HUFFPOST HILL - Rick Perry Booster Not Feeling It This Season

10/21/2011 05:44 pm ET | Updated Dec 21, 2011
  • Eliot Nelson Eliot Nelson is a politics reporter and editor in the Huffington Post's D.C.bue=reau

Eric Cantor deprived a bunch of rich kids -- and posterity, really -- of a talk about income inequality in America. Nanny state champion Barack Obama is taking it upon himself to send poor Americans checks (and by "checks," we mean "MORAL HAZARD BOMBS"). And Herman Cain demonstrated that "Nine-Nine-Asterisk-Nine" doesn't have quite the same ring to it. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, October 21st, 2011:

RICK PERRY'S BIGGEST DONOR HASN'T CONTRIBUTED TO HIS WHITE HOUSE CAMPAIGN - Paul Blumenthal: "Texas Gov. Rick Perry's recently filed campaign finance report for his presidential bid shows that the governor has raised $17.2 million and reported more than 10,000 donors from Aug. 13 to Sept. 30. One thing, however, was missing: the name of Perry's biggest career campaign donor. Texas homebuilder Bob Perry -- no relation -- has been included in nearly every list of important peoplebehind Rick Perry, but as of Sept. 30, he had not donated to the governor's presidential campaign, according to the report. Bob Perry and his wife, Doylene, have donated $2.5 million to Rick Perry's campaigns in the past, more than any other single donor to the governor's campaigns, according to campaign finance filings in Texas." [HuffPost]

HUFFPOST POLITICS NOW THE #1 AMERICAN POLITICS NEWS SITE ON THE WEB (YOU IDIOTS) - Data from comScore reveals that 9.9 million people visited HuffPost Politics in September, making our ramshackle operation (seen here) the most popular American political news site on the web. The nation's degraded political discourse? All our fault. We'd like to take this moment to thank our page editors for their savant-like ability to turn our headlines ("After Months of Frustrating Gridlock, Senate Agrees On Funding Bill") into something more coherent and click-y ("BREAKING: SENATE AVERTS SHUTDOWN (VIDEO)"), the visitors who are regularly and accidentally redirected to our site when they really intended to click on a story about "Angelina's Fashion No-Nos" and, of course, our fellow reporters, editors and support staff for all the great work they do. And the Academy. [Poynter]

@marykbruce: Look who stopped by the briefing room...

CHANGE YOU CAN RECEIVE IN THE MAIL - On more than one occasion, the president has cut personal checks to struggling Americans who've written to the White House, according to an excerpt from a new book by Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow about the ten letters the president reads every day. "It's not something I should advertise, but it has happened," the president said. Now that you've advertised it, we better be able to find someone who received a check. We're looking! [HuffPost]

Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford will join Fox News as a contributor. He's a camera-ready guy. You might remember him from this bit of just-the-facts news reporting.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The Social Security Administration put out some bad numbers this week on annual wages. "There were fewer jobs and they paid less last year, except at the very top where, the number of people making more than $1 million increased by 20 percent over 2009," writes David Cay Johnston. "The median paycheck -- half made more, half less -- fell again in 2010, down 1.2 percent to $26,364. That works out to $507 a week, the lowest level, after adjusting for inflation, since 1999. The number of Americans with any work fell again last year, down by more than a half million from 2009 to less than 150.4 million." That's pure class warfare, David Cay Johnston. [Reuters]

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OBAMA ANNOUNCES TOTAL WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ BY END OF 2011 - President Obama basically announced today that, this holiday season, you won't be able to escape that John Lennon war is oooovverrrrr Christmas song. More specifically, he announced that American combat troops will be completely out of Iraq by the end of 2011, ten years after the 9-11 attacks which had absolutely nothing to do with, but everything to do with, the second Iraq war. "As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end," he said in the White House Briefing Room early this afternoon. "So today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year... After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over." One senior White House official stated the obvious, albeit in a overly-optimistic way: "This will allow us to say definitively that the Iraq war is over, and that the partnership between the US and Iraq will be a normal one between two sovereign nations." [HuffPost's Jen Bendery and Josh Hersh]

WARRRR ISSSSS OOVVVERRR PT. 2 - @AP: BREAKING: Ohio governor announces he'll sign executive order cracking down on dangerous exotic pets. -EF

TRANSACTION TAX KICKING - Boosted by the Occupy Wall Street movement, Tom Harkin and Pete DeFazio are renewing a push for a transaction tax on speculative trades. The global reach of the OWS demonstrations is critical to the tax on financial speculation, because banks argue that the trades will simply move from New York to another exchange if the extra cost is added. But if Europe and other major financial centers implement a transaction fee at the same time, that argument, like a panicked banker, is out the window.

