POLITICS
09/19/2011 05:55 pm ET Updated Nov 19, 2011

HUFFPOST HILL - Obama: Ceci N'est Pas Class Warfare

We're heartbroken that Netflix WON'T spin off Rickster, a first-of-its-kind service that involves Rick Perry performing famous movie scenes in subscribers' living rooms. President Obama openly aligned himself with pro-math voters, probably a response to Perry's firm anti-cancer stance. And unless Rep. John Fleming's family subsists entirely on stadium dogs, we're pretty sure his suggestion that he has a $200,000 annual food budget is false. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, September 19th, 2011:

PERRY: THE TOP OF THE GLASS CEILING IS LITTERED WITH THE CORPSES OF EXHAUSTED, STRESSED MEN - Michele Bachmann isn't the only Republican presidential candidate who might find a few things to talk about with Jenny McCarthy. Jon Ward: "Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrote in 2008 that men might have shorter life spans because they are not able to fully express their feelings. "We wonder why men, on average, die a few years earlier than women. My non-scientific, non-clinical explanation is that stress and anxiety, concealed over a lifetime, may eat away at a man mentally, then physically, until his body can take no more," Perry wrote in his first book, On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For."

MICHIGAN'S ECONOMIC MALAISE MAY PREVENT STEEPER SUPER COMMITTEE CUTS - Running tonight from Roll Call's Meredith Shiner: "Super committee members Dave Camp and Fred Upton hold two of the most influential gavels in the House -- but it's their history of voting with the president on issues important for their home state of Michigan that may make them the lawmakers to watch as the budget debate begins to engulf Washington yet again. Both Camp and Upton were ostensibly chosen to serve on the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction because of their loyalty to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), but Michigan's decline over the past decade has made them apt to buck their party on issues of importance to their constituents. In public statements about the super committee, both Camp and Upton have addressed the dire economic conditions in their state and the need to turn the economy around as a driving purpose of their membership on the panel." Assignment editor follow up alert: Upton also has a bunch of public hospitals, and six that are 340b eligible, in his district. Discuss.

FREE ICE CREAM - Tomorrow, Ben & Jerry's will be serving free ice cream at Rayburn HOB in honor of Capitol Hill Peace Day -- a magnificent time when Washington's six pacifists come together to render their movement even more sluggish by weighing themselves down with heavy dairy products (also, it's being held in September, prime ice cream season). Actually, the event is being co-hosted by the ice cream maker and The Peace Alliance to raise awareness of the UN's International Day of Peace and other peacenik-y entities and initiatives like USIP. But, again, free ice cream. [Rayburn HOB, Room 2237, 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm]

BUREAUCRAT NOT BORED TODAY - Our Bored Lazy Overpaid Bureaucrat (BLOB) broke the mold today. Writes BLOB: "Can you believe it's after 4 AND I'M STILL AT WORK???!!?!?!?? I've probably done more in the past 4 hours (up until 2 I was cataloguing my recipes) than the past 4 weeks collectively. And it looks like I'll be here until at LEAST 6. Not looking forward to rush hour on the metro. Percentage of day doing actual work: 50 (a new record!) Percentage of that work that could have been done by someone making half my salary: about 10."

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The Obama administration says that if Congress fails to reauthorize extended unemployment insurance, 6 million people will lose out on benefits next year. Even if the benefits are reauthorized, the money will be no help to the more than 2 million people who have already been out of work for 99 weeks or longer. Cheryl Greene of Sheboygan, Wisc., told HuffPost she lost her job at a Holiday Inn back in September of 2009 and that her unemployment benefits ran out earlier this year. She said she and her husband are three months behind on their rent and afraid they'll be evicted. Greene said they've been bouncing from job to job for the past decade, and that debt has been a constant problem. "We both can't get a job at the same time," said Greene, 49. "It's never been enough to ever get ahead." She said they both applied for jobs this summer at new grocery store that opened in town last week. A spokesman for the company, called Festival Foods, told HuffPost that "several thousand" people applied for the store's 230 new jobs. The Greenes didn't make the cut. [HuffPost]

DOUBLE DOWNER - "Ken Bargy, 58, had to stop working five years ago because of his health and is now on disability. His wife drives a school bus in a neighboring town. He sends his children, 15 and 10, to school 20 miles away. In the back of the trailer, he offers shelter to his elderly mother, who is bedridden and dying of cancer. The $18,000 the family pieces together from disability payments and paychecks must go to many things: food, lights, water, medical bills. There are choices to make. 'With the cost of everything going up, I have to skip a light bill to get food or skip a phone bill to get food,' he says. 'My checking account is about 20 bucks in the hole.'" [AP]

