Hurricane Isaac will touch down in Louisiana tonight, right about the time Chris Christie makes a fuggedaboutit! joke. Only two more misspeaks and we'll have achieved Republican rape gaffe BINGO (yeah, there was another one). And Ron Paul isn't going out with a bang as much as he is with a saliva-coated finger in the Republican party's ear. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, August 28th, 2012:
EVERY BROWN REPUBLICAN IN THE US AND ITS COLONIES ADDRESSES WHITE AUDIENCE - Including Puerto Rico, the GOP has five governors who are of either Latin or Indian descent. All five have prime spots. Male Latino senators named Marco Rubio, meanwhile, have a 100 percent chance of getting a prime speaking spot. Of the two black male House GOP freshman, one, Tim Scott of South Carolina, has already spoken. If you're a female GOP governor, there's a 75 percent chance you have a clutch speaking gig at the Republican convention. But if you're a white male governor, your chance at the prized podium is only one in six. For white male senators, the chance is closer to one in ten. White male House members have less than a 3 percent chance of speaking at the convention, despite being the driving ideological force of the contemporary GOP. John Boehner was asked yesterday about Romney's 0 percent support among blacks, and dropped this gem: "They may not show up to vote for our candidates but I suggest to you that they won't show up to vote for the president either." Well, showing up and actually being allowed to vote are two different things, right? God bless America.
You know what doesn't help your party's message of diversity and inclusion? This: "Gabriela Mercer, the likely Republican congressional candidate in Arizona's new 3rd District, once declared [in an interview with the conservative website Western Free Press] that the only goal of Middle Easterners crossing America's southern border was to 'cause harm to the United States'... 'If you know Middle Easterners, a lot of them, they look Mexican or they look like a lot of people in South America: dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes. And they mix, they mix in. And those people, their only goal in life is to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally?' Border guards 'have found prayer rugs, they have fund copies of the Koran.'" Thanks, Gabriela! [Sam Stein]
TEN POSITIVE REFERENCES TO MITT ROMNEY TODAY - Really? All day? We've been tracking the speeches and tabulated the message delivered from the stage today, and have heard only ten nice things said about Mitt Romney so far. Compare that to at least 70 references to various wedge issues, 31 attacks on Obama and 29 patriotic platitudes. Follow it in real time here.
Are you insanely rich, in Tampa this week, a great ally of freedom, but not invited to Mel Sembler's house tonight? Ouch.
RON PAUL'S ALAMO: THE TAMPA BAY TIMES FORUM - Just like the gold standard, it looks like a Ron Paul-led Reloveution is now a thing of the past. NBC News: "Republican leaders pushed through contentious changes to delegate rules over the objection of conservatives and supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Loud boos erupted Tuesday on the floor of the Republican National Convention as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, ruled that a voice vote was sufficient to approve credentialing rules for delegates at future conventions...As Priebus and Boehner brought up the controversial rules change for a voice vote, supporters replied with loud 'ayes,' and almost equally vocal 'noes.' When Boehner determined, in his capacity as the convention's permanent chairman, that the ayes had won it, cheers and boos mixed together in the convention hall." [NBC News]
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN TO TARGET DEMOCRATIC-LEANING STATES - The Hill: "The [Romney] aides, in outlining their strategy for the days after Tampa, said they believed the campaign would be able to aggressively target some states considered safely Democratic -- including Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. They also noted they would have access to their general election funds and highlighted the advantage they have there. Romney has beaten Obama for the past three months in fundraising and also leads the president in cash on hand -- $185.9 million to $123.7 million as of the end of July...Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, will bring into play younger voters, Catholics, and upper Midwesterners, [Eric Fehrnstrom] noted." [The Hill]
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ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: FACTS SHMACTS - Sam Stein: "Mitt Romney's campaign said on Tuesday that its ads attacking President Obama's waiver policy on welfare have been its most effective to date. And while the spots have been roundly criticized as lacking any factual basis, the campaign said it didn't really care. 'We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,' Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said at a panel organized by ABC News. This is a different standard than the one Romney himself has held up for the election-season ad wars. Reacting to attacks by a pro-Obama super PAC, Romney recently told a radio station that 'in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad.'" [HuffPost]
Where in the world is Nico Pitney? We think Greece. Or Turkey. Not Tampa. [Instagram The World]
The Wall Street Journal's editorial page wants Mitt Romney to adopt a less "cranky" and "crabbed" policy on immigration. Having that publication call anything about you cranky or crabby is almost as bad as having the late Andy Rooney think you're a curmudgeon, but no matter. "The real threat to a GOP return to power is its failure to reach out to minority voters, especially Hispanics," today's editorial read. "Even if they win 60% of white voters this year, Republicans won't retain a governing majority for long unless they find a way to appeal to minority voters who are growing as a share of the electorate." [HuffPost]
