A new survey finds Barack Obama polling strongly in France, vindicating the campaign's controversial decision to pull resources from Aix-en-Provence. The president will appear on MTV this Friday in an attempt to drive up the 1996 youth vote. And after his comments about bayonets and horses last night, the commander-in-chief is under attack from the bayonet industry. We can only imagine what kind of revenge Rafalca is planning. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday October 23rd, 2012
RYAN BUDGET WOULD KILL YOUR NANA - Paul Ryan wants America to take its fiscal medicine... by not taking medicine. Jeff Young: "Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's plan to replace the Medicaid entitlement program with a system controlled by states would cut federal funding by $1.7 trillion and reduce enrollment by 50 percent, according to a new report released Tuesday. Under the Ryan plan to cap federal spending on Medicaid and repeal President Barack Obama's health care reform law, 37.5 million fewer people would receive benefits, the Tuesday Urban Institute report concludes. Wisconsin Rep. Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, shepherded his plan to passage in the Republican-led House in 2011 and 2012. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also supports cutting federal Medicaid spending." [HuffPost]
@jbendery: Uh, you voted for em 1.usa.gov/qeje4p MT @PaulRyanVP: Obama's defense cuts are devastating to troops, natl security mi.tt/RTsCFd
Yo! Barack Obama Panders: "Obama will participate in a live television program on MTV Friday, the television network said Tuesday, where he will field questions from young voters...Obama will field questions from college students in Washington, D.C. and via Facebook, MTV said, in a conversation facilitated by the network's news correspondents." [CNN]
CHANGE.ORG SOURCE DISCOVERED - The source for our Change.org scoop yesterday -- they changed their ad policy to accept anybody that can pay and isn't a hate group -- has been discovered and is no longer working there. That's all we know, but if you know more, email us. Also, there's a SignOn petition to get him/her his job back. A Change spokesman wasn't able to comment by press time. Change.org has argued that it couldn't keep vetting potential clients based on their values because it's too subjective and doesn't scale, but Matt Browner-Hamlin points out that their new business model explicitely relies on their ability to identify a clients values and match them with users who share them. [HoldFastBlog]
UPDATE: Benjamin Joffe-Walt, Change.org's Managing Director of Global Communications: "A Huffington Post article about our new advertising guidelines revealed that a blogger had obtained access to internal Change.org documents. We've identified the person who leaked the documents and they are no longer with the company. We respect their privacy and we are not releasing their name," he said in a statement, adding that "this was a case in which a Change.org staffer shared internal documents and the private schedule of our founder and CEO with a journalist. Content aside, there is simply no situation in any organization or company in which the result would have been different.
"The suspicion that such a move is an attempt to punish a ‘whistleblower’ couldn’t be further from the truth: the leaked documents and emails in question are available to all our employees and outline plans to be fully transparent about our business model and new advertising guidelines. While we wouldn't normally communicate externally through a painfully long, 12-page document, it outlines a number of important concerns and if anyone is inclined to read it they are more than welcome to do so. There are no nefarious secrets to reveal and no whistle was blown."
@bazmaniandevil: Nielsen: Final presidential debate Draws 59.2 million viewers (not a huge drop off, despite NLCS/MNF)
DEMS IN DISARRAY, PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST POSTULATES - HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who not only debates himself in the mirror but moderates as well, thinks senior Obama strategist David Axelrod is starting to get a little too Iraqi information minister-y, much to the delight of Bill and Hillary's confidants. "Axelrod is starting to look like Joe Trippi to me," PSLGOPL writes. 'I bet Carville and Begala agree." Thanks, PSLGOPL!
Try not to be horrified by this picture of Mitt Romney and Ann Romney with their faces swapped.
