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HUFFPOST HILL - Democrats Make Their Case, Even Though The Sun Will Explode One Day, Making Everything Our Species Strives For Meaningless... If We Even Last That Long -- PM Edition

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It's the first official day of the Democratic convention and this one already feels a lot less like a Brooks Brothers with stadium seating. If you've raised over 500 large for the Democratic party, there's a semi-decent chance you'll be watching the convention from a luxury box while Terry McAuliffe makes you a frittata. And Jim Messina boasted that Obama/Biden's ground game will make 2008's get-out-the-vote work look like Jurassic Park. So it's probably safe to say he views Romney/Ryan's voter turnout efforts as a kind of weak The Lost World - Jurassic Park imitation. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, September 4th, 2012:

STILL NO BOUNCE FOR ROMNEY - Maybe it's because Mitt Romney's address had all the substance of a Kraft Single and excitement of ION's primetime lineup, or maybe it's because the public has known the guy for approximately 500 years, but Gallup's daily tracking polls show no statistically significant change in the polls: "Mitt Romney received no bounce from last week's Republican National Convention, as the 46% of registered voters who supported him in Aug. 31-Sept. 3 Daily tracking is essentially the same as the 47% who preferred him in Aug. 24-27 tracking, the four days preceding the convention....Romney becomes one of three recent nominees -- and the first Republican -- who did not receive a convention bounce, joining George McGovern in 1972 and John Kerry in 2004. Both McGovern and Kerry, like Romney, challenged incumbent presidents, with McGovern suffering a landslide defeat to Richard Nixon and Kerry losing a close election to George W. Bush." [Gallup]

@HotlineSteve New @CNN/ORC poll: Obama 48, Romney 48. Before the convention: Obama 49, Romney 47. #wheresthebounce

HERE'S WHAT THE CONVENTION IS LIKE IF YOU'RE FILTHY STINKING RICH - This week will be way cooler for those attendees who have valets (with a hard "t"). The Sun Times with what's included in the convention package for those who have raised between $500,000 and $1 million: " A Monday "podium preview for a 'sneakpeak'" of the convention hall followed by a dessert reception at the FrontCourt club, a "fine-dining" restaurant at the arena... 'Attendees will have the opportunity to stand behind the official podium of the Democratic National Convention,' according to a perk book published for the Obama Victory Fund 'finance guest.'... On Tuesday all the major donors and fund-raisers are invited to an 'inside track' briefing with major Obama team honchos... Former President Bill Clinton keynotes Wednesday night and the VIPS are invited to an after party with Clinton running from 11 p.m. to 2 p.m...On Thursday, Mrs. Obama plus Obama senior staff preside over a 10 a.m. breakfast briefing at the Westin Hotel, one of the most exclusive events.... After Obama and Vice President Joe Biden accept the nomination, Biden will headline the 'Victory Lane' after party at the NASCAR Hall of Fame." [Lynn Sweet]

We'll be live-streaming punditry and such from The Oasis until midnight.

Christina Wilkie files a report from a convention concert: "Gone were the blazers and solid-colored knee-length dresses so ubiquitous at the Tampa parties. In their place were sequins, backless dresses, funny hats, T-shirts, dramatic hemlines, boots and a kaleidoscope of patterns all jockeying for attention. Compared to Tampa, there seemed to be significantly fewer huddles of 40-something men talking in low voices at the party, and instead, more 20-somethings zig-zagging around the open courtyard, dancing and cheering for the band." [HuffPost]

The Paul Ryan Time Calculator will translate your marathon time to RyanTime.

SCOOPLET: ZACH WAHLS, HOT GUY WITH TWO MOMS, GETS SPEAKING GIG THURSDAY - The Iowa teenager with two mommies who vaulted to Internet stardom in early 2011 with a moving plea to his state legislature on behalf of marriage equality, is getting a non-virtual platform, too. On Thursday, Wahls will take the stage here at the Democratic National Convention, according to two people familiar with the speaking schedule. Wahls, then 19, argued that his family was no different than any other Iowan's, and should be treated no differently by the law. His speech went viral, garnering millions of views online and burning through about two million boxes of Kleenex.

HUFFPOST HICCUP: This item originally misspelled both Zach's first name and his last. Skills.

