Politics

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Director Spike Lee became the latest black celebrity enter the battle of presidential endorsements ahead of this weekend's Democratic nominating contest in South Carolina. On Tuesday, the Bernie Sanders campaign released a radio ad called "Wake Up" featuring Lee.

In any ordinary year, Donald Trump's big win in South Carolina on Saturday night would all but anoint him the Republican presidential nominee. That's especially true after his big win in New Hampshire, where he won with support across various age and income groups in the party.

It's never clear what the truth is when a campaign ends, but it gets ugly.

Major fundraisers are among the people who are key in creating a campaign. And when campaigns fold, they talk sometimes — usually in blind quotes.

But one of the funders, who helped raise millions of dollars for a superPAC supporting Jeb Bush, talked on the record with NPR's Morning Edition -- and gave his version of what he felt went wrong.

When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stumps for health care for everyone, it always gets huge applause.

"I believe that the U.S. should do what every other major country on Earth is doing," he told a crowd at Eastern Michigan University on Feb. 15. "And that is, guarantee health care to all people as a right."

The Democratic presidential hopeful basically wants to nationalize the U.S. health insurance industry, and have Uncle Sam foot the bill for medical bills, office visits and prescriptions.

Get rid of copays. Get rid of deductibles. Get rid of lots of forms.

Washington lawmakers plan to tap the state’s rainy day fund to pay for last summer’s devastating wildfires. But legislative Democrats said several other crises also deserve immediate funding.

What exactly did we learn about the Latino vote this weekend? Take your pick of headlines.

  • "The entrance polls said Nevada's Latinos voted for Bernie Sanders. That's unlikely." (Vox)
  • "Did Bernie Sanders really just win the Hispanic vote in Nevada? There's good reason to think that, yes, he might have." (Washington Post)

After disappointing finishes in presidential nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Jeb Bush suspended his campaign for president Saturday night.

Last week, Code Switch raised the curtain on "The Obama Effect," our quest to understand what the nation's first black president has to do with the big national conversations on identity and inclusion swirling in full force right now.

Last November, a long-time Oregon state representative announced he is facing a "likely diagnosis" of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Vic Gilliam said he would continue to serve as long as his conditions allowed.

Jeb Bush is ending his campaign for president after a disappointing showing in the South Carolina primary.

"The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision," the former Florida governor told his supporters gathered in Columbia on Saturday night. "So tonight, I am suspending my campaign."

"I congratulate my competitors, that are remaining on the island, on their success in a race that has been hard-fought, just as the contest for the presidency should be because it is a tough job," he continued.

Donald Trump has won the South Carolina primary, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio appears to have edged out Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for second place.

"There's nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you. It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious, it's beautiful," Trump declared to his supporters at his victory rally in Spartanburg, S.C.

Trump took 32.5 percent of the vote, while Rubio and Cruz were nearly even with 22.5 percent and 22.3 percent, respectively.

Hillary Clinton will win the Nevada Democratic caucuses, the Associated Press is reporting.

With 84 percent of the precincts reporting, Clinton has 52.5 percent of the vote, compared to Sen. Bernie Sanders' 47.5 percent.

"Tens of thousands of men and women with kids to raise, bills to pay, and dreams that won't die — this is your campaign," she told a crowd at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. "And it is a campaign to break down every barrier that holds you back."

Another big caucus day and primary night on Saturday, when Democrats go to their caucus sites in Nevada, and Republicans go to the polls in South Carolina. Here are five things we'll learn from the results:

1. Is insulting the Bush family — and getting into a fight with the pope — a good idea or not?

It's been one year since Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber resigned. The Democrat stepped down last February amid an influence peddling investigation.

In the battle for primary votes, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a tight battle.

Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would allow law enforcement officers involved in fatal shootings to ask a court to shield their name for 90 days.

Complying with a state Supreme Court order to fully fund public schools in Washington might have just gotten even harder. A new revenue forecast out Wednesday projects a sizable drop-off in tax dollars flowing to state coffers.

Recent claims about Bernie Sanders' economic proposals are hurting the Democratic Party, say four former White House economists.

This past Sunday during 11 a.m. worship service at Bible Way Church of Atlas Road in Columbia, S.C., there was a short celebration of Black History Month. The church honored John Wesley Matthews Jr., a long-serving black state senator.

After Matthews accepted an award, the pastor of the church, Darrell Jackson Sr., took time to acknowledge another special guest.

President Obama backed a bill in Illinois last week that would automatically register people to vote when they apply for a driver's license or state ID.

"That will protect the fundamental right of everybody," he said. "Democrats, Republicans, independents, seniors, folks with disabilities, the men and women of our military — it would make sure that it was easier for them to vote and have their vote counted."

Since he first announced his presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders has stuck to one simple promise. One that has many young people, in particular, #feelingthebern: free college.

As Sanders put it in his New Hampshire victory speech: "When we need the best-educated workforce in the world, yes, we are going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free."

The Pitch

Eminent domain isn't one of those issues — like abortion or foreign policy — that's guaranteed to come up every election cycle. But the slightly wonky debate over when property owners should be forced to give up land for the public good is coming up this year — especially in South Carolina, where Republicans hold their primary this weekend.

Republicans in the Oregon legislature are taking advantage of a little-used procedural move to force bills to be read out loud in their entirety. It's adding up to some lengthy floor sessions.

President Obama said Tuesday that despite Republican vows to block him, he will nominate a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly on Saturday.

Obama spoke during a news conference after a summit with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Rancho Mirage, Calif., but the first questions from reporters were about filling the empty Supreme Court seat.

The White House isn't offering any names of potential nominees to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, but it is offering a few clues.

"I'd urge you to take a look at the two Supreme Court justices that the president has already nominated and successfully got confirmed to the bench," White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters Monday.

He was referring to Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic, and Elena Kagan, just the fourth woman, to serve on the court.

In the aftermath of last Friday's vote by the Republican-led Washington Senate not to confirm Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson, essentially firing her on the spot, an email went out to all staff at the Department of Transportation.

The White House says the president will not move to appoint a Supreme Court replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia while the Senate is in recess this week.

In an interview with ABC News, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama would would wait to announce his nominee until Congress returns from its break later this month. In an email to NPR, Schultz said the White House had ruled out a recess appointment "this week."

Within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell aimed to squash any expectation that President Obama will get to name his successor.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice," he said in a statement. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

President Obama says he plans to pick a Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, setting up a confrontation with Republicans who control the Senate.

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