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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

HuffPost Hill
By Eliot Nelson, Ryan Grim & Arthur Delaney
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There's finally a Mitt Romney action figure, but the only thing bendable about it are its political positions. Donald Trump says there are *700 million* voters out there, leading us to reconsider our views on voter ID laws. And if Paul Ryan's undisclosed tax plan gets lonely, we're sure it can always find a friend in Nixon's secret plan to end the war. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012:

PAUL RYAN TO MITT ROMNEY: NO, IT'S CLOSER TO 30 PERCENT - Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, share a similarly dim view of a very large portion of Americans, according to previously unreported remarks by Ryan. Both believe that many of their fellow citizens are dependent on government and have no motivation to improve their lives -- but they disagree over the precise number. Romney's estimate, famously, is 47 percent. For Ryan, it's 30 percent. "Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state," Ryan said. "Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers." Ryan's comments were delivered as part of his keynote address at The American Spectator's 2011 Robert L. Bartley Gala Dinner, which the magazine posted online. A reader tipped HuffPost to Ryan's speech, given in November -- six months before Romney's videotaped remarks..."What that tells us is at least half of those people who are currently in that category are there not of their wish or their will." The other half, by implication, are there because they want to be. For Romney, there's nothing that can be done about those types of people. "My job is not to worry about those people," Romney said in the full clip of the fundraiser. "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." [HuffPost & YouTube ]

WHY IS OBAMA NOT BEING CLOBBERED? - Aside from Mitt Romney asserting that 47 percent of the country is too busy wiping Cheetos dust from its fingers onto its Rent-A-Center futon to go out and get real work, of course. Our polling guru Mark Blumenthal: "How has Obama fought to a perceived draw on economic issues? In part, many voters continue to assign more blame to his predecessor. On the Quinnipiac poll, just 42 percent say they blame Obama more for the state of the economy, while 50 percent blame former President George W. Bush. Another component is that voters are pessimistic about the ability of either candidate to make a real difference. On the Quinnipiac survey, just 28 percent of voters believe that Obama's economic policies will help their personal financial situation, but only 35 percent said the same about Romney. But the biggest factor is simply that, despite the poor economic performance of the past four years, voters have concluded that Obama better understands their needs and will be more likely to favor all Americans or the middle class, rather than the wealthy. On the Quinnipiac poll, 60 percent said Obama 'cares about people like you,' compared to just 46 percent who said the same about Romney." [HuffPost]

What would happen if Roger Stone and Terry Richardson had a kid? This asshole.

SCOTUS TO REVIEW WORKPLACE ISSUES - Now that liberal lion John Roberts has gotten through his awkward hellos with his conservative colleagues and sorted through the various gift baskets sent to him by his liberal colleagues, he can get down to the work at hand. Christina Wilkie: "In the two cases, to be heard later this fall, the justices will consider who constitutes a 'supervisor' for whose harassing actions an employer can be hold responsible and whether employers can cut off possible class actions by offering full settlements to the initial plaintiff...Lower courts have split on the issue. Some have decided that people don't have the legal right to sue their employers because they suffered harassment at the hands of a person who lacked the power to fire or demote them. Other courts have seen it differently, ruling that people who are vested with what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission calls the authority to "direct and oversee their victim's daily work" count as supervisors. Thus, their employers can be held liable for their bad acts under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act." [HuffPost]

ALAN SIMPSON ON HOSPICES, BEDPANS, THE POOR - Ian Gray and Daniel Lippman: "Former U.S. Senator and co-chairman of President Barack Obama's deficit commission Alan Simpson told a Washington audience Tuesday that politicians talk too much about the poor and the vulnerable for political gain, and that he regrets the way interest groups have used the commission's recommendations to appeal to their members. "Could you please cut out the babble? Would you quit talking about the poor, the vulnerable, the veterans, the old ladies going over cliffs, the hospices, the bedpans? I mean, what the hell? We all know, all of us know, that that's the people you want to take care of," Simpson said at the event moderated by George Washington University's Frank Sesno and sponsored by Face the Facts USA, a group that says it aims to bring more truth to the national political discourse.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Oh god. "A public spotlight cast by criminal charges was a burden for a Michigan lottery winner who died a few months after being prosecuted for welfare fraud, her lawyer said Monday. Amanda Clayton, 25, of Lincoln Park was found dead over the weekend from an overdose of prescription drugs, police said. She was sentenced to probation in July after pleading no contest to charges of wrongly collecting $5,400 in public benefits, despite winning a $735,000 lottery prize, before taxes, in 2011. Ecorse police Sgt. G. Howard said the death was being treated as an accident, not a suicide. 'This case weighed on her and affected her,' attorney Todd Flood told The Associated Press. 'I think the public scrutiny was something she didn't have the proper tools to deal with.'" [Associated Press]

