Breaking News
Friday, 5 October 2012

HuffPost Hill
By Eliot Nelson, Ryan Grim & Arthur Delaney
Conservatives think the Obama administration tampered with today's job numbers, so it's only a matter of time until they demand the Bureau of Labor Statistics release the long-form jobs report, all emails with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the underlying data for their ocean temperature numbers. We're going to keep our distance from Chick-fil-A now that Rick Santorum says he'd eat Big Bird. And President Obama threw his support behind Sesame Street while Mitt Romney frantically tipped over every trash can he saw in bloodthirsty pursuit of Oscar the Grouch. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, October 5th 2012:

The cover of next week's New Yorker is devastating

THRUSH: OBAMA WAS CRANKY - GLENN THRUSH: "Nobody had to tell President Barack Obama he had whiffed when he walked off the stage in Denver Wednesday night -- nor was he in the mood for a lot of advice. 'You could tell he was pissed,' said a person close to the president, 'But it wasn't like the end of the world. It was like, 'That wasn't good. The next one has to better.' No apologies. No hand-wringing.' That night, after a brief, terse chat with his advisers backstage at the University of Denver arena -- 'He had real clarity about what had happened,' one of them told POLITICO with a chuckle -- Obama hopped in his limo, 'The Beast,' and sped off to a nearby DoubleTree with wife Michelle...With Obama, it's not just about will -- it's always about mood, too. For all that's been written about his flop in front of 76 million viewers, the reality, according to the people who know him best, is that he just wasn't in the right headspace. The president had too many conflicting thoughts bouncing around his head and could never quite reconcile his desire to attack Romney with his fear of alienating voters by appearing angry or un-presidential. The result was a muddle that has given Romney new life. Obama had always planned to play it pretty safe, but his advisers expected him to be more aggressive, peppering Romney with requests for specifics on his deficit and tax plans. They also figured on him smiling a whole lot more, a key part of winning the body-language battle." [Politico]

PAUL RYAN'S AWESOME BIRTHER RESPONSE - In terms of epistolary F-Us, this falls somewhere between responding to a constituent's letter with a strongly-worded note and responding to a constituent's letter with a photocopy of your ass. TPM: "Like many of his fellow congressmen, Ryan has been bombarded for years with letters from conspiracy theorists who believe President Obama was somehow secretly born in Kenya and so is ineligible to be president. The missives began even before Ryan became one of the president's biggest foes on budget issues and more recently as he joined the GOP ticket alongside MItt Romney. But unlike some in his party who have been embarrassed by their own clunky and awkward responses to the birthers, Ryan has come up with an easy solution to deal with them. He simply sends them a copy of the president's birth certificate." [TPM]

Best Obama pool report so far this month, via Politico's Reid Epstein: "Potus made an unscheduled stop at the Cleveland West Side Market at 3:20 p.m... Potus stopped to meet people waiting for him, where he did the requisite hand-shaking, high-fiving and the rare baby-holding before going on to chat with proprietors at Turczyk's Meats and the adjoining Larry Vilstein's, Christopher Bakery and Edward Badbuster & Son. He then asked the proprietor at Rolston Poultry how business was going. 'Terrible since you got here,' the man said. Pool could not get close enough to the Rolston Poultry man to get his name or political affiliation. Potus didn't appear amused by the sentiment."

CANADIAN INTERFERENCE IN THE U.S. ELECTION, EH? - Center for Public Integrity: "A million-dollar donation by a foreign-owned corporation to a Republican super PAC has raised legal concerns and opened up the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision to new criticism. Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Republican Mitt Romney's run for president, received a $1 million donation in mid-August from reinsurance company OdysseyRe of Connecticut, a 'wholly-owned subsidiary' of Canadian insurance and investment management giant Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited... The law says that any foreign national is prohibited from "directly or indirectly" contributing money to influence U.S. elections. That means no campaign donations, no donations to super PACs and no funding of political advertisements. But campaign finance law is not as clear for U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies as it is for individuals." [CPI]

