Mike Bloomberg's endorsement of the president was a game changer, immediately shifting Westchester County to the "Lean Obama" column. Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen will join President Obama on his final day of campaigning, during which time we hope Hova discovers the sampling possibilities in the "Tunnel of Love" album. And Washington paparazzi are worried that celebrities will bypass D.C. if Mitt Romney is elected, though they'll probably get their fair share of Kid Rock passed out surrounded by Heineken bottles on the White House lawn. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, November 1st, 2012:
ROMNEY TRYING A PENNSYLVANIA HAIL MARY (NOT THE DRINK WITH VERMOUTH AND CHEESE WHIZ) - The Republican presidential candidate will parachute into the War on Coal on Sunday when he visits Pennsylvania. HuffPost Pollster has Obama up five in the Keystone State. The Daily: "Details are still being determined and with scheduling for the final days of the campaign still fluid, it's possible Romney could still bypass the state. But two top Pennsylvania Republican officials and a Romney adviser said a large rally in the vote-rich southeastern part of the state is in the works for Sunday. The final decision is likely to be made on Friday. 'I'm 99 percent certain he's coming,' one senior level Republican official told The Daily. 'It's going to be a huge rally and it's going to be very successful.'...It is also one of the most serious signs yet that his campaign views the state, which hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, as winnable. Rep. Paul Ryan is visiting the state on Saturday." [The Daily]
President Obama will spend his final day of campaigning in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa, his campaigned announced. He'll be joined by Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z. The resulting memes of Jay-Z in a cornfield might drive the youth vote down to zero percent.
From Dan Sinker, creator of @MayorEmanuel: "DoesDavidAxelrodStillHaveHisMustache.com"
SENATE REPUBLICANS GET CRS REPORT PULLED - This is a slippery slope. First it's discrediting the Congressional Research Service. Then it's the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Soon, Mike Crapo will be casting doubt over the veracity of the clock at the Naval Observatory. NYT: " The Congressional Research Service has withdrawn an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of conservative econom[ic] theory, after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper's findings and wording. The decision, made in late September against the advice of the agency's economic team leadership, drew almost no notice at the time. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, cited the study a week and a half after it was withdrawn in a speech on tax policy at the National Press Club...A person with knowledge of the deliberations, who requested anonymity, said the Sept. 28 decision to withdraw the report was made against the advice of the research service's economics division, and that [report author Thomas L.] Hungerford stood by its findings." [NYT]
Thomas Hungerford, the CRS researcher who produced the report, told HuffPost Hill that he stands by it. "Basically, the decision to take it down, I think the New York Times article basically got it right, that it was pressure from the Senate minority to take it down," he said. "CRS reports go through many layers of review before they're issued and as far as the tone and the conclusions go, people who specifically looked at the writing and the tone said it was okay. So it's not going to be that and as I can tell you outright, I stand by the report and the analysis in the report." [HuffPost]
DURBIN GETS HIS PREDICTABLE APOLOGY FROM PARKMOBILE - No, not because it didn't register his $2 parking fee and he wound up with a $50 ticket. Though that might also have happened. The company apologized for telling its customers it was raising fees because of his swipe fee crusade. Here's Parkmobile VP Laurens Eckelboom falling on his (her?) jagged, headless parking meter: "Last week in a press release and email announcement introducing the Parkmobile Wallet, a simpler, lower cost way to pay for parking in the District of Columbia, the company made an overly simplistic statement about the underlying cause of increasing card transaction fees. In an attempt to explain why costs have increased the company left the potentially confusing impression that Federal legislation is to blame. The company apologizes for any confusion caused by this statement. [HuffPost] (Worth the click. Fun photos of Durbin's face slapped on parking meters around town)
Except the company doesn't really think Durbin's blameless: "The card brands and large issuing banks weren't too happy about having their debit interchange fees capped. So, they responded by raising regulated debit interchange fees to the cap across the board without regard to transaction size. The result is that businesses with a small average ticket no longer get special treatment on regulated debit transactions. This is especially damaging since debit cards are used far more frequently than credit cards to pay for small transactions. In Parkmobile's case, payment processing costs have tripled because of these changes."" [The Street]
MIKE BLOOMBERG ENDORSES OBAMA - Though everyone knows that so goes David Dinkins, so goes the nation. Bloomberg View: "Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week's devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action... President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption ... In the past [Mitt Romney] has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them... If [Barack Obama] listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that's why I will be voting for him." [Bloomberg View]
Mr. Burns endorsed Mitt Romney today.
