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HUFFPOST HILL - Florida Republicans Giddily Dust Off 'Sore Loserman' Posters

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Hillary Clinton realized the best way to rub her looming electoral victory in her adversaries’ faces was to appear beside Al Gore. Donald Trump tweeted, “It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” which is either an allusion to his renewed take-no-prisoners approach, or a very odd way to celebrate #NationalComingOutDay. And Eric Trump’s statements about being an alpha male and the White House’s comments about cyber warfare with Russia lead us to conclude that the next great conflict will feature a lot more neck beards. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, October 11th, 2016:

STEVE BANNON NEEDS TO TAKE UP KNITTING - Or crossfit, if that’s a better way to channel his deep, deep rage. Jonathan Swan: “Steve Bannon, the chairman of the right-wing news outlet Breitbart who became CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, gave explicit orders to his staff to destroy Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). On editorial conference calls, the Breitbart chairman would often say ‘Paul Ryan is the enemy,’ according to a source who worked with Bannon at the news organization. In December 2015, weeks after Ryan became Speaker, Bannon wrote in an internal Breitbart email obtained by The Hill that the ‘long game’ for his news site was for Ryan to be ‘gone’ by the spring. In the Dec. 1 email, Breitbart’s Washington editor, Matt Boyle, suggested to Bannon via email that a story promoting Ryan’s planned overhaul of the mental health system would be a good way to ‘open a bridge’ to Ryan. Bannon wasn’t keen on the idea. ‘I’ve got a cure for mental health issue,’ Bannon wrote to Boyle. ‘Spank your children more.’” [The Hill]

And Sean Spicer should join Steve Bannon’s knitting group (Knitplorables? Knit Romney? Knit Your Mamma’s Republican Party?): “After Republican communications chief Sean Spicer accused conservative outlet The Weekly Standard of fabricating an embarrassing quote, The Standard released audio proving he said exactly what they said he had.” [Mediaite]

COMEDY CENTRAL ROASTS ARE NOW A CONSIDERATION IN THIS ELECTION - Maybe it’s just a hunch, maybe it’s the fact that our knees are acting up, maybe it’s what that woodswitch told us beneath a blood red moon in a fever dream, but Rob Schneider will factor into this election, somehow. Daniel Libit: “The woman who was supposed to take Donald Trump’s coat wasn’t hot enough. It was March 8, 2011, and Comedy Central’s ‘Roast of Donald Trump’ was set to film the next day. The plan called for Trump to be driven onto the stage in a gilded golf cart flanked by beautiful women. There, he’d hand his coat to another woman before taking his seat on the roastee’s throne. But during the dress rehearsal, Trump grabbed Robert Ferkle, who served as the production’s stage manager. The proposed woman, Trump said, was ‘not somebody he wanted to be associated with at that moment,’ Ferkle recalled. “In other words, she was not pretty enough.’ To appease Trump, Comedy Central moved the actress elsewhere on the stage, Ferkle said. The show went on.” [HuffPost]

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CLINTON INTRODUCES MAJOR CHILD CARE OVERHAUL Jonathan Cohn: “[Clinton] would double the size of the child tax credit, an existing break for both low- and middle-income families, for children 4 years old and younger...The initiative is part of a broader agenda to update America’s social welfare state, in order to accommodate a profound change in society over the last few decades ― the mass entry of women into the workforce, and resulting disruption to traditional childrearing arrangements...This is pretty much the opposite of the approach that Donald Trump has taken with his tax policy in general, and his child care proposals in particular. Over the summer, Trump proposed a new tax deduction for child care expenses. But deductions are worth a lot more to people in higher income tax brackets ― and worth nothing at all to people too poor to pay income taxes.” [HuffPost]

TRUMP, POLITICALLY WOUNDED, LASHES OUT WITH INSANE NEW AD - Igor Bobic: “Donald Trump’s campaign released a new ad Tuesday overtly attacking Hillary Clinton over her health and stamina. The 30-second spot, titled ‘Dangerous,’ uses footage of Clinton coughing and her fainting spell last month to call into question her ability to protect America at home and abroad. The latter episode occurred when the former secretary of state, who had pneumonia at the time, became overheated and dehydrated at a 9/11 memorial ceremony. ‘Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fortitude, strength, or stamina to lead in our world. She failed as secretary of state. Don’t let her fail us again,’ the narrator says in the ad. The ad also features a photo of the Democratic nominee being helped by aides after slipping on a set of stairs. Conservative websites like the Drudge Report played up the image to further sow doubt about her health.” [HuffPost]

Remember the GOP’s autopsy report? There was a whole bit about improving its standing with women. Laura Bassett reports that things didn’t really work out.

