Obama got some mixed messages today. Once Newsweek started blowing up cell phones, its polling found much better numbers for the president and his party. But they must not have called a Mississippi Democrat -- who says he voted for McCain in 2008 -- or a Rhode Island Democrat -- who says Obama can "shove it." Senator Schumer, at least, has his back...although we did learn today that Chuck's not armed. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, October 25th, 2010:
Popping online: MoveOn has launched a new interactive get-out-the-vote video that puts the viewer's name and photo into the ad. "The video, which can be customized and sent to your friends, features actress Olivia Wilde and actor Romany Malco, as rebel fighters living in the year 2057. They are fighting RepbliCorp, a merger of the Republican Party and big corporations that is currently ruling the world." Watch it here: http://cnnbc.moveon.org/
CORPORATE PACS USING WORKER PAYCHECKS - Alex Knott in Roll Call on the one thing that will stretch your paycheck further in Washington than a public transportation deduction: "As this year's election season draws to a close and experts begin the traditional lament of too much money in politics, the common but little-discussed practice of fueling major PACs with employee payroll deductions thrives. In recent years, professional associations have joined corporations and unions in using the mechanism to gather millions of dollars. [Over] 800 employers reported using some type of payroll deduction during the 2010 cycle, according to a CQ MoneyLine study of campaign finance records. Nationwide, well more than 100,000 salaried workers authorized their employers to withdraw a total of more than $70 million from their paychecks through June." http://bit.ly/bA87Qh
SHARRON ANGLE USES DECOY TO ELUDE REPORTERS - We would have preferred Buddy Holly glasses attached to a comically large plastic noise with a mustache. Sam Stein: "Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle used a decoy to dodge members of the press at an event on Monday, a reporter on the scene tells the Huffington Post. The Tea Party-backed pol, who has avoided public appearances since offering racially insensitive remarks to a group of Hispanic students, left reporters waiting at an event at a Microsoft Licensing office for nearly two hours (between the time she showed up late until they realized that she had actually left). Getting out of the building without being noticed, however, was tricky. According to Mackenzie Warren, a morning reporter for Reno's NBC-affiliate, KRNV, a staffer for Angle's campaign suckered the pressed by making it appear that she would be leaving the front entrance (the one she initially entered) while she was, instead, exiting through a side door." http://huff.to/aFlpZc
ADMINISTRATION UNVEILS POLLUTION CONTROLS FOR TRUCKS - The Obama administration today announced new emission standards and other environmental controls FOR trucks and various commercial vehicles, the first such regulations ever imposed on larger automobiles. Reuters: "The joint Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency initiative covers a range of vehicles from delivery vans to long-haul rigs, and is expected to cut nearly 250 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifespans of vehicles produced within the program's first five years. The regulation, which would not be final until mid-2011, covers new trucks for model years 2014 to 2018. The standards, which are divided among three categories of vehicles, will save 500 million barrels of oil for vehicles manufactured during these model years." Our Earth Mother couldn't be reached for comment. http://reut.rs/djC6kk
UNIONS ON THE AIR IN SIX RACES - A project of the Alliance for Retired Americans, a labor-affiliated group, is going up on the air with what they call a one-week "heavy buy" targeted at old folks. It satirizes what the world would be like with cuts to Social Security. Raul Grijalva, Bruce Braley, John Boccieri, Chris Carney, Mark Critz and Senate candidate Joe Sestak will be getting a boost from the ad.