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DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Arthur and Dave Jamieson: "Before the storm, Kimberly Brooks went to the store and bought some extra food. Now her fridge stinks.
'I wasn't thinking it was gonna be like this,' she said. On Wednesday afternoon, Brooks, 32, found herself standing outside a fire station with several dozen other Asbury Park residents whose power hasn't come back on since Hurricane Sandy swept through town. They were using an outlet on the firehouse wall to charge their cell phones. Printed-out signs said SORRY NO POWER AFTER 7PM, which is when a county-wide curfew goes into effect, requiring all residents to stay inside. Brooks and others hadn't heard about the curfew until told by a reporter. 'There's nobody to tell you anything,' Brooks said. 'I'm a little scared because I don't think there's a plan. I don't feel secure. I feel like it's anarchy.'" [HuffPost]
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ROMNEY BREAKS CIVILITY TRUCE, ATTACKS OBAMA IN SPEECH - Sam Stein: "The reprieve from partisan sniping between the presidential candidates during Hurricane Sandy ended on Thursday, as Mitt Romney gave a barn-burner stump speech to a crowd in Roanoke, Va., and President Barack Obama responded shortly after in Green Bay, Wis. The Romney campaign had suggested on Wednesday night that the candidate would stay above the fray during the final stretch of the campaign, presenting a vision for his first term in office that matched the more serious tone of the past few days. That vision was offered on Thursday, but accompanying it was a slew of well-rehearsed attack lines, as well as some new ones: 'I mean, unfortunately what you've seen before your very eyes is a campaign that keeps on shrinking and shrinking and shrinking to smaller things. He's been out talking about how he's going to save Big Bird and then playing silly word games with my last name, or first, and then attacking me day in and day out. Attacking me doesn't make an agenda, doesn't get people back to work.'" [HuffPost]
@alexwagner: Wow. Con Ed saying power not going to be restored til Nov 10/11th -- and possibly the week after.
NEW ROMNEY AD IN FLORIDA TIES OBAMA TO LA REVOLUCION - If the Romney campaign's latest Sunshine State ad is to be believed, President Obama would spend just as much of his second term in Ohio as he would in some South American mountain range, wrapped in a poncho and sipping yerba mate alongside his bestest Marxist rebel friends. Luke Johnson: "Mitt Romney's campaign is running a Spanish-language ad in the Miami area that ties President Barack Obama to figures who are anathema to many in the region's Cuban population -- Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Che Guevara. The Miami Herald reported that the ad has been running since at least Tuesday, and links Obama to endorsements from Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro's niece, as well as to an email sent by an EPA administrator containing an image of Guevara... The EPA said that the email had been sent by a staffer without official approval, and she has apologized for her error." [HuffPost]
ARE WE BEING PUNK'D BY POLLS? - Mark Blumenthal: "With just five days remaining, the most crucial question now may be less about last-minute polling trends and more about whether the polls will prove to be collectively accurate... Consider these past polling errors in the context of the 2 to 3 percentage points or less that separate Obama and Romney in many battleground states. It would take a consistent overstatement of Obama's margins -- just 2 to 3 points -- in the battlegrounds to create a scenario in which Romney wins despite the current polling numbers. History says an overstatement of that magnitude is rare but within the realm of possibility." [HuffPost]
AD WAR: ROMNEY RELYING HEAVILY ON OUTSIDE MONEY - Whenever someone mentions "outside money" we invariably think of illegal livery cabs ("Where you going? Where you going? White House? Yea, get in"). NBC News: "Team Romney, including the campaign and groups supporting the Republican challenger, are outspending Team Obama $96.4 million to $46.2 million this week. Accounting for this massive spending disparity, there are 11 outside groups pitching in to support Romney this week while just two are doing the same for Obama. But despite the massive spending advantage Team Romney is enjoying over Team Obama, they are about even in ad points, according to SMG Delta. In other words, they are running about the same number of ads. That's because the Obama campaign booked advertising well in advance, as compared to the Romney campaign which makes buys days -- sometimes the day -- before. Outside groups also have to pay more than campaigns for their ads." [NBC News]