ERIC TRUMP HAS DEFINITELY BOTHERED WOMEN IN THE GYM - Yeah, I lift. Joey Bunch: “Eric Trump, the presidential candidate’s 32-year-old son, came to Colorado Monday to talk business and energize volunteers, but he was armed and ready to defend his father’s personal reputation. He blamed Hillary Clinton’s campaign for releasing a 2005 ‘Access Hollywood’ audio tape...There has been no evidence that the Clinton campaign released the damaging tape. Eric Trump said he was ‘surprised it came out.’ ‘At the same time, I think it’s locker room banter,’ he said, repeating his father’s description of it. ‘I think sometimes when guys are together they get carried away, and sometimes that’s what happens when alpha personalities are in the same presence. At the same time, I’m not saying it’s right. It’s not the person that he is.’” [Gazette]

NBC WANTED TO EDIT OUT BILLY BUSH’S LAUGH - Challenging times at Kabletown. Liz McNeil and Natalie Stone: “Although there is no confirmation as to who leaked the footage, the source tells PEOPLE that it was both ‘purposeful’ and ‘not a low-level leak.’ ‘They could have released the tape and edited him out,’ the source says of the individual that leaked the footage. ‘That was the plan — they were trying to approve it and then someone leaked it.  That’s what Access Hollywood eventually did and they played it … but it was already out,’ the source says and adds, ‘If they wanted to protect him, they could have edited it out which they did on the final Access piece that aired on Friday, but they left it in when it was leaked.’ (According to an NBC spokesperson: ‘There absolutely was never a consideration by NBC News to edit the tape.’)” [People]

Bush is reportedly leaving NBC.

RUBIO SIDES WITH TRUMP - Bold move from Little Marco. Patricia Mazzei: “Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday he’s not revoking his endorsement of Donald Trump, despite Trump’s lewd and vulgar comments in a 2005 recording about groping women without their consent. ‘I ran against Donald Trump. And while I respect that voters chose him as the GOP nominee, I have never hesitated to oppose his policies I disagree with,’ Rubio said in a statement. ‘And I have consistently rejected his offensive rhetoric and behavior. I disagree with him on many things, but I disagree with his opponent on virtually everything. ‘I wish we had better choices for President. But I do not want Hillary Clinton to be our next President. And therefore my position has not changed.’ Rubio denounced the tape Friday after its publication in The Washington Post, calling Trump’s remarks ‘impossible to justify.’” [Miami Herald]

Speaking of Republicans with high-profile relationships (or lack thereof) with Donald Trump, check out Tim Murphy’s excellent profile of Ben Sasse.  

GOODNIGHT, PAUL LEPAGE: YOU PRINCE OF MAINE, YOU KING OF NEW ENGLAND - But, seriously, he hates democracy. What we need is some good ol’ nobility bolstered by talk radio. Chris Massie: “Maine Gov. Paul LePage stood by Donald Trump in a radio interview on Tuesday, saying that the United States might need someone like the GOP nominee to show ‘authoritarian power,’ and dismissing concerns over an audiotape leaked last week that showed Trump describing how he forces himself upon women. ‘Sometimes, I wonder that our Constitution is not only broken, but we need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law because we’ve had eight years of a president, he’s an autocrat, he just does it on his own, he ignores Congress and every single day, we’re slipping into anarchy,’ LePage said on Maine radio station WVOM.” [CNN]

Best election ever: “Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey (R) brought shame to Bey fans everywhere on Monday night when she uncomfortably tried to offer an example of ‘lewd’ lyrics to prove that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is a hypocrite and secretly loves inappropriate content...She continuously looked down at her notes, perhaps to remind herself of the lyrics she was about to recite. ‘I mentioned rap music because it’s full of the f-word, the p-word, the b-word, the a-word,’ she continued. ‘I don’t think anybody likes that but those people are not running for president,’ Lemon responded.” [HuffPost]

