There was disagreement over who won last night's debate, but after seeing Joe Biden smile so much we gotta give this one to Crest Whitestrips. Scott DesJarlais admits he urged his mistress to get an abortion but also says she wasn't pregnant -- so maybe he was testing the Republican claim that doctors provide abortions to women who aren't pregnant? And the Romney campaign was asked to stop using "Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose," which means the campaign will probably have to revert to Mitt's original idea: "Corrective Lenses. Lipitor. Good." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, October 12th, 2012:
PAUL PORK - Sam Stein and Jason Cherkis: "During Thursday night's vice presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden attacked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for criticizing the president's stimulus act despite having sent two separate requests for stimulus funds for his district. Biden was wrong. Ryan sent at least four requests. A Freedom of Information Act request for correspondence between Ryan's office and the Environmental Protection Agency, filed by The Huffington Post, unearthed two additional instances in which the Wisconsin Republican petitioned for American Recovery Act funds. In addition, there were many other occasions in which the GOP vice presidential nominee asked the EPA for grant money for projects in Wisconsin's 1st District, which encompasses Ryan's hometown of Janesville and has a slight Democratic lean. Combined, the letters muddy Ryan's claim that the stimulus wasn't helpful and that government spending, more broadly, doesn't assist small businesses." [HuffPost]
SENATE RACES UNAFFECTED BY ROMNEY BOUNCE - Mark Blumenthal and Adam Carlson: "Mitt Romney's bounce from the first presidential debate in Denver last week has not significantly affected many of the key races that will decide which party controls the Senate. While the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney has tightened nationally and in many swing states, polls conducted since the debate have shown that the Democratic Senate candidates in Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin have not lost significant (if any) ground since last Tuesday. There has been slight overall movement toward Republican candidates in Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but the dynamics of every other race appear to be largely unchanged." [HuffPosta]
SoundExchange, the organization that collects streaming (online, satellite, etc) royalties for artists, is basically taking the money and running. While it might not bother you that Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia won't be receiving royalties -- in fact, you may well be overjoyed by this development -- a lot of lesser-known struggling artists will also be denied payments. SoundExchange will start gobbling the money up Monday. Apparently they can't track down Flavor Flav. [Digital Music News]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Mitt Romney says that thanks to hospitals, Americans who lack health insurance don't have it so bad. It's a "frightening" notion to Lianne Valenti, who nearly died of a heart attack in her apartment this year after ignoring chest pains because she had no insurance. Romney's comment brought to Valenti's mind the recently reported death of an apparently homeless woman outside city hall in Long Beach. Police called it an "undetermined death," according to the Long Beach Post. In an email on Thursday, Valenti said, "The truth is she died because she couldn't afford to live, which should never happen in America." [HuffPost]
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BIDEN'S BENGHAZI GAFFE: WHITE HOUSE FIRED UP AND READY TO BACKTRACK - Josh Hersh: "The White House is taking renewed heat over a remark by Vice President Joe Biden in Thursday night's debate addressing how much the administration knew about security requests for the consulate in Libya that was attacked last month. Biden appeared to deny that the administration was aware of any security requests for the Benghazi consulate prior to the attack that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens... But during a rancorous and heated four-plus-hours special session of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee a day earlier, two former security officers based in Benghazi testified that they had repeatedly asked the State Department for more resources.' ... 'The vice president was speaking about himself and the president and the White House,' said White House spokesman Jay Carney, when pressed about Biden's remarks on Friday." [HuffPost]
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST SMELLS DISGRACE, MONEY IN LIBYA AFTERMATH - Our beloved PSLGOPL thinks he knows how this Libya stuff is gonna shake out for certain White House personnel. "Scott McClellan = Jay Carney," PSLGOPL emailed from inside his fear chamber. "Is a book deal next?" Thanks, PSLGOPL! And duh, if you're a prominent Washington person, not even prison is an excuse for not eventually landing a book deal.
Martha Raddatz: Keeping it gangsta: "Prior to last night's vice presidential debate, moderator Martha Raddatz told the audience about the time she was at a White House press briefing and her phone went off. The ringtone, compliments of her son, was 'Riding Dirty,' by hip-hop artist Chamillionaire...Chamillionaire returned the love in a Tweet to Raddatz last night: 'Can't lie. That just made my night. Appreciate it. @MarthaRaddatzKeep it gangsta.'" [Politico]
Last night Paul Ryan said he and his wife nicknamed their child "Bean" because of an embryo resembles one. You know who else did that? Kurt Cobain.
RON PAUL STILL WITHHOLDING SUPPORT FOR ROMNEY - Maybe if Romney made more fuss about the Bilderberg Group or held a photo-op in his family's palatial survivalist bunker (the car elevator goes to B1 through B7!), Paul might be more impressed. Nick Wing: "Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) weighed in on the state of the American political system on Thursday, briskly dismissing the notion of endorsing GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and arguing that both candidates are effectively the same with regards to economic policy. Asked by CNBC's Jackie DeAngelis if he would throw his support behind Romney, Paul offered a quick 'no' and then jumped into his critique, claiming that both Romney and President Barack Obama represented powerful interests that wanted to maintain the status quo. 'They're both within the establishment where they need the Federal Reserve and the lender of last resort to make sure that you can take all the risk in the world, but don't sweat it, because government will be there and the Fed will be there and they're going to get bailed out,' Paul said" [HuffPost]
@CNBC: BREAKING: White House: Full Year 2012 deficit fell to $1.089 trillion, $207 billion less than 2011.
