POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Jeb Still Around

Donald Trump is staying in New York this weekend instead of campaigning in snowy New Hampshire, because whoa whoa whoa, most New Yorkers assumed New Hampshire was a few stops north of Yonkers on Metro North. Several women were electioneering for Bernie Sanders on Tinder, prompting the dating app to suspend their accounts and our brains to bring back unsavory memories of 1-900-STROM-4U. And Jeb Bush told New Hampshire voters "I totally trust you" before crossing his arms, closing his eyes and falling backwards onto a 20-year-old Duke sophomore named Bret. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, February 5th, 2016:

REPUBLICANS MIGHT, OR MIGHT NOT, DO A BUDGET - Possibly. Niels Lesniewski and Lindsey McPherson: With President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address in the rear view mirror, Republicans gathering at the Inner Harbor this week will have the 2016 elections on their minds. And that includes how to best set up the GOP for the next year should elections go their way, up and down the ballot. 'We can look at 2017 and where do we want to go, and what needs to be finished this year,' Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Lankford said ahead of the annual issues retreat. 'There are rare moments in Congress to be able to lift up and look at the horizon. And my hope is that we’ll be able to look on the horizon and say where is it that we need to go and what are the specific steps to be able to get there, on policy issues not on politics.' Key to that broader view, several members said, is passing a budget resolution that would give Republicans more say on fiscal matters. House budget leaders say they plan to mark up a resolution by the end of February, but it’s unclear yet whether the Senate will pass its own resolution. If both chambers pass and reconcile a budget, they can use reconciliation instructions -- a budget tool that allows the Senate to pass legislation without threat of a filibuster -- to send GOP priority legislation to President Obama, or even the next president. 'We haven’t gamed that out yet,' Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune said." [Roll Call]

JEB PLODS ON - Sam Stein and Scott Conroy: "A New Hampshire-style barbecue featuring an array of Dunkin Donuts Munchkins and a Box O’ Joe rested untouched on a folding table next to the rows of subdued primary voters seated in neat rows. Most in the crowd of a couple hundred were of the gray-haired persuasion, and they listened intently and politely as Jeb Bush wrapped up another wonky, sprawling stump speech here earlier this week. The energy in the basement conference room of the Margate Hotel was as flat as the funeral home-style wallpapering, but the former Florida governor appeared unbowed as always. It’s a sunny disposition he's carried with him day in and day out, even as he struggles to revive a candidacy that has been moribund for months and is now on life support. 'I trust you entirely,' Bush told his steely faced New Hampshire audience. 'I totally trust you. The pundits have already written the story. They’re already saying it’s over. They’re talking about this in the past tense. That’s not true. You all have a chance to decide next Tuesday how you want our country to look.'" The walls are really closing in on this guy. [HuffPost]


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WHAT TIME DOES THE SUPERBOWL MATTER? Jason Linkins goes existential: "The intrinsic value of Super Bowl 50, conceptually, will never matter more than it does right now. Your imagination can accommodate the idea that an ideal Super Bowl is possible. You can take some comfort in the notion that the unobserved Super Bowl that only exists in your semi-conscious mind, and on your terms alone, will be an experience that fulfills you. Here and now, Super Bowl 50 could not be more precious. The moment it becomes possible to begin observing Super Bowl 50 (or Super Bowl L, if you prefer) -- 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time on February 7 -- the value of the ideal Super Bowl 50 (or "L") will begin to depreciate. You will spend the next few hours, bearing witness to mankind's inherent flaws. Possibilities will begin to restrict themselves. Expectations will go unmet. The infinite spectacle that you once imagined was possible, will prove itself to be quotidian and earth-bound, like so many other experiences you once imagined for yourself. 'What a good game!' you might say, afterwards. But deep down, you'll understand that at best, you will be describing one more moment of your life that was, at best, adequate." [HuffPost]

HuffPost Hiccup: Yesterday we stated that it was January 4th. This was incorrect: time is construct we apply to a dimension to make ourselves feel as if our lives have direction and purpose. They don't. We apologize for the mistake.

