Elizabeth Warren shouldn't get into a "who likes beer more" war with Scott Brown, as we're pretty sure the senator can open a bottle with his eye socket. Having slain Big Bird, Mitt Romney is training his sights on Big Change. And President Obama called Romney a "bullshitter," to which the Republican candidate will undoubtedly reply that Obama is "a scoundrel, a blackguard and an all-around ne'er-do-well." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, October 25th, 2012:
Update from America: "In this month's employee newsletter, the head of a Michigan processed-food company endorsed Republican nominee Mitt Romney and criticized President Barack Obama for spending too much government money. Jack DeWitt, the president of Request Foods, called Obama "a complete failure," slamming him on social and economic issues. He did not mention that his company received millions in federal money under Obama. Request Foods obtained $5.5 million under a federal grant program that Obama's stimulus bill increased by $1 billion. Last year, the company greatly expanded its footprint in Holland, Mich., where it used the money for a water treatment plant to serve a new facility." [HuffPost's Zach Carter and Jason Cherkis]
ELIZABETH WARREN: BEER DRINKER - Elizabeth Warren reports that Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is a huge beer lover. The Harvard professor and consumer advocate stopped by an Irish pub in Boston on Wednesday to consume some Guinness and profess her love for suds. A local TV reporter asked Warren about her favorite beers. She said, "I'm a Sam Adams fan. I'm a Michelob Ultra fan. I'm a Bud Light fan as well. I really go for the whole range." Warren's attitude toward beer may have evolved. According to New York Magazine reporter Jason Zengerle, who has profiled Warren, she abstained when visiting the same pub last year. Zengerle reported via Twitter on Thursday that Warren said at the time, "One lite beer and I'm like, 'Whoa, I'm ready to par-tay.'" Zengerle added, "Hope she's ok." [HuffPost]
CHASER - Via email, Zengerle shared more from his 2011 exchange with Warren. "I was a cheap date in college. I once had a whiskey sour, but we won't talk about that." Oh, but we will...
DURBIN UNDER ASSAULT BY BIG PARKING - From an email sent today by Parkmobile, the outfit that lets you park without quarters: Dear Valued Member, Beginning October 29th, transaction fees in DC will increase from $0.32 to $0.45 due to increased costs triggered by recent federal legislative reform enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's Durbin Amendment. To help offset this increase Parkmobile has developed the Parkmobile Wallet which will provide a more cost-effective parking experience in DC -- Wallet transactions will carry a $.30 transaction fee." We're picturing Dick Durbin trying to call the Parkmobile CEO to bash his brains in, but finding himself unable to get past the automated system.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Another state unemployment agency ran out of stimulus money before the economy had been stimulated enough. The Morning Call: "Bob Fleming, 54, worked 13 years for a concrete company before he got laid off last month. Now, the Lansdale resident can't get through on a state hotline he needs to call to get unemployment benefits. Like many other unemployed Pennsylvanians, when he calls the toll free number, all he gets is a busy signal. 'My electric is due,' Fleming said Tuesday at a legislative hearing in Philadelphia. 'My gas is due. All my bills is due.' State lawmakers hosted the hearing to address problems with Pennsylvania's unemployment compensation phone system. The lines have been jammed up for weeks, preventing people from accessing a safety net they need to pay rent, buy groceries and fuel their cars so they can look for work." [Morning Call]
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ROMNEY TO DELIVER CLOSING ARGUMENT TOMORROW - After which we suspect he'll holiday with his family for the rest of the campaign and get one of his maids to deliver his stump speeches for him ("And don't steal anything, Ines! No steal-o por favor! No take-o the dinero! Ha. Ha. Ha."). Jon Ward: "Mitt Romney will deliver what his campaign is billing as a 'closing argument' Friday in a major speech in Iowa focused largely on the economy, a Romney campaign official told The Huffington Post. Romney will fly from Ohio to Ames, Iowa, in the middle of a two-day trip to the Buckeye State, a must-win for the Republican presidential nominee, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak on the campaign's strategy in the closing weeks before the election." [HuffPost]