Maricopa County, you old so-and-so: "The general election is Nov. 6, but Spanish-speakers in Maricopa County, Ariz., are being told otherwise, with now two documents from the county's elections department stating the date -- in Spanish -- as Nov. 8. They are direct translations of English-language documents, except for the date -- which in both cases is listed correctly in English, but not in Spanish." [HuffPost's Elise Foley]
THE KKK IS ON THE LOOSE IN LOUISIANA. REALLY - KLTV 7: "WINNSBORO, LA - New details are emerging surrounding the critical injury of a Winnsboro woman set on fire in a city park on Sunday night. 20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt is in critical condition at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport. Her mother, Edna Moffitt, says surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. "Both of her arms, and they are third degree burns, down her chest and legs - one. Basically her arms are real bad." Edna Moffitt also confirms her daughter was not wearing an Obama t-shirt, as initial rumors on social media had indicated. At a news conference held just before Noon Monday, authorities confirmed Moffitt called 911 around 8 p.m. Sunday from Civitan Park, telling them she had been attacked and burned by three men in white hoodies. They say she was unable to identify her attackers. Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb confirms that 'KKK' was scrawled on the hood of her car in some sort of paste-like substance, with a racial slur underneath. At this point, police are not classifying the incident as a hate crime, but FBI agents are there investigating the possibility. Um, what do you have to do to get a hate-crime designation in Winnsboro? [Local TV]
MITT ROMNEY VOWS TO BE FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT - It didn't get much attention, but Mitt Romney said in his closing remarks at Monday night's debate that he wanted to get people off food stamps, but not by changing the program so fewer people qualify. "I want to make sure we get people off food stamps, not by cutting the program but by getting them good jobs," Romney said. What a nice guy! [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Today's edition of PASTED: The Emails of the Jobless, via Gawker: "Your friends stop calling you. They know you don't have any money so they don't want to rub it in your face by inviting you out. You see pictures of them together on Facebook at concerts you didn't know about. You have nothing to say on any social media because you know they must get tired of hearing about you complain, you can't think of anything good to say that doesn't sound like a lie, and at a certain point you stop celebrating the good things that happen to your friends because they're just strangers... and you suspect they never much liked you to begin with."
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PELOSI POSTPONES LEADERSHIP VOTE, FUELING SPECULATION ABOUT HER FUTURE - Longtime frenemies Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer might be at it again later this year. Politico reports that Pelosi might pull a move akin to a graduating high school senior handing over yearbook editing responsibilities to her best friend on the soccer team, and not the deputy editor. We're not bitter. Politico: "By delaying House Democratic leadership elections until after Thanksgiving, she's spurred speculation about whether she is going to stay atop the caucus. On top of that, the delay is a reflection of the diminished Democratic hopes of taking control of the House. Pelosi aides insist the leadership pushed back the internal elections because rank-and-file lawmakers were overwhelmed by three candidates running for vice chair of the Democratic Caucus -- the lowest leadership spot. But Democratic insiders say Pelosi's move means one of two things: She's getting out of leadership and wants to give someone else a chance to organize a movement against Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the long-time number two; or she's simply buying time to consider her future if Democrats fall short of the majority...'That’s ridiculous,' Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said of the speculators’ reasoning. 'Leader Pelosi is singularly focused on winning the election.'" [Politico]
OBAMA CAMPAIGN BANKING ON LAZY PEOPLE - President Obama continues to poll strongly among all registered voters, but "all registered voters" are typically as reliable as a Red Line escalator. Still, the Obama campaign is banking on them. Sam Stein: "The Obama campaign insisted on Tuesday that on the tangible metrics of the race, President Obama is winning. Campaign manager Jim Messina stressed on the morning conference call that Obama's advantage in early voting numbers gives him an important leg-up on Mitt Romney heading into the election's final weeks... what actual difference does it make if Romney or Obama turn out their voters early? So long as a significant number of voters don't decide -- unexpectedly -- to just not vote at all, the final tallies shouldn't be too unpredictable. A 51 percent to 49 percent-point race doesn't change because one side's supporters cast their votes two weeks in advance. That holds true unless, of course, a campaign is using the early voting period to turn out voters that weren't likely to cast ballots to begin with. And in his presentation to reporters, Messina insisted that this is exactly what the Obama team is doing." [HuffPost]
@samsteinhp: Fox reporting that Romney/Ryan are contemplating a 30-minute infomercial to air in battleground states (a la Obama in 2008)
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN WON'T GUARANTEE ANY MORE INTERVIEWS - Maybe it's because the former Massachusetts governor's tax plan is as elaborate as a Rothko painting or maybe it's because his foreign policy is, more or less, "What he said... only better," but Mitt Romney might avoid the press through November 6th. "Look, one of the great things about the debates were we got a chance to talk directly to the American people about the issues that they care about," Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden told reporters aboard Romney's plane today. "Over the next 14 days, Gov. Romney is looking forward to meeting with as many voters in these critical swing states and delivering them his closing argument about why he would be a better president. I don't have anything for you on scheduling yet, but I'll let you know as we update it." Obama is scheduled to be interviewed by Brian Williams and Jay Leno this week. [Politico]
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: MITT SKIPPED LIBYA BECAUSE, UH, MACRO ISSUES - This makes no sense. Josh Hersh: "Mitt Romney's decision not to press President Barack Obama on his administration's failures in Libya was a conscious choice by the campaign, several Romney aides said in the aftermath of the candidates' Monday night debate. 'What he chose to do up there was to take Libya out of the back and forth and raise the issue of what it says in the macro sense,' said Dan Senor, a top Romney foreign policy aide. 'It is a sign that President Obama's foreign policy is unraveling in a number of ways.'" [HuffPost]
LOBBYISTS ABANDONING DC FOR A FEW WEEKS - If the Washington Area's Brooks Brothers feel emptier, its female bar patrons less besieged and its freeways less clogged with Beamers, that's because its lobbyists have left the leafy confines of Bethesda and McLean and are on the campaign trail. Roll Call: "They expect to canvass political battlegrounds, knocking on doors and putting up yard signs. Some will sit in windowless rooms calling voters, while others will pitch in by driving citizens to polling places. The lobbyists endure the grunt work because they are, at heart, partisans who want to see their candidates in power. Many also feel compelled to help keep their patrons in office and to freshen their contacts inside the government. Such relationships are the currency of a solid book of business on K Street. But the presence of lobbyist volunteers is something that campaigns often prefer to keep quiet, especially on the Democratic side. It's common for politicians of both parties at every level, including Obama, to rail against "special interests" and the people who represent them." [Roll Call]
The sound Josh Mandel makes as he fails to start an OH-IO chant is not unlike the sound an 80s movie nerd makes when he's being hung up on a locker by his skivvies. Bullying behavior which we condemn, of course.
