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2016

The Book Tour Hillary Should Fear

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

When Elizabeth Warren hits the road to promote her memoir, the senator likely will draw a critical group of Democrats that the front-runner has had trouble connecting with before.

Elizabeth Warren is not running for president. This we know, not just because she said so at a press conference in December (It’s hard to get much more definitive than “I’m not running for president and I plan to serve out my term”) but because she has done nothing in terms of travel or fundraising that would lay the groundwork for such a campaign.Running now would open Warren up to charges that she abandoned Massachusetts after little more than a cup of coffee in the Senate, and that she is hurting the chances of Hillary Clinton becoming the first female president.

Russian Spy Planes in U.S. Skies

Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Russian surveillance planes already fly over America, thanks to a long-standing treaty. But a new, ultra-sophisticated spy plane has U.S. military and intelligence bosses spooked.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military and American intelligence agencies have quietly pushed the White House in recent weeks to deny a new Russian surveillance plane the right to fly over U.S. territory. This week, the White House finally began consideration of the decision whether to certify the new Russian aircraft under the so-called “Open Skies Treaty.” And now the question becomes: Will the spies and generals get their way?As the United States and Russia face off publicly over Ukraine, behind the scenes, President Obama’s national security cabinet is having its own quiet feud over a long-standing agreement to allow Russian surveillance flights over U.

Existential Dread

Liberal Hypocrisy on Cash and Guns

Vartanov Anatoly/Shutterstock

Michael Bloomberg’s anti-NRA campaign reveals why liberals love money in politics as much as everybody else: They’re terrified.

Have you heard the depressing, outrageous news?The dreaded Koch brothers are dumping $50 million into an election-year campaign to target their political enemies and—this is a direct quote—“make them afraid of us.”Isn’t it revolting? When will the influence of money in politics ever subside?Wait, what’s that you say? I have my names wrong? That’s not the Koch brothers with the $50 million plan? That quote belongs to someone else?It’s actually Michael Bloomberg spending that sum, to strike fear into the hearts of NRA members and beat them at their own game?It’s Shannon Watts, the activist profiled with Bloomberg for the New York Times report on the effort, who tells Reuters, “I think the NRA should be very afraid”?Oh.

Re-Entry

Christie: Pro-Life for Prisoners

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

At a bipartisan event in Jersey City, the governor tried claim his share of Republican leadership on what the GOP hopes will be a defining conservative issue come 2016.

Riding high on word that according to a Fox News poll he is leading the 2016 Republican field, embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrived in Jersey City Thursday to deliver a message to the GOP about prison reform: “You need to be pro-life after they get out of the womb.”Christie, sitting opposite former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, used the event to combine his pro-life views with his progressive stance on incarceration, which mirror those of prominent conservatives across the country.

House Divided

Cantor’s Passover Slam of Obama

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The House Majority Leader reportedly flipped out at the president over immigration reform during a private call ahead of the Jewish holiday.

A phone call initiated by President Obama to wish House Majority Leader Eric Cantor a good Passover on the eve of the holiday turned contentious when the Republican blamed Obama for congressional inaction on immigration reform, saying that after five years, “the president still has not learned how to effectively work with Congress to get things done.”Taking questions from reporters in the White House briefing room Thursday afternoon, Obama said he had a “very pleasant conversation with Mr.

MAZEL TOV!

Hillary’s New Title: Grandma

Samantha Sais/Reuters

Chelsea Clinton shocked her mother, the audience, and America when she announced she’s pregnant. With one Clinton presidency done and another one possibly starting, this could be the making of a dynasty.

NEW YORK—“Few women can steal the spotlight from Hillary Clinton,” one attendee at a Clinton event said Thursday, but Chelsea Clinton managed to do just that when she announced she’s pregnant.The room at the Lower East Side Girls Club, comprised of tween girls, members of media, Clinton loyalists, Anna Wintour, and America Ferrera, burst into cheers at the news.Though it was billed, “Girls: A No Ceilings Conversation,” Chelsea said she and husband Marc Mezvinsky don’t know if they’re having a boy or a girl.

Girl Power

Stop Calling Hidalgo a Style Icon

Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

The fashion media has painted Hidalgo as Paris's stylish first lady. But with a love of pantsuits and pointed flats, she's more Hillary Clinton than Michelle Obama. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Two weeks ago, Paris elected its first female mayor. While Anne Hidalgo’s election was a groundbreaking moment for women in politics, the glossies went wild for another reason. With a platform that includes a strong focus on supporting Paris’s fashion industry, along with a friendship with many of its main players, Hidalgo has been thrust into a position akin to the fashionable first ladies of the world; the media has covered her—and her wardrobe—in the same vein as Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton, and even former French First Lady Carla Bruni.

Open Primary

GOP Candidate's Awkward Obama Vote

Harry E. Walker/MCT/Zuma

Longtime Republican operative Barbara Comstock is a frontrunner to win the GOP nomination for Congress in a Northern Virginia district. However, she may be hurt by a 2008 vote for Barack Obama.

