The former director of the Secret Service wanted the agency to be more like Disney World, which might explain the autograph books the agents carry around filled with the signatures of people they’ve tackled. Rand Paul is terrified by the Ebola crisis, but his Randian solution of having people cure themselves through hard work and ingenuity should do the trick. And more than 3,000 people — over ten percent of the population — have registered to vote in Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting of Michael Brown. Makes your boss’ solicitation emails titled “Spare a minute?” and “We can win this” feel kinda weak, doesn’t it? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, October 2nd, 2014:
REVEAL TO US YOUR SECRETS, TREY GOWDY - We had a conversation about how best to describe his hair and the best we could come up with was "multi-faceted." Sam Stein and Ryan Reilly: "[W]hen House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that Gowdy would chair a special investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, Democrats reacted with eye-rolling...But as quickly as the guffaws started, they stopped. Months passed with barely a peep out of the usually vocal Gowdy. Skeptics saw it as the logical evolution of a manufactured crisis -- once the headlines died down, so too did the actual work. But Gowdy's office said the lack of pomp is by design. 'When all is said and done, Chairman Gowdy intends to lead the committee in a manner that produces a final accounting that is worthy of the sacrifice made by the four brave Americans we lost in Benghazi and worthy of the trust of all our citizens regardless of their political leanings,' Gowdy's spokesman, Jamal Ware, told The Huffington Post... Some Democrats worry that Gowdy's patient approach is just a ruse, and that he'll pounce more forcefully once the 2016 campaign comes around and Hillary Clinton is running. Others have complained that the committee lacks basic organizational structure. According to aides, there have been no business meetings to discuss the scope or timetable of the investigation. The committee has a divided staff (20 for Republicans, 10 for Democrats) and budget (same proportional breakdown)." [HuffPost]
GULP: 100 AMERICANS POSSIBLY EXPOSED TO EBOLA - Reuters: "Up to 100 people may have had direct or indirect contact with the first person to be diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus in the United States, and four of his relatives have been quarantined in their homes as a precaution, health officials said Thursday. Dallas County officials said 12 to 18 people had direct contact with the Texas patient, and they in turn had contact with scores of others. Officials said none of those thought to have had direct or indirect contact with the patient, who was being treated at a Dallas hospital, were showing symptoms of Ebola. The disease has killed at least 3,338 people in West Africa in the worst such outbreak on record." [Reuters]
OUR CURRENT BOMBING CAMPAIGN HASN'T BEEN CHRISTENED YET - Amanda Terkel: "The United States is currently engaged in a 'targeted action' against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. President Barack Obama has called it 'a systematic campaign of airstrikes,' while Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has gone so far as to admit that the country is at 'war' with the terrorist group. But what administration officials have not done is give the conflict its own name. Unlike many past military engagements -- think Operation Desert Storm or Operation Mermaid Dawn -- this 'targeted action' has no code name. Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan, said the Pentagon usually names military operations to bolster public support and bring attention to the campaign. In bombing the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, attention might not be what the Obama administration wants." [HuffPost]
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SECRET SERVICE A HOT MESS - WaPo: "'The 6,700-member agency, long an elite class of skilled professionals who prized their jobs, now suffers from diminished luster and historically high turnover rates. Officers in charge of protecting the White House say they have grown resentful at being belittled by their bosses and routinely forced to work on off-days. Some agents who have sworn to take a bullet for the president and his family have little faith in the wisdom or direction of their senior-most leaders. Those chronic woes have been amplified in recent days by revelations of a string of humiliating security lapses that have raised concerns about the president’s safety and prompted the agency’s biggest crisis since President Ronald Reagan was shot outside the Washington Hilton three decades ago...In the spring, Pierson was irate at what she considered the excessive security measures her team had planned for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which Obama hosted this summer, demanding that it dismantle extra layers of fencing and reopen closed streets, according to two agency supervisors. Supervisors who had mapped out the security plan said they were taken aback when Pierson, who worked during high school at Walt Disney World as a costumed character and park attendant, said: 'We need to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting.'" [WaPo]
@stevenportnoy: WH says Obama won't name a new Secret Service director until after a review of the jumper incident is completed.