SUPER COMMITTEE MAY BE BIG AG'S BEST BET - The top Dem on the House Ag Committee, Collin Peterson, recently said that he'd "rather have the farm bill go through the Super Committee process than [face] the possibility of having it brought up on the House floor with an open rule." The foodies are not happy. [EWG]

WHY WE LOVE POLITICO Gems like this lede: "It's hard to dispute that Rick Perry's he-hired-an-illegal-immigrant attack on Mitt Romney was a cheap shot.
It's even harder to dispute that it worked beautifully." [RealJimVendeHei/Allen]

...and there was this from Ben Smith yesterday: "Just beneath the wide assumption that Marco Rubio would be offered the Republican vice presidential nomination has always been a wavelet of chatter from Florida Republicans that he had feet of clay." So we beat on, boats against the wavelets of chatter.

NINE-NEIN-NINE - Sorry, but it actually works this time. GOP curiosity Herman Cain announced that he is watering down his 9-9-9 plan by nixing the nine for poor and working class families and business that invest in economically depressed areas. Critics have noted that under the original plan, most Americans would actually see their taxes increase. "Your plan isn't 9-9-9, it's 9-0-9," Cain said in Detroit today. "The 9-9-9 plan refers to a nine percent flat business tax, income tax and sales tax." Then things got slightly weirder: "Say amen, y'all," he continued. "In other words if you are at or below the poverty level based on family size, then you don't pay that middle 9 tax on your income. This is how we help the poor." As our colleagues at the soon-to-be-launched HuffPost Detroit point out, the Motor City is Little Caesar's and Dominos territory and the latter has previously offered a 5-5-5 deal. Uh-oh. [CBS News]

BACHMANN'S NEW HAMPSHIRE STAFFERS QUIT EN MASSE - Taking a "my God, what are we doing with our lives" cue from Newt Gingrich's former aides, Michele Bachmann's ENTIRE paid New Hampshire staff has quit. Somewhere, Bachmann is thanking her lucky stars that none of her New England staffers have left yet. [HuffPost]

Bachmann's Iowa staff is crying bullshit.

Former Missouri Senator Kit Bond would like you to ask yourself: "Is my all-glass office park off of I-70 properly secured against a possible terrorist attack???" "Former U.S. Senator Kit Bond, has started a corporate security firm in Columbia, Mo., the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The Missouri Republican formed Bond Corporate Protection Services in partnership with former Secret Service agent and U.S. Marshal Mauri Sheer. The company will help corporations and institutions prevent workplace violence and discrimination, the report said, adding that the firm already has clients. 'You can't prevent everything, but by being prepared, you can significantly lessen your chances, and when something does go wrong, you can respond immediately,' Bond told the St. Louis Business Journal." [Kansas City Business Journal]

REPUBLICAN TRIES TO GIVE SPEECH ON INCOME INEQUALITY, SHOCKED THAT PEOPLE FIND THIS OUTRAGEOUS - So this happened: Eric Cantor agreed to deliver a speech at the University of Pennsylvania about income inequality. This is already strange, because a member of the House GOP leadership lecturing ivy league students about income gaps is like the lead singer of the Pogues lecturing a wedding afterparty on temperance. The school opened up the event to members of the public and various liberal organizations seized on the opportunity to protest Cantor's speech. Cantor's office announced today that he will not deliver the speech. "The Office of the Majority Leader was informed last night by Capitol Police that the University of Pennsylvania was unable to ensure that the attendance policy previously agreed to could be me," Brad Dayspring, Cantor's spokesman, said in a statement. [Politico]

