Till the End of the Day

Happy CPAC, everybody! It’s time for us to close out. Have some things to read:

A staggering 54 percent of Republicans said that “Muslim” best described what Obama “believes deep down.” Thirty percent of Republicans answered the way Walker did, by selecting “I don’t know.” Relatively few Republican respondents “take [Obama] at his word,” as Mitch McConnell put it: only 9 percent selected “Christian” to describe what Obama likely believes.”

Donald Trump hired Rick Santorum’s old Iowa campaign manager.

Can Scott Walker maintain his poll advantage?

Maybe instead of trying to get money out of Congress, we can make Congress better able to resist it? I’m skeptical, but it’s a good piece.

Secretary of State John Kerry, throwing shade. I kind of like it.

In 2013, measles killed more kids than car accidents or AIDS.

An oral history of the creation and evolution of “Parks and Recreation.” (RIP)

The NCAA is a dick.

 

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Morning Constitutional – Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Good morning, everybody. Naya Rivera is pregnant. Now, your morning constitutional:

European Union and IMF leaders have come to an agreement with Greece on extending the bailout program for another four months with revised terms to lessen some of the harsh austerity measures pushed on the Greek government.

The long awaited ceasefire in Ukraine, which was supposed to be in effect ten days ago, finally seems to be taking hold as the army reports no fatalities for the first time in weeks.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has launched an offensive against rebel Rwandan Hutus after the rebels failed to meet a deadline to disarm.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Senate was close to a deal on funding DHS, but the House may be unlikely to follow suit.

Sea levels on the northeast coast of the U.S. rose by a record amount between 2009-10. Study shows that climate change deniers are not ignorant, they’re partisan.

The Federal Communications Commission is likely to pass rules on Thursday to treat the Internet like a public utility, despite Republican opposition.

Stocks near all-time high as Fed signals that it won’t raise interest rates just yet.

Jamaica has moved to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

Entire Hungarian village (and office of deputy mayor) up for rent.

Americans are drinking more “bad” coffee.

FIFA is a dick.

Finally, area lawmaker says cancer is a fungus.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Today’s is from David Brooks, who in his column today, “The Hamilton Experience,” writes these words:

Like the quintessential contemporary rappers, Alexander Hamilton was a poor immigrant kid from a broken home, feverish to rise and broadcast his voice.

List of things I can’t: Even.

Morning Constitutional – Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Good morning, everyone. Ben Harper got married. Now, your morning constitutional:

Islamic State militants have reportedly abducted at least 90 Christians from villages throughout northeastern Syria.

Greece submitted plans for economic reform to European Union members and and the IMF on Monday with hopes of extending its bailout plan while alleviating some level of harsh austerity measures imposed in return for budget assistance.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologized Monday for falsely telling a homeless veteran that he served in the U.S. Special Forces.

According to leaked cable messages, in 2010 Israeli Mossad obtained stolen anti-tank missile technology from South Africa, South Africa asked for them back, and South African intelligence covered up the episode.

Republican-led Congress is still unable to pass a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. What happens if funding is not passed before the Friday deadline.

Congress is sending the Keystone XL pipeline bill to the president Tuesday. The president will probably veto it.

Alaska becomes the third state to allow recreational marijuana use and possession on Tuesday.

Drug maker Merck announced Tuesday that it will grant free license to other drug makers to produce its pediatric AIDS medication raltegravir at low cost for children in 92 poor countries. In the U.S., the drug costs $1,350 per month.

Rep. Aaron Shock (R-Ill.), who is already the subject of an ethics inquiry, has allegedly spent taxpayer and campaign funds on expensive air flights and concert tickets.

The new jobs are increasingly in city centers.

Turns out that rats may not have been responsible for the Black Plague, but rather gerbils.

Finally, area lawmaker has no idea how women’s bodies work.

Morning Constitutional – Monday, 23 February 2015

Good morning, everybody. Here’s your morning constitutional:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned that if a new budget for DHS is not passed by Congress, the shutdown of his department may harm states’ response to threats and weather events.

What the Homeland Security funding battle tells us about the power of the presidency and Congress.

Six days after taking office, Defense Secretary Ash Carter convened a war council in Kuwait to discuss the administration’s strategy for dealing with Islamic State militants with generals, diplomats and intelligence officials.

Ukrainian officials say they have not been able to withdraw heavy war equipment like they promised because rebels were still attacking.

Top nuclear officials from Iran and the U.S. join talks to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

While Venezuela’s economic crashes, President Nicolás Maduro cracks down on opposition.

Police in the Maldives have arrested former president Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism charges. Nasheed was the Maldives’s first democratically elected president before being forced out of office in a coup.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez helped negotiate an end to a standoff between the Pacific Maritime Associations and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

A plunge in grain prices has led many tenant farmers in the U.S. Midwest to breach lease contracts.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union law has pretty much crippled unions in Wisconsin.

Why critics often successfully disassociate President Obama with “America.”

Facebook’s new privacy policy still violates a European consumer protection law.

Cable channels are actually speeding up shows to fit in more commercials.

Finally, North Korea has banned foreigners from coming to the Pyongyang marathon over Ebola fears.