GOP ADOPTS ANTI-TRANSPARENCY LANGUAGE - Paul Blumenthal: "A final copy of the 2012 party platform to be adopted on Tuesday by delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa contains language specifically opposing any legislation that would require disclosure from groups spending hundreds of millions in elections.The section on disclosure states: 'We oppose any restrictions or conditions that would discourage Americans from exercising their constitutional right to enter the political fray or limit their commitment to their ideals...'" [HuffPost]
COAL MINERS SAY THEY WERE FORCED TO ATTEND ROMNEY RALLY - If the miners standing behind Mitt Romney during his August 14th campaign event in Ohio looked especially forlorn, it wasn't because they were distraught over President Obama's merciless assault on the American dream or the pernicious machinations of the New Black Panther party. It's because they were being screwed. Plain Dealer: "The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview. A group of employees who feared they'd be fired if they didn't attend the campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, complained about it to WWVA radio station talk show host David Blomquist. Blomquist discussed their beefs on the air Monday with Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore...Because the company's mine had to be shut down for 'safety and security' reasons during Romney's visit, Moore confirmed workers were not paid that day." [Plain Dealer]
CHRIS CHRISTIE NOT CRAZY ABOUT ROMNEY'S BIRTHER JOKE - In what amounted to a kind of amuse bouche for his speech tonight, Chris Christie served up a TGI Fridays-portion of real talk during an interview this morning. "I think if he had to do it over again, he wouldn't make the joke, but you know what? When you're on camera 12, 14 hours a day and you're out at big rallies and you're just going off the cuff, there are going to be times when you're going to say stuff you wish you could take back," he said during an appearance on the "Today Show." "Believe me that, I could put together a catalog for you of things I wish I could take back." Also, when Chris Christie is telling you to tone it down, you might want to choose your words a bit more carefully. [HuffPost's Elise Foley]
Rob Portman, who was tapped to play President Obama for Mitt Romney's debate prep, views himself as the rhetorical version of those weights baseball players use in the on-deck circle: "You just try to get into the head of the person you're playing and try to be sure that you're tougher than the person that will actually be the candidate. So he goes into the debate and gets halfway through and goes 'This isn't so bad! I'm glad Portman isn't here.'" [GQ]
TODAY IN SUBPAR SOURCE BUILDING - On the spectrum of source softening, there's discreet beers at an out-of-the-way bar on one end, and w-a-a-a-a-y over on the other side, past housesitting for your source and performing the bris for your source's son, there's this, via Politico: "Newly available CIA records obtained by Judicial Watch, the conservative watchdog group, reveal that New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti forwarded an advance copy of a Maureen Dowd column to a CIA spokesperson -- a practice that is widely frowned upon within the industry...According to Judicial Watch, Mazzetti sent Harf an advance copy of Dowd's column, and wrote: 'this didn't come from me... and please delete after you read. See, nothing to worry about!'" [Politico]
The Congressional Black Caucus sent a scathing letter to Artur Davis about his recent ideological and political transformation: "We are writing to express our disdain over several recent comments you have made about the important issues facing voters in November, your total distortion of President Barack Obama's record, and your complete flip-flop on certain core principles you once held dear," the letter reads. "Given the magnitude of your recent transformation, we can only conclude that, rather than a true conversion, your actions are the result of a nakedly personal and political calculation or simmering anguish after failing to secure the Democratic nomination for governor of the State of Alabama in 2010." BURN. [Sam Stein]
ANOTHER REPUBLICAN FAILS TO GRASP THE BINARY NATURE OF RAPE - During a pro-life rally in Wisconsin today, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was asked about Todd Akin's infamous "legitimate rape" comments and responded forcefully. "Rape is a rape. I don't know how you can categorize it, and it's disgusting that Todd Akin would have tried to categorize it," she replied. Told that Paul Ryan co-sponsored a bill with Akin that used the language "forcible rape," Kleefisch suffered a sudden bout of five-second amnesia. "Well, I think there is a way to have a more forcible rape," she replied, perhaps a reference to those generous individuals who kindly use roofies on their victims, "the same way there are different types of assault." [Gawker]
TEXAS: NO VOTING RIGHTS ACT VIOLATIONS IN ___1 DAY(S) - NJ: "In a lengthy, sweeping decision, a federal court in Washington on Tuesday unanimously struck down Texas' new congressional map, ruling that the plan was enacted with 'discriminatory purpose' against Hispanics protected under the Voting Rights Act. The three-judge panel ruled that Texas legislators drew a map that intentionally denied fair representation to Hispanic voters during the state's decennial redistricting process. On a narrower, 2-1 basis, the court also ruled that the new map "does not entitle minorities to proportional representation.' The court ruled that, even though Texas gained four congressional seats in redistricting, it did not gain any Hispanic 'ability districts,' seats where Hispanic voters have the power in numbers to elect a preferred candidate. What's more, the court found 'discriminatory purpose' in the plan, writing that the maps were crafted with the purpose of diluting minority voting power." [National Journal]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Siberian husky puppy howls/needs a lossange.
