HUFFPOST HILL - Guy Who Wants To Gut Entitlements Totally Electable

Today is National Hug A Newsperson Day, though doing so does technically violate the terms of Corey Lewandowski's release. Paul Ryan is absolutely not running for president, but on a totally unrelated note, he loves Israel, thinks our politics should be more conciliatory, and hopes your state committee chairman enjoyed that Edible Arrangement. And hundreds of journalists worked tirelessly to detail financial malfeasance by the global elite. For only $1 a week, you, too can subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, April 4th, 2016:

CHARLES KOCH PULLING FOR RYAN - Ryan Grim and Sam Stein: "Charles Koch is confident House Speaker Paul Ryan could emerge from the Republican National Convention as the party’s nominee if Donald Trump comes up at least 100 delegates shy, he has told friends privately. Koch believes Ryan would be a 'shoo-in' at a contested convention, should the campaign get to that point... As a source close to the brothers told the Huffington Post, they appreciate the agenda he has pursued as speaker, including opposition to tax extenders and heightened warnings against corporate welfare — positions that contrast with the admittedly vague portfolio pushed by Donald Trump. One source close to Ryan said he would only be interested in it if the party could unite behind him, a scenario he can’t envision. 'I don’t know what to tell you. He doesn’t want the nomination. And can you imagine the backlash from the Trump forces if someone who didn’t run for president wins the nomination? It would be complete chaos,' he said." [HuffPost]

Our half-hearted attempt to Vine this situation.

TED CRUZ FEELING A LITTLE THREATENED BY PAUL RYAN - Rosie Gray: "Ted Cruz warned establishment Republicans on Monday of a possible 'revolt' if they try to nominate a compromise candidate at the convention this summer. 'Washington doesn’t control what happens,' Cruz told reporters ahead of a taping of Megyn Kelly’s show here. 'The delegates control what happens.' 'This fevered pipe dream of Washington, that at the convention they will parachute in some white knight who will save the Washington establishment, it is nothing less than a pipe dream,' Cruz said. 'It ain’t gonna happen. If it did, the people would quite rightly revolt.' 'If over 80 percent of the delegates are Cruz delegates and Trump delegates, under what universe do 1000 Trump delegates or 1000 Cruz delegates go vote for some uber-Washington lobbyist who hasn’t been on the ballot?' Cruz said. Cruz didn’t name anyone in particular. But this morning, Politico’s Playbook reported that establishment Republicans were seriously considering Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as someone who could be nominated at the convention this summer, if none of the current candidates reach 1237 delegates in the primary and the convention is contested." [BuzzFeed]

"He's the most conservative, least establishment member of the establishment," a Republican source told Politico Playbook, referring to the man currently second in the line to the presidency.

Haircuts: Mike McAuliff (h/t Christina Wilkie), Igor Bobic (h/t Igor Bobic).

DELANEY DOWNER - World Socialist Web Site really brings it: "Tens of thousands of impoverished, unemployed adults were cut off food stamps Friday, the first wave of a social catastrophe that could affect more than one million people this year….. It is particularly noticeable that none of the presidential candidates of either capitalist party, including the self-proclaimed 'democratic socialist' Bernie Sanders, has made an issue of the food stamp cutoff that is plunging hundreds of thousands overnight into hunger and destitution." [WSWS.org]

Behold the most pointless campaign plant in history

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RACISTS DOING WHAT THEY CAN FOR TRUMP - Dana Liebelson: "The presidential candidate for the white nationalist American Freedom Party has resigned from the ticket, complaining that the party is committed to electing Donald Trump and toning down its 'white genocide' message to attract Trump supporters. Internal emails show he’s right. 'I’ve never had this happen,' said presidential contender and lifelong segregationist Bob Whitaker, in a statement emailed by his senior staffer to The Huffington Post on Friday. 'I’ve been in campaigns for fifty years, and I’ve never seen anything as screwed up as this.' His campaign added that the party’s 'continued focus on Trump’s campaign is impossible for Whitaker to work with.' AFP is a minor political party established by racist Southern California skinheads, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In his presidential campaign, Whitaker has been open about his view that racial diversity is a code word for genocide against white people. But recently, his party has neglected him in order to back Trump, whose rise party leaders see as an opportunity to bring AFP into the mainstream." [HuffPost]

