POLITICS
09/24/2012 05:59 pm ET Updated Nov 24, 2012

HUFFPOST HILL - Romney Bemoans Seamus-Like Treatment Of Humans

Unlike Seamus' kennel, Mitt Romney thinks airplanes *shouldn't* be airtight. Rick Perry suffered insomnia during his failed presidential campaign, a condition he could've remedied with Ambien, Lunesta, or... um... And President Obama skipped meetings with world leaders at the UN to appear on "The View." In the president's defense, he probably would have just chitchatted with Angela Merkel about how much TV time he and Michelle let the kids have. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, September 24th, 2012:

SHELDON ADELSON'S TOP AGENDA ITEM IS FREEDOM. HIS OWN, THAT IS. - Mike Allen scores the interview of interviews in a story in this morning's Politico, talking for two hours to casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who is planning to spend something like $100 million to put Mitt Romney in the White House. Why? Well, Adelson's company is under investigation for foreign corruption. He doesn't like that. From Allen: "So why does he do it? For the first time, Adelson talked in detail about his top five reasons: 1) Self-defense: Adelson said a second Obama term would bring government 'vilification of people that were against him.' He thinks he would be at the top of that list and contends that he already has been targeted for his political activity. Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp. is being scrutinized by federal investigators looking into possible money-laundering in Vegas, and possible violation of bribery laws by the company's ventures in China, including four casinos in the gambling mecca of Macau. (Amazingly, 90 percent of the corporation's revenue is now from Asia, including properties in Macau and Singapore.) The country's leading megadonor is irritated by the leaks. 'When I see what's happening to me and this company, about accusations that are unfounded, that kind of behavior ... has to stop,' he said.' Yes, Adelson said that out loud. [Politico]

@evanmc_s: a melancholy obama eats his feelings: t.co/Ui9liq7S (via @KateNocera)

CONGRESS MAYBE KILLING GRANDMA? - Congress is scrambling to sub out certain parts of the sequester with other debt-reducing proposals and our idea of renting out the Capitol Rotunda as an event space for Bar Mitzvahs and corporate holiday parties isn't getting anywhere on the Hill. Some Democrats are worried that Social Security will be put on the chopping block. Sam Stein: "Concern is mounting among some Senate Democrats that President Barack Obama will make a deal with Senate Republicans during the lame-duck session that would result in changes to the benefit structure of Social Security....Bernie Sanders (I-VT), said he was heartened to hear Obama tell the AARP last week that he'd be open to raising the cap on income that's taxed for purposes of paying into the Social Security trust fund...But the Vermont Independent worried that all of this could be posturing for the lame-duck session immediately after the election, when lawmakers are expected to rush to find another "grand bargain" on tax and entitlement reform to stave off the so-called fiscal cliff...Sanders is one of 29 Senators who have signed a letter to 'oppose including Social Security cuts for future or current beneficiaries in any deficit reduction package.'" [HuffPost]

Nate Silver, it turns out, is not perfect.

Willard is losing to the President among fans of the motorized carriage racing sport. Ariel Edwards-Levy: "NASCAR team owners may count Mitt Romney among their friends, but that doesn't mean fans of the sport will necessarily vote for him, according to an online poll from JZ Analytics. Barack Obama led Mitt Romney by 7 points, 49 percent to 42 percent, among the 202 voters who said they were fans of NASCAR, according to the survey, conducted by pollster John Zogby and spotted by the left-leaning PoliticusUSA blog. The president had an almost 9-point lead among the full sample of voters." [HuffPost]

HuffPost will soon post an interview with former Italian President Silvio Berlusconi conducted by Alessandro De Angelis, the politics reporter for the just-launched HuffPost Italia. We've seen the interview and there are no mentions on either side of our Sideboob page. :-(

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A bipartisan hiring plan created by Congress in February is a total bust so far. Ianthe Jeanne Dugan: [S]even months after the federal law was passed -- with bipartisan support as part of the tax relief act -- many states say they won't apply because they don't have the funding to set up and comply. This situation has surprised some original sponsors and frustrated some employers." (It won't surprise HuffPost readers who heard the story from Matt Sledge in June.) [WSJ]

