HUFFPOST HILL - Debt Ceiling Is Stucco Kind, Treasury Says

Jeb Bush thinks the country would benefit from a localized recession in Washington, D.C., because nothing closes federal budget deficits like schadenfreude in flyover country. The Treasury Department says there's no way for the U.S. government to avoid defaulting on its debt without Congress raising the debt limit, advising Republicans that creditors won't accept a vial of John Boehner's tears as collateral. And House conservatives have their knives out for Paul Ryan because he's got a liberal immigration record the size of a cantaloupe. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, October 16, 2016:

WHEN DOES GOWDY SAY HOWDY? - Turns out Trey says hey only when there's a Clintonite that day. Jen Bendery: "Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) insists his Benghazi Committee investigation isn't about hurting 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the polls. It's about providing a definitive account of the 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya. But if you look at the witness interviews he's attended, and not attended, there is a clear theme: Gowdy is mostly there for the people directly connected to Clinton. A House Democratic aide familiar with the committee's process tells The Huffington Post that, as of Friday morning, there have been 53 interviews and depositions with witnesses called in for Gowdy's probe. The closed-door interviews are staff-led, said the aide, so when members do come, they are typically passive observers. Gowdy has attended fewer than 10 of the 53. He was there for Cheryl Mills, Clinton's chief of staff when she was secretary of state; Jake Sullivan, Clinton's former deputy chief of staff and current foreign policy adviser on her presidential campaign; Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton adviser; and Bryan Pagliano, a State Department staffer who managed Clinton's private email server. Whom didn't Gowdy go to hear? Three of the four diplomatic security agents who survived the terrorist attack. He also didn't attend interviews with CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell or former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn." [HuffPost]

Bloomberg's John Heilemann reports on growing Democratic revolt against DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

RAND PAUL'S QUICK RESPONSE TO A FIRST RESPONDER - Mike McAuliff: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) ran away from a 9/11 responder who approached him outside a Washington apartment building to talk about reauthorizing the 9/11 health treatment program, the man told The Huffington Post. Dan Moynihan, a former volunteer firefighter and ex-Marine who was at ground zero on Sept. 11, 2001, visited the capital this week to lobby lawmakers to pass a new bill to replace the expiring James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. On Thursday morning, Moynihan said he was leaving a building when he spotted the Republican presidential candidate in the lobby, talking on a cell phone. Since the dozens of visits that Moynihan and other 9/11 responders had made on Capitol Hill on Wednesday were with staffers, he took the chance to buttonhole Paul, who has so far declined to support a new bill. 'I said, 'Sen. Paul, could I have a moment of your time? I'd like to talk to you about the World Trade Center health bill,'' Moynihan said…. 'He literally jets out into two-way traffic, oncoming traffic.'" [HuffPost]

OH, SPEAKING OF 9/11... Jeb Bush is mad because Donald Trump mentioned how 9/11 happened during a Bush administration. @JebBush: How pathetic for @realdonaldtrump to criticize the president for 9/11. We were attacked & my brother kept us safe.

There's a miraculous new treatment for schizophrenia, but most medical professionals have never heard of it -- and the reason for that is terrible, reports Jonathan Cohn in an extensive new piece for HuffPost's Highline.

THIS SUCKER COULD GO DOWN - (Our favorite Leadership Quote.) Peter Schroeder: "With the House still clueless about who its next Speaker will be, Congress has just 10 legislative days to tackle a topic at the center of some of the most pitched fiscal battles of the last several years. The deadline was moved up Thursday by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who told Congress it has only until Nov. 3 to raise the government’s $18.1 trillion borrowing cap. Without a hike, the specter of a default on U.S. obligations looms large -- potentially setting the stage for significant market turmoil and dire consequences for America’s financial reputation across the globe. 'The first thing you’ll see is a market reaction,' said Doug Holtz-Eakin, head of the right-leaning American Action Forum and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. 'Then you’ve got dramatic impacts on consumer confidence, the world’s melting down again and they go into an economic fetal position … there’s just no good news there.'" [The Hill]

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) joined this week's HuffPost Politics Podcast and he said drinking craft beer reduces the U.S. trade deficit. We're not sure if that's true, but we're gonna wait till Monday to investigate. Thanks, Peter!

