HUFFPOST HILL - Canadian Attempting Takeover Of Federal Government

President Obama told Sam Stein that "everything is terrible, everything is doomsday," which was easily the weirdest song in the "LEGO Movie." Today’s coverage of Ted Cruz’s announcement should be a reminder that students shouldn’t give up on their journalistic dreams... mostly so we can crib their Yik Yaks and pass it off as reporting. And Cruz urged the Liberty University students in attendance to get out their phones and sign up for his mailing list. As JFK once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country… By texting CAMELOT to 5429." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, March 23rd, 2015:

President talks to person: Take a moment, or 3,000, to check out the full video and transcript of Sam Stein's interview with President Obama. Our favorite, totally-in-context quote from Obama: "Everything's a crisis, everything is terrible, everything is doomsday." [HuffPost]

That's right: "Everything's a crisis, everything is terrible, everything is doomsday."

DOC FIX VOTE AND BUDGET DEBATE PROMISE UTTERLY RIVETING WEEK - [Looks up from laptop at open window, sees bird fluttering away, envies its freedom, looks back at laptop, sighs, eats bagel chip]. Matt Fuller: "As the House returns Monday, Speaker John A. Boehner faces two big tests of his hold on the ever-unruly Republican Conference: pushing through the GOP budget and putting the final touches on a speaker-approved Medicare 'doc fix.' After days of closed-door whip checks and haggling on amendments, the House Budget Committee advanced its fiscal 2016 budget on March 19 by a 22-13 vote. Every Republican supported the measure in committee, but GOP leaders are unlikely to be so lucky if the bill comes to the floor next week, as leaders said it would...The Budget Committee did not vote, as defense hawks had wanted, on an amendment adding more money to an Overseas Contingency Operations fund. House Armed Services Committee Republicans have threatened to withhold their support for the budget if they don’t get additional dollars for the Pentagon, and if the 36 Republicans on the committee band together to vote against the budget, the measure would almost certainly fail. No Democrat is expected to vote for the GOP blueprint." [Roll Call]

TWO BUDGET VOTES POSSIBLE - Jake Sherman: "House Republican leaders are exploring a procedure that would allow for votes on two budgets -- and whichever gets the most votes would be adopted as the party’s fiscal blueprint. Under the plan, House Budget Chairman Tom Price’s (R-Ga.) budget would get a vote, as would a nearly identical spending plan that includes more money for defense. The one that nets a higher vote total would become the House Republican plan." [Politico]

House Democrats unveiled their budget today. Unlike the Republican budget, the Dem spending blueprint would allow the Food Stamp Surfer to continue wearing the most baddest jewelry in the world.

Haircuts: Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist (h/t PSLGOPL)

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A bill in the Missouri state legislature wants to control poor people's food choices. "A recipient of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits shall not use such benefits to purchase cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak," the bill says. People who like this kind of legislation will not be happy until SNAP is transformed into the Beans And Rice Program, or BARP.

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BUT IS IT GOOD FOR THE CRUZ? PROBABLY - But is it good for the news? Also probably. Samantha Lachman: "Cruz made a formal announcement Monday at Liberty University in Virginia. His announcement -- which came on the five-year anniversary of Obamacare -- was made at the largest Christian university in the world, and featured quite a bit of religious rhetoric. 'What is the promise of America?' Cruz said. 'The idea that -- the revolutionary idea that this country was founded upon, which is that our rights don’t come from man. They come from God Almighty.' Cruz is the first high profile candidate to officially declare that he is running for president and will forego an exploratory committee. Cruz, a favorite among conservatives and a frequent agitator of the GOP leadership in Congress, had been expected to declare his presidential bid for more than a year. Hescoped out office space for a campaign headquarters in Houston, Texas, andterminated his Canadian citizenship in preparation." [HuffPost]

Cruz broke Liberty's rules by kissing his wife, apparently.