DELANEY DOWNER - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has said he didn't know about an uptick in deadly Legionnaires' disease around Flint until this year, but newly released emails show a Snyder aide had been warned last March. Snyder's office said the agency that has already accepted blame for much of the Flint water crisis dropped the ball on the Legionnaires' disease issue and nobody told the governor about it. The Michigan Democratic Party has now called on Snyder to resign. In a March 2015 email obtained by the liberal watchdog group Progress Michigan, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's spokesman told Snyder aide Harvey Hollins that more than 40 cases of Legionnaires' had been reported since the previous April, when Snyder's administration oversaw Flint's switch to the Flint River as its water source. "That's a significant uptick -- more than all the cases in the last five years or more combined," the spokesman, Brad Wurfel, said in the email to Hollins, the governor's director of urban initiatives. Oh well. [HuffPost]

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TRUMP JUST GONNA NETFLIX & CHILL THIS WEEKEND - Instead of doing events in New Hampshire this weekend, The Donald reported via Twitter that he'll be staying home in New York with his New York values. "Big storm in New Hampshire. Moved my event to Monday. Will be there next four days." Campaigning is hard.

CHRIS CHRISTIE VOWS TO PUT MOVES ON NANCY PELOSI - Sam Stein: "Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) on Friday pledged to be a charmer of a president, dispensing airplane rides and chocolate gifts to recalcitrant Democrats in order to win their votes. 'Nancy Pelosi would be on Air Force One every time she turns around,' Christie said of his tactical approach to Hill outreach. 'Come on Nancy. Let’s go take a ride. Take the M&M’s. It will be fun, I don’t care.' 'If I’m president, I will be given the greatest tools to be able to do this that anybody has had in their life, the greatest home field advantage ever,' Christie added. 'You have the White House, Camp David, Air Force One, Marine One, if you can’t persuade somebody to do something with all that, you are in the wrong business. Right now I’m just doing it on my charm and good looks for God’s sake.'" [HuffPost]

BEN CARSON GOT CLOTHES, SAW WIFE - Christina Wilkie: "Ben Carson on Friday defended his decision to leave Iowa on the night of its caucus and fly to Florida to get clean clothes. 'I had been on the road for almost three weeks, and I wanted to get a fresh change of clothes. Is that a crime?' Carson said during an appearance on ABC's 'The View.' He said he also wanted to see his wife, Candy Carson. 'I never get to see her. Is it a crime for us to be able to go home and spend a night together in our own home?'" [HuffPost]

SORRY, BUT TALK OF BERNIE SANDERS IS NOT GOOD FOREPLAY -. Melissa Fares: "Stumping for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Tinder is getting some women banned from the online dating app after sending campaign messages to prospective matches. Two women - one from Iowa and the other from New Jersey - confirmed to Reuters on Friday that they received notices from Tinder in the previous 24 hours that their accounts were locked because they had been reported too many times for peppering men on the site with messages promoting Sanders' candidacy. Robyn Gedrich, 23, said she sent messages to 60 people a day for the past two weeks trying to convince them to support the U.S. senator from Vermont in his race for the Democratic nomination against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 'Do you feel the bern?' her message to other Tinder users read, parroting a Sanders campaign slogan. 'Please text WORK to 82623 for me. Thanks.'" [Reuters]

Bernie Sanders will also be in New York this weekend to appear on Saturday Night Live with Larry David.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a petrified child -- literally.

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE HUMAN BEINGS - During work periods, at least. Reid Ribble explained to Delaney how playing with his grandsons after Christmas contributed to his decision not to seek another term. "We played out in the snow and did all the things that granddads and grandsons love to do," he said. "And when I was getting ready to come back to Washington, D.C., they took me to the airport and my oldest grandson kinda grabbed me around the neck, and he was crying and he did not want to have me go back to Washington, D.C." Aw. [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Politicians should be on the lookout for flying pink dildos.

- The citizenship status of babies born mid-flight.

TWITTERAMA

@LOLGOP: It's really hard to believe that Ted Cruz grew up in a world where John Hughes movies exist.

@emmaroller: this is probably not an original idea at all, but "Kicker TK" would make a great headstone

@Bencjacobs: In the past hour, both Ben Carson and Jim Gilmore have appeared in the Radisson bar in Manchester. Only one of them was recognized.

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