COURT UPHOLDS EARLY VOTING IN OHIO - Dan Froomkin: "The injunction stands against a Republican-backed law that would have banned early voting in Ohio during the weekend before Election Day, a prime voting period for minorities in the 2008 election. A panel of three judges from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed a lower court's ruling in August blocking the law from taking effect. The Obama presidential campaign and the Democratic Party had sued the state, asking a federal court to restore voting during those last three days on the grounds that Ohioans would not have equal access to the polls otherwise. The law allowed military families to vote over that period. The lawsuit argued that everyone should be allowed the same access." [HuffPost]

Decisions: "The Washington Nationals, the National League East champions, could be playing elimination games during the vice-presidential debate on Thursday and during the final presidential debate on Oct. 22, leaving the newly die-hard Beltway crowds to chose between their old muse and new." [NYT]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Aug. 26, 2010 started as a normal day at the hotel call center where Deidre Davis worked in California. "And then toward the middle of the afternoon, people were being called into the office and coming out mad, or there was noise in the office and you'd never see them again." Davis said she was one of 38 people who lost their jobs that day. She's still looking for work. Davis, who is 56 and lives in Lancaster, Calif., has lots of company as one of the nearly 5 million people who have been unemployed for at least six months. She also ranks among the 1.7 million out of work longer than 99 weeks. Yet even though she knows she's not alone, the experience is isolating. "Sometimes you just feel like you're all by yourself," Davis said. "I hear what I hear on the news. I go into a store and people are working and they're not doing a very good job, but they've got a job. Where do I fit into this? It's frustrating." [HuffPost]

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THE JOBS REPORT IS LUKEWARM! THE JOBS REPORT IS LUKEWARM! THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN GOES WIIIIILD!!!! - In short, the U.S. economy was much more energetic last month than President Obama was on Wednesday night. The AP: "The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years and giving President Barack Obama a potential boost with the election a month away. The rate declined from 8.1 percent because the number of people who said they were employed soared by 873,000 - an encouraging sign for an economy that's been struggling to create enough jobs. The number of unemployed Americans is now 12.1 million, the fewest since January 2009. The Labor Department said employers added 114,000 jobs in September. It also said the economy created 86,000 more jobs in July and August than the department had initially estimated. Wages rose in September. And more people started looking for work." [AP]

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President Obama in Fairfax: "Today's news is certainly not an excuse to talk down the economy to score a few political points. It's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now." [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]

Mitt Romney's statement: "This is not what a real recovery looks like. We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we've lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office. If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11%."

JOBS REPORT TRUTHERISM: NOW A THING - A significant number of conservative politicians and pundits think the administration juked the stats. If that's true, the White House needs to fire its BLS fixer because if you're going to fiddle with the numbers, go big or go home. Luke Johnson: "Call it jobs-numbers trutherism. And for the sake of historical record, its origin was a tweet from former General Electric CEO Jack Welch. "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers," tweeted Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric...Economic journalist Stuart Varney said on Fox News, 'There is widespread distrust of this report.'... Conn Carroll, of the Washington Examiner, tweeted, 'I don't think BLS cooked numbers. I think a bunch of Dems lied about getting jobs. That would have same effect.' Rick Santelli, the CNBC media personality, yelled, I told you they'd get it under 8 percent -- they did! You can let America decide how they got there!'" [HuffPost]'s homepage banner: "JOBLESS RATE DIPS UNDER 8%, BUT... IS THE NUMBER REAL?"

Here's a mashup of conservatives speculating that the jobs report was rigged

Antonin Scalia brushes it off his shoulder: "The death penalty? Give me a break. It's easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state." Never change, Antonin! [AP]

ROMNEY FINALLY RETRACTS 47 PERCENT COMMENT - AP: "In an interview Thursday night with Fox News, Romney was asked what he would have said had the "47 percent" comments come up during his debate in Denver on Wednesday night with President Barack Obama. 'Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right,' Romney said. 'In this case, I said something that's just completely wrong.'" [AP]

@dorseyshaw Restored Mitt Romney Fresco

HuffPost Hiccup: In our item last Friday about Mitt Romney's doctor we forgot to give Jeff Young credit for the piece. HuffPost Hill bought Jeff a beer on Saturday so we assume everything is cool.

