POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Sobbing Paul Ryan, Whey Protein Caked Around His Mouth, Mulls Lobbying Gig

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A very unfair hurricane is bearing down on Donald Trump’s Florida properties. Trump told Page Six that he is going to be very presidential in the next debate, but by Page Six standards, that means not punching Fetty Wap at Sarah Jessica Parker’s Hampton’s birthday party. And Trump is making a play for western votes. He doesn’t know much about Yucca Mountain, but he does have property in Nevada and it’s the best, real big league, absolutely not stuffed with spent radioactive material. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, October 6th, 2016:

TRUMP BETTING ON SUPPORT OUT WEST - Say what you will about the man, but Donald Trump could definitely pull off a bolo tie. Eli Stokols: “[W]ith five weeks to go and new polling showing Pennsylvania and Michigan out of reach and Hillary Clinton eating into his lead in Ohio, the Republican nominee is blazing a trail across the West...Trump on Wednesday finished a three-day swing through Colorado, Arizona and Nevada, drawing large crowds of mostly white voters. On Monday, Trump rallied up and down Colorado’s Front Range. Before a raucous crowd of 7,000 people inside an arena in Loveland, he drew loud cheers when he promised he would win the state — as he did before 2,000 people in Pueblo, a rundown, post-industrial town and longtime Democratic stronghold where economic anxieties are pushing voters toward Trump.” [Politico]

CLINTON BANKING ON EARLY VOTING - And, you know, all those Trump ballots that Sidney Blumenthal will personally steal from polling places and stuff down his pants. Jessie Hellman: “Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign hopes to build an “insurmountable lead” in early voting in three battleground states that will cut off a path to the White House for Donald Trump. Nevada, North Carolina and Florida could all be decided before Election Day because of historic spikes in early voting, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said Thursday.  ‘We are encouraging supporters to cast their vote early because it is possible ... that we could build an insurmountable lead in those key states before Election Day,’ Mook said on a press call with reporters.  Wins in those three states would make it very difficult to imagine an Electoral College scenario in which Trump, the Republican nominee, would win the White House.  Victories in North Carolina, which Republican Mitt Romney won in 2012, and Florida are especially important.  Mook estimated that 40 percent of votes in those battleground states could be cast before Election Day. “ [The Hill]

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PAUL RYAN TO CAMPAIGN WITH TRUMP - Jen Bendery: “Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is campaigning with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Wisconsin on Saturday, though it kind of seems he didn’t want you to know that. Ryan’s campaign released a media advisory Thursday titled, ‘Paul Ryan to Attend Annual Fall Fest in Walworth County.’ It’s an event in Ryan’s home state, and the advisory lists lots of state officials attending. Oh, and three paragraphs in, it mentions Trump will be there too...It’s the first time the two will appear together since the Republican National Convention in July. Got any questions about Ryan’s decision to share a stage with Trump? ‘All questions related to Mr. Trump should be directed to the Trump campaign,’ the release says.” [HuffPost]

PENCE NOW DISTANCING TRUMP FROM TRUMP - Steve Holland: “Donald Trump has backed away from a total ban on Muslims entering the United States, vice presidential running mate Mike Pence said on Thursday, a shift from one of the Republican presidential candidate’s most provocative proposals. Trump’s call last December for ‘a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ followed an Islamic State-inspired mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by a husband-and-wife team. Critics have called the proposed ban discriminatory and probably a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion, and Democrats have used Trump’s policy to declare him a bigot. In recent months, Trump has said he would suspend immigration from countries where Islamist militants are active but has left vague as to whether this amounted to a narrowing or an expansion of his original policy position.” [Reuters]

TRUMP TELLS AMERICA’S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE THAT HE IS VERY PRESIDENTIAL - Can’t wait for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book about President Trump, TMZ and the second golden age of journalism. Page Six:  “Donald Trump is taking the high road, and keeping Bill Clinton’s ‘bimbo eruptions’ away from Sunday’s presidential debate. Candice Jackson — a lawyer who works with Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and Dolly Kyle — was hoping to bring at least one of the women to St. Louis to sit in the front row and throw Hillary Clinton off her game. But Jackson won’t get any help from the Republican presidential nominee. ‘I want to win this election on my policies for the future, not on Bill Clinton’s past,’ Trump told me via email. ‘Jobs, trade, ending illegal immigration, veteran care, and strengthening our military is what I really want to be talking about.’” [Page Six]

NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR DAMN *HEALTH* - Ariel Edwards-Levy: “Voters are once again convinced that Hillary Clinton is in good enough physical shape to serve as president, according to new Economist/YouGov polling. Fifty-two percent of registered voters now say that the Democratic presidential nominee is physically strong enough, up 7 points from a poll taken just before the first presidential debate. Sixty-five percent say that her Republican rival Donald Trump is healthy enough, little changed from previous surveys...Confidence in Clinton’s physical health dropped precipitously after she was filmed collapsing at an event commemorating 9/11. A significant percentage of Democrats said they were unsure if she was in good enough shape to serve as president. But in the most recent survey, 80 percent of all Democrats say Clinton is healthy enough.” [HuffPost]

THERANOS TO GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD, PROBABLY RUIN DRAWING BOARDS - One-time Silicon Valley darling Theranos ― which promised to revolutionize blood-testing but only actually managed to produce innovative new ways to sucker venture capitalists and mislead the press into doling out fawning profiles ― will “retreat” from the core mission at which they successfully failed to succeed. “The moves mark a dramatic retreat by the Palo Alto, Calif., company and founder Elizabeth Holmes from their core strategy of offering a long menu of low-price blood tests directly to consumers. Those ambitions already were endangered by crippling regulatory sanctions that followed revelations by The Wall Street Journal of shortcomings in Theranos’s technology and operations.” [Wall Street Journal]

An open letter, ostensibly from Theranos CEO and Steve Jobs cosplay artist Elizabeth Holmes but published under the byline of “staff writer,” is best enjoyed with News Genius’ annotations.