OBAMA COMPLICIT IN AIRLINE CONSOLIDATION - From the people who brought you, “pay no mind to Bill Shuster’s love life” comes their latest hit… Justin Elliott: “Three years ago, the Obama administration unleashed its might on behalf of beleaguered American air travelers, filing suit to block a mega-merger between American Airlines and US Airways. The Justice Department laid out a case that went well beyond one merger...The Obama administration itself had helped create that reality by approving two previous mergers in the industry, which had seen nine major players shrink to five in a decade. In the lawsuit, the government was effectively admitting it had been wrong. It was now making a stand. Then a mere three months later, the government stunned observers by backing down...The Justice Department’s abrupt reversal came after the airlines tapped former Obama administration officials and other well-connected Democrats to launch an intense lobbying campaign, the full extent of which has never been reported.” [ProPublica]

SHERIFF JOE CHARGED - In the early 1990s live-action Disney movie version of this, Sheriff Joe ends up in jail wearing pink as a group of scrappy pre-teens cheer his imprisonment. Megan Cassidy: “The U.S. Department of Justice officials have opted to charge Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with criminal contempt for violating a federal court’s orders in a racial-profiling case. Arpaio has not yet officially been charged. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton asked the federal government to write an order to show cause, by Wednesday, for her to sign. That will serve as a charging document for the case to go forward against Arpaio only. The announcement came Tuesday at the case’s first criminal hearing in downtown Phoenix’s federal court. DOJ attorney John Keller said the government will continue to investigate additional allegations of Arpaio and three aides for concealing evidence — and therefore obstruction of justice — but will not proceed with the prosecution at this time, because they believe the statute of limitations has run out.” [Arizona Republic]

PEOPLE LIKE TO BELIEVE THEY’RE CORRECT: POLL - Nick Bayer: “[A] majority of Americans are willing to believe conspiracy theories about the presidential candidate they oppose, according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University/PublicMind poll. Even though there is no credible evidence that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew ahead of time that the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, was going to be attacked, 90 percent of the Donald Trump supporters interviewed believe she ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ knew and did nothing to prevent it. By contrast, only 35 percent of Clinton supporters feel the same way.  Similarly, the poll found that 68 percent of Trump supporters still believe that President Barack Obama ‘is hiding important information about his background and early life.’ On the other hand, 84 percent of Clinton supporters consider this ‘definitely not true.’” [HuffPost]

IN SOVIET RUSSIA, GOVERNMENT HACKS YOU - Arlette Saenz: “President Obama will consider a ‘proportional’ response to the recent hacks conducted by Russia, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today. ‘We obviously will ensure that a U.S. response is proportional. It is unlikely that our response would be announced in advanced. It’s certainly possible that the president could choose response options that we never announce,’ Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One...Last week, U.S. intelligence officials [said] the Russian government directed the recent hacking of U.S. political institutions, including the posting of thousands of e-mails from political officials on sites like DCLeaks.com and Wikileaks.” [ABC News]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a polar bear partying down in a kiddy pool filled with ice.

YOU’RE AWFUL, AMERICA - Our most beloved peddlers of heart disease and diabetes can’t even walk the streets in safety. Melissa Chan: “Ronald McDonald, the iconic clown mascot of McDonald’s, is laying low until the clown craze in the country dies down, the fast-food giant said Tuesday. McDonald’s said Americans will see less of the recognizable red-haired jester in the yellow suit as the company remains ‘thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events’ as a result of the ‘current climate around clown sightings in communities,’ according to the Associated Press. Sightings of creepy clowns have been on the rise and have spread to more than two dozen states since late August when reports surfaced that clowns were trying to lure children into the woods in South Carolina.” [Time]

COMFORT FOOD

- As the weather cools down, some prayers for black tights season.

TWITTERAMA

@jasoncherkis: Democratic EGOT 2016: Win the presidency, take back the House and the Senate, Joe Arpaio ends up in jail.

@morninggloria: (Republican pundit voice) Hillary should apologize for Beyoncé’s claim that it is only girls who run

@rembert: i feel like the chainsmokers will name their next album ‘locker room talk’

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