SORRY, YOUR PLAN TO PAY DEBT AND STIFF THE TROOPS, WHILE POLITICALLY VERY SMART, WON'T WORK - Nick Timiraos: "The U.S. Treasury Department rejected again on Friday the idea that so-called payment prioritization would provide a way for the U.S. to avoid a severe hit to its creditworthiness if Congress didn’t raise the federal borrowing limit before the Treasury runs out of cash….Some congressional Republicans have revived an old idea they say would avoid default that doesn’t require a full increase in the debt limit. They would allow the Treasury Department to borrow above the debt ceiling but only to pay bondholders and make payments related to Social Security benefits. It would essentially prioritize those payments ahead of others, such as salaries for federal workers, veterans’ benefits, and everything else that the government spends money on." Stiffing the troops! How has this idea even risen to this level? [WSJ]

"Governor Charlie Crist will make a major announcement Tuesday morning in St. Petersburg around 10:30 AM."

DELANEY DOWNER - Tatiana Cirisano: "In Anacostia, many locals know pizzeria Mama’s Kitchen on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE as more of a second home than a restaurant: Owners Musa Ulusan and his wife Fatima Nayir know all their customers by name and are known for acts of kindness like offering free pizza to those who can’t afford a meal. But as one of the only restaurants in the area without security cameras or bulletproof glass, Mama’s is also a frequent target for robbery. The restaurant has been robbed five times already this year. The most recent incident occurred Wednesday night while customers were still inside the store." [Washington City Paper]

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AMERICA'S NEXT TOP THETAN - The Daily Beast's Tim Mak: "The Church of Scientology may soon have a new ally in the U.S. Senate. Republican congressman and 2016 Senate candidate David Jolly’s district includes the town of Clearwater, Florida, which is home to the Flag Service Organization, the 'spiritual headquarters of Scientologists planetwide' and the organization’s 'Mecca.' It is Scientology’s largest church, situated in a complex spread out over a 'nine-mile grid' in the heart of downtown Clearwater. Given the large footprint of the church in his district, Jolly’s ties with Scientologists may have paid dividends on the local level -- but now that he’s running to represent the entire state of Florida, his connections with the controversial church may prove to be a liability. He’s received numerous donations from an infamous Scientologist doctor, attended rallies and fundraisers thrown by the church, and steadfastly refuses to distance himself from the group." [Daily Beast]

Paul Ryan doesn't want to be Speaker of the House, so some conservatives are planning to make him really not want to do it.

HILLARY WON THE DEBATE - According to our poll, per Natalie Jackson and Ariel Edwards-Levy: "Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate on CNN did what debates usually do, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. It allowed the two leading candidates to make a positive impression on an audience of millions. More critically, however, the debate allowed front-runner Hillary Clinton to boost her standing among a far bigger base of support, making her the clear winner in the eyes of most Democratic voters. A 55 percent majority of registered Democratic voters who watched the debate said Clinton won. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who saw a surge in online interest and fundraising, was a distant second, with only 22 percent saying he was the best of the night." [HuffPost]

PROBABLY NOT THE OUTCOME CONSERVATIVES WANTED - Amanda Terkel and Ryan Grim: "Fresh off a strong debate performance in Las Vegas this week, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is already digging in for her next big test: her testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, where Republicans are expected to grill her about her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. Clinton isn't going into this blindly. She has testified about the 2012 attack in Benghazi before, albeit in front of different committees. And she now has a model in someone who recently faced Republicans' ire and came out standing: Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, who went before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Sept. 29. 'Cecile was methodical, very straight forward, had a command of the information, was respectful, answered their questions even when they interrupted her, did not let herself get rattled,' a source close to the campaign said, referring to the repeated interruptions that became Internet fodder." [HuffPost]

Here's Jeb's plan to make America great again via therapeutic recession in Washington, D.C.

