POLITICS
10/15/2014 05:34 pm ET Updated Oct 15, 2014

HUFFPOST HILL - Let's Just Start Firing People Until We Feel Better

The White House followed up on its January pledge to help the long-term jobless, giving a flicker of hope to Mitt Romney. Some conservatives want the CDC director to resign, but our call for a new Panic Czar hasn't really caught on. And it turns out Donald Rumsfeld was right when he said of WMDs, "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat." LOL. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, October 15th, 2014:

FANCY BIG CITY LAWYER MAY YET PREVAIL IN IOWA - Take that, you ignorant farmers. Igor Bobic: "Less than three weeks until Election Day, Democrats are clinging to last-minute signs of hope in Iowa's competitive Senate race, which is just one of a handful that may determine which party controls the upper chamber in January. According to data compiled by Democrats and shared with The Huffington Post on Wednesday, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) holds a slight advantage in early vote totals over his Republican opponent, state Sen. Joni Ernst (R)." Good reminder that the election is already here and people are voting. [HuffPost]

The Iowa Senate race is still a tossup in HuffPost Pollster's model.

PRESIDENT NOT MUCH OF A CDC FUNDING HERO - Sam Stein and Zach Carter: "Recent attacks by a Democratic outside group blame congressional Republicans for exacerbating the Ebola epidemic by continuously seeking to cut funds for government health agencies. But the charge leaves out a critical point. President Barack Obama hasn't been consistent on funding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the dominant U.S. public health agency combating the outbreak. In some years, he's been a budgetary champion for the CDC. In other years, he's bowed to austerity." We're looking forward to the two pages in Obama's memoir he'll devote to the 2+ years of austerity. [HuffPost]

John McCain posed for a picture with the van from "Dumb & Dumber To."

GOP HOUSE MEMBER WANTS CDC BOSS TO RESIGN - Why? "This Ebola situation is beginning to spiral beyond control," Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) says in a press release. Reminder that two Americans have been infected, both from treating one severely ill Liberian. But hey, fire the guy. It fixed the VA, right?

Obama canceled political travel today to meet with his cabinet about Ebola.

MITCH MCCONNELL IS NOT FLIPPING HIS WIG ABOUT EBOLA - It's almost as if experts are appointed to special jobs specifically because of their expertise on matters related to the doing of said jobs. Igor Bobic: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) thinks the United States should heed expert advice on whether to impose flight restrictions on Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa, contrary to what some lawmakers in his party have been saying for weeks. 'I think we ought to listen to what the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] thinks they need either in terms of financing or certainly they'll decide the procedures for travel and all the rest,' McConnell told NBC News in an interview. 'I think we need to follow the advice of the experts who know how to fight scourges like this.' The Obama administration and top health officials charged with responding to the outbreak maintain that a flight ban would impede the work of aid workers who need to be able to travel to and from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea in order to contain the virus at its root." [HuffPost]

The House Energy & Commerce Committee will have an Ebola hearing tomorrow.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Top health officials said Wednesday that a nurse infected with Ebola never should have boarded a plane. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had announced earlier Wednesday that a second nurse who had cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die from Ebola in the United States, had contracted the disease -- and also that the nurse had flown from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, the day before she fell ill. "She should not have traveled on a commercial airline," CDC director Tom Frieden told reporters during a conference call. "The CDC guidance in this setting outlines the need for what is called controlled movement. That can include a charter plane, that can include a car, but it does not include public transport." [HuffPost]

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THE SECRET CASUALTIES OF IRAQ'S FORGOTTEN WMD - C.J. Chivers: "The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West. The New York Times found 17 American service members and seven Iraqi police officers who were exposed to nerve or mustard agents after 2003. American officials said that the actual tally of exposed troops was slightly higher, but that the government’s official count was classified." [NYT]

Jason Linkins can set you straight on the idea that this story somehow validates the Iraq War.

Akbar Ahmed reported earlier this week that ISIS may now have its hands on those weapons.

