POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Stoned Jeb Bush Forgot 9/11

House Speaker John Boehner said "Oh yeah" when asked if he was coping well with his difficult job, a reminder that Boehner is the Kool-Aid Man to the House Freedom Caucus' wall of obstruction. If anyone's wondering why vaccine denial tanked Michele Bachmann's campaign but not Donald Trump's, the answer seems to be that women are just crazy. And in an interview on "The Tonight Show," Jimmy Fallon pretended to be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton pretended to be a person who knows what jokes are. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, September 17th, 2015:

BERNIE MAKES BANK - Sam Stein and Samantha Lachman: "The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) raised more than $1.2 million in the past two days off of an attack launched by a group supportive of Hillary Clinton. The haul, collected through the website ActBlue, is an impressive feat even for a candidate who has outpaced the Democratic and Republican fields in online fundraising. And it illustrates the intense difficulty that Clinton will face in campaigning against him as the Democratic primary heats up. Any attack the former secretary of state or her allies launch against Sanders risks sparking an outpouring of support, financial and otherwise, for his candidacy." [HuffPost]

KEVIN MCCARTHY DOESN'T WANT JOHN BOEHNER'S AWFUL JOB - Paul Kane: "House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) forcefully defended the embattled speaker, John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), telling reporters Thursday that conservatives who wanted to oust Boehner were distracting and dividing Republicans during a series of key showdowns with Democrats. Viewed as the only viable option for succeeding Boehner, McCarthy’s defense served as a rejection of overtures from some conservatives who have been privately suggesting that, if they succeeded in a coup attempt on the speaker, they would support the genial Californian in a smooth succession." [WashPost]

@JakeSherman: W shutdown looming, Boehner on House floor chatting w allies like M Simpson, P Tiberi. I asked Boehner if he's surviving, he said "oh yeah"

OBAMA PROVES OBVIOUS POINT - Those Republicans who oppose shutting down the government as a means of making it harder for women to go to the doctor already know this but Obama says he'd veto any bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. Laura Bassett: "The administration said the GOP-backed bills 'would have the same consequence of limiting women’s health care choices.' The Planned Parenthood bill, in particular, would cut access to health care services for as many as 630,000 people, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Wednesday." [HuffPost]

FEDERAL RESERVE NOT IMPRESSED BY SHABBY ECONOMY - The Fed cited the continued presence of ragamuffins and street urchins while dismissing concerns of excessive soup. Daniel Marans: "The Federal Reserve announced on Thursday that it is keeping its benchmark interest rate at or near zero, allowing job growth to continue unhindered. The Fed’s federal funds rate -- the interest rate the Fed charges for banks to lend to one another overnight -- will remain at target rate of 0.0-0.25 percent, where it has been since December 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the central bank body charged with adjusting key rates, will have its next chance to adjust the influential interest rate when it meets again on Oct. 27 and 28. By leaving the key interest rate untouched, the Fed is deliberately maintaining economic demand by preserving the current low cost of credit for consumers and businesses." [HuffPost]

STUDENT LOANS ARE SAD - Shahien Nasiripour: "America’s student debt crisis is getting worse. More Americans with student loans directly from the Department of Education fell seriously behind on their payments in the past year, according to quarterly figures the department released in August. The figures defy widely held expectations that generous borrower protections and a significant increase in the number of borrowers making payments based on their earnings would reduce borrower distress." [HuffPost]

ANNOYING LOUD GUY ON TRAIN SUFFERS CONSEQUENCES - Justice served by Ramesh Ponnuru: "Judging from phone conversations [Josh] Alcorn had on an Amtrak train from New York to Wilmington yesterday, the Biden campaign is about to get still more real. Another passenger said that Alcorn was being loud enough in the café car to make it hard to work. He said that Alcorn had said on one call, 'I am 100 percent that Joe is in.' He was less certain of when Biden would announce, but guessed it would be in mid-October." Although… blabbing secret politics on the northeast corridor is so comically dumb it's possible this entire story was a prank. [National Review]

D.C. lost a colorful character this week when tailor-to-the-powerful George de Paris died, and Off The Record lost a bunch of money.

WHY WOULD NURSES NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FEMALE REPRODUCTION, ANYWAY? This is a good reminder that universities aren't the high-minded institutions of higher learning they pretend to be. Laura Bassett: "Medical and nursing students at the University of Missouri no longer have the option to do birth control and abortion training rotations at local Planned Parenthood clinics, after the school canceled all ten of its contracts with the family planning provider." [HuffPost]

HA HA TERRIFIC - What a treat for everyone this must have been! Heidi Przybyla: "Fallon wore a blonde wig like Trump’s signature coif while holding a gold phone. He asked Clinton about her position on women’s issues, quoting Clinton recently saying Trump 'insults' and 'dismisses' women. 'I am curious, Donald, what is your stance on women’s issues?’ Clinton asked. 'Look, I know a lot of women and they all have issues,' Fallon’s Trump said." [USA Today]

THE SENATE IS COMPLETELY BROKEN, IF YOU HADN'T NOTICED - This is one way to prevent activists librul judges legislating from the bench, and there are no imaginable downsides. Jen Bendery: "Senate Republicans are confirming federal judges at the slowest rate in more than 60 years, fueling a 'politically motivated vacancy crisis' in the nation's courts, according to an analysis released Thursday by Alliance for Justice." [HuffPost]