Virginia State Delegate Barbara Comstock is the ur-Republican.Comstock, who is the frontrunner for her party’s nomination in the open seat in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, made a career as a party apparatchik before seeking elected office. She investigated Whitewater in the 1990s, before moving on to digging up dirt on Al Gore in 2000 and becoming a zealous defender of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay while he was under criminal investigation in 2005.

Lies

Putin Sounds Like Obama on Spying

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The Russian president uses similar logic and words that the American president does when justifying mass surveillance.

“We don’t have a domestic spying program.”Who said it, Vladimir Putin or Barack Obama?Obama did, of course, but you could be forgiven for thinking it was Putin. On Thursday, Putin told his guest Edward Snowden that Russia does not spy on all its citizens—only individuals after a court order.Putin: “Russia uses surveillance techniques for spying on individuals only with the sanction of a court order. This is our law, and therefore there is no mass surveillance in our country.

About Time

GOP: Getting Hip to Gay Marriage?

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Just as the Nevada GOP drops its opposition to same-sex marriage, a group of young conservatives is launching a campaign to change anti-gay language in the national party platform.

Conventioneers at the Nevada Republican Party just did a remarkable thing. They decided Republicans should be consistent with their philosophy of more freedom and less government—so they eliminated opposition to gay marriage from their party platform.And now there is a move to change anti-gay language in the national GOP platform. A group called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, which includes Margaret Hoover (who is married to Daily Beast editor in chief John Avlon), Abby Huntsman, Meghan McCain, and Tyler Deaton, announced Wednesday that they are launching a $1 million campaign to eliminate harsh language and replace it with unifying framing, while still respecting differing views on marriage within the party.

Mississippi Prefers Pork to Tea

Rogelio V. Solis/AP

In an attempt to slip into a Senate seat, Republican candidate Chris McDaniel has abandoned home state issues to focus on national matters—and state voters don’t like the taste of it.

Mississippi is different.In many states, a seat in the Senate is simply a political office. Politicians come, and politicians go. But in Mississippi, becoming a U.S. senator is a lifetime appointment that politicians generally leave only upon death or disgrace. The Magnolia State has always been poor and relies on politicians in Washington to gain seniority and then use their clout to push federal money back to help its state, which regularly ranks at the bottom of just about every possible index of wealth and well-being.

Long Program

Ms. Kwan Hits the Campaign Trail

Once tasked with nailing triple Lutzes and Salchows, Michelle Kwan may soon be Rhode Island's first lady. The story behind her political rise (and that infamous Prius).

“Kwan for President,” reads the button, its size extra large and its design dull, with a white background and black type letters that seem to leap off the shirt of Dell Pellegrini. She glances down at the button when I mention it.“Oh, this is from 2005,” says Dell, a self-described Michelle Kwan “uber-fan” who lives in Yonkers. “Some fans had them printed for nationals.”Pellegrini is just one of Kwan’s many “MKFers,” what the skater calls those who participate in the Michelle Kwan Forum.

NOT RACIST

White Folks Can Talk About Race

FOX

Brit Hume is wrong. Of course white people can talk about race without being called racist. They just need to be smarter about it.

Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume went on Bill O’Reilly Monday night to seek comfort and reassurance that he is not a racist. Forgive me if I don’t shed any tears.Hume was perturbed by a few accusations hurled at him on Twitter—like that doesn’t happen all the time—that he was racist for comments he made on Fox News Sunday. The panel was discussing Attorney General Eric Holder’s complaints about mistreatment at the hands of Republicans in DC.

Voting Rights

The ID Whose Time Has Come

Time Life Pictures/Getty

Citing nonexistent ‘voter fraud,’ Republicans are rolling back the right to vote nationwide. But Obama could fight back before November by putting picture IDs on Social Security cards.

In the middle of President Clinton’s speech at the LBJ summit in Austin, Texas, he departed from his prepared text to endorse an old idea gaining new currency—picture IDs on Social Security cards. In the 50 years since President Johnson’s signature achievement, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, lawmakers have worked to extend the franchise, Clinton noted, but now a spate of state laws introduced after the 2012 election is scaling back the right to vote in a way that many Democrats see as discriminatory.

New Numbers

The Obamacare Win That Wasn’t?

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The health-care law will cost the country $100 billion less than predicted, which sounds like a good thing—but you won’t hear Republican detractors say so.

While news that the Affordable Care Act will cost less than was projected just a few months ago is undoubtably good for the country, it does not seem to have punctured the partisan bubble on the right. In February, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that the cost of Obamacare’s coverage provisions would be $1.4 trillion over 10 years. This week the CBO reduced that prediction by $100 billion, to $1.3 trillion. When the CBO said in February that the law would lead to a decrease in the number of hours Americans work by up to 2 percent over the next decade, Fox News declared the “cost of Obamacare: 2.

'Clinton Vs. Bush? Count Me In'

A Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush presidential faceoff would be great for America. So says Daily Beast contributor Mark McKinnon, who joined 'Morning Joe' to explain why the U.S. needs this.

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