POLITICS
10/19/2012 04:33 pm ET Updated Dec 19, 2012

HUFFPOST HILL - Hey Girl, Paul Ryan Doesn't Think There's A War On You

President Obama diagnosed Mitt Romney with a case of Romnesia, an affliction much funnier than Mittingitis. A New Republic profile of the Romney family answers the question of what the von Trapp family would be like if all its members had OCD. And Roger Ailes inked a four-year deal with News Corp, so Fox's anchor lineup will likely resemble a Vanderbilt alumni reception for a few more years, at least. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, October 19th, 2012:

ROMNEY SUPER PAC PASSES DEPRESSING MILESTONE - Restore Our Future has become the first super PAC to haul in $100 million. To put that in perspective, that's roughly 2,000 car elevators. Paul Blumenthal: "Restore Our Future, the super PAC backing Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, raised a strong $14.8 million in September, making the group the first super PAC ever t
o raise more than $100 million in an election cycle. The group spent only $4.5 million in the month and entered October with $16.5 million cash on hand. The biggest contributors were a list of the usual suspects now known as the top Republican super PAC donors. Texas home builder Bob Perry, a funder of the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans group, gave $2 million to increase his total giving to the pro-Romney group to $9 million this election. The other Koch brother, William Koch, gave $1 million through his company Oxbow Carbon. Robert McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans, pitched in $1 million. They were joined in the $1 million club by Nu Skin top executive Steven Lund and his wife Kalleen, and Missouri-based contracting company owner Stanley Herzog. [HuffPost]

@HowardKurtz: Exclusive: Roger Ailes signs 4-year deal with News Corp to run Fox News, Fox Biz, Fox stations, 20th TV.

POLLS BE TRIPPIN' - Or, "Why National and State Polls Might Want To Consider Couples Therapy." Mark Blumenthal: "Two new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist College polls gave President Barack Obama comfortable leads in two battleground states, Iowa and Wisconsin, while [Thursday's] Gallup Daily tracking poll gave Republican nominee Mitt Romney a 7-point lead nationwide. Not surprisingly, another dozen or so polls conducted nationally and in key states found results somewhere in between...Eight other new polls released on Thursday from seven battleground states found more of a mix of results. Except for a Rasmussen Reports automated survey in North Carolina and a Republican-sponsored poll in Pennsylvania (by a pollster with results that have consistently skewed in Romney's favor), the new surveys all gave Obama nominal leads...The new polls are just beginning to capture sentiment measured after the second debate. New surveys released over the weekend should begin to clarify whether any new trends will emerge. [HuffPost]'

Today's Gallup tracking had Romney dipping a point, 51-45.

Fun bit of news from Tom Zeller: "An un-redacted version of a recently released Nuclear Regulatory Commissionreport highlights the threat that flooding poses to nuclear power plants located near large dams -- and suggests that the NRC has misled the public for years about the severity of the threat, according to engineers and nuclear safety advocates... Evidence in the report indicates that the NRC has known for at least the last six years that failure of a dam upriver from the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina would cause floodwaters to overwhelm the plant's three reactors and their cooling equipment... The NRC report identifies flood threats from upstream dams at several other nuclear facilities in the United States, including the Fort Calhoun Station in Nebraska, the Prairie Island facility in Minnesota and the Watts Bar plant in Tennessee, among others." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - There is no government program actually called "welfare." Welfare is supposed to be a nickname for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which benefits a few million poor mothers. (And it's not the friendliest nickname, either.) But Republicans are using "welfare" to mean every government safety net program. Citing a CRS report that spending on anti-poverty programs has increased 33 percent since 2008, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said, "These astounding figures demonstrate that United States spends more on federal welfare than any other program in the federal budget. It is time to restore -- not retreat from -- the moral principles of the 1996 welfare reform." The suggestion is that people aren't working not for lack of decent-paying jobs, but because they'd rather be lazy welfare queens, and that America is full of losers. [The Hill]

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PAUL RYAN: WOMEN ARE DOING JUST FINE - Even as two campaigns skirmish over the women's vote, Paul Ryan saw fit to declare, "There is no Soviet domination of eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration." that there's no legislative assault -- or "war" -- on women's rights. Laura Bassett: "At a private fundraiser in Naples, Fla., on Thursday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan mocked the so-called 'war on women.' 'Now it's a war on women; tomorrow it's going to be a war on left-handed Irishmen or something like that," Ryan told the crowd of donors, according to Shushanna Walshe of ABC News. Democrats began using the 'war on women' rhetoric in late 2011 to describe an unprecedented legislative focus by Republican lawmakers during the last two years on limiting women's access to abortion and contraception. Ryan has cast 60 votes on abortion and reproductive rights issues during his time in the House of Representatives, and all of them were deemed "anti-choice" by women's health advocates." [HuffPost]

