With one day left until the vice presidential debate, Paul Ryan studied up and Joe Biden, we're guessing, put on a hoodie and repeatedly punched a slab of beef inside a meat locker. Bain briefly contemplated investing in Gawker, though we're not exactly sure how effectively you can out closeted New York celebrities from India. And newly uncovered documents indicate a far-right Republican congressman urged his mistress to have an abortion. You can learn more about it below or wait until it's the subject of George Clooney's next passion project. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, October 10th, 2012:
ROMNEY USING MOMENTUM TO REMIND EVERYONE ABOUT HIS ABORTION STANCE(S) - The last two days have demonstrated that Romney's view on reproductive rights remains trapped in Opinion Purgatory (where we imagine it has been lonely ever since President Obama came out for gay marriage). Laura Bassett: After telling a reporter on Tuesday that he would not pursue any legislation to restrict abortion, Republican candidate Mitt Romney waved away suspicions Wednesday that his anti-abortion stance is wavering. 'I think I've said time and again, I'm a pro-life candidate,' he told reporters at a campaign stop in Ohio according to a pool report. 'I'll be a pro-life president. The actions I'll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget.'" [HuffPost]
RoboRomney.com asks for your views on a range of issues and then provides clips of Romney agreeing with whatever you said.
TEA PARTY REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN
PRO-CHOICE PRO-ABORTION (VERY PRO-ABORTION) - From the Department of No Really, This Kind Of Stuff Actually Happens, Mike McAuliff obtained a September 2000 phone transcript in which far-right Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee pressured his mistress -- who was also a patient at his medical practice -- to abort a pregnancy for which he may have been responsible. McAuliff: "DesJarlais, who was provided a copy of the [phone] transcript by HuffPost, did not deny its contents, but in a statement released through his campaign characterized it as just another sordid detail dredged up by the opposition. 'Desperate personal attacks do not solve our nation's problems, yet it appears my opponents are choosing to once again engage in the same gutter politics that CBS news called the dirtiest in the nation just 2 years ago'...DesJarlais is currently leading Democratic state Sen. Eric Stewart in the polls." [HuffPost]
A Hill aide tells us David Wu has been just kind of ... *meandering* about the near-empty Capitol complex today and yesterday.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series PASTED: The Email of the Jobless: "There are not many jobs for me. I apply for lower positions and hardly ever get an acknowledgement that I applied. When I call, I am told that I am overqualified. Recruiters have been no help. They hear the same thing from companies shown my resume. A number of my friends are in the same position.... I look for a job every day and hope something turns up. I am willing to do something totally different if offered the chance. Too many people need work and Congress just does nothing to take action that would get us back to work. I keep hoping that jobs return soon." [Hang in there!]
UPSIDE DOWNER - People laid off through no fault of their own are eligible for fewer and fewer weeks of unemployment insurance as the government pares back the safety net deployed in response to the worst recession since the Great Depression. But since Congress said states should lose access to some benefits automatically as unemployment declines, volatility in the numbers means states are seeing their eligibility for some federal jobless benefits trigger off and on. In the past month, eight states have regained eligibility for several months' worth of benefits they'd only recently lost. [HuffPost]
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HOUSE LEADERSHIP BATTLE!!! - The Democratic leadership is currently filled with a lot of old people who outrank a lot of very ambitious young people. The Democratic caucus over the next few years will likely resemble a bad soap opera inheritance plotline ("Xavier, it was you who tried to poison father Steny's hot toddy!"). National Journal: "The scenario described by several lawmakers and senior congressional aides has [Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi hanging on long enough to install a chosen successor but not so long as to possibly become the GOP's bogeyman again in the 2014 midterm elections (as she was in 2010, when her party lost the House majority)...Meanwhile, neither Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, 73, of Maryland, nor Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, 72, of South Carolina, who are second and third in leadership, respectively, have said they aren't going anywhere." [National Journal]
ROMNEY THE USAIN BOLT OF FLIP-FLOPPING - Sam Stein:
Days after he declared that he wants to put 'more teachers' in schools, Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama's plan to do just that. The Republican presidential nominee didn't technically contradict his comments, made during the first presidential debate last week, in his interview with The Des Moines Register. But he did cast a proposal to hire more teachers as a waste of taxpayer money... What's different is the rhetorical approach Romney has taken to the issue, going from pledging his support for more teachers to downplaying the necessity of hiring them. There are also questions over the idea that hiring teachers does not produce any economic benefit, as studies have shown that the layoffs of teachers and other government workers has had an economic impact." [HuffPost]
Suitable for work, we swear: "Associated Press Apologizes For Romney Schoolchildren Photo"
MOTHER OF SLAIN SOLDIER TELLS ROMNEY TO QUIT IT - WHDH: "The attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya became a major issue on the campaign trail and the mother of a Navy Seal killed in the violence is voicing her anger that Mitt Romney is speaking about her son on the campaign trail. 'I met some remarkable people, one of whom was a former navy seal. I just learned a few days ago that he was one of the two former navy seals killed in Benghazi. It broke my heart,' Romney said to a crowd on the campaign trail. Glen Doherty was one of four Americans killed in the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate...'I don't trust Romney. He shouldn't make my son's death part of his political agenda. It's wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama,' said Barbara Doherty, Glen's mother." [WHDH]
@mckaycoppins: Romney now telling the story about SEAL killed. His mom just told local TV he should stop talking about her son's death.
