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HUFFPOST HILL - 'Fine, Let's Get Out Of Here,' Drunk GOP Tells Ted Cruz At 3 a.m.

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 18/03/2016 Eliot Nelson

Mitt Romney, taking a break from sadly smiling into a mirror and blinking, announced he’ll vote for Ted Cruz. Twitter will not expand its 140-character limit, so “Your Stupid: A Treatise On A Medium Post That Enraged Me” will have to wait. And conservative groups are targeting vulnerable senators for supporting hearings for Merrick Garland. Nothing gets voters in West Virginia riled up quite like the prospect of a white guy in power. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, March 18th, 2016:
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DELANEY DOWNER - Republicans have made environmental regulations their punching bag for years. But now that there’s a water crisis unfolding in Flint, Michigan, they’ve decided that what we actually need is more rules. “We need the Lead and Copper Rule to be updated,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told reporters Thursday after wrapping up his third and possibly final hearing on the Flint water crisis. Chaffetz had been asked how to prevent water crises like the one in Flint, where thousands of children have been exposed to high levels of lead in the drinking water. His response pointed to a regulation promulgated under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act -- a rule that Chaffetz said the Environmental Protection Agency had not enforced aggressively enough or updated fast enough. “Let this be a warning to every state and municipality that they need to check on lead and they need to check and pay attention to their water supply,” Chaffetz said. “Unfortunately, I don’t think that Flint is the only situation where there’s a real problem.” [w/ HuffPost's Kate Sheppard]
Like HuffPost Hill? Then pre-order Eliot's book's, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government.Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It's free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHillCONSERVATIVES GEARING UP FOR SCOTUS FIGHT - Fast forward to February 2017 when President Clinton nominates Scarlett Johansson, who is quickly confirmed by the Democratic Senate. Catherine Ho: "Conservative legal group Judicial Crisis Network, which is helping lead the fight against President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, will launch a $2 million television, radio and digital advertising campaign aimed at blocking Senate consideration of Garland. The new round of ads brings the group’s total spending on the Supreme Court fight to $4 million. It is the latest in an onslaught of opposition from conservative interest groups that are throwing money and opposition researchers aimed at halting the nomination process and discrediting Garland. The ads are slated to run for three weeks starting Monday. They will air in six states, targeting senators of both parties: Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)." [WaPo]
Day-um: "Sen. Mark Kirk is going hard after members of his own party that are refusing to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, saying Republicans need to quit playing games and do their job. 'Just man up and cast a vote,' Kirk said Friday on 'The Big John Howell Show.'" [Sun Times' Chad Merda]
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ALERT: DEMS COULD TAKE BACK HOUSE - Still incredibly difficult, but the chattering classes are really digging the Trump Sea Change narrative. Scott Wong: "House Democrats received a bit of good news on Friday: The nonpartisan Cook Political Report changed the ratings of 10 House races in Democrats’ favor. And given the unpredictable nature of this cycle, the elections and campaigns newsletter said it could not be certain Republicans will hold the House in November. 'So many assumptions have been wrong this cycle that it's difficult to be definitive about another: that the House majority won't be in play in 2016,' wrote longtime Cook political analyst David Wasserman. While a Donald Trump or Ted Cruz nomination 'wouldn’t guarantee a down-ballot disaster,' Wasserman wrote, it would make congressional races much more difficult to predict, especially if Trump becomes the GOP standard bearer." [The Hill]
RUBIO BOARDS WAAAHHHMBULANCE - David Montfomery: "Rubio said his positive campaign message didn’t match the national mood, and said media coverage helped snowball Super Tuesday losses into the end of his campaign. 'This election was entirely driven by national media coverage, in many ways,' Rubio said, in audio of the conference call obtained by the Pioneer Press. 'When the media narrative goes negative on you, and all the news is bad, it kind of knocks us off.'" []
SHERIFF JOE AMBUSHED JANE SANDERS? Weird, right? "Mr. Sanders’s wife, Jane Sanders, had an impromptu discussion with Sheriff Arpaio at his so-called Tent City in Maricopa County, where jail inmates are housed under the hot sun. Sheriff Arpaio has said that the conditions there are no worse than those faced by many United States soldiers overseas. Mr. Sanders said that Sheriff Arpaio, who is well known for his hard-line stance on illegal immigration, had 'ambushed' his wife. 'She asked him about racial profiling, and he didn’t have an answer,' Mr. Sanders said. 'She asked him about conditions in Tent City and other abuses that he has perpetuated, and he didn’t have an answer. You know what, he cannot have an answer, because what he is doing is un-American and uncivilized.'" [NYT]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some baby animals yawning.
AMERICANS ACTUALLY CONCERNED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE - Once enough Central Valley Californians start having lawns that resemble Shredded Wheat, there might be more political pressure to do something. Nick Visser: "A Gallup poll released this week shows an all-time high of 65 percent of Americans who said climate change was caused by human activities, up from 55 percent just last year. About the same percentage said they worry a “great deal” or a “fair amount” about the phenomenon, and more people than ever said climate change will pose a serious threat in their lifetimes...Even concern among Republicans rose 9 points to 40 percent. That’s less than half of the 84 percent among Democrats, but a stark contrast to the near-universal denial from leading GOP presidential candidates over the past year." [HuffPost]
- Snoop Dogg accidentally made a Romanian village famous.
- How to start a fire with a lemon.
- A very weird re-edit of a Star Trek episode.
TWITTERAMA@lordbeef: i see a lot of people criticizing capitalism. but have you considered this:
in capitalism, it's possible to get like, soooo rich

@joshgreenman: I'm a Charlie bit my finger guy in a Donald gave the Republican establishment the finger world.
@kept_simple: [extremely david brooks voice] my bobos

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