POLITICS
11/16/2011 06:41 pm ET | Updated Jan 16, 2012

HUFFPOST HILL - Rick Santorum To Feed His Crappy Campaign Some Willow Bark Tea


Rick Perry doesn't need you to define "is," mostly because he doesn't like using the word. Home remedy aficionado Rick Santorum might try to cure his campaign woes by eating chicken noodle soup and swallowing water upside down (More tips at HuffPost Living!). And, not unlike fedoras, Newt Gingrich is something that falls in and out of favor with decidedly uncool people. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, November 16th, 2011:

IT'S JUST RICK SANTORUM, DOIN' HIS THANG - Jon Ward: "The only Republican presidential candidate yet to have his moment in the spotlight could not tear away from an elderly woman on Wednesday who was advising him about home therapies for common illnesses, such as 'onion juice.' Rick Santorum, who had just conducted an hour-long town hall meeting in Anamosa with 14 local residents, tried to move on by saying he'd consult a doctor. The woman gushed: 'Oh you don't need to!' Finally, the former senator from Pennsylvania excused himself and turned to answer a reporter's question about whether he'll ever catch a wave like the one former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is riding right now." [HuffPost]

SUPER COMMITTEE FINALLY GETTING AROUND TO BUSINESS OF FAILING - We have diligently resisted wasting your time lately by reporting on the super concoction that now has just a few days to do a lot of unpopular things right before the holiday season. About seven weeks ago, we added that the whole notion of the automatic cuts was a lie. Today, Major Garrett says the same thing. So maybe people will finally listen. [National Journal]

GROVER NORQUIST ASKED TO RELOCATE TO SOMALIA, DECLINES - Lucia Graves: "Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, a group of millionaires who want the government to tax them more, met with Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist in Washington late Wednesday afternoon. Not surprisingly, they couldn't find any common ground, and instead they ended up debating about the state of the Somalian government. Eric Schoenberg, a member of Patriotic Millionaires and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School, debriefed HuffPost on the meeting. '[Norquist] raised an issue we get all the time which is, 'Well there's nothing stopping you guys from paying higher taxes, just send a check to the government!' And this to me is frankly an absurd position ... I don't consider it to be a very serious argument. Government is not a charity and we can't rely on voluntary contributions from people to support the things that government does..."... [rancor rancor rancor] ... "...And he said, 'If I don't have to pay any taxes for it, I would forgo all those things!' To which my response was, 'Well there's an easy way to do that, move to Somalia!' And his argument was, 'Somalia doesn't suffer from too little government, it suffers from too much government.' I don't even begin to understand what that means, but again there's only so much you can go into in these conversations." Rancor!

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Occupy Wall Street protesters in Cleveland helped a woman apply for an extension to delay her eviction by at least 30 days. Occupy protesters had less luck in Snellville, Ga., where they failed to prevent the eviction of the Rorey family, who told the Gwinnett Daily Post they fell victim to a scam artist who promised them lower monthly payments in 2010. The difficulty of obtaining loan modifications since the collapse of the housing bubble has made it easy for scam artists to prey on desperate homeowners, who have been susceptible to claims that a hired "expert" knows secrets to obtaining loan mods they don't. Fannie Mae, which has owned the property since last year, said it works to prevent foreclosures. "We have a Mortgage Help Center in Atlanta where homeowners can meet with a trusted housing counselor to discuss their mortgage situation and options to avoid foreclosure," a Fannie Mae spokeswoman said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the homeowner did not seek assistance from our Help Center." [HuffPost]

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GINGRICH STAFFER WHO QUIT AMID THE DUST OF TWEETS AND TRIVIA KINDA WANTS BACK IN - Fine, but only if he has the number "45" printed on his suits. Jason Cherkis: "Rick Tyler, the former spokesperson for Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, says in an interview today with HuffPost that he is 'surprised' that his former employer has made a comeback. "I think Newt has definitely benefited from a second look," he says. Tyler quit the campaign in early June along with other top campaign officials, citing philosophical differences. 'There were two visions, two paths to victory, and Newt's path and my understanding of the path to victory were different, and when that happens, then the candidate's vision has got to prevail,' Tyler said at the time. Given his recent poll numbers, Gingrich seems to have overcome the staff turnover and the early gaffes that plagued his candidacy. 'I had my doubts early on,' Tyler says now. 'He's been remarkably disciplined in these debates.' Tyler's impressed enough that he admits he'd consider working for Gingrich again. 'I won't rule anything out,' he says." [HuffPost's 2012 Liveblog]

