POLITICS
01/12/2015 04:35 pm ET Updated Jan 12, 2015

HUFFPOST HILL - Mitt Romney Really, Really Doesn't Want To Get A Job

Republican politicians are attacking the president for not paying enough respect to France -- this on the heels of their “Kombucha Creates Jobs” campaign. Members of Congress are obscenely wealthy, according to an unfair report that didn't factor in the high cost of brunch at Bistro Bis. And a group claiming to be associated with ISIS hacked CENTCOM’s Twitter account, a devastating blow after the Taliban hacked its Pinterest account to made that chevron-patterned threat against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, January 12th, 2015:

MITT ROMNEY IS SO HOT RIGHT NOW - Romney has had several years to pay taxes for the first time, so this campaign will be totally different from the last one. Robert Costa, Philip Rucker and Karen Tumulty: "Mitt Romney is moving quickly to reassemble his national political network, spending the weekend and Monday calling former aides, donors and other supporters — as well as onetime foes such as Newt Gingrich. Romney’s message was that he is serious about making a 2016 presidential bid. He told one senior Republican he 'almost certainly will' run in what would be his third campaign for the White House, this person said." [WashPost]

HuffPost’s Howard Fineman, Jason Linkins and Lauren Weber will be chronicling all the speculation surrounding the 2016 presidential race, both the inane kind and the... well, it’s all inane. Check out Trail to the Chief.

PAUL RYAN: NO TKS - Guess his book didn't capture America's attention. Can't win 'em all. Alex Moe: "Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee in 2012, told NBC News in an interview Monday that he will not seek the presidency in 2016. 'I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016,' Ryan said in a phone interview, noting that he is 'at peace' with the decision he made 'weeks ago' to forgo a bid for the White House." [NBCNews]

There should be an Upworthy for the politically cynical and it should only contain news like this: “Not a Single Person Has Donated to Dick Morris's Anti-Hillary Super PAC” [Bloomberg]

MITT ROMNEY MISSES ATTENTION - Gird your loins for the 2016 GOP primary’s inevitable descent into a Romney/Bush squabble over whether the gub’ment and Common Core are trying to brainwash your kids with compound sentences and long division. BuzzFeed: “[T]he midterm elections kicked into gear and Romney — who became an in-demand surrogate and fundraiser, stumping in races across the country — caught the campaign bug again...The midterms also corresponded with a wave of stories in the political press about a possible Romney 2016 bid, many of which originated with supporters who wanted to fertilize the speculation. It worked; the stories ensured that hopeful donors would keep calling [Romney 2012 Finance Director Spencer] Zwick and other people they believed to have Romney’s ear, making the media predictions a self-fulfilling prophecy...According to one former adviser, the biggest political question Romney will be considering as he makes his decision is whether Bush will be able to make it to the general election. ‘Look, Jeb’s a good guy. I think the governor likes Jeb,” the adviser said. But Jeb is Common Core, Jeb is immigration, Jeb has been talking about raising taxes recently. Can you imagine Jeb trying to get through a Republican primary?’” [BuzzFeed]

You know who *doesn’t* have a moderate gubernatorial record to defend? Mitt Romney

WHITE HOUSE IS TRES DESOLE - It’s pretty amazing that John Kerry passed up the opportunity to go to France. Sam Stein: “[White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest] admitted the White House erred over the weekend in not sending a more senior administration official to Paris to participate in the massive solidarity march in that city. ‘I think it's fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile,’ said Earnest. ‘There are some who suggested that the U.S. presence at the march should have been represented by somebody with a higher profile than the ambassador to France. And I guess what I'm assaying is we here at the White House agree.’ … Earnest wouldn't say whether any talks actually occurred on the subject of sending someone to the march...Earnest said he didn't know what the president was doing on Sunday, and insisted that the decision about whom to send never made it to the president's desk. And he stressed, repeatedly, that security precautions made it difficult for the president to participate on a moment's notice in an open-air rally with hundreds of thousands of others.” [HuffPost]

HuffPost Haircuts: Jason Linkins (also considering a wax), Matthew Kravitz (“It’s a medium winter cut”).

Former magician Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) does actual magic tricks in a new "Magic Mondays" video series.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Russ Choma: "It would take the combined wealth of more than 18 American households to equal the value of a single federal lawmaker’s household, the Center for Responsive Politics’ latest analysis of congressional wealth finds. The median net worth of a member of Congress was $1,029,505 in 2013 -- a 2.5 percent increase from 2012 -- compared with an average American household’s median net worth of $56,355. Once again, the majority of members of Congress are millionaires -- 271 of the 533 members currently in office, or 50.8 percent." [OpenSecrets.org]

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VENI VIDI VETO: LOOKING AHEAD TO OBAMA AND THE 114TH CONGRESS - The president should scribble “HELL NO YOU CAN’T” across all the bills. The Hill: “[Republicans] believe a flurry of vetoes could bolster their argument that it’s Obama who is the real obstructionist in Washington — not congressional Republicans. Obama has been insulated up until now, with former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocking GOP-backed bills unpopular with Democrats — and so removing the need for Obama to pick up his veto pen….The White House is eager to paint the GOP as hopelessly stuck on old issues, such as repealing ObamaCare. The administration wants to contrast a GOP fighting battles from the past with a forward-looking president pitching a middle class agenda. If good economic news continues to pile on, aides feel confident that voters will want to double down on the president’s agenda, rather than pull it back...House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pounced on a third threatened veto — of changes to the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill — as well as a set of hundreds of new regulations to cast Obama as ‘making obstruction and red tape his top priority.’” [The Hill]

Paul Ryan mocked Chris Christie for his love of the sad Dallas Cowboys.

