POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Fear Itself Actually Pretty Scary

John Kasich’s lawyers tried to force NBC into letting him host “Saturday Night Live,” which reminds us of the joke about the priest and the rabbi walking into the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. Donald Trump wants to build “a big, beautiful safe zone” for Syrian refugees; the Trump Dislocated Persons Camp Platinum Rewards Program would offer holders great discounts on the most high quality Red Cross MREs and ritzy oil bin fires. And David Vitter’s gubernatorial campaign accused his opponent of being weak on ISIS. You know what a better tactic would be? Making the Vitter campaign slogan, “David Vitter: Piss Off ISIS By Electing The Diaper Prostitute Guy.” This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, November 17th, 2015:

SENATE GOING AFTER OBAMA'S ENVIRONMENTAL AGENDA - Vote happening momentarily. Laura Barron-Lopez: "The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday to block key pillars of President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) exercised a rarely used legislative tool to set up a vote on a resolution of disapproval to strike down the Environmental Protection Agency rules on carbon pollution from power plants. One resolution seeks to block the administration’s landmark climate change regulations that require existing power plants to cut carbon emissions 32 percent by 2030. Under the Congressional Review Act, the resolution only needs a simple majority threshold to pass the Senate, which will easily be reached with Republican votes. McConnell could also tee up a second resolution to bar another EPA regulation on new source performance standards, which set similar carbon emissions restrictions for new power plants. " [HuffPost]

NOTE: THE TSA IS NOT IN CHARGE OF REFUGEE SCREENINGS - The State Department doesn't just make everyone remove their shoes and belts for five minutes, Elise Foley reports: "Republicans in Congress and half of the nation's governors have said the U.S. shouldn't accept Syrian refugees in light of terrorist attacks on Paris last week, based on what they see as an inadequate or inexistent screening process. Now the Obama administration is doing damage control. Senior administration officials said Tuesday they're working quickly to educate the public and politicians, as members of Congress plan to try to block the U.S. from resettling Syrian refugees and more than half of governors say they won't accept them into their states. The officials, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity, said they think people may be unaware of how the screening system works -- already an 18- to 24-month process on average that includes biometric and biographic tests, interviews and other vetting procedures by a number of U.S. security agencies. 'A lot of questions we're getting are from members who are just learning about the program for the first time,' one official said. 'And I also think there's a lot of misinformation out there.' Case in point: the claim that the U.S. leaves all vetting to the United Nations refugee agency, also called UNHCR. 'The U.N. is doing the vetting,' Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) told reporters on Tuesday." Huelskamp: incorrect. [HuffPost]

@mkonnikova: "Today's 3-year-old Syrian orphan, it seems, is 1939's German Jewish child."

GOOD GUYS WITH GUNS CAN'T BEAT BAD GUYS WITH GUNS: SHOCK CLAIM - Sam Stein and Jessica Schulberg: "Put frankly, even the best-calibrated response to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, will never fully expunge the threat. 'We cannot eradicate terrorism any more than we can eradicate armed robbery,' said Andrew Bacevich, a military analyst who was one of the more vocal skeptics in the run-up to the Iraq War. 'The best we can hope for is to reduce it to tolerable proportions.' 'Eliminating or eradicating the threat is impossible,' said Richard Haass, the chair of the Council on Foreign Relations. 'We could be 99.99% effective and there would still be enough people to cause real harm. The goal should be to reduce -- dramatically -- the scale of the threat and what it can accomplish.' The notion that the United States will -- for the foreseeable future and likely beyond -- be forced to manage the threat of terrorism rather get rid of it, is not particularly comforting. And it's one that several leading critics of the Obama administration's policy have refused to countenance in the aftermath of the Paris attacks. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), for example, has called the conflict with the Islamic State a 'clash of civilizations.' 'Either they win or we win,' he said." [HuffPost]

BEN CARSON BAD AT FOREIGN POLICY: SOURCE - Trip Gabriel: "Faced with increasing scrutiny about whether Mr. Carson -- who leads in some Republican presidential polls -- was capable of leading American foreign policy, two of his top advisers said in interviews with The New York Times that he had struggled to master the intricacies of the Middle East and national security and that intense tutoring was having little effect. 'Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,' Duane R. Clarridge, a top adviser to Mr. Carson on terrorism and national security, said in an interview. He also said Mr. Carson needed weekly conference calls briefing him on foreign policy so 'we can make him smart.'" [NYT]

CARSON CAMPAIGN BURN: "Mr. Clarridge's input to Dr. Carson is appreciated but he is clearly not one of Dr. Carson's top advisors. For the New York Times to take advantage of an elderly gentleman and use him as their foil in this story is an affront to good journalistic practices."