THIS IS ACTUALLY KINDA SAD - Harsh political analysis from Ted Nesi in Rhode Island: "The fallout from Tuesday night’s debate has former aides and allies privately despairing about the damage they think Lincoln Chafee is doing to his late father’s reputation, not to mention his own. And it’s led local observers to reflect on the rapid deterioration of the once-solid Chafee brand in the years since Lincoln Chafee was ousted from the U.S. Senate in 2006….'This has become some sort of cathartic exercise for him to attain some sort of vindication for the manner in which politics has treated Linc Chafee,' Bill Fischer, a veteran Democratic operative in Rhode Island, told WPRI.com. 'And in the end it’s looking quite self-absorbed, and he’s not prepared for the stage. He is not prepared for the stage. He doesn’t have the staff around him to do this.'" Get better, Lincoln… No seriously, please get better. [WPRI.com]

THANK YOU, DONALD TRUMP - Paige Lavender: "Trump and fellow Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson sent a letter to CNBC on Thursday threatening to not participate in the next GOP debate if it exceeded 120 minutes, including commercial breaks. In a tweet Thursday, Trump claimed CNBC had agreed to limit the debate to two hours." [HuffPost]

MITT ROMNEY SCOLDS TRUMP - Tsk tsk. Eugene Scott: "Despite Donald Trump's success in the polls, Mitt Romney said the Republican front-runner's 'hurtful' and 'childish' comments are going to make winning the primary and general election difficult for the GOP." [CNN]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel reviewed Donald Trump's hotel in Vegas.

SPOTTED AT LAST NIGHT'S HUFFPOST-CREDO HAPPY HOUR - Ari Rabin-Havt, Sabrina Siddiqui, Carissa Miller, Samantha Lachman, Usha Sahay, Paige Lavender, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Marina Fang, Sam Levine, Ashley Alman, Murshed Zaheed, Jennifer L. Bendery III, Dave Jamieson, Arthur, Ryan J. Reilly, Matt Ross, Mike Balabanov, Laura Barron-Lopez, Ali Watkins, Ryan Carey, Taylor Harvey, Lauren Carroll, Linda Qiu, Chase Anderson, Courage Kimber, Maribeth Sarnecki, Isabelle Longbottom esq., Edward Chode-en, "Emily Phelps," Michael Phelps, Sheldon Adelson, David Koch, Charles Koch, William Koch, Jack Donaghy, Carolyn Fiddler's haircut, Meghan Apfelbaum, Nirmal Mankani, Eliot Nelson needs a haircut (h/t his loved ones), Peter James m-fing Callahan, Lauren Weber, Who is Eliot Nelson?, Elizabeth Longbottom esq., Renee Ellmers, Sheryl Crow, Jason Linkins, Tupac Shakur, Elvis Presley, Jim Gilmore, Will Wrigley, Caitlin MacNeal, Lucy Beck, Cecile Richards, Gilbert Arenas, AC360, Jim Webb, Omer Farooque, Ruby Wellen, Joe Biden -- I'm running!, Christine Paulos, Igor Volsky, Brandon Lorenz, Jimmy Williams, Jesus Christ, Zach Carter, Gavin Holland, Josie Raphaelito, Hilary Andrews, Rebecca Guterman, Igor Bobic, Tammy "Eliot Nelson" Haddad, Saddam Hussein, Janie Valencia, Pope Francis, Igor Bobic, Liz Warren, Emily Swanson, Neil Sroka, Kua Walters, Don Trump, Benvenuto Cellini, Luke Johnson, Valerie Shen, Kristen Chenoweth. Here's how we 'spotted' these folks.


- Rescued kitten thinks it's a ferret.

- Watch Koko the Gorilla fall in love with a box of kittens.


@katherinemiller: "I probably won't be commenting on every single—"


"Every single thing that—"

"No, but look, is Biden—"

@meganamram: On Pangaea they ate salads with "1 Island dressing"! :-)

@ChuckGrassley: I'm at the Jefferson Iowa DairyQueen doing "you know what" !!!

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