JIM LEHRER SAYS HE DID HIS JOB - Even though Kevin Bacon's character from Animal House would have done a better job of keeping the candidates under control, the veteran broadcaster defended his moderating of Wednesday night's debate. Politico: "[I]n his first post-debate interview, he tells POLITICO that he was simply fulfilling his new mission, which was to allow the candidates to engage one another without interruption. 'Based on what the goal was, I saw it as successful,' Lehrer told POLITICO. "I've always said this and finally I had a chance to demonstrate it: The moderator should be seen little and heard even less. It is up to the candidates to ask the follow-up questions and challenge one another.'" [Politico]

Firing is for wimps, Rick Santorum would straight up eat Big Bird. "I've voted to kill Big Bird in the past," the former Pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate told CNN last night. "I have a record there that I have to disclose. That doesn't mean I don't like Big Bird. You can kill things and still like them, maybe to eat them, I don't know. That's probably that. Can we -- can we go back on that one?" [WaPo]

President Obama threw in his lot with Sesame Street today. "Elmo, you better make a run for it," Obama said during a rally at Cleveland State University. [HuffPost's Paige Lavender]

BEST PRO-REPUBLICAN RAP VIDEO EVER - The Tennessean: "George Flinn, the Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District in Memphis, apparently has an endorsement you might never expect -- from Memphis' hip hop scene. A doctor trying to unseat veteran U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the state's most Democratic district, Flinn is the subject of a laudatory YouTube video posted Thursday. Rapper Al Kapone is credited with posting the video, and the notes say the video also features DJ Paul, a member of the Three 6 Mafia, which students of hip hop may recall won an Oscar for 'It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp.'" [Tennessean]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - The be-all and end-all mashup of dogs sleeping.


- "Smells Like Teen Spirit" performed on two cellos. []

- Guy says "yo" 123 times in 15 seconds. If he were to walk into a room with 123 people, they would all feel informally greeted very quickly. []

- Quite possibly the greatest dodgeball play ever. This is the Willie Mays backwards catch of dodgeball. []

- That new Internet Explorer commercial that's been running ad nauseum, but represented in a more honest fashion. []

- Snoop Dogg lays out his case for why he's an Obama supporter. []

- Hungry Hungry Hippos, finally adapted to the big screen -- also an example of how formulaic trailesr are. []

- Twisty cat sleeps weird. []


@jdickerson: The BLS numbers over-sample Democrats.

@daveweigel: Democratic panic level lowered from "running down street on fire" to "Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross"

@StephenAtHome: I wish Jim Lehrer moderated Twitter so we could all ignore the character limit.


Tonight - Sunday: Saxby Chambliss hosts a "Chambliss for Senate Weekend" which might sound like you're paying $1,500 to stuff envelopes and knock on doors but thankfully it's just a vacation getaway. [Sea Island, GA]

Tonight, 5:00 pm: Connie Mack's Senate race against Bill Nelson has been a bit anemic lately -- like President Obama in last night's debate anemic -- so he invites Jeb Bush to an evening reception for some much-needed $$$. [Miami, FL]

Tonight, 5:30 pm: Paul Ryan once again makes fantastic use of his time by traveling to the hotly contested state of Illinois for a big-dollar fundraiser. Members of Chicago's Republican delegation, including Mark Kirk will be on hand. [Chicago, IL]

Tonight, 6:00 pm: George Allen, rebounded somehow from calling someone an ethnic slur in public and once again running in a close Senate race, travels to the most precious place in Northern Virginia, Alexandria, for some antiquing fundraising. [Alexandria, VA]

Sunday Evening: President Obama takes a page from Paul Ryan's playbook and visits a state he really shouldn't be in, except this time it's California. [Los Angeles, CA]

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (, Ryan Grim ( or Arthur Delaney ( Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill ( Sign up here:

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