POLITICS
09/24/2013 06:18 pm ET Updated Nov 24, 2013

HUFFPOST HILL - John Boehner In A Mud Bath With A Cucumber Eye Mask

Ted Cruz vowed to obstruct the Senate as much as possible, which is undoubtedly the rudest thing a Canadian has ever done. Liz Cheney heaped abuse on Alan Simpson, but we're happy to report that Erskine Bowles' face remains unpeppered by buckshot. And a staffer in the Missouri legislature left a loaded gun in a statehouse bathroom, because the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a rolled up copy of Men's Health tucked under his arm. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, September 24th, 2013:

ROLL ON, MIGHTY POOP CRUZ, ROLL ON - Mike McAuliff and Sabrina Siddiqui: "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) stuck by a plan Tuesday that would leave Congress with just one day to try and avert a shutdown of the federal government, despite his colleagues' best efforts to convince the Texan to speed up the process. 'I don't think that's going to happen,' said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) after Republicans met for some two hours in the U.S. Capitol. 'I don't think there's going to be any agreement, on both sides.' Asked if Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cruz's partner in the bid to use a government funding bill to defund Obamacare, were as insistent as ever, Chambliss suggested they were. 'Are they digging in? No more than what they have already,' he said. Government funding runs out after Sept. 30 unless Congress approves a continuing resolution, or CR, to keep it funded. Under Senate procedural rules, Cruz and company could keep the clock ticking until Sunday, Sept. 29, at which time Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) likely would have the votes to pass a funding measure that does not kill President Barack Obama's signature health care law. Only if Cruz and his allies yield back time would it allow the House sufficient time to deal with the new bill." [HuffPost]

@KellyO NBC News has learned @SenRandPaul opposed @SenTedCruz and his "no" vote tactic in private GOP meeting.

Cruz has been speaking on the Senate floor for hours now, but he's not delaying any votes, therefore it's not a filibuster. The technical term -- and we have yet to run this by the Senate parliamentarian -- is LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Cruz has vowed to speak "until I am no longer able to stand." Harry Reid was unimpressed. Appearing on the Senate floor before Cruz's talkathon, he said, “We’re going to vote tomorrow regardless of what anyone says or does today, unless it’s a consent agreement to collapse the time.” [HuffPost]

Conservatives are more or less convinced now that Mitch McConnell helped Bill Ayres ghost write President Obama's memoirs: "Tea party leaders lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week after he said he would not back Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) plan to filibuster a bill that funds the federal government and defunds Obamacare. 'Now it is time for us to reconsider our support for Mitch McConnell," Judson Phillips, the head of Tea Party Nation, wrote on the group's website on Tuesday morning. 'It is time for every Tea Party group that is supporting McConnell to reconsider that support.' 'The Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, just stabbed Ted Cruz and [Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)] in the back,' right wing radio host Mark Levin said on Monday." [HuffPost]

John Boehner had to reschedule a fundraising spa retreat to work on the ongoing fiscal impasse. You conjuring an image of the House speaker caked in mud with cucumber slices resting on his eyes, however, has not been postponed. Examiner: "If not for these last-minute policy maneuvers, Boehner planned to host select Republican campaign contributors at a two-day retreat at the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Va., beginning Sunday. The event will be rescheduled, a Republican aide said. The retreat was meant to kickoff Boehner's 'Capitol Program,' a fundraising effort aimed at attracting five-figure donations to the speaker's political fund." [Examiner]

@chrislhayes:Whoa. @BarackObama just quoted a @jasoncherkis article http://huff.to/151URq5

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - After the House of Representatives voted to cut food stamp funding by 5 percent last week, Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) trumpeted the legislation's work requirements for nutrition assistance. "Not only does this legislation restore the integrity of this safety-net program and encourage beneficiaries to become more self-sufficient, but it will also ensure that the benefits are available to those who need them most," Hurt said in a statement on his website. But Hurt told a local paper that parts of his Southside Virginia district could be spared from having to work for food stamps. His office said able-bodied adults in high-unemployment areas like Danville, Martinsville and Henry County could keep drawing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits without having to obey the new requirement that they find jobs or enroll in training. "Under the House proposal, the states would be given certain flexibility to grant waivers in certain cases depending on unemployment levels and/or hardship," Hurt's office told Brittany Hughes of the Danville Register & Bee. [HuffPost]