There's a surprise party for Al Hunt tonight. Let's see if he reads HuffPost Hill.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As a lawyer, city councilmember, and former mayor, Jill Duson figured she would not be unemployed for long when she lost her job as director of Portland, Maine's Department of Rehabilitative Services at the beginning of 2011. She was wrong: Duson spent six months unemployed before taking a part-time seasonal sales job at L.L. Bean. "I've experienced the meltdown of this economy," Duson, 58, said in an interview next to a melting ice sculpture outside the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday. The 2,000 pound sculpture, a project by artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, had spelled MIDDLE CLASS, but CLA was all that remained after three hours in the hot Charlotte sun. Melting ice is an apt metaphor for the middle class. Pew surveys and economic data have shown the middle class is smaller, poorer, and less optimistic than ever. Workers in their fifties are less likely to be unemployed, but more likely to experienced prolonged unemployment if they do get laid off -- even if they have advanced degrees. Duson got educated, married, and had saved money. She said the repercussions of losing one job seemed too severe. "I was first-generation out of poverty and it didn't take much to push me back," she said. "I've done what I thought I was supposed to do."

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HUFFPOST HICCUP: Yesterday we misspelled the name of Tara McGuinness, the leader of the Tara McGuinness Shadow Government, which met in private Monday.

WARREN-BROWN RACE ABOUT TO GET UGLY - With two months until Election Day, Democrats are eager to take the Massachusetts Senate race directly to Scott Brown by highlighting how consistently the Republican senator votes with his party, according to top Democratic officials. The GOP is so poorly thought of in Massachusetts that Elizabeth Warren's campaign routinely refers to its opponent as "Republican Scott Brown," just as Brown only talks about "Professor Warren." But beyond that gentle chiding, the Massachusetts Senate race has been remarkably tame, relative to the typical campaign this electoral cycle. Neither candidate wants to be accused of being the first to go negative, although Democrats in and out of Massachusetts have been urging Warren to ratchet up the criticism of Brown. "There's this push to focus on his voting record, but I think that's going to happen in the next 60 days," Warren told HuffPost in Charlotte on Tuesday. "I think Scott Brown's voting record is important for the voters of Massachusetts to see."HuffPost]

PAUL RYAN BACKTRACKS ON PLANT CLOSURE STORY - Remember when Paul Ryan claimed that President Obama turned his hometown into the setting for, well, a Romney/Ryan attack ad? Notsomuch, claims the vice presidential candidate. "What they are trying to suggest is that I said Barack Obama was responsible for the plant shutdown in Janesville. That is not what I was saying, read the speech," he said on NBC's 'Today.' "What I was saying is the president ought to be held to account for his broken promises. After the plant was shut down he said he would lead efforts to restore the plant. It’s still idle." Thanks, Paul! [HuffPost's Luke Johnson]

Tom Harkin wins today's spin award: “I mean, how are we ever going to match Clint Eastwood? I got to thinking he is the perfect icon for today’s Republican tea party: an old angry white man spewing incoherent nonsense.” [Politico]

MITT ROMNEY OFFICIALLY GETTING NADER'D - Former congressman Virgil Goode Jr, who left the lower chamber in 2009, could've done the standard thing and gotten a cush job on K Street -- or at least a teaching gig at Liberty University. Instead of pulling in mid-six-figures or rambling to chaste 19-year-olds about Jefferson, he's completely alienating himself from EVERYBODY. AP: " Conservative former Rep. Virgil Goode will appear on Virginia's presidential ballot after state election officials rejected a Republican-led effort to keep him off. Republicans fear Goode will drain votes from their candidate, Mitt Romney, in a swing state where polls show a deadlocked race. Virginia's State Board of Elections acted Tuesday after the state GOP challenged Goode's qualifying petitions and sought an independent review." [AP]

DEMOCRATIC PARTY RELEASES PLATFORM - Though it doesn't contain any promises that Joe Biden won't accidentally say your living grandfather is dead or assurances that President Obama will croon an Al Green number every few weeks, it does contain a number of sharp jabs at Mitt Romney. "The Democratic Party believes in insourcing so that America can out-build the rest of the world again," it reads. "But the Republican Party has nominated a man whose firm invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing -- and whose plans would actually encourage outsourcing by eliminating all taxes on the foreign profits of U.S. companies." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]

Neville Chamberlain kindly exhumed himself to draft the language on gun control: "We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms." [Ibid.]

