HUFFPOST HILL - Lincoln Chafee Would've Killed Baby Hitler

The New York Times Magazine posted a poll asking its readers whether they would kill baby Hitler, prompting Marsha Blackburn to launch an investigation into what Planned Parenthood would do with baby Hitler. Paul Ryan spent a lot of time in a deer blind thinking about the speakership, which is an interesting term for the Capitol Hill Club. And Lincoln Chafee dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary, though he is still on the short list to be Hillary’s Secretary of Dartmouth Reunions. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, October 23, 2015:

BEING A CRAPPY BOSS IS NOT A CRIME - Evan Perez: "The Justice Department notified members of Congress on Friday that it is closing its two-year investigation into whether the IRS improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups. There will be no charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner or anyone else at the agency, the Justice Department said in a letter. The probe found 'substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime.' 'We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution,' Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said in the letter." [CNN]

DEMS STICK WITH COMMITTEE THEY SAY IS POINTLESS - Jen Bendery: "House Democrats will remain on the GOP's Benghazi committee, even though they think it's sham, a senior Democratic aide told The Huffington Post. 'During a meeting with Leader Pelosi, Democratic Members of the Select Committee on Benghazi made the decision to remain as participants of the panel for now,' said the aide. There had been talk of Democrats ditching the panel in protest of what they say is chairman Trey Gowdy's goal: to tank Hillary Clinton's poll numbers in the 2016 presidential race. ...Democrats' decision to stay on the committee to push back on Republicans' efforts comes a day after the panel grilled Clinton for 11 hours and produced little new information. Gowdy himself couldn't point to anything new that he learned from her testimony. So far, the committee has cost more than $4.5 million and hasn't turned up much. There have been seven previous investigations into the 2012 incident and none found any wrongdoing by Clinton." [HuffPost]

GOP LAUNCHES SHINY NEW PLANNED PARENTHOOD PANEL - Stephanie Condon: "House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Friday announced the eight Republicans who will sit on a special committee to investigate 'the grisly practices of big abortion providers," according to a statement from his office. 'Recent videos exposing the abortion-for-baby parts business have shocked the nation, and demanded action,' Boehner said in a statement...Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, who has been a leader in the House GOP on abortion issues, will be at the helm of the committee. It also includes three other women (there are just 23 Republican women in the House): Reps. Diane Black of Tennessee (a licensed registered nurse), Vicki Hartzler of Missouri and Mia Love of Utah. The panel also includes two medical doctors, Reps. Andy Harris of Maryland (who was an anesthesiologist) and Larry Buschon of Indiana (who was a cardiothoracic surgeon). The final two members are Reps. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania and Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. All are members of the House Energy Committee." [CBS News]

ROMNEY EITHER COMPLIMENTS OBAMACARE OR DISSES DEAD FRIEND - Tucked inside a story about the death of Staples founder Thomas Stemberg, Mitt said this, via the Boston Globe's Taryn Luna: "Romney also credited Mr. Stemberg with persuading him to push for health care reform in Massachusetts when he was governor. Romney said that shortly after he was elected, Mr. Stemberg asked him why he ran for governor. Romney said he told him that he wanted to help people, and Mr. Stemberg replied that if he really wanted to help, he should give everyone access to health care, which Romney said he hadn’t really considered before. 'Without Tom pushing it, I don’t think we would have had Romneycare,' Romney said. 'Without Romneycare, I don’t think we would have Obamacare. So, without Tom a lot of people wouldn’t have health insurance.'" [Boston Globe]

Romney attempts to clarify his remarks on on Facebook: "Getting people health insurance is a good thing, and that’s what Tom Stemberg fought for. I oppose Obamacare and believe it has failed. It drove up premiums, took insurance away from people who were promised otherwise, and usurped state programs. As I said in the campaign, I'd repeal it and replace it with state-crafted plans."

AFSCME BLESSES HILLARY - Amanda Terkel: "Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Friday picked up the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a union with more than 1.6 million members. AFSCME President Lee Saunders said the union went through a six-month process to determine which candidate members wanted to support, and ultimately found that nearly two-thirds of the union's members planned to back Clinton in the primary. 'Members want a candidate who will make it easier instead of harder to join together in strong unions and stand together for wages and benefits that can sustain our families,' Saunders said in a statement. 'What we also heard was AFSCME members want the candidate who will be the most effective champion for working families, and who will be able to deliver a victory in this critically important election. AFSCME members believe that candidate is Hillary Clinton.'" [HuffPost]

@aseitzwald: Just in: Brian Schweitzer endorses Martin O'Malley.