HERMAN CAIN TRIES TO BOUNCE BACK WITH BUD - If "9-9-9" isn't already the name of a high-quality strand of hydroponic weed, it should be. Lucia Graves, on her second lap: "Republican presidential candidate Hermain Cain on Tuesday said the regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries should be left to the states. 'If states want to legalize medical marijuana, I think that's a state's right,' said Cain, according to NBC News' Andrew Rafferty. 'Because one of my overriding approaches to looking at all of these issues -- most of them belong at the state, because when you do something federally ... you try to force one-size-fits-all.' Cain's comments, which came at a campaign stop in Urbandale, Iowa, mark the first time that Cain has taken a position on the legalization of cannabis. At the 2011 Ames Straw Poll in August, Cain dodged questions regarding medical marijuana, simply walking away when pressed on the issue." [HuffPost]

"Newt Gingrich Looking at People Condescendingly"

RICK PERRY'S NEW AD IS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD, MINUS THE EMBARRASSING BRAIN FART - The ad begins with a clip of President Obama saying, "We've been a bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades" with the requisite scary-looking fuzzy effect edited in. Then, over the sound of dreamy synth chords and overly-echoed piano notes that are probably listed as "ethereal waterdrop" on the keyboard's patches directory, Rick Perry appears. "Can you believe that? That's what our president thinks wrong with America. That Americans are lazy? That's pathetic." Yeah, he didn't say "is" (You best go back to the verb from whence you came). It's a major step up from his previous ads, which either featured Perry in front of a PowerPoint-style gray background or Perry looking like a bad 19th century frontiersman reinactor and/or a Pepperidge Farm spokesman. [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

Thanks to @zachdcarter for informing us that it's called a 'patch.'

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS MIGHT ACTUALLY BE FOR TAX HIKES - #Compromise. Mike McAuliff: "A bipartisan group of lawmakers suggested Republicans would be willing to raise certain taxes to shrink the deficit, as long as the debt-cutting super committee "goes big" and seeks a package of savings worth at least $4 trillion...The lead Republican on the committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), has suggested the GOP would be willing to raise $300 billion in revenue through tax reform, which would mean the rest of the savings would have to come from spending cuts and programs like Social Security. But at a press conference with dozens of lawmakers from both parties and chambers Wednesday, legislators who have already signed a letter urging the committee to "go big" suggested more revenue should come into the equation -- even though many Republicans have signed pledgesagainst raising taxes and 33 senators have written a letter adamantly opposing tax hikes." [HuffPost]

ENJOY THIS BELTWAY VIGNETTE - Credit where credit is due: This Fishbowl DC dispatch from last night's Tucker Carlson-hosted Jack Abramoff book party contains some incredibly entertaining and illuminating tidbits. "Tucker is holding court by the fireplace discussing the Politico story about The Daily Caller's 'growing pains' published earlier in the day. He has a lot of reactions, one of which involves explaining the importance of 'pissing up.' All in all, the story didn't upset him...NYT's Mark Leibovich chats with partygoers. He says the book's slowly coming along but that he must get back to regular newspaper writing soon. Guests tell him they can't wait to read his book...FishbowlMatt sits on the couch with Abramoff and tells him he's dating TWT's opinion writer Emily Miller. Miller was a witness in implicating her former fiance Michael Scanlon in the lobbying scandal. Abramoff falls for it and says he hopes she's doing well...Roll Call's Shira Toeplitz is very excited that Abramoff autographed her book in Hebrew." [FishbowlDC]

BORED LAZY OVERPAID BUREAUCRAT TAKES THE PASSIONLESS FIGHT TO OUR DOORSTEP - - Our favorite Bored Lazy Overpaid Bureaucrat hit the gym early today, did some Christmas shopping and then tried to update her resume, but none of what she actually does looked right on there. So late in the afternoon she wandered by HuffPost's office, where she proofskimmed this edition of HuffPost Hill. She insisted on "proofskimmed," because, like a good bureaucrat, didn't want to be blamed for any errors that will (inevitably) appear. So, we suppose, this edition is brought to you with the help of the federal government. Thanks, BLOB!

OLD, SUIT-WEARING WHITE GUY WITH NICE HAIRCUT WHO RUNS MONOLITHIC CONSERVATIVE BUSINESS ORGANIZATION IS WEALTHY: REPORT - Amanda Terkel, on a 21st Century Class War Profiteer: "Tom Donohue, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, made a record $4.7 million last year, at a time when the rest of the country was seeing high unemployment and falling wages. Donohue's pay package included a $3.6 million bonus. His compensation in 2010 was $1 million higher than it was in 2009, when he was the sixth-highest paid lobbyist in the country. In March, Donohue made headlines for saying that the compensation of public workers is 'over bloated' and their pensions are 'out of control.' Donohue's compensation was revealed in the Chamber's 990 tax forms, which became publicly available this week. The Chamber itself also did quite well in 2010, collecting a significant number of million-dollar donations." [HuffPost]