The CIA doesn't think it's keeping too many secrets, the way your grandmother never thought she was keeping too many back issues of USA Today piled up in her closet: "The CIA is locked in an epic battle with the Senate over how much information about its George W. Bush-era torture tactics should be released. Senators are lambasting the CIA's 'culture of misinformation,' but the agency doesn't seem to have taken the criticisms to heart. In a September 2013 report, the CIA's inspector general could find 'no instances' of over-classification. The report, obtained Wednesday by The Huffington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, was based on a sample of CIA intelligence reports. The report was produced in response to a federal law meant to reduce over-classification. In January, the CIA refused to release the report to HuffPost until after it underwent a review process." [HuffPost]
SORTA DOCTOR RAND PAUL IS WORRIED ABOUT EBOLA - Politico: "Sen. Rand Paul is warning that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might be downplaying the threat from the Ebola virus. The Kentucky Republican, appearing on 'The Laura Ingraham Show' on Wednesday, said the CDC and the Obama administration are giving off a false sense of security. 'This could get beyond our control,' said Paul, an ophthalmologist...Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, also expressed concern about President Barack Obama’s plan -- announced earlier this month -- to send up to 3,000 troops to combat Ebola in West Africa, the major hub of the disease. 'You also have to be concerned about 3,000 soldiers getting back on a ship,' he said, expressing concern about the spread of disease in close quarters. 'Can you imagine if a whole ship full of our soldiers catch Ebola?' he asked later." [Politico]
IT'S AMAZING HOW PEOPLE SUDDENLY CARE ABOUT THE STATE WHEN IT MISTREATS THEM - Igor Bobic: " Ferguson, Missouri, has seen a surge in voter registration since a white police officer fatally shot black teenager Michael Brown in early August, USA Today reported Thursday. Of the 4,839 people in St. Louis County who have registered to vote since the shooting, 3,287 are residents of Ferguson -- a city with a population of 21,203, according to the last census. The city's population is predominantly African-American, yet most of its elected representatives and a vast majority of its police force are white." [HuffPost]
Strange bedfellows: "Thousands of California prisoners could be released if state voters pass a referendum downgrading certain non-violent felonies to misdemeanors next month. If that happens, the inmates will owe a debt of gratitude to a conservative multimillionaire named B. Wayne Hughes Jr. Hughes is that rare businessman who manages to embrace Hollywood, Wall Street and the church pew: He invests in real estate, surfs in Malibu, plays cowboy on his ranch and prays in the prison ministries he supports. Now his fortune may help power California Proposition 47 to victory at the ballot box, marking a milestone in Americans' changing attitudes toward incarceration." [HuffPost's Matt Sledge]
HAHAHAHAHAHA... GEORGE W. BUSH - Goddamn these are some prolonged-ass birthing pangs. Igor Bobic: "Former President George W. Bush said Thursday that America must remain vigilant in the fight against Islamic terrorism because a healthy democracy may take decades to take root in Iraq. 'I know the nature of the enemy. Anybody who kills 3,000 innocents and beheads people because of their religion or because of their point of view is dangerous, and there is a short-term strategy which is to bring them to justice and a long-term strategy which is to encourage free societies to prevail so as to marginalize their ideology,' Bush said in an interview with Fox News." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are pets in costumes.
HuffPost Hiccup: Yesterday our headline referred to the Secret Service as the "Secret Security," which must've been some early-90s house music group we listened to one time. Because what the hell else would "Secret Security" be?
- Dachshund takes luxurious bath.
- Pantsing someone really is the best way to stop a fight.
- Elephant is a total helicopter parent.
- Dog in a hoodie eating breakfast with human hands.
@c_good: Obama subs "that's what we expect of ourselves" for prepared remarks' "that's how we roll." Gotta say I approve
@LOLGOP: Mitt Romney will not rest until you have your pre-existing condition back.
@timothypmurphy: is ISIS on Ello
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