Paul Ryan must have done some pretty intense P90X-ing before last night's debate because he repeatedly took sips from his water glass. Without further ado, Paul Ryan drinking water... a lot.
ROMNEY MAKING PLAY FOR NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS - The Republican presidential candidate has been crisscrossing the country, taking meetings with
The Village Voice and The Stranger newspapers in swing states. Michael Calderone: "The Des Moines Register endorsed President Barack Obama in the 2008 election and, given the paper's left-leaning editorial board, could be expected to do the same this time around.Nevertheless, Mitt Romney met Tuesday with The Register. The Republican presidential nominee arrived early and took questions for 45 minutes from editors and reporters, seated around folding tables in a Quonset hut, before delivering a campaign speech on farm policy in the rural Iowa setting...The following day, Romney gave a 34-minute interview to another battleground state newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch. The Ohio paper, however, is more likely to endorse Romney given that it supported John McCain in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004." [HuffPost]
Joe Biden's debate smirks, laughs and smiles conveniently rolled into one video
SCOTT DESJARLAIS GIVES COMPLETELY NONSENSICAL RESPONSE TO ABORTION SCANDAL - We're not sure what is going to be more distressing to the Republican lawmaker's constituents: that he urged his mistress to get an abortion or that his explanations are possible symptoms of dementia. Commercial Appeal: "Rep. Scott DesJarlais... did not dispute a transcript of a recorded phone conversation in which he appears to urge the woman to terminate the pregnancy. His remarks came in an interview Thursday with WTN-FM host Ralph Bristol. 'I don't mind telling people that there was no pregnancy, and no abortion,' said DesJarlais, who is seeking re-election. 'But I also don't mind telling people that this was a protracted two-year divorce back in 1999 and 2000. There was some difficult times, for sure.'" [Commercial Appeal]
Awkward: "Mitt Romney's campaign may have distanced itself from philandering Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), but Republican House leaders handed him the gavel to preside over Friday's pro forma session despite revelations this week that the doctor-politician had pushed his mistress to get an abortion...House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) apparently was comfortable enough with DesJarlais to appoint him president pro tempore to gavel in a short session of the House, in which no business was conducted." [HuffPost's Mike McAuliff]
DEMOCRATIC INFIGHTING... LITERALLY - And in this corner, weighing in at 188 pounds, the Vanilla Thrilla, BRAD SHERMAN!!! ... And in this corner, *also* the Vanilla Thrilla, HOWARD BERMAN!!! LA Times: "The bitter race for a San Fernando Valley congressional district took a bizarre turn Thursday when Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Valley Village) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) got into a near-altercation during a forum at Pierce College. Video of the event in Woodland Hills shows the candidates exchanging words and Sherman at one point putting his arm around Berman, saying: 'Do you want to get into this?' A uniformed officer then came onto the stage and appeared to ask that they move away from each other." [LA Times]
HOLLYWOOD DOESN'T LIKE THE GOP, PT. 5,214,012 - Hollywood Reporter: "Peter Berg, the writer-director of the Friday Night Lights movie and television series, is not pleased that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has co-opted a phrase from the show for his campaign appearances. In a letter to the Romney campaign sent Friday and obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter, Berg calls the use of 'Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose' an act of stealing. 'Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series,' Berg writes in the letter." [Hollywood Reporter]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Avenger Pugs
- Collection of animal halloween costumes. [http://bit.ly/QpHQld]
- Ron Swanson of "Parks and Recreation" filmed a PSA about the coming bacon shortage. [http://bit.ly/UQ3RQn]
- Baby laughter slowed down sounds like an incredibly drunk adult male laughing. [http://bit.ly/Otsajl]
- A bra that can detect breast cancer in its early stages. [http://bit.ly/QpGeIe]
- Tenacious puppy takes on older dog again and again. It's like the "Cool Hand Look" boxing scene... but with dogs. [http://bit.ly/QVLRjV]
- Murals from the 1948 Wisconsin State Fair, in all their pastoral glory. [http://bit.ly/qXM2Ly]
- The Church of Satan is apparently in the habit of sending rejection letters. You'd think leaving the applicant in a state of agonizing uncertainty would be more evil. [http://bit.ly/UQhsas]
@pourmecoffee: The last debate is just before Halloween so they will be dressing up in Sexy President and Sexy Private Equity Investor costumes.
@AntDeRosa: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Use
@Indecision: The VP debate was like watching a romcom where the schluppy but fun guy is competing with the girl's handsome rich douchebag boyfriend.
Tonight, 7:00 pm: Scott Brown apologizes for taking all that money from the company behind the meningitis outbreak and then asks for your money. [Gloucester, MA]
Today - Sunday: John Boozman and his benefactors on on a fishing retreat, though we doubt the customary crooked "Gone Fishin'" sign will be hung outside his Hart SOB office. [Lakeview, AR]
Today - Sunday: We're pretty sure that Missouri possesses some awful pretty Fall destinations, but Roy Blunt is instead taking his peeps on a trip to South Carolina. Hey, no judgements. [Kiawah Island, SC]
Today - Sunday: Jackie Speier is on the move, trying desperately to defend her toss-up district that includes southern San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Good thing she's fundraising. [Cabazon, CA]
Sunday, 3:00 pm: Jeff Flake hosts a "Fundraising VIP Receptoin & AFternoon by the Creek," which sounds very peaceful. "Peaceful"... quite the contrast to his Senate opponent, who is AN AGGRESSIVE ANGRY MAN ARGHHHHHHHH!!! [Cornville, AZ]
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