- Once more: Adult actors act out the conversational ramblings of young children. [http://bit.ly/SNGHpT]
- Supercut of reactionary radio host Alex Jones at his most hilariously paranoid. [http://bit.ly/QOLEdn]
- Hunger games: cat and dog fight over a cheeseburger. That sound you heard was the Daily What combusting. [http://bit.ly/Tp5ePP]
- Bill Nye discusses creationism. Spoiler: he's not a fan. [http://bit.ly/Ot1YEp]
- Supercut of heavy metal babies banging their baby heads. Righteous. [http://bit.ly/NUbSRj]
- The early series Cosby family watches the late series Cosby family and doesn't like what it sees. [http://bit.ly/NUawG4]
@timpothypmurphy: Celebrities at RNC: Jon Voight, Pat Boone, Victoria Jackson, John Bolton's mustache.
@PaulRyanGosling: Hey girl, I like my voters like I like my coffee: old, lukewarm and really, really bitter.
@pourmecoffee: Fun Convention Fact: The Tampa Bay Times Forum is named after the "newspaper," a popular 20th century content-delivery vehicle.'
ON TAP, CONVENTION EDITION
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm: The National Marine Manufacturers Association -- translation: people who make yachts --hosts a "Day on the Water" in recognition of the Congressional Boating Caucus.
4:30 pm - 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]
6:00 pm: Rock the Vote and StartUp get their dance on with DJ Steve Aoki. [The Amphitheatre, 1609 E. 7th Ave.]
8:00 pm: You know what never spells disaster? "Republican" and "stand-up comedian." Here's your chance for some potentially click-y blog post at The Funniest Celebrity Charitable Fund's improv event. [1600 East 8th Ave]
8:30 pm: This we like: Magnum Entertainment Group hosts a concert featuring Robert Earl Keen and Drive-by Truckers. [The Ritz Ybor, 1503 East 7th Ave]
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]
9:30 pm: Sure, the GOP would love nothing more than to completely remove the federal government from arts funding but the Americans for Arts Action fund is here and they're holding a Celebration of the Arts shindig so... huzzah. [Tampa Theatre, 711 North Franklin St]
10:00 pm: Gavin DeGraw takes the stage at Musicians On Call's Presidential Convention Charity Benefit. The event is being put on by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Recording Industry Association of America. [The Dallas Bull, 3322 US 301 N]
10:00 pm: Trace Adkins, clearly not a fan of Hillary Clinton, performs at a Citizens United Productions event. [United Theater in Liberty Plaza]
9:00 am: Grover Norquist and his compatriots at Americans for Tax Reform Foundation hold a policy discussion with Artur Davis, Sam Brownback,Luis Fortuno, , Sharon Day, David Keene, Al Cardenas, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Michael Medved and Jeanine Turner.
10:00 am: News outlet powers: COMBINE! ABC News, Yahoo and National Journal host a talk with Rick Perry and Mario Diaz-Balart.
10:00 am: Things get hipster and slightly twee-ish when Impact Film Festival screens former Daily Show correspondent Mo Rocca's "Electoral Dysfunction." [Channelside Cinemas, 615 Channelside Dr]
10:00 am: In what might be the most stiff and awkward event of the day, the Tampa Bay Rays foundation hosts "Homeruns for Happy Kids" where Ed Whitfield, Pete Sessions, Marsha Blackburn, and Greg Walden will switch gears and interact with children for a bit. [Tropicana Field]
11:00 am: AEA Free Market Energy Forum holds a forum with Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), AEA's Thomas Pyle, and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) at Liberty Plaza.
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm: HUFFPOST LUNCH! Come ingest food with us and watch folks talk on a panel. Tom Brokaw moderates. There might be a table behind which they'll be seated. We're not sure. Only one way to find out, though! [The Cuban Club, 2010 Avenida Republica de Cuba]
1:00 pm: ONE/US Global Leadership coalition hosts a lofty discussion of global whatnot featuring Condoleezza Rice, Tim Pawlenty, Kay Granger and Joshua Bolten. [Centro Asturiano de Tampa, 1913 North Nebraska]
1:00 pm: Rick Santorum will no doubt be in his element at "Our Sacred Honor,"hosted by Citizens United Productions. [United Theater at Liberty Plaza]
2:00 pm: Take a break from all the riffraff with GlobalWIN's Tea & Champagne reception with Marsha Blackburn. [Holland & Knight, 100 North Tampa St]
2:30 pm: National Journal, The Atlantic, and Microsoft welcome you to "Conversations with the Next
Generation" where people will talk about getting jobs and tweeting and, er, stuff. Chelsea Clinton and Jim Tankersley moderate. George P. Bush and Aaron Schock are slated to appear and look handsome. [Improv Theatre, 1600 East 8th Ave]
3:30 p.m. Rick Santorum grits his teeth and says some nice words at a "Patriots for Romney" gathering. [Liberty Plaza]
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