The pot called the kettle an incompetent city destroyer when former FEMA chief Michael Brown criticized President Obama's handling of Hurricane Sandy. Chris Christie's effusive praise of President Obama's leadership during the storm is something we will never fuggetabout. And political and journo nerds lamented both Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm and the announcement of a seventh "Star Wars" movie -- because the last three were truly artistic achievements. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, October 30th, 2012:
PRESIDENT CANCELS CAMPAIGNING AGAIN, WILL HEAD TO NEW JERSEY TOMORROW - Probably the best move for the commander-in-chief to avoid begging for votes while significant portions of the East Coast resemble 15th century Venice. [HuffPost]
From the White House Press Office: "Tomorrow afternoon, the President will travel to New Jersey where he will join Governor Christie in viewing the storm damage, talking with citizens who are recovering from the storm and thanking first responders who put their lives at risk to protect their communities. Additional scheduling details will be released when they are available."
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN RENEWS LYING WELFARE QUEEN TACTIC - Sam Stein: "The Romney campaign has put out another television ad without calling press attention to it, this one resuscitating the charge that President Barack Obama gutted the work requirement on welfare. Titled "Can't Afford Another Term," the spot isn't as nefarious as the infamous Jeep ad that Mitt Romney's campaign similarly put out without fanfare. But there are certainly aspects with which to quibble, including the idea that Obama weakened welfare reform (a point that countless fact-checkers have disputed). Obama has offered waivers to states after governors asked for them. None have yet to apply...As newsworthy as the ad's script iis the Romney campaign's tactic in releasing the new spot. There was no public pronouncement, at least not via email (the campaign did post the spot to its YouTube page). And it seems to fit a pattern. The campaign is throwing what it can against the wall in the election's closing days. Any movement it creates among voters outweights howls it may cause from the press corps, the campaign figures." [HuffPost]
Scott Brown, who we're pretty sure thought "Jurassic Park" was real, doesn't want to debate a Harvard professor. Luke Johnson: "Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) brushed off questions Tuesday about rescheduling the fourth and final Massachusetts Senate debate, which was set for Tuesday before both he and challenger Elizabeth Warren canceled because of Hurricane Sandy. 'We've already had three debates,' Brown told reporters while touring storm damage in Westport, Mass., according to The Boston Globe. 'There's only a few days left, and we have a very, very busy schedule,' he added...Warren's campaign, on the other hand, is open to rescheduling." [HuffPost]
CLIFFS NOTES FOR PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST - HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who is always prepared for hurricanes as he rarely leaves his underground panic room, is delighting in national polls of likely voters that continue to show President Obama hovering in the high forties. "Is it ironic that Obama seems to be stuck at 47 percent?" PSLGOPL writes. "What is the correct word for this, Eliot?" Irony, PSLGOPL?
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DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Having no money is depressing. Alyssa Brown: "Americans in poverty are more likely than those who are not to struggle with a wide array of chronic health problems, and depression disproportionately affects those in poverty the most. About 31% of Americans in poverty say they have at some point been diagnosed with depression compared with 15.8% of those not in poverty. Impoverished Americans are also more likely to report asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attacks -- which are likely related to the higher level of obesity found for this group -- 31.8% vs. 26% for adults not in poverty." [Gallup]
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ROMNEY CONTINUES TO CAMPAIGN, THROWS A FEW CANS OF KIDNEY BEANS INTO THE MIX - The Romney campaign today held a "storm relief event" in Ohio that more or less amounted to a campaign rally. NPR's Ari Shapiro reported that the event began with a biographical video praising Romney's leadership abilities and that press passes were stamped with the words "Victory Rally." "I appreciate the fact people right here in Dayton got up this morning, some went to the grocery store, I see, and purchased some things that these families will need," Romney said. "I appreciate your generosity. It's part of the American spirit, the American way, to give to people that are in need." Stuart Stevens was less generous to the volunteers when Shapiro asked him why the supposed relief event included a pro-Romney biopic. "Some volunteer just pressed play, I guess," Stevens told him. [HuffPost]
Don't people know that they best way they can support their nation is by helping Mitt Romney get elected president??? Screw blood donations.