BUSH GRACIOUSLY WELCOMING STAFFERS TO WORK FOR FREE - Michael C. Bender and Mark Halperin: "The [Jeb Bush] campaign is parting ways with some consultants and downsizing its staff at their Miami headquarters in moves that will save more than $1 million per month and cut payroll by 40 percent this week, according to Bush campaign officials who requested anonymity to speak about internal changes. The campaign is also cutting back 45 percent of its budget, except for dollars earmarked for TV advertising and spending for voter contacts, such as phone calls and mailers. ...Some senior level staff and consultants will continue to work with the campaign on a volunteer basis, while other junior level consultants, primary in finance but including other areas, will be let go, the officials said. ...One Bush adviser told Bloomberg Politics in an interview Friday morning that the team was 'unapologetic' about the changes, saying the moves were from a “position of strength.'" [Bloomberg Politics]

WALDRON WEEPER - Travis Waldron and Erick Fernandez report on high school football deaths: "Hardly a week has passed since the beginning of the 2015 high school football season without the tragic news that a young player has died. Six have died already this fall. Tyrell Cameron broke his neck on a punt return. Roddrick Williams collapsed at practice. Ben Hamm and Kenny Bui both died from head trauma, and Evan Murray suffered a lacerated spleen. The latest to die, Cam’ron Matthews, told teammates he felt dizzy, then suffered a seizure. These stories have drawn horror and headlines, but they are not out of the ordinary. In fact, 2015 is on track to meet the usual numbers of high school football-related deaths: There were 11 in 2014, and 18 in 2013. More than 100 kids have died from high school football-related injuries in the last decade, according to data from the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research." [HuffPost]

PAUL RYAN SLACKS ON KILLING DEER TO PONDER SPEAKERSHIP - Thanks a lot, Freedom Caucus. Joe Perticone and Benny Johnson: "Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) came to his decision to jump in the race for Speaker of the House while sitting inside his isolated deer blind, according to Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas). In an interview with IJ.com, Farenthold spoke about Ryan’s closed-door meeting with the House Republican Study Committee: 'Ryan told the Committee that he had finally reached the decision to run for Speaker up in his deer stand, by himself. That’s also where he came up with the conditions under which he would run.' ...Farenthold added that the decision-making process had a poor effect on Ryan’s marksmanship: '[Ryan] told us that he was making so many notes and writing so many ideas down that a deer could have walked right by him and he would not have noticed. The whole process really made the hunt unproductive.' When asked about the deer blind, Ryan Spokesperson Brendan Buck confirmed that “[Ryan] spent a lot of time up there thinking about it.'" [IJ Review]

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DEFAULT IN OUR STARS - Michael McAuliff: "With just days before the United States hits the danger zone for defaulting on its debt, Democrats made a fresh plea to the Republican-led Congress Friday to raise the borrowing cap. The nation's debt ceiling -- which caps the amount of money the Treasury Department can borrow to pay the nation's bills -- stands at $18.1 trillion. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned last spring that the country hit that number then, and that he was resorting to "extraordinary measures" to keep meeting America's obligations. But he now estimates that the Treasury's ability to pay the bills will end on Nov. 3, when the United States will only have about $30 billion on hand -- and Uncle Sam's daily expenditures often hit $60 billion. ... Republican leaders in both chambers of Congress say they want to raise the limit to avoid such economic damage. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said this week that he was waiting on the House to act, and House leaders decided to back away from plans they had been considering to get the deed done Friday. This led Democrats to send a letter to Republicans Friday saying please, please just raise the cap -- we will back you." [HuffPost]

HUFFPOST HAIRCUTS: Max Rosenthal (h/t Paige Lavender), Eliot Nelson (h/t Eliot Nelson)

A BIG LOSS FOR THE CENTIMETER - Feel the O'Malley-mentum! John Wagner and David Weigel: "Democratic presidential hopeful Lincoln Chafee announced Friday that he is withdrawing from the race, ending a bid that had failed to gain any traction. ... Chafee bowed out with a plea for 'an end to the endless wars and the beginning of a new era for the United States and humanity.' ...Chafee was polling at less than 1 percent in recent national polls and averaging less than 1 percent in recent polls from Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two nominating states, according to Real Clear Politics. ... Coverage of his campaign announcement in June was dominated by his embrace of the metric system -- 'it doesn’t take long before 34 degrees is hot' -- and Chafee never seemed to get on track after that. He was largely a bystander in the first Democratic debate this month in Las Vegas, and through September, he had raised only $44,506 for his candidacy." [Washington Post]

