Thanks to today's graphic Gaddafi coverage, we now know what a "Faces of Death" video would be like if it were hosted by Megyn Kelly. Marco Rubio is going to have to answer a lot of questions in the coming days about his hunting camp, er, family history. And some Democratic strategists are devising ways to portray Mitt Romney as the next John Kerry, so a big shout out to the poor guy at the DNC tasked with finding photos of Mitt windsurfing. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, October 20th, 2011:
OBAMA CAMPAIGN DEVISING WAYS TO ARTFULLY POINT AT DEAD GUYS AND SAY, 'HEY, LOOK AT THOSE DEAD GUYS!' - Muammar Gaddafi is dead: The world no longer has a leader who can show us what Michael Jackson might have looked like at 70. Now the White House must find a way to not take credit for Col. Mashedpotatoface's demise while, you know, taking credit for it. Sam Stein: "Obama advisers and those who serve as consultants to his re-election team have considered how to effectively highlight the president's foreign policy successes in the context of a campaign. The general consensus seems to be that his track record can be leveraged in two ways. First and most basically, it can be used to nullify attacks from Republicans. When, for example, Mitt Romney ripped into Obama's stewardship of foreign affairs during a high-profile speech several weeks ago, campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt responded in not-so-subtle-fashion...'It is a character issue,' explained Anita Dunn, former Communications Director for the Obama White House and an adviser to the re-election campaign, 'it is a presidential attribute issue, and it is a leadership issue.' As Dunn argues, the killing of bin Laden and the death of Gaddafi provide effective, thematic counterpoints both to Democrats who question Obama's resolve and Republicans who question his results." [HuffPost]
WAPO: MARCO RUBIO EXAGGERATES FAMILY STORY - The Washington Post has just dropped another bombshell story about a prominent Republican with presidential ambitions, but this time there are no racially ignorant rocks involved. "During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the son of exiles, he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after 'a thug,' Fidel Castro, took power. But a review of documents -- including naturalization papers and other official records -- reveals that Rubio’s dramatic account of his family saga embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio's parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 2½ years before Castro's forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959." [WaPo]
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST IRRITATINGLY CONNECTS DOTS - HuffPost Hill's favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who spent the day tearfully throwing all the folders marked "Gadaffi, M" into his firm's industrial incinerator, sent us a very thoughtful point about the 2012 Democratic convention. Then things got weird. "Will OWS picket the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC which will be hosted by hometown bank, Bank of America?" Point well taken, PSLGOPL!
IF ONLY UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE COULD AFFORD OGILVY - The term "99ers" was a convenient and catchy handle for people out of work 99 weeks or longer, beyond the reach of unemployment insurance. The Occupy Wall Street folks have muddied it with their "We are the 99 percent" slogan, for which some commenters have already used "99ers." "We're gonna have to do a little rebranding there," 99er advocate Kian Frederick said. "Since they've coined the term 99 percent, we're really back in the shadows," 99er Chris Williams said.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Cherine Akbari was one of 1,400 teachers laid off this year in Broward County, Fla. Many of the jobs had been supported by the waning stimulus bill. "I had just bought a house. I moved into it five days before I got laid off," Akbari says in a video by Senate Democrats commemorating the hyperpartisan fact that government spending sometimes employs people and teaches children. Dems will soon hold a class warfare vote on the part of the jobs bill that would put Akbari and others back in a classroom. [HuffPost]
