HUFFPOST HILL - OCTOBER 26TH, 2010
As America debated whether an unwitting MoveOn protester's cranium had been "stepped" or "stomped" on -- and we mourned the demise of Paul the Octopus -- November 2nd crept ever closer. The White House announced that Obama will campaign for the belle of the Burt's Bees ball, Tom Perriello. A Republican Ohio House candidate had to pull a campaign spot claiming Mary Jo Kilroy is a terrifying, fire-breathing Monster.com. And the NRSC released a Harry Reid attack ad that doubles as a trailer for Ridley Scott's next project. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, October 26th, 2010:
PUREED MOVEON PROTESTER COMES FORWARD - Progressives were outraged today after video emerged of a female MoveOn protester at a Rand Paul-Jack Conway debate being subdued by a group of men and then getting the Edward-Norton-at-the-beginning-of-American History-X-treatment. Senior Countenance-Crushing Correspondent Sam Stein: "On Tuesday, Lauren Valle spoke for the first time since being thrust into the center of an alarming campaign fracas. Valle said that she recognized the Paul supporters who went after her and felt frightened almost immediately after they claimed they were there to do 'crowd control.' Her treatment, she said, was 'premeditated.'" http://huff.to/9xoRKe
Valle will be a guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight.
BREAKING: "NPR receives bomb threat; timing suggests link to Juan Williams firing." WaPo: http://wapo.st/breT1n
WHITE HOUSE TO LGBT GROUP: DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL, OR ELSE - In advance of a meeting with White House officials today, the LGTB advocates participating in the event were told that any discussion of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy would be strictly forbidden. The message -- one typically delivered by nervous parents in advance of Thanksgivings with conservative uncles from Tallahassee -- was e-mailed to the attendees by Brian K. Bond, the White House's point guy on LGBT outreach. "Obviously this meeting has gotten out. We are expecting the content of the conversation today to be off the record and to help us figure out how to move forward with the lame duck session," Bond wrote. "Also as previously mentioned, there can be no discussion of current court cases or legal strategy or Counsel's Office will end the meeting. The focus is repeal and the lame duck session. This is also a non-partisan meeting where we want everyone's help." The Advocate: http://bit.ly/c2x6ZS
TOMORROW IN THE HILL - New polling showing that longtime Democratic incumbents in the House are trailing their GOP opponents, with a few of them behind by double digits.
Nancy Pelosi, at a San Francisco groundbreaking today, on her party's chances: "I was just on the phone with people down South, and across the country the early returns are very heavily in favor of the Democrats. Our candidates are in the fight...There is an attempt for a hostile corporate takeover of our Democracy...Unlimited, large amounts of money secretly are contributed, being poured into these races to drown out the political debate that is taking place in our country and that is a new factor. This is something that they've never been allowed to do before." Big ups to our Senior Pelosi-Stalking Correspondent Lucia Graves.
OBAMA CAMPAIGNING FOR PERRIELLO FRIDAY - Sending Obama to rural Virginia might look stupid, but the Tom Perriello race is largely coming down to turnout. Obama still has pull with the sizable African American bloc in Perriello's district, and the congressman has endeared himself to his pumpkin-latte-sipping, Ira-Glass-worshiping UVA constituents -- along with a few out in the sticks that just like the guy. http://nyti.ms/9zapyD
Andy Sere, NRCC spokesman: "For the better part of two years, Congressman Perriello has repeatedly sold out his constituents to support Barack Obama's job-killing agenda...But for Virginians who are struggling just to get by, Obama's appearance will only serve as a bitter reminder that the man they elected to work for them is actually working for the president."
