A lot’s at stake in the Great Lake State. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated yesterday in Flint, discussing the city’s water contamination crisis and auto industry. Clinton joined Sanders’ months-old call for Gov. Rick Snyder to resign before criticizing the Vermont senator for not supporting the 2009 auto bailout. And Sanders blamed the former secretary of state for advocating trade deals that cost Michiganders jobs while aggressively wooing Black voters. No blood was drawn, says OZY’s Nick Fouriezos, who believes, despite Sanders’ win in Maine, that the race remains Clinton’s to lose.
The Presidential Daily Brief
She always put “dear Ronnie” first. The actress-turned-political wife, who died yesterday of congestive heart failure, was one of America’s most influential first ladies, advising her husband and even taking on rivals like his chief of staff. Born Anne Frances Robbins in New York City, she appeared in films and TV shows as Nancy Davis before becoming Ronald Reagan’s second wife. Later, she cared for her Alzheimer’s-stricken spouse while crusading for a cure, and she will long be remembered for her elegance and devotion.
Kansas Republican caucus-goers awarded Donald Trump a bit of humility with a 25-percentage point spanking. Cruz also prevailed in Maine’s GOP caucuses, pulling in 60 delegates last night to 46 for Trump, who won in Kentucky and Louisiana and urged Marco Rubio to quit. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders won in Kansas and Nebraska, while Hillary Clinton took a Southern prize in Louisiana, boosting her to nearly half the 2,383 delegates needed for the Democratic nomination. But the underdogs captured much-needed hope as candidates head for Tuesday’s big delegate haul in Michigan.
The hottie’s coming to Washington. Canada’s prime minister and his wife will be guests at the White House this Thursday for the first Canadian state dinner since 1997. Justin Trudeau’s not a big fan of monetary policy for stimulating growth — a strategy being tested to the limit from Berlin to Beijing — preferring instead to ramp up government spending to raise middle class incomes and hopefully spur the economy. Expect discussions on his distaste for a “balance the books” mentality, as well as issues like energy, climate change and border security.
Are the really split? Since the death last month of Antonin Scalia, the four liberal justices can at least tie the vote in the first major abortion case in a decade. But a stalemate would uphold the lower court ruling that closes all but six of Texas’ abortion clinics — a win for the conservatives. But liberals’ hopes were kindled by Friday’s one-sentence high court ruling temporarily blocking a Louisiana abortion clinic restriction, and swing-voting Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Wednesday suggestion that the Texas case could be returned to the lower court for reconsideration.
It’s better than the alternative. But more than 100,000 refugees have entered Greece this year to find themselves stranded, with 10,000 massing at the Macedonian border in hopes of being allowed to head north. EU officials are telling illegal migrants they’re not welcome in Europe, and Germany’s so inundated with refugees that it’s begun deporting Afghans, claiming parts of their country are safe despite jihadi violence. Meanwhile, Brits worry that if they vote to leave the EU in June, France may retaliate by allowing migrants camped out in Calais to cross the English Channel.
Lagging Rubio Gets Boost in Puerto Rico Primary, U.S. and South Korea Practice Hitting North’s Nuclear Plants
Rubio wins Puerto Rico primary while Sanders scores in Maine. (NYT)
U.S., South Korean military drill focuses on North’s nuclear plants. (Washington Post)
New drug appears to have stopped Jimmy Carter’s cancer. (ABC)
Coast Guard stops search for cruise passenger who fell overboard. (USA Today)
NFL Superstar Peyton Manning to call it quits today. (SB Nation)
A writer is lucky, he said, “to be born into an unhappy family.” Conroy, who died Friday of pancreatic cancer, found ample inspiration for his lyrical writing in his South Carolina marshland household that cowered before his abusive father, a Marine fighter pilot. Four of his novels became films, including Oscar-nominated The Great Santini and Prince of Tides, which Barbra Streisand adapted from Conroy’s 1986 bestseller. In a recent Facebook post announcing his illness, he said he wrote to “find out who I am,” but “I don’t believe I’ve even come close.”
Love hurts, so why not tap a cure? Health journalist Angela Chen suggests that just as we augment body parts and pop pills to enhance romance, science should alleviate what many feel is life’s most painful condition. Sure, romantic love is awesome when it’s returned, but the unrequited — or abusive — version can precipitate lifelong depression and sometimes violent ends. Desire-canceling drugs already treat sexual issues ranging from criminal predation to porn addiction and religious guilt. So while society continues to follow its heart, perhaps it’s time to let the lovelorn opt out.
He’s been hunting high and low. Seattle-based lawyer Blaine Gibson has visited the far corners of the Indian Ocean in a bid to solve the 2-year-old Malaysia Airlines mystery, and he may have found a clue. Last week, while sifting through flotsam off Mozambique, he discovered what looks like a chunk of an aircraft’s wing. Malaysia’s transport minister says there’s a “high possibility” that it — similar to a piece found on Réunion Island — belonged to a Boeing 777 like the missing MH370, and experts are now examining his find.
Throwing money at it doesn’t always work. The Facebook founder recently pledged $45 billion to charity over his lifetime. Sure, it’s a ton of money, but how he gives it away matters as much as who gets it. Which is why human rights consultant Michael Hobbes advises the 31-year-old philanthropist against launching big new projects, like his ill-fated $100 million venture to “flip” troubled schools in Newark. Zuckerberg’s money, Hobbes says, could have the greatest impact by supporting lower-tech networking, like organizing bulk vaccine purchases, for existing charitable efforts.
Racism is no joke. This 28-year-old Black comedian burst onto the scene with cringe-worthy gags, including one that stomps on Trayvon Martin’s memory, and punch lines that force audiences to confront their own complacency with racial stereotypes and class divisions. With his hit NBC sitcom, The Carmichael Show, returning for a second season, and fans like All in the Family creator Norman Lear and breakout roles in films like Neighbors, Carmichael’s attempt to shake us out of our comfort zones is headed right for the mainstream.
He thinks he can make the net. Sacramento Kings owner and Mumbai native Vivek Ranadive is spearheading efforts to bring pro basketball to his homeland, with both U.S. game broadcasts and the creation of a subcontinental league. Calling his plan “NBA 3.0,” the mogul points out that India will likely pass China as the world’s most populous nation within a decade and that swaggering hoopsters fit India’s “Bollywood/cricket mindset.” With b-ball and other pro sports increasingly going global, Ranadive believes he’s set to score the planet’s biggest untapped market.