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GOP LAWYERS: POWERFUL GAYS DON'T NEED LEGAL PROTECTION - A spectre is haunting America -- the spectre of moneyed coastal homosexuals who frequent farmers' markets and Dianne Feinstein fundraisers at Steven Spielberg's house DESTROYING THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE. The legal team retained by House Republicans to defend the Defense of Marriage Act is arguing that because some gay people have access to money, politics and media, DOMA doesn't need to be repealed. "The very significant gains made by homosexual-rights groups both in legislative terms and in popular opinion -- and the phenomenal speed at which those victories have come -- demonstrate that they have ample ability to attract the favorable attention of lawmakers," the lawyers wrote in an October 14th motion with the U.S. District Court in San Fransisco [Editor's note: Heh]. "Accordingly, gays and lesbians cannot be labeled 'politically powerless' without draining that phrase of all meaning. Where a group is not lacking in political power, it cannot claim the 'extraordinary protection from the majoritarian political process' provided by heightened scrutiny." By this line of reasoning, black people don't need civil rights protections because of Oprah, Jay-Z and that super-wealthy BET executive. Got it. [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]
Blue Dog Democrat Dennis Cardoza announced that the won't run for reelection. He used the occasion to renounce Washington's hyperpartisan politics by, uh, viciously attacking the leader of his party. President Obama, Cardoza said, is largely responsible for the current "harsh tone in American politics." He went on to say, "Too many Americans are losing faith in our government and our democracy. For our country to change course, voters must aggressively punish extreme partisanship and rhetoric when they cast their ballots." [LA Times]
HERMAN CAIN WAS AGAINST ABORTION BEFORE HE WAS FOR IT ... 20 MINUTES AGO - Herman Cain is having a rough week. His 9-9-9 plan is being criticized for actually raising a lot of people's taxes. He was the target of unrelenting attacks from his opponents during Tuesday night's debate. A bunch of people were dragooned by Politico to eat his pizza and then made politically-charged statements about its crappiness. Now Republicans are questioning the (tied) Republican frontrunner's views on the sacrosanct issue of abortion following Cain's appearance on Piers Morgan's program last night. After stating that he personally opposes abortion in any circumstance, Cain introduced some, well, shades of gray. "[I]t ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make,” Cain said of the decision to terminate a pregnancy in an instance of rape or incest. "It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision." Buddy Roemer's unexpected rise in the polls and Cain's inevitable appearance on "Dancing With The Stars" can't come soon enough for Herman. [WaPo]
@THEHermanCain: I'm 100% pro-life. End of story.
There are a lot of well-intentioned groups of people who need to be booed, so there are going to be more GOP debates: "[Fox News] will join with the Republican Party of Iowa for a debate on Dec. 15th in Sioux City. That debate will be just over two weeks before the state’s Jan. 3 caucuses. Fox will also partner with the Republican Party of South Carolina to hold a debate in Myrtle Beach on Jan. 16. South Carolina is scheduled to hold its primary on Jan. 21." [NYT]
DEMOCRATS: DOESN'T MITT ROMNEY REMIND YOU OF THAT CRAPPY CANDIDATE WE HAD IN 2004? - The incessantly self-hating Democratic party is once again displaying its one-of-a-kind neurosis that makes a Russian novel's characters seem well-adjusted. AP is reporting that strategists working for President Obama's reelection are borrowing a move from Bush/Cheney '04 and will seek to portray Mitt Romney as an aloof, aristocratic caricature not unlike John Kerry. "As candidates, Kerry and Romney are remarkably similar. Both are wealthy men, products of Massachusetts politics, eloquent on the stump but perceived as remote or aloof on the campaign circuit. Even before Romney has won a single nominating contest, Obama's camp is singling him out as a fickle politician and is preparing to go straight at Romney's perceived strength – his record as a businessman in the face of a flat-line economy. It was a strategy Republicans employed against Kerry, who had to fend off charges of flip-flopping himself and whose strength as a decorated Vietnam veteran running in the first post-Sept. 11 election was undermined by attack ads." Is it possible to suffer from Stockholm syndrome while being held hostage by your own mind? [AP]
COLLECTIVIST OBAMA TRIES TO PLAY DOWN THE PRIMACY OF THE INDIVIDUAL - The president's reelection team is celebrating its one millionth 2012 donor by pointing out to people that they aren't unique. Here's a mass campaign email addressed to someone named "Babak," cited by Ben Smith: "Babak -- On Monday at 3:17 p.m. Central Time, we crossed 1 million grassroots donors -- including you -- who now own a piece of this campaign...The first million you're a part of includes 12,932 donors in Washington, DC, and 19 people named Babak." [Politico]
