POLITICS
09/23/2014 05:39 pm ET Updated Sep 23, 2014

HUFFPOST HILL - Unpresidential Coffee Cup Is Obama's New Tan Suit

President Obama was criticized for saluting Marines with a coffee cup in his hands, which was even more offensive than that time he bowed to Saudi Arabia's king while eating a McDonald's snack wrap. The president joked that he's never noticed the traffic caused by his motorcade, but then in a more somber tone he acknowledged, "We delayed some folks." And HuffPost Hill’s Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist is retiring from our newsletter, saying he’s looking forward to spending more time with the family he hallucinates. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014:

OBAMA GETS HIS WAR ON - Times: "President Obama on Tuesday hailed the American-led coalition that conducted airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State, declaring, 'We’re going to do what is necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group.' Speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, just before leaving for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Obama said American planes had also struck targets of another militant group, Khorasan, and declared that there would be 'no safe haven' for the group, which officials say is linked to Al Qaeda and has been plotting attacks against Americans." [NYT]

There is a fuss over Obama saluting Marines while holding a coffee cup. For some reason this reminds us of how Obama once ate a dog.

HUFFPOST HILL KILLS CHARACTER - Our favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist is calling it quits. "This president had cured me. I am no longer self-loathing, so I will say goodbye. America's (and Obama's) war policies on drones, spying on our allies, Guantanamo, ISIS, ISIL and the president's quote about 'torturing folks' like it is something his administration hasn't participated in, was just what the doctor ordered. Thanks, Mr. President!" It was a good run, PSLGOPL!

Still alive: the Failed Abramoff Lobbyist Pissed At Things and the Nihilist In Boat Shoes. Yes, they are real people.

CONGRESS NOT EXACTLY KEEN ON DEBATING WAR - War? What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! *Being pegged as a trigger-happy lawmaker who is happy to put American men and women in harms way* Roll Call: "Shortly after airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria started, some lawmakers started pushing again for an authorization vote. But so far, leaders aren’t gearing up to bring their members back to town. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., tweeted Monday night it was 'irresponsible and immoral' that congressional leaders had chosen to recess for nearly two months instead of debating and voting on war. And the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, released a statement saying it’s 'time for Congress to step up and revise the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force in a way that supports the targeted actions underway, but also prevents the deployment of American ground forces that would drag us into another Iraq War.” Van Hollen tweeted that Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, should call the House back to debate a new Authorization to Use Military Force. Boehner’s office deferred to the White House when asked about the issue." [Roll Call]

NOT A SINGLE DAMN, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE EDITION - Samuel Levine: "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg thinks that the Supreme Court’s conservative attitude on allowing women access to abortion can be traced to one of her colleagues. 'To be frank, it’s one person who made the difference: Justice [Anthony] Kennedy,' Ginsburg told Elle. 'He was a member of the triumvirate used to [reaffirm] Roe v. Wade in the Casey case, but since then, his decisions have been on upholding restrictions on access to abortion.' ...Ginsburg, who is 81, also pushed back against calls for her to step down before President Barack Obama leaves office, which would allow him to appoint another liberal justice to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg said Senate Republicans would use a filibuster to block anyone Obama would pick." [HuffPost]

CNN's Newt Gingrich was briefly angry that President Obama is fighting a combat mission with courtesy.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Congressional Republicans thought that in 2012 they had made it possible for states to drug test unemployment claimants, but they forgot to give the U.S. Labor Department a deadline for the relevant regulations. So the Labor Department has been taking its sweeeeet time, and now Republicans in the Texas legislature, whose new drug testing law has been stifled by the lack of regulation, are all like, Hey, how come we can't do our new drug testing law? An Austin TV station tried to get to the bottom of it, did not succeed. [TXCNews.com]

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OBAMA U.N. SPEECH TO INCLUDE CLIMATE EXECUTIVE ORDER - And not just to put more air in your damn tires. Kate Sheppard: "President Barack Obama will announce a new executive order at the United Nations meeting on climate change Tuesday, directing federal agencies to consider climate change in all international development programs. A White House official said the order will require agencies to 'factor climate resilience into the design of their international development programs and investments.' The White House didn't release the text of the order prior to the announcement. Obama also will announce tools that the U.S. plans to make available to other countries to 'help vulnerable populations around the world strengthen their climate resilience.' The announcement comes amid pressure on the U.S. and other developed countries to commit more funding to climate aid for poorer nations. In addition, Obama will 'announce U.S. leadership and participation in more than a dozen new climate change partnerships launched at the Climate Summit,' the White House official said in a statement. He will make the case in his remarks that the climate action plan he unveiled in 2013 'is working,' and will tout his administration's work to "strengthen our resilience to climate impacts across our communities." [HuffPost]

Obama has said a lot of this before.

