Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Barney Frank To Tim Geithner: Ever Hear Of Priceline, Dude?

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If Herman Cain did, in fact, copy his 9-9-9 tax plan from a video game, we should make sure that his economic recovery package doesn't require America to hit left-right-left-X-Y-left on its controller. There have been bills naming battleships after Ronald effing Reagan with fewer cosponsors than a concealed weapon law currently advancing in the House. And whether or not Tim Geithner actually does charter military planes for meetings with business executives, you can't blame a guy for trying to impress folks whose always fly private. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, October 13th, 2011:

The House will soon vote on a bill that would bar federal money from subsidizing any medical plan that covers abortions. This is exactly the kind of job-focused, shovel-ready legislation that will get Americans back to work.

@SuzyKhimm: GOP Rep. Joe Pitts just suggested Steve Jobs, an adoptee, could have been aborted: "Fortunately, Jobs was born 18 years before Roe v. Wade"

BARNEY FRANK TO TIM GEITHNER: PLEASE FLY SOUTHWEST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE - Democratic ranking members in the House have been formulating deficit reduction proposals and submitting them to the super committee. In a letter sent to super committee co-chairs Jeb Hensarling and Patty Murray, Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Barney Frank asked that Treasury Department officials not use military planes for routine air travel. "Treasury Secretary Paulson began using US military air transportation to travel on official business instead of using commercial air, even when traveling to safe locations," the recommendation begins. "Each flight costs a minimum of $150,000. Secretary Geithner has continued this practice. Although this proposal has not been formally scored, requiring the Treasury Secretary to fly commercial air under most circumstances could save several million dollars a year." The mental image of an open-mouthed Geithner passed out in a middle seat with his head tilted back on one of those cheap blue airline pillows makes the story worthwhile. [Office of the Democratic Leader]

BARNEY FRANK TO TIM GEITHNER: SORRY ABOUT THAT - HuffPost's Mike McAuliff caught the aggressive paragraph in Frank's letter and asked Treasury about it. Treasury said, look, he already flies commercial. McAuliff took that to Frank and got this statement. "I have now gotten more information than I had before about the Treasury Secretary's travel. I made the mistake of acting on inadequate information. Based on the information I have now gotten -- and that I should have looked into before -- I now believe that the Secretary's travel patterns are appropriate and do not need any mandated change from us."

OCCUPY WALL STREET SHOWDOWN TOMORROW MORNING - The man is trying to clear the park, but protesters have vowed to resist. The faceoff is scheduled -- how nice of the cops to book it in advance -- for 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. We'll be tuning into Fox and Friends for this one.

Watch tonight for news on Sylvia Mathews Burwell's new gig. We'll be sure to give her the Jim Manley treatment once the embargo on it is up at 11 pm tonight. Whyyyyyyy?!?

Assignment Editor Alert: Tomorrow is the deadline for mere-mortal committees to present their budget cutting plans to the super committee. The ranking House Democrats have all submitted plans. The Republicans haven't. Pffffft.

SPEIER: I MIGHT'VE DIED UNDER GOP PROPOSAL - Rep. Jackie Speier, who already survived getting shot at Jonestown, was forced to undergo a life-saving treatment when her pregnancy went badly wrong. If she had to go from ER to ER, looking for one whose righteous conscience would allow her treatment, she may have died. Her floor speech is here.

Jobs!

RAY LAHOOD WON'T SERVE IN SECOND OBAMA TERM - If you happen upon a person sobbing uncontrollably on the sidewalk, shaking their fist at the sky, you now know why. "A spokeswoman for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the former Illinois Republican congressman will leave the Obama administration at the end of the president's current term. The spokeswoman, Jill Zuckman, said LaHood was asked about his intentions at a media luncheon Thursday. She said he gave no reason for his decision and hadn't discussed his intentions with President Barack Obama." Hood also told the Chicago Tribune that he doesn't plan on seeking elected office again. Who will stop distracted driving? [AP]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Having successfully passed legislation this year that will make Florida the stingiest state in America for the unemployed, Gov. Rick Scott's jobs agenda for 2012 aims to reduce burdensome regulations for businesses and to increase them for jobless workers seeking benefits. "Rather than continue to simply pay out benefits for those out of work, Florida must focus its efforts on ensuring that it can offer the most able workforce in the nation," says an outline of Scott's proposal, which the Tea Party champ unveiled Wednesday. "Requiring training as a part of the benefits administration will help Florida lead the nation in creating new jobs." [HuffPost]

