POLITICS
05/31/2013 05:27 pm ET | Updated Jul 31, 2013

HUFFPOST HILL - Matthew Lesko For Fed Chairman

Ann Romney is releasing a cookbook, which will teach you how to make Mitt's Meatloaf Cakes, Welsh Skillet Cookies and, we're guessing, Barack Obama's Passive Aggressive Turkey Chili. Tom Coburn is upset with the Senate Hair Care service but surprisingly not because of his hair (we call it the "Dwight Schrute in 20 Years"). And blind Americans are being prevented from using the White House's "We The People" because the petition service uses a weird kind of CAPTCHA verification. Don't start a "We The People" petition about this. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, May 31st, 2013:

BEN BERNANKE WANTS TIM GEITHNER TO BE THE NEW BEN BERNANKE - His term is up in January, and our Matthew Lesko whisper campaign is going nowhere. Bloomberg: "Some people close to the president say his top personal choice to succeed Bernanke would be former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner...Geithner, however, publicly and privately insists that he doesn't want the job, and needs, for personal and financial reasons, more time in New York after years of government service...One remote possibility: Bernanke could be asked to stay for a few more years, until Geithner might be more willing to take the job. It's doubtful the Fed chairman would agree to that, and congressional Republicans would block any deal...Larry Summers... would take the job in a minute. His confirmation by the Senate would be an ugly political confrontation, however... If there were an oddsmaker's book, the favorite still would be the current vice chairman, Janet Yellen. She is respected by fellow economists and would likely go over well with markets. One possible hurdle: she clashes frequently with Dan Tarullo, a Fed board member who was an Obama adviser in the 2008 campaign and still has ties to the White House. A respectable longshot: former vice chairman Roger Ferguson." [Bloomberg]

For more information on future Fed boss Matthew Lesko, consult this classic City Paper story by Dave Jamieson.

ANN ROMNEY IS WRITING A COOKBOOK - This will provide the family patriarch a slew of new things to eat while looking sad . From the publisher's description: "In The Romney Family Table, Ann shares a unique blend of heartwarm- ing (and often humorous) stories, homegrown traditions, and hearty recipes that have brought her family together for more than forty years...Ann shares some of the tips that have helped her along the way, as well as the stories behind many of her favorite recipes--including Mitt's Meatloaf Cakes, homemade ice cream, and Welsh Skillet Cookies. This photo-filled book offers a peek inside Romney family life and the food that has become an essential part of those memories." [@PhillipRucker]

UPDATE ON WHY YOUR PARENTS AREN'T LIVING WITH YOU - Martin Crutsinger: "The government said Friday that Medicare's giant hospital trust fund will be exhausted in 2026, two years later than projected last year, while the date that Social Security will exhaust its trust fund remained unchanged at 2033. The latest projections were included in the annual report of trustees of the trust funds. The new report warned that despite the small improvement in Medicare, both it and Social Security face significant funding challenges as the giant baby boom generation continues to retire. Currently, 58 million Americans are receiving Social Security benefits. 'Under current law, both of these vitally important programs are on unsustainable paths,' Robert D. Reischauer, one of two public trustees, told reporters at a news conference." [Associated Press]

GEORGE MILLER: YOU SHOULDN'T BUILD THAT - Dave Jamieson: "A U.S. congressman who visited garment factories in Bangladesh earlier this week had harsh words for the U.S. clothing brands that have declined to sign on to a legally binding safety agreement for the country's factories. 'I've seen what this industry has driven, the abuses visited upon these workers all over the world,' Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) said on a call with reporters Friday. 'If Walmart and Gap want to stand alongside collapsing factories and burning factories and women jumping out of buildings, I guess that's their choice. But I don't think they should be allowed to do business in Bangladesh.' Miller spent Memorial Day weekend in the small country that's suddenly become the third largest exporter of garments in the world." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Wisconsin Republicans want the state government to access some unemployed people's private bank accounts with the same power it uses to keep tabs on deadbeat dads. A bill scheduled for state committee hearings next week would crack down on people who are delinquent in paying debts to the state's unemployment system.... Under the legislation, at least once every three months the state's Department of Workforce Development would send financial institutions information on people who improperly received unemployment insurance. The information on such "unemployment debtors" would include "names, addresses, and social security numbers," according to the bill text. If the debtor has an account with the bank, then the institution would tell the state the account type, number, and balance. [HuffPost]

