POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - John Boehner To Turn Back Into Pumpkin Oct. 29

John Boehner scheduled the election for Speaker of the House for Oct. 29, so there will probably be a lot of "Sexy Boehner" costumes this Halloween. Ben Carson said he doesn't think President Obama is like Adolf Hitler, because duh, how could Obama be both Hitler and Neville Chamberlain at the same time? And Hillary Clinton called on gun owners to form an NRA alternative, which we're sure they'll do just as soon as they're done fantasizing about shooting 500 bad guys like Liam Neeson in Taken. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, October 5, 2015:

SAVE THE DATE - John Boehner prepares to transfer his Gavel of Sadness. Reuters: "Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will vote to elect the chamber's next speaker on Oct. 29, House Speaker John Boehner, who is retiring, announced on Monday. On Thursday, House Republicans will meet to choose their party's nominee for the post, but the speaker is elected by the entire House. In a statement, Boehner also said he was delaying elections for the rest of the Republican Party leadership team. Those had been scheduled to take place on Thursday alongside the party's voting for speaker." [Reuters]

Jason Chaffetz formally announced his speaker bid on Sunday.

SO, LIKE THE NRA EXCEPT LESS INTO SHOOTING PEOPLE - Samantha Lachman: "While promoting her new proposals to limit the availability of firearms, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested at a town hall in New Hampshire Monday that 'responsible gun owners' should join together to create an alternative to the National Rifle Association. Clinton's plan includes a repeal of the legal immunity gun manufacturers and dealers received under a law passed by Congress in 2005, something the NRA and other groups would be sure to fight against. But one way to defeat the NRA, Clinton argued, would be to counteract the group's political power with a new organization for gun owners who would be open to more restrictions on firearms. 'Ideally, what I would love to see is gun owners, responsible gun owners, hunters, form a different organization and take back the Second Amendment from these extremists,' she said." [HuffPost]

@SenatorReid: It's within our power to reduce gun violence. Instead of taking action, lawmakers all around the nation pander to the extreme gun lobby.

GUN DEBATE HAS GONE NOWHERE IN DECADES - Sam Stein: "Forty-seven years before 10 people were shot and killed at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy pushed for stricter gun laws while campaigning in the town. The footage of that moment, which resurfaced after the recent tragedy, is both poignant and distinctly American, if only because the very arguments made remain unsettled to this day. News reports of the speech describe a tense mood. The footage shows Kennedy dressed in a suit and speaking into a group of microphones that are taped together. He pleads with the crowd of 1,500 or so that a bill he supports is designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the insane and not, as they insist, to serve as a backdoor mechanism for creating a gun registry. The crowd gets restless." [HuffPost]

LET'S BLAME THE AFGHANS - More bad news for some folks. Reuters: "Afghan forces asked for U.S. air support while fighting the Taliban in Kunduz shortly before an air strike resulted in the deaths of civilians there, the American commander of international forces in Afghanistan said on Monday. U.S. Army General John Campbell's comments fell short of squarely acknowledging U.S. responsibility for an air strike that killed 22 people in an Afghan hospital run by aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on Saturday. 'We have now learned that on October 3 Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from U.S. forces,' Campbell said in a briefing with reporters. 'An air strike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat, and several civilians were accidentally struck.'" [HuffPost]

MARK MEADOWS MANHANDLER MYSTERY! Ryan Grim and Paul Blumenthal have a strange tale: "A Republican congressman leading the fight to defund Planned Parenthood paid his chief of staff for nearly six months after at least three female staffers complained that the top aide was sexually harassing subordinates, according to four sources close to the situation. The women told North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows about chief of staff Kenny West's behavior in March, sources said. At first, Meadows barred West from his D.C. office, but reassigned him to the district office and continued paying him. Meadows eventually sent West off with a sizable severance…. A third source who previously worked in Meadows' office said that West was 'weird' around women and that one of the things that often made female staffers uncomfortable was his insistence a woman hold hands and pray with him. 'I know that the whole 'hold my hands and pray' thing was not unique to me,' she said. Reached at home in North Carolina, West said charges of sexual harassment were new to him. 'I'm not aware of any of those,' he said. He referred questions to Meadows, then hung up. …The strange relationship began with West running against Meadows in the 2012 GOP primary, arguing that Meadows was unfit due to a character issue that West often hinted at, but never discussed publicly. When West eventually endorsed Meadows, the future congressman thanked him for keeping it clean." [HuffPost]

