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HUFFPOST HILL - Cabinet Secretary Auditions Tonight

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 13/10/2015 Arthur Delaney

Donald Trump plans to tweet during tonight's Democratic debate, though an assistant probably has to type the actual tweets because Trump's got such stubby fingers. Jim Webb will be there, despite uncertainty over whether he's even still running for president. And we imagine Larry Lessig will be alone in his car at makeout point, listening to the debate on the radio, telling himself there's plenty of fish in the sea, that he'll show 'em, that he doesn't need to be part of some dumb debate ritual anyway. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, October 13th, 2015:DEBATE TONIGHT AT 9PM - Why this has to start even later than Monday Night Football, we don't know. Laurie Kellman: "Five Democrats vying to be President Barack Obama's successor meet Tuesday night for their first televised debate of the 2016 election, a confrontation between one of the best-known women on the planet and four men seeking to unseat her as the party's front-runner. But that quartet of rivals may not be Hillary Rodham Clinton's most immediate challenge. Instead, it's whether she can change the focus from emails she sent and received over a private server as secretary of state to the policies she's proposed to close the gap between rich Americans and everyone else. Her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, isn't likely to let her stand out on that point." But Sanders probably won't be too mean about it. [AP]
Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni have a good look at Clinton's email woes.WRONGNESS OF IRAQ VOTE PERSISTS - Samantha Lachman looked back at Clinton's 2008 debate performances: "Significantly more scrutiny was leveled on Clinton at the time, as her primary rivals piled on her record as first lady and as a senator from New York, accusing her of flip-flopping on issues. The most frequent target was Clinton’s vote in 2002 authorizing the use of force in Iraq. She refused to say that the vote was a mistake, or that it was naive to trust President George W. Bush. 'Well, I have said repeatedly that if I had known then what I know now, I never would have voted to give the president authority,' she said during a debate in June 2007." [HuffPost]
MARTIN O'MALLEY, WHAT'S HIS DEAL? Scott Conroy explains: "There are a lot of questions that the average voter might ask about Martin O’Malley. For instance, 'Who is Martin O’Malley?' In a presidential campaign featuring more colorful characters than a game of Candy Land, the former two-term governor of Maryland has been mired in an unenviable position: flavorless anonymity. O’Malley entered the race as an accomplished progressive leader and talented politician from a younger generation. His best hope was that he could become the Democrats’ Plan B, in the event that Hillary Clinton were to stumble. The second part of his bet has indeed come to fruition amid Clinton’s uneven performance thus far in the race. But a rumpled and ornery 74-year-old democratic socialist from Vermont named Bernie Sanders has managed to steal just about all of what might have been O’Malley’s thunder, surging to the top of the polls in New Hampshire and generating record-breaking crowds from coast to coast….O’Malley’s last best chance to become a factor in the race arrives on Tuesday night, when he is set to share a debate stage here with Clinton and Sanders." [HuffPost]
Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance at an anti-Trump protest in Vegas last night, Amanda Terkel reports.EXPECT IMMIGRATION PANDERING - When Democratic candidates take the stage in Las Vegas for Tuesday's primary debate, members of the state's Latino population likely will be listening closely to what the candidates say about immigration -- and especially about undocumented immigrants. That's because 64 percent of Latino voters in the state personally know someone who fits in that category, according to a 2014 study from Latino Decisions, a research firm that has since been hired by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. At 7.6 percent, Nevada also has the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants of any state, according to a study from Pew Hispanic Center. [HuffPost]
Reporters frantically google "flight time between DC and Vegas" - @VP: Update: VP Biden will join @Potus and @LorettaLynch in their Oval Office meeting at 2:45 PM.
