HUFFPOST HILL - Huddled Masses Yearning To Be Free Having Worst Week In Washington

Rep. Jeff Duncan says he can’t be a racist because he had a black roommate, which, as a way of proving his civil rights bona fides, is only a step up from saying he watched “12 Years A Slave” and shook his head disapprovingly. Until today, we hadn’t realized that “The Depths of Bobby Jindal’s Self Loathing” would be a great name for a Smith’s song, but then the son of immigrants closed his state to Syrian refugees. And Steve King said Ted Cruz is “the candidate who is the answer to my prayers, the candidate who God will use to restore the soul of America,” which is probably what Ted Cruz says every time he looks in a mirror. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, November 16th, 2015:

ISIS WANTS TO KILLS US - Whatever, ISIS bros. Apparently nobody told you that America's center is actually in Iowa. "Islamic State warned in a new video on Monday that countries taking part in air strikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as France, and threatened to attack in Washington….The message to countries involved in what it called the 'crusader campaign' was delivered by a man dressed in fatigues and a turban, and identified in subtitles as Al Ghareeb the Algerian. 'We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day, God willing, like France's and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington,' the man said." [Reuters]

France is putting together a coalition to go after ISIS; Obama says no ground war.

TERRORIST ATTACK LEAD TO POSSIBLE SHUTDOWN CRISIS - Then again, someone farting on an airplane leads to a shutdown crisis, so make of this what you will. Laura Barron-Lopez: "Three days after terror attacks hit Paris, top Republicans in Congress threatened to exhaust all legislative tools at their disposal to stop the resettlement of thousands of Syrian refugees into the U.S. Newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he would consider attaching a measure to halt the flow of refugees to an omnibus government funding bill that needs to pass Congress by Dec. 11. Doing so would complicate efforts to meet the deadline, and increase chances of a government shutdown just days before Congress plans to recess for the holidays. Citing the Paris attacks as a reason to re-evaluate the administration’s policy on Syrian refugees, Ryan talked about one of the assailants in particular, who appeared to have traveled through Greece in October on his way to France. Reports indicate that the passport of a Syrian refugee was found near the body of the attacker, and the Greek government confirmed it was used by someone to pass through Leros, Greece." [HuffPost]

FLASHBACK: - Ryan in September: "I think the president is getting the right policy. I think he's doing the right thing now," Ryan said Monday on "CBS This Morning."

PLEASE CAN WE KILL THE BAD GUYS - Michael Calderone: "CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta took an unusually blunt approach Monday in questioning President Barack Obama about why the United States has not destroyed the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS or Daesh. 'A lot of Americans have this frustration that they see the United States has the greatest military in the world, it has the backing of nearly every other country in the world when it comes to taking on ISIS,' Acosta said. 'I guess the question is, and if you'll forgive the language, but why can't we take out these bastards?'"

Haircuts: Priscilla Alvarez (h/t Marina Koren)

DELANEY DOWNER - Residents of Flint, Michigan, are suing over dangerous lead levels in their tap water resulting from state and local efforts to save money by switching the city's water supply last year. "In their short-sighted effort to save a buck, the leaders who were supposed to be protecting Flint’s citizens instead left them exposed to dangerously high levels of lead contamination," Michael Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU of Michigan, said in a release…. Several Flint families last week filed a separate lawsuit against local and state governments seeking class-action status in federal court. Lead poisoning, whether from water or paint chips, can cause physical and permanent neurological harm. Children are particularly vulnerable. Last year, Flint officials and an emergency manager appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) switched the city's water supply from Detroit's system to the Flint River. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality admitted last month that it had failed to implement proper corrosion controls, and the new water wound up leaching dangerous amounts of lead from city pipes." [HuffPost]

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RED STATES ON HIGH TERRORIST ANCHOR BABY ALERT - And who knows how many of them will build Ground Zero mosques? Elise Foley: "A number of Republican governors said Sunday and Monday that they will block Syrian refugees from resettling in their states, based on concerns about terrorism after attacks in Paris last week. The states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said his state will block funding for resettling Syrian refugees but doesn't have the power to prevent them from coming. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), a presidential candidate, said Monday that the U.S. should not admit Syrian refugees, but stopped short of saying he would refuse to allow them into his state. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan was the sole Democrat to say she opposed resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S., although she, like Kasich, did not specifically say they would be blocked from her state." [HuffPost]

Not sure states can do this, per the Constitution.

Obama in Turkey: "As president, my first priority is the safety of the American people, and that's why even as we accept more refugees, including Syrians, we do so only after subjecting them to rigorous screening and security checks…[people should] remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves." [HuffPost's Elise Foley]

Naturally: "Republican presidential candidates are voicing strong opposition in the wake of Friday's deadly attacks in Paris to President Barack Obama's plan to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees to enter the United States over the next year…'It would be the height of foolishness to bring in tens of thousands of people including jihadists that are coming here to murder innocent Americans,' [Ted Cruz] said." [HuffPost]

Free markets, except for this: "Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), a GOP presidential candidate, is proposing a bill to halt visas from all countries with "significant jihadist movements" in light of Friday night's terror attacks in Paris for which Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility. " [The Hill]

@Hadas_Gold: Times-Picayune apologizes for earlier tweet which said “no words” in a RT of Jindal action on Syrian refugees

REPUBLICANS RECKLESSLY ASKED TO SPEND MONEY ON THINGS THAT DON'T BLOW UP OTHER THINGS - Matt Fuller, in his debut for HuffPost as our newest congressional reporter: "A prominent conservative group led by a former top House GOP staffer is urging Republicans to welcome additional government spending in three key domestic areas: medical research, education and infrastructure. Neil Bradley, the former deputy chief of staff for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and now the chief strategy officer for the Conservative Reform Network, is telling Republicans they should use the extra $25 billion available for domestic spending in the next year in a targeted way. Democrats and Republicans already agreed to additional domestic and defense spending in a budget bill that passed at the end of October. And Bradley says that while Republicans have been focused on adding different riders to a year-end spending measure -- such as language that would block Planned Parenthood funding or block Syrian refugees from coming to the United States -- it's just as important that conservatives play a part in which programs get extra dollars." [HuffPost]

@RepJeffDuncan: @athenahollow racist? Really? You don't even know me. I had an African-American roommate for 3 years. Don't know many "racists" wo do that?

BUT IS IT GOOD FOR THE CRUZ? AMERICA'S FOREMOST JINGOIST EDITION - Igor Bobic: "Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Monday endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for president, a major get for the presidential hopeful in the early caucus state of Iowa. 'I believe Ted Cruz is the candidate who is the answer to my prayers, the candidate who God will use to restore the soul of America,' King said in a Des Moines press conference. The congressman, an influential voice among conservatives, praised Cruz for his 'unmatched intellect grounded in Constitutionalism," his commitment to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and his desire to toughen enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border. He said he reached his decision Friday, after traveling to Serbia with a congressional delegation amid Europe's refugee crisis. King and Cruz, both social conservatives, recently built on their rapport by hunting pheasants together in Iowa." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a puppy getting even.


- Replacing the effects from the "Star Wars" trailer with mouth noises.

- Eat whatever you want this Thanksgiving.


@JGreenDC: Did we manage to utilize all the annoying headline styles to drop our takes on the Syria refugees angle?

@mobute: me: [looking up from eating a bucket of cat barf with a spoon] oh, david frum wrote about europe and islam? reading that seems really good

@mollyesque: Million dollar idea: a vegan restaurant called The Apple Store.

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