SWARM OF 2012 CONTENDERS DESCENDING ON IOWA THIS WEEK - Gentlemen, start your tractor engines. Repaint your barns. Tidy up your charming, rustic diners. Ready your soundbites about how tired you are of all the taxing and spending. Glaze your VFW potluck hams. Constructively criticize your local high school marching bands for their pacing on "The Star Spangled Banner..." Iowa Independent: "The first to land in Iowa was former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who held several events around the state and plans to join up with the Family Research Council's statewide tour aimed at convincing Iowans to oust three state Supreme Court Justices. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will hold events in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque Tuesday for [gubernatorial candidate Terry] Branstad, marking only his second visit to Iowa this year...Also Wednesday, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will join Branstad in Newton. On Friday, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul will hold several events around the state. And lastly, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will hold several rallies with Branstad in southwest Iowa on Sunday. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in Sioux City last week." http://bit.ly/afdDMa
Mike Pence may leave House leadership for a White House bid. Ben Smith and Jake Sherman: http://politi.co/9mgWcg
Dear Cindy Adams: We're sorry someone signed you up for HuffPost Hill. We're also sorry we don't have time to individually remove you from our subscriber rolls. We're super sorry your assistant had to click "unsubscribe" for you. As a token of our contrition, and because we know you love well-coiffed dogs, here are highlights from this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show, which you'll only be lucky enough to see if your assistant dragged her feet in unsubscribing: http://bit.ly/czfFuT
YOUTUBE BLOCKS PRO-LEGALIZATION VIDEO - Okay, enough, Internet. There may be some ways that this parody of Eminem is offensive, but not the way you mean: http://bit.ly/cualr8
A new PPP poll has the pot legalization initiative trailing 48-45 and Jerry Brown up 11 and Barbara Boxer up 9. George Soros, meanwhile, kicked in a million to help the pot campaign today, but that pales against what Meg Whitman spent driving out the blue-hair vote. "The great irony may be that of all the millions Whitman wasted, the only impact we will see is that the millions she spent on GOTV for older whites will keep Prop 19 from narrowly passing," FDL's Jon Walker notes to HuffPost Hill.
THEY MAY NOT WANT CHOCOLATE: Trick-or-treaters at your door this Halloween might not be looking for fun-sized Twix bars, but could be there to badger you to vote. A coalition of groups intends to take advantage of Americans' willingness to open their doors one night a year. In 2008, Trick Or Vote upped voter turnout by 5%, according to a study the group did, Ian Greenfield tells HuffPost Hill, and one in five of their participants had never done anything political. They're aiming for 200,000 doors and will concentrate on Seattle, Denver and Portland. Plus, it's still less annoying than the countless Bed Intruder outfits you'll encounter. http://trickorvote.org
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DAILY DELANEY DOWNER A federal watchdog reported Monday that the Obama administration's signature anti-foreclosure program sometimes causes people to lose their homes to foreclosure -- a conclusion that had already been reached by some homeowners and their advocates. The Treasury Department, which administers the Home Affordable Modification Program, did not respond to that claim in its answer to the watchdog's report. But a Treasury official told HuffPost on Tuesday that nobody who is current on their mortgage payments can become delinquent because of a HAMP modification. Consumer advocates heartily disagree. "Treasury's wrong about that," said Diane Thompson, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center. "Everybody comes out of the trial modification period owing more than they did when they went in, and everybody comes out with their credit worse."
Behold pictures from the first ever grassroots HAMP homeowner protest: http://huff.to/9Xf2GL
TODAY'S TERKEL TAKEDOWN - From Amanda Terkel: "Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) is taking on his own party. In a debate on Sunday, he said that shutting down the government -- as several Republicans have advocated -- would not be a good idea. In fact, according to Isakson, it would endanger U.S. troops. 'Well, I think as long as you've got men and women deployed in harm's way in Afghanistan, the last thing in the world is you shut down the support system for those men and women,' he said. 'So I would not want to do that.' Score one for sanity." http://huff.to/a5m2sB