OBAMA CAMPAIGN INSISTS GROUND GAME WILL MAKE 2008 LOOK LIKE AN UNCLEAR ANALOGY - Speaking at a forum hosted by ABC News and Yahoo News today, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina boasted about his campaign's GOTV operation. "This is light-years ahead of where we were in 2008," he said. "We are going to make 2008, on the ground, look like Jurassic Park." We're confused Jim. Do you mean Jurassic Park because of the dinosaurs, which are old? Or the now outdated CGI technology? Is this campaign the Avatar of political endeavors? Or will this campaign make us all recall how revolutionary that movie's graphics were, just like 2008 GOTV effort? Anyway, he spoke a bit more. "On the ground we continue to see just incredible enthusiasm....and we are going to beat all the '08 records because we have had five years to build this, in part because we know how to do it better." Got it! [HuffPost's Sam Stein]

OBAMA'S AFGHANISTAN AWKWARDNESS - Josh Hersh: "[W]hen Romney spoke on the final night of his party's convention, he mentioned war -- any war -- exactly zero times, a first for a major party candidate since 1952, according to the Associated Press. It equaled a performance delivered Wednesday night by vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, both of whom declined to mention the war in Afghanistan. But while Obama aides have been quick to jab Romney for his failure to discuss an ongoing war with 70,000 American troops still on the battlefield, they are now faced with a challenge of their own: how to talk about a decade-old war in a way that satisfies a disillusioned audience...Michael Cohen, a former Democratic speechwriter and fellow at the Century Foundation, a New York-based foreign policy think tank, says the only way for Obama to take advantage of the political opening Romney left by ignoring Afghanistan, and to also satisfy the public fatigue over it, is to be "completely disingenuous" about the war." [HuffPost]

Gabrielle Gifford's PAC officially launched today. And Mitch McConnell is going to be pissed. Jen Bendery: "After months of build-up, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) on Tuesday officially launched her new political action committee, Gabby PAC. Staying true to her Blue Dog Democrat roots, Giffords' PAC will be co-chaired by a Democrat and a Republican: Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, and Trey Grayson, the former Republican Kentucky Secretary of State. Jan Lesher, formerly the chief of staff for operations for the Department of Homeland Security, will be the group's treasurer. The PAC will only help Democratic candidates, however." [HuffPost]

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ADMITS GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL AND IT IS 2012 AND THAT IS SOMETHING WE HAVE TO WRITE - There's actually more scientific consensus about this than there is about what the universe is actually made of... and yet here we are, relaying this information to you. The Hill: "Mitt Romney said Tuesday in a questionnaire that 'human activity contributes' to global warming, but that 'unilateral' U.S. actions such as emissions regulations would not solve the issue. Romney’s response to ScienceDebate.org’s question on climate change offered insight on a topic the GOP presidential candidate has shared little about." [The Hill]

Apparently Cory Booker's subconscious hasn't forgotten his very public feud with the White House over President Obama's campaign ads. Luke Johnson: "Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) took out an ad in New Jersey's directory of delegates and reportedly misspelled President Barack Obama's name, according to the New York Post. 'Get Involved And Stay Active. Re-Elect President Barak Obama' the ad reads." Let it go, Cory! [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Eat it, Frogger. Duck family crosses a highway unscathed.

COMFORT FOOD

- David Byrne and St. Vincent's news album, "Love This Giant," is streaming on NPR's website. [http://n.pr/NKR4Wv]

- A highlight reel of the worst "Family Feud" answers. [http://bit.ly/Q1jVw2]

- Pearl Jam and Jay-Z perform "99 Problems" because.......... yeah. [http://bit.ly/O8MmaT]

- Artistic animal portraits. Like BuzzFeed with a tuxedo on. [http://bit.ly/Q2Nrxg]

- Who needs Lucasfilm when you can have videos of yo-yos in space? [http://bit.ly/NNP2VM]

- World's largest cheeseburger disgusts, inspires "Whopper" jokes. [http://bit.ly/OKuqA8]

TWITTERAMA

@adamnagourney: Diane Sawyer at ABC forum: Who will be introducing the president on Thursday night? The ever-revealing Stephanie Cutter: Not Clint Eastwood.