DOUBLE DOWNER - The local TV station's original story on Clayton, from March: "Local 4 tracked Clayton down to her Lincoln Park home where cameras spotted her and a U-Haul truck, getting ready to move into a new house -- that she paid for in cash -- now that she has struck it rich. She also bought a new car. These purchases are nothing out of the ordinary for someone who just won the lottery, however hidden cameras followed Clayton grocery shopping, where she admitted she uses a Bridge card to pay for her items. She said she gets $200 each month, from taxpayers, to foot her food bill." [ClickonDetroit.com

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

MITT ROMNEY: VOTE FOR ME POR FAVOR - Last night, the Republican presidential nominee announced that he would uphold President Obama's executive action to grant certain undocumented immigrants a stay from deportation. Short of conducting a show-and-tell session with doctored photos of a young Ann Romney celebrating her quinceanera, this probably the most pandtifically pandering thing Romney can do to woo Hispanic voters. Sam Stein: "The former Massachusetts governor has steadfastly refused to address the issue, insisting that he would achieve comprehensive reform quickly enough so as to make the Obama policy a moot point. But in a sit-down interview with the Denver Post, Romney went a step further. 'The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased,' Romney said. 'Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed.'" [HuffPost]

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Obama's Director of Hispanic Press Gabriella Domenzain responds: "He still has not said whether he would continue the Administration's policy that provides a temporary reprieve from deportation for young people who were brought here through no fault of their own... What would he do with those who qualify for deferred action but haven't received it? Would he deport those who have received a deferment when the program expires after two years? We know he called the DREAM Act a 'handout' and that he promised to veto it -- nothing he has said since contradicts this and we should continue to take him at his word."

PAUL RYAN STILL BEING VAGUE ABOUT TAX PLAN - You know what we want? More than anything? We really wish someone dressed as C-3PO would follow the vice presidential candidate around and nervously yell "But sir, the odds of successfully lowering tax rates across the board to 20 percent without eliminating middle-income exemptions and deductions are 380,000-to-one!" That would amuse us. Sam Stein: "The Wisconsin Republican was asked during a sit down with Bloomberg News why he was offering specifics when it came to the goodies of the tax plan -- a 20 percent across-the-board deduction of rates, a ten percent reduction of the corporate tax rates, a repeal of the estate tax -- while detailing none of the bitter pills -- the deductions and exemptions that must be eliminated to make the proposal deficit neutral. 'You don't say to Congress, to Democrats, that you want to work with, 'Take it or leave it, it's everything, it's all my way or the highway,' Ryan responded. Pressed about a Tax Policy Center analysis which said that the Romney plan would have to raise taxes on the middle class (by eliminating their exemptions and deductions) in order to be deficit neutral, Ryan told Fox News on Sunday that he couldn't go through all the details of the tax proposal in the time allotted. But on Tuesday, he didn't get into the minutia. He just insisted that the framework put together by the campaign has been proven to work." [HuffPost]

Behold MITTFORMER, the Mitt Romney action figure whose elastic relationship with his policy positions make Stretch Armstrong seem rigid..

CROSSROADS LAUNCHES MASSIVE AD BUY - Huge... Massive... Its biggest one yet. You won't be able to use a urinal in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada or Virginia without seeing a urinal cake asking you "WHERE ARE THE JOBS?" Okay, not that big. Politico: "On the presidential level, American Crossroads will spend $11 million on a spot called 'Actually Happened,' which focuses on the impact that President Obama said the stimulus would have on the unemployment rate. The spot features a man using charts and graphics to show where the president said unemployment would be around now, under 5.5 percent, compared to where it is, at 8.1 percent... Crossroads GPS, the non-profit affiliate, is spending an additional $1 million on radio in those states... Another $4 million is being spend by GPS in North Dakota, Virginia and Montana, and American Crossroads is going up in Florida." [Politico]

@realDonaldTrump: Wednesday's debate is day one of the election. Over 700 million voters will be watching.

