Hillary Clinton once emailed an aide to find out if she could get emojis on her Blackberry, because digital symbols can be useful for conveying emotion in a lighthearted way. We're putting boots on the ground in Syria, because if you like your plan not to put boots on the ground in Syria, you can keep it. And Jeb Bush is "having a blast" running for president, and no, seriously, he's having fun, he's not crying, it's just allergies. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, October 30th, 2015:
MEET THE NEW WAR - As Dwight Eisenhower said, "Small wars are very useful and effective." Reuters: "The United States will deploy dozens of special operations forces to northern Syria to advise opposition forces in their fight against Islamic State, a major policy shift for President Barack Obama and a step he has long resisted to avoid getting dragged into another war in the Middle East. The planned deployment, along with the U.S. decision this week to include Iran in diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, represents the biggest shift in the United States' Syria policy since it began a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets there in September 2014. Announcing the measure on Friday, the White House said the troops would be on a mission to 'train, advise and assist' and would number fewer than 50. Spokesman Josh Earnest declined to give details about their exact role." [Reuters]
WAR PLAN MAKES THE USUAL AMOUNT OF SENSE - Jen Bendery: "White House press secretary Josh Earnest displayed some incredible verbal gymnastics on Friday trying to explain President Barack Obama's strategy behind deploying U.S. special operations forces to Syria. During his daily briefing, Earnest confirmed reports that Obama will send roughly 50 troops to help local Syrian forces fight the Islamic State (ISIL) -- the first time American special forces will be stationed there after a year of U.S.-led airstrikes. The news flies in the face of the president's 2013 vow not to put any 'American boots on the ground in Syria.'' But the White House spokesman insisted Obama hasn't broken any promises and that this is not a case of mission creep. Earnest said the president's goal hasn't necessarily been to avoid putting any troops on the ground, but to prevent the U.S. from engaging in 'a large-scale, long-term ground combat operation' akin to what President George W. Bush did in Iraq in 2003. 'That was his policy in the beginning of our counter-ISIL strategy,' he said, 'and it's our strategy today.'" [HuffPost]
WHITE HOUSE TREATS PRETTY GOOD THIS YEAR - From a White House release, here's the goods for the 4,000+ people who visit this weekend: "A box of White House Hershey Kisses - A White House Halloween Cookies - A box of White House M&Ms - Fruit Bars - Kettle Corn - Bo and Sunny baseball cards - An assortment of candies." Hmm, that last one's kinda vague.
Listen to the latest HuffPost Politics Podcast.
BOEHNER, MAN - Man. Scott Wong: "President Barack Obama placed a call to John Boehner on his penultimate day as Speaker, telling the Ohio Republican he was sorry to see him go. 'He said, 'Boehner, man, I'm gonna miss you,'' Boehner recalled in an interview broadcast Friday on Fox News. 'Yes you are Mr. President. Yes you are,' Boehner replied." [The Hill]
JEB HAVING A NICE TIME, WHY DO YOU ASK? "Yeah, I am, I'm having a blast. I'm getting my views validated and challenged at the same time. It's a phenomenal way to grow intellectually, spiritually, physically I’m in phenomenal shape for an old 62-year-old guy. In fact, I think we ought to have five hour debates. Not two hour debates." [BuzzFeed]
Julia Craven would like to remind you not to wear blackface this Halloween.
NATION STILL FIGURING OUT HOW TO USE MINT.COM - "Congress early Friday sent President Barack Obama an ambitious budget and debt measure that averts a catastrophic national default and sets spending priorities for the next two years. The Senate voted 64-35 to approve the bill just after 3 a.m. EDT, with Democrats and Republican defense hawks uniting to overcome opposition from GOP presidential candidates Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, both members of the body." [HuffPost]
RNC TAKING BALL, MIGHT GO HOME - Sam Levine: "Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus sent a letter to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack on Friday, informing him that the party was suspending its partnership with the network after candidates complained they were treated unfairly during this week's CNBC debate…. 'The RNC’s sole role in the primary debate process is to ensure that our candidates are given a full and fair opportunity to lay out their vision for America’s future,'" Priebus wrote in the letter. "'We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns.'" [HuffPost]
LATEST IN THE HILLARY EMAIL SCANDAL!!! On April 3rd, 2012, Clinton emailed Philippe Reines to ask if she could get emojis on her new Blackberry. His answer: possibly.