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN ROLLS OUT GOTV INITIATIVE: 'PROJECT ORCA' - Though it may sound like some kind of nefarious military-industrial-complex initiative scrapped from the final season of "Lost," Project ORCA is, in fact, the Romney campaign's get-out-the-vote effort. Amanda Terkel: "Project ORCA will rely on 34,000 volunteers in swing states on Election Day, in an effort to keep track of who is voting at key polling places. Romney staffers will use the data to help them target their get-out-the-vote efforts before the polls close, in hopes of gaining an edge over Obama's grassroots operation... On Election Day, the Romney campaign will send one or more volunteers to important swing-state polling places, noting every single person who comes in to vote. That, in itself, is nothing new; both Democratic and Republican campaigns always monitor turnout to aid their GOTV efforts and generally keep track of progress...What's different about the Romney campaign's approach is that it will be utilizing smartphone technology to receive more data in real time, allowing it to quickly redirect resources to areas where there may be low turnout and get voters there out to the polls." [HuffPost]
TODD AKIN AD FEATURES RAPE SURVIVOR. LEGITIMATE ONE, TOO. - Which is kinda like an Obama ad featuring someone with a large cross draped around their neck clutching a gun or a Romney ad featuring a horse in a car elevator. But, hey, it's his campaign. Laura Bassett: "With a heap of new campaign cash from the Republican Party, Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin's (Mo.) campaign released a new ad on Thursday featuring a rape survivor who says she had an abortion...While the woman does not elaborate on her own situation, the ad is clearly meant to show that some rape victims support Akin, even in light of his controversial comment in August that victims of 'legitimate rape' don't need the option of abortion because they 'rarely' become pregnant. While Republicans initially distanced themselves from Akin and demanded that he leave the race, the party has since decided to stand by him and has funneled $700,000 into his campaign." [HuffPost]
Moving on: "Letitia Baldrige, the White House social secretary during the Kennedy administration who came to be regarded as an authority on etiquette, has died. Baldrige, 86, died Monday in Bethesda, Md., friend Mary M. Mitchell confirmed Thursday. At the White House, Baldrige also served as chief of staff for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy from 1961 to 1963." [AP]
WASHINGTON PHOTOGS WORRIED ABOUT CELEBRITY DEFICIT - Specifically, they're pretty sure they can only get so much mileage out of Victoria Jackson pictures if Mitt Romney is elected. Politico: "Photographer Gene Young thinks Romney could force the paparazzi to abandon Washington altogether. 'If he were to win, you might have, say, Kelsey Grammar or Jon Voight, but that's not money you can make off the photographers,' said Young. 'You're not going to have the Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith, the big name A-Listers who come and support Barack Obama. ... You'll have to travel or maybe you'll have to find something totally different to shoot.' Photographer and autographer collector Mark Wilkins said a Romney administration would 'bring back the same old boring celebrities we saw back when Bush was around...Trace Adkins, all those country stars that no one really cares about,' said Wilkins." [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Melancholic cat is filled with ennui about Halloween.
SIX DAYS? - HuffPost DC: "Prosecutors are seeking a six-day jail sentence for Kwame Brown, the former D.C. Council chairman who resigned in June after being charged with federal bank fraud and a misdemeanor campaign finance infraction." [HuffPost]
- A supercut of people acting crazy during Hurricane Sandy. [http://bit.ly/PJoR9E]
- In the wake of Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm, Darth Vader visited Disneyland. [http://bit.ly/QWCU8H]
- Air New Zealand's new safety video features Hobbits. That country needs something new. [http://bit.ly/VeuRsb]
- Jimmy Fallon does stellar Bob Dylan impression, performs rendition of "Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet." [http://bit.ly/VeqiOv]
- A remarkably life-like prosthetic foot whose owner could probably become the NFL's greatest punter. [http://bit.ly/PJl7F4]
- Guy has "Rainman"-like ability to remember people by their birth and death dates. [http://chzb.gr/Q6SS38]
@dcbigjohn: There's a crygenitc chamber somewhere deep inside the RNC where they keep Lee Greenwood between elections
@jpodhoretz: I missed it. Did Bloomberg repeat his endorsement in Spanish? Did Lydia sign it? If neither, I'm not interested.
@b_fung: Mayor Bloomberg, is that you? RT @mckaycoppins: VIDEO: Climate Change Heckler Interrupts Romney Rally bit.ly/RuIZuu via @buzzfeedpol
Tomorrow, 5:30 pm: Jeff Flake takes a break from accusing Richard Carmona of wanting to punch the Senate in the throat to have a fundraiser at Phoenix's Oasis Hospital, because that's appropriate. [Phoenix, AZ]
5:30 pm: Ron Johnson and Bob McDonnell head to the belly of the beast, Chicago, for a fundraiser with the Chi-Town Underground Romney Resistance...or something. [Chicago, IL]
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