AMERICA IS READY FOR BIDEN - The political media is kinda getting tired of him, TBH. James Oliphant: "The drumbeat for Joe Biden to jump into the 2016 presidential race is growing louder. Almost half of the nation's Democrats want the vice president to enter the field and challenge front-runner Hillary Clinton, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll. The results come as speculation surrounding Biden's intentions has intensified, with reports having him close to a decision. The declared Democratic presidential candidates, including Clinton and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her closest rival, will take the stage Tuesday night in Las Vegas for the first party debate." [Reuters]
@aedwardslevy: Latest Pollster average:
Clinton 46%
Sanders 24%
Biden 19%
O'Malley/Webb/Chafee 1% each
Lessig 0%
Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It's free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHillRICH UNCLE PENNYBAGS LEANING RUBIO - Alex Isenstadt: "Sheldon Adelson, one of the Republican Party's most sought-after contributors, is leaning increasingly toward supporting Marco Rubio -- and the Florida senator is racing to win the backing of other uncommitted megadonors who have the potential to direct tens of millions of dollars his way and alter the contours of the Republican primary fight. Last week, during a campaign swing through Las Vegas, Rubio held a meeting in Adelson's offices at the Venetian Las Vegas, one of a number of five-star luxury casinos the billionaire mogul owns around the world. Adelson, seated at the head of his conference table, heaped praise on Rubio’s performance while he discussed the dynamics of the 2016 race… Rubio and Adelson have grown increasingly close, with the senator phoning the billionaire several times a month to provide in-depth updates on the state of his campaign." [Politico]
@realDonaldTrump: Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!
MITCH MCCONNELL WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU THAT HE IS A SEVERE CONSERVATIVE - Manu Raju: "Mitch McConnell privately wants the White House to pay this price to enact a major budget deal: Significant changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and funding the government. Several people familiar with the high-stakes fiscal negotiations said the Senate majority leader's staff is trying to drive a hard bargain in the private talks with the White House and Democratic leaders. McConnell is seeking a reduction in cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security recipients and new restrictions on Medicare, including limiting benefits to the rich and raising the eligibility age, several sources said. In addition, the Kentucky Republican is eager to see new policy riders enacted, including reining in the Environmental Protection Agency's clean water regulations." [CNN]
McConnell's call for Social Security cuts comes after he sorta accidentally divulged he was in private budget talks with the White House last week.REID SAYS NO - Sam Stein: "In a direct rebuke to his Republican counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that raising the debt limit is non-negotiable. Speaking hours before the first Democratic presidential debate, which is being held in his home state, Reid encouraged President Barack Obama not to enter into talks with congressional Republicans, who have plotted to use the debt limit as a means of extracting spending cuts. 'He didn’t do it last time and it was the right thing to do,' said Reid. 'The debt limit should not be negotiable. It is debts that we owe as this great country of ours. It would be just horrible, foolish and bad for the country to start to renege on the bills we already have run up.'" [HuffPost]
Some House Republicans think Paul Ryan is too liberal. They will never find their Goldilocks Speaker.PLANNED PARENTHOOD: IF WE DO THIS, WILL YOU LEAVE US ALONE? Stephanie Armour: "Planned Parenthood Federation of America said it is immediately stopping taking reimbursements for procuring fetal tissue for medical research, an attempt to tamp down controversy that has led to Republican investigations in Congress and efforts to end federal funding. