Scott Brown defied the odds and found a way to both own a truck AND dislike rape. Self-loathing Democrats are complaining about a poll that has their candidate up by ten points. And documents reveal that Mitt Romney is a part owner of the talent agency that manages Limp Bizkit. Between that and his love of Kid Rock, we give it a week until he's introduced by members of the Insane Clown Posse and swarmed by Juggalos. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, August 23rd, 2012:
ROMNEY ATTACKS RYAN-SPONSORED MILITARY SPENDING - Ouch, you might as well just go ahead and insult the poor guy's polo shirt collection. Mike McAuliff: "Mitt Romney's presidential campaign released an attack Thursday criticizing President Barack Obama for military budget cuts that Romney's running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) voted for and helped write. The attack was launched in a press release that coincided with Ryan speaking at a roundtable discussion on defense in Fayetteville, N.C. 'President Obama's devastating defense cuts are set to have a massive impact on Fayetteville and the rest of North Carolina,' said Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul in the statement...But what the statement leaves out is Ryan's leading role in crafting those cuts as chairman of the House Budget Committee." [HuffPost]
ROMNEY: DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL - Sabrina Siddiqui: "A Denver reporter granted a one-on-one interview with Mitt Romney Thursday said she was instructed not to ask him any questions about abortion or Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) controversial comments about victims of 'legitimate rape.' Shaun Boyd, a reporter for Denver CBS affiliate KCNC, was one of four local reporters to speak with Romney, according to the station. She said that the Romney campaign had set pre-conditions before allowing her to interview the candidate. 'You know, I had about five minutes with him, and we got through a fair amount of material, actually, in that five minutes,' Boyd said on air. 'The one stipulation to the interview was that I not ask him about abortion or Todd Akin -- he's the Missouri Republican who created a firestorm after saying women's bodies shut down in a legitimate rape to prevent pregnancy. I did ask him about health care, the female vote, and energy.'" [HuffPost]
RNC STORM UPDATE: Storm is coming. [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The economy is not improving, according to the latest unemployment claims data. "In the week ending August 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 372,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 368,000. The 4-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 364,250." Terrible. [Labor Department]
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ROMNEY DEBUTS ENERGY PLATFORM: IT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK - Whichever ad agency does those BP "We haven't forgotten to clean up!" ads might want to budget aggressively for the next few years if Mitt Romney takes it in November. The Republican presidential candidate today unveiled an energy plan that is heavy on oil and low on regulations. CBS News: "Romney predicted that his administration would be able to increase the amount of oil barrels produced per day from 15 million to 28 million, by increasing drilling - offshore, in Alaska, and through hydrofracking - as well as boosting the production of natural gas and biofuels and importing more energy from neighboring North American countries...his campaign released a 21-page white paper outlining his energy strategy, which was broken into six steps. In addition to giving states control over energy development on federal lands within their borders and expanding off-shore drilling on the coasts, a Romney administration will pursue a North American energy partnership that will include the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. They also plan to overhaul the permitting and regulation process and promote private-sector energy development through investments in research." [CBS News]
GOP ENDORSES 'SELF-DEPORT' PLATFORM - The Republicans' policy committee in Tampa has endorsed "humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily," which is just a kinder way of yelling "YOU BEST GO BACK FROM WHERE YOU CAME" and then spitting in a bucket. Times: "[R]ecently, Mr. Romney has sought to soften his stance, saying he would consider a Dream Act for illegal immigrants who serve in the military. The party platform offers no support for that proposal. A number of immigration amendments were offered by Kris Kobach, a conservative who is secretary of state of Kansas and was an author of laws in Arizona and several other states to crack down on illegal immigration. Mr. Kobach proposed the plank calling for mandatory use by employers of a federal electronic system known as E-Verify to confirm the legal immigration status of new hires. 'If you really want to create a job tomorrow, you can remove an illegal alien today,'Mr. Kobach said." [NYT]
'900 PAGES OF INTERNAL ROMNEY FILES LEAKED' OR, 'WHY FRED DURST IS VOTING FOR MITT ROMNEY' - Gawker got a hold of 900-plus pages of Mitt Romney's post-Bain investment documents, which include audits and financial statements of corporations that had received Bain Capital funding. Gawker: "Romney owns a stake in Sankaty High Yield Partners II LP, a Delaware debt fund specializing in 'below investment grade assets'... among its assets was a $3.8 million loan, due in 2013, to American Media Operations, Inc. That happens to be a subsidiary of American Media, Inc., which is the parent company of the National Enquirer, ... Sankaty High Yield Partners II... owns pieces of the Firm, Inc., the Hollywood talent management company that has worked to advance the careers of such paragons of GOP propriety as Limp Bizkit and Britney Spears, and Warner Music Group, which has of course brought you acts like the Pimp Squad Click, Big Kuntry King, and Mac Boney." [Gawker]
The renown watchdogs of the financial press are yawning as loudly as possible about the documents...