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PRESIDENT OBAMA LAYS OUT $3 TRILLION DEFICIT REDUCTION PLAN - President Obama this morning introduced his administration's $3 trillion, 10-year deficit-reduction blueprint. Most of the president's reductions come from increased taxes on upper-income Americans and drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, of course, like DeSean Jackson at the goal line, the plan also calls for $580 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts. "This is not class warfare," the president said during his remarks. "This is math." For a moment we thought he said, "This is meth," which would certainly stimulate the workforce in new and exciting ways. However the commander-in-chief was referring to charges that Democrats have been unfairly targeting wealthy taxpayers. [AP]

Speaker John Boehner: "Pitting one group of Americans against another is not leadership." But pitting one percent against the rest, hell, that's Pattonesque.

Chuck Schumer, who previously supported a version of the "Buffet Rule," wants a vote on a bill that would make upper and middle class tax rates more equitable: "This is a game changer in the tax debate..It will make the Republican position almost indefensible. The president has a winning hand, and he is going all in. And I believe Democrats will be behind him. ... Just about every Democrat will be behind him." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]

Mike McAulliff on the breakdown of the Medicare/Medicaid cuts: "The biggest savings -- $135 billion over 10 years -- would come from letting Medicare pay for drugs at the same rates as Medicaid, which enjoys much greater rebates on generic and brand-name drugs. The next largest source of savings -- $42 billion -- would come from nursing homes, rehab centers and long-term care facilities, which the administration thinks can be encouraged to be much more efficient in providing care right after people get out of hospitals. After that, the plan includes a grab-bag of items, many of which sound familiar from the health care reform debate and target a mix of Medicare and Medicaid programs, with about $248 billion in savings coming from Medicare overall." [HuffPost]

OBAMA PLAN INCLUDES POST OFFICE BLUEPRINT - The United States Postal Service, the struggling American icon that falls somewhere in-between muzak and land lines in the spectrum of fledgling U.S. mainstays, is broke. Luckily for it, President Obama's deficit reduction plan includes proposals to make the nation's mail carrier less insolvent. Dave Jamieson: "The President's plan includes five proposals that would cut costs at the agency, which has said it could go bankrupt as early as next year if Congress doesn't intervene. Parts of the President's plan are expected to be widely agreed upon as necessary -- such as the restructuring of billions of dollars in payments to workers' retiree health benefits. But other elements, such as allowing the agency to move from six-day delivery to five, may draw less of a consensus. The White House said the plan would bring the postal service $20 billion in relief over the coming years, as well as trim the federal deficit by $19 billion over the next decade." [HuffPost]

TOMMY THOMPSON ANNOUNCES SENATE CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT -Tommy Thompson, the George Pataki of the Midwest, announced on a conservative radio program that he is prepping for a campaign for the Senate seat being vacated by Herb Kohl. "I've filed my corporation documents today, which allows me to build my organization, raise money, so I can go out there and tell the story," Thompson said during an appearance on Charlie Sykes' radio program. "An announcement will be coming very soon... we're doing it in steps because that's what the federal law requires." Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services secretary under Bush 43, is far from guaranteed his party's nomination. Former Rep. Mark Neumann has declared and received the endorsement of the National Club for Growth. The group has already run an attack ad against Thompson for his support of the Affordable Care Act. If there's one thing Wisconsin's Republican primary voters have demonstrated over the the last two years, it's that they're pining for a former Bush appointee who supported health care reform. Good luck, Tommy! [National Journal]

LISA JACKSON IS PRINCIPLED, SAY PEOPLE CONCERNED ABOUT LISA JACKSON'S REPUTATION - The New York Post reports that E.P.A. Administrator Lisa Jackson nearly quit two weeks ago after the Obama administration announced it would no longer pursue tougher emission standards that would have limited the amount of ozone that could emitted into the air. "She was very upset," an administration aide told the Post. "She didn't know what she was going to do." One would certainly hope the nation's top environmental watchdog would be concerned about her administration's forfeiture of the environmental high ground. Imagine if the Labor secretary kept quiet if the president publicly refused to support a higher minimum wage, or opposed the loosening of child labor laws, or, you know, punched the Labor secretary's mother in the face. All insulting. You gotta do something. Or at least, you know, totally think about doing something. [NY Post]

Vince Vaughn is a Ron Paul supporter?

