House Republicans nominated Paul Ryan as their speaker, a soaring new height for a man who was washing pots and pans in a soup kitchen just three years ago. Ryan only got 200 votes, but we're sure the House Freedom Caucus has reasonable demands before they deliver the rest. And Chris Christie and Rand Paul are upset the Republican National Committee gave them lame green rooms before tonight's debate, proving that entitlement reform is a lot harder than everyone says. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, October 28th, 2015:
BUDGET DEAL PASSES HOUSE, FARM WELFARE SAVED - With mostly Democratic support the big budget deal passed the House just now by a vote of 266-167. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) announced before the vote that $3 billion worth of crop insurance cuts have been taken out. "I want to thank my colleagues who have made it very clear over the last 24 hours that the attempt to gut crop insurance in the budget agreement was not acceptable," Conaway said before the vote. "Leadership has heeded our concerns by agreeing to completely reverse this disastrous provision in the upcoming omnibus. Crop insurance is working as intended, and private industry deserves to be lauded, not thrown under the bus." Way to go, crop insurance!
OBAMA HANGING OUT WITH PRINCE HARRY - From the pool report: "Dress code: black suit, black-and-white tie for President Obama. Blue suit, blue tie, and beard for Prince Harry. By my own calculations, this is the first foreign trip for Prince Harry's beard, which has caused quite a stir. A few quotes from President Obama, to be checked against the upcoming transcript. Obama started by mentioning his 'great pleasure to meet HRH Prince Harry'. He 'had the opportunity to spend time with so many of his family members but this is the first time we have a chance to talk directly. He has gotten to know Michelle very well.'" Welcome to America, Prince Harry's beard!
Denny Hastert pleaded guilty to making hush money payments for his evil misdeeds, whatever they were. The "Hastert Rule" was notably not in effect during the big budget vote today.
HILLARY CLINTON AGAINST DEATH PENALTY WHEN IT'S BAD - Gabriel Debenedetti reports from New Hampshire: "Hillary Clinton does not favor abolishing the death penalty, she said on Wednesday morning, but she does back a review of the policy as it once again becomes a topic of national conversation. 'We have a lot of evidence now that the death penalty has been too frequently applied, and too often in a discriminatory way, so I think we have to take a hard look at it,' Clinton said in response to an audience question here at Saint Anselm College, some of her most extensive comments on the topic in years. 'I do not favor abolishing it, however, because I do think there are certain egregious cases that still deserve the consideration of the death penalty, but I’d like to see those be very limited and rare, as opposed to what we’ve seen in most states,' she added." [Politico]
OOH CONTRAST - @SabrinaSiddiqui: O'Malley responds to Clinton: "The death penalty is racially-biased, ineffective deterrent to crime, and we must abolish it."
TRAINS TO RUN ON TIME - But less safely. Laura Stevens: "The Senate passed a bipartisan three-week extension of highway programs due to expire on Thursday, a measure that also pushes off for three years a controversial deadline for railroads to install new safety technology. The bill was approved by voice votes in the House on Tuesday and the Senate on Wednesday. Next it is headed to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature. It’s a big victory for the railroads, which are only about halfway done installing new safety technology to prevent collisions and derailments, known as 'positive train control,' which was previously due by the end of the year. Railroads had started notifying customers that they would stop taking some hazardous-material shipments and passengers as soon as December, threatening a major disruption to the U.S. economy. Under the new timetable, railroads are granted an additional three years to complete installation, with the potential to apply for a two-year extension after that. The bill also adds stricter reporting requirements that call for railroads to outline their implementation plans for approval and review by the Transportation Department and to report to the regulators on their progress." [WSJ]
A NORAD blimp has gone rogue and it's like a mix of the balloon boy hoax and that missing plane, with a dash of military-industrial spice.
