Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Hurricane Upends Election, Lives

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Americans spent the day tracking Sandy, which sounds like the name of a totally awesome John Cusack/Meg Ryan movie. A new American Bridge ad features the board game "Romnopoly," though we suppose "Hungry Hungry Mittpos" would also play into the bankster theme. And both campaigns suspended campaigning in light of the hurricane, proving once again that John McCain was just ahead of his time, as usual. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, October 29th, 2012:

OH THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS TORRENTIAL - This is easily the most unpleasant visit by anything named Sandy ever. On that note, we really need to give hurricanes scarier names (Hurricane Jaws, Hurricane Knife, Hurricane Unwrapped Halloween Candy, Hurricane Windowless Van, etc). Annandale Patch: "The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has announced that the federal government will be closed for a second day, Tuesday in response to Hurricane Sandy. More information is available on the OPM website. Most local school districts have announced they will be closed Tuesday. VRE travel for Tuesday is canceled...The National Hurricane Center is predicting Hurricane Sandy will make official landfall near Cape May, NJ, this evening. But the storm remains so large that strong winds and heavy rain are a concern hundreds of miles out in all directions." [Annandale Patch]

WMATA will be closed tomorrow. Follow hurricane news on HuffPost's Sandy liveblog.

What's still open in DC? Christina Wilkie investigates

EARLY VOTING SUSPENDED IN SWING STATES - We knew that this hurricane was a lot of things but we didn't realize it was a racist Dixiecrat hell bent on disenfranchising voters. Matt Sledge: "Hurricane Sandy closed early voting sites in several states on Monday, including in the crucial vote-rich Democratic stronghold of northern Virginia. But the ultimate effects of the storm were as unclear for the presidential campaigns as for worried residents in Sandy's path. This should have been a crucial moment for the campaigns of President Barack Obama Mitt Romney to put ballots in the bank and begin last-minute voter mobilization efforts. Instead, the campaigns were treading carefully, lest they appear insensitive to hardships caused by the hurricane...In North Carolina, coastal counties' one-stop early voting sites were closed. Overall, said Gary Bartlett, executive director of the state Board of Elections, 'there has been some disruption, but very little.' In fact early voting on Sunday exceeded the 'benchmark year' of 2008, with 35,192 votes, compared with 23,086 then, he said." [HuffPost]

CAMPAIGNS BATTLING OVER FALSE 'OBAMA'S GIVING OUR JEEP WRANGLERS TO CHINA!' AD - Sabrina Siddiqui: "As Mitt Romney's campaign faces criticism for airing a misleading ad about the auto industry, which suggests that Chrysler is moving production of Jeeps from the U.S. to China, President Barack Obama's reelection campaign has responded with an ad of its own. 'When the auto industry faced collapse, Mitt Romney turned his back,' the narrator says in the response ad. 'Even the conservative Detroit News criticized Romney for his 'wrong-headedness' on the bailout.'...The Obama ad will air in Ohio, where the Romney campaign quietly released its ad on Sunday in a last-minute bid to undo the damage caused by the Republican presidential nominee's opposition to the auto industry bailout -- regarded by many as the issue that could tip the must-win state in the president's favor on Election Day." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series PASTED: The Email of the Jobless: "The longterm emotional stresses are, I think, the most difficult part of this. We haven't lost our house, we don't eat or live the way we used to, but we are not hungry or on any form of assistance. We have cut back. We've had to forego going out and get togethers with friends, which heighten the sense of isolation. We have put off replacing carpeting, and generally accepted a more ramshackle appearance and lost the sense of pride. I have a stack almost 9 inches tall of job applications. Looking at them now, I have lost any sense of confidence and self worth. I can't imagine why anyone would hire me at this point. If I had any value, I reason, somebody would have seen it by now. [Hang in there!]

