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John McCain Wants to Know More About His Imaginary Chat With Ted Cruz

Here's a good life lesson from Senator John McCain: if you're going to stretch the truth, make sure your lies don't hinge on someone who's made it abundantly clear that they hate you. Senator Ted Cruz learned this the hard way after claiming in New Hampshire on Sunday that he's "pressing" McCain to hold hearings on allowing soldiers to carry concealed firearms on military bases. "You know, I was fascinated to hear that because I haven’t heard a thing about it from him. Nor has my staff heard from his staff. Where did that come from? I have not a clue," McCain said on Monday. "I’d be glad to discuss the issue and see if we need a hearing, but it came as a complete surprise to me that he had been pressing me."

McCain still wasn't done with his "wacko bird." »

Why Did a Baltimore Man Die of a Spinal Injury While in Police Custody?

Six police officers in Baltimore were suspended with pay on Monday, a day after a 25-year-old black man died of a severe spinal cord injury sustained while in police custody. Freddie Gray had been in a coma since he was arrested on April 12, and he died while undergoing surgery. Protests erupted three days ago, and the case is drawing national attention as the latest example of black men dying at the hands of police.

City officials urged people to remain calm as they conduct their investigation, but the Monday afternoon press conference only added to the mystery surrounding Gray's death. While a lawyer for Gray's family claims "his spine was virtually severed, 80 percent severed, in the neck area," police have no explanation for how that happened. "We have no evidence — physical, video or statements — of any use of force," said Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez. "He did suffer a very tragic injury to his spinal cord, which resulted in his death. What we don’t know, and what we need to get to, is how that injury occurred."


Hillary to GOP Rivals: Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?

Yesterday the New York Times revealed that they have this book where a conservative journalist wrote mean things about Hillary Clinton and all the foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation. When asked about the allegations in New Hampshire on Monday, Clinton said we're "subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks" during campaign season, and she's "ready for that." "It is worth noting, I think, that Republicans seem to be talking only about me," Clinton noted. "I don’t know what they’d talk about if I weren’t in the race, but I am in the race and hopefully we'll get onto the issues, and I look forward to that." Now get in losers, we're going campaigning.

It’s 4/20 and Marijuana Is Officially Mainstream

From its decidedly inauspicious beginnings in the late '70s as a code for some pot-loving teens in San Rafael, California, 4/20 has moved from an annual day of protest for oppressed stoners to a near-official holiday for weed aficionados around the world. But as Americans' approval for marijuana legalization and culture rises, and corporations like Miracle Gro manufacturer Scotts take an interest in profiting from the drug in the future, it remains to be seen how the celebration of 4/20 will evolve further still. John Heilemann remarks on the cultural arc of pot smoking and the holiday, which he's pretty sure is the only one "whose celebration requires — in 46 states, at least — the commission of a crime":


88,000 People Apply to Live in the ‘Poor Door’ Building

88,000 people applied for the 55 affordable rental units available at the Upper West Side "poor door" building. The condo features 219 luxury river-facing condos, and 55 street-facing units for those who earn 60 percent or less than the median income. Given the city's overpriced housing market and the overcrowding of the affordable housing lottery, it's unsurprising people would agree to put up with snobs just to live in a budget-friendly place.

Koch Brothers Give Scott Walker a Thumbs-up (But No Cash Yet)

The New York Times reports that Charles and David Koch endorsed a 2016 candidate who hasn't even announced a campaign yet — a certain Wisconsin governor they've helped before. “We will support whoever the candidate is," David Koch reportedly said at a New York State GOP fund-raiser on Monday. "But it should be Scott Walker.” The duo plans to spend nearly a billion dollars by the time the 2016 election is done. The Koch brothers' political organizations — including Americans for Prosperity — will not pick favorites in the Republican primary, although the family apparently left open the option of personally giving money to help Walker's cause. Plenty of other GOP donors have yet to pick sides, and are still soliciting admiration and access from candidates in need.

As Many As 900 People Dead in Mediterranean Shipwreck [Updated]

As many as 900 people may have died after a ship capsized in the Mediterranean on Sunday. The boat, which sank near the Italian island of Lampedusa — about 70 miles from the Libyan coast — was carrying migrants fleeing the chaos in African and the Middle East. Italy's Coast Guard is heading up the search-and-rescue effort: Only 28 people have been found alive. However, the authorities believe that hundreds of bodies are trapped inside the ship.


Has Marco Rubio Finally Created a Tax Cut So Huge Republicans Don’t Like It?

Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign is running into an unusual problem without precedent in the post-Reagan era: His tax cut is too big. The trouble is not so much that his tax cut is substantively too big — within the context of a Republican primary, a “too-large tax cut” does not even make linguistic sense; it would be like saying “Reagan is un-good.” Rubio’s slightly different problem is that his tax cut is so gargantuan that nobody in the party actually believes it.


South Dakota’s New Sales Pitch: ‘Why Die on Mars When You Can Live’ Here?

The Governor's Office of Economic Development was brainstorming ideas for how to get young people to come to South Dakota. It realized the state may have a bit of a perception problem after a recent focus group featured a person who called the state "a barren wasteland," the Argus Leader reported this weekend. It was clear that people outside the state mostly knew it for its tourist attractions.

So the state tried to think of a place that could also be described as a barren wasteland, but was also somewhere people wanted to live. Obviously, they thought of Mars.


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