HUFFPOST HILL - Terrifying Number Of Nevadans To Publicly Declare Support For Donald Trump

Today is National Toast Day, which John Kasich is observing by being white, bland and utterly cooked. President Obama put forward a plan to close Gitmo, saying "If you like your habeas corpus, you can keep it." And Senate Judiciary Republicans won't meet with President Obama's Supreme Court pick, because if there's one thing they've learned from reporters, it's that elected officials can walk around the Capitol freely without speaking to unwarranted solicitors. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016:

GOP NEVADA CAUCUS TONIGHT - Megan Cassella: "Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio aimed to outpoll rival Ted Cruz in Nevada's caucus on Tuesday to bolster his position as the establishment favorite for his party's nomination for the Nov. 8 election. Looming over the tight race between the two first-term Cuban-American U.S. senators is Republican front-runner Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman who has won two of the first three state nominating contests and is expected to dominate the field in Nevada. With Trump, a blunt-spoken political outsider, commanding a double-digit lead in a handful of Nevada opinion polls, political strategists in the state said Rubio and Cruz had the more modest goal: a clear win over the other, which could propel them through the busy voting month of March. 'They're playing for second,' said Nevada political analyst Jon Ralston." [Reuters]

LALALALA THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CAN'T HEAR YOUUUUUUUU - This ends with Orrin Hatch walking around the Capitol Complex with giant sunglasses and comically large Beats By Dre headphones. Amanda Terkel, Jen Bendery and Laura Barron-Lopez: "Senate Republicans on Tuesday launched an unprecedented blockade of President Barack Obama's yet-to-be-named Supreme Court pick, saying they won't give any nominee a hearing or even meet with the candidate. 'I don't know how many times we need to say this,' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters. 'The Judiciary Committee has unanimously recommended to me that we not hold a hearing. I don't know the purpose of such a visit. I would not be inclined to take one myself.' Supreme Court nominees typically make courtesy calls to senators, so that lawmakers can get to know them on a more personal level and question them in a more intimate setting. But on Tuesday, at least five senior Republican senators -- McConnell, John Barrasso (Wyo.), John Cornyn (Texas), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) -- said they won't participate in this tradition for an Obama nominee." [HuffPost]

Haircuts: Sara Bondioli

DELANEY DOWNER - Since January, members of the U.S. Senate have been negotiating a half-billion-dollar measure to help Flint, Michigan, remove lead pipes that have poisoned potentially thousands of children. That has changed. Senators involved in the negotiation said on Tuesday that their proposal isn't just about Flint anymore -- they also want to help communities that could face a similar fate. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) told reporters the measure would have a national scope "so other folks would be able to get some of these resources if they're similarly situated." Many cities in the U.S. have lead pipes just like Flint's. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 10 million American homes and businesses receive water from service lines that are at least partially made from lead -- a deadly neurotoxin that can cause a range of health problems, including permanent brain damage in small children. [w/ HuffPost's Laura Barron-Lopez]

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In bookstores never.

OBAMA PUT FORWARDS PLAN TO CLOSE GITMO - Wonder how much space this storyline will get at his presidential library. Jessica Schulberg: "The Pentagon released a long-anticipated plan outlining the steps the Obama administration will take to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The document released Tuesday morning contained few surprises and failed to remedy conflicts between President Barack Obama’s aspirations to shut down Guantanamo during his final year in office and legal restrictions imposed by Republicans in Congress that prevent the president from sending any of the remaining detainees to the U.S. It was released not because of a breakthrough agreement between the White House and Congress but because of a deadline set by lawmakers for “the details of a comprehensive strategy” on how to detain current and future people captured as part of the broad-reaching war on terror." [HuffPost]

TRUMP EXAGGERATES: SHOCKING REPORT - Susanne Craig and David Chen: "Mr. Trump has embraced his roots as a New Yorker as being crucial to his presidential bid, and in so doing, the Republican candidate has given the impression as he crossed the country that he is a force to reckon with in the city of his birth. But while Trump remains a visible brand name around the city’s five boroughs, it is much harder to discern his imprint as a classic power broker, someone who is feared and can make things happen with a phone call or a quiet aside with the right person at the right time. ..His real estate holdings in New York are modest; he did not make the top 10 in lists of major condominium developers and power players in real estate in the city...The major banks, for their part, say they are leery of lending to him after having lost millions of dollars on past deals." [NYT]

