The Morning Roundup: Happy Leap Day, Let’s Make Some Dick Jokes! | News
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Monday, February 29, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Happy Leap Day, Let’s Make Some Dick Jokes!

Posted by on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:36 AM

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So this was the weekend the GOP presidential race finally, officially went completely off the rails, to the point where you have to wonder if, for someone like Marco Rubio, who fashions himself as the serious candidate, this is a nomination even worth having anymore. 

1. Rubio jokes that Donald Trump has a small penis.

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But hey, look on the bright side: Republicans have forfeited the right to complain that Barack Obama is cheapening the office by putting his feet up on the desk

Trump, for his part, was busy over the last few days racking up endorsements: first from former KKK grand wizard David Duke, then from Governor Chris Christie, and finally from Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. On Sunday, Trump refused to denounce Duke: “I don't know, did he endorse me, or what's going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.” On Friday, after the big endorsement, a hot mic caught him telling Christie to “get in the plane and go home.” And on Sunday evening, when Sessions, whom the Drudge Report labeled the “conservative soul of the U.S. Senate,” threw in for Trump, we were reminded of that time he was denied a federal judgeship

Senate Democrats tracked down a career Justice Department employee named J. Gerald Hebert, who testified, albeit reluctantly, that in a conversation between the two men Sessions had labeled the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU ) "un-American" and "Communist-inspired." Hebert said Sessions had claimed these groups "forced civil rights down the throats of people." In his confirmation hearings, Sessions sealed his own fate by saying such groups could be construed as "un-American" when "they involve themselves in promoting un-American positions" in foreign policy. Hebert testified that the young lawyer tended to "pop off" on such topics regularly, noting that Sessions had called a white civil rights lawyer a "disgrace to his race" for litigating voting rights cases. Sessions acknowledged making many of the statements attributed to him but claimed that most of the time he had been joking, saying he was sometimes "loose with [his] tongue." He further admitted to calling the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a "piece of intrusive legislation," a phrase he stood behind even in his confirmation hearings....

Of course he endorsed Trump. 

2. Hillary romps in South Carolina. If you want to reclaim the aura of inevitability, it’s hard to do better than this: 

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African-Americans backed her 9–1, which, if replicated in tomorrow’s Super Tuesday primaries and again on March 15 in North Carolina and Florida, will likely put the primary out of Bernie Sanders’s reach. 

And the more moderate candidate’s overwhelming victory in South Carolina led the head of the Republican Party to tweet, presumably with a straight face: 

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Yeah, a real shit show over there. 

Of course, Hillary’s enthusiasm may be curbed by this New York Times story, which lays out in astounding detail how Clinton, as secretary of state, pushed for an intervention in Libya that has since proven disastrous. 

Mrs. Clinton was won over. Opposition leaders “said all the right things about supporting democracy and inclusivity and building Libyan institutions, providing some hope that we might be able to pull this off,” said Philip H. Gordon, one of her assistant secretaries. “They gave us what we wanted to hear. And you do want to believe.”

Her conviction would be critical in persuading Mr. Obama to join allies in bombing Colonel Qaddafi’s forces. In fact, Mr. Obama’s defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, would later say that in a “51-49” decision, it was Mrs. Clinton’s support that put the ambivalent president over the line.

The consequences would be more far-reaching than anyone imagined, leaving Libya a failed state and a terrorist haven, a place where the direst answers to Mrs. Clinton’s questions have come to pass.

3. A journalism movie won Best Picture, hooray! Also, Joe Biden and Lady Gaga were on hand to tell you that sexual assault is bad

Biden came on to a standing ovation to introduce Lady Gaga’s performance of her Best Song nominee, “’Til It Happens To You,” and put the responsibility for preventing sexual assault on college campuses squarely on everyone watching. He asked the audience—in the Dolby Theater and on television screens across America—to take a pledge: “I will intervene in situations when consent has not or cannot be given,” so that victims of sexual assault, male or female, never have to ask themselves, “‘What did I do?’ They did nothing wrong.”

4. Grayson Allen should really stop playing dirty. The Duke star was “reprimanded” by the ACC for deliberately tripping an opposing player—not the first time that’s happened, either

Per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, a Duke spokesman said the situation "was handled internally and there will be no further comment."

Allen's reprimand may be the last strike he gets before receiving a suspension. The Blue Devils need their sophomore sensation as they gear up for the ACC and NCAA tournaments. He leads the team in scoring, assists and three-point percentage.

5. The WRAL-WCNC switcheroo is today. Now, your forty-three versions of CSI: Whatever will be on WCNC, and WRAL will play host to gems like Chicago Fire and the inevitable next incarnation of Law & Order

At 7 a.m. Monday in WRAL’s master control room, Jim Goodmon is scheduled to push a button with a peacock on it.

At that signal from Capital Broadcating CEO Goodmon, NBC’s Today Show is to beam into the Triangle on television station WRAL for the first time since 1962.

WRAL, a CBS affiliate for the past three decades, is making a Leap Day leap back to NBC, where it was founded as an affiliate in 1956. Five hours earlier at 2 a.m., station WNCN ends its 21-year affiliation with NBC to become a CBS station for the first time, broadcasting CBS’s overnight news programming.

Representatives from both stations say their station benefits from the network exchange, though WRAL appears to have initiated the swap by independently, electing not to renew its most recent 5-year contract with CBS. WNCN, on the other hand, was informed by its corporate office of the shift to CBS six weeks ago, according to Doug Hamilton, WNCN’s vice president and general manager.

That’s all for today. If you’re free this afternoon at around 2:30 and have access to Sirius/XM, I’ll be on Tell Me Everything with John Fugelsang, on channel 121, talking North Carolina politics and the upcoming primaries. 

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