PAUL RYAN ADVANCES TO NEXT ROUND OF JOB INTERVIEW - Michael McAuliff and Laura Barron-Lopez: "Finally settling the turmoil that has gripped the House Republican caucus for weeks, members of the party formally nominated Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to be their speaker Wednesday, picking the fresh-faced former vice presidential candidate who had repeatedly said he didn't want the job. 'This begins a new day in the House of Representatives,' Ryan said soon after being nominated. And while he praised the service of retiring Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), he also pledged to do a better job running a House that has been riven by internal tensions in recent years -- so much so that it led to a government shutdown in 2013, not to mention historically low levels of productivity. 'Tomorrow we are turning the page. We are not going to have a House that looks like it looked the last two years,' Ryan said. 'We are going to move forward. We are going to unify.' And he made it clear that he would hold Republicans responsible. 'Our party has lost its vision and we are going to replace it with a vision,' Ryan said. 'We believe that the country is on the wrong track. We think that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and we have an obligation here, in the people's House, to do the people's business, to give this country a better way forward, to give this country an alternative. We are going to respect the people by representing the people.' Ryan won the nomination with just 200 votes as 43 members, largely with the hard-line Freedom Caucus, cast ballots for Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.). There was also 1 vote for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and 1 vote for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)." Sup with those? [HuffPost]
Rand Paul is going to "filibuster" the budget deal, he told The Hill, because that's what Fake Thomas Jefferson said must be done to defend liberty from tyranny.
CARSON CRUISING AHEAD OF TONIGHT'S DEBATE - Julie Pace: "The Republican candidates for president will gather Wednesday for their third debate amid fresh volatility in an already chaotic race, with Ben Carson surging past Donald Trump in Iowa and one-time front-runner Jeb Bush under pressure to prove he's still a viable candidate for the GOP nomination. The soft-spoken Carson has been a low-key presence in the first two GOP debates, but the retired neurosurgeon is likely to get more attention from moderators -- as well as his fellow candidates -- after a series of preference polls show him atop the field in Iowa.
Trump has already shown he's eager to take on Carson, jabbing him for his speaking style and raising questions about his Seventh Day Adventist faith. 'We'll see how Ben holds up to the scrutiny,' Trump said Tuesday on MSNBC." [AP]
Scott DesJarlais' primary opponent is trashing him for his support of food stamps, of all things.
DELANEY DOWNER - A majority of the world population has herpes.
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MARCO RUBIO BLOCKING HIS OWN NOMINEE - Jen Bendery: "Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) keeps taking heat for skipping out on his Senate duties while he's out on the presidential campaign trail. But he's still effective at one thing in the upper chamber: blocking his own judicial nominee. Rubio is withholding his so-called 'blue slip' from the Judiciary Committee to prevent Florida district judge nominee Mary Flores from advancing. The committee won't let any nominee move forward until it has blue slips -- they're literally blue pieces of paper that reflect a senator's support -- from both of a nominee's home-state senators. Florida's other senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, turned in his blue slip eight months ago. But nothing from Rubio. The weird part is that Rubio supports Flores. He and Nelson recommended her to President Barack Obama, and the president formally nominated her to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in February. She's now been waiting for a hearing for 242 days, but can't move without Rubio's sign-off. She would fill a seat that's been empty for 532 days, and that court is so overloaded with work that it's considered a judicial emergency." [HuffPost]
SANDERS CAMP: CLINTON FOR VP OR TRUCK ACCIDENT - John Heilemann: "Now, at the DoubleTree, three members of the Sanders high command -- campaign manager Jeff Weaver, communications director Michael Briggs, and field director Phil Fiermonte -- were reflecting on what Clinton's record might say about her character. All agreed that Sanders and his staff believed that Clinton had moved to the left on numerous issues, from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Keystone pipeline, for purely political reasons: to foreclose daylight between her and Sanders. I asked Weaver if he thought that made her, as some longtime Clinton critics argue, a craven hypocrite and opportunist? 'A craven hypocrite?' Weaver replied, grinning slyly. 'That's a little bit harsh, don't you think?' Then he added, with a chuckle, 'Look, she'd make a great vice president. We're willing to give her more credit than Obama did. We're willing to consider her for vice president. We'll give her serious consideration. We'll even interview her.' Weaver was at least half-joking, or so it seemed to me. ... 'How hard we fight back and how far we push it is very much dependent on them,' [Devine] says. 'So if they go hard negative,' I ask, 'you guys will...?' 'Let them get run over by a Mack truck,' he says." [Bloomberg]
HILLARY CLINTON TO PARTY WITH HOMEGIRLS - As Harriet Tubman would say, that is. Amanda Terkel: Hillary Clinton's presidential bid will get a boost from a dozen female senators next month when they host a fundraiser for her in Washington, D.C. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) are holding the event, which requires a minimum donation of $250." [HuffPost]
Our own Igor Bobic did a shot with Lindsey Graham last night.