Also: "Rich Beeson, political director for Mitt Romney's campaign, echoed Ryan's sentiment in an interview with ABC 7 News on Thursday, calling women's reproductive rights and equal pay 'small things' that are not important to voters." [Ibid.]

www.inaugural.senate.gov is the online home of the people who will screw up the inauguration.

UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPING IN SWING STATES - The economy has a well-known liberal bias, so take this with a grain of salt. CNN: "Ohio, which has 18 electoral votes up for grabs, saw its unemployment rate decline to 7% in September, down from 7.2% just a month earlier. While hiring has picked up slightly in the state, unemployment is partly falling for the wrong reasons. Ohio added about 51,000 jobs in the last year, but more than 40,000 people also dropped out of the state's labor force. Ohio added about 51,000 jobs in the last year, but more than 40,000 people also dropped out of the state's labor force... Swing states Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina also had declining unemployment rates in September, while the unemployment rate remain unchanged in the battleground states of Virginia and New Hampshire." [CNN]

It's over: "The Onion Endorses John Edwards For President"

WORDPLAY YOU CAN BELIEVE IN - During a rally in Virginia today, the president ridiculed Mitt Romney's shifting political positions by diagnosing him with "Romnesia." Who can forget that "One Life To Live" episode where Victoria's lover suffered Romnesia? Gripping. Also, we're pretty sure it's covered by Obamacare. "We have got to name this condition he is going through. I think it is called Romnesia," the president said. I think that's what it is called. Now I'm not a medical doctor. But I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you because I want to make sure nobody else catches it. If you say you're for equal pay for equal work but you keep refusing to say whether or not you will sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work, you might have Romnesia. If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let employers deny contraceptive care, you might have a case of Romnesia. If you say you will protect a women's right to choose but you stand up in a primary debate and say you'd be delighted to sign a law outlawing that right to choose in all cases, then you have definitely got Romnesia." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]

PUNCHLINE: "If you come down with a case of Romnesia and you can't seem to remember the policies that are still on your website, or the promises you have made over the six years you've been running for president, here is the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions."

@lucia_graves: OH at Romney press shop: "Romnitude? Romnacious? Rominator!"

Hey liberals, check this out before you send that bottle of Johnnie Walker Black to Jon Favreau: "Romnesia, which is now trending on Twitter, is not a new coinage from the campaign. It's been going around Facebook all this month in [an]... image... posted by the group Being Liberal. The kind of people tweeting as Big Bird -- actually the letters BLDBLRD -- have been using it for a while: 'Romnesia (noun) - When a politician can't remember what he said earlier in the day. See also: outright liar, panderer...'" [Atlantic Wire]

THE ROMNEYS ARE KIND OF STRANGE - From a New Republic profile of the family: "Tagg wasn't known around Belmont as a rich kid; he was known as the kid with the cool, if slightly eccentric, parents. For breakfast, the Romney sons subsisted on sugary cereals. After school, classmates would stop by for cookies Ann Romney had baked. Like many prepubescent wise guys in the 1980s, the Romney boys were fanatical about "Saturday Night Live." Even though the show didn't come in for many endorsements in Mormon parenting guides, Mitt and Ann would be sure to watch it, then let the kids see a recording if the jokes weren't too raunchy. The Romneys were, in fact, unusually tight-knit. One visitor recalls a family ritual: Every night at around 9:30 or 10:00, Mitt and Ann would meet at the foot of their staircase, clasp hands, and escort each other upstairs to the bedroom, in full view of their brood." [TNR]

THE BINDER INDUSTRY WILL NEVER BE THE SAME - TechCrunch: "Following Mitt Romney's comment about 'binders full of women' at this week's presidential debate, the customer review sections for various binders on Amazon.com have been filling up with hilarious comments. For example, see this Avery Durable View Binder or this Avery Economy Binder. 'My advice is to be very careful when ordering, because what I received were binders full of men,' writes one reviewer. 'I found it to be a little too cramped for my taste. Usually when I'm inside a binder, I like enough room to stretch out, do Pilates or just take a nap spread eagle. However, all of the women in the binder were very pleasant and I made a few great friends,' says another female shopper." [TechCrunch]

