trump and an event for veterans that the billionaire businessman has scheduled as counterprogramming to tonight’s debate on Fox News, which he is skipping...The move is basically a win-win for all involved. Mr. Huckabee will get more attention than he’s been able to garner in months, and he will be affirming Mr. Trump’s decision to skip the debate. What’s more, it helps shift attention away from Senator Ted Cruz, Mr. Trump’s main competitor in the race, and the candidate who is appealing to the evangelical voters that helped Mr. Huckabee win in 2008." [NYT]

SENATE DEMS SEEKING $400 MILLION FOR FLINT - Niels Lesniewski: "Senate Democrats are seeking as much as $400 million in emergency federal money to fix or replace the corroded pipes polluting the water in Flint, Mich., part of a proposed amendment to the bipartisan energy bill being considered in the Senate. As drafted, the amendment would require the state of Michigan to match the federal contribution, dollar for dollar, and would give the state greater flexibility to forgive loans for water infrastructure. It would also call for spending $200 million in federal money for a center that would support the children and adults exposed to lead in the tainted water…The bulk of the money would pay for emergency bottled water and filtering supplies, local health inspections, home lead abatement and blood testing. The state is asking the federal government to expand Medicaid health care eligibility to cover all Flint-area residents up to 21 years of age and provide Medicaid match dollars for lead abatement activities, according to The Detroit News." [Roll Call]

Guest list for tomorrow's HuffPost Politics podcast: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Big Short director Adam McKay, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz challenger Tim Canova. Go HERE to subscribe to "So That Happened" in iTunes.

DELANEY DOWNER - It's not just Flint: there are millions of lead pipes all across America, putting children at risk of stunted growth, brain damage and a lifetime of diminished potential. Just this week, residents of Sebring, a town of 8,000 in rural Ohio, were told not to touch their tap water out of lead fears similar to Flint's. "This is a situation that has the potential to occur in however many places around the country there are lead pipes," Jerry Paulson, emeritus professor of pediatrics and environmental health at George Washington University, said in an interview. "Unless and until those pipes are removed, those communities are at some degree of risk." Roughly 10 million American homes and buildings receive water from service lines that are at least partially lead, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. [HuffPost]

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BERNIE FLIP FLOP - But 95 percent of two-thirds of the bottom quartile of all upper third guns control a plurality of the top four percent of bullets. Got it? Samantha Lachman: "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) agreed to co-sponsor a bill Thursday that would repeal a law he voted for which gives broad legal immunity to gun makers and dealers, after months of attacks from rival presidential candidate Hillary Clinton concerning his gun safety record. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed in 2005, after the National Rifle Association made its passage a priority in order to shield gun manufacturers and sellers from lawsuits. Suits filed in the 1990s and early 2000s argued that they should make their products safer or track where their products are sold. The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre called the PLCAA “the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in 20 years.' Sanders voted for the legislation; Clinton voted against it." [HuffPost]

MORE BERNIE SADS - Dave Jamieson: "A powerful Las Vegas labor union said Thursday that staffers of the Bernie Sanders campaign wore union pins in order to gain access to employee areas at four of the city's unionized hotels. Culinary Workers Union Local 226, an affiliate of Unite Here, said it was 'disappointed and offended' by what it suggested was an unethical move by the Vermont independent's campaign. The union, powerful in Nevada politics, hasn't yet endorsed a candidate in the presidential race, and the Democratic candidates have all been wooing the union in hopes of securing its support." [HuffPost]

"Can she have it all? update: "A prominent Ohio politician is questioning whether his female opponent is fit to serve, saying in a recent interview that she might not be up to the job because she's a 'young gal' with children. 'The gal that's running against me is a 30-year-old, you know, mom, mother of two infants,' Ohio Senate Majority Leader Tom Patton (R) said in a Jan. 18 interview on America's Work Force Radio." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

WHITE WORKING CLASS REALLY, REALLY LOVES THE DONALD - Just great. Just fantastic. Beautiful. Beautiful. Dave Jamieson: "Here are some scary findings for anyone who doesn't support Donald Trump for president. Working America, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO union federation, just spent five weeks canvassing in the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas, focusing on likely voters who live outside the city and have household incomes at or below $75,000 (read: white and working class). The group's canvassers spoke to 1,689 people, 90 percent of whom cast ballots in 2012. While the report serves as a non-scientific "front porch focus group," rather than a representative sample of the states' voters, its findings offer a glimpse into some voters' minds. Of the entire Democratic and Republican fields, the most popular single candidate was Donald Trump -- and it wasn't even close. Thirty-eight percent of people who had already made up their minds said they wanted to vote for the Republican real estate magnate. The candidate with the next highest share was Democrat Hillary Clinton, with 22 percent." [HuffPost]

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS - AKA, we found a senator who actually liked Russ Feingold. Jordain Carney: "Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), under fire from Republicans on national security, is getting a boost from ex-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The former Pentagon chief, who stepped down amid tensions with the White House, donated $1,000 to Feingold's campaign during the latest fundraising period, which ended on Dec. 31. Feingold is challenging Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). Feingold's campaign has until the end of the month to file its latest report with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), but a campaign official confirmed the donation to The Hill. Asked about the donation, Hagel, who previously served as a Republican senator from Nebraska, touted their work together in the Senate. '[I've] worked with him on many issues. I believe that the Senate needs more senators like Senator Feingold who [will] work across party lines to help govern our country,' the former Defense secretary said in a statement to The Hill." [The Hill]

ROBIN GIVHAN, SWEATER SLAYER: "When the men of the 2016 presidential campaign are not in the traditional power uniform of dark suit and red or blue tie, they are pulling on zip-collar sweaters. They are not all wearing the exact same sweater -- but they might as well be. They are stuck in sartorial sameness…. The candidates choose this particular costuming when they commune with voters in an intimate, down-home setting such as a New Hampshire diner or an Iowa rec center. And although their suit jackets seem to come with an American flag pin permanently affixed to the lapel, these sweaters are flag-free. Is there something inherently all-American about them? A presumed authenticity and earnestness such that they do not require patriotic embellishment?" We don't know. [WashPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's an evolved cat

IT'S REALLY AMAZING THAT PAUL LEPAGE HASN'T ENDORSED TRUMP YET - Now there's a presidential ticket for the ages. Amanda Terkel: "Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants state residents to start shooting drug dealers on sight in order to help alleviate Maine's heroin crisis. 'Everybody in Maine, we have constitutional carry,' LePage said Wednesday. 'Load up and get rid of the drug dealers.' Since October, Maine has allowed legal firearm owners to carry concealed handguns without a permit. LePage frequently talks about the state's heroin epidemic, often focusing on penalties for drug traffickers. On Tuesday, he said he wants drug dealers to face the death penalty, even suggesting that they be subjected to the guillotine. At the very least, he wants them to face 20 years to life in prison." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- If this isn't served at your Super Bowl party, you're a chump.

- Guys, listen to this supervillain: touch yourselves.

- Steven Hawking plays chess with Paul Rudd.

TWITTERAMA

@HeerJeet: The only form of income redistribution USA has is Jeb Superpacs (from super rich to consultant class)

@pourmecoffee: I assume there is a safe word we're supposed to say to let Trump know when it's too much.

@SimonMaloy: Rand PLOL
Gif Giftie
TedTalk Cruz
DTHuckabee
Ben WinRARson
Santorum

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