DOUBLE DOWNER - Maryland woman is laid off, then deemed ineligible for unemployment insurance because of CANCER. "Wight is currently receiving chemotherapy to combat a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Under Maryland law, a person must be able and available for a job. The state found her unable to work due to illness, denying her unemployment benefits. 'You cannot pay your bills -- you don't have financial support. You have astronomical medical bills, co-payments and medications,' Wight said. [" WBALTV]

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT - Trouble In Mitt Romney's Socialist Hospital Paradise

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

ROMNEY: CUT FEMA FUNDING, LET OUR SUPER WEALTHY STATES HANDLE DISASTER RELIEF - During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was asked, in the context of the Joplin disaster and FEMA's cash crunch, whether the agency should be shuttered so that states can individually take over responsibility for disaster response. "Absolutely," he said. "Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?" "Including disaster relief, though?" debate moderator John King asked Romney. "We cannot -- we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids," Romney replied. "It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off. It makes no sense at all." The clip was flagged by HuffPost blogger Eric Zuesse. [HuffPost]

SANDY HAS A MARGIN OF ERROR OF +/- DESTRUCTION - Mark Blumenthal: "Hurricane Sandy adds yet another element of drama. As reported by The Huffington Post on Friday, pollsters conducting national surveys will have to decide whether to continue calling this week if, as estimated, power outages and other disruptions affect upwards of 10 million Americans. The Gallup organization "will most likely suspend all of our national tracking if we feel the representativeness of the data in the Middle Atlantic and Northeast is likely to be compromised" by the storm, according to Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport...As forecasts tracked a likely landfall for Hurricane in New Jersey, observers noted that the Garden State is home to the corporate headquarters of a number of pollsters, including Gallup, Rasmussen Reports, SurveyUSA and Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI), a call center that conducts interviews for the Pew Research Center, among other clients." [HuffPost]

@Chris_Moody: 73% of campaign donations from people named Sandy have gone to Obama. yhoo.it/S6kOo7

American Bridge has released a new ad centered around "Romnopoly," a Willard-themed version of the classic board game. Naturally, there is no Baltic Avenue in Romnopoly (though the game piece is a car with a dog on the roof). "Your job and our economy are just a game, 'Romnopoly,'" the narrator says as cufflinked hands roll golden dice. The ad proceeds to list the allegedly negative consequences of a Romney presidency. [HuffPost's Elise Foley]

OBAMA: I'LL BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER THIS TIME, NO REALLY - Sabrina Siddiqui: "President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday that the Republican party would have to overcome an internal war if he were reelected, but expressed hope that the partisan gridlock in Washington could come to an end. 'There are a whole range of issues I think where we can actually bring the country together with a non-ideological agenda,' Obama said in a pre-taped interview on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe.' 'The question's going to be, how do Republicans react post-election?' he continued. 'Because there's going to be a war going on inside that party. It just hasn't broken up. It's been unified in opposition to me.'" [HuffPost]

HURRICANE MAY DELAY JOBS NUMBERS - That is, the hurricane may delay Obama's Chicago cronies from breaking into the Bureau of Labor Statistics in ski masks and forcefully changing the unemployment rate to 2.1 percent, but not before sticking a knife to a hapless economist's throat and warning them that "this didn't happen. You didn't see anything." WSJ: "The U.S. Labor Department on Monday said it hasn't made a decision yet on whether to delay Friday's October jobs report, the final reading on the labor market before next week's federal elections. A Labor official said the agency will assess the schedule for all its data releases this week when the 'weather emergency' is over. Labor is scheduled to release the employment report on Friday, third quarter employment costs on Wednesday and weekly jobless claims on Thursday. The U.S. Census Bureau also said it hasn't made a decision on whether to delay economic reports it plans to release this week, including construction spending on Thursday and factory orders on Friday." [WSJ]

Statement from the Labor Department: "The employees at the Bureau of Labor Statistics are working hard to ensure the timely release of employment data on Friday, November 2. It is our intention that Friday will be business as usual regarding the October Employment Situation Report."