Romney has rolled out a new phrase in his stump speeches: "Big Change." That's pretty lazy. Couldn't he have gone with "Change Delux," "Change Supreme," "Change 2: The Changening" or whatever? "The Republican nominee for president mentioned the phrase 'big change' at least four other times in a roughly 20-minute speech," Jon Ward writes of Romney's speech in Ohio today. "Each time Romney used the phrase, the crowd -- estimated by the Romney campaign at 3,000 people -- stood and yelled its approval. It is one sign of how the Republican base is energized by an intense disagreement with President Barack Obama and a desire to remove him from office." [HuffPost]
GOP ESTABLISHMENT STANDING BY MOURDOCK - When God wasn't granting His blessing to rape pregnancies and Hurricane Katrina, he was also making extra sure the GOP retakes the Senate in 2012. Mike McAuliff: "After initially keeping Richard Mourdock at arm's length for his assertion that pregnancies produced by rape are intended by God, prominent Republicans rallied around the embattled Indiana Senate candidate on Thursday. Top among them was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose chances of taking over the Senate next year could be sunk by Mourdock's intemperate remarks. 'It's incredibly irresponsible for anyone to take what Richard said about his views on life to demean his opposition to the detestable act of rape,' McConnell said in a statement printed in Kentucky's Courier-Journal...Perhaps more startling than McConnell's support was Sen. John McCain's announcement. The Arizona Republican, who had withdrawn his backing of Mourdock Wednesday night, backtracked Thursday in a statement from his office that said McCain was satisfied with the 'apology.'" [HuffPost]
CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE, CHILDREN OF GAY PARENTS SORT OF PEOPLE - Boston Globe: "To comply with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in 2003, the state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics said it needed to revise its birth certificate forms for babies born to same-sex couples. The box for 'father' would be relabeled 'father or second parent,' reflecting the new law. But to then-Governor Mitt Romney, who opposed child-rearing by gay couples, the proposal symbolized unacceptable changes in traditional family structures. He rejected the Registry of Vital Records plan and insisted that his top legal staff individually review the circumstances of every birth to same-sex parents. Only after winning approval from Romney's lawyers could hospital officials and town clerks across the state be permitted to cross out by hand the word 'father'' on individual birth certificates, and then write in 'second parent,' in ink." [Boston Globe]
Shitty news. David Wood: "More than 50,000 Americans have been combat-wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001, a grim measure of the cost of more than a decade of war. According to Defense Department accounting, the number of wounded reached 50,010 on Thursday...Among the wounded are some 16,000 severely injured, casualties who would have died on the battlefield just a generation ago. But new medical procedures, protective gear such as body armor and faster medical evacuation are saving more than 90 percent of all those who fall in battle...The wounded statistics describe only those with physical wounds. Troops returning with post-traumatic stress disorder, or traumatic brain injury and other forms of combat trauma, are not included. At present, the Department of Veterans Affairs is taking in 4,000 new cases of veterans with PTSD each month." [HuffPost]
STUPID OHIO LAW MIGHT EXTEND THIS STUPID ELECTION ANOTHER COUPLE OF STUPID WEEKS - Cincinnati Enquirer: "A new Ohio program intended to make voting easier could keep the presidential election in doubt until late November if the national outcome hinges on the state's 18 electoral votes. Under Secretary of State Jon Husted's initiative to send absentee ballot applications to nearly 7 million registered voters across Ohio, more than 800,000 people so far have asked for but not yet completed an absentee ballot for the Nov. 6 election. Anyone who does not return an absentee ballot, deciding instead to vote at the polls, will be required to cast a provisional ballot. That's so officials may verify that they did not vote absentee and also show up at the polls. By state law, provisional ballots may not be counted until at least Nov. 17. That means if Ohio's electoral votes would be decisive in the race between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the state could keep the nation in suspense for several weeks after the election." [Cincinnati Enquirer]