TODAY IN 'TREMENDOUSLY UPSETTING AND FRUSTRATING THINGS' - The FBI hasn't updated its definition of "rape" since 1929. Really. It is currently defined as the "carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will." An outside panel commissioned by the agency found that it to be too narrow a definition (rapes don't necessarily have to be "forcible," against a female, etc) and women's rights advocates say it results in the under-reporting of thousands of sexual assaults each year. ADVICE: If you're pounding your head against your desk right now, please don't: You'll hurt yourself. If you're reading this on your smartphone on the Metro and are smashing it against your head, please don't: those things are expensive. [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
'TREMENDOUSLY UPSETTING AND FRUSTRATING THINGS, PT II' - Dave Jamieson spoke with Steve Dubrinsky, a Birmingham deli owner who voiced his concern about Alabama's new draconian anti-immigration law. Dubrinsky employed documented workers but they began quitting over fears of undocumented relatives being arrested or being discriminated against themselves. After the article ran, things got all yew-best-go-back-from-where-yew-came, and FAST. "The morning the article ran, Dubrinsky hopped in his car and turned on local talk radio, only to discover that the discussion topic was Dubrinsky himself. The host and his guests were trying to decide whether or not they should boycott the deli. Dubrinsky grabbed his paper and read the Birmingham News article just to make sure he hadn't been misquoted, perhaps voicing support for undocumented immigrants. Indeed, he was quoted accurately, showing sympathy for the area's properly documented workers. It hardly mattered. Dubrinsky was being tarred as an illegal-immigrant lover." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cat delivers groceries.
Vinny from "Jersey Shore" has opinions: "I'm registered as an Independent. I did vote for Obama ... but now, I'm part of Occupy Wall Street, eff the government ... I'm part of the 99% right now." GTLOWS. [AOL Something Or Another]
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT -Tonight Fine, it's windy and cloudy, but it's not all that bad, right? Some clearing, but not much warmer relief. Tomorrow: Still cool, with temperatures in the low 60s. All downhill from here. Thanks, JB!
- This 2,000-foot Hot Wheels track will put your entire childhood to shame. [target="_hplink">http://huff.to/nHobl9]
- Seventeen-year-old David Bowie appearance on a British television program to talk about his long hair. [http://huff.to/qcnyjB]
- During the summer, the sun doesn't set in Iceland for a period of time. A filmmaker traveled across the island and filmed the perpetually bright country. [http://huff.to/nfv3uQ]
- We've been sharing a lot of 90s nostalgia, so why not one more? Here's a list of 90s musician feuds. [http://huff.to/oQfSpR]
- Annnnnd some more 90s nostalgia. Here's an a cappella version of the "Full House" theme song. [http://huff.to/oz3CYP]
- Cnet's animated history of the iPhone. [http://huff.to/oFfsWC]
- A gay soldier hilariously takes the coming out process a bit too far by coming out to the pizza guy. [http://huff.to/onlYbv]
- Cat plays basketball. [http://huff.to/py9waQ]
@prwerdel: Michele Bachmann congratulates the people of the not-African nation of Libya on their new era
@FakeJimVandeHei: Attn Staff: While there are several accepted spellings of Gaddafi, please stick with POLITICO's preferred style: GaddifizzleMcClusterfuc!!!k
@AlbertBrooks: Gaddafi killed. Libyans rejoice. Just For Men stock plummets.
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: BARNEY BASH! Barney Frank who we've found has many Weeble-like qualities (low center of gravity, wabbles, doesn't fall down, etc), is the guest of honor at a New York City fundraiser. A number of Empire State luminaries will attend, including Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and assorted member's of the State's Democratic House delegation. [The Home of Charles Myers, NYC, NY]
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Debbie Wasserman Schultz could be back home in her sunny Florida district. Instead, she's in Philadelphia for a fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary. Philadelphia isn't even the pretty, Fall foliage part of the state. #Sacrifices. [Pennsylvania Democratic Party, 30 S. 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA]
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