@JohnDePetroshow: Breaking: sources at Daves market say chafee was overheard in frozen food aisle yesterday, on his cell, saying he was suspending campaign

PAUL RYAN'S OFFICE OFFERS LEAVE, BUT EVERYONE ELSE IS SCREWED - And they really don't want to answer questions about it, report Laura Barron-Lopez and Dana Liebelson: "Asked four times about his paid family leave policy for staff in the hallways of the House as he darted back and forth from the chamber floor to his Ways and Means Committee office, Ryan did not respond. To be fair, Ryan also did not utter a single response to the questions lobbed at him by various other reporters. He simply said, 'I’m not a hall interview guy, you guys know that.' Ryan’s press secretary later responded to the question, confirming that Ryan’s office “does have a paid family leave policy in place.' When pressed on the details of the maternity and paternity leave aspects of the policy, Ryan’s spokesman said that it was against office policy to comment on the details of the office manual. ... 'Mr. Ryan is supportive of paid family and medical leave -- he offers it to his staff -- but believes the decision is best left to the employer, not the government,' Ryan’s spokesman said in an email." [HuffPost]

Watch Rep. Adam Schiff sing "Meet the Mets" on the House floor, wearing a Mets tie, after losing a bet with Rep. Steve Israel.

MONEY PUT WHERE MOUTH IS - Foley: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledged Thursday to ban the use of private prison companies if elected president, and in the meantime will stop accepting campaign contributions from those corporations and the lobbyists who work for them. All previous donations will be given to charity, the former secretary of state's campaign said. 'Hillary Clinton has said we must end the era of mass incarceration, and as president, she will end private prisons and private immigrant detention centers,' campaign spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement Thursday night. ...Lobbying firms that work for two major private prison giants, GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America, gave $133,246 to the Ready for Hillary PAC, according to Vice. Those companies operate a number of criminal and immigrant detention facilities, some of which have been plagued by allegations of abuse and poor treatment of detainees." [HuffPost]

These Kickstarters are out-raising presidential candidates.

NJ SENATE SAYS 'NAH' TO CHRISTIE GUN VETO - Katie Reilly: "The New Jersey Senate voted to override Governor Chris Christie's veto of a gun control bill on Thursday, marking the first time either chamber of the legislature has overturned one of his vetoes since he took office in 2010. Christie, who is running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, rejected the bill in August after it passed unanimously in both the state Senate and General Assembly. ...The 80-member General Assembly, whose next voting session is scheduled for Dec. 3, would need to override the veto with 54 votes for the bill to become law. Democrats hold 48 seats. ... The New Jersey bill goes further than previous state legislation by requiring notification of local law enforcement prior to expunging the mental health records of people who want to purchase firearms. ...'I cannot endorse a continued path of patchwork proposals and fragmented statutes that add further confusion to an already cumbersome area of law,' Christie wrote in his conditional veto. In a statement on Friday, Christie said he would support a more comprehensive solution that includes access to mental health treatment." [Reuters]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Iraqis love Lionel Richie.

ALLEGED FRAUDSTER RESIGNS - Russell Contreras: "New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran has resigned from office amid a fraud investigation that alleges she siphoned off thousands of dollars from her election account and withdrew the money at casinos around the state. Duran attorney Erlinda Johnson and Gov. Susana Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez said Duran's resignation was effective immediately. Duran submitted her resignation last night, Johnson said in an email to The Associated Press. ...Duran has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging she misused campaign donations by funneling some $13,000 into personal accounts and filed false campaign finance reports with her own office. The secretary of state's office is responsible for enforcing New Mexico's elections and campaign finance laws." [AP]


- Some guy made album covers for the presidential candidates, and they're awesome

- The winners of the 2015 microbe art competition

- Meet Bacon, the cat who gives zero shits

- Real owl and fake owl dance to "The Monster Mash"


@pourmecoffee: Don't listen to Adele's new song and read about Lincoln Chafee dropping out at the same time. Too much. Let your heart heal.

‏@aedwardslevy: We'll know it's serious when he changes "Jeb!" to "Jeb."

@anthonyweiner: Hard to figure where the Chafee support will go. That lady changes her mind a lot.

@NYTmag: We asked @nytmag readers: If you could go back and kill Hitler as a baby, would you do it? (What's your response?)

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