Romney refused to answer questions about whether he'd cut funding to, or eliminate entirely, FEMA. From the pool report: "TV pool asked Romney at least five times whether he would eliminate FEMA as president/what he would do with FEMA. He ignored the qs but they are audible on cam. The music stopped at points and the qs would have been audible to him." [HuffPost]
Good effort!: "Romney and Portman continued to collect donations until around 12:30 p.m. and then moved outside to load them into a truck, a task that took about 15 minutes, according to a pool report. All told, they spent slightly less than an hour on the volunteering effort." [Ibid.]
@jonkarl: Romney's event it in Kettering Ohio: This photo says it all -- "Obama: You're Fired an here's some canned goods" pic.twitter.com/dvLbD8Me
Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party: "Look, I'm a partisan. I'll let others judge this," he continued. "But I think someone of Gov. Romney's wealth could have just written a check for $10 million to the American Red Cross and then spent today with his family. He chose to do something much different. He chose to politicize this." [WaPo]
@daveweigel: "Unsolicited donated goods... require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services." 1.usa.gov/SbPFvd
RYAN BUDGET: LIKELY CUTS TO DISASTER AID - Listen, all it takes is a little P90X and you'll be lifting your own sandbags like a champ in no time. Elise Foley: "The budget plan put forward by Ryan as chairman of the House Budget Committee requires massive cuts to discretionary spending, which includes everything but entitlements. Those cuts would almost certainly extend to the Department of Homeland Security and its disaster relief programs under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The ounce of doubt remains because Ryan's budget proposal doesn't include any specifics on FEMA itself. But it also doesn't exempt FEMA or Homeland Security from the standard cuts that it broadly applies to government services. The budget does exempt the military from many cuts. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote in August that Ryan's budget would likely dump the cost of dealing with disasters on state and local governments." [HuffPost]
Chris Christie has heaped praise on President Obama's handling of Hurricane Sandy. "The president has been outstanding in this and so have the folks at FEMA," he said on "Today." On "Morning Joe," he echoed that sentiment. "The president has been all over this, and he deserves great credit. He gave me his number at the White House and told me to call him if I needed anything and he absolutely means it, and it's been very good working with the president and his administration," he said. As if that weren't Barack-and-Chris-sittin'-in-a-tree enough for you, he kept at it on CNN. Obama, Christie told Soledad O'Brien, "has been incredibly supportive and helpful to our state, and not once did he bring up the election." [Boston Globe]
WISCONSIN: ROMNEY POLL WATCHERS TRAINED TO SPREAD FALSE VOTING INFORMATION - A new report from ThinkProgress finds that Romney-trained poll watchers are being instructed to
tell voters to fill out their ballots, take them home and pin them to their refrigerators disseminate bogus information. ThinkProgress: "Documents from a recent Romney poll watcher training obtained by ThinkProgress contain several misleading or untrue claims about the rights of Wisconsin voters. A source passed along the following packet of documents, which was distributed to volunteers at a Romney campaign training in Racine on October 25th. In total, six such trainings were held across the state in the past two weeks. One blatant falsehood occurs on page 5 of the training packet, which informed poll watchers that any 'person [who] has been convicted of treason, a felony, or bribery' isn't eligible to vote. This is not true. Once a Wisconsin voter who has been convicted of a felony completes his or her sentence, that person is once again eligible to vote... On page 3 of the packet, Romney poll workers were instructed to hide their affiliation with the campaign and told to sign in at the polls as a 'concerned citizen' instead." Also included in the packet is a truncated list of proofs of residency. We give this story three-and-a-half Crying Lady Liberties out of four. [ThinkProgress]
Both campaigns are making moves in Pennsylvania: "Karl Rove's super PAC American Crossroads has purchased at least $625,000 worth of broadcast and cable ads in support of Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2... The Mitt Romney campaign is spending an unknown amount of money on ads in the Philadelphia market airing on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6.Counteracting those two entities, the Obama campaign is spending at least $650,000 on broadcast and cable ads in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh from Oct. 31 through Nov. 6." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]
Journalists on Twitter definitely freaked out more over Hurricane Sandy than they did today's announcement that Disney is purchasing Lucas Film and a seventh "Star Wars" will be released... but it was close.
