POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Marco Rubio, PuppyMonkeyBaby Vie For Title Of America's Most Annoyingly Repetitive Thing

We’re glad that everyone else is on board with our assessment of Marco Rubio’s public speaking, which, as we see it, falls somewhere between “overly earnest student government candidate” and “time share salesperson whose heart isn’t really in it.” Jeb Bush will replace Obama's doctrine of apologizing for America with the Jeb! doctrine of apologizing for literally everything. And Tim Geithner is getting a loan from JPMorgan -- it’s almost like the entire Wall Street bailout was just one elaborate scheme to help him pay for heated bathroom tiles. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, February 8th, 2016:

@ryanstruyk: NEW: Poll from CNN/WMUR/UNH just out from New Hampshire.

Trump 31
Rubio 17
Cruz 14
Kasich 10
Bush 7
Fiorina 5
Christie 4
Carson 3

JEB BUSH SOMEHOW MAD ABOUT CITIZENS UNITED - To be fair, it hasn't really worked for him. Paul Blumenthal: "Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush wants to get rid of the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, but it's not because he's worried about too much money in the political system. No, he wants to let all those wealthy donors to super PACs just send their unlimited checks directly to the candidates' campaigns. 'If I could do it all again, I'd eliminate the Supreme Court ruling,' Bush told CNN on Monday. 'This is a ridiculous system we have now where you have campaigns that struggle to raise money directly and they can't be held accountable for the spending of the super PAC that's their affiliate.' The former Florida governor's statement might sound odd since he has likely benefited more from the Citizens United decision than any other presidential candidate. He directly raised some $100 million for his Right to Rise USA super PAC while pretending not to run for president last year. Most of that money came from donors giving well in excess of the $5,400 limit on contributions to official campaign committees -- such as Bush's once he formally acknowledged he was running in June 2015." [HuffPost]


When your establishment dream candidate loses steam for robotically repeating the same talking point.

RICK SNYDER DECLINES TO BE PINATA - Melissa Nann Burke: "Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has declined an invitation to testify before a committee of congressional Democrats this week about the lead contamination of drinking water in Flint. 'He declined to testify on Wednesday, as he will be presenting his fiscal year 2017 budget recommendation in Lansing,' spokeswoman Anna Heaton said. Wednesday’s budget presentation had been planned for at least a month." [Detroit News]

Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel caught up with some female Bernie Sanders supporters to get their thoughts on whether they are traitors who are going to hell.

DELANEY DOWNER John Wisely: "Flint's next financial blow could be a sharp decline in property values and eventually tax revenues because of lead-poisoned water. Property tax assessments are being mailed this month and when Flint's Board of Review convenes in March, property owners can seek tax reductions to reflect lower values. Every successful appeal will reduce property tax revenue, which last year brought Flint $19.7 million -- about 23% -- of the city's $81 million in general revenue. That money helps pay for services such as police, fire and ambulance protection." [Detroit Free Press]

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LET'S GET READY FOR CLINTON CAMPAIGN SHAKEUP TAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLK - Microtargeting! We need more microtargeting! Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni: "Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign’s messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what’s expected to be a loss in Tuesday’s primary here, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation. The Clintons -- stung by her narrow victory in Iowa -- had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told POLITICO. The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 – when Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials – before her surprise win here bailed out her beleaguered staff. Over time, however she slowly layered over top officials, essentially hiring old hands – like Hillaryland stalwart Maggie Williams and pollster Geoff Garin – to run the campaign while the previous staff were quietly relegated to subsidiary positions. It’s not clear if that will happen again, but several people close to the situation said Clinton would be loathe to fire anyone outright and more inclined to add new staff." [Politico]

Bill Clinton said Bernie Sanders lives in a box.

RUBIOLAND REELING FROM DEBATE PERFORMANCE - Matt Fuller, reporting from New Hampshire: "New London resident Paul Licari -- who said he was deciding among Kasich, Rubio and Christie -- described the exchange this way: 'Christie was on it.' Even Rubio’s strongest allies were a little taken aback by the Florida senator resorting to the same canned line criticizing President Barack Obama after Christie called him on doing just that. Eddie Foye of Hookset told HuffPost he has been impressed with Rubio since the first time he heard him speak as a senator, and he’s been a Rubio supporter from early in the presidential race. And even though Foye came away from the debate exchange disliking Christie more, he admitted he was surprised at how poorly Rubio had handled the situation." [HuffPost]