ALSO, A THIRD OBAMA TERM WOULD BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL - Mark Blumenthal: "Bill Clinton's former pollster thinks it's a mistake for Democratic presidential candidates to essentially run for President Barack Obama's 'third term.' 'That's not what the country wants. It's not what the base of the Democratic Party wants,' said longtime Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, whose past clients include Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. 'The Democratic Party is waiting for a president who will articulate the scale of the problems we face and challenge them to address it.' [HuffPost]
Haircuts: Jen Bendery
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CLINTON FINALLY SATISFIES BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT WITH TWEAK TO DRUG SENTENCING LAWS - Wesley Lowery: "Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton will unveil new specifics of her criminal justice platform in an Atlanta speech Friday by calling for legislation to ban racial profiling by law enforcement, and for eliminating the remaining distinction between crack and powder cocaine in drug sentencing.... While both Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley have unveiled comprehensive racial and criminal justice plans, the details to come Friday are among the first specifics of Clinton's criminal justice platform. [WaPo]
DE BLASIO ENDORSES HILLARY - People were wondering. Willa Frej: "New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for president on Friday. 'The candidate who I believe can fundamentally address income inequality effectively, the candidate who has the right vision and the right experience and the ability to get the job done, is Hillary Clinton,' he said on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe.'" [HuffPost]
NITA LOWEY AND PAUL RYAN HAVE AN INTERESTING RELATIONSHIP - Emma Dumain: "Appropriations Ranking Member Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., told CQ Roll Call shortly after Ryan’s swearing-in ceremony she had 'enormous respect' for the incoming speaker, with whom she said she grew close following a congressional delegation trip to Saudi Arabia nearly a decade ago. 'He calls me, 'Mom,' and I call him 'Sonny Boy,'' Lowey, 78, said of Ryan, 33 years her junior. 'I just wished him luck and I look forward to working with him. He’s extremely bright, he’s very caring, and I do hope that we can have good bipartisan work with his leadership.'" Aw. [Roll Call]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Watch this Bernie Sanders audience member snap to attention and become amazed when the candidate talks about legalizing marijuana.
ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE BILL LIKELY MOTIVATED BY OPPOSITION TO GAY MARRIAGE - Chris Geidner: "Over the past few years, some Democrats -- including the Clintons -- have offered a new explanation for why they supported the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. The threat of a federal constitutional amendment, these Democrats have argued, motivated them to support DOMA -- a law that defined marriage for federal government purposes as between one man and one woman and said states could refuse to recognize same-sex couples’ marriages from others states…. There is no contemporaneous evidence, however, to support the claim that the Clinton White House considered a possible federal constitutional amendment to be a concern, based on a BuzzFeed News review of the thousands of documents released earlier this year by the Clinton Presidential Library about same-sex couples’ marriage rights and the Defense of Marriage Act. In the documents, which include correspondence from a wide array of White House and Justice Department officials, no one even hints that Bill Clinton’s thinking or actions regarding DOMA were animated by the threat of a federal constitutional amendment. [Buzzfeed]
CLOSEST THING TO REAL-LIFE INTERNET HAS HARASSMENT ISSUES, TOO - Laura Bassett: "Amid boycott threats from two major media outlets, the director of the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, acknowledged Friday that he made a mistake by caving to Internet trolls and canceling two scheduled panels about online harassment in the gaming community. Instead of the panels, he said, SXSW will hold a daylong summit March 12, during the festival, with many high-profile speakers to address the issue in more depth.…. Randi Lee Harper, founder of the Online Abuse Prevention Initiative, expressed concerns Friday that the festival was still including pro-Gamergate panelists in its March summit. While SXSW listed her as a participant in the daylong summit, Harper is not sure she will participate and is concerned for her safety, she said in a series of tweets. 'No one would say abusers should be allowed to debate those they abused,' she tweeted. 'This shows SXSW does not understand online harassment.'" [HuffPost]
- This guy won Halloween.
- Cat and squirrel play.
- #Trump your cat.
@aedwardslevy: Spooky pollster names, 2015 edition:
Hellzer & Co
@BrettLoGiurato: Statement from the President on the Shuttering of Grantland
@erinruberry: Hell is other people in front of you in line at Starbucks.
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