ENTHUSIASM GAP CLOSING - A Newsweek poll, which hit one cell phone for every two landlines, finds the enthusiasm gap mostly closed, Obama's approval rating higher and a slight plurality of voters preferring a Democratic Congress. It also finds the pot legalization initiative in California losing 52-45. http://bit.ly/cJjTrZ
ENTHUSIASM GAP CONT'D - Michael McDonald goes after Politico and Nate Silver in HuffPost, taking apart their recent assertions about evidence a GOP surge in early voting: "Nate and Molly assume that overall voter turnout rates are typically similar for registered Democrats and registered Republicans. This is not the case. Registered Republicans tend to vote at higher rates. It is invalid to compare early voters to all registered voters in the current election." Nate Silver kinda concedes. http://huff.to/cQFXoO
OBAMA PROMISES EFFORT ON IMMIGRATION REFORM - In an interview taped last week and aired today on Univision radio, the president conceded that he had faced some hurdles in trying to pass comprehensive immigration reform. "I have not backed off this issue," he said. "But -- somebody said the other day -- I'm president. I'm not king." Obama went on to say that he will push for reform after the midterms. "I'm gonna keep my promise on immigration reform," he told the host, Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo. MSNBC: http://bit.ly/b4B7qE
The Times details what lies ahead for the president after the midterms: "The to-do list is daunting: In the few weeks after a lame-duck Congress returns from its election break, Washington will fight over taxes, war, nuclear missiles, entitlement programs, spending cuts and the military's policy on gay service members. For Mr. Obama, the brief session may be his last opportunity to push an agenda through a Congress that will still be firmly in Democratic control. But the series of high-stakes debates will play out against a backdrop of a shift in power. If Republicans take over the House of Representatives, the process of selecting a new speaker would begin immediately. Such an outcome could spark a reordering of the Democratic leadership as well." http://nyti.ms/9o1QPb
TONIGHT IN ROLL CALL: As Republican Dino Rossi told Roll Call's Kyle Trygstad last week, candidates in Washington state "don't have Election Day in Washington, we have election two-and-a-half weeks" because of the state's vote-by-mail system. Rossi and his opponent in the Senate race, Democratic incumbent Patty Murray, are devoted to getting out the vote in the state, where 50 percent of voters have already submitted their ballots and voter turnout is expected to be around 66 percent.
Rossi has now had more outside money spent on his behalf than he has spent himself -- $5 million to $2.6 million, according to Washington Dems.
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST FLIPS WIG - Our favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, done atoning for that carton of Ben and Jerry's he ate by eating another carton of Ben and Jerry's, tells us he doesn't understand why everybody is suddenly hating so much. "I was pig biting mad when foreign drugmakers spent hundreds of millions in unregulated advertisements on behalf of Dem candidates supporting their Healthcare vote in a deal with David Axelrod," he writes, taking a break from perfecting his strawberry, banana and Zoloft smoothie. "So, why should I be self-loathing when David Axelrod tells me to be paranoid about foreign donors (I assume he must believe some are foreign drugmakers) giving in exchange for a deal with Karl Rove?" Thanks, PSLGOPL!
George Soros plays WMATA like a puppet. A smiling Media Matters staff sends a pic showing that Metro staff posted their new ad campaign a few days early. http://yfrog.com/izdn3sj
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Along with Shahien Nasiripour: "The Obama administration's signature anti-foreclosure effort, unveiled in 2009 with the promise of helping three to four million homeowners modify their mortgages, is such a failure that it 'now must be counted among those that risk generating public anger and mistrust,' according to a federal audit released Monday. Far from helping at-risk homeowners, the Home Affordable Modification Program has actually made some homeowners worse off..." http://huff.to/dmGb1v
DELANEY DELIGHT - Good news for Mary Duffy, the California woman who we reported last week was hoping for two things: that she didn't have cancer and that she could get insurance from ObamaCare's Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. The California government announced Monday that it is finally beginning to offer PCIP coverage and Duffy learned that she doesn't have cancer. :)
ThinkProgress sends along a web video taking aim at secret donors that a reader made in their free time. What ever happened to stamp collecting?: http://bit.ly/dzCONk
HUFFPOST HILL NEEDS AN INTERN - We are seeking an intern for our D.C. office to help us assemble this digest of politics and cute dog videos. Responsibilities include compiling parts of HuffPost Hill, surfing YouTube and Twitter, and otherwise engaging in activities that would get you fired at a real job. The ideal candidate should have politics that are meagerly informed but deeply held. The ability to compose a coherent sentence would be nice. E-mail a resume, references and writing sample(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org
National Journal debuted its revamped website today, check it out: http://www.NationalJournal.com
Politico honcho John Harris getting a little snippy with the NYT: "National Journal needed to reinvent itself a decade or more ago. It's pretty late in the day. Quality is all that matters in this market...You either break news and write smart analysis, or you don't. No amount of P.R. can change that. Politico has cornered that market and [Atlantic Media owner] David Bradley, Fournier and [editorial director Ron] Brownstein seem to agree because they made unsuccessful overtures to almost all of our top people." Politico has cornered the market on smart analysis and breaking news? Somebody tell the FTC. Bust up that trust. http://yhoo.it/9q828E
From HuffPost Pollster's Emily Swanson: "A new poll released by PPP shows a tie in Colorado's senate race and a tightening race for Governor as Republican Dan Maes becomes more marginalized and American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo picks up Republican voters. Elsewhere, the Chicago Tribune showed Mark Kirk in a slight lead in the Illinois senate race and another PPP poll showed Joe Manchin with a slight lead."
Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
JOE MILLER ACKNOWLEDGES ETHICS BREACH - The Alaska Senate candidate admitted that he violated state ethics rules when, as a government attorney, he used state computers to send out political e-mails aimed at dethroning Alaska's GOP chairman. WaPo: "After a former borough mayor said Miller was nearly fired for using government computers in a failed effort to oust the state GOP chairman in 2008, Miller told CNN he had violated ethics policy. On Sunday, Miller said he was suspended for or docked three days' pay for participating in a private poll during his lunch hour. He said it was a mistake he's learned from." For a guy who is openly iffy about a not insignificant chunk of the Constitution and is still running a competitive race, we're note sure if this is really going to put a dent in his polling numbers. http://wapo.st/9a6oRt
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: PRAYER GAVE ME A BUMP IN THE POLLS - Sounding like she just took a bump of something, the Delaware Senate candidate this morning attributed her recent surge-lette to a prayer group organized to benefit her campaign, proving once and for all that either Christine O'Donnell is the most deluded candidate in America or that God needs to waste less of His divine time on political candidates and self-involved professional athletes. "The day that we saw a spike in the polls was a day that some people had a prayer meeting for me that morning for this campaign so I believe that prayer plays a direct role in this campaign and I always ask please pray for the campaign; please pray for our staff; please pray specifically that the eyes of the voters be opened," O'Donnell said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. Even more amazing: The poll was conducted before the prayer meeting. Mysterious ways, man. Mike O'Brien in The Hill: http://bit.ly/9fRZnx
MCCAIN REALLY, REALLY DOESN'T LIKE GRIJALVA - Republican challenger Ruth McClung didn't have a campaign office until McCain shared his headquarters with her. Raul Grijalva has been blocking uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, something McCain backers want to see happen badly. http://huff.to/bRYtXL
Charlie Cook: "If Republicans don't win either Connecticut or West Virginia, it means they have to win every other plausible pick-up opportunity to nail a ten-seat Election Night majority. They have to run the table the rest of the night, winning ten out of their ten plausible chances. Given the resistance encountered California, Nevada, and Washington state, would seem to be exceedingly unlikely." National Journal: http://bit.ly/bhNLN8
From the Louisville Courier-Journal's endorsement of Jack Conway: "Dr. Paul's campaign, on the other hand, has been a loopy journey of bizarre positions, often followed by reversals or clarifications. At various times, he has questioned the government's right to prevent racial discrimination by businesses, brushed off the need for the Americans with Disabilities Act (there are at least 12,000 disabled veterans alone in Kentucky) and tough mine-safety regulations, suggested federal anti-drug programs aren't essential in this state, floated the idea of a $2,000 deductible for Medicare and briefly seemed to endorse a regressive 23 percent sales tax to replace income taxes." http://bit.ly/aBR7JB
MEG WHITMAN UNVEILS THE MOST SELF-LOATHING CAMPAIGN AD OF THE SEASON - "I know many of you see this election as an unhappy choice between a longtime politician with no plan for the future [Editor's Note: Jerry Brown] and a billionaire with no government experience [Editor's Note: That's her!]," the California gubernatorial candidate says at the start of her latest campaign spot. "Well let me tell you my story..." The former eBay executive then discusses her move to California with her husband and the success she found in the corporate world. The ad ends with Whitman ** [CORRECTION: Saying she's ready for the challenge]. http://bit.ly/9gB2nF
Conservative Rep. Gene Taylor, a Mississippi Democrat, says he voted for John McCain in 2008, echoing the "Don't blame me" sentiments of thousands of disgruntled Bob Dole supporters' car bumpers. TPM: "When it comes to Blue Dog Democratic Congressmen in red districts distancing themselves from President Obama, it doesn't get any better than this: Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) says he voted for John McCain in 2008, the Biloxi Sun Herald reports...Taylor's district voted 67%-32% for John McCain in 2008, and previously it was 68%-31% for George W. Bush in 2004. A recent internal poll released by Republican candidate Steven Palazzo gave the challenger a lead of 43%-41%." http://bit.ly/c3cP01
