Donald Trump wins Nevada, tornadoes hit the Southeast & more news
It's hump day, which means you just have to get to lunch and you're on the back half of the week. Kill a few minutes with a cup of coffee and these news headlines.
1. He's really not kidding around
Donald Trump won the Nevada caucuses last night by a decisive 45.9 percent. Marco Rubio arrived in second place at 23.9 percent; Ted Cruz at 21.4 percent. Nevada was the last contest before the Super Tuesday elections and Rubio and Cruz's last chance to halt Trump's momentum before more than a dozen states cast their ballots. Cruz and Rubio have been focused on attacking each other; last night's contest has highlighted the urgency of them cooperating to defeat the front-runner. — The New York Times
2. Not even a cup of coffee
Senate Republican leaders, including the Senate Judiciary committee, said yesterday that they would absolutely not vote on, not confirm and not even meet with, even as a matter of courtesy, any nominee that President Obama might put forward to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Antonin Scalia's death. Sen. Mitch McConnell told Obama to not even bother submitting a name, and that the president should "let the people decide." Which they did, by the way, by electing Obama. — The New York Times
3. Good students with guns, bad students with guns
Last year the Texas legislature voted to allow students on college campuses to carry concealed guns anywhere they might want to be — dorms, classrooms, the snack bar, anywhere. Professors are understandably nervous. The University of Houston has developed a program to help the faculty deal with the prospect of teaching a room full of armed teenagers, including a slide presentation that suggests that the profs "drop certain topics" from their curriculum and to only meet "that student" in controlled circumstances. Like where, the firing range? — Slate
4. Wait, what?
President Obama announced his plans for shutting down Guantánamo yesterday, and prominent Republicans are predictably against it. But they're so against that they're actually, uh, totally making stuff up. Ted Cruz told a crowd in Nevada last night that he believed Obama planned to give away the naval facility to Fidel Castro as a "parting gift." Marco Rubio took the same line, saying that Obama is planning to close Guantánamo and maybe give it back to Cuba. He added, "This makes no sense to me." Well, maybe because it doesn't make any sense. Writer Joshua Keating notes that Rubio and Cruz are "either extremely confused or making stuff up." — Slate
5. Town hall jaw
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met last night at a town hall meeting in South Carolina in which they both mostly refrained from attacking each other. Clinton focused on the human stories of people she hopes to represent; Sanders strove to align himself with President Obama and accused Trump and his supporters of being racist. Clinton also addressed race, stating that white people need to be more honest about the challenges that racism presents in this country. All in all, mostly a civil conversation. — CNN
6. He won't get his gift of Guantánamo
Ramon Castro, the brother of Fidel Castro, has died at the age of 91. No cause of death was given. Ramon, a farmer, was a lesser player in Cuba than his brothers were and did not play a major role in the revolution that brought communism to Cuba in 1959. — CNN
7. Not just in Kansas anymore
Thirty tornadoes were reported by the National Weather Service on Tuesday, with one particularly bad one hitting Pensacola and causing "war zone"-like damage to that city. Two people were killed by a tornado hitting an RV park in Louisiana and a third was killed in Mississippi. More tornadoes are forecast for today from Florida all the way to the mid-Atlantic. — NBC News