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DONALD TRUMP WANTS TO BUILD CLASSY, CLASSY INTERNMENT CAMPS - Only electrified gates of the finest recycled composite metals. Maggie Haberman: "Donald J. Trump questioned whether Syrian refugees are part of a “Trojan horse” plot, suggested buying land in Syria to create a 'safe space' and said that in 2000 he could “feel” that terrorists were going to strike in the United States, as he rallied a large crowd of supporters in Tennessee on Monday evening...Mr. Trump said he would like to 'build a safe zone in Syria, build a big, beautiful safe zone, and you have whatever it is, so they can live.' He could get such a deal with his real estate background for a 'swatch' of land, he said." [NYT]

ISIS has a help desk.

JOHN KASICH LIKES JAPES, ACCORDING TO HIS LAWYER - Seriously, does anything undercut a small government conservative quite like him citing the Code of Federal Regulations to get onto SNL? Katherine Miler: "Lawyers for Kasich filed a request with NBCUniversal on Tuesday for equal use of the NBC’s facilities after Donald Trump’s turn as Saturday Night Live host earlier this month." [BuzzFeed]

DAVID VITTER'S OPPONENT WILL KILL YOU WITH THE ISIS - A D.C. madame never blew anyone up, y'know. Jeva Lange: "Over footage of Paris during last week's terrorist attacks, a voiceover in Vitter's ad intones: 'One of the Paris ISIS terrorists entered France posing as a Syrian refugee. Now, Obama's sending Syrian refugees to Louisiana.' Vitter vows that no Syrian refugees will enter Louisiana if he is governor -- a dubious claim at best since he likely couldn't enforce it. Vitter then slams his Democratic opponent, Louisiana state Rep. John Bel Edwards, for agreeing to help Obama relocate Syrian refugees." [The Week]

A look at Hillary's 2008 MySpace page.

LYNCH RULES OUT GTMO DETAINEES ON U.S. SOIL - Maybe we can put them in one of Donald Trump's luxurious Syrian internment camps? Julian Hattem: "The Obama administration is legally prohibited from bringing detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the U.S., Attorney General Loretta Lynch acknowledged on Tuesday, even as the White House searches for ways to close the facility. 'With respect to individuals being transferred to the United States, the law currently does not allow that,' Lynch told the House Judiciary Committee. 'That is not, as I am aware of, going to be contemplated, given the legal prescriptions Certainly it is the position of the Department of Justice that we would follow the law of the land in regard on that issue.' The attorney general noted that President Obama has said he will sign a new defense policy bill that includes additional restrictions on Guantanamo Bay, including new limits on where men at the detention camp can be sent abroad. Still, Lynch maintained that closing the 13-year-old detention facility “is something that is a part of the administration’s policy.” [The Hill]

KOCH BROTHERS INVADING YOUR UTERUS Unlike the Met, they're not trying to affix their names to it. Paul Blumenthal: "The main arm of the political network operated by billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch raised $126 million in 2014 and distributed millions to more than 20 other groups active in last year's midterm elections...According to an annual tax filing posted Tuesday on the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce website, the nonprofit group gave $87.6 million in grants and contributions to outside groups...Outside the Koch constellation of nonprofits, Freedom Partners gave $4.9 million to the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action -- another seemingly unusual choice for a nonprofit dedicated to advancing business interests. It also sent more than $1 million to Citizenlink, the political nonprofit arm of the anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion evangelical group Focus on the Family, and $225,000 to the Susan B. Anthony Group, another anti-abortion organization." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is the new Charlie Hebdo cover.

JOHN BOEHNER IS NOT SURE WHAT TO DO WITH HIMSELF - We had hoped Pete's Diner and Trattoria Alberto would keep him busy, but it seems he's filling the vacuum in his schedule with...vaccuuming. Jake Sherman reports from Naples, Florida: "John Boehner has been doing a 'lot of laundry' since he left Congress. He’s been ironing a lot, too, and vacuuming his floors. Plenty of time to do all kinds of little things, he says. 'My apartment looks like it’s brand new,' he told POLITICO here in his first interview since he departed Congress…. 'It’s weird,' Boehner said, standing in the Naples Beach Hotel. Minutes later, he would give his first speech as a private citizen in three decades. 'No job, no office, hardly any staff,' Boehner said of life these days. 'I'm used to going all the time. Then you’re not going all the time.' 'It’s,' Boehner said with a pause, 'different.'" [Politico]

COMFORT FOOD

- We're very excited for the Bill Murray Bill Murray holiday special.

- "Uptown Funk" mixed over clips from the golden age of Hollywood.

TWITTERAMA

@SpeakerRyan: .@SpeakerBoehner: This is your birthday tweet … I hope your day is sweet

@EvanMcSan: lol these hearings. "What is the status of FDA seafood advice for pregnant women?"

@SimonMaloy: I will be the president of freedom, and the president of values, and the president of smiles

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