BEHOLD THE WRATH OF FORMER SENATOR GORDON HUMPHREY - Seek shelter all ye who wish to be spared the Trump Train’s derailment. Sam Stein: “On Thursday, Clinton’s endeavors got a boost ― though, apparently, through no effort of her own. Thirty Republicans who served in Congress signed a letter saying they couldn’t vote for Trump in the general election...Among the letter’s signatories are former Reps. Bob Bauman (R-Md.), Steve Bartlett (R-Texas), Tom Coleman (R-Mo.), Bill Clinger (R-Pa.), Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.), Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), Vin Weber (R-Minn.), and Dick Zimmer (R-N.J.), and former Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-N.H.)...The signatories made ‘no mention of Hillary Clinton,’ noted CNN, which first reported their letter. So while some of them may vote for the Democratic nominee, others may vote for former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Libertarian.” [HuffPost]

Heed the warnings of Ralph Nader suppporters.

DABBING NOW OFFICIALLY DEAD (AGAIN?) - Let us briefly pause to reflect upon this and then never speak of it again: “At the one-and-only California Senate debate on Wednesday night, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Ca.) did the dab ― a pose popularized by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton...Luis Vizcaino, a spokesman for Sanchez, suggested on Twitter that the move ‘is why Millennials are supporting Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senate.’” [HuffPost]

MILITARY ACTUALLY STILL QUITE GOOD AT BLOWING THINGS UP - David Wood: “The United States Army, citing threats from North Korea, Iran, Russia and the Islamic State, has put its most powerful combat units on a war footing, ready to slug it out, if necessary, in high-intensity battle. Even as GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump claims the military is “in a really bad state” and ‘totally unprepared,’ the Army’s data show it is more ready for major combat than it has been at any time since 2003. Here at the home of the 1st Cavalry Division, one of the Army’s premier heavy combat units, preparations for the possibility of war are forcing a relentless pace, as busy as at the peak of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago. Troops are constantly in the field training.” [HuffPost]

“MY STRUGGLE” WAS ALREADY TAKEN - Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who is currently serving a mere one-year prison sentence for his part in a conspiracy that led to the deaths of 29 miners, has published a 67-page “booklet” titled “American Political Prisoner.” ‘You can be sure I am fully innocent,’ he writes. ‘In fact, more than 100 percent innocent. I spent my life improving coal miner safety and exercising my right to free speech… The real conspiracies were the government’s cover-up of the UBB truth and my prosecution.’” Blankenship intends to mail 250,000 copies of his booklet and has also made it available online, like most political prisoners get to do. [ThinkProgress]

THANKS, OBAMA -  Sam Levine: “President Barack Obama’s approval rating is at 55 percent, the highest it has been during his second term and tying the all-time high of his presidency, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday. Obama has reached such a high approval rating twice before: in January 2013 before his second inauguration, and in January 2011. In October 2008, Gallup measured former President George W. Bush’s approval rating at just 25 percent as the U.S. economy began to collapse. The CNN/ORC poll found that just 13 percent of Republicans approve of the job Obama is doing, barely an increase from the 11 percent who approved in September 2015. Among white Americans, his approval has increased to 47 percent from just 32 percent a year ago. Eighty-six percent of black Americans and 68 percent of Hispanic Americans approve of the president, the poll found.” [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a girl with dreams of being on “American Ninja Warrior.”

GOD, WE’RE SO ANGRY AT THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS FOR INVENTING HURRICANES - Or was it the global Jewish conspiracy? We have a hard time keeping track. “Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh suggested this week that the National Hurricane Center was ‘playing games’ with its forecasts to cause false alarms and scare people into believing in climate change. ‘It’s in the interest of the left to have destructive hurricanes because then they can blame it on climate change, which they can desperately continue trying to sell,’ he said on ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show.’  While Limbaugh admitted that Hurricane Matthew, which killed dozens of people in the Caribbean and is currently barreling toward the Florida coast, is a ‘serious storm,’ he also claimed it was the first of its kind in more than a decade.” [HuffPost]

@DRUDGE: The deplorables are starting to wonder if govt has been lying to them about Hurricane Matthew intensity to make exaggerated point on climate

COMFORT FOOD

- Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke is our kind of national leader.

- Lady has 500 plants in her Brooklyn apartment.

- Forget the clown scourge, philosophy professors are being mailed human excrement.

TWITTERAMA

@badbanana: Imagine needing to be convinced to leave Florida.

@burgessev: “All they do is average all of these bad polls,” Reid says. “RealClearPolitics is unimpressive”

@YouWantMoore99: Jet fuel can’t melt dank memes

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