SUPREME COURT TELLS CONSERVATIVE LEGAL ACTIVISTS TO JUST CHILL THE F OUT - Samantha Lachman: "Democrats and voting rights advocates won a huge victory at the Supreme Court on Monday with a unanimous decision preserving the way state legislative districts are currently drawn. In the case Evenwel v. Abbott, conservatives in Texas argued that the votes of eligible voters -- like themselves -- are unconstitutionally diluted because their state counts nonvoters when drawing its legislative districts. Specifically, Texas uses total population data, which includes children, inmates, disenfranchised ex-felons, noncitizen immigrants and others who are unable to vote. The appellants, backed by the activist nonprofit Project on Fair Representation, argued the state should be prohibited from drawing districts in the manner that it currently does. They proposed that the state should instead be required to draw districts by considering the total number of eligible voters or registered voters in a given area. A three-judge panel of a district court in Texas ruled against them in 2014, so they took their case to the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in December." [HuffPost]

REMEMBER: THE GOP HAS TO CHOOSE A VP, TOO - LOL, what if they just give it to Paul Ryan. Igor Bobic: "Presumably, if the convention settled on a candidate squarely on the first or second ballot, the delegates would defer to their candidate’s decision for a running mate. But if multiple ballots take place with no clear resolution, the backlash could spill over into the vote for the vice presidential nominee. One could for instance foresee a scenario in which Trump wins the n omination, but establishment forces push for a more palatable choice as their vice presidential nominee as a check against Trump’s candidacy in the general election." [HuffPost]

In case you missed the Libertarian Party debate, Playboy has a recap.

REPUBLICANS NOT DOWN WITH GAYS, PT. 205,678,910 - But Paul Ryan is sorry for "makers and takers," so it's a kinder party! Alex Isenstadt: "Republicans, already girding for their most tumultuous convention in decades, now have another fight brewing: a divisive battle over gay marriage on the party’s official national platform…Some of the party’s biggest financiers, attempting to transform the GOP’s approach, have been helping to bankroll the American Unity Fund, a group that has launched a well-organized, behind-the-scenes effort to lobby convention delegates who will draw up the platform. It is asking them to adopt language that would accommodate same sex marriage...Social conservatives, alarmed at what they view as an effort to topple a central tenet of their movement, are also gearing up. Last week, Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council president and a vocal opponent of same sex marriage, secured one of Louisiana’s two slots on the platform committee. Perkins, who also served on the committee in 2012, is expected to take the lead in litigating any efforts to change the party’s position." [Politico]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a dancing dog .

DONALD TRUMP HAS POOP ON FOX NEWS - Gabriel Sherman: "An odd bit of coincidence had given him a card to play against Fox founder Roger Ailes. In 2014, I published a biography of Ailes, which upset the famously paranoid executive. Several months before it landed in stores, Ailes fired his longtime PR adviser Brian Lewis, accusing him of being a source. During Lewis’s severance negotiations, Lewis hired Judd Burstein, a powerhouse litigator, and claimed he had “bombs” that would destroy Ailes and Fox News. That’s when Trump got involved. 'When Roger was having problems, he didn’t call 97 people, he called me,' Trump said. Burstein, it turned out, had worked for Trump briefly in the ’90s, and Ailes asked Trump to mediate. Trump ran the negotiations out of his office at Trump Tower. 'Roger had lawyers, very expensive lawyers, and they couldn’t do anything. I solved the problem.' Fox paid Lewis millions to go away quietly, and Trump, I’m told, learned everything Lewis had planned to leak. If Ailes ever truly went to war against Trump, Trump would have the arsenal to launch a retaliatory strike." [NYmag.com]


- Physicists have discovered a new state of matter.

- Artist uses bacteria as paint.


@xeni: I believe Trump is sick and suffering. I can feel compassion for him. But I'd no sooner elect him than hand my car keys to a toddler on meth

@mcckaycoppins: Day Five of the twitter fight between Trump fan and Cruz fan in my @ mentions is shaping up to be the most spirited day yet!

Hillary: "Donald Trump has said that the minimum wage is too high...”

Audience member: “He’s fired!"

Hillary: “He’s fired. That’s funny.”

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