CANDIDATES DON'T LIKE HANGING OUT IN BATHROOM - Alex Isenstadt: "During a tense 30-minute meeting at the Coors Event Center, which was described by three sources present, several lower-polling campaigns lashed out at the RNC. They accused the committee of allotting them less-than-hospitable greenroom spaces while unfairly giving lavish ones to higher-polling candidates, such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson. ... Trump was granted a spacious room, complete with plush chairs and a flat-screen TV. Marco Rubio got a theater-type room, packed with leather seats for him and his team of aides. Carly Fiorina’s room had a Jacuzzi. ... Then there was Chris Christie, whose small space was dominated by a toilet. So was Rand Paul’s. ... 'This is ridiculous,' fumed Christie’s campaign manager, Ken McKay. 'We’re in a restroom.'" [Politico]
HuffPost Hill facts of life: A facility mostly used for basketball games and graduations is never going to have 10 nice green rooms.
LATINO GOP GROUPS TIRED OF BEING TREATED LIKE CRAP - Igor Bobic: "On the eve of the third Republican presidential debate, an unprecedented gathering of two dozen top Hispanic conservative groups issued a stern warning to all candidates: Refrain from engaging in incendiary rhetoric on the campaign trail or we’ll refuse to support you in your bid for the White House. The meeting, held less than a mile from the site of the debate at the University of Colorado's Boulder campus, was organized by the American Principles Project's Latino Partnership. It was also attended by leaders from other grassroots groups, including the Latino Coalition, Hispanic Leadership Fund and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference -- all key groups engaged in building support for Republicans among the Latino community." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - A D.C. cop gets teens to disperse through the power of a dance-off.
DONALD TRUMP NOW BEGGING PEOPLE TO LIKE HIM - Jenna Johnson: "At first, Donald Trump seemed to downplay his falling poll numbers in Iowa. He's only 'a little behind,' the poll-loving candidate said at an event here Tuesday, and his dedicated supporters are not going anywhere. But then, about halfway through his 70-minute rally in a high school gym, Iowa's former Republican front-runner let loose. 'Iowa, will you get your numbers up, please?' Trump begged on Tuesday night, something he rarely does. 'Will you get these numbers up? I promise you: I will do such a good job.'" [WashPost]
John Kasich isn't interested in talking about his sandwich.
FLORIDA MAN MUST QUIT JOB, FLORIDA PAPER SAYS - Judah Robinson: "The editorial board of a south Florida newspaper, The Sun-Sentinel, has given Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio an ultimatum: 'Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it.'In a pointed op-ed published Tuesday, the editorial board pointed out that Rubio, the state's junior senator, not only hates his job but hasn't even been doing the thing he was sent to Washington to do -- vote. 'Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We've got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government,' the op-ed says. If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it.'" [HuffPost]
- 22 dogs confused about cats.
- Ex-boyfriend Tom was on Jeopardy the other night.
- How to spot suspicious candy.
@FilthyRichmond: I just body slammed the line at Starbucks because it refused to move
@kingsthings: So many people ask me to take selfies with them. What is the allure with the selfie? #ItsMy2Cents
@lizzieohreally: Wolf Blitzer: "this is a huge blimp, just sort of flying around right now."
@delrayser: dare I say it, government surveillance is not having a Goodyear
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