DOUBLE DOWNER - People do not appreciate food stamp shaming. Cindy Nerger, a dialysis patient who gets by with a little help from food stamps, did not appreciate getting hassled by a supermarket cashier last week. "I was upset, so, I was like, you know, I told you that it was covered under food stamps, you know, so, there was no need for all of this, you know, and he said, 'Well excuse me that I work for a living and don't rely on food stamps like you,'" Nerger told local station WMAZ. "I was angry at first, but it turned into tears because when I turned around and I saw the people there I was like, oh my goodness, and I just started crying." [WMAZ]

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WILLARD TO MINGLE WITH THE PLEBS - NYT: "All that fund-raising takes time, dragging the candidates away from the campaign trail at critical moments....Mr. Romney's aides are seeking to shift to a busier schedule in the field, recognizing that Mr. Romney needs more time on the campaign trail if he is to halt what appears to be slowly building momentum, at least in polls, for Mr. Obama, who has taken a small but worrying lead in some swing states after months in which the race had seemed deadlocked. In a conversation with reporters on Monday, one of Mr. Romney's chief advisers, Ed Gillespie, hinted that the campaign was hoping to bank enough money in the coming days so that Mr. Romney would no longer need to spend as much time courting donors. 'We're going to reach a point here, hopefully soon, where we'll have the resources we need to carry us through Nov. 6 and we won't need to be doing those finance events,' Mr. Gillespie said." [NYT]

OBAMA HEADS TO OHIO, PRESUMABLY TO BRAG - There are a lot of ways to pander to Ohio voters -- say, naming a plate of Cincinnati-style spaghetti chili as your Commerce secretary -- but instituting tariffs against Chinese manufacturing is surely one of the most effective. "President Obama plans to travel to Ohio for campaign events on Wednesday, the same day that a three-year tariff on the import of Chinese tires is set to expire... The tariff, which Obama said in January saved 1,000 U.S. jobs, has been a hot-button issue since the president put it in place in 2009. Republican nominee Mitt Romney wrote in his 2010 book, 'No Apology,' that the tariff was 'bad for the nation and our workers.'...A White House official said Monday that the tire tariff will in fact expire, because the United Steelworkers felt that the provision had had the intended effect." [HuffPost]

UN ASSEMBLY: OBAMA SNUBS WORLD LEADERS FOR 'THE VIEW' - ABC News: "President Obama, in an unusual move, has no plans to sit down one-on-one with world leaders in New York for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. With 43 days until the election, the president is bucking precedent and skipping the formal bilateral meetings, leaving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take on many of those conversations. By comparison, last year Obama scheduled a dozen official meetings... After arriving in New York this afternoon, the president and first lady will tape an appearance on ABC's 'The View,' their first joint interview on the daytime talk show circuit. This evening, the couple will attend a UNGA reception for heads of state, where, the White House stressed, Obama will have direct contact with many of his counterparts." [ABC News]

SEQUESTER 2: THE SEQUESTERING - It usually takes years for Congress to undo its mistakes, but that's because those mistakes -- war and education and what not -- are of little consequence. This time, we're talking about raising taxes and, well... c'mon. Politico: "There's an idea kicking around Congress to avoid the year-end 'fiscal cliff,' and it bears an uncanny resemblance to the dreaded sequester that's become the bane of lawmakers' collective existence. Designed to head off the deep automatic spending cuts and higher tax rates set to kick in next year, the proposal is to instruct -- actually, mandate -- the powerful House and Senate tax-writing committees to rewrite the Tax Code. And if they fail? That part isn't firmed up yet. But some mechanism would kick in to force Congress's hand to slash the deficit and overhaul tax and spending laws. The goal, just like this time, would be to make the cost of failure greater than the pain of any compromise." [Politico]

Paul Ryan, who voted against repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," told a Florida NBC affiliate this weekend that it shouldn't be reinstated. "I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater, and they just didn't think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm's way in combat," he told WPTV Sunday. "Now that it's done, we should not reverse it. I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves." [HuffPost's Luke Johnson]

@PaulBlu: Joe Manchin gets a haircut in his new ad, his wife calls him "cheap" youtu.be/PpTpz-9Ustw

MITT ROMNEY STRUGGLES TO UNDERSTAND CABIN PRESSURE - During a Los Angeles fundraiser, the Republican presidential candidate spoke about the emergency landing his wife's plane was forced to make last week. "I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don't think she knows just how worried some of us were," he said. "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no -- and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem. So it's very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she's safe and sound." [LA Times]

And why did they ever get rid of propellers? Those things could snuff out the fire in no time.