R.I. GOV CANDIDATE ON OBAMA ENDORSEMENT: 'SHOVE IT' - Frank Caprio, the Democratic nominee in the Ocean State, is clearly smarting from the president's non-endorsement of his campaign. "He can take his endorsement and really shove it," Caprio said in an interview with WPRO radio, clearly taking a page from the New York Post school of political discourse. "We had one of the worst floods in the history of the United States a few months back and President. Obama didn't even do a fly over of Rhode Island," he added. "He ignored us and now he's coming into Rhode Island and treating us like an ATM machine." As we reported last week, Obama is in a tough spot as he has received strong backing from independent candidate and former senator Lincoln Chaffee. Hotline On Call: http://bit.ly/bYIr0E
Kendrick Meek '10: Senatorial Spoiler. Gubernatorial Buttress: "In Florida's three-way race for the U.S. Senate, Congressman Kendrick Meek is stuck in third, 20 points behind frontrunner Marco Rubio and facing almost certain defeat. But his role in the 2010 mid-term election is still significant. Meek, an African-American from Miami, will play a crucial role in getting out the state's black voters. And that, in turn, could determine who wins Florida's governor's race: Democrat Alex Sink or Republican Rick Scott. Sink stands to gain if African-American voters turn out in big numbers, as they did during the 2008 election. Scott, whose black support is in single digits according to the most recent Mason-Dixon poll, benefits if they stay home." The Orlando Sentinel's Jim Stratton: http://bit.ly/bBl3YT
Elsewhere in "Major Party Candidates There but for the Grace of God": "The chairman of the Tea Party Express is calling on Republican Dan Maes to drop out of the Colorado gubernatorial race and back former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo. In announcing her endorsement of Tancredo, who is running as a third party candidate, Amy Kremer said '[i]t is time for Republican Dan Maes to end his campaign, endorse Mr. Tancredo, and do what is right and best for the people of Colorado.'...Tancredo has recently surged in the polls as Republicans -- turned off by ethics questions surrounding Maes -- have jumped on board with Tancredo's campaign. Democrat John Hickenlooper leads Tancredo by just one point, according to a recent poll from a Republican firm. In that poll, Hickenlooper brought in 44 precent, Tancredo polled 43 percent and Maes has 9 percent." Alex Pappas in the Daily Caller: http://yhoo.it/blMnXD
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cats playing patty cake: http://bit.ly/dcvyLk
CANDIDATE SENDS OUT SCRATCH-AND-SNIFF CAMPAIGN MAILERS - It's a truism of politics that lawmakers usually view their constituents with some degree of disdain, however latent that condescension may be. Well Republican Van Tran has broken through the fourth wall and is straight up treating his like children. Hotline On Call: "Republican Van Tran, the upstart challenger to Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), is betting on voters sniffing out his opponent's struggles -- literally. Tran is sending out a scratch-and-sniff direct mail piece attacking Sanchez that features a hideous odor emanating from it. Much like magazine perfume advertisements, the mailer says, 'Open for a fragrance sample of 'Loretta, The Scent Of Washington.' On the inside of mailer, the piece says, 'Something smells rotten about Loretta. It's the stench of Washington.' Below that is the scratch and sniff panel." This comes on the heels of a Spanish-language interview Sanchez gave recently where she claimed, with a not-so-subtle reference to Tran's Vietnamese heritage, that the "Vietnamese and the Republicans are--with an intensity--trying to take away this seat." Hotline On Call: http://bit.ly/ciADxT
