HUFFPOST HILL – Rand Paul Drops Presidential Bid, Settles For Gig With Washington Machine

Brazilian Straight Human Virgin Hair Stick TipUpset with the results from the caucuses, Donald Trump wants a do over, something that he has considerable previous experience with in bankruptcy court. Having not passed the support threshold to make it into the debates, Rick Santorum is wondering whether he crossed the support threshold to land a Fox News contributing gig. And Rand Paul suspended his presidential campaign, immediately throwing his support behind not losing his Senate seat this November. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016:

@gov_gilmore: Started out as 1 of 17 GOP Candidates, now with Rand Paul & Rick Santorum out, 1 or 9. #StillStanding

HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE SO MAD – Members of Congress wanted to get to the bottom of the Flint water crisis, but several key players were missing from an oversight hearing on Wednesday. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) opted not to call Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to testify, to the consternation of committee Democrats. And Darnell Earley, one of many emergency managers Snyder had appointed to run Flint, refused to testify even after Chaffetz issued a subpoena Tuesday. “We’re calling on the U.S. Marshals to hunt him down and give him that subpoena,” Chaffetz said. Lead poisoned Flint’s water after the city switched its water source in 2014. The state water regulator told Flint not to control for the corrosiveness of the water, and the lack of treatment resulted within the water leaching lead from town’s pipes. And the federal Environmental Protection Agency dragged its feet last year after it knew there was a problem. “This is the United States of America — this is not alleged to happen here,” Chaffetz said. “We are not some Third World country where 100,000 people get poisoned.” [w/ HuffPost’s Laura Barron-Lopez]

Darnell Earley’s lawyer, A. Scott Bolden, didn’t like this proposed hunting down of his client, saying he told the committee they’d cooperate if they’d give him some other dates. “I have not heard back from the committee since then — apart from what I saw on TV, that the chairman indicated that he was going to must hunt my client down like he was an animal. My client’s not an animal, and neither am I, and neither one in every of us are running and hiding from the committee. We’re ready, willing and able to participate, just below reasonable circumstances.”

RECKLESS OBAMA WANTS FEDERAL EMPLOYEES TO AFFORD MILK – How are you able to drown the federal government in a bathtub if it’s out buying groceries with its COLA? Joe Davidson: “President Obama will include a mean 1.6 percent pay raise for federal employees in his fiscal 2017 budget proposal. This year, the common raise is 1.3 percent. The 2017 pay increase was announced in a conference call with administration and union officials. The whole budget will likely be announced next week… the president will propose six weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees, as he has previously. Currently, they may take 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, like all workers of many companies.” [WaPo]

DELANEY DOWNER – Tyler Tynes: “Gladyes Williamson paced the halls of Congress on Wednesday, armed with a bottle of brown water and clumps of her own hair. She’d traveled with a gaggle from Flint, Michigan, where high lead levels have made the water irritating to the skin and unsafe to drink since 2014. Williamson trekked 14 hours on a packed bus, with no sleep, to remind Washington of what’s happening in a poor, embattled, industrial town nearly 75 miles north of Detroit. ‘Not only can we feel like the Republicans hate us, but now that the Democrats don’t care either,’ Williams, 62, told The Huffington Post. ‘We just need something tangible to make us believe that politicians care about us. The wards in Flint haven’t seen any of this federal aid, but we do all the tax paying and all of the dying.'” [HuffPost]

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HUMBLED DONALD TRUMP BLAMES THE SYSTEM, REASSERTS HIS OWN GREATNESS – What a mild mannered man. Maggie Haberman: “After hinting at it for a day, Donald J. Trump on Wednesday bluntly accused Senator Ted Cruz of ‘stealing’ victory in the Iowa caucuses and demanded a do-over… In typical fashion, Mr. Trump first tested lines about Mr. Cruz committing voter fraud in a speech at a rally in New Hampshire, sprinkling it in with a larger address. Mr. Trump is basing his claim on reports that Mr. Cruz’s aides and allies, including Representative Steve King of Iowa, had posted a false report on Twitter that Ben Carson had suspended his campaign while the voting was still occurring. The implication is that among the Carson votes ended up going to Mr. Cruz.” [NYT]

