Asked what he'd do to prepare for a hurricane as president, Ben Carson said "I don't know," though he should have said he'd surgically separate America from danger. Liberals were upset about the pope’s meeting with Kim Davis, failing to see it as further confirmation the Catholic Church is softening its opposition to divorce. And Russia started bombing targets in Syria, though it wasn't clear if they got the bad guys, or who the bad guys are, or if we are helping the good guys, or if our help is adequate, so yeah, hopefully more bombing will be helpful. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, September 30th, 2015:
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN POSTPONED - Mike McAuliff and Laura Barron-Lopez: "Congress waited until the very last day, but finally voted Wednesday to fund the government for a short time, setting up a similar but more consequential showdown in December. With less than seven hours left before government funding expired, the House passed a stopgap measure not long after the Senate took the same step earlier in the day, extending funding through Dec. 11. Both chambers passed the measure with votes to spare, but a large contingent of Republicans in the House -- 151 -- defected, foreshadowing what could be an intense battle as Congress winds down toward the holiday break. Several Republicans called the passage a step forward, but Democrats who voted nearly unanimously for the funding criticized the stopgap as embarrassing, and predicted it would only stall the bigger fight until December. 'The prospects for forging a reasonable, responsible solution by December are not good,' said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee." [HuffPost]
Federal judges are burned out, overworked and wondering where Congress is, Jen Bendery reports.
ACTUAL SECRET SERVICE SCANDAL - Alicia Caldwell: "Scores of U.S. Secret Service employees improperly accessed the decade-old, unsuccessful job application of a congressman who was investigating scandals inside the agency, a new government report said Wednesday. An assistant director suggested leaking embarrassing information to retaliate against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House oversight committee. The actions by the employees could represent criminal violations under the U.S. Privacy Act, said the report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, John Roth. 'It doesn't take a lawyer explaining the nuances of the Privacy Act to know that the conduct that occurred here -- by dozens of agents in every part of the agency -- was wrong,' the report said." [AP]
SIREN: MORE CLINTON EMAILS REVEALING IMPORTANT SECRETS - Just kidding, it's more of the usual from Lanny Davis and other stuff that is incredibly similar to what you see on Veep. Clinton told Barbara Mikulski that she is her home girl, "as Harriet Tubman would say." Also, Clinton once had trouble getting through to the White House because the operator didn't believe who she was.
HILLARY CLINTON RUDE TO COONS!!!! In one of the new Clinton emails from 2011, Nelson Cunningham tells Clinton aide Cheryl Mills about his dinner with Chris Coons, who was sad no one reached out to him about a Clinton trip to Africa, since Coons is chair of the Africa subcommittee. "He also mentioned that at a recent event with a group of Senators, he was the only one whom HRC didn't recognize and greet by name. (He reminded her that he was 'the one who beat the witch.')" Confidential to Coons: We don't know if you wanted Cunningham to send that email or what, but it sounds like you handled Clinton's failure to recognize you with grace and wit.
Haircuts: Jeffrey Young
THIS GUY PULLED A WEINER - As in Anthony. Tony Cook and Chelsea Schneider: "Rep. Jud McMillin, a rising star in the state's Republican Party, abruptly resigned Tuesday. The Indianapolis Star has learned that the surprise resignation came after a sexually explicit video was sent via text message from McMillin's cell phone. It's unclear who sent the text or how broadly it was distributed." Oops! But McMillin immediately violated the first rule of surviving a scandal: don't resign. [IndyStar.com
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RUSSIA JOINS EFFORT TO DROP BOMBS ON SYRIA, UNCLEAR IF IT IS HELPFUL - Andrew Osborn and Phil Stewart: "Russia launched air strikes in Syria on Wednesday in the Kremlin's biggest Middle East intervention in decades, but Moscow's assertion that it had hit Islamic State was immediately disputed by the United States and rebels on the ground. The air strikes plunged the four-year-old civil war in Syria into a volatile new phase as President Vladimir Putin moved forcefully to assert Russian influence in the unstable region." [Reuters]
BOB CORKER CALLING JOHN KERRY TO THE MAT - Niels Lesniewski: "The Senate Foreign Relations Committee wants to hear directly from Secretary of State John Kerry about the situation in Syria, as Russia has begun to conduct airstrikes. Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker is inviting Kerry to testify next week, though the State Department has not confirmed he will appear before the committee he chaired as a senator from Massachusetts. 'The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has requested Secretary of State John Kerry testify next week to explain the administration’s Syria strategy to Congress and the American people,' the Tennessee Republican said in a statement. 'Until we are prepared to take steps to address the root cause of this crisis -- the Assad regime -- we will continue to see dangerous consequences in the region that will impact our allies and our security interests.'" [Roll Call]
EXECUTION DELAYED, NOT BECAUSE MAN MIGHT BE INNOCENT - They just want to make sure the drug is okay. Tasneem Nashrulla: "Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin granted a 37-day stay of execution to Richard Glossip who was set to be executed today for planning the 1997 murder of his former boss, Barry Van Treese -- the owner of a motel Glossip worked at. Fallin said the stay was to allow time for the Department of Corrections to examine whether a drug -- potassium acetate -- to be used in the state’s three-drug protocol was compliant with the state’s execution protocol. The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to grant a stay of execution for Glossip." [Buzzfeed]
Read Glossip tell his story here.