"She can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs and has virtually no carbon footprint: "Soot from commercial space flights at the New Mexico-based Spaceport America could dramatically hasten global climate change, according to a new study. While rain will remove rocket exhaust soot from the lower atmosphere, carbon particles will remain in the stratosphere, according to a paper to be published in the scientific journal Geophysics Research Letters. The study was reviewed Friday by Nature online. According to the paper, 1,000 commercial space flights a year would increase polar surface temperatures by 1°C, and disrupt ozone distributions over the northern hemisphere." New Mexico Independent: http://bit.ly/aSGZoB
Oh, and this: http://bit.ly/9VVPVL
CHUCK SCHUMER DOESN'T OWN A GUN - During a debate last night, Schumer's longshot Republican challenger Jay Townsend claimed that the New York Senator has a concealed weapon permit, an accusation Schumer flatly denied (This is probably good news as we're talking about a guy whose had handlers since his early 20s and probably can't buy clothes without a staff assistant making sure he doesn't match a blazer with sweatpants). "[Y]ou're not carrying a gun?" the NY1 moderator asked, somewhat startled by the claim. "Nor am I licensed!" Schumer replied. Schumerland spokesperson Brian Fallon provided the Albany Times Union with a letter from the NYPD confirming his boss' statement. http://bit.ly/cP8C21
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: We're all looking at the possibility/probability of rain tonight, as there is a bit of rough weather being pulled up from the south. As of now, it looks as if the D.C. area is in the "bowling alley." There's a very good chance that the heavy stuff will pass us completely, and a medium chance that we won't see rain. There is a smaller chance that we will see some heavy stuff. Either way, it will certainly look ominous all night. Tomorrow: It should be cloudy, but not threatening until overnight, when a strong storm system will be wrapping round to our north. We most likely will see some side-swiping of the system, especially in the northern suburbs and up the I-270 corridor. Thanks, JB!
- "Republican Sex and Marriage Advice" tackles modern love...with a GOP-bent. Wooo doggie. http://bit.ly/b2Y0V3
- Someone dressed their cat up in a witch outfit, leading said cat to attempt suicide. http://bit.ly/9jmkdh
- Cheers to the owner of the largest pumpkin at the Utah State Fair who volunteered to have his swollen vegetable dropped on a Pontiac 6000. http://bit.ly/9MOJ1i
- Here's a nifty infographic on some of history's most famous monuments. Feel smarter? http://bit.ly/cmdn9G
- Sony has announced that it will discontinue producing the Walkman. We'll pour out a New Coke in commemoration. http://on.mash.to/cdk6aY
- Taiwanese CGI animators tackle bed bugs. In the dystopian future, all our news will be delivered in snarky newsletters and CGI animation. http://bit.ly/bw0OVJ
- A Stephen Fry lecture on grammar Nazis. http://bit.ly/cYNI0P
- Meet Lulu, the dog with the diva attitude who walks upright. http://bit.ly/cEtXqV
@pourmecoffee: Best to start cleaning up your area of the country now for when GOP Takes It Back or you won't get security deposit.
@megancarpentier: MSNBC. "Your Place For Politics... And All The Latest Brett Favre Wang Rumors"
@Doorley: When @jbinckes says it's going to rain, I feel like he's playing god. #HailTheWeatherMan
TONIGHT: Jimmy Carter speaks with Chris Matthews on Hardball. Ed Rendell is on The Ed Show. Tim Kaine stops by Last Word. TOMORROW: David Axelrod and Meg Whitman are both on The Daily Rundown.
7:00 pm: Because you either secretly or openly want to see it (or want to impress someone who does), Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse screens Eat, Pray, Love [Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington].
8:30 pm: If nothing else, A Sunny Day In Glasgow are the owners of the most twee band name in history. Their music isn't bad, either [Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St NE].
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: The National Journal folks celebrate their relaunch at their Insider's Event "honoring the congressional and political influencers behind the National Journal Insiders Poll" [600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037].
8:00 pm: The Washington Psychotronic Film Society screens "The Psycho B-Monsterama-A-go go Spooky Freak Show" Guaranteed to be weird [The Passenger, 1021 7th Street NW].
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