@delrayser: "Are you better off today than you were sub-three years ago?" - Paul Ryan, marathoner

@LOLGOP: In response to the president's homebrew recipe, Mitt Romney is releasing his personalized "Just For Men" formula.

ON TAP, CONVENTION EDITION

TONIGHT

[Corrected time] 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Hey, just because it's the Democratic convention doesn't mean you have to leave your yacht at home. The National Marine Manufacturers Association hosts a "Discover Boating" event at the Peninsula Yacht Club. [18501 Harbor Light Blvd, Cornelius]

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm: The Human Rights Campaign holds a reception honoring LGBT delegates -- we're guessing this wouldn't have been much of a shindig in Tampa. [5 Church Restaurant, 5 North Church Street]

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm: The Hill hosts an ITK (In the Know) party. Now you know. [121 West Trade Street]

9:00 pm - 1:00 am: Real Clear Politics hosts an all-night party. Blackberry -- God bless 'em -- co-hosts. This being the South, all-night promptly ends at 1:00 am. [Vivace, 1100 Metropolitan Avenue]

9:30 pm - 2:00 am: Planned Parenthood Action Fund hosts a "Sex, Politics and Cocktails" reception. Kay Hagan, Ashley Judd, Aisha Tyler, Lisa Edelstein and PPAF President will be on hand. [223 South Brevard Street]

9:30 pm - 1:00 am: ArtsJam features former New York Yankee (HuffPost Hill's all-time favorite Yankee, for what it's worth) Bernie Williams. This time he'll be performing Latin jazz guitar, because he's just that awesome. [McGlohon Theatre, 345 North College Street]

10:00 pm - 1:00 am: The Warren Haynes Band reminds Democrats of their days protesting endless war, fighting for reproductive rights and sleeping with each other. The good ol' days. Like, yesterday. [RE:PUBLIC, 314 N. College Street]

10:00 pm: People for the American Way demonstrate that they're also People for Getting Down. [Kazba, 210 East Trade Street]

11:00 pm: We suspect that half the people at BuzzFeed's Party Animals party will be media reporters writing feature pieces about how BuzzFeed is shaking up the convention. [Discovery Place, 301 North Tryon Street]

TOMORROW

8:00 am - 10:00 am: The California Democratic Party hosts a breakfast. [The Blake, 55 South McDowell Street]

9:00 am: Nancy Pelosi fields questions from reporters and noshes on scones at at the Christian Science Monitor's breakfast. [Hyatt House Charlotte, 435 East Trade Street]

9 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. NDN hosts a discussion with Dick Durbin, Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, Bill Richardson, , Maria Cardona, Charlie Gonzalez, Jose Antonio Vargas, Gabby Pacheco and more. [Duke Energy Theater, 345 North College Street]

10:00 am: Elizabeth Warren attends a brunch in her honor. Scott Brown doesn't do brunch. SCOTT BROWN EATS MORNING BACON. [Mint Museum, 500 South Tryon Street]

12:00 pm: NEWS POWER COMBINE!!! ABC News, Yahoo and National Journal host a discussion with keynote speaker Julian Castro, ANtonio Villaraigosa and Xavier Becerra.

12:00 pm: We do our own thing: our fearless leader Arianna Huffington and various members of our motley crew host a lunch panel on job creation moderated by Tom Brokaw. [Ritz-Carlton, 201 East Trade Street]

2:00 pm: Big players. Big Money. Duke Energy and Verizon host a "Forum on American Competitiveness featuring Madeleine Albright and Walter Isaacson. [Knight Theater, 430 South Tryon Street]

2:30 pm: Well look at that, Chris Frates co-moderates a "Conversation with the Next Generation" panel with Chelsea Clinton. Kal Penn is one of the guests and the event is co-hosted by National JournalThe Atlantic and Microsoft. [Discovery Place, 301 North Tryon Street]

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm: It's never too early: EMILY's List hosts a "Campaign and Champagne event. [Bechtler Museum, 420 South Tryon Street]

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm: Because if you can't turn the strife in the Middle East into a reason to drink, what's the point? J Street hosts a "Two-State, Two-Olive Martini Bar." Yup. [Wooden Vine, 231 North Tryon Street]

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