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SHOCKER: BEN NELSON LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE BY PERVERTING DEMOCRACY - Is it just us, or is Ben Nelson the type of guy who blatantly uses prefixes when playing Scrabble? "Senator Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat up for re-election next year, is featured on television and radio commercials discussing Social Security, the national debt, war veterans and other hot-button issues. What is remarkable, campaign finance lawyers and political operatives say, is that the ads were produced and paid for by Democratic Party officials in Nebraska and Washington -- with the senator's close involvement as their star...Indeed, American Crossroads -- the powerful and well-financed Republican group formed with the help of the former White House aide Karl Rove -- filed a request on Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission asking for a formal ruling on whether it could 'adopt the tactics' of Mr. Nelson in coordinating footage of politicians up for re-election." Look, why not? This'll just hasten our bottoming out as a nation. [NYT]

@Patrick_Madden: DC is now adding gov't shutdown to its list of catastrophic events the city preps for.

CONCEALED CARRY BILL ADVANCES IN HOUSE - Sam Stein: "On Thursday or Friday, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, legislation that would require the various states that allow the concealed carrying of guns to recognize each other's permits...The bill dictates, precisely, that a person 'carrying a concealed handgun' legally under his or her state law 'shall be permitted to carry a handgun subject to the same conditions or limitations that apply to residents of the State who have permits issued by the State or are otherwise lawfully allowed to do so by the State.' With 244 co-sponsors, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act will not only make it through committee but seems poised to have a solid showing on the House floor as well. 'It should have strong support,' said a spokesman for Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), who introduced the bill." [HuffPost]

BEHOLD HERMAN CAIN'S SIM CITY PLAN TO SAVE AMERICA - In a tongue-in-cheek article today (God, we hope this isn't real), Amanda Terkel points out that Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan bears a striking resemblance to the default tax settings from Sim City 4, the city simulator computer game. In the game, users are allowed to set three areas of property taxes: "Residential," "Commercial" and "Industrial." The three are set to 9 percent at the beginning of a game, similar to Cain's plan, which would set the federal corporate, income and sales taxes at the same rate. "We encourage politicians to continue to look to innovative games like SimCity for inspiration for social and economic change," Kip Katsarelis, a senior producer for Maxis, the company that created SimCity told HuffPost. "While we at Maxis and Electronic Arts do not endorse any political candidates or their platforms, it's interesting to see GOP candidate Herman Cain propose a simplified tax system like one we designed for the video game SimCity 4." For what it's worth, Michele Bachmann got all her ideas about HPV from Age of Empires 2 [HuffPost]

We should mention that Pizza Tycoon, a pizzeria simulation game, was released in the 90s, right around the time Cain was CEO of Godfather's Pizza

@thinkprogress: Spirit Airlines tries to cash in on the 999 hype yfrog.com/oevnldj

"Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain might be in the midst of his campaign's first crisis, all thanks to ice cream. Now leading in at least one national poll, Cain is frequently asked if he is the new political flavor of the month. Cain's canned response is: 'Haagen-Dazs black walnut tastes good all the time.' Here's the problem: Haagen Dazs no longer makes black walnut ice cream. It was a limited edition, and is no longer available. So, in a manner of speaking, you might say that Haagen Dazs black walnut was -- by definition -- a flavor of the month." [ABC News]

SCOTT BROWN DON DRAPERS HIS PAST - Like the fictional ad executive, Scott Brown is trying to adopt someone else's life and experiences as his own. Except while Don Draper stole the identity of a fellow Korean War soldier who was his age, Brown is co-opting the life of a 75-year-old woman. According to a report from the Boston Globe, a section of Brown's autobiography posted on his website was ripped from a speech given by Elizabeth Dole in 2002. This now explains why Scott Brown didn't want to see Elizabeth Warren naked. He was already fantasizing about Elizabeth Dole. "I was raised to believe that there are no limits to individual achievement and no excuses to justify indifference," the passage in question reads. "From an early age, I was taught that success is measured not in material accumulations, but in service to others. I was encouraged to join causes larger than myself, to pursue positive change through a sense of mission, and to stand up for what I believe." The passage has been removed from Brown's site and the staff has attributed it to a "technical error." What? [HuffPost]

Rick Santorum in 2008: "If you're a conservative, there really is only one place to go right now...I would even argue farther than that. If you're a Republican, if you're a Republican in the broadest sense, there is only one place to go right now and that's Mitt Romney."

