Young children should be careful when Googling "Bachmann" as they might end up seeing a lot of Santorum. The Tea Party's upcoming Lincoln-Douglas debate will likely be the Woodstock '99 of historical revivals. Mitt Romney once tried to help sick people get better (that monster). And the government's reconfigured foreclosure program kindly repays all the hardworking Americans who created the need for the foreclosure program in the first place. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, October 24th, 2011:
PROPERTY DE-LISTING RAISES LEGAL QUESTIONS ABOUT PERRY'S CAMPAIGN - Campaign laws essentially prohibit the head of Rick Perry's super PAC and Rick Perry's campaign from interacting, which is why the de-listing of an island co-owned by Mike Toomey and David Carney has caught the attention of good government advocates. On the one hand, this is a major coup for Perry, as it is real estate-related controversy that has NOTHING to do with racist rocks. On the other hand, it might possibly lead to an ethics inquiry (perspective: catch some!). Jon Ward: "The island -- which The Huffington Post discovered is worth more than $3 million -- is not evidence of any wrongdoing, but is an outsized symbol of the fact that Make Us Great Again, Toomey's super PAC, is linked quite closely to the Perry campaign. Until recently, it was possible to go online and look at rental listings for Parker Island, the 2.68-acre retreat in the southeast corner of the 69-square-mile lake that rented for $18,000 a week when Toomey and Perry were not using it. But within the last month, that website -- parkerisland.com -- has been taken down and now redirects to the state of New Hampshire's website. However, the Parker Island site is still available on a web archive, which shows the 2,956-square-foot, four-bedroom Main House; the 2,040-square-foot, four-bedroom Guest House; and the auxiliary, 12-bed Boat House." [HuffPost]
@thinkprogress: BREAKING: @neeratanden is the new President of Center for American Progress. John Podesta now Chair of Board. What a scoop!
RECORDS SHOW DEMOCRATIC REP RETAINED A PRIVATE SURVEILLANCE FIRM - Soon to run in Roll Call from Amanda Becker: "Just days after Democrat Cedric Richmond unseated GOP Rep. Anh Cao in his 2010 bid for re-election in Louisiana's 2nd District, Richmond's campaign received a bill from an investigations firm that specializes in covert video surveillance, court records searches and serving subpoenas. In addition, the campaign reported to the Federal Election Commission that it made another payment to Deep South Investigations in July, raising questions about what services the surveillance firm may have provided and whether they are ongoing. Deep South Investigations does not specialize in campaign-related opposition research or provide ongoing security services, according to a firm representative, and Richmond's office referred questions to a campaign representative, who did not respond to a request for comment."
HUNTERS, FISHERPEOPLE UP FOR TESTER - Montana Hunters & Anglers Action is up today with a Big Sky ad buy, and will be blanketing Billings and Missoula with three weeks of ads attacking Denny Rehberg. If you care about the actual issue, that's here, but what this means for our amoral elite political audience is a bit different: If Democrats can hold onto Montana, they can probably hold the Senate.
FOLEY FROWNER - Arthur is off sad hunting in New Hampshire, so please hold back your tears as long as possible while reading this depressing dollop from Elise Foley: "Shamir Ali, a 25-year-old born in Bangladesh, was at work at a Miami luxury car dealership last week when federal officers raided the company. FBI officers asked Ali for his papers, and then turned him over to immigration authorities, putting the undocumented man into deportation proceedings. Now, with Ali in detention and facing removal from the United States, immigrant rights groups are rallying behind him, saying his deportation would be in direct contradiction with an Obama administration policy that should protect some undocumented young people from removal."
