HUFFPOST HILL - Obama To Poor Sick People: Prove It

07/15/2011 05:03 pm ET | Updated Sep 14, 2011

After 18 terms in Congress, 81-year-old Rep. Dale Kildee (who?) is retiring. HuffPost Hill is doing its part for the institution of marriage. And cash-strapped Rick Santorum needs volunteers to place yard signs ... that is if they have their own yard signs. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 15th, 2011:

PRESIDENT HOLDS NEWS CONFERENCE, SUPPORTS MEANS TESTING - The president today appeared before reporters in the press briefing room to discuss the ongoing debt negotiations. While renewing his call for revenues to be included in any debt ceiling deal, the president offered his support for Medicare means testing -- a major concession to the GOP. "I have said that means-testing on Medicare, meaning people like myself -- I'm going to be turning 50 in a week, so I'm starting to think a little bit more about Medicare eligibility -- but you can envision a situation for somebody in my position, me having to pay a little bit more on premiums or co-pays would be appropriate. And again, that would make a difference," he said. "What we are not willing to do is restructure the program in the ways we have seen coming out of the House in recent months." "Thanks for your years of law-abiding citizenship and faithful tax payments, now would you say that $10.50 is too much to pay to see Zoo Keeper?" [HuffPost, with Sam Stein]

Days after the president made his "peas" remark, he compared the debt negotiation process to a "layer cake." #munchies

OBAMA TO NAME CFPB HEAD NEXT WEEK - President Obama will nominate someone to head the brand new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when it launches next week to save financial consumers from all that is bad. "The nomination -- among the most highly anticipated personnel moves in Washington -- would come as the agency officially opens its doors next Thursday. The Treasury Department will transfer power to the CFPB on July 21, one year after the agency was created by the Dodd-Frank financial law." He probs won't pick Elizabeth Warren, the future senator from Massachusetts. [WSJ]

TREASURY ALMOST OUT OF MONEY TO PLAY WITH - The Treasury Department announced the beginning of the end of its schemes for preventing the federal government from exceeding its borrowing limit before August. "Today, as previously announced, the Treasury Department will suspend reinvestment of the Exchange Stabilization Fund, the last of the measures available to keep the nation under the statutory debt limit," Treasury honcho Jeffrey Goldstein said in a statement pleading with Congress not to turn the United States into the World's Biggest Deadbeat. Thanks, Treasury!

DALE KILDEE TO RETIRE - The 18-term, 81-year-old Democratic Michigan representative will call it quits after this congressional term ends, the Detroit Free Press is reporting. "After careful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of this term to enjoy more time with my wife, three children and ten grandchildren," Kildee said in a statement. Long after he's gone, Kildee will be remembered for his seminal work on the House's automotive and sportsman caucuses. [DFP]

TUNE INN FUNDRAISER NOW - The NYT's Carl Hulse will be drumming with The Nativemakers at American Legion Post 8 in honor of the burned-out Tune Inn tonight. Set list includes "Stones, Dead, drive by truckers, van morrison, johnny cash and more," Hulse advises. The event is a fundraiser for bar staff who are missing out on tips while the dive rebuilds after a June fire. HuffPost Hill will be representin' big time. Door is $20 and taxidermy deer butts are up for auction.

AJE Gets House Floor Love - Hank Johnson, laying it down for all time in the congressional record: "Thanks to the reporting of Al Jazeera English network, Callum Maccrae and John D. McHugh, who risked their lives to tell the truth, we have shocking evidence of war crimes committed by the Sudanese armed forces against Nuba civilian's in Sudan's south Kordofan province." [AJE]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER UK - British dudes are way more likely to get fired than British ladies, according to new research by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.[PhysOrg.com]

DAILY DELANEY DEVOTION - Arthur went all Michael Steel on his girlfriend last night and got engaged!