THE POST OFFICE IS STILL VERY BROKE - We all know the Post Office's famous unofficial creed: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds ... unless these couriers aren't paid, in which case you can deliver your own damn People magazine subscription renewal card your dammed self. That's the gist of an audit of the USPS conducted by the Government Accountability Office, which finds that USPS employees' retirement accounts HAVE NOT been overpaid. Dave Jamieson: "The overpayment issue is a major source of contention in the debate over the postal service's finances. Patrick Donahoe, the postmaster general, told Congress last month that the agency is facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis and asked that it be granted the latitude to cut services and lay off workers in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. But labor groups and postal service advocates have said that the agency's troubles are wildly overstated, and they've pointed to benefit overpayments as one of the problems that could easily be rectified." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Large cat watches TV

COMFORT FOOD

- In a million years, when the aliens discover the wreckage of our civilization, here's hoping they find the Moist Towelette Online Museum first. [http://huff.to/pCkQTa]

- A supercut of people (and some aliens, wizards and horses) getting punched in movies and TV shows. [http://huff.to/nWl6yW]

- A short film featuring dialogue that is intended to sound like what English sounds like to non-speakers. [http://huff.to/pxzBp4]

- Internet Story is a short film that only uses images and videos from the internet to tell its story. [http://huff.to/nywU5X]

- Someone created a blog that posts photos of blackboards featured in pornos, writes down the contents and tries to make sense of them (NSFW-ish: there's no nudity but some very skimpy outfits and inappropriate touching. So, actually, yes. NSFW). [http://huff.to/q2FlrO]

- NPR cataloged every homophobic, misogynist and xenophobic thing that happened on Tim Allen's new show, "Last Man Standing." Sadly, none of these are directed at Al Borlin. [http://huff.to/q4huFt]

- Baby thinks a magazine is an iPad, tries to command them with her fingers. Society is doomed. [http://huff.to/rqF1bb]

- Turn your iPad into a guitar with this culture-ruining device. [http://huff.to/pXQhDF]

TWITTERAMA

@VRavishanker: No worries as long as the candidate follows Duke Nukem's policy on interstellar diplomacy

@Amy_NJ: Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., just told me I "looked so sad." I'm not sure how I should respond to that.

@BenjySarlin: We lost a lot of good Ninja Turtles out there RT @HuffPostHill: Um... yfrog.com/kjxfrdp

ON TAP

TONIGHT

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Allen West takes his benefactors on a yacht cruise fundraiser. You just know that West is one of those guys who will disappear for most of the trip because he will be too busy asking the captain questions. [Capital Yacht Club, 1000 Water St SW]

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Doug Lamborn invites his donors to a "Taste of Colorado" event. Presumably, the sliders will taste like staunch environmentalism mixed with rabid social conservatism. Yum. [701 East Capitol Street NE]

6:30 pm: No, you're the real heroes. Mitch McConnell attends a fundraiser thrown by representatives of the natural gas industry at the American Gas Association. [American Gas Association, 400 N Capitol St NW]

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm: America's favorite son, Heath Shuler, reminds his donors that Blue Dogs still exist (maybe, kinda). So...uh....[Terrible quarterback joke here]. [Liberty Place, 325 7th Street NW]

TOMORROW

8:30 am - 9:30 am: Carolyn Maloney invites donors into her own home for a breakfast fundraiser. For added effect, we think Maloney should shuffle into the kitchen in a bathrobe and slippers and then lay out some bagels for everyone. [The Home of Carolyn Maloney]

8:30 am - 9:30 am: You'd think that the DCCC would be attending fundraisers for Nick Rahall and not the other way around. However the West Virginia Democrat (!) does a turn for the campaign org. [Tortilla Coast, 400 First Street SE]

Evening: Harry Reid visits Swanee, Kansas -- the San Francisco of the Midwest -- for a fundraiser. We are so tired of these Democrats with their Swanee values. Real Americans want candidates who can understand them. [Swanee, KS]

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffingtonpost.com), Ryan Grim (ryan@huffingtonpost.com) or Arthur Delaney (arthur@huffingtonpost.com). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e

Filed by Eliot Nelson