SELLOUTS: HOW BUSHY-HAIRED BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AUTHORS MASQUERADING AS NEW YORKER STAFFERS ARE MAKING IDIOTS OF US ALL - "Bank of America announced today that they had contracted with author[management consultant] and New Yorker scribe Malcolm Gladwell to headline a series of lectures designed to attract small business owners to the much-criticized bank. In his presentations, the bank said, 'Borrowing from the concepts in 'Outliers,' Gladwell examined the unique attributes that define high performance and extracted lessons that small business owners could adapt in their own endeavors.' In Outliers, Gladwell looked at everything from cultural heritage to class privilege to explain why, respectively, Asian students were better at math and Bill Gates is rich. Bank of America added that 'In each market, Gladwell's presentation was preceded by a panel discussion on relationship capital, a core component of business success' -- better known as a sales presentation." [Raw Story]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Happy Autumn: Forty-two pictures of dogs frolicking in leaves.

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Dreary, dreary days It's about time we got some usual weather. A clearing cold front is bringing the clouds, and just a bit of rain. It's a weak front, so don't expect any drastic change in temperatures, and should clear out by midday tomorrow. Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

With @bradjshannon

- The full trailer for Pixar's next movie, Brave, came out today. [http://youtu.be/TEHWDA_6e3M]

- Jesse Morris, the pink-haired, anarchist-looking street performer who serenaded BART commuters, died recently. He did a phenomenal Johnny Cash impression. BART passengers didn't know how good they had it. [http://bit.ly/tXrXgA]

- This easy window opener not only appeals to our most primitive understanding of basic mechanics, but it's also only $19.95! [http://bit.ly/urCRyI]

- It's a rainy Wednesday here in D.C. You need this montage of people dancing in classic movies set to "Green Onions." [http://huff.to/smsgKu]

- Pay no attention to the curtain behind the man. [http://youtu.be/HcKkKsUH4SA]

- CAT MOSH PIT. [http://youtu.be/YL12P0Litfg]

- Granny wants your Xbox Live gamertag so she can shame you in front of your friends. [http://youtu.be/rqvAhJmyeRk]

- FedEx announces new animal-friendly services, or whatever. Cool ad. [http://youtu.be/Tlv02a0-xQk]

SPECIAL '@NYTFRIEDMAN' TWITTERAMA

@NYTFriedman: Syria has come to a fork in the road to Damascus. Whichever road it takes, let's hope it's not the road not taken.

@NYTFriedman: Israel is adrift at sea.Its brakes have failed & if it doesn't take its foot off the gas it'll crash headlong into the wall in the Arab mind

@NYTFriedman: The Golden Straitjacket is the defining political-economic garment of globalization. [...] The tighter you wear it, the more gold it produces.

@NYTFriedman: I'm not out to conquer the world. It's much more an inward-looking patriotism. I want everyone to become an American.

ON TAP

By @tylerkingkade

TONIGHT

7:00pm - 10:00pm: Award-winning TV broadcast producer Jessica Stuart, formerly of NBC News, ABC News and the Oprah Winfrey show, will host a cocktail party at Blackbyrd for her new company Long Story Short Media. [2005 14th Street]

6:30 - 8:00pm: Remember when the Democratic House censured Charlie Rangel for ethics violations? Yeah, that's all behind them now, as Nancy Pelosi, Sander Levin, Steny Hoyer, John Conyers, and Jim Clyburn raise money for Rangel at a cocktail reception at Bistro Bis. [15 E Street NW]

6:30pm: Family man David Vitter will raise some cash with fellow southerner Steve Scallise at Bobby Van's Grill. [1201 New York Ave NW 809 15th Street, NW]

7:00pm: Man, Republicans sure love big rigs! The American Trucking Association draws out Peter King, Kevin McCarthy, Frank Guinta, Bobby Schilling, Robert Dold, and 21 other lawmakers to raise money for Rep. Tom Reed of New York. [430 First Street SE]

TOMORROW

Tomorrow-Saturday: Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Richard Burr get cozy at the Cabin Bluff Cumberland River Retreat for the National Republican Senatorial Committee in Georgia. [3852 Union Carbide Road, Woodbine, Ga.]

8:30am: Sen. Orrin Hatch and supercommittee Sen. Jon Kyl have breakfast at Bistro Bis. [15 E Street NW]

8:30am: The Capitol Hill club plays host to heroin dealer Frank Lucas. Er, wait... no, we're sorry. Wrong Frank Lucas. This one is the House Ag Committee Chair, not the guy Denzel Washington played in American Gangster. [300 First Street SE]

12:00 - 1:00pm: John McCain gets in on all this Bistro Bis fundraising action with his own luncheon. [15 E Street NW]

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