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GOP PROPOSES BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT SOLUTION - House Speaker John Boehner -- apparently recovered from this week's intra-party drama that nearly saw Eric Cantor deliver a tear-filled rant in a Real World-style confessional -- today outlined his conference's deficit reduction plan. The House next week will take up "Cut, Cap and Balance" legislation which includes a balanced budget Constitutional amendment, $111 billion in spending cuts and a cap of spending as a percentage of GDP at %22.5 percent. "We're in the 4th quarter here. Time and again Republicans have offered serious proposals to cut spending and address these issues, and I think it's time for the Democrats to get serious as well," Boehner said. "We asked the president to lead. We asked him to put forward a plan, not a speech -- a real plan, and he hasn't. We will." [ABC News]

Mitch McConnell, in a USA Today op-ed: "There is some dispute about what will happen if we fail to raise the debt limit on August 2. One thing that is not in dispute, however, is that on that date the president would suddenly be in the position of picking and choosing who gets the more than 80 million checks Washington issues every month. This is a power that no president should have. That's why I have proposed a last-resort plan that would take default off the table as Republicans continue to press the White House for meaningful cuts and reforms." [USA Today]

SENATE REPUBLICANS USING DEBT DEBATE TO RUN FOR WHIP - As if there weren't enough posturing in the current debt impasse, some Republican Senate leaders are hoping to use their opposition to Mitch McConnell's last-resort debt ceiling plan to earn votes for Whip after Jon Kyl retires. Alexander Bolton: "'The McConnell plan landed with a thud in our conference and with the grassroots outside the Capitol,' a Senate GOP aide said. 'The prime supporters of the McConnell plan aren't doing themselves any favors in future leadership races.' A Republican senator said those who are looking to succeed Kyl likely know that conservative freshmen, who don't like McConnell's proposal, will scrutinize their actions very carefully." That's all fine and good, but we're pretty sure Rand Paul demands his leadership candidates read a lot of Friedrich Hayek and run a survivalist obstacle course. [The Hill]

U.S. OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZES LIBYA REBELS - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today announced that her government will begin to recognize the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. This will allow the U.S. to provide the TNC with Gaddaffi assets frozen in U.S. banks, give it greater diplomatic heft abroad and, we're guessing, send it pre-release copies of Herman Cain's next gospel album. [AP]

@OKnox: House Dem Whip Hoyer, on the US women's soccer team: "They are of diverse races, I'm sure nationalities, and religions."

BEHOLD RICK SANTORUM'S INCREDIBLY PATHETIC FUNDRAISING HAUL - Rick Santorum -- who is angling to be to the 2012 White House race what Tom Vilsack was to the 2008 campaign -- posted his second quarter fundraising numbers today and they are ... cute. The former Pennsylvania senator and sodomy neologism posted only $582,000 and ahs only $229,000 of that on hand. LA Times: "Just under a quarter of the donations he received were in increments less than $200. Not surprisingly, the largest share of his money -- $161,000 -- came from Pennsylvania. He only raised $4,250 in the key nominating state of Iowa and $7,550 in New Hampshire, which holds the first contest of the presidential election season." [LA Times]

@FixAaron: Pawlenty got $$ from Reps. Erik Paulsen (Minn.) and Joe Wilson (S.C.), and former Rep. Deborah Pryce (Ohio)....Pawlenty also got $1K from Paul Wolfowitz.

@samsteinhp: T-Paw's PAC spent $28,549.80 at the Barnes & Noble on fifth ave in NYC on 1/31. THAT'S A LOT OF BOOKS!

Michele Bachmann's totally-not-gay husband insists he's not anti-gay, he's just pro straight: "The husband of Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann has come forward to defend his family-owned Christian counseling business against growing questions and criticism that it benefited from federal payments and tries to turn homosexuals straight." [Star Trbune]

MURDOCH BEGINS APOLOGY PHASE - News Corp Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has undertaken a series of PR stunts to minimize the fallout from the worst breach of media ethics since CNN Willi.i.am's election hologram. Murdoch met with, and offered an apology to, the murdered woman's family whose phones were tapped by News of the World. Murdoch will also take out a one-page print ad featuring a contrite message, in VERY large letters: "We are sorry." Of course, no News Corp.-centric story would be complete without some inane comment from the Fox and Friends gang. "We've got some serious problems in this country ... and what do they do?" Steve Doocy, America's creepy uncle, said. "They talk about this." Sorry that the reprehensible abuse of the press by a major, multi-national corporation is salting your game, Steve! Never change! [HuffPost Media]

Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal, is resigning. Ruh roh.