RUBIO TO SKIP CPAC - We keep telling ourselves the same thing every year. Rebecca Savransky: "The American Conservative Union (ACU), which hosts the event, said in a statement to Breitbart News that Rubio and his campaign have made a "rookie mistake," adding, however, that the Florida senator has a conservative record and high rating from the organization. 'Today the Rubio campaign informed ACU’s chairman that their candidate is unwilling to make time to meet with activists and answer their questions at CPAC 2016,' ACU said in the statement. 'Sen. Rubio cannot have it both ways: he cannot hope to be the inspirational leader of conservatives and at the same time hide at the very moments when activists who compose the heart and soul of the movement assemble and organize.' Rubio's spokesman, Alex Conant, said in an email to Breitbart News that 'we have not set our March schedule yet,' when asked why Rubio was skipping CPAC, which will be held from March 2 to 5 at National Harbor Maryland, near Washington, D.C." [The Hill]

BEN CARSON SAYS FALSE THING - Almost as bad as his statements about why the Roman Empire fell (they didn't have beards, Ben!). Glenn Thrush: "Carson, speaking during a half-hour sit-down with POLITICO’s “Off Message” podcast as he waited for the results of Saturday’s South Carolina primary (he finished sixth out of six), laid out his views on racism – and his belief that his experience as poor black kid in 1960s Detroit represents the real experience of his people in way that Barack Obama could never understand. 'He’s an ‘African’ American. He was, you know, raised white,' said the world-renowned neurosurgeon, whose single mother worked three jobs – and occasionally relied on government aid – to elevate Carson and his older brother from the grinding poverty of ghetto life." [Politico]

Ben Carson's internal monologue when someone's being obnoxious: "That used to be a cute little baby. I wonder what happened."

GLENN BECK'S QUIXOTIC MISSION - Namely, to completely untether himself from reality. Michael Calderone: "As Glenn Beck has campaigned for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the conservative host has repeatedly wielded a copy of a Don Quixote he claims was owned by George Washington... Beck pulled out the book again in recent days while stumping for Cruz in Nevada, according to reporters in attendance, and apparently gave it to an audience member to hold. But the museum at Mount Vernon, Washington's Virginia home, says the first president's copy of Don Quixote is stored safely in its collection. A Mount Vernon spokeswoman told HuffPost that it's in the rare books vault at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, the presidential library in Washington's home. Mount Vernon even displays images of the book on its website." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some pets dealing with stairs

BERNIE SANDERS' SUPPORTERS LIKE WEED - Not mentioned here: That a man named "Joe Birkenstock" is quoted in the piece. Michael Beckel: "The 29-year-old resident of Portland, Oregon, is marketing homemade ceramic pipes emblazoned with decals of Sanders’ head and campaign logo. Her pro-Sanders 'smoking ware' -- targeted at the 'Burners for Bernie' set -- sells for $60 apiece. And she advertises that 10 percent of her proceeds will benefit the self-described socialist from Vermont who has emerged as an unexpectedly serious challenger to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination...While most observers say political campaigns are unlikely to take legal action against their own supporters, attorneys say entrepreneurs open themselves to risk by using candidates’ names, likenesses or logos -- especially when promising to donate a specific portion of their sales." [CPI]

IT'S GETTING CHIPPY OUT THERE, FOLKS - Dave Jamieson: "Supporters of Bernie Sanders gathered at a union hall in Seattle for a 'Labor for Bernie' rally Sunday. Early in the event, attendees were told that one speaker wouldn't be taking the podium as planned. Jeff Johnson, the head of the Washington State Labor Council, had been pressured not to speak at the Democratic presidential candidate's event, an emcee told the crowd. A major international labor union had threatened to pull funding from Johnson's group if he did, the emcee said.Johnson's group is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, the premiere labor federation in the U.S. The AFL-CIO has not yet endorsed anyone for president, and until it does so, state councils like Johnson's are expected to stay in line and not publicly back any particular candidates." [HuffPost]


- The deeply upsetting reason why many millennials don't eat cereal.


@SonnyBunch: That thing where twitter is consumed with something and you are like ‘jfc, why, it does not matter.'

And then you remember nothing matters.

does donald trump have a ceiling?
does donald trump have a floor?
does donald trump have walls?
does donald trump have stainless steel appli

@SimonMaloy: "and that's why I'm endorsing Marco Rubio for president"

"thank you, Mitt, I welcome your support"

[in unison] "hah, terrific"

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