BOOK: RICK PERRY COULDN'T FIND HIS SLEEP NUMBER - Reuters: "Texas Governor Rick Perry's embarrassing inability to remember a government department he would eliminate if he became president, perhaps the biggest gaffe of the 2012 election campaign, was due to chronic lack of sleep, a new book says. 'Oops,' a diary of covering the Perry campaign by Texas Tribune correspondent Jay Root, says Perry suffered from insomnia for weeks before the gaffe...Book author Root, who covered the Perry presidential campaign from the summer of 2011 to its end in early 2012, said Perry had battled insomnia most of the campaign...Perry's unraveling began in earnest after back surgery in mid-June, 2011. The Texas governor took pain killers for a few weeks after the surgery but refused to continue them because he said he wanted to be mentally sharp for the campaign." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Doberman is unfazed by a very aggressive pomeranian puppy, probably because it could eat the pup in one bite.

A "Not Everyone Hates Us" update: "Too bad Barack Obama isn't running for office in Brazil. The real one, that is. He's so popular here that at least 16 candidates for municipal elections have adopted the name 'Obama' to try to get more votes on October 7. There are plenty of 'Baracks,' as well as 'Ricardo Obama,' 'Wilson Obama' and even 'Barata Obama,' which literally translates as 'Cockroach Obama." [CNN]

COMFORT FOOD

- The New York Knicks' Iman Shumpert tries to use an iPhone 5 as a basketball. [http://bit.ly/Tq7SdD]

- Squirrel goes on a rampage in someone's kitchen then jumps out the window. [http://bit.ly/UKKHZq]

- Nine selections from last month's cat-themed film competition in Russia. [http://bit.ly/OXBFqo]

-FreeCabinPorn.com features photos of cabins. They're not fornicating. [freecabinporn.com]

- Photos from the 2012 World Beard and Mustache Championship. [http://bit.ly/PYj0b0]

- Mario apparently has reached his limit and goes postal on Bowser's army. [http://bit.ly/PKgsP1]

-Corgi puppy will get you yet, door jam. [http://bit.ly/RcapEL]

TWITTERAMA

@jess_mc: A screen door in every submarine! -President Romney, probably

@drgrist: If you're sucked out of an open airplane window, just go to the emergency room. #romneymemesunited

@JoshDMartin: Romney thinks he should be able to pull up to other Gulfstreams, roll down window and ask for Grey Poupon

ON TAP

TONIGHT

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Ben Cardin lures his donors to his Capitol Hill fundraiser with the promise of select deli meats. One large for the best corned beef sandwich you've ever had at his "Annual Maryland Deli Reception." [Frederick Douglass Museum, 320 A. Street NE]

6:00 pm: Roger Wicker's campaign promises an absolutely stacked lineup for his fundraiser tonight. No less than 15 members of the Republican conference are slated to attend, including Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, Lamar Alexander and Marco Rubio are among the "honorary hosts." [Fiola Ristoranta, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW]

TOMORROW

8:30 am: Like grapefruit? Like Dan Coates? Like toast? Then you'll love this fundraiser benefiting Indiana's junior senator. Jon Kyl is also scheduled to attend. [901 7th Street NW]

6:00 pm: The Great Squeaky Clean One, Paul Ryan, heads down to Houston for a reception/photo-op/dinner with supporters. This being Houston, the photo-op probably comes with a bold-lettered "no backslapping" warning. [Houston, TX]

6:30 pm: Country music, the member of the musical family who gifts Ann Coulter books for Christmas, is the focus of Bob Corker's "Nashville songwriters." You won't know these songwriters. [Recording Industry Association of America, 1025 F Street NW]

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