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2016 HOPEFULS GOING ON RICH PEOPLE LISTENING TOUR - Decisions are made by those who show up... to Woody Johnson's Bedminster, New Jersey Mansion. BuzzFeed: "Several of the GOP’s top potential presidential candidates gathered in the home of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson Monday night for a fundraiser that doubled as an early audition in front of the party’s elite money crowd. The fundraiser for the Republican National Committee — co-hosted by Chairman Reince Preibus and Johnson — was headlined by a who’s who of 2016 speculation, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. It also featured a roomful of Republican establishment figures and wealthy donors eager to size up the field of would-be candidates. 'I’m just here to see who’s running and get information,' John Catsimatidis, a New York billionaire and failed mayoral candidate, told BuzzFeed of the headliners (none of whom have yet announced intentions to run for president)... Christie’s pragmatic record and proximity to the country’s financial industry should theoretically make him the likeliest heir [to Mitt Romney's mega-donors], but many former Romney donors remain upset with his eleventh-hour abandonment of their nominee last year after Hurricane Sandy." [BuzzFeed]

Americans love their country so much they can't stop trying to secede from it. Nick Wing catalogs recent secession movements, small though they may be.

DOCUMENTS: DAVID KOCH IS AN ASTROTURF GOD - National Journal: "Tax documents obtained exclusively by National Journal confirm that conservative billionaire David Koch, along with a handful of major corporations, provided the seed money a decade ago to start the foundation behind Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that played a key role in helping to organize the tea-party movement into a potent political force. Koch's relationship with the group is no secret—he's the chairman of the board of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation—but he downplays his involvement in a way that critics charge is disingenuous... a donor list filed with the IRS labeled 'not open for public inspection' from 2003, the year of AFP's first filing, lists David Koch as by far the single largest contributor to its foundation, donating $850,000. And an earlier document also obtained exclusively by National Journal lists millions more in financial contributions from the conservative industrialist to AFP's predecessor. Following Koch on the AFP Foundation donor list are a number of corporations, including State Farm, which gave $275,000, 1-800-Contacts, which donated $80,000, and Johnson & Johnson and Shaw Industries, which each gave $50,000. Shaw, a carpet and flooring manufacturer, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, the company controlled (ironically) by pro-Obama billionaire Warren Buffett." [National Journal]

SCOOP: WHITE HOUSE PRESSING EUROPE TO CHUG MORE TAR SANDS - Kate Sheppard: "Building the Keystone XL pipeline is only part of the equation. Once the Canadian tar sands are pumped and piped to refineries on the Gulf Coast, the industry still needs to find buyers for its end product, much of which will be exported. That's where US Trade Representative Michael Froman comes in. Environmental groups in the US and the European Union are worried that Froman, the chief trade official for the United States, has been quietly working to pressure the EU to make it easier for U.S. refiners to sell oil from the tar sands on the European market. Story will be published this evening; you can sign up for Kate's energy and environment pieces here.

Steve Schmidt, appearing on MSNBC today, had a lot on his mind: [W]e need Republicans, whether they're running for president, whether they're in the leadership of the Congress, to stand up against a lot of this asininity.'...Maybe we'll start seeing our elected leaders stop being intimidated by this nonsense, have the nerve, have the guts to stand up and say enough is enough, this isn't what the Republican party's about. To fight to take conservatism's good name back from the freak show that's been running wild for four years and I have deep regret in my part, certainly, in initiating [it]. But it's time for Republicans to again embrace what made us successful in the past, which is a party that has solutions to the problems that face the country." [Real Clear Politics]

SENATE CONFIRMS FIRST OPENLY GAY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE - Jen Bendery: "The Senate made history on Tuesday by voting to confirm Todd Hughes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Hughes, who was confirmed 98 to 0, is the nation's first openly gay circuit judge. He has been a deputy director in the civil division of the Justice Department since 2007. Unlike some of President Barack Obama's other key judicial nominees -- namely those for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals -- Hughes cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with a unanimous vote. With Hughes now confirmed, that leaves 13 judicial nominees awaiting Senate votes: two D.C. Circuit Court nominees and 11 district court nominees. Many of those nominees will likely sail to confirmation after their votes in the Senate. But Republicans are holding up the votes, allowing them proceed at a pace of about one to two nominees per week, said a senior Democratic aide." [HuffPost]