DOJ REJECTS TEXAS' REDISTRICTING PLAN - iQue bueno! The Justice Department today announced that the redistricting plan approved by Texas' legislature is bunk because it does not provide adequate representation to the state's burgeoning Hispanic population. Visually, this probably means that the proposed districts all have the geometric integrity of a neuron. Texas is required to clear its redistricting plans with the Justice Department as part of the government's (ever so wise) decision that the South sit in the corner for its legacy of slavery and racism. In its filing, DOJ claims that the proposed map doesn't "maintain or increase the ability of minority voters to elect their candidate of choice." [Houston Chronicle ]

CONGRESSMAN SPENDS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ANNUALLY ON FOOD - Before President Obama unveiled his deficit reduction package this morning, Republican Congressman John Fleming appeared on MSNBC to complain about the crushing fiscal weight of America's tax code. Asked by host Chris Jansing about his $6.3 million income, Fleming, who owns a number of UPS and Subway franchises, responded thusly: "The actual net income of that was only a mere fraction of that amount...Since my net income ... is more like $600,000 of that $6.3 million and so by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over to invest in new locations, upgrade my locations, buy more equipment and all of that." So that means that Congressman John Flemming spends upwards of $200,000 annually to feed himself, his wife and his four adult children. There are two logical explanations here. One: John Fleming is the largest human being on earth, consuming a daunting 500,000 calories a day. Two: John Fleming has signed each member of his family up for a "Golden-Horn-Of-Plenty-Filled-With-Caviar-Of-The-Month Club." It's likely number two, as John Fleming does not appear to be overweight. Or maybe John Fleming and his family all possess superhuman metabolisms that require them to consume massive amounts of food per day to avoid some sort of Thinner-like fate? [ThinkProgress]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Hiccuping puppy

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Temperatures in the low 60s, with possible rain. That would make it feel quite a bit colder. Tomorrow: A bit of relief, as we climb back to the 70s. The down side: With the warm weather comes possible thunderstorms in the afternoon. Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- How to make a Daft Punk helmet. [http://huff.to/qHdu5e]

- Toy truck takes on herd of cows. [http://huff.to/o032u9]

- Mashable compiles ten Tumblrs about people's parents. They were cool once, too. [http://huff.to/oTb5tT]

- Kitten in a Dixie cup is what happens when God hiccups. [http://huff.to/ousnv5=]

- Ned Flanders reimagined as a character from the extremely dark AMC series "Breaking Bad." [http://huff.to/rqZlTd]

- A time-lapse video from the International Space Station that shows what it's like to rotate around the globe. [http://huff.to/otHy9o]

- Dog shoots other dog with its laser eyes. Move over, Spielberg. [http://huff.to/qQgBj8]

- Wanna waste a few minutes? And we mean waste a few minutes? A fire station in California has fixed a webcam on a light bulb that it says has been burning for 110 years. [http://huff.to/r2K33I]

TWITTERAMA

@FakePewResearch: 7% of people buried in cemeteries cited "dwindling air supply" as their primary concern.

@delrayser: Obama to speak in Rose Garden shortly; will propose spinning off wealthy into a separate subscription plan called Richster.

@FakeAPStylebook: The past tense of "Netflix" is "Netflucked."

ON TAP

TONIGHT

6:00 pm: Maybe out of respect to the Ninth Ward, Mary Landrieu hosts her fundraiser for her JAZZ PAC (really?) away from the posh confines of Capitol Hill in the slightly dicier H Street NE area ... or because the venue is called TruOrleans. [TruOrleans, 400 H St NE].

7:30 pm: Saxby Chambliss, Richard Burr and Tom Coburn host their weekly dinner series on behalf of the NRSC. Last week we said they're the co-chairs of the "We'd Rather Be Sitting In A Club Library Somewhere Looking At Paintings Of Ducks" Caucus. We'll stick with that this week. [Capitol Hill Club, 300 First Street SE]

TOMORROW

8:30 am: Hooray for for-profit participatory citizenship! Richard Lugar and his Chief of Staff Marty Morris attend a $100-a-head Q&A session. [National Republican Senatorial Committee, 425 2nd Street NE]

8:30 am: Hank Johnson reassures his donors that Guam has yet to sink into the ocean and what not at his fundraiser. [Caucus Room, 401 9th Street NW]

6:30 pm: David Vitter, who is the leader of the "How In God's Name Are They Still Here?" Caucus, tries to remained employed by the United States Senate. [The Townhouse, 11 D Street SE]

7:00 pm: Pete Sessions isn't simply a NRCC chair. He's also a man...a man with needs.........a man with fundraising needs. [Ruth's Chris Steak House, 724 9th Street NW]

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Raul Grijalva's campaign has slated three whole hours for the Arizona lawmaker's annual "Southern Arizona Fall Fiesta." [Sons of the American Legion Kenneth H. Nash Post 8, 224 D Street SE]

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