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BEN CARSON IS WEIRD AS HELL - Fabulous in-depth report by Scott Conroy: "Perpetually languid in both movement and speech, Carson barely appears capable of keeping his eyes open at times. He speaks to large audiences in a near-whisper, the intonation of which sounds a bit like a late-career Michael Jackson telling a particularly terrifying ghost story. And he does it all under the patently absurd but sincere-sounding pretense that he is running a positive campaign designed to bring ideologically diverse factions of America together. Trump may take the most heat in the media for his fact-deficient and hypocritical pronouncements, but Carson is the only candidate in the race who, without batting an eye, can preach the need for 'civil dialogue' mere minutes after drawing a 'pretty clear' comparison between Nazi Germany and modern-day America." Conroy pressed Carson on this analogy and on just who is America's "Hitler," and Carson wouldn't say, other than that it's not Obama. [HuffPost]

If you're into this kind of thing, Gawker has not one, but two stories about Philippe Reines' obnoxious email habits, featuring many missives from Mark Leibovich and Jake Tapper.

YOU DOWN WITH TPP? - Mollie Reilly: "A sweeping trade deal reached by the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries on Monday after years of negotiations was met with some skepticism in Washington, setting up an election-year battle over whether to approve the agreement. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which would set common trade standards and break down trade barriers between the 12 countries, marks a tentative victory for President Barack Obama, who has made the agreement a critical part of his economic agenda. But the agreement must first be ratified by Congress, where the deal is already facing harsh criticism. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called the deal 'disastrous' in a statement released soon after news of the agreement broke, vowing to defeat it on the Senate floor. 'Wall Street and other big corporations have won again,' Sanders said." [HuffPost]

CRUZ DEVELOPING PLANS TO BUILD BORDER WALL FROM US TO SYRIA - "Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz says the Obama administration's plan to accept about 10,000 Syrian refugees is 'nothing short of crazy.' The Texas senator told a Michigan crowd on Monday he thinks a 'significant number' of refugees entering Europe are terrorists from the Islamic State group. He says it would be the 'height of foolishness' to allow 'Syrian Muslims' into the country." [AP]

TRUMP AND JEB AGREE: 'REDSKINS' IS A GREAT NAME - Trump probably likes how the word hints at America's proud history of forced relocations. Alan Rappeport: "'Honestly, I don’t think they should change the name, unless the owner wanted to,' Mr. Trump said in an interview. Mr. Trump. who has made bluntness a hallmark of his presidential bid, said that the Redskins moniker was yet another issue of unnecessary political correctness. The name has been that way for years, he said, and not everyone considers it to be a slur. 'I know Indians that are extremely proud of that name,' he said. 'They think it’s a positive.'" [NYT]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Enjoy this Travis Waldron story about what it's like to be on an NFL team's practice squad.

THE EVEN SOFTER SOFT SIDE OF JOHN - John Boehner hearts children. Rachel Weiner: "After the government shutdown in 2013, one of House Speaker John A. Boehner’s most loyal supporters created an advertising campaign in his defense. It was a cardboard cereal box decorated in pink and green with shiny stars. 'Mr. Speaker is awesome,' one side read. 'He does his job, so stay off his chest!' If the presentation seems a bit amateurish, cut the creator some slack: She was only 9 years old. Laci Joseph, who spoke at a gala for D.C. Catholic schools, is one of hundreds of children who know the departing Republican House leader not as Speaker Boehner, head of a dysfunctional caucus, but as Mr. Speaker, provider of scholarships and hot chocolate." [WashPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Pun-based Halloween costumes, most of which we don't endorse but thought you should see.

- Cool photos from moon landings.

- Inside the life of a family entirely dependent on reindeer.

- Raccoon thinks she is a dog.

TWITTERAMA

@morninggloria: It's ridiculous that a company is marketing a "sexy pizza rat" costume. That was rat was beautiful & sexy without tight clothes and makeup.

@AdamSerwer: we are about due for a gritty reboot of duck tales

@meganeabbott: "It's an awkward situation." Florida Senate candidate admits to sacrificing goat, drinking its blood http://fw.to/2POIsiS

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