Long Shot:

The assault weapons ban will not be included in a Senate bill on gun control because it has no chance of passing, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said it would not garner even 40 votes in the Democrat-controlled upper house. Another proposal that would have expanded background checks to private gun sales will also not be included in the gun safety legislation. “I’m not going to try to put something on the floor that won’t succeed. I want something that will succeed,” Reid said. He added that he hoped to bring a bill to the floor after the Easter recess. (Read more)

Waste of Money: Remember when the Bush administration projected that it would cost about $50 billion to $60 billion to fight a war in Iraq? Well, like it was on so many other things, the administration turned out to be wrong. On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, Mother Jones reports that the U.S. has spent $1.6 trillion to date on a war that many now say was a mistake. But researchers estimate the total cost of the war—with interest—will be $6 trillion. If Republicans want to lament wasteful, out-of-control government spending, perhaps they may want to start here. (Read more)

Same Difference: The Republican Party has conducted what it’s billing as the “most comprehensive post-election review” ever to determine what went wrong in November, and came to the conclusion that its policies are not the problem. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says the so-called autopsy report shows that the party’s shortcomings include a weak message, an insufficient ground game and not being inclusive enough. The RNC’s solution: better communication and more inclusion. “I think our policies are sound, but I think in many ways the way we communicate can be a real problem,” Priebus said Monday. Between this report and Paul Ryan’s recently released budget that benefits corporations and the rich and screws everyone else, it’s unclear whether Republicans actually learned anything from their 2012 election loss. (Read more)

A Rush to Judgment: Perhaps not shockingly, the RNC’s autopsy report has come under intense scrutiny from the right, including from radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. On his program Tuesday, Limbaugh dismissed the report, claiming not only that the RNC did not understand why it was defeated, but also that Republicans’ election losses last year weren’t really that bad. Limbaugh’s solution? The GOP should become more conservative. “The Republican Party lost because it’s not conservative, it didn’t get its base out. People say they need to moderate their tone — they don’t,” Limbaugh said. On that note—it seems the GOP didn’t learn anything from the 2012 election. (Read more)

Stranger to the Truth: The Washington Post has awarded Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann four Pinocchios for telling a whopper of lie at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference. In her speech, the congresswoman claimed that 70 percent of funds marked for the poor go to Washington bureaucrats. The claim is likely based on Bachmann’s deep misreading or misunderstanding—perhaps both—of a book written by Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute. Moreover, the figures she incorrectly cited don’t even apply to the food stamp program she used as an example. The Washington Post’s fact checkers concluded: “Bachmann yet again earns Four Pinocchios. But there really aren’t enough Pinocchios for such misleading use of statistics in a major speech.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: Vice President Joe Biden was among those attending the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis at the Vatican on Tuesday. Biden, a Catholic, led a U.S. delegation to the event. He spoke briefly with the pope, which CNN captured on video. Unfortunately, you can’t hear them, leaving us all to speculate what the veep had to say to the new pontiff. (Biden appears in the video at about the 1:15 mark.)

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