Today is April Fools’ Day, a 24-hour period when the public trusts the media even less than usual. Juneau, Alaska jokingly changed its name to UNO for the day, though Donald Trump will likely cite this as another instance of Mexico winning at trade. And speaking of Trump, now that tens of thousands of Americans have lost their food stamps, we might get some more specific policy prescriptions from the real estate mogul on how to keep people from dying in the streets. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, April 1st, 2016:
CRUZ POISED FOR A WIN IN LAND OF CHEESE - Ariel Edwards-Levy and Janie Valencia: "Wisconsin’s GOP primary may be crucial for Republicans hoping to stop Donald Trump from clinching the nomination outright, with recent polling giving them hope that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) could pull off a significant win. The state has 42 delegates up for grabs, with 24 awarded by district and 18 going to the statewide winner. Even if Cruz wins by a small margin, he’ll automatically take all 18 state delegates and likely a good portion of district level delegates. That would probably keep Trump below the level he needs to win a majority before the Republican convention. Of the six surveys taken of the race since March, all but one show Cruz ahead, with margins ranging between 1 and 10 points. Recent Marquette Law School and Fox News polls, both of which were conducted using live interviewers, each find Cruz with a relatively comfortable 10-point edge, up significantly from earlier in the year. Wisconsin’s demographics — light on evangelical voters, and heavy on those without a college degree — would seem to make it natural territory for Trump." [HuffPost]
LET'S GET READY FOR A CONTESTED CONVENTIONNNNNNNNNNN - Cue the C&C Music Factory … also the demise of the Republican Party. Kyle Cheney and Ben Schreckinger: "The reality of a contested convention has become more real than ever, with Donald Trump facing the risk of losing Wisconsin next week, meaning he’d have to win roughly 60 percent of the remaining delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination outright. If Trump heads into the convention without the magic number of 1,237, already more than a hundred delegates are poised to break with him on a second ballot, according to interviews with dozens of delegates, delegate candidates, operatives and party leaders. In one of starkest examples of Trump’s lack of support, out of the 168 Republican National Committee members -- each of whom doubles as a convention delegate -- only one publicly supports Trump, and she knows of only a handful of others who support him privately." [Politico]
Well done, @LadyPJustice.
Senate workers finally got a raise.
ZOMBIE TRUMP WILL EAT OUR BRAINS - Alexander Burns: "At a moment when a more traditional front-runner might have sought to smooth over divisions within his party and turn his attention to the general election, Mr. Trump has only intensified his slash-and-burn, no-apologies approach to the campaign. 'He should have started uniting the party in March,' said Henry Barbour, a Republican National Committee member from Mississippi who previously supported Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, 'and he is making it harder on himself.' Republicans who once worried that Mr. Trump might gain overwhelming momentum in the primaries are now becoming preoccupied with a different grim prospect: that Mr. Trump might become a kind of zombie candidate -- damaged beyond the point of repair, but too late for any of his rivals to stop him." [NYT]
DELANEY DOWNER - Today is cutoff day for like 500,000 food stamp recipients, thanks to the return of federal work requirements that been waived during the Great Recession. Six thousand will lose bennies in Georgia, 30,000 in Missouri and something like 100,000 in Tennessee. April fools!
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TWO MORE GOP SENATORS TO MEET WITH GARLAND - Jordan Fabian and Jordain Carney: "President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee will meet next week with two Republican senators, a development the White House sees as a positive sign in the confirmation battle with Senate Republicans. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced this week that she’ll meet with Judge Merrick Garland on Tuesday. And a White House official said Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) will sit down with Garland on the same day. The meeting comes after Collins said she was "perplexed" by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) decision to deny Garland a hearing or vote. 'It just seemed to me that there was no basis for saying that no matter who the president nominates, we were not going to consider that individual,' she told a local radio station. Collins's and Boozman’s meetings follow Garland huddling this week with Sen. Mark Kirk(R-Ill.). Kirk, who is facing a tough reelection bid, was the first GOP senator to say he would consider voting for Garland." [The Hill]
Juneau changed its name to UNO for the day, after the card game.
A CLIENT IS A CLIENT, AIN'T THAT RIGHT, K STREET - Akbar Ahmed and Nick Baumann: "A lobbying firm working for the Turkish government is using a new argument for its cause this week amid Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the U.S.: the Russians are coming, and Armenia is helping them. Representatives from Mercury LLC have contacted multiple congressional offices to argue that Russia’s presence in Armenia, a small country on Turkey’s border that has tensions with the Turks lingering from the 1915 genocide of Armenian Christians, makes it important for the U.S. to close ranks with fellow NATO member Turkey, according to two Capitol Hill aides. Mercury, which registered to work on behalf of Turkey last month, hopes to convince lawmakers to attach their names to two separate documents, an aide told The Huffington Post. " [HuffPost]
GOD DAMN IT, STATE DEPARTMENT - This might actually be worse for the national psyche than Hillary's email server. Eli Rosenberg: "It was just one message among many sent out in a social media campaign by an arm of the State Department, meant to warn people on spring break about the pitfalls of overseas travel. If grabbing people’s attention was its sole goal, it succeeded tremendously. 'Not a ‘10’ in the US? Then not a 10 overseas. Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse—being robbed. #springbreakingbadly,' the Bureau of Consular Affairs posted on Twitter from its handle, @TravelGov, to its roughly 510,000 followers on Wednesday afternoon. The tweet, which was posted around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, was spread around the world, drawing offense and mockery. Yes, the federal government had just awkwardly referred to ranking attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10, while puncturing a fantasy of vacation travel: the possibility of romance. If you’re unattractive here, the tweet seemed to imply, you’re unattractive there. And you could be robbed." [NYT]
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BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a flying chainsaw.
GOD DAMN IT, RAND PAUL - Dave Weigel: "When Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) quit the Republican race for president, he was adamant: He would not endorse any of his competitors. Paul refused to say who he backed in the Kentucky caucuses that he had initiated (Donald Trump won them), and returned to his busy schedule in the Senate, fighting to end military aid to Pakistan, with little in the way of media attention. The attention returned on Monday afternoon when Paul teased a 'major endorsement.' … It was a joke. Paul didn't mention the presidential race at a Monday morning town hall meeting in Covington, Ky., but he tweeted: 'Yes Twitter, I am just celebrating #AprilFools #endorsingentropy.'" [WaPo]
- Avocado's are bizarre and shouldn't exist.
- Watch a machine turn honey into candy.
- This year's best April Fools' pranks.
@MEPFuller: Reminder that we should probably be more outraged about the 25-year-old press secretaries impersonating members of Congress on here.
@Mobute: So far the ratio of savvy preemptive "April Fool's Jokes Are Bad" takes to actual April Fool's joke attempts is at something like 1000:1.
@FullFrontalSamB: No one's in the office, so if you glued a quarter to our floor, it'll be a while before we hilariously struggle to pick it up.
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