SUPER PACS GETTING INVOLVED IN HOUSE RACES - Paul Blumenthal: "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported an investment of $4 million to help 10 Republican congressional candidates in California and Illinois...The Chamber ad blitz heralds the beginning of the coming crush of third-party advertising directed at House races. Super PACs, unions, trade associations and non-profits already have spent $39 million since June on general election campaign efforts, ahead of their pace in the previous election. Over the next 30 days, these groups will spend between double and triple that amount just in House races. This is where the big money flooding the 2012 election due to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision will make its biggest splash. As commentators lament the seeming lack of impact big money has had on the presidential race, down-ballot races where candidates rarely see $10 million in contributions will be the ones feeling the full impact of the new campaign finance world. [HuffPost]

JUDGE STRIKES DOWN PENNSYLVANIA'S VOTER ID LAW - Keystone State voters should get to the polls early on November 6th as they will be inundated with members of the New Black Panther party carting dead bodies to voting booths and flashing intimidating stares at old people. CNN: "A Pennsylvania judge ruled Tuesday that state officials cannot enforce a new voter identification law in next month's presidential election. The ruling by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson is expected to be appealed, but amounted to good news for Democrats who contend the voter ID law is motivated by Republican efforts to suppress the traditionally Democratic minority vote...In his ruling, Simpson granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily halts enforcement of the law until after the November 6 election. He cited likely disqualification of eligible voters as the reason." [CNN]

The increased media focus on voter ID laws, not to mention the ongoing legal battles surrounding them, has led some Democrats to worry that confused voters might not show up on election day, Amanda Terkel reports.

Pot. Seedy. Bad. During an interview with the Denver Post, Mitt Romney was asked about his stance on marijuana, which is widely available for medical use in Colorado. 'I oppose marijuana being used for recreational purposes and I believe the federal law should prohibit the recreational use of marijuana,' he said. Romney, who famously narced all over someone getting high near his vacation home, is a well-known opponent of fun. However his repeated use of the word "recreational" prompted a clarifying statement from his campaign to the Post. "Governor Romney has a long record of opposing the use of marijuana for any reason," a spokesperson said. [WaPo]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Resourceful cat uses nearby hedgehog as a scratching post.

A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME... IT'S A MONEY PIT - HuffPost DC: "Do you require five or more bedrooms in your house? Do we have a slideshow for you! Don't miss the Old Town Alexandria house with a finished dungeon, or the $4 million White House replica." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Dominoes set up to look like dinosaurs -- four-year-old HuffPost Hill would be over the moon. [http://bit.ly/UDGrrI]

- If at first you don't succeed at pinata try, try again storm out of the room while throwing a tantrum. [http://bit.ly/PUdyHS]

- Liam Neeson the musical chronicles, in song, the Irish actor's epic, daugher-saving, Sith Lord-killing rolls. [http://bit.ly/PruCTb]

- Cats, porn's chief rival for internet supremacy, have a fun time with a banana box, [http://bit.ly/R9Gw62]

- How not to suck at Instagram, a short film. [http://bit.ly/PKJXzK]

- Dogs playing tug of war. [http://bit.ly/QAKWBX]

- A band of Klingons perform as a wookie does a belly dance because... well, we don't honestly know why. [http://bit.ly/VblEQZ]

TWITTERAMA

@daveweigel: The problem with the state's case for voter ID in PA: Not enough zingers.

@michaelroston: If whoppers accompany the zingers tomorrow night, I'm going to be really hungry

@indecision: Mitt Romney yelling "Boom!" after each debate zinger will also serve as an explanation of his foreign policy regarding Iran.

ON TAP

TONIGHT

Michelle Obama hangs out with a bunch of well-off crunchy types at the Seattle Westin for a campaign function. [The Westin Seattle - 1900 5th Avenue, Seattle]

5:30 pm: George Allen gets a little help from his friends from the upper chamber at an event so crammed with Republicans you'd think it was Smith Point. Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor and a whole bunch of Republican senators help raise funds for the once and future (?) senator. [Hill Country, 410 7th Street NW]

7:00 pm: Scott Brown is just a regular guy. Scott Brown drives a truck. Scott Brown wears dad jackets. Scott Brown attends baseball games. Attend a baseball game with Scott Brown, regular guy. [Nationals Park]

TOMORROW

9:00 am: Mitch McConnell looks out for number one at a fundraiser benefiting his reelection. It benefits his "Bluegrass Committee," but don't expect any dancing. We suspect little springs and sockets would fly out of him like a malfunctioning robot. [220 E Street NE]

5:00 pm: We have a confirmed Bubba sighting! Bill Clinton is the featured guest at a Boston roundtable discussion fundraiser for President Obama's campaign. No word on whether they plan to egg Romney HQ afterwards. [Boston, MA]

6:00 pm: Todd Akin is in DC for a campaign function. Will he say that estrogen can burn through steel? Only one way to find out... (unless you know someone with a hidden camera). [Eastgate, 710 East Capitol Street SE]

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffingtonpost.com), Ryan Grim (ryan@huffingtonpost.com) or Arthur Delaney (arthur@huffingtonpost.com). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e

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