OBAMA THINKS HE WAS A LITTLE TOO EMILY POST-Y LAST WEEK - Though the general consensus is that President Obama seemed disengaged, if not downright bored, during last week's debate (and we mean professor-who-didn't-get-tenure-teaching-a-class-in-late-April bored), the commander-in-chief believes he was being too polite. "I think it's fair to say I was just too polite, because, you know, it's hard to sometimes just keep on saying and what you're saying isn't true. It gets repetitive," he said during an appearance on Tom Joyner's radio show this morning. "But, you know, the good news is, is that's just the first one. Governor Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken, or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long term." [HuffPost]
Michelle Obama on her husband's performance: "You know, I'm biased, but I think my husband has done a phenomenal job, not just in the debates but over these last three and a half years, and I continue to be in awe of how poised and consistent and honest he is," she said at roundtable discussion with reporters. [HuffPost's Laura Bassett]
SUPREME COURT CONSIDERING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION - Will America's student bodies soon resemble the Sunday afternoon crowd at the Potomac Mills Mall? That's the question the high court is considering. AP: "Supreme Court justices sharply questioned the University of Texas' use of race in college admissions Wednesday in a case that could lead to new limits on affirmative action. The court heard arguments in a challenge to the program from a white Texan who contends she was discriminated against when the university did not offer her a spot in 2008. The court's conservatives cast doubt on the program that uses race as one among many factors in admitting about a quarter of the university's incoming freshmen. Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote could be decisive, looked skeptically on Texas' defense of the program. 'What you're saying is what counts is race above all,' Kennedy said. [HuffPost]
Today's award for achievements in pwnage goes to Tammy Duckworth. Nick Wing: "In one of the most memorable verbal scuffles, [Joe] Walsh attempted to accuse Duckworth of being carefully groomed and programmed by national Democrats. After characterizing her as a puppet of David Axelrod, however, Walsh decided to criticize Duckworth for being worried about 'picking out a dress' ahead of her address at the Democratic National Convention. ..'He's trying to distract the discussion from the real issues that are at hand. And yes, I do sometimes look at the clothes that I wear,' she said. 'But for most of my adult life, I've worn one color -- it's called camouflage.'" [HuffPost]
EMPLOYERS FINDING CREATIVE NEW WAYS TO MAKE SURE WE ALL DIE EARLY AND POOR - Dave Jamieson and Jeff Young: "With health care reform set to forever change businesses' health care obligations to their employees, health care experts say there's legitimate concern that the 30-hour bar set by the [Affordable Care Act] will end up encouraging businesses to cut workers' hours, exacerbating the post-recession growth of part-time, unreliable work. Such cuts are probably more likely to hit workers in the restaurant and retail industries, where low pay and irregular schedules are already common and managers are always looking for ways to further shave labor costs." [HuffPost]
OH, EXCELLENT - Gawker: "After we published nearly 1,000 pages of Bain Capital's confidential financial records--including audits revealing for the first time that Bain employed a potentially illegal tax dodge currently under investigation by the New York attorney general--we thought we might hear from the good folks at Mitt Romney's former private equity firm, perhaps asking us to take down the documents. Well, Bain finally got in touch yesterday. And they want to explore investing in Gawker Media." [Gawker]
But, seriously, is there anything more Bain-ish than the Big Board?
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cats listen to "Gangnam Style."
CALIFORNIA CONGRESSMAN CALLS FOR METRO BOYCOTT OVER ANTI-MUSLIM ADS - HuffPost DC: "There's another call to boycott D.C.'s Metrorail system in response to a series of controversial anti-Muslim ads put up Monday that will be posted for the next month. This time it's coming from a California congressman." [HuffPost]
- The first presidential debate, the Bad Lip Reading version. Maybe if the president didn't call Mitt Romney black, he might've won. [http://bit.ly/VY6QUF]
- The intro to "The Simpsons"... but in real life...and in Britain. [http://bit.ly/Qhh5PL]
- Paging Kevin Costner: Woman floats above cornfield, possibly because of an optical trick... or maybe because she's Heartland Jesus. [http://yhoo.it/VWCBgJ]
- Fake candidate gets all the embarrassing facts of his life out of the way in his introductory ad. [http://bit.ly/TgvfAb]
- Yuppie goes a little bit too far in his quest to save the rainforests. Also a public service announcement. [http://bit.ly/QbFgjw]
- How much does a shadow weigh? Really. Chicago weighs 300 pounds more during the day. [http://bit.ly/TvQC5G]
- Bob Dylan and George Harrison playing tennis. [http://bit.ly/R7Thkh]
@willapaskin: If McDonald's can trademark "Smile," how is "Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can't Lose" just up for grabs?
@pourmecoffee: I think Romney might be ideologically Benjamin Buttoning himself.
@EricKleefeld: @daveweigel @TheRickWilson Folks in the mid-1960's really missed an opportunity to call Medicare "Johnson-Care."
8:00 pm: RLTV, television for the temporally advanced, hosts a throwdown between Jared Bernstein and Alan Simpson. It'll be like an economic Lincoln-Douglas debate, except on a network with programming options such as "Victory Gardens."
11:45 am: Claire McCaskill is confident enough in her strength against Todd Akin that she's spending a night away from the heartland in den of everything-that's-wrong-in-the-world, San Francisco. [San Francisco, CA]
4:30 pm: Steve King noshes on garlic-stuffed olives and rants about anchor babies. [Waterloo, IA]
5:30 pm: His poll numbers falling, Jeff Flake will smile extra hard at his Senate campaign function. [Phoenix, AZ]
6:15: Ben Romney, son of Mitt, sits on a roundtable with Dick Cheney, son of MYFOR, LORD OF ALL DARKNESS AND DESPAIR. [Arlington, VA]
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