The head of the Secret Service is leaving the White House, but the door is always open for her... and anyone, really. Scott Brown missed all his committees’ hearings on border security, though it’s not like borders have ever gotten in the way of his career. And the agency charged with combating Ebola had its budget slashed. Next time you try to use one of those hand sanitizer dispensers in the Capitol, don’t be surprise if dust comes out and you hear a wheezing sound. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, October 1, 2014:
SECRET SERVICE CHIEF RESIGNING - Times: "Julia Pierson, the director of the Secret Service, is resigning in the wake of several security breaches. Ms. Pierson offered her resignation on Wednesday during a meeting with Jeh C. Johnson, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that oversees the Secret Service. The resignation came less than a day after lawmakers from both parties assailed Ms. Pierson’s leadership and said they feared for the lives of the president and others in the protection of the agency. In a statement, Mr. Johnson said that he had appointed Joseph Clancy, a former agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, to become the Secret Service’s acting director. Mr. Clancy was in charge of the presidential detail the night in November 2009 when Michaele and Tareq Salahi, then a married couple, managed to get past Secret Service checkpoints for President Obama’s first state dinner without being on the guest list. Obama called Ms. Pierson after her decision 'to thank her for her service to the agency and the country,' said Josh Earnest, the president’s press secretary. 'The president is deeply appreciative of her service.'" [Times]
No surprise here: "Omar J. Gonzalez -- the man arrested after allegedly knocking back an officer posted inside the executive mansion’s doors and being tackled just outside the Green Room -- appeared in an orange jumpsuit before a judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday afternoon. Gonzalez pleaded not guilty to three charges stemming from the incident that has exposed the agency to intense scrutiny. About 90 minutes later, Pierson resigned. The biggest issue during the 20-minute arraignment was whether Gonzalez, an Iraq war veteran possibly suffering through post-traumatic stress disorder, is mentally fit to stand trial." [Roll Call]
AGENCY IN CHARGE OF EBOLA FIGHT HAD BUDGET SLASHED - Season 14 of The Wire: McNulty fights Ebola. Sam Stein: "The lead agency tasked with responding to the threat of Ebola both within the United States and abroad has seen its budget drop dramatically in the past four years...According to numbers provided by a Senate Budget Committee staffer, the CDC has actually recovered nicely from the sequestration cuts that went into effect a year ago. The agency has been allocated $5.882 billion in fiscal year 2014, compared to the $5.432 billion it received after the cuts took place. But if you move back the timeline a bit, you see that investment in the CDC has still fallen dramatically. The agency's current budget, in fact, is nearly $600 million lower than it was in 2010." [HuffPost]
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SCOTT BROWN: PEOPLE DON'T CARE ABOUT WOMEN'S ISSUES - "But, seriously, how about my daughters...they're single!" Laura Bassett: "Fox News host Gretchen Carlson asked Brown to address comments from his opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), about his voting record. 'He doesn’t stand up for women’s reproductive rights and economic security,' Carlson quoted Shaheen as saying. 'He co-sponsored legislation to let employers deny women coverage for birth control or even mammograms. He had two opportunities to vote for equal pay laws and both times he voted no.' 'So Senator, how do you respond to her claims?' Carlson asked 'Well unfortunately, I’m talking about issues that people care about,' Brown fired back." [HuffPost]
BROWN MISSED ALL BORDER SECURITY HEARINGS - Listen, trucks don't tune themselves. WaPo: "Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown (R) has run several attack ads criticizing Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. But as a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he missed all six hearings on border security that he was eligible to attend, records suggest. Brown was absent from five hearings in 2011 and one in 2010, according to a review of public records and congressional transcripts and video...'Senators have a tremendous amount of responsibilities there. I knew in my case I was on four committees, two subcommittees, a bunch of caucuses -- and plus I was doing my National Guard duty, so I don’t think there’s ever an expectation to have 100 percent attendance,' said Brown in [a] Boston Herald radio interview." [WaPo]
MITCH MCCONNELL, HIPPIE - It's difficult to think of Mitch McConnell as anything other than a 72-year-old obstructionist senator -- as if he arrived shrink-wrapped in the Capitol around 2007, withered and besuited. Kate Sheppard: "In his earlier years, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was inclined to weigh environmental concerns against economic prospects when considering a proposed coal plant, according to a report Tuesday in the Hazard Herald of Kentucky...'Although I advocate economic and job expansion, it must not occur to the detriment of our environment,' McConnell wrote in a letter to a constituent, according to the paper. 'As I am sure you know, we have similar strong feelings regarding the proposal [of the plant]. Its approval would undermine any potential for the aesthetic future of the Upper Ohio Riverfront,' he wrote in another letter." [HuffPost]
APPEALS COURT STRIKES DOWN N.C. VOTING RESTRICTIONS - Ryan J. Reilly: "A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered a lower court to block two new voting restrictions in North Carolina, saying there was "no doubt" the measures would disenfranchise minorities. North Carolina will now be required to reinstate same-day voter registration, as well as allow voters to cast ballots even if they show up to vote in the wrong precinct. In a two-to-one ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled that "whether the number is thirty or thirty-thousand, surely some North Carolina minority voters will be disproportionately adversely affected in the upcoming election" and that it was important to act now, since 'there could be no do-over and no redress' once the election was over." [HuffPost]
It was either an associate position at the Corporate Executive Board or martyrdom in service of almighty Allah in the holy war against the Great Satan: "Fox News contributor thinks that a new framework for Advanced Placement U.S. History courses will cause students 'to go sign up for ISIS.' When speaking at the Center for Security Policy's National Security Action Summit this week, Ben Carson, an author and retired neurosurgeon who provides commentary on Fox News, implied that the College Board's new course framework has an anti-American bias." [HuffPost's Rebecca Klein]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a monkey bothering a cat.
From our inbox to your eyeballs: "Britain’s Biggest Bookmaker Slash Price Of Clooney Moving Into The White House: William Hill have HALVED the price of George Clooney becoming US President in his lifetime from 200/1 to 100/1. This follows hints made by family members that Clooney and new bride Amal have political ambitions, following the couple’s Venice wedding."
- David Cameronraps.
- Beer?! is a lot like Yo!, but for beer.
- Dogs discover apples.
- Watch 150-plus turtles be born and led into the sea.
@igorbobic: Area Communications Director Miffed Julia Pierson Resigned Before Press Release Went Out
@daveweigel: Congratulations to new Secret Service director Tareq Salahi
@woodruffbets: Florida Man Turns Into Wedding Dress
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