RUBIO WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FOR GAY BLACK JUDGE BECAUSE HE'S A GAY BLACK JUDGE 'JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT' - Rubio should really be worrying about how he's going to change his residency to be on Jeb Bush's presidential ticket. Times: "Without Mr. Rubio’s approval, Judge William Thomas’s nomination to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in Miami, is effectively blocked...For a confirmation to proceed, nominees must secure the approval of both United States senators in their home state. Supporters of Judge Thomas, who grew up on welfare in Pennsylvania in a family of 10 children, said Mr. Rubio’s opposition was rooted in politics...Mr. Rubio, a Republican, has seen his allure among conservatives tumble, a result of his aggressive push for immigration reform...Had he been confirmed by the United States Senate, Judge Thomas would have become the first black openly gay man on the federal bench... Yolanda Strader, president of Miami’s largest association for black lawyers... called Judge Thomas one of the hardest working on the bench. 'It would be unfair to prevent a well-qualified judicial nominee from proceeding with the nomination process because he is an openly gay black male.'...A spokeswoman for Mr. Rubio said in a statement that there were.. 'concerns ... about his judicial temperament and his willingness to impose appropriate criminal sentences...'" [NYT]

THE %&*@#&$ APPLE DOESN'T FALL FAR FROM THE @*%&!)#& TREE - The daughter of the man who once told Pat Leahy to go fornicate with himself is exhibiting some of her dad's qualities on the campaign trail. Amanda Terkel: "The U.S. Senate race in Wyoming has been fraying old alliances, with Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) facing a primary challenge from Liz Cheney -- a woman he once believed was his 'friend.' And on Saturday, Lynne Cheney, the wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, reportedly had some choice words for former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and his support for Enzi. The revelation about Lynne Cheney's remarks came in a Facebook post by Deb Oakley Simpson, the senator's daughter-in-law. She said Lynne Cheney told Alan Simpson to 'shut your mouth' and stop talking about supporting Enzi...As the Cody Enterprise reported, Alan Simpson has not yet publicly endorsed a candidate in the Senate race. The Cheney camp denied Deb Oakley Simpson's account of the conversation in a statement to the Casper Star-Tribune. 'We love Al and Ann,' Lynne Cheney said in a statement. 'We have been friends for over 40 years. As to the story posted on Facebook, I have to admit I am at a bit of a loss. That simply did not happen.'" [HuffPost]

Simpson spoke to HuffPost Hill and Amanda Terkel, saying Cheney "just unloaded" on him. "I was surprised at her intensity," Simpson said. "It was eyes-flashing and pretty intense." He went on, "I am unqualified in my support of Mike Enzi, but it's not about Liz Cheney for God's sake...It's about the fact that I'm the guy who talked Mike Enzi into running for public office. I met him when he was the president of the Wyoming Jaycees. I explained that to Lynne but she didn't seem to listen." [HuffPost]

THE RIGHT TO FORGET YOUR ARMS IN THE JOHN SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED - Second Amendment remedies: "A staff member for the speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives reportedly left a loaded gun in a men's bathroom in the state capitol building last week. A Kahr CM9 9 mm gun belonging to Dave Evans, House Speaker Tim Jones's (R-Eureka) legislative assistant, was found on top of a toilet paper dispenser in a bathroom stall last Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday. A police report obtained by the Post-Dispatch noted that the gun had one hollow point bullet in its chamber and six bullets in its magazine. The gun was found in a stall by another state legislative staffer and was secured by capitol police." [HuffPost's John Celock]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are two ferrets playing in a box of packing peanuts.

Mother Jones: "As a service to our readers, we have rearranged the most vivid and hyperbolic descriptions of the Affordable Care Act below as a collection of short poems. Read them in your best Donald Berwick voice." [MoJo]

COMFORT FOOD

- Jimi Hendrix performing an absolutely mind-bending acoustic version of "Hound Dog." [http://bit.ly/1eExsVv]

- @Horse_ebooks is not a line of code spewing random assortments of verbs, adjectives and articles, it's a person. [http://nyr.kr/1fh4wUT]

- Colorado high school performs massive choreographed sing along to Katy Perry's "Roar." [http://bit.ly/1eyGsLY]

- The PGA should never, EVER try its hand at rap again. [http://usat.ly/19uonc7]

- Popular alcoholic beverages compared to foods with similar calorie counts. [http://bit.ly/18nOC3x]

- BatDad: the superhero father tearing up the internet with Vines about proper behavior. [http://chzb.gr/18QlV37]

TWITTERAMA

@jbarro: "The moon might be as intimidating as Obamacare." -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is afraid of the moon.

@pourmecoffee: Ted Cruz and Rand Paul must fight for the soul of the GOP... in Panderdome.

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