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Vote Now: Where Should Roll Call Travel for the Midterm Elections?

Heard on the Hill: A Scout’s Honor for the Scouts

We’re sure Rep. Bart Stupak is proud to be a Member of Congress, but we think he’s just as proud to be an Eagle Scout.

The Michigan Democrat took to the House floor last week to salute the Boy Scouts of America on its 100th anniversary. As an Eagle Scout (the group’s highest rank), Stupak said he has “a special appreciation” for scouting.

“In scouting, you learn to do a good deed every day,” Stupak said. “The world would be a better place if we all lived by this simple creed. In scouting, you learn to leave your campsite in better shape than you found it. Many scouts grow up to be leaders in their communities or here in the United States Congress, and strive to leave things better than they found them.”

Becoming an Eagle Scout isn’t easy; requirements include performing a leadership service project in the community.

Stupak spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche tells HOH the Congressman is from the “old school,” meaning he wasn’t required to do a specific project to earn the rank. But Stupak did do “loads of community service” to earn Eagle Scout status, she said.

Penn: Dirksen Over Cannes

Actor-activist (can we call him an actor-vist?) Sean Penn is always there when duty calls. The paparazzi-slugging former Mr. Madonna is forgoing the glitz and glamour of the Cannes Film Festival this week for a far less ritzy gig: a Senate hearing.

Penn is testifying about the post-earthquake mess in Haiti, the New York Post’s Page Six reports. Penn’s new movie, “Fair Game,” in which he plays the husband of CIA agent Valerie Plame (played by Naomi Watts), premieres at the festival. But Penn won’t be soaking up the sun in the south of France — he’ll be under the lights in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, where he will testify today for the Foreign Relations Committee.

Penn is the founder of the J/P Haitian Relief Organization and is no stranger to leaping into causes. He has toured Haiti and has traveled to Iran, Iraq and post-Katrina New Orleans.

While HOH finds it incroyable that one would choose Dirksen over the Riviera, one Senate aide had a plausible theory: “Paparazzi and red carpets are probably old hat for guys like that, and the Senate sounds more exciting.”

Ellen Joins Healthy School Lunch Chorus

Celebrities get a lot of mail — but Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) might just get the most mail from celebrities.

Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi are the latest famous folk to write to the House Education and Labor Committee chairman asking him to support the Healthy School Meals Act, which would provide funding for public schools to offer more vegetarian meal options.

They join a slew of celebs who have written letters supporting the bill, including actors Scarlett Johansson and Woody Harrelson, talk-show host Tavis Smiley and Olympic gold medalists Amanda Beard and Nastia Liukin.

“Two years ago, we switched to a plant-based diet out of concern for animals and the environment,” DeGeneres and de Rossi write. “Many children stop eating meat for the same reasons. Adding vegetarian options ... would provide healthier options for all young people.”

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