GAME. SET. CHENEY. - Sam Stein: "[B]y leaving town before the president started operations, lawmakers may have done serious harm to their own institution, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) argued in an interview with The Huffington Post. Not only had they diminished the standing of Congress with respect to the executive branch, they also may have given unintended consent to a Dick Cheney-like vision of presidential war powers. '[Congress has] sort of allowed the Cheney pre-emptive war doctrine to exist by another name,' Kaine said. 'In this instance, they allowed the president to say, 'ISIL [the Islamic State] is the bad guys, and I can go after them even though there has been testimony that they pose no imminent threat of attack on the United States.' If the president just gets to do this without Congress, then we will be embracing the Cheney pre-emptive war doctrine, which I think is just brutally wrong.'" [HuffPost]

HOUSE GOP GOING FOR SCARE TACTICS - Also, did you know that Willie Horton has pledged fealty to ISIS and just crossed the U.S.-Mexican border? Igor Bobic: "House Republicans are hoping that fears over national security will be their ticket to a bigger majority come the November midterm elections, so much so that their message can be reduced to one panic-induced montage of terror, terror and more terror "Are they coming for us?" an anchor says in a new ad by the National Republican Campaign Committee, which has been on a fear-mongering tear lately. "They are actively working to come for us," says another, while images of extremists roll on screen The 30-second spot features warnings from Fox News ("ISIS eyeing Mexican border"), conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch ("imminent terrorist attack warning"), and even Islamic State extremists currently under bombardment by the U.S. ("we are in your cities"). It paints a picture of complete chaos -- even though most intelligence analysts find a minimal threat to the U.S. homeland at present." [HuffPost]

COLLEGE RAND PAUL WAS JUST HOW YOU'D IMAGINE - He wrote lots of letters to the editor, especially this one unearthed today by Andrew Kaczynski: "We have been taught as Christian people that it is wrong to steal. But underlying the whole welfare concept is the principle of theft." Jesus Christ might also have said something about caring for the needy but we're not sure. [BuzzFeed]

Quick! Somebody find Mark Begich a snowmobile! "PPP's newest Alaska poll finds toss up races for both the US Senate and Governor. Dan Sullivan leads Mark Begich 43/41 for the Senate, with minor candidates combining for 5%. Bill Walker leads incumbent Sean Parnell 42/41 for Governor, with minor candidates combining for 5% in that race as well. Sullivan has gained 6 points since our last poll in early August, while Begich has dropped 2. Sullivan's gain has come largely due to consolidating his support among Republican leaning voters since winning the primary last month. He now leads 75/9 among folks who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, compared to 70/11 on the last survey. Sullivan's seen significant improvement in his image as conservative voters have rallied around him too- his net favorability is up 10 points from -8 at 35/43 last month to now +2 at 44/42. Begich's approval is a 42/51 spread." [PPP]

JIM WEBB MULLING PRESIDENTIAL BID - His uncanny resemblance to the Grumpy Cat surely won't hurt. The Hill: "Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) said Tuesday that he is 'seriously looking' at the possibility of running for president. Webb is a former Navy secretary and Marine who fought in Vietnam. In comments at the National Press Club, he framed himself as someone able to work with both parties to get things done, and spoke out about the danger of interventions in the Middle East. 'We've had a lot of discussion among people that I respect and trust about the future of the country and we are going to continue having these discussions over the next four or five months,' Webb said when asked about running for president in a question and answer session after his speech." [The Hill]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a metaphor... for life.

FERGUSON RESIDENTS: LIFE NOT TOTALLY HOPELESS - Mariah Stewart and Ryan Reilly: "Hundreds of local residents gathered at two-closed door meetings Monday night to discuss what needs to change in this St. Louis suburb after weeks of protests in the wake of the death of an unarmed black teenager. Many attendees said they were generally encouraged by the dialogue that took place at the meetings, which were open only to Ferguson residents and were hosted at two local churches by a secretive Justice Department unit. Ferguson was rocked by protests, looting and a heavy police response after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot several times by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Two-year-old is not happy with her parents for laughing at her "Frozen" performance.

- How the contents of our desks have evolved over the years.

- Cat meets tail.

- Dog really wants to swim.

TWITTERAMA

@ZekeJMiller:: Obama re his motorcade insanity: “Everyone hypes the traffic, but I haven’t noticed”

@pourmecoffee: Hearing that coalition forces also dropped free U2 albums on targets in Syria.

@nickbaumann: Can't wait to launch my new website, "Listicles Playing Off of Regional Stereotypes." (Dot Com)

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