Remember, when He isn't slapping a "You Can Have My Gun, But You'll Get The Bullets First" bumper sticker on his F-150, God sees all: "Some of the students who witnessed the launch of Cruz's 2016 presidential campaign were, in the words of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, only in attendance so they wouldn’t get fined...Convocation is a mandatory Monday, Wednesday and Friday event for Liberty students -- and they are penalized with fines if they skip an assembly." [HuffPost's Julia Craven]

TV cameras caught attendees behind Cruz wearing "Stand With Rand" t-shirts. That's a bit like having someone gut a turkey in the background of your shot, but less gorey...dontcha know: "According to Bloomberg, about 12 students who have been hoping to found a Students for Rand Paul chapter at Liberty to support a Paul presidential bid took Cruz’s visit as an opportunity to spread the word about their favorite Republican. Joseph McGowan is president of Liberty University’s Young Americans for Liberty, a student group founded by Paul’s father, former Rep. Ron Paul. McGowan spearheaded a “Stand with Rand” campaign Sunday to ensure support for Rand Paul was evident during Cruz's speech:" [Ibid.]

Hahahahahahahahaha: "Real estate tycoon Donald Trump cast doubt Monday on whether Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) can run for president, because Cruz was born in Canada. 'It’s a hurdle; somebody could certainly look at it very seriously,' Trump said during a phone interview Monday on My Fox New York." [The Hill]

"Everything's a crisis, everything is terrible, everything is doomsday."

COOL GEOCITIES PAGE, SENATOR - But you forgot the green web counter at the bottom. And the dancing hamster. And the side scroller. Vox: "This morning, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced his presidential campaign, and he launched a website that solicits campaign donations. But it doesn't show the little icon that indicates SSL is enabled...On SSL-protected websites, there should be a padlock icon in the address bar...As it turns out, the website does use SSL when users actually submit their credit card information. But there are two big problems with the way this is implemented. One is that the lack of SSL protection for the donation page as a whole means that the user is vulnerable to a 'man in the middle' attack, where someone impersonates the Cruz website and directs the user to a malicious site instead. Second, there's no way for ordinary users to know if their credit card details are encrypted or not...For some reason, the SSL certificate for tedcruz.org lists nigerian-prince.com as another valid address for Cruz's website. (Update: the Cruz campaign appears to have removed nigerian-prince.com from the certificate around 11am.)" [Vox]

TRAIL TO THE CHIEF: PRELIMINARY PANDERING - "[Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida] have essentially become, on a quadrennial basis, the most pandered-to populations in America. And that was never more apparent than this week, when Republican consultant Liz Mair -- whom Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) had hired to do communications work for his PAC -- was put to the blade for the sin of criticizing the Iowa GOP on Twitter. Hawkeye State kingmakers, having dipped their umbrage in the deep-fried butter for which the state is known, bayed for Walker to fire Mair -- somehow turning Mair, an avowed fan of Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, into this cycle's Bruce Braley." [Jason Linkins, Howard Fineman and Lauren Weber]

HIGH COURT WON'T HEAR WISCONSIN VOTER ID CASE - Samantha Lachman: "The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to Wisconsin's voter identification law Monday, though it had blocked the state from requiring photo IDs ahead of November’s midterm election. The decision is a setback for civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project, which had hoped the court would take up the case and find that the law disproportionately impacts racial minorities, seniors, students and those with disabilities. Republicans believe that voter ID laws prevent fraud during elections, while Democrats believe that such laws are passed in order to suppress demographics that are more likely to vote for their party...Wisconsin's law was passed by the legislature in 2011 and signed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Last year, a federal district judge declared it unconstitutional, but in September a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision. The Supreme Court blocked the law from taking effect ahead of the election, as absentee ballots already had been mailed containing no information about the need to present photo identification. Legal experts believe that the justices will eventually decide to settle the issue." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a dog who can't catch.

"Everything's a crisis, everything is terrible, everything is doomsday."


- A group of Italian pizza man delivered a pie to Pope Francis.

- A history of Jagermeister.

- Owls are very quiet.


@moody: "I will Meerkat Yik Yak" is a complete English sentence.

@Mobute: Imagine if we replaced John Winthrop's "shining city on a hill" metaphor & Ted Cruz had to talk about "that coruscating turd on a sick dog."

@wexler: The natural born citizen requirement for the U.S. presidency is stupid. It's 2015 and the British aren't going to overthrow our government.

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