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SO, NO, THE IRS COMMISSIONER DIDN'T VISIT THE PRESIDENT A GAZILLION TIMES - This is the last time we post a Daily Caller story without consulting a relevant reporter on our staff or elsewhere. D'oh. Paul Blumenthal: "Former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman is coming under further scrutiny over the number of times he visited the White House while the IRS targeted conservative groups for additional review, with the Daily Caller reporting Thursday that Shulman visited the White House 157 times over the four-year period...In fact, according to visitor logs, Shulman only visited the White House -- the physical building -- 39 times when Obama was in office. The vast majority of Shulman's visits listed in the visitor logs, 115 of them, are for meetings at the Old Executive Office Building... The officials Shulman met with the most were Sarah Fenn -- 54 visits -- and Nancy Ann DeParle -- 40 visits. DeParle and Fenn were in charge of implementing the Affordable Care Act and Shulman's IRS had just been given broad new authority under the new health care law...High-level Cabinet officials routinely do not need to make an appointment through the visitor logs to gain access to the White House and, thus, the numbers are far from a complete picture. For example, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton logged only 25 meetings in the visitor logs during her tenure, but, according to The Washington Post, actually visited the White House 681 times during that period." [HuffPost]

Will the Daily Caller reimburse Washington for wasting its day? We put the question to our favorite Paranoid, Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist and he summed it up nicely: "[The debunking] just doesn't matter. Yesterday it was important. I've moved on already."

@dailydot: Thanks to CAPTCHA, blind Americans can't sign a White House petition supporting blind Americans: dly.do/11gCQGL

THAT OTHER JOURNALIST THE ADMINISTRATION IS TARGETING - The Obama administration has given no leniency to Abdulelah Haider Shaye, a Yemeni journalist who had access to top officials in the militant Islamist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and reported on evidence that the United States had conducted a missile strike in al Majala for which the Yemeni government had claimed credit. After Shaye was initially imprisoned for alleged involvement with AQAP in 2010, supporters pressed for his release, and word leaked that the Yemeni president was going to issue a pardon. In early 2011, Obama personally intervened. "President Obama expressed concern over the release of Abd-Ilah al-Shai, who had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP," reads a summary of the call posted on the White House website. The reporter was not released. The U.S. administration has still presented no evidence to back up the notion that he is a terrorist or a supporter of terrorism. Munir al Mawri, a Yemeni journalist who is a dual U.S. citizen, told HuffPost that he met with Shaye in his basement prison cell two weeks ago. "He was in bad condition. He did not even appreciate my coming. He seemed to be depressed." [HuffPost]

Tom Coburn is on it: "Sen. Tom Coburn's never at loss for ways he thinks the federal government could cut spending. On Friday, he went after the Capitol itself. In letters to Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Oklahoma Republican criticized classes for House and Senate staffers on topics including personal finance management and the 'Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep.'...Coburn also raises an issue that our colleague Emma Dumain's covered extensively, the financial plight of the Senate Hair Care service." [Roll Call]

MARK PRYOR RUNS FIRST 2014 SPOT - He doesn't want high falutin New York or Washington types telling him what to do with his guns or 64 ounce sodas or how best to braise a pork shoulder or aerate his urban garden, k? WaPo: "In a new ad, Pryor defends his 'no' vote on the recent gun background checks bill. The ad prominently features New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), who founded the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group that is running spots that hit Pryor for his vote. 'The mayor of New York City is running ads against me because I opposed President Obama's gun control legislation, Pryor says in the ad. 'Nothing in the Obama plan would have prevented tragedies like Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, or even Jonesboro.'... Pryor wraps up the ad by saying: 'I approve this this message because no one from New York or Washington tells me what to do; I listen to Arkansas.'" [WaPo]

John Feinblatt, chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, makes a not unreasonable point to ABC News: "Mark Pryor had no problem listening to New Yorkers when he scooped up over a quarter of a million dollars for his campaigns from New York donors...It's time for Senator Pryor to stop the hypocrisy and explain why he voted against a background check bill." [ABC News]