The Daily Caller is really unhappy about the Democrats' win yesterday: "Democrats drubbed Republicans 8-2 in the annual Congressional Baseball Game Thursday night, but the real loser was the game of baseball."

HERE'S SOME STATE NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - Courtesy of Tyler Kingkade: In the aftermath of a massive cheating scandal in Atlanta schools, educators are using the event to remind people how pissed they are about No Child Left Behind. Florida Tea Party members want to be on a boat ... in Kings Bay, so they're campaigning against manatee protection laws prohibiting them from getting on said boat. Edna Mattos, the leader of the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots, explained: "We cannot elevate nature above people. That's against the Bible and the Bill of Rights." An appellate court decided New Jersey can end support for health insurance for legal immigrants. The North Carolina Senate has overridden six of Gov. Bev Perdue's vetoes. Democrats in Iowa are accusing Gov. Terry Branstad (R) of "extortion" for cutting the salary of one workforce official by 30 percent when he refused to step down, and over the recent firings of members of the Board of Regents. Thanks, Tyler!

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Forget monkeys that take photos of themselves, this gorilla VIDEOTAPES himself. [http://bit.ly/pYDdu2]

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: 70s! Beautiful! Okay, there may be some clouds, which isn't exactly awesome, but it could be a lot worse. Tomorrow: The heat slowly climbs, and will be in the high 80s with sunny skies. By Sunday, we'll be back in the 90s. Yes, the heat is coming. Oh the heat is coming. Thanks, JB!


- "Pictures from theDaily Mail" is a blog that posts the most ridiculous photographs featured in the notorious British tabloid. [http://huff.to/pRLpH0]

- Thanks to iPhones, you can temproarily make your tattoos move! Too bad the tattoos, unlike the video, are permanent. [http://bit.ly/mU7Xg3]

- An Austrian man has won his petition to be aloud to wear a colander in his driver's license photo because he is an adherent of Pastafarianism and is a worshiper of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. [http://huff.to/r4VoLL]

- The actor Sean Bean always seems to die in his movies. For your consideration, a compilation of Sean Bean dying. WARNING: Contains spoilers, is very graphic and is quite Sean Bean-tastic. [http://bit.ly/nVfd1m]

- Crazy, break-dancing kid at the end of a local news broadcast is a carpe diem LEGEND. [http://chzb.gr/nkyC2j]

- A rare recording of Kurt Cobain playing the Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now." [http://huff.to/puc2vz]

- An oral history of "Friday Night Lights," the incredible TV series that just wrapped up. [http://es.pn/oxhoWc]

- A camera inside a guitar captures the varying oscillations of the strings. [http://bit.ly/qMzGdy]


@FakeAPStylebook: The word "Web" is capitalized, because it is short for Webster, who is pretty short already.

@js_edit: Anthony Weiner tried to warn us! RT @benpolitico: "We have a serious hacking problem in this country." gawker.com/5821626/

@daveweigel: What's your favorite Dale Kildee memory?


Tonight 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: For whatever reason, Scott Brown is in Chicago and is attending a fundraiser there. The event is being hosted by Hospitality Industry Leaders. Hopefully they put a mint on your donation envelope [Harry Carry's, 33 West Kinzie, Chicago].

9:55 pm: Very cool - Dave Foley, of "Kids in the Hall" fame, performs at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. Ask him to do "I CRUSH YOU" (we know that's not him. Still....ask) [Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA].

Tonight - Sunday: Rep. Jim Himes somehow got his hands on "JIM PAC"--odd that no one has taken that one yet. Anywawy, the Connecticut lawmaker will be taking his donors for a rip-rocking good time in Greenwich [Delamar Greenwich Harbor Hotel, 500 Steamboat Rd, Greenwich].

Tonight - Sunday: We always rag on John Thune in this section for having really yuppie-tastic fundraiser despite the fact that his fundraising organization is called "Heartland Values PAC." Well, for once, John is taking his donors to a real, red-blooded American locale: West Virginia [Greenbrier Hotel, White Sulphur Springs, West Spring, WV].

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