CLINTON, SANDERS Conform to FOUR DEBATES – Ben Kamisar: “Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have agreed to four more debates beginning with a Thursday night showdown in New Hampshire, the Democratic National Committee confirmed to The Hill. After Thursday’s debate, the campaigns will next square off in Flint, Mich., the city facing a public health crisis because of contaminated water, in March. The DNC adds that there will be two other debates, one in April and one in May, but didn’t specify the locations. The Washington Post reports that the April debate will happen in Pennsylvania and the May debate will likely be in California. The party’s decision to sanction the debates allows the candidates to seem without triggering a party provision that bars candidates who appear in unsanctioned debates from appearing in future official contests.” [The Hill]

RAND PAUL OUT – The invisible hand pointed him to the exit. Paul Kane and Dave Weigel: “Sen. Rand Paul will now pivot from battling other Republicans in the presidential race to beating a Democrat in what may very well be a competitive race to hold his Kentucky Senate seat in November. After exiting the presidential contest on Wednesday morning, Paul’s campaign leadership said the senator was turning his attention fully to his Senate reelection bid, arguing that his steady voting record had shored him up at home. ‘His national race transfers to the state level in terms of fundraising,’ said Paul strategist Doug Stafford. Still, Paul’s fundraising suffered from the Kentucky Republican’s decision to simultaneously pursue the White House and Senate reelection in 2016.” [WaPo]

SANTORUM OUT – Just could not get things frothy. John King and Jeremy Diamond: “Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is ending his presidential bid, two Republican sources told CNN. He is expected to make the announcement Wednesday night and will endorse a candidate. Santorum won the 2012 Iowa caucuses and ended that race with the second-most number of delegates to eventually GOP nominee Mitt Romney. But he was unable to capture any momentum this year, despite extensive barnstorming efforts in Iowa. He is the third Republican presidential candidate to drop out after Monday’s caucuses. Mike Huckabee ended his campaign that night, and Rand Paul suspended his campaign Wednesday morning. The Santorum sources didn’t say whom Santorum would endorse. When asked about a possible endorsement, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said he hasn’t spoken to the former Pennsylvania senator on Wednesday.” [CNN]

AWKWARD – Josh Gerstein: “President Bill Clinton once had the opportunity to save lots of his daughter’s future father-in-law from spending five years behind bars, in line with never-before-revealed White House files. However the asked-for reprieve never came. In the waning days of Clinton’s presidency, federal prosecutors and the FBI were bearing down on former Rep. Ed Mezvinsky (D-Iowa), who had fallen for a series of Ponzi schemes and pulled in nearly $10 million money from other investors to cover his losses. Mezvinsky would not be formally indicted until March of 2001, but records released last week by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock and obtained by POLITICO show Mezvinsky and his then-wife ex-Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D-Pa.) pleaded with the former president for a presidential pardon to head off the looming federal case.” [Politico]

Um, ok?: “A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report recommends that women of childbearing age who’re sexually active and never using birth control stop drinking alcohol altogether. ‘The risk is real. Why take the possibility?’ the CDC’s principal deputy director says within the press release accompanying the report.” [Slate]

BECAUSE You have READ THIS FAR – This is an adorable magic trick.

OBAMA ALL, ‘HAI MOSQUE,’ MOSQUE ALL, ‘HAI OBAMA’ – Roberta Rampton: “U.S. President Barack Obama visited a U.S. mosque on Wednesday and declared that attacks on Islam were an attack on all faiths in a move to counter rhetoric from Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates which have alienated Muslims. ‘We’ve to understand that an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths,’ Obama said at amosque outside Baltimore. ‘When any religious group is targeted all of us have a responsibility to speak up.'” [Reuters]

COMFORT FOOD

– French words hidden in English.

– Orangutans playing Xbox.

– A very large freezer.

TWITTERAMA

@embeedub: I wish that whenever someone quits a presidential campaign there may very well be a goodbye montage like they do on Idol.

@SimonMaloy: [inside the National Press Club]

CARSON: Thank you for coming. There comes a time in every candidate’s life when he needs new pants, and

@ThePlumLineGS: Sure, Trump is unconventional, but is there any precedent for writing off someone as buffoonish loser for finishing second in Iowa?

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