HUFFPOST HILL - Paul Ryan: I'm In

Paul Ryan, refusing his party’s presidential nomination, said it should go to someone who participated in the primary -- clearly laying the groundwork for Draft Jim Gilmore. President Obama receives “Game of Thrones” screeners, though he insists he has not discussed DOJ’s Clinton email investigation with them. And Bono appeared on the Hill today, though not to answer for his complicity in forcing iTunes users to download that crappy U2 album. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, April 12th, 2016:

PAUL RYAN P90X'S OUT PRESIDENTIAL BID - So he's running. Erica Werner: "House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday definitively ruled out a bid for president this year, insisting that the party's choice should emerge from the group of candidates who pursued the GOP nomination. 'Count me out,' he said. In a brief news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, the Wisconsin Republican sought to tamp down rampant speculation that he could end up as the party's standard-bearer if front-runner Donald Trump and the other candidates flame out at a contested convention. 'We have too much work to do in the House to allow this speculation to swirl or have my motivations questioned,' said Ryan, who was the 2012 vice presidential nominee. 'Let me be clear: I do not want, nor will I accept, the Republican nomination.' Ryan's comments come as a contested convention looks likelier by the day. Ryan and his aides have continually denied the speaker has presidential ambitions this year, but their statements have not put the issue to rest. That's partly because Ryan also denied he wanted to be speaker last fall after then-Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation, but he ended up with the job anyway." [AP]

We give this statement four-and-a-half out of five possible General Shermans.

HUFFPOST HILL FACTS OF LIFE: Paul Ryan is made of 60 percent water.

The GOP nomination is broken. You know what else was broken? Salt Lake City’s shot at a Winter Olympics.

TOP REPUBLICANS MIGHT SKIP CONVENTION - Manu Raju and Dierdre Walsh: "A number of high-profile Republicans, fearful of a potential melee in Cleveland this summer, are considering skipping the Republican National Convention and campaigning back home instead. With the presidential campaign hitting a fever pitch and Donald Trump warning about riots if he's denied the nomination, some House and Senate Republicans tell CNN that it makes more sense to spend time with voters back home rather than be associated with the drama engulfing their party. But even some leading party stalwarts are planning to skip the convention. Asked Tuesday if he'd attend the convention, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told CNN: 'No.' 'Unlikely,' GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte said when asked if she'd be in Cleveland in the midst of her tough bid for a second term. 'I've got a lot of work to do in New Hampshire, I have my own re-election and I'm going to be focusing on my voters in New Hampshire.'" [CNN]

TRUMP FACES CHALLENGE WITH B&T CROWD - Make Green Lights emanating from East Egg great again. Nicholas Confessore: "On Long Island, many remember Donald J. Trump from before he was a reality television star, a presidential candidate or a serial provocateur. He was the builder of shining towers just west over the horizon in the city. The shrewd buyer of New Jersey casinos. The can-do tycoon who fixed up Central Park’s ice skating rink when the chuckleheads downtown could not…Long Island looms as a test of his broader appeal to suburban Republicans, a crucial constituency in national elections, but one that has turned against Mr. Trump in states like Iowa, North Carolina and Virginia. Demographically speaking, Long Island is both hostile territory and Mr. Trump’s breadbasket. The densely settled bedroom communities of Nassau County are some of the wealthiest and best educated in the United States, home to stockbrokers and accountants, the kind of place where he has struggled in earlier nominating contests." [NYT]

DELANEY DOWNER - Six months after the government told people in Flint, Michigan, to use bottled water for drinking and cooking, new research shows that what’s coming out of their taps remains unfit for human consumption. A recent round of sampling shows lower levels of poisonous lead contaminating Flint’s water, but the amount of lead is still above what the Environmental Protection Agency considers acceptable for a public water system. “People have to continue using bottled water and filters until further notice,” Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech researcher who led the sampling effort, said Tuesday morning at a press conference at the university. Lead is a handy pipe material that also happens to be a deadly neurotoxin. [HuffPost]

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NORTH CAROLINA DIALS THE DISCRIMINATION DOWN FROM 11 - ... to ten. Valerie Bauerlein and Jon Kamp: "Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that he will seek to roll back some provisions of a new state law that limits antidiscrimination protections for lesbians, gays and transgender people in an attempt to 'affirm and improve' the state’s commitment to equality after weeks of protest, including some corporations dropping plans to invest in North Carolina. But Mr. McCrory said he was standing by a 'common-sense' provision of the law requiring transgender people to use the public bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate. Mr. McCrory issued an executive order that sought to unwind and clarify aspects of a law he signed March 23. He affirmed the ability of private businesses and local government entities to establish their own antidiscrimination policies for their employees and expanded state equal employment policy to include sexual orientation." [WSJ]