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DEMOCRACY SUFFERING A BAD CASE OF METH FACE - No, Ben Cardin hasn't been hiding away in the New Mexico desert, cooking up some glass in a dilapidated camper while wearing a hazmat suit... that sneaky devil. National Journal: "What do a Montana outside spending group, a meth house and the Supreme Court have to do with one another? Well, a box of mysterious documents found inside of a Colorado meth house suggest possible illegal coordination between an outside spending group -- Western Tradition Partnership -- and candidates' 2008 and 2010 campaigns for state offices, Frontline and ProPublica report. WTP has since changed its name to American Tradition Partnership, and successfully challenged a Montana law that placed caps on corporate and union political donations. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the group and declined to revisit the 2010 Citizens United case, dismissing the notion that the court's 2010 federal ruling didn't apply to states...OK, but what about this meth house business? Mark Siebel, a convicted felon 'said he stumbled on [the documents] inside a known meth house near Denver at some point in late 2010,' Frontline and ProPublica report." [National Journal]

BESIEGED MINORITY HAS STRONG INTEREST IN POLITICS - Elise Foley: "Latino voters will likely come to the polls in record numbers next week, experts from ImpreMedia and Latino Decisions predict based on a tracking poll released Monday. The weekly tracking poll found 87 percent of Latino voters say they are almost certain they will vote, including 8 percent who already voted early...Enthusiasm also increased among Latino voters -- a good sign for the president -- and now 45 percent say they are more enthusiastic about the 2012 election than they were in 2008, according to the poll." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Clever dog knows the difference between "bath" and "walk." Dog also has terrible short term memory.

Department of "I, er, uh...": "Mitt Romney's campaign may have removed from its website the endorsement of embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), but getting rid of the philandering physician's donation appears to be less of a priority... The Republican presidential contender's campaign quietly took down links to comments in which Romney described DesJarlais as "a principled and independent conservative.' But earlier this month, DesJarlais donated $2,000 to Romney, and the Romney campaign's efforts to distance itself from DesJarlais do not appear to include giving back the cash. A review of campaign spending in the most recent period found no refund issued to DesJarlais." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Hurricane Sandy as told through Instagram. Marvel as hipsters ironically thumbs up in front of the Hudson. [http://instacane.com/]

- The laws and strategies of Halloween candy trading. [http://chzb.gr/QOw8l6]

- A 2007 news report about Twitter. Not nearly as awkward as early 90s discussions about the internet. [http://bit.ly/RYwR2Q]

- Are you a fan of food that can communicate with humans? Do you want to send a message to a friend but have a slice a pizza be your emissary? You'll love Foodgram. [http://www.foodagram.ca/]

- Dog freed from a fence by a police officer let's itself into his patrol car. [http://bit.ly/TjT2Pb]

- The five most elaborate customer requests ever made at Starbucks... and that's saying something. [http://bit.ly/TPUzx3]

- Cat in a panda costume being fed asparagus because people are cruel. [http://bit.ly/PCzhYx]

TWITTERAMA

@evanmc_s: Shirtless jogger in horse mask photobombs WRC's #Sandy coverage on Rhode Island Ave. That is all. pic.twitter.com/0YIC9rhL

@stefanjbecket: Can't believe these Chicago guys created a hurricane to delay the jobs numbers. What won't they do?

@carr2n: "Again, Jim, I wanted emphasize that again this is, again, a very dangerous storm." -- everybody on television right now.

ON TAP

Today: Just a hunch, but we're guessing that Hurricane Sandy has thrown a wrench into the Georgia Republican Party's planned golf tournament. Maybe they'll take it inside and turn it into a cigar and pleated pants party. Former Atlanta Braves star John Smoltz is the honorary chairman. [Ball Ground, GA]

Today, 6:30 pm: The California Republican Party really plays to its inland base with a reception featuring Dinesh D'Souza of "2016: Obama's America" fame. [Contra Costa County, CA]

Tomorrow, 8:00: Jeff Flake hosts a fundraiser at the University Club of Phoenix, which shouldn't be confused with the University of Phoenix Club, which is only online. [Phoenix, AZ]

Tomorrow, 3:30 pm: Though we're unsure how this could possibly happen with a once-in-a-lifetime storm system clawing its way up the Eastern Seaboard, but Michelle Obama is scheduled to attend a "Taste of Boston" reception in Beantown. [Boston, MA]

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