Never fear, death penalty fans! Georgia executed its only woman on death row today, despite pleas from the pope and thousands of others.
POPE PALLED AROUND WITH KIM DAVIS - Melanie Eversley and John Bacon: "The Vatican on Wednesday confirmed that controversial Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis met with Pope Francis last Thursday during his U.S. visit. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said he would not deny that the meeting took place but declined further comment. The pope was in Washington for most of Thursday, flying to New York later in the day. Davis, the clerk of courts for Rowan County, and her husband, Joe Davis, met the pope at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, lawyer Mat Staver told USA TODAY." [USAToday]
CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS NOT THE RIGHT HEIGHT - Igor Bobic: "Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called for campaign finance reform in the wake of the explosion of super PACs, which can receive unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions and individuals. 'We've really got a mess in the financial system with regard to campaigns right now,' the 2012 nominee said Wednesday in an interview at The Atlantic's Washington Ideas Forum. 'We’ve gotta rethink campaign finance,' he added. The former Massachusetts governor said it is a problem that shadowy super PACs can take 'unlimited amounts of money,' while candidates themselves are "very strictly limited" in the amount of funding they are able to raise." [HuffPost]
ELIZABETH WARREN GETS A GUY FIRED - Daniel Strauss: "Robert Litan, a top economist at the Brookings Institution, resigned Tuesday after Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused him of publishing 'highly compensated and editorially compromised work on behalf of an industry player seeking a specific conclusion.' 'It is with regret that I have accepted [Robert] Litan’s resignation today as a nonresident senior fellow,' Brookings President Strobe Talbott said in a statement. 'He is a well-known, highly respected researcher, who has spent most of his life either as a government servant or as a public policy analyst. He has acknowledged that he made a mistake in not following Brookings regulations designed to uphold the independence of the institution.' Litan’s resignation came after Warren sent a letter to the think tank accusing Litan of failing to properly disclose financial-industry funding behind a study examining how the Labor Department planned to regulate financial advisers -- specifically, how the Labor Department sought to help investors seeking retirement fund advice, a Warren-backed initiative." [Politico]
REFUGEE GROUPS NOT INTO REFUGEE DISCRIMINATION - "Christian groups that work with refugees are strongly opposed to a proposal that would in effect put Iraqi and Syrian Christians ahead of Muslims for resettlement in the U.S., even if they are also victims of persecution. Ten House Republicans have signed on to a bill introduced this month by House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) that, among other things, instructs the government to prioritize religious minorities from Syria and Iraq for refugee status. The Obama administration plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the 2016 fiscal year, which begins on Thursday. As western countries determine how many people to take in from the Middle East amid an ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, the religious provision in McCaul's proposal points to a key point of tension: the fact that most Syrians are Muslim. ... 'Some have suggested that only Christians should be allowed in the country as refugees,' [Democratic Rep. Zoe] Lofgren said. 'That is un-American and it's contradicted by our over 200 years of history. I would hope we would not go there.'" [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - This guy went on HLN to talk about Edward Snowden but he talked about Edward Scissorhands instead.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, EBOLA - With Sam Stein and Dana Liebelson: "On this day in 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States. The patient was in Dallas. A video of a press conference by then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), set to theme music from a zombie apocalypse TV show, established the tone for what happened next. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) called for a travel ban from the three West African nations most badly afflicted by the virus, even though there were no direct flights from those nations to the United States. A Kentucky schoolteacher was chased out of her job. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) essentially imprisoned a nurse. The country flipped its wig. The mere presence of Ebola in the U.S. convinced people that a biomedical nightmare was near. 'They would see pictures of West Africans, be they in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea -- lying on the street, bodies there not getting picked up -- and they said, 'Oh my God, is this what's going to happen in the U.S.?'' Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, recalled in an interview. And then the panic went away. After two nurses were infected treating the original patient Thomas Eric Duncan, nobody else developed Ebola within U.S. borders. By early November, the media had basically stopped talking about it." [HuffPost]
- Here's what 10 different people look like with and without their contact lenses.
- People narrating their dogs' inner monologues (monodogs?).
- A game like Minecraft but you're a dog.
@wpjenna: At the very end of a media availability, reporter asks Ben Carson what he would do as president to prepare for a hurricane: "I don’t know."
@ajjaffe: Carson jokes about running away from cops as a kid: "That was back in the day before they would shoot you -- I'm just kidding," he laughs
@bellwak: Outside prison just now: local roofer drives past, rolls down window: “what’s happening today?”
@PhilipRucker: Mitt Romney: “I was approached in the airport some time ago, someone said, 'You look familiar. Who are you?' I said, 'Tom Brady.’"
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