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JEB BUSH: MASTER OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE - What better way to make people think of safety than the image of Ground Zero, which was a mass grave, a pile of rubble, and a symbol of American vulnerability? David Weigel: "After Republican frontrunner Donald Trump mocked George W. Bush for ruining the Republican brand, his younger brother chastised the billionaire, saying that the last Bush in the White House 'kept us safe' -- a line that spurred applause from the elite Reagan Presidential Library audience." [WashPost]

Here's that tweet. Feeling safe?
@JebBush: He kept us safe.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU'RE ONLY AWARE OF ONE FAMOUS WOMAN - It's almost as though Republican men don't know anything about the civil rights movement! Laura Bassett and Julia Craven: "During the second GOP presidential debate Wednesday night, Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) said they would be open to putting civil rights activist Rosa Parks on the $10 bill. But the Republican candidates might be surprised to learn that Parks sat on the national board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, one of the GOP’s biggest political enemies." [Roll Call]

Looks like the bottom tier of the GOP field is going to have to Periscope its next debate, because the RNC is so over it.

AND THEN RICK SANTORUM SANG 'THE INTERNATIONALE' - Rick Santorum is sick and tired of Republican elitism, you guys, and he's not afraid to say so during a "presidential" debate. Dave Jamieson: "'To me, if you're going to talk to 90 percent of American workers -- by the way, 90 percent of American workers don't own a bar. They don't own a business. They work for a living. They're wage -- most of them are wage earners,' he said. 'And Republicans are losing elections because we're not talking about them. All we want to talk about is, what happened to our business? There are people who work in that business.'" [HuffPost]

SCOTT WALKER STOOD UP TO THE UNIONS, BUT CAN HE STAND UP TO HIMSELF? According to this story, Scott Walker spoke at one point during the Republican debate. Shane Goldmacher and Alex Isenstadt: "After the debate, he sounded exasperated for having received only two questions from the moderators. 'Short of tackling someone I don’t know what more I could have done,' Walker said. 'I aggressively interrupted Jake Tapper a bunch of times along the way, and short of an absolute brawl I don’t know what more one can do.'" [Politico]

CARLY FIORINA HAS HAD ENOUGH OF THIS CRAP - The former Hewlett-Packard CEO got in the best zinger at the GOP debate, according to the takes. Scott Conroy: "[I]t was Fiorina -- a newcomer to the main debate stage after she used a strong performance at the second-tier candidates’ debate in Cleveland to gain enough in the national polls to make the cut -- who may have stood out the most by somehow outperforming the most skilled entertainer in politics." [HuffPost]

Also, bragging about running H-P might not be in order.

Also, too, that thing Fiorina said about Planned Parenthood aborting a "fetus on the table" on those videos is 100 percent made up and is not on any of those videos.

YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THIS TO YOURSELVES, AMERICA - Far too many people tuned into that debate. Judah Robinson: "CNN, for its part, estimated the debate's viewership at 22.9 million. While Nielsen's number represents an estimated average for the full broadcast from 8 to 11:15 p.m., CNN only counted the time the candidates were on stage. The network also saw impressive numbers online, with an estimated 921,000 concurrent viewers on the site halfway through the debate." [HuffPost]

A DONALD TRUMP-JENNY MCCARTHY TICKET WOULD RUN AWAY WITH THE 'PARANOID IDIOT' VOTE - Trump spewed nonsense about vaccines and autism, Ben Carson and Rand Paul -- both physicians -- whiffed on chances to smack him down, and smart doctors noticed. Sabrina Tavernise and Catherine Saint Louis: "'I think it’s sad,' said Dr. Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, who said he cringed through the autism exchange at the end of the debate. 'I would have hoped -- since two of the discussants were physicians -- that there would have been a ringing discussion about safety and value of vaccines, and an affirmation of the schedule set out by the American Academy of Pediatrics.'” [NYT]

SAD CLOWN VISITS WASHINGTON - Jon Stewart has run into a brick wall called Congress. Michael McAuliff: "When Jon Stewart on Wednesday lobbied Congress on behalf of 9/11 responders, it stirred up the desired publicity. But any sense of hope the former 'Daily Show' host came away with, he said, came from the responders themselves. Because members of Congress did just the opposite." [HuffPost]

SUSAN COLLINS IS THE CAL RIPKEN OF THE SENATE - Niels Lesniewski: "Sen. Susan Collins’ impressive Senate vote streak hit a new marker Thursday. The Republican from Maine cast her 6,000th consecutive roll call vote on the second vote of the day. Her 'aye' vote came on a third attempt by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to limit debate on a measure disapproving of the international agreement with Iran regarding nuclear development…. The streak is something of a legend in Maine. Collins has made a habit of returning to Washington, D.C., early when there’s a risk that New England snowstorms could mettle with travel schedules to avoid missing even the most routine 'bed-check' votes on Monday evenings." [Roll Call]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Jeb Bush sparks joint, meme.

POOR JEB - Tom LoBianco: "Donald Trump said Thursday that Jeb Bush should have leaned on him harder to apologize to Columba, Bush's wife. The former Florida governor pressed Trump to say he was sorry in one of the most personal exchanges from CNN's Republican presidential debate, but he let the real estate developer off the hook. 'I thought he was going to push me harder to apologize to his wife,' Trump told MSNBC's 'Morning Joe.'" [CNN]

COMFORT FOOD

- Here is a picture of a seal surfing on top of a whale.

- Raccoon wants catfood.

- How pasta shells are made.

TWITTERAMA

@EvanMcSan: “dammit i want more substance!” he says to himself as he twists a dial toward “like” when a candidate praises a state he also likes

@JebBush: Sorry Mom

@elisefoley: I’m so glad the email with this subject line came from Obama and not my bosses or my dad.

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