POT CALLS KETTLE UNATTRACTIVE - If Rudy Giuliani and Jeffrey Tambor had a kid, you'd get Richard Carmona. Yet the Arizona Senate candidate had the nerve to insult someone else's appearance. TPM: "Arizona Senate candidate Richard Carmona (D) apologized Friday for a quip he used at a recent debate in which he told the male moderator he was 'prettier' than CNN anchor Candy Crowley. 'I tried to tell a joke to lighten the mood in a debate,' Carmona said in a statement. 'I shouldn't have, and I'm sorry.' During a debate with his Republican opponent Jeff Flake, Carmona offered up the joke after moderator Brahm Resnik said 'now I know how Candy Crowley feels' following a particularly heated back-and-forth between the two men." [TPM]

Stay classy, Arizona: "A group billing itself as a conservative alternative to AARP Thursday released a new attack ad against Arizona Rep. Ron Barber -- using a photograph of him at a memorial service for the attack on former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that left six dead and 13 injured, including Giffords and Barber." [BuzzFeed]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Two dogs reenact the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp." It's not as climatic.

SIDWELL FRIENDS JERKS - Via the City Paper, the prestigious D.C. private school sent a letter to parents urging them to rein in their lefty kids' bullying of conservative kids. "A gentle reminder: As a Quaker school and as an inclusive community, I am reaching out to you, the adults, to talk to your child about respecting others' views and seeing the Light in each classmate and colleague despite differences of opinion," the letter reads. "We in Lower School have found our students at times judging one another harshly for each other's political views or party preferences." Don't worry, conservative kids, it get's better. Soon you'll be in high school bullying gay kids and it'll be like this never happened. [WCP]

DUPONT CIRCLE METRO CONSTRUCTION NEARLY COMPLETE - HuffPost DC: "After eight and a half months, the massive escalator reconstruction project at the Dupont Circle Metrorail station's south entrance is wrapping up." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Will Ferrell cut ads for Old Milwaukee beer... in Sweden. [http://bit.ly/OOdb3w]

- Children dressed up in pop culture Halloween costumes that are undoubtedly beyond their comprehension. [http://bit.ly/OOmtN2]

- A baby rhino being fed milk by Stephen Fry. Thanks, whoever made that happen! [http://bit.ly/RHF8aL]

- A supercut of Tobias Funke's best -- that is, most cringe-inducing -- moments. [http://huff.to/UaqXjq]

- The day middle America lost its innocence: Tom Hanks drops the F-bomb on "Good Morning America." [http://bit.ly/RN8S9g]

- A 1986 film about London's Speaker's Corner, where disheveled people in trench coats and the like convene to scream about things. [http://bit.ly/WwipnU]

- Sheep dressed as a human for halloween, fools no one. [http://bit.ly/S1KApk]

TWITTERAMA

@morninggloria I'm a lady in the street but a freak in the binder.

@dceiver: MSNBC: "Will the president be on defense or will he have the edge? We'll talk to Ben LaBolt." I THINK YOU KNOW WHAT HE WILL SAY, GUYS.

@daveweigel: Based on Salt Lake Tribune endorsement, I'm downgrading my projection for Romney in Utah from 74% to 73.9%.

ON TAP

Tonight: Paul Ryan, the nicest boy in the universe, will get his cheek pinched an ungodly amount of times at his Boca Raton fundraiser. It's being billed as a "Private" reception, which sounds like everyone will be wearing masquerade masks. Weird. [Boca, Baby]

Tonight, 5:00 pm: The First Doctor, Jill Biden (well, she and the Surgeon General will have to break a pool cue in two and decide), heads to Minnesota for a small campaign money-getter at a supporter's house. [Minneapolis, MN]

Tomorrow: 5:30 pm: Join Mitt Romney for a "private dinner" in Palm Beach. Want to know Mitt Romney's thought's on potatoes? $50,000 and the answer is yours. [Palm Beach, FL]

Tomorrow, 6:30 pm: Jeff Flake, who is losing ground in what was supposed to be a sure thing contest against Richard Carmona, solicits contributions. [Mesa, AZ]

Sunday, 4:00 pm: Brad Sherman promises he won't grab you in semi-violent fashion at his fundraiser. [Chatsworth, CA]

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