POLITICS
08/19/2014 06:03 pm ET | Updated Aug 19, 2014

HUFFPOST HILL - Alaska Republicans Set To Recapture World's Attention

Paul Ryan has a memoir out, though he didn't take our suggestion and title it, “Do You Even Lift, America? Why Our Country Needs To Get Huge Again." If Alison Lundergan Grimes’ bus travel were any cheaper, she’d be on a Bolt Bus, casting mean glances at people who voted to watch the complimentary movie. And the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Amnesty International to “Suck it.” It was almost as inappropriate as that time USIP said Brookings Institute’s mama was so fat, she don't just sit *on* the panel about establishing democratic paradigms in Sub-Saharan Africa, she sit AROUND the panel about establishing democratic paradigms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sorry. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, August 19th, 2014:

WHITE HOUSE NOT RULING OUT OBAMA TRIP TO FERGUSON - Though hopefully the president will appear slightly more engaged than he did in yesterday's news conference, when he was drinking that Bud Light. The Hill: "The White House has weighed sending President Obama to Ferguson, Mo., and has not ruled out a visit in upcoming weeks, according to sources familiar with the internal decisionmaking. For now, the White House believes a trip by Obama to Ferguson would do more harm than good, by diverting resources on the ground at a pivotal time for law enforcement. One senior administration official familiar with the talks said Obama didn’t rule a trip in or out at this point, but added that there are no immediate plans for the president to go to the St. Louis suburb. A presidential trip would require heavy security at a time when state and local authorities, along with the Missouri National Guard, are dealing with demonstrations, protests and looting in the wake of the killing by a police officer of an unarmed black teenager." [The Hill]

Behold the "we will be greeted as liberators" of municipal government: "The mayor of Ferguson, Missouri, says there's no racial split in his community and that nearly all residents would agree with him, despite over a week of violent clashes between protesters and police over the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager fatally shot by a white police officer. 'There's not a racial divide in the city of Ferguson,' Mayor James Knowles said Tuesday in an interview on MSNBC's 'NewsNation' with Tamron Hall. 'That is the perspective of all residents in our city. Absolutely.'" [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]

PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST SHOCKED -- SHOCKED!!! -- BY DAVID PLOUFFE - HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who got himself a surplus military armored car from his local police department, is shocked to learn that David Plouffe is joining Uber as its vice president of policy and strategy. Uber , according to the Times, "needed Mr. Plouffe to compete against the strong taxi lobby, and to make sure it faced fewer roadblocks in the new cities it entered," a fact that astonished PSLGOPL. "These guys are union busting thugs!" PSLGOPL wrote. Thanks, PSLGOPL!

AWFUL - Katherine Fung: "James Foley, an American journalist who went missing in Syria more than a year ago, has reportedly been executed by the Islamic State, a militant group formerly known as ISIS. The group reportedly threatened to behead Steven Sotloff, another American journalist, next. Video and photos purportedly of Foley emerged on Tuesday. A YouTube video -- entitled 'A Message to #America (from the #IslamicState)' -- identified a man on his knees as 'James Wright Foley,' and showed his execution. It also showed another man on his knees it claimed is Sotloff, whose future the executioner said 'depends' on President Obama's 'next decision.' Sotloff, a freelance journalist, went missing in Syria in August 2013." [HuffPost]

@OKnox: As of yesterday afternoon, US position was "ISIS needs to be taken out." No reason to think this changes. https://t.co/FhEUzcf9tq

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - In his new book, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) recounts shaking his head in frustration last fall as fellow Republicans sought to use a government shutdown as leverage to gut Obamacare. "It was a suicide mission," Ryan writes in The Way Forward, his memoir released Tuesday. "This can't be the full measure of our party and our movement. If it is, we're dead and the country is lost." Except during the shutdown, when Senate negotiators had started to take over, Ryan rallied House Republicans against a Susan Collins proposal, pushing for entitlement reform instead. And then, of course, something even less favorable than the Collins proposal became law. [HuffPost]

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THE GRIMES FAMILY RIDES CHEAP - HuffPost Hill spent some time with Jerry Lundergan while in Kentucky, and he can best be described as a mix of Joseph Kennedy and Willie Stark. Politico: "Alison Lundergan Grimes has barnstormed Kentucky in her 45-foot-long campaign bus, rolling up to raucous rallies and posing for photos next to the vehicle bearing an oversized image of the Democratic Senate hopeful. Left unmentioned amid the hubbub is this: Her father’s company acquired the bus just as the campaign got underway last year — and is renting it to his daughter for a fraction of what other companies would typically charge, according to a POLITICO analysis. Federal campaign finance law bars a campaign from receiving goods and services below the fair market value from a corporation, regardless of whether it is owned by a family member. A review of Federal Election Commission records shows Grimes paid less than $11,000 through June to rent the bus for at least 24 days, amounting to about $456 per day. Officials at four bus companies said they typically charge $1,500 to $2,000 a day to rent a similarly sized bus, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign said it spent at least $2,200 per day to rent essentially the same bus during a swing earlier this month. That would amount to a savings of tens of thousands of dollars for the Democrat’s campaign." [Politico]