KARL ROVE ON CLASS WARFARE: OUCH! THOSE PITCHFORKS HURT - Recently, Karl Rove gazed out from his proverbial stained glass chateau window and spied a proverbial ragtag group of peasants marching toward him while carrying proverbial blunt instruments and proverbially hoisting the proverbial Dauphin's proverbially decapitated head. Proverbially. A memo originating from Rove's American Crossroads organization warns its recipients that the White House strategy of asking the wealthy to do more is resonating with voters. "It may be the result of larger environmental conditions, or he may be moving the needle himself, but Obama's 'tax the rich' mantra is getting traction," Steven Law, Crossroads' director wrote in the memo, titled "Obama's New Class Warfare May Resonate." "Our poll found that 64% favor raising taxes on people with incomes above $200,000." [TPM]

Bobby Jindal to Louisiana voters: "Hi! I'm Bobby Jindal!" John Celock: "Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is on track to easily win a second term during Saturday's statewide elections, which feature an something of a one-party feel. Jindal faces several little-known opponents whose fundraising and endorsements pale in comparison to those of the incumbent. Jindal, who easily won his first term in 2007, has raised over $11 million for his bid, trumping his nearest rival, Democrat and Clairborne Parish teacher Tara Hollis, who has raised only $40,000, of which $18,000 came in the form of in-kind contributions. Jindal has been leading in recent polls, coming in at 57 percent in a WWL-TV poll earlier this month, with Hollis polling at five percent. The other eight challengers polled in the single digits behind Hollis, with 29-percent saying they were undecided in the race." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Bears with wings shooting lasers out of their eyes.

TYLER KINGKADE'S 'NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED' - Never forget the Aqua Buddha: In 2010, Jack Conway used the "Aqua Buddha" rumor against Rand Paul for the Kentucky Senate race and it totally failed to sway any voters. Conway's current opponent for the Kentucky Attorney General, Todd P'Poole, is trying to remind people. Costco is breaking the bank to drum up support for a ballot initiative to allow retail stores to sell liquor in Washington state. In a Wisconsin town hall, Paul Ryan told a college student who complained Pell grants didn't cover all of his education to suck it up and get three jobs. Speaking of college, a former Republican member of the Colorado board of regents said there's no problem with university funding. In fact, student loan programs are driving up tuition he insisted. This is around a court battle over the redistricting argument of whether Colorado's universities should be in the same district. Now President Obama is in real trouble for his reelection with the Dr. Jill Stein announcing her candidacy to run for the White House as the Green Party nominee. Thanks, Tyler!


- A supercut of those "555-xxxx" numbers always featured in movies. []

- A very paranoid ad for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. []

- A short documentary from 1983 about the East Village. Whoever made this is probably an executive at an ad agency now. []

- More retro informational videos: A 1982 video of how Apple saw the future of computing. []

- Wanna impress all your friends by proving the Pythagorean Theorem with a piece of paper? If you do, you probably don't have any. Still, this is cool! []

- Intimidating-looking man is terrified of puppies. Sad, illuminating. []

- Literary Jack-O'-Lanterns []

- The recipe for "Bolognese Machiavelli" has the carrot and celery divide against themselves. []


@TheInDecider: Texas treats prisoners with the kind of contempt other states reserve for public school students.

@DaveWeigel: Man, I hope people already expensed the costs of writing Bachmann profiles. Ain't getting those days of your life back.

@BrookeAlvarez: Obama announces one soldier named Steve has offered to hang behind in Iraq, keep an eye on things


Tonight, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Debbie Wasserman Schultz could be back home in her sunny Florida district. Instead, she's in Philadelphia for a fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary. Philadelphia isn't even the pretty, Fall foliage part of the state. #Sacrifices. [Pennsylvania Democratic Party, 30 S. 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA]

Monday, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm: Donna Edwards, who for whatever reason reminds us of a high school principal, is the guest of honor at a lunch fundraiser. [The Caucus Room, 401 9th Street NW]

Monday: Big John Cornyn makes like the cowboy he is and goes on a golf outing in Maryland. Yee-haw! Getterdone! [Caves Valley Golf Club, 2910 Blendon Road, Owings Mills, MD]

Monday-Wednesday: Wanna shoot some creatures who have mastered the magical skill of flight? John Thune takes his donors on a three-day pheasant hunt. [Chamberlain, SD]

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