SCOTUS update: "The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to block a Montana law limiting campaign contributions to candidates for state office, leaving the caps in place at least through the November general election. The high court upheld a ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of appeals earlier this month that temporarily reinstated Montana's right to regulate campaign contributions after a lower court struck down the restrictions as unconstitutional." [Reuters]
POLL: WORLD PREFERS OBAMA - Except for that one country our aerial robot army has been pummeling for the last four years. BBC: "An average of 50% favoured Mr Obama, with 9% for Mr Romney, in the survey of 21,797 people in 21 countries. Only Pakistan's respondents said they would prefer to see Mr Romney win November's election [though the poll was taken before he enthusiastically supported death-by-drone last night]. France was the most strongly pro-Obama (72%)." [BBC]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Blink and you'll miss it: Kitten falls asleep.
BAYONET INDUSTRY GOES AFTER OBAMA - Yes, "goes after." Every time you use "ripped" or "jabbed" in your bayonet headline, an angel gets... impaled with a bayonet. TMZ: "We spoke with Dan Riker from Bayonet Inc. -- a leading military surplus outlet that specializes in bayonets -- who tells us he believes Obama's comment was 'ignorant ... because our soldiers still use bayonets.' He adds, '[Bayonets] are still distributed to the military all the time -- he should get educated on it.' For the record, Riker says he won't be voting for Obama ... 'and I didn't vote for him last election either.'" [TMZ]
- The best GIFs from last night's debate. [http://bit.ly/OZhV6z]
- Portraits of dogs underwater. [http://bit.ly/T8xG7v]
- The latest Swedish Will Ferrell commercial for Old Milwaukee...this one has dubstep. [http://bit.ly/X8AZkN]
- Last night's debate as a staring contest. [http://bit.ly/RTtdXf]
- The Guinness world record-holder for fastest guitar playing. He sounds like Dick Dale on meth. [http://bit.ly/OYYMBC]
- Wild owl with a broken wing is tended to adorably. [http://bit.ly/T8BtBu]
- The "Law & Order" tribute song sounds like a mix of the "COPS" theme song and a weak ZZ Top cover band. [http://bit.ly/TQafk7]
@JimGaffigan: Thank god they finally cancelled "Presidential Debate." That show was all over the place with bad wanna be Aaron Sorkin dialogue.
@brianbeutler: In lieu of election Obama, Romney to don Big Bird armor, mount horses and joust with bayonets at Medieval Times in Ohio.
@mileskahn: So, Obama won the debate and simultaneously turned off voters by being snarky? Fox News is the bipolar girlfriend of cable news.
Tomorrow, 5:30 pm: Despite his nationwide popularity that rivals that of Oprah and Sully Sullenberger, John Kerry skips the swing states and campaigns for Martin Heinrich. Jeff Bingaman,
Tomorrow, 6:00 pm: The Republican Party of Iowa hosts its annual Ronald Reagan dinner, which is a great opportunity for prospective presidential candidates. Mitt Romney might be a wee bit offended that Bob McDonnell is attending. Chuck Grassley, Terry Branstad and Reince Priebus will also be in attendance. [Des Moines, IA]
Tomorrow, 6:00 pm: Boy wonder Paul Ryan takes his toothbrush and slide projector to Georgia for a $10,000-a-couple fundraiser. [Atlanta, GA]
Tomorrow, 7:00 pm: Deb Fischer, the GOP's Senate candidate in Nebraska, is given an assist from Marco Rubio, Mike Johanns and Dave Heineman. [Omaha, NE]
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