CONSERVATIVE CAUCUS CIRCULATING HERITAGE-PENNED LITMUS TEST - "Would you be willing to relocate this job to India?," "Please list any felony convictions and explain why they were appalling examples of an overzealous federal government infringing on your Second Amendment rights," "If you checked 'Male.' please list desired salary," etc. Sam Stein: "The Republican Study Committee, an official office of The Caucus of House Conservatives, is 'strongly' encouraging job applicants to fill out an ideological questionnaires administered by a conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation...The links offered are those to the site conservativejobs.com and a job-bank page hosted by the Heritage Foundation. The latter asks applicants for their position on a host of issues including whether 'free trade benefits U.S. consumers,' whether the 'U.N. should not have authority over the citizens or public policies of sovereign nations,' and whether 'people should be able to invest a portion of their Social Security payments in a personal account.'" http://huff.to/9zajck
This website from the AARP is funny until, like so many other attempts at comedy in the political arena, it gets bogged down in strained sanctimony. Sigh. http://bit.ly/bpIQYN
HUFFPOST HILL IS HIRING AN INTERN and we also "strongly encourage" applicants to fill out the above-mentioned Heritage questionnaire. Send resume and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHIRLEY SHERROD CUTS GOTV AD FOR NAACP - The upstart civil rights hero and walking teachable moment, recently sprung from a career-long slog up the USDA ladder thanks to Andrew Breitbart's iMovie skills and Tom Vilsack's hasty pink slipping, has once again proven her classiness by rallying a segment of the population that typically votes Democrat. "The outcome is critical for our community," she says in the 30-second radio spot set to run on American Urban Radio Networks. Ben Smith: http://politi.co/d6b87d
OHIO GOP HOUSE CAMPAIGN PULLS MISLEADING AD FROM THE AIR - After catching flack for running an ad that pretty much claimed Mary Jo Kilroy was one of the faceless drummer acrobats in the 2008 Olympics opening ceremony and, more accurately, "voted for the failed stimulus that used our tax dollars to create jobs in China," the Steve Silvers campaign yanked the post. Local media cried BS. Columbus Dispatch with the ad and a debunk: http://bit.ly/bSXI1K
SENATE DEMOCRATS BURNED MONEY IN OHIO - Ohio Republican Rob Portman is up 11 on Lee Fisher in the latest Wilson poll. Why, again, did the DSCC spend money to make sure he beat Jennifer Brunner in the primary? Brunner, at the front of the foreclosure fraud investigation, might be looking good right now.
NRSC HITS REID FOR 'SAVING THE WORLD' COMMENT - In a new ad put out by the NRSC -- clearly targeted to Vegas voters as it employs the same new-agey, "Gladiator" soundtrack bombast as a video prelude to a Cirque Du Soleil show at the Bellagio -- the GOP's Senate campaign arm takes aim at the Senate majority leader for saying, "You know, but for me, we'd be in a worldwide depression." After the quote is delivered, video of Europeans protesting against austerity measures instituted in the wake of the financial crisis is flashed on the screen. (Note to the NRSC: They were protesting cuts to public spending, not increased public spending. But whatever, right?) http://bit.ly/9xcPp
Forgive our Mountain State ignorance but why is an ill sperm the centerpiece of John Raese's logo? http://bit.ly/dxl0V9
Jeez, Dianne, why don't you tell us what you really think? "Feinstein was at a campaign event for Sen. Barbara Boxer in San Jose, and was asked by KTVU's Randy Shandobil how things were going, and she replied, 'bad.' Feinstein is Boxer's campaign co-chair. Shandobil asked whether Feinstein meant in the House, which Democrats are widely expected to lose, and Feinstein didn't answer. Later, after the event, she (un)clarified this much: 'I think the prevailing view is, and I don't think this is necessarily correct, is that it's a very difficult time, there's no question about that.'" For fun, try using that clarification format in front of your friends and see if they have any idea what you're trying to say ("I think the prevailing view is, and I don't think this is necessarily correct, is that genocide is bad, there's no question about that"). San Francisco Chronicle. http://bit.ly/a3Uawy
MCCAIN NOT READY TO ENDORSE PALIN FOR 2012 - The 2008 GOP presidential nominee and world-record holder for most number of clenched jaw smiles in a 24-hour period told CBS' "The Early Show" that it is "too early" for him to decide whom to endorse for 2012. "I'm very grateful for all the things she's done to invigorate our party," he said, trying his best not to think about the agonizing 15 months or so that he'll have to awkwardly refrain from endorsing anyone so as not to totally alienate his former running-mate. "But I think it's very early to start picking winners and losers." My friends, this is awkward. http://bit.ly/aW8Tc1
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Synchronized Hamsters. http://bit.ly/aPZkcl