HOPE IN HUMANITY BRIEFLY RESTORED IN ALABAMA - Dave Jamieson: Last week HuffPost told the story of Steve Dubrinsky, a Birmingham deli owner who was pilloried by strangers for defending his Latino workforce in an interview with the Birmingham News. Dubrinsky had told the paper that even documented Latinos were scared of Alabama's sweeping new immigration enforcement law, and that many legal workers would end up leaving the state because they no longer felt comfortable there. Outraged by Dubrinsky's support of immigrants, strangers flooded his inbox with threats to boycott his restaurant, Max's Delicatessen...But since late last week, Dubrinsky has witnessed an outpouring of support from a different set of strangers. After reading of Dubrinsky's plight, opponents of the new law have rallied around his deli, leading to one the busiest stretches at the restaurant that Dubrinsky can recall. He tells HuffPost that new diners have been driving from up to forty miles outside the city just to try his reuben and thank him for standing up for Latino workers. "I've shaken more hands in the last two days than in the previous two years. It's been amazing," Dubrinsky said. "The restaurant has been pretty darn busy." [HuffPost]
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NEW FORECLOSURE PROGRAM IS THE 'CLEAR SKIES ACT' OF HOUSING LEGISLATION - Zach Carter: "The Obama administration is introducing a new program on Monday designed to lower monthly mortgage payments for more troubled homeowners. But a key new condition in the plan would shift the financial liability for refinanced loans from Wall Street banks to the American taxpayer. And by focusing on lower payments, the program does not confront what housing experts view as the core problem in the foreclosure crisis -- borrower debt that exceeds the value of one's home. Faced with the weak response to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, the Obama administration is planning to open up the program to all borrowers who owe more on their mortgage than their homes' worth, commonly dubbed being underwater, and have not missed a mortgage payment. HARP had been limited to borrowers who owed up to 25 percent more than their home is worth...The revised program also eliminates several fees associated with refinancing that can make the decision to refinance uneconomical for borrowers. But the potential benefit of the eliminated fees could be relatively small: If a few thousand dollars worth of fees made refinancing a bad deal for underwater borrowers, the ultimate benefits that refinancing can pose would remain limited." [HuffPost]
MORE EXECUTIVE ACTION - Tomorrow morning the White House will announce a vets-to-work executive program, too. WH: "Matt Flavin, Director of the White House Veterans, Military Families and Wounded Warrior Task Force, Mary Wakefield, Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator and Tom Van Coverden, President of the National Association of Community Health Centers will announce new initiatives that will help create jobs for our nation's veterans."
BACHMANN STAFFERS BURN BRIDGES - Or should we say, injected the bridges with HPV vaccine, amirite? Amirite? Ahhhhh, forget it. Anyway, the group of Bachmann staffers who vacated en masse from the Minnesota congresswoman's New Hampshire office have issued a scathing attack on the campaign. "The manner in which some in the national team conducted themselves towards Team-NH was rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel," the ex-staffers wrote in a press release (using Bachmann letterhead, to boot!). "Team members were repeatedly ignored regarding simple requests, sometimes going weeks with little or no contact with the national team." Ouch! They also added that Bachmann was "sequestered behind a wall of pretense, guarded by political operatives consumed by their own egos." Double ouch! [National Journal]
Michele Bachmann, about a week ago: "I think [late-term abortions are] something that most people find anathema, and they would prefer to see it outlawed. That's a state issue, and so it's up to the people of Iowa to decide what they want to do."
Michele Bachmann, on Saturday: "I don't think I ever said that, that a late-term abortion ban is a state issue. I don't ever recall anything about that. I don't recall a question about that. I've always been absolutely unequivocal about [abortion being a federal issue]. They should contact the campaign before they post something like that, because that is not true." [HuffPost's Laura Bassett]
WHEREIN WE USE 'BACHMANN' AND 'CYBER-SQUATTING' IN THE SAME SENTENCE - Because Michele Bachmann's parents decided to pull a Michele Norris and forego the second "l" in their daughter's first name (that or because Bachmann decided to tithe the second l to her church as an adult ... it's definitely one or the other), her opponents are having a field day registering Bachmann-ish website domain names to promote their agendas. "For instance, Bachman2012.com, spelled with one fewer "n" than the Minnesota Republican's real name, takes users to a spoof article about Bachmann announcing her candidacy...Michele2012.com, meanwhile, redirects to the website for the skin magazine Penthouse. A visit to michelebachman.com directs users to a blank webpage with the text, "Please learn to share, love and be more accepting of others." A few seconds later, the page forwards users to the activist website gayrights.change.org." [Roll Call]
Mitt Romney, who has a Google Analytics-like sensitivity to popular conservative policies, suddenly likes the flat tax, notes the Times: "As several leading Republican presidential candidates embrace a flat tax as a core campaign position, one contender stands out in not doing so: Mitt Romney, who has a long record of criticizing such plans and famously derided Steve Forbes's 1996 proposal as a 'tax cut for fat cats.' Lately, though, his tone has been more positive. 'I love a flat tax,' he said in August." [NYT]