SCOTT BROWN: I'M JUST, LIKE... WOAH, MAN - A New York Times piece on how the candidates in Massachusetts' Senate race are seizing on Todd Akin's rape comments included a couple of Scott Brown quotes that remind us of a stoner's reaction to seeing Labyrinth for the first time. "Gail and I were laying in bed last night and talking a little bit, as we do every night and I said: 'Honey, can you imagine? Here I am, Scott Brown from Wrentham, and I've got a truck that's got 238,000 miles on it and, you know, something like this comes up and I'm the first guy in the country to even bring it up and tell the guy to step down.'" He then got even more boastful, adding that his statement was "really kind of amazing, kind of eye-opening" and it "led to other senators and other people and other groups to say, you know what, that conversation has no place in the public discourse." [NYT]
Bill Clinton stars in a new ad for President Obama's campaign. Bubba has come a long way from dismissing President Obama as rehashed Jesse Jackson. "This election, to me, is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment. This is a clear choice," he tells the camera. "The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper-income people and go back to deregulation. That's what got us in trouble in the first place." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
MITT ROMNEY: THE TEA PARTY IS LIKE A SCARED ANIMAL LATHERED IN PALMOLIVE - Animals in the vicinity of Mitt Romney tend to find themselves in tremendously uncomfortable situations, if an anecdote from former Senator Bob Bennett is to be believed. Here's the passage from Michael Grunwald's "The New New Deal": "Bennett says his friend Romney commiserated with him about the Tea Party's ingratitude, telling a presumably apocryphal story about getting bitten by a ferret he had tried to rescue from a dishwasher. 'Mitt said the Tea Party people are like that ferret in the dishwasher,' he says. 'They're so frightened and angry, they'll even bite Bob Bennett, who's trying to get the country out of this mess.'" [HuffPost]
AKIN SETS BAR FOR DROPPING OUT - Even though the media coverage of Todd Akin's rape comments have reached Carly Rae Jepsen saturation levels, polls show Todd Akin will stay in the Missouri Senate race as long as it's competitive. The Daily: "The attacks from within his own party ultimately fed into Akin's stubborness, the source said, and may have created the unintended affect [sic] of keeping him in the race longer, which itself could be the biggest threat to Republicans' hopes of taking back the Senate in November...The source close to Akin told The Daily that the congressman would likely stay in the race if polls continue to show him within five points of incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, but that if he falls into a deficit between seven and nine points, 'that gets difficult.'" [The Daily]
For maybe the first time ever, Democrats are unhappy about a poll that shows their candidate up by ten: "The [Rasmussen] survey taken Wednesday shows McCaskill leading Akin, 48 percent to 38 percent, among 500 likely Missouri voters. Nine percent preferred another candidate, and 5 percent were undecided. In a July 30 Rasmussen poll -- a week before Akin won the state's Republican primary -- he led McCaskill 47 percent to 44 percent in a hypothetical matchup. That, of course, was before his remarks that victims of 'legitimate rape' rarely get pregnant because biological defenses kick in." [Politico]
@clairecmc: Rasmussen poll made me laugh out loud. If anyone believes that, I just turned 29. Sneaky stuff. bit.ly/SscVZf
President Obama's campaign will soon accept donations via text message. So if you're too lazy to load up the campaign website on your smartphone and contribute there, you can save yourself a minute or two, because you're just that busy. Ethan Klapper: "Obama supporters wishing to donate via text message can text "GIVE" to 62262. The service is available this week for those who have Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular as their carriers. AT&T customers will be able to text donations in the 'near future,' the press release said. Donations are capped at $50, and donors will be charged via cellphone bill." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Deer bathes a lemur.
MITT ROMNEY: THERE IS NO TRUTH - Even in the face of repeated debunkings by journalists, Romney's presidential campaign has continued to produce new ads falsely claiming that President Barack Obama ended the requirement that people on welfare, formally known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, engage in work. "Fact-checkers on both sides of the aisle will look in the way they think is most consistent with their own views," Romney said. "It's very clear that others who have looked at the same issue feel that the president violates the provision of the act which requires work in welfare, defines what work is. He guts that, he ends that requirement for those that seek that welfare." Others = The Heritage Foundation. [HuffPost]
- "Dogshaming" is a site that features photos of dogs seated beside signs detailing their various tresspasses ("I PEE ON OTHER DOGS HEADS," etc). [http://dog-shaming.com/]
- Al Roker just kind of...froze during the filming of "The Today Show." [http://bit.ly/PeH9de]
- Short films reenacting the ramblings of young children. [http://bit.ly/PeE4dh]
- East German print advertisements from the 1950s and 1960s. [http://bit.ly/RgFAyT]
- Kitten tries to paw at a squirrel on the other side of a sliding door... or maybe it's pretending it's visiting the squirrel in prison? [http://bit.ly/SrPizY]
- What if Batman and Cookie Monster had a brain transplant? [http://bit.ly/O9SdLj]
-A short film about Civil War reenactors. The guys in Santa outfits probably aren't doing it right. [http://bit.ly/TX3pf9]
@aterkel: Hurricane. Wet. Bad.
@dbgrady: While people boarded their windows in preparation of Isaac, the number one thing I heard was: "I wish there was more coverage of Todd Akin."
@daveweigel: Luckily, there are only 997 people in Missouri. MT @ToddAkin: Hundreds of people have joined our cause. Will you?
Tonight: Paul Ryan heads to America's former bellwether state, Missouri, to ask for money at a dinner fundraiser and enjoy a respite from talking about rape. [Springfield, MO]
Tomorrow, 2:30 pm: Joe Biden attends a tri-state area bonanza in Bridgehampton. Tim Bishop, Kirsten Gillibrand and Frank Lautenberg are slated to attend. [Bridgehampton, NY]
Tomorrow: 6:45 pm - 8:30 pm: Man, he's just a guy with a truck with a lot of mileage on it standing up for women, so why don't you attend Scott Brown's champagne reception in the Bay State? [Groton, MA]
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