CONGRESSIONAL GOP WARMING TO GAS TAX - National Journal: “Lawmakers may have finally run out of arcane accounting options to fund the nation's highways and transit systems. Here's a key clue: The talk in the Senate about a gas tax increase is starting to sound serious. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a fairly solid conservative and new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, had this to say about the possibility last week: 'It's a small price to pay for the best highway system in the world.' Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said she would favor a gas tax increase even though virtually every resident in her rural state must rely on cars to get anywhere. Collins said she would support an increase if it included a rebate for low-income families that they could collect when logging their vehicle miles traveled with the DMV. "We certainly have to come up with something," she said.” [National Journal]

OBAMA ON THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS - Man, the president had a lot to say about the reigning NBA champs. From the White House: "It's the U.N. of basketball teams. And it shows the way that this wonderful sport has become an international sport. Some people have, rightfully, started calling it -- the Spur’s style of basketball 'the beautiful game.' And when you look at the passing and guys back-cutting the hoop and sharing the basketball, you see basketball the way it should be played. And I was telling these guys you can now see everybody around the league actually stealing, first of all, assistant coaches who then become coaches and then start applying that style of play all around the league. And it's made the game better."

HOUSE DEMS GETTING SCREWED ON COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS - Roll Call: “The party now has its smallest share of House seats in almost nine decades — just 188, or 43 percent...Republicans have stuck with the custom that the party in control claims more than its fair share of the seats on committees...The clearest Democratic winners so far are the five given seats on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over an extraordinary swath of domestic industry, from telecommunications to trash hauling. Yvette D. Clarke will be the panel’s third New Yorker, but its only African-American woman; fellow fifth-termer Dave Loebsack will take the ‘Iowa seat’ left open by Bruce Braley’s unsuccessful Senate bid; Class of 2008 member Kurt Schrader of Oregon will fill the Blue Dog Coalition void created with the departures of Georgia’s John Barrow and Utah’s Jim Matheson...a single veteran lawmaker is without the prestigious policymaking post he once called home. Brian Higgins of Buffalo, N.Y., who got on Ways and Means in his third term in 2009, was forced off two years later and has been plotting his return ever since while trying to make the most of life on Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs. And that’s where he’ll stay for at least the next two years.” [Roll Call]

White House press releases that seem funny but actually aren’t: “Vice President Biden to Host Caribbean Energy Security Summit”

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM - In space, no one can hear you filibuster. Ashley Alman: “Following the ratification of Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) as chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was named chair of the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, where he will oversee NASA and science programs. Appointed Jan. 8, Cruz is expected to be confirmed to the new role by the end of the month as one of many changes to the new Republican-controlled Congress. But the Republican senator's words and actions during his time in office have painted him to be a far cry from an advocate for the sciences, leaving many concerned about the future of space and science funding.” [HuffPost]

CENTCOM’S TWITTER WAS HACKED - [ISIS hacker types furiously] “Allahu Akbar I’ve found it!” “The password? What is it?" “8-0-0-8-5” “Death to the infidels!” TechCrunch “The Cyber Caliphate, a hacker group claiming association with terrorist group ISIS, today seized control of the @CENTCOM Twitter and YouTube accounts that represents U.S. central military command. The hackers tweeted a Pastebin message titled “Pentagon networks hacked. AMERICAN SOLDIERS WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS. #CyberCaliphate”. The message includes links to supposedly confidential US Army files, though there’s indication that some of these files may have previously been made public or aren’t highly confidential….The redacted links lead to files claiming to include a “List of US Army Officers”, “US Army Budget” “US Army Forces” and more.” [TechCrunch]

@kenvogel: SHOT: 1992 Bush campaign attacked Buchanan for driving a Mercedes. http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1992/New-Bush-Ad-Attacks-Buchanan-s-Mercedes/id-1b40105b5f537ba08ff97495e8f15f85

CHASER: Jeb drives an Audi

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog that looks like John Travolta.

TERRY JONES UPDATE - It’s not quite, “twirling sign for car dealership on side of the road,” but it’ll suffice. Vice: “Pastor Terry Jones—the evangelical Christian famous for burning Qurans, hanging effigies of Barack Obama, inciting riots in the Middle East, and denouncing radical Islam at every turn—now works with his two brothers at "Fry Guys Gourmet Fries" in the food court of the DeSoto Square mall in Bradenton, Florida.” [Vice]

COMFORT FOOD

- Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s best jokes from the Golden Globes ceremony.

- Apparently Macho Man Randy Savage is being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, which we don’t really care about, but we do care about this MMRS tribute video set to Coldplay

- Dog in the snow baffled by a squeaky toy.

TWITTERAMA

@imillhiser: RT @CENTCOM Amazing! I work from home making over $1,100 a week and so can you!

@joshuafoust: more like LOLCOM, amirite?

@annielowery: I really hate tweetstorms, but if we are stuck with them, Twitter should make a way to display them elegantly. 1/1

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