Romney also recklessly helped sick people get better when he was governor of Massachusetts. This will come back to bite him in the ass. LA Times: "The Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance. Uninsured, poor immigrants can walk into a health clinic or hospital in the state and get publicly subsidized care at virtually no cost to them, regardless of their immigration status. The program, widely supported in Massachusetts, drew little attention when Romney signed the trailblazing healthcare law. But now it could prove problematic for the Republican presidential hopeful, who has been attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry for supporting educational aid for children of undocumented immigrants in Texas." [LA Times]
GINGRICH AND CAIN TO RETRO DEBATE - Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich will face-off next month in a Tea Party-sponsored debate modeled after the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. While that might sound noble (and a little confusing seeing as how your neurons are at this very instant making an inaccurate black guy-versus-white guy/abolitionist-versus-anti-abolitionist comparison), Lincoln-Douglas 2.0 won't be anything like the original. "The format inspired today's presidential debates, but it's worth noting that the time allotted to each speaker was far more substantial, allowing the candidates more time to talk without interruption. Lincoln or Douglas would speak for 60 minutes, followed by 90 minutes of remarks from the other candidate, and concluding with a 30-minute rebuttal by the first speaker...The format will be a 'modified Lincoln-Douglas debate,' moderated by Steve King, a Republican representative from Iowa." [Yahoo News]
@SpeakerBoehner: #WeCantWait for POTUS & Democrats to work with Republicans to find common ground #4jobs
@NancyPelosi: #WeCantWait for GOP to stop blocking #AmericanJobsAct & #ChinaCurrency jobs bills. PS to GOP: #HashtagsArentAJobsPlan
NEW REPORT EXPOSES JOHN MURTHA'S SUPER-EFFICIENT PORK OPERATION - It turns out that the late Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha was a real innovator in the way Washington porks, outsourcing his earmark operation to the private sector. No more government waste making our government waste inefficient. Genius! "The late Democratic Rep. John Murtha's Pennsylvania congressional office made most of the decisions about how a defense contractor that 'acted solely as a pass-through entity' dished out money to law enforcement agencies in his district, according to a new DOJ Inspector General report. DOJ investigators are questioning $3,335,583 in grants received by MountainTop Technologies Inc. between Sept. 2004 and Sept. 2006. They also note that MountainTop, which had close ties to Murtha, received $1,964,730 from a congressionally-mandated grant in Sept. 2008 after their audit was completed." Someone alert Harvard Business School! This is screaming "case study"! [TPM]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cat in pumpkin costume eating ... pumpkin.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Colder? Check. Getting darker earlier? Check. Winter is coming. It's wonderful, no? Most likely not, if you can remember the past two winters. Until then, remember that, some day soon, temperatures of 50 degrees will feel downright warm. Tomorrow: Cool, with temps in the mid-60s. Thanks, JB!
- Think your neighbor overdoes the Halloween decorations? Be glad you don't live next to this family. [http://bit.ly/qLy4FZ]
- If you still haven't seen the video for William Shatner's rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" you should check it out: He somehow finds a way to make it more melodramatic. [http://bit.ly/pjdJzX]
- "The 50 Best Costumes At The 2011 Tompkins Square Dog Parade." [http://huff.to/qjfqme]
- The McRib is back, temporarily. Now is the time to partake in McDonald's most hipster/food blogger-friendly curiosity. [http://huff.to/n1QdRV]
- The most irritating and counterproductive lifestyle magazine advice...ever. [http://huff.to/ovZgR4]
- MTV's "True Life: I'm Occupying Wall Street" will document some of #OWS' most interesting demonstrators. [http://huff.to/r3T2Sv]
- A much darker version of one of the original "Sonic" video games for the Sega Genesis. [http://huff.to/oMAPDr]
- Maru the cat whines about something, proceeds to fall asleep. [http://huff.to/nLCKrD]
@aterkel: I had no idea reporters take sources out socially. I usually sit in an empty room w Enya playing in the background. I'm a bad reporter.
@pwgavin: James O'Keefe just asked me if I wear deodorant so as not to repel people. Again: This guy's good.
@delrayser: "Point of order, Mr. Lincoln! On the matter of my tax-plan, it truly cannot be judged an orange, sir, as it is an apple!"
Today: Big John Cornyn makes like the cowboy he is and goes on a golf outing in Maryland. Yee-haw! Getterdone! [Caves Valley Golf Club, 2910 Blendon Road, Owings Mills, MD]
Today - Wednesday: Wanna shoot some creatures who have mastered the magical skill of flight? John Thune takes his donors on a three-day pheasant hunt. [Chamberlain, SD]
6:30 pm: Tim Griffin, which is what you get when Arkansas voters stop voting Democrat just because that's what their registration card says, tries to keep the R-trend going in his state with a fundraiser. [220 E Street NE]
6:30 pm: We don't care how nifty the initialism is, just because "Democrats Wins Seats" gets Debbie Wasserman Schultz "DWS" doesn't mean she should use it as her PAC name. DWS will be raising funds for DWS with appearances by a few members of the House. [Charlie Palmer Steak, 101 Constitution Ave NW]
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