RUBIO MEETING PEOPLE - Michael Barbaro: "A middle-age gay man confronted Senator Marco Rubio here on Monday over his opposition to same-sex marriage, pointedly asking, 'Why do you want to put me back in the closet?' 'I don’t,' Mr. Rubio replied. “You can live any way you want'.... A different patron in the same restaurant, a 92-year-old woman, asked Mr. Rubio about the personal life of Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. 'He’s a bachelor, right?' the woman asked. 'He is,' Mr. Rubio said. Then she asked, 'Is he gay?' Mr. Rubio chuckled. 'No,' he replied." [NYT]

If Jeb Busy can't keep us safe by chucking snowballs at journalists, how can we expert him to stand up to Putin?

KASICH CIRCULATING DUBIOUSLY POSITIVE POLL - Also, a poll conducted by our subconscious last night found that we are the center of the universe and continuously show up to our 11th grade history class in our underwear. Alex Isenstadt: "An internal poll conducted on Sunday suggests that Marco Rubio’s fumbled debate performance has damaged his prospects heading into the New Hampshire primary. The poll, conducted by the pro-John Kasich New Day for America Super PAC, shows Rubio plummeting to fourth place in the primary here, with 10 percent of the vote. Most of the polling conducted in the immediate days before the debate showed Rubio in second place...Donald Trump holds a wide lead in the survey, receiving 35 percent. He more than doubles runner-up Kasich, who has 15 percent. In third is Jeb Bush, with 13 percent. Behind Rubio in fifth and sixth place, respectively, are Christie and Ted Cruz. Both receive 8 percent." [Politico]

Speaking of dubious: "A tattoo parlor in Bernie Sanders's home state of Vermont is giving away free tattoos of Sanders's distinctive hair and glasses, and people 'feeling the Bern' are lining up for them. Aartistic Inc., a tattoo shop with locations in Montpelier and Winooski, Vermont, started offering the tattoos January 28. So far Aartistic artists have tattooed more than 50 people, tattoo artist and Aartistic owner Tyre DuVernay told Mashable." [Vox]


Bern

AMERICA NOT GREAT, PHOTOS SUGGEST - Jessica Schulberg: "The Pentagon on Friday begrudgingly released 198 photos showing abuse of detainees held by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan during the George W. Bush administration. The afternoon dump of photos, in response to a 2004 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, is only a fraction of the 2,000 torture-related photographs the ACLU has sought. Nonetheless, it's the first time the military has agreed to release any of the contested images...The images released Friday are mostly closeup pictures of cuts, scars, or bruises on unidentified men. Some show prisoners handcuffed. In most images, the Pentagon redacted identifying features, such as prisoners’ eyes, but also blacked out parts of their bodies that do not appear to be identifying." [HuffPost]

TIM GEITHNER RICH - Maybe Hank Paulson swooped in and said a nice word or two. Miles Weiss and Kiel Porter: "Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is preparing to borrow from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to help fund his new career in private equity. Geithner, 54, secured a credit line with JPMorgan, one of the largest banks he oversaw during the financial crisis, to finance personal investments in funds started by his current employer, Warburg Pincus, according to a filing with the New York Department of State. He is borrowing money to invest in a $12 billion private equity fund that the firm raised in November, its first main fund since he joined almost two years ago, a person familiar with the situation said." [Bloomberg]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a dog ruining a hamster's day.

HOW MIKE TYSON APPEARED ON YOUR TEEVEES LAST NIGHT -
"The 30-second television ad, appearing just before halftime in this year’s Super Bowl in a few East Coast states, is part of a multi-year campaign by Washington area plumbing and heating company Michael and Son Services to generate media attention without paying for a national ad. Ads that run regionally can be significantly cheaper than the national ones...Springfield, Va.-based ESB Advertising shot the ad at the Sphinx Club, in the basement of a colorful, temple-like building on K Street Northwest. Extras were recruited off the street as business closed on a Thursday evening. [Disclosure: This reporter was one of the extras.] Mansour even negotiated language in the contract requiring Mike Tyson to post about the ad on his personal social media account." [WaPo]

COMFORT FOOD

- How to do wedding photos.

- The laws … of space.

TWITTERAMA

@JeffYoung:
bae: come over
rubio: can't. gotta recite lines from my stump speech
bae: I have a lectern
rubio: getting on my bus!

@kate_sheppard: Starting to realize that skills that make you a good reporter make you a creeper in other contexts

@darth: will vote for the candidate that ends every tweet with GOOD DAY SIR

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