President Obama thinks children curse a lot. Rolling Stone, via Politico: " "We arrived at the Oval Office for our 45-minute interview ... on the morning of October 11th. ... As we left the Oval Office, executive editor Eric Bates told Obama that he had asked his six-year-old if there was anything she wanted him to say to the president. ... [S]he said, 'Tell him: You can do it.' Obama grinned. ... 'You know, kids have good instincts,' Obama offered. 'They look at the other guy and say, 'Well, that's a bullshitter, I can tell.''" [Politico]
ROMNEY HAS SO MUCH MOMENTUM IT'S PLAYING TRICKS ON US - Obama winning? Please, that's just a Mittmentum feint. Mark Blumenthal: "New polls released on Wednesday and Thursday continue to show President Barack Obama holding narrow leads in a handful of critical battleground states, but running within a whisker of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney nationwide. While Romney gained significantly in the wake of the first presidential debate in early October, the lack of a continuing trend over the past two weeks helps counter a theme in some campaign coverage that Romney's support continues to 'surge' nationwide...Wednesday also brought four new surveys in Ohio. Three of the four, from Time,SurveyUSA and Democratic pollster Lake Research, gave Obama leads ranging from 2 to 5 percentage points while the Rasmussen automated survey reported a tie." [HuffPost]
POWELL ENDORSES OBAMA, JOHN MCCAIN DIALS THE GRUMP TO 11 - It would appear that the Arizona senator plans to return his half of their split friendship pendant (unknown whether it's heart-shaped or yin/yang-shaped). TPM: "John McCain bitterly denounced former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday for supporting President Obama for a second straight election. 'General Powell, you disappoint us and you have harmed your legacy even further by defending what is clearly the most feckless foreign policy in my lifetime,' McCain told Brian Kilmeade on his radio program." [TPM]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cat rides a toy train like a boss.
- Dog gets its head stuck in an ice cream carton. [http://bit.ly/PtfSZS]
- "The Exorcist" as a 1980s sitcom, complete with a laugh track and retro commercials. [http://bit.ly/TD1pvP]
- And on that note, "Modern Family" reimagined as a horror movie. [http://chzb.gr/UDNZzy]
- "A team of physicists have come up with a test which they say could prove whether or not the universe as we know it is a virtual reality simulation - a kind of theoretical red pill, as it were." [http://bit.ly/Q10pL2]
- Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" edited into a segment about a planet made entirely of meat. [http://t.co/hdwiP2ix]
- Accidentally terrifying retro Halloween costumes. And you thought sanitation was the scariest thing about the old days. [http://huff.to/TUMS98]
- Badass turtle takes on shark. You know what they say, slow and steady EATS PREDATORS. [http://bit.ly/RISvrM]
@elisefoley With $169 million, Romney could try to get Obama to give him his college transcripts 34 times.
@PaulBlu: Scary political video makers: you can replace overly dramatic string music with dubstep now.
@AmandaMarcotte: Let's stop calling them rapists. Let's call them "Santa Clauses of Sperm". Better reflects their god-granted mission.
5:00 pm: We are less than two weeks away from the general election but who says
5:30 pm: Kirsten Gillibrand heads to Long Island, which has recently been devastated by a prolonged bout of presidential yelling, to raise money for her layup reelection. [Roslyn, NY]
8:00 am: In a way, you could think of Paul Ryan's high-dollar fundraiser as a kind of door-knocking ground game. Joe Wilson, LIndsey Graham, Jim DeMint, Trey Gowdy, Jeff Duncan, Tim Scott, Mick Mulvaney and Nikki Haley will be on hand. [Greenville, SC]
8:30 am: You better believe there won't be any pork bacon at the breakfast fundraiser featuring Michelle Obama. Turkey, yes. Definitely no pork. [La Jolla, CA]
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