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The first night of the Republican National Convention was supposed to be broadcast on cable news and feature appearances by prominent Republicans; instead a bunch of prominent Republicans will appear on cable news. Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will head to Tampa's aquarium tomorrow to lecture about intelligent design in front of the angelfish meet and greet with convention goers. And Pennsylvania's Republican Senate nominee kindly kept NARAL afloat for another few months when he compared having children out of wedlock to rape. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, August 27th, 2012:

JOHN BOEHNER BACKS ROMNEY'S BOGUS WELFARE CLAIM - Romney told USA Today that Obama ended the work requirement for welfare -- which he didn't -- because he's trying to "shore up his base." That one was for the old, hard-of-hearing dogs that just weren't getting it yet. Boehner, at a Christian Science Monitor lunch -- surf and turf! -- was asked by a righteous HuffPost Hill reporter if he'd reject Romney's false and divisive line of attack. "The president came out and announced that he was going to waive the work requirements that are outlined in the 1996 welfare reform bill. He's the one who said it. And those work requirements have in fact facilitated moving people from welfare to work," he said. "All I know is that he did it. Why would he do it, you know, 90 days, 85 days before the election? I'll let you answer that one." Um, because two Republican governors asked him to? Just spitballing here. [HuffPost]

UTAH GOVERNOR WON'T BACK ROMNEY'S BOGUS WELFARE CLAIM - Mike McAuliff: "One of the Republican governors who sought waivers to welfare's work requirements said Monday he doesn't like the way the Obama administration is trying to grant that request, but Utah Gov. Gary Herbert declined to endorse Mitt Romney's claim that the initiative guts the 1996 welfare reform. 'The idea of flexibility is something that all states want to have,' Herbert told The Huffington Post... Asked directly if the sort of flexibility the Obama administration offered earlier in the summer gutted welfare reform, Herbert merely repeated that he didn't want the change to 'circumvent the Congress."' [HuffPost]

DEBATE PREP: ROB PORTMAN TO PLAY PRESIDENT OBAMA (AGAIN) - Yeah, sure, both can rock the dad jeans pretty well but Rob Portman??? Is it possible for the Republican Party to pick someone more unlike like the president? Was Chuck Grassley unavailable? CNN: "Portman, one of the Romney campaign's leading surrogates on the campaign trail and fundraising circuit, was approached by the campaign about the role earlier this summer and is being provided with briefing materials by top aides in Boston, one of the Republican sources told CNN. Their first debate prep session is expected to happen in the coming weeks." [CNN]

Here's the seating chart of the
state delegations
courtesy of
National Journal

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Of more than 6 million Americans lost long-held jobs from 2009 through 2011, only 56 percent have found new jobs. Of those, less than half made more money than they did before [BLS]

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HURRICANE A HELPFUL REMINDER OF GOP'S DISASTER RELIEF CUTS - Now that the media has been reminded (mostly) that hurricane Isaac is more than just that weather thing interrupting Rick Scott's convention address, and is in fact a hundreds of miles-wide destructive circle of fury that could upend the lives of millions, folks are remembering that it costs money to clean up after hurricanes. Good thing the GOP supported cuts to federal disaster relief. Christina Wilkie: "A new [Progressive Change Campaign Committee] online ad campaign launched Monday targets Republicans for proposed cuts to disaster relief funding and weather monitoring systems... A click-through web page cites Ryan's budget, which the ad says would have 'cut billions from disaster relief funding.' The website also points out that the GOP's 2011 budget, which did not pass the Senate, contained nearly $500 million in cuts to the National Oceanographic and Atmostpheric Administration, which operates the storm-monitoring National Weather Service." [HuffPost]

Bobby Jindal is skipping the convention to oversee hurricane preparation and response in Louisiana. "Party conventions are interesting but there's no time for politics here in Louisiana," he tweeted. Jindal was slated to deliver a speech on Wednesday at 8:00 pm (sample text: "Hi! I'm Bobby Jindal!") but the GOP will have to find another high-profile NBC intern to fill the spot. [NYT]

ROMNEY CAMPAIGN MANAGER EAGERLY ANTICIPATES MITT ROMNEY'S FORGETTABLE PRESIDENCY - In an interview with Jon Ward, Romney's campaign manager Matt Rhoades favorably compared his candidate to the oft-forgotten James Polk -- and not because of Romney's well-known desire to annex Manitoba. "Polk is an allegory for Rhoades: He did great things, and then exited the scene, and few remember him. That, Rhoades suggested, could be Romney's legacy as well." Karl Rove spent ten minutes this morning riffing on Polk during a Politico breakfast. Don't even get him started on Fillmore. [HuffPost]

Charlie Crist, who is currently undergoing a reverse Artur Davis with a slew of endorsements of Democratic candidates, including President Obama, will speak at next week's convention. "I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility," he wrote in the Tampa Bay Times op-ed in which he endorsed the president. "It is a vision of the future proven right by our history." [ABC News]

Florida Republicans are upset with Crist because what's worse than a Republican governor who completely changes his position?

MITT ROMNEY IS A COOLER POLITICAL PARENT - Remember when you were a kid and you really wanted a Nintendo for the holidays but didn't get one? And remember how your grief was compounded by your best friend who did receive one? Focus hard on that feeling and you might get a sense of what's going through the DCCC's mind right now. Politico: "Unlike President Barack Obama, who's drawn complaints for being stingy with his campaign cash, Mitt Romney is spreading the wealth among his GOP congressional allies. Romney's biggest grossing committee last month steered at least $3 million to boost GOP congressional candidates who will share the ballot with him, according to finance reports filed last week. Romney Victory, a joint fundraising committee set up by Romney's campaign and the Republican National Committee, on the last day of July transferred $1.5 million each to the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee... Obama's campaign had transferred money to the Democratic committees in 2008 and 2010, but has yet to do so this year, despite pleas from top Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Reid and Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)." [Politico]

Karl Rove's impression of James Carville sounds like a mix of Jabba the Hutt being strangled and an angry llama.