Grimes has her debate: "The Oct. 13 debate will be held on the Kentucky Educational Television network's "Kentucky Tonight" program. Grimes had accepted KET's invitation in June, but McConnell's campaign signed off only recently, according to the Herald-Leader. Because there will be no live audience, the format will meet one condition that McConnell had laid out for debates in the Kentucky Senate race, according to the Courier-Journal in Louisville. But McConnell had also asked that any debates be held before Labor Day -- months before the election -- and feature no questions from outside sources. The Courier-Journal reported that McConnell adviser Josh Holmes called the KET format "almost identical" to what the incumbent had asked for." [HuffPost]

Someone alert Harry Reid! A Republican's tax returns need to be made public: "Illinois GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is under heightened scrutiny in light of new revelations regarding his use of investment funds in the Cayman Islands. A dozen funds in total were set up in the Caribbean nation between June 2009 and July 2011 by private equity firm GTCR which, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, was chaired by Rauner at the time. He had a personal financial interest in three of those funds...Rauner has refused to release a certain portion of his tax returns further detailing the investments, and GTCR has remained mum on the matter. " [HuffPost]

ALASKA REPUBLICANS CHOOSING CHALLENGER TO MARK BEGICH - Sadly Joe Miller isn't going to win, even though he was all about detaining reporters before it was cool. Samantha Lachman: "As the midterm elections primary season winds down, the focus turns to Alaska, where voters on Tuesday will decide the last competitive Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Former Alaska Attorney General and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan is the frontrunner to challenge Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) in November -- though Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and tea party favorite and attorney Joe Miller haven't eased Sullivan's path. (Sullivan the Senate candidate is not to be confused with Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who will be on Tuesday's primary ballot for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination.) Miller is remembered for initially beating Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2010's GOP primary, though she then conducted a successful write-in campaign to win the general election. Sullivan is campaigning as the candidate who has the best shot at beating Begich in November. Treadwell has emphasized his deep ties to the state, where he has lived for 40 years, in contrast to Sullivan, who moved back to the state in 2009 after serving in President George W. Bush's administration, and with the Marines abroad. While former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has endorsed Miller -- who called her the Alaskan who inspires him the most -- Sullivan has the backing of the conservative Club for Growth and Karl Rove's American Crossroads super PAC. Begich has already been campaigning as if Sullivan is his opponent. In one television spot, he mocked Sullivanfor taping an ad from the top of a civic and convention center in Anchorage for which Begich helped secure funds." [HuffPost]

That time John McCain did the robot to deafeningly loud hip hop.

SUPPORT FOR COMMON CORE PLUMMETING - Rebecca Klein: "Teachers are losing faith in the Common Core State Standards, the national education guidelines adopted by a majority of states. According to a poll out today by Education Next, a quarterly education journal from Stanford University's Hoover Institution, 40 percent of teachers said they opposed the Common Core -- more than triple the 12 percent who said they were against the standards in 2013. Public opposition to the Common Core also has increased. While 65 percent supported the Common Core in 2013, a slim majority -- 53 percent -- expressed approval in 2014. Broken down by party lines, Republicans were much more likely to have switched their opinion than Democrats...The Common Core State Standards have become increasingly polarizing in the last year. In May, Indiana became the first state to repeal the Common Core, followed by Oklahoma and South Carolina. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is embroiled in a legal battle with parents, teachers, and his state education board after trying to stop the standards in his state. This week in Ohio, political leaders began hearings on legislation to repeal the standards." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a cat sleeping on a watermelon.

Hahahahahahahahahahaha: "A Washington, D.C., think tank apologized on Tuesday for telling the human rights group Amnesty International to 'suck it' on Twitter. Early Tuesday morning, Amnesty, which sent a delegation to observe the conflicts between protesters and police in Ferguson, Missouri, tweeted that the United States could not tell other nations to improve policing until it improved its own policing record. The Center for Strategic and International Studies responded by saying 'your work has saved far fewer lives than American interventions. So. suck it.'" [HuffPost's Sam Levine]

COMFORT FOOD

- For a mere $100,000, you too can have an all chocolate bathroom.

- Father "takes" his son's ear, son is devastated.

- Because the world's children don't already have enough screens and/or self-image problems, there's now an Instagram for kids.

- Sleepy dog doesn't want to wake up.

- The ten best improvised movie scenes in cinema history.

- The biggest Ice Bucket Challenge fail to date.

- Is this the iPhone 6?

TWITTERAMA

@thegoldfarb: To the freedom loving @CSIS intern…..send your resume to comments@freebeacon.com.

@daveweigel: Oh no I just got a vision of the future headlines about frats holding not-ironic-enough SWAT-themed parties

@anamariecox: Tried explaining #ferguson to not-very-political pal. Got halfway thru and, him: “That’s just fucked up.” Well, yes. The short version.

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