TERRI LYNN DAYUMMMMM - Hadas Gold: "The Detroit Free Press' editorial page editor is calling Terri Lynn Land’s efforts to avoid an endorsement meeting a type of blackmail. The Michigan GOP senate candidate’s campaign is refusing to attend an endorsement meeting with the Free Press editorial board unless the newspaper changes an Oct 4. op-ed by columnist Brian Dickerson, which called Land as accessible 'as a music video diva recovering from plastic surgery.'" [Politico]

The White House followed up on its January pledge to help the long-term jobless.

HOW THE EBOLA PANIC RECALLS AIDS PANIC - Great piece by Steven Petrow: "There have been only three confirmed cases (and one death) of Ebola in the United States, but a related condition is spreading faster than a California wildfire. Americans nationwide are showing signs of an epidemic of fear, all too reminiscent of the stigmatization, dread of contagion, and moral panic of the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I should know: I was there as a gay man at risk, as an AIDS hotline volunteer — and as a journalist covering the emerging epidemic." [WashPost]

EBOLA AWKWARDNESS FOR LIBERIANS IN THE U.S. - News about the latest Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has hit Liberia harder than any other country, has caused some awkward moments for Liberians living in the United States. Karen Mygil, a surgeon in Bowie, Maryland, was recently making idle chitchat with her nurses while examining a patient. The discussion soon turned to the Ebola crisis, the hot topic in the news that everyone was following. "The patient gave some feedback about what he had heard about the news, and I said, 'Well, you know, I'm from Liberia,'" recounted Mygil. "He jerked himself back from my hands, and he said, 'You're from Liberia?'" [w/ HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

NEW CIVIL RIGHTS HONCHO HAS STREET CRED - Ryan Reilly: "The newly named acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is a well-respected ACLU lawyer who has long been active on criminal justice reform issues, has called for the decriminalization of marijuana and is a critic of the criminal controversial practice of civil asset forfeiture. Vanita Gupta, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, will take over the Civil Rights Division next week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Monday. Gupta will also be nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Civil Rights Division on a permanent basis, an official familiar with the process confirmed." [HuffPost]

GET A FLU SHOT - Jeff Young: "A deadly virus is poised to sweep across America and could claim thousands of lives this year. It's especially dangerous for the most vulnerable members of society, and preventing an epidemic will require a coordinated, nationwide effort between the government and the private sector. No, it's not Ebola... It's influenza, otherwise known as the flu. The ailment may seem commonplace, but it costs thousands of lives and billions of dollars when it resurfaces each year." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Enjoy this GQ article on the superiority of cheap beer.

CONVICTED KILLER WANTS MICHELE BACHMANN'S SEAT - Mark Sommerhauser: "A two-time convicted killer wants a federal judge to order his name be placed on the ballot in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District race. Leonard Richards, 72, is serving a life sentence at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater. Richards was convicted of the 1982 murder of his half-sister, May Wilson, and the 1987 slaying of his attorney, Robert Stratton." [SCTimes.com]

COMFORT FOOD

- Bootleg versions of stupid Halloween costumes are way funnier than the real ones. http://bzfd.it/1xTvo2U

- Corgi vs pumpkin. http://bit.ly/1xTrR4t

- Tiny owl gets head massage. http://huff.to/ZZBMKY

- Laugh at this dude who wore a hazmat suit to Dulles Airport. http://bit.ly/1sQktI9

TWITTERAMA

@morningmoneyben: Unacceptable MT “@BretBaier: A senior military source says the name of the operation in Iraq and Syria is…
"Inherent Resolve"”

@aedwardslevy: Would you say that you are having an existential crisis right now?
-Not sure
-Undecided
-Don't know
-Uncertain

@dwallbank: White House briefing, shorter:
Yesterday: WHY IS OBAMA TRAVELING B/C EBOLA
Today: WHY IS OBAMA NOT TRAVELING B/C EBOLA

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