JIM GRAVES DROPS THE MIC - It should be noted that Republicans probably have a better chance of holding Michele Bachmann's seat now that she's out of the race, but let's give the guy his moment. Nick Wing: "When Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced this week that she wouldn't be running for a fifth term in Congress, focus quickly shifted to Jim Graves...After a series of interviews, however, it appears that Graves has changed his mind, telling MinnPost on Thursday that he will not run for the seat now that his high-profile opponent has left the race open. 'Basically, after all that's gone on, and with Michele Bachmann now stepping down, I've been talking to my friends and family and frankly, the feeling is, "Mission Accomplished,"' Graves told MinnPost in an interview published Friday. 'She wasn't representing the people of the 6th District appropriately, and now she won't be representing them. There's no way anyone could run and win who would be worse than Michele Bachmann. So we accomplished that task.' According to Graves, he plans to leave public life for the next few months and return to his role as a businessman and hotelier. He said he hopes another qualified candidate will pick up where he left off and give Democrats a shot at taking the seat.'" [HuffPost]

E.W. JACKSON HURTS KEN CUCCINELLI BY REMINDING EVERYONE ABOUT KEN CUCCINELLI'S RUNNING MATE: E.W. JACKSON - Politico: "E.W. Jackson, the GOP lieutenant governor candidate in Virginia who's made headlines since his selection earlier this month, said in a radio interview Friday that he and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli see eye-to-eye on the issues. 'Look, we are in fundamental agreement,' Jackson said, when asked on the radio station WMAL whether he and Cuccinelli would 'run as a pair.' 'I've heard that this ticket is probably more homogeneous than almost any ticket ever in the history of Virginia, so there's no stark disagreement between us.' Jackson, the pastor and lawyer chosen for the nomination by delegates at the Virginia GOP convention in mid-May, quickly came under fire for controversial past comments he'd made on race, gay issues and abortion. Democrats have used his nomination as a way to bring the GOP candidates' positions on social issues to the forefront in the campaign." [Politico]

Things we're reading: "Carl Sagan, a titan of scientific study and communication, died in 1996, leaving behind an expansive legacy of research and education. He assumed a diverse set of roles throughout his life, including as a longtime casual user of and advocate for marijuana. Sagan's involvement with pot began as a secret, when he penned an essay in 1969, at the age of 35, under the pseudonym 'Mr. X.' The piece, in which Sagan described the benefits he felt from using marijuana, later appeared in Dr. Lester Grinspoon's 1971 book, 'Marihuana Reconsidered.'" [HuffPost's Nick Wing]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Prepared dog is ready for the pool.

FOX NEWS HAS A VERY HELPFUL CONVERSATION ABOUT WHY WOMEN NEED TO GET BACK INTO THE KITCHEN - The conversation covered a lot of ground, but we'd like to single out Erick Erickson for giving us the name of our next band: "High Income Lesbian Families." Jack Mirkinson: "Megyn Kelly methodically tore fellow Fox News pundits Erick Erickson and Lou Dobbs to shreds on Friday for their instantly infamous comments about women in the workplace. Both men had a near meltdown about a study which showed that more women than ever were the sole or primary breadwinners in their households. They agreed that it signalled a terrible new trend for civilization itself. Erickson even brought the animal kingdom up, saying, 'When you look at biology, look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society, and other animals, the male typically is the dominant role.'...'What makes you dominant and me submissive and who died and made you scientist-in-chief?' was her first question to Erickson. Try as he might, he failed to convince her." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Adorable child doesn't want to kill animals, becomes vegetarian. [http://bit.ly/12m3nG0]

- "Devastated." D-E-V-A-S-T-A-T-E-D. Devastated: The 13 words that knocked out the final Scripps National Spelling Bee Finalists. [http://bit.ly/Zhk1Th]

- Rabbit taxes on a box, [http://huff.to/19q5dG3]

- This "Wheel of Fortune" contestant is basically the Slumdog Millionaire of middle class American women. [http://bit.ly/17EwLt1]

- BuzzFeed brings it: "The 40 Cutest GIFs In The History Of The Internet" [http://bit.ly/15jRFt1]

- How to eat a soft boiled egg, the most civilized of the eggs. [http://bit.ly/137WmFC]

- Comedian starts kickstarter to make himself rich. [http://bit.ly/19tjUYV]

TWITTERAMA

@DanAmira: I want to thank everyone for all the #FFs today. My windfall of new followers momentarily distracted me from dwelling on my mortality.

@KagroX: Stop giving me stuff to read, everybody. Can't you just play a hashtag game or something?

@gideonyago: Hey everybody: remember when Eric Erickson called David Souter a goat-f*cking child molester? And then CNN gave him a job?

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