SCOTT WALKER WANTS TO TALK ABOUT FOOD STAMPS - In a letter to members of Congress, today Walker and some other Republican governors endorsed legislation by Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) to let states drug test people on food stamps, currently not allowed. "Since SNAP and other welfare programs typically have job training requirements as a core element," Walker writes, "we write today to express our sincere confidence that drug testing recipients of SNAP benefits is not only lawful, but will aid in our ability to move individuals off of this welfare program and back into the workforce as productive members of their communities." To recap: Walker is confident that SNAP drug testing is lawful, but just to make sure he is endorsing this bill that would its lawfulness explicit.

WHAT MIKE LEE'S LEADERSHIP BID MEANS - Evergreen tl;dr: the GOP continues to move to the right. Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim: "In interviews on Tuesday, several Republican senators rejected Lee’s bid to join GOP leadership and challenge Mitch McConnell’s interpretation of the conference's term limits. Meanwhile conservative groups began lining up behind Lee, turning his bid for the GOP’s No. 4 slot into a referendum on the struggle between Republican insurgents and the party establishment...It’s true Lee has become something of an ideas factory for the GOP by proposing sweeping criminal justice and tax reform, making the RPC job and its think tank sensibilities a natural fit for the Utah senator. But whether rank-and-file senators are ready to dismantle their leadership team is another matter entirely." [Politico]

Bono was on the Hill today, telling senators to dispatch Amy Schumer to Syria, because sure.

GOVERNMENT'S REALLY ACHING FOR LETHAL INJECTION DRUGS - We're getting closer and closer to the day when we start strapping condemned prisoners to futuristic gurneys and direct a slow moving, James Bond villain-esque laser at their crotches. Mark Berman: "Virginia may soon become the latest state to shield the identities of companies that supply drugs for lethal injections, a move Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) paints as necessary if the state wants to continue carrying out executions. This comes as the secrecy surrounding lethal injections is growing, even as the number of executions and death sentences in the United States continues to decline. For those states trying to carry out death sentences, struggles to obtain drugs and difficulties finding suppliers have led to laws that hide the names of these suppliers, which in turn prompted court challenges. Take Arkansas, Missouri and Ohio, three states that illustrate the current environment for officials still looking to carry out executions -- and offer a glimpse of what could lay ahead for Virginia if it adopts the new legislation." [WaPo]

NEBRASKA MAKING POSSIBLE TIED ELECTORAL COLLEGES HARDER - Amber Phillips: "Nebraska is one of only two states to split its electoral college by congressional district. That last quirk might change very soon. A bill looks set to pass the state legislature as soon as Tuesday that would make Nebraska a winner-takes-all state by the next presidential election. Its passage is not a given, but there's a good possibility. That would mean that never again -- or at least not in the foreseeable future -- could a Democrat hope to take an electoral vote out of Nebraska as Barack Obama did in 2008 when he won the Omaha-based 2nd Congressional District." [WaPo]

Reminder that being president is really, really cool: "Game of Thrones had its big fancy season premiere party this weekend. And as there is with any big fancy premiere party, there was a red carpet outside before things got underway. And as there is with any red carpet before a big fancy premiere party, there were questions lobbed at the cast from a throng of microphone-wielding reporters. And as part of said question lobbing, we might have just learned something very interesting: President Obama might be the only non-HBO employee in the world who has seen screeners of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season." [Uproxx]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a dog who loves petting.

LET'S NAME KIM DAVIS TO THE POST - She won't have to marry any gays. CNN: "It was one of the worst kept secrets in Washington or Rome: Pope Francis would waste little time in replacing his ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Vigano. On Tuesday, the Vatican announced that the day had come. Vigano, the diminutive diplomat who aroused ire by setting up a secret meeting in Washington between the Pope and Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has become a conservative Christian heroine for refusing to sign same-sex marriage certificates, is out." [CNN]


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a href="https://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/719923560807079937" target="_hplink">@daveweigel: Paul Ryan will make a Shermanesque statement today, by which I mean he will announce plans to burn down Southern cities.

@MEPFuller: Paul Ryan dream jobs, ranked:

1. Metallica's crossfit instructor
2. Deer hunter
3. Ways and Means Chairman
243. Speaker of the House

@aedwardslevy: NO BUY-IN FROM RYAN

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