HECKUVA HYPOCRISY, BROWNIE - The Lower Ninth Ward is flooding entirely with spit takes from the news that former George W. Bush FEMA Director Michael Brown criticized the Obama administration for its handling of Hurricane Sandy. "One thing he's gonna be asked is, why did he jump on this so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in...Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?" Brown said during his radio show on Colorado's KHOW. "Why was this so quick?... At some point, somebody's going to ask that question.... This is like the inverse of Benghazi." When Brown sits in purgatory for five million years, we hope Aaron Neville's rendition of "Louisiana 1927" is played on repeat. [Denver Westword]
ROMNEY DOUBLES DOWN ON FALSE JEEP CLAIMS - The campaign is running new ads in Ohio that contain a claim that is no more true than the claim President Obama was responsible for sending the Browns to Baltimore. Sam Stein: "Unbowed by a barrage of criticism and fact checks over its ad insinuating that Chrysler is moving Jeep production to China, the Mitt Romney campaign has released a new radio ad making the same debunked claim. The ad, which was flagged by a Democratic source, is running in Ohio's Toledo and Dayton markets. The Romney campaign has spent a total of $224,000 in both markets this week." [HuffPost]
ROMNEY LITERALLY MOVES THE GOALPOSTS - Clear eyes! Full hearts! Can't lose! MaxPreps: "If you heard that a goalpost on a football field was damaged, you would probably assume that the home fans got overly zealous after a big win. Or perhaps a group of students from an opposing school got carried away in an attempted prank. You probably wouldn't guess that the damage was the result of a political rally for a presidential candidate. The Land O'Lakes (Fla.) administration is looking for answers after the south-end goalpost on its football field was bent over the weekend -- the same weekend in which the field hosted a rally for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Approximately 15,000 people showed up at John Benedetto Stadium on Saturday night to see the former Massachusetts governor, according to the Tampa Bay Times." [MaxPreps]
Yikes: "Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.) was among the many residents of Breezy Point, Queens who lost a home in a fire that devastated the beachfront community during Hurricane Sandy. A spokesman for Turner confirmed that the congressman made it out safely -- though he and his wife had left "later in the process" of the storm, according to Crain's Insider blog." [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Treasure trove of videos of puppies falling asleep.
- Move aside "Dog Shaming," here comes "Cat Shaming." Sample: "I diarrhea'd in the tub." [http://bit.ly/V4P0k9]
- Guy is a life-sized "Star Wars" AT-ST walker for Halloween. [http://bit.ly/TTrR4l]
- Two dudes photobomb a reporter's beachside Sandy report by doing the "Gangnam Style" horse dance. [http://bit.ly/T0z0LP]
- Movember is almost here. Twenty-five vintage mustaches. [http://bit.ly/XSOTYv]
- All the James Bonds battle one another in a playoff to see who is the most awesome. [http://chzb.gr/Rjzmv0]
- Two-legged kitten plays with a paper bag. [http://bit.ly/SuGN6b]
- The video game "Skate 3" is full of glitches. Here is a hilarious mash-up of them. [http://bit.ly/S9BPcG]
@JonHenke: Have we figured out yet whether Hurricane Sandy was caused by secularism or gay marriage?
@LOLGOP: Government workers shall hereby be known as "rescue creators."
@delrayser: Driving back to DC today. What do people need? I'll be happy to price gou... er, I mean bring to you for a reasonable price.
Tomorrow, 12:00 pm: Scott Walker is the guest of honor at a "private luncheon" benefiting the New York Republican Party. Whether this actually happens is a whole 'nother thing entirely. David Koch is a member of the host committee. [New York, NY]
Tomorrow, 5:30 pm: Jeff Flake takes a break from accusing Richard Carmona of wanting to punch the Senate in the throat to have a fundraiser at Phoenix's Oasis Hospital, because that's appropriate. [Phoenix, AZ]
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