Oklahoma's gubernatorial candidates are shattering the glass ceiling and then going for each other's throats with the shards "Women are poised to make history in Oklahoma next week, when the state will elect its first female governor. And in the final stretch of the campaign between Democratic Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Republican U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, the experience of motherhood has emerged as a contentious debating point. 'I think my experience is one of the things that sets me apart as a candidate for governor. First of all, being a mother, having children, raising a family,' Fallin, 55, said at a debate last week. Askins, 57, a former judge who has never been married or had children, says neither marriage nor parenting experience should matter." ABC News: http://bit.ly/cxPhWD
That cholera outbreak in Haiti seems to be contained. Al Jazeera English: http://bit.ly/9HdyC8
You couldn't find a more Boston-y political scandal than this even if Red Auerbach busted out of his coffin, made a B-line for a tony Beacon Hill brothel and was caught there alongside Tom Menino in in a sting operation conducted by some staties and assorted members of the J. Geils Band. "More than two-thirds of the first 100 Registry of Motor Vehicles Boston Red Sox/Jimmy Fund vanity license plates went to family, friends and supporters of Republican candidate for state treasurer Karyn Polito, according to a report Tuesday in The Boston Globe...The Globe reports that 68 of the first 100 plates went to people connected to Polito...The words 'per KPolito' appear on many of the applications...No. 1 went to actor/director Ben Affleck, who paid $50,000 for it at a charity auction." Boston Globe: http://bit.ly/atccMA
Washington City Paper's memo on the Stewart/Colbert rallies: "1. You may attend the rallies in a non-participatory fashion. 2. However, because the rallies are comic events, you may not laugh. 3. The act of not laughing, though, can be just as politically loaded as the act of laughing. Therefore, staffers are advised to politely chuckle, in a non-genuine manner, after each joke. 4. To avoid any perception of bias, please make sure to chuckle at all jokes, whether or not you find them funny. As journalists, we must make sure to not allow our personal views of "humorous" or "non-humorous" to affect our public demeanor." http://bit.ly/bnmo7F
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: The 500-pound gorilla in the room is the massive cyclone that is pretty much a giant splotch right over the center of the United States. The center of rotation, as of a few hours ago, was right around Duluth, Minn. However, a nasty tail along the leading edge is producing heavy rain, an awesome squall line, and -- oh yeah -- tornadoes. So far, there have been over 132 tornado warnings issued and, even more striking, 26 reports of funnel clouds/tornadoes. Wind gusts have been in the 70 mph range (fun stuff here: http://bit.ly/9zK9ZJ). The squall line, which is producing the most damage, was on the West Virginia/Kentucky/Ohio border. It's a pretty slow-moving storm, so you can expect it to hit the area either overnight or by dawn at the latest. Either way, it could potentially be a messy commute tomorrow. Thanks, JB!
- The latest in cute breeding technology. Micro-pigs. http://bit.ly/U221J
- The first picture of a human being ever? http://bit.ly/93IbNP
-A walrus exercising. It's adorable until the sit-ups. Then it just gets scary in a they're-coming-for-us kind of way. http://bit.ly/bUbfhh
- Yada Yada Yada Economics describes basic economic principles using clips from Seinfeld. http://bit.ly/91sRkB
- We're late on this one but the bed intruder guy cut a commercial for an iPhone app that tracks sex offenders. http://bit.ly/aGXhqs
- "Inception" in a button. http://bit.ly/91jDLi
- Some L.A. douchebag got a new MacBook Air....and then blew up his old one. http://bit.ly/c5uSZm
- As cool as that Lego Millennium Falcon you had when you were a kid was, it doesn't come close to this. http://bit.ly/9Lc4oM
@evale72: Hey Romo, Micheal Boley calling, wanted to see if you or your clavicle had anything you felt you should apologize for..... #fb
@amandahess: Richard Cohen is a saint because he is polite enough to notice the size of your breasts, silently
@jaketapper: This octopus story's got legs.
TONIGHT: Arnold Schwarzenegger is on World News. Debbie Stabenow is on The Ed Show. Stomp victim Lauren Valle is on Countdown. Scott McAdams and Lisa Murkowski are on The Rachel Maddow Show.
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: The National Journal folks celebrate their relaunch at their Insider's Event "honoring the congressional and political influencers behind the National Journal Insiders Poll" [600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037].
8:00 pm: The Washington Psychotronic Film Society screens "The Psycho B-Monsterama-A-go go Spooky Freak Show" Guaranteed to be weird [The Passenger, 1021 7th Street NW].
7:00 pm: Die Antwoord, a kickin' fresh new rap duo that all the kewl kids are listening to, performs at 9:30 Club [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].
7:30 pm: Styx is calling their performance at the Warner Theatre "An Evening With Styx" which kind of suggests they'll be performing "The Grand Illusion" with a harpsichord and bongos [Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave NW].
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