GOP SENATE CANDIDATE COMPARES RAPE TO THING THAT IS DECIDEDLY NOT RAPE-ISH - Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith was asked today about his opposition to abortion in all situations, including instances of rape and incest. Smith responded that he had "lived something similar to that with my own family," saying that his daughter had given birth to a child out of wedlock. Asked if having children out of wedlock is comparable to a pregnancy stemming from rape, Smith replied: "No, no, no, but...put yourself in a father's situation, yes. It is similar." Smith later rescinded his comments. [National Journal]

DEMOCRATIC TALKING POINT INCLUDED IN GOP SWAG BAG - Included in the convention souvenir bag handed out to reporters is a first edition of Mitt Romney's book "No Apology." The original part is key because in it Romney touts his overhaul of Massachusetts' health care system. "We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care," he wrote. That sentence was edited out in later edition, to sync up with Romney's insistence that the reforms would not be expanded nationwide. [Examiner]

STEVE KING IS JUST OVER OUR HEADS - Elise Foley: "Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) touts his business experience and his 'keen intellectual curiosity' in his first ad of the 2012 election cycle, with a veiled reference to the fact that what he says sometimes gets him into trouble. 'Steve King listens, learns,' a voiceover says in the minute-long ad released Monday. 'Then when he talks, it might be a little direct, but Steve says what we're thinking.'" [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Baby kangaroo enjoys massage.

Porous architecture update: "The dome of the U.S. Capitol is at risk of falling into 'severe disrepair,' Sen. Chuck Schumer says, and Republicans need to suspend their anti-spending ideology to prevent lasting damage to the national landmark, the New York Democrat said Monday." [Politico]


- It continues: A dog barks the "Game of Thrones" theme. Man that poor pooch must be out of breath. []

- A bunch of really terrifying Mitt Romney photoshops []

- Talking otter needs to lay off the helium. []

- The long-awaited polka rendition of "Sweet Child Of Mine." Also Huell Howser being awkward. []

- LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" mashed up with PSY's "Gangnam Style." Techno sensation overload. []

- A profile of Michael K. Williams, who currently stars in "Boardwalk Empire" but who is best known as Omar from "The Wire." []

- Cat dropkicks a robotic dog. []


@ByronTau: Political press: Thank god Hurricane Isaac will spare Tampa, America's only city.

@sinderbrandCNN: Written on a post-it taped over the lens of my cameraphone: "Reminder: There is nothing interesting, ever, about pictures of an empty arena"

@pourmecoffee: Be prepared for long concession lines at GOP convention because the Ron Paul delegates pay in gold.



6:00-[We finish the booze]: Politico's doing a thing. [400 Ashland]

8:00: Magnum Entertainment Group hosts an event with Surreal McCoys, Drive-By Truckers and Robert Earl Keen. [The Ritz Ybor]

8:30: Magnum Entertainment featuring Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Blues Traveler. [Ybor City.]

8:30: The Hill and DISCUS host. [Tampa Aquarium]

9:00: Paint the Senate Red for Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) / Reclaim America Joint Committee [The Cube]

9:00. Right Now! and View PAC "White House Party." [Ybor City]

10:00: 1 Oak pop-up hosts a thing [Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park]

10:00: Bold-faced names galore! The American Conservative Union and Republican State Leadership Committee host a Nuestra Noche celebration with guests Jeb Bush, Luis Fortuno, Susana Martinez, and, the boy wonder himself, Marco Rubio. [Cuban Club, 2010 Republica de Cuba (14th street)]

11:00 pm: Try to get in to the Comcast, Exxon, ANGA and CEC are late-night soiree, because you just know they won't skimp on the finger food.


9:30 am: GET SOME!!! The NRA is in town for the convention so, naturally, things need to be shot. The firearms fanatics and the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus get some, er, clay disks. [Tampa Bay Sporting Clays, [10514 Ehrens Cutoff, Land O Lakes]

10:00 am: Phyllis Schlafly, the Republican National Coalition for Life and Tony Perkins host a "Treasure Life Lunch" at the Florida Aquarium, probably to draw attention to the ongoing genocide that is manatee abortion. Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Louie Gohmert are slated to attend. [Florida Acquarium, 701 Channelside Drive]

11:30 am: Jeb Bush and Susana Martinez will pretend that they won't be denouncing one another as hostile to the values and mission of Ronald Reagan in three years at the Hispanic Leadership Network's brunch. [Intercontinental Hotel's Bayshore Ballroom, 4860 West Kennedy Blvd]

12:30 pm: The Poynter Institute which seeks to, among other things, reduce reporter-source coziness, and the hosts from "Morning Joe" who seem to promote little else, co-host a lunch. [Hilton St. Petersburg]

4:30 - 6:30 pm: Representatives from Ohio's congressional delegation -- it's unclear whether the Big Orange will be among the attendees -- gather for an early evening reception spotlighitng Rob Portman. It's at the Florida Aquarium so expect a lot of "Hey look, Democrats!" jokes to be made about sunbathing seals. [Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive]

9:00 pm: GOProud hosts a shindig in Tampa's Ybor City area with scheduled appearances from CPAC vice chairman David Keene, Mary Matalin and the big queen herself, Grover Norquist. [The Honey Pot, 1507 East 7th Avenue]

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