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a letter Tuesday to the National Institutes of Health that the organization’s affiliates will no longer accept any reimbursements for costs associated with procuring tissue from abortions. Fetal tissue has been provided by affiliates in California and Washington state, and the Washington clinics haven’t been taking any money for it, she said. The Oregon affiliate has been providing placental tissue for reimbursement. Planned Parenthood didn’t disclose the amount it will forgo with its new policy." WSJBUSH UNVEILS PLAN TO REDUCE INSURANCE COVERAGE - Jonathan Cohn, whose analysis is known as Cohnbread: "The Bush plan calls for a familiar mix of conservative ideas on health care, according to campaign documents obtained by The Huffington Post. It would eliminate the coverage scheme of 'Obamacare' -- the tax credits, regulations on insurance, and individual mandate that have led to a historic reduction in the number of uninsured Americans. In its place, Bush would introduce a new kind of financial assistance for people buying insurance on their own -- specifically, tax credits pegged to age but not to income, and not designed to guarantee access to the same level of coverage as Obama’s health care program does. The Bush plan also would give control of Medicaid, the insurance program for low-income Americans, over to the states. What would this all mean in practice? It’s impossible to say with any precision, at least without more details about the dollar amounts involved. Still, the outlines of Bush plan look a lot like like some other plans now in circulation on the right, like the so-called 2017 Project Plan and a proposal from Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.). These plans envision less government spending and regulation, but would likely result in some combination of fewer people with insurance and less financial protection for people who have coverage." [HuffPost]
Police don't have a report for the time Ben Carson says he faced a gunman at a Popeyes organization, because it was too long ago.REPUBLICANS WILLING TO BE SECOND CHOICE, AFTER 'PASS' - Jake Sherman: Paul Ryan "has said he doesn’t want to be speaker of the House, but he is considering it. And until he flatly rules it out, the other potential candidates for the chamber’s top job -- a list nearly two dozen names long and growing -- are forced to proceed gingerly. ... The best example, perhaps, is Texas Rep. Bill Flores. The third-term Texas Republican who chairs the Republican Study Committee sent a letter to his House colleagues on Monday, indicating he is considering a campaign for speaker -- only if Ryan doesn’t run. ... As the Wisconsin Republican mulls whether he should get in, several candidates are poking around, trying to measure potential support. Five Texans are considering a race: Flores, Mike McCaul, Mike Conaway, Mac Thornberry and Pete Sessions. All of them would yield if Ryan got in the race. ... Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn has told people that she would consider a run if Ryan takes a pass, and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo also is reaching out to test support across the conference." [Politico]
Donald Trump will host SNL on November 7th.PAUL RYAN IS BORING - At least in terms of diet. From Hannah Hess: "'I've never seen anybody more disciplined and focused, personally or professionally, than Paul Ryan,' said Rep. Bill Huizenga, who does P90X workouts with Ryan in the House gym. 'He eats the same thing every day. It's the exact same. You set your watch by it. He is -- he's got a pattern about what he does. He's disciplined about it.'" Roll CallBECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - There's a town in West Virginia with no wifi or cell phones and Washingtonian has a cool story about it.
THINGS PEOPLE ENJOYED HATING ON THE INTERNET TODAY: This rapper who said he couldn't vote for a woman president, and this woman who sued her nephew because she hurt her wrist when he jumped on her four years ago. She lost.
HANNITY IS TEAM FREEDOM CAUCUS - Paul Singer: "Sean Hannity is not jumping on the Paul Ryan bandwagon. The talk-show host who inadvertently helped torpedo Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid for House speaker told USA TODAY on Monday that Ryan 'is probably one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet, but I don’t think that’s the job for him.' ... Hannity says he has been advising Freedom Caucus members to stick together and not compromise on the speaker vote. 'You ended up getting rid of Boehner, you ended up getting rid of McCarthy ... the dumbest thing you should do is stop there. Get the speaker that you want -- work to get somebody that will fight the fight that you are looking to engage in,' he said. Whoever becomes speaker -- Hannity suggests former speaker Newt Gingrich, but both men say that is highly unlikely -- will have to grapple with the restive Freedom Caucus, and it is clear the caucus members will have one of the top-rated cable news shows on its side." [USA Today]
COMFORT FOOD
- If you like Super Mario Bros and Hillary Clinton, here's a game for you.
- Uncomfortably close view of a rattlesnake pit.
- Horrifying gif of a crab shedding its shell.
- Drunk UConn kid apologizes.
TWITTERAMA@EricKleefeld: Sneak preview of tonight's debate: Lincoln Chafee will shake hands with Hillary Clinton, and say that it's very nice to meter.
@HillaryClinton: .@realDonaldTrump Glad you'll be watching. It's going to be "huge."
@emmaroller: Tonight we’ll see if Democrats separate the wheat… from the Chaff-ee
don’t at me
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