August 8, 2014

Congratulations, Virginia: You have the world's fastest internet connection! The southern state's average speed of 13.7 megabits per second topped all other states in the Union (including the District of Columbia), according to cloud services provider Broadview Networks.

Broadview Networks used Akamai's "State of the Internet Report" to gather data on the average internet connection speed in each state. Virginia was joined in the top five by Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. New York and California, home to the country's biggest cities, ranked 14th and 20th, respectively.

As for America's slowest internet connection? You'll find that in Alaska, where the average speed of 7 mbps is roughly half of Virginia's fastest-in-the-nation rate. So if you're planning out your next major Netflix binge-watching session, maybe try to avoid the nation's largest state. Kimberly Alters

10:14 a.m. ET
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Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is certain America can do much better than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. In a scathing Twitter rant Wednesday night — coupled with an open letter posted on Facebook — Sasse suggested that instead of settling for one of "two terrible choices," America should consider drafting a third-party candidate.

Sasse, one of the few leading Republicans who has openly said he will not support Trump even if he is the GOP nominee, proceeded to offer reason after reason why neither Trump nor Clinton were fit for the Oval Office:

Sasse's solution? "An honest leader who will focus on 70 percent solutions for the next four years," he wrote. "You know... an adult?" Becca Stanek

10:09 a.m. ET

Donald Trump has all but locked up the Republican nomination for president of the United States — a plan that has apparently been a long, long time in the making. Rediscovered by The Daily Beast, Trump once wrote a defense of "a Trump candidacy" for a 2000 issue of Gear, in which he slams pundits for bemoaning "celebrity culture" and explains the advantages to sending a "billionaire to the White House."

It is spookily prescient:

America deserves a government that welcomes the kind of original thinking that has made our country great … A straight-talking citizen politician — like me — can have a huge impact. The whinnying culture critics and media hacks [who] bemoan the rise of celebrity culture and warn about the decline of traditional political values. They're on somebody's payroll. As a true conservative, I believe that a citizen politician, with the support of other private citizens, is smart enough and gifted enough to lead this great country and give it new spirit. If things go well, I'll have a chance to demonstrate that fact. [Donald Trump, via The Daily Beast]

Read the entire eerie article over at The Daily Beast. Jeva Lange

9:11 a.m. ET
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MSNBC's Chris Matthews was certainly enjoying Donald Trump's victory speech in Indiana on Tuesday — but in the creepiest way possible. Caught unwittingly on a hot mic, Matthews can be heard ogling at Melania Trump as Brian Williams wraps up his commentary.

"Look how she walks. Did you see her walk? That's a runway walk," Matthews is heard effusing as Melania follows her husband onto the stage. "My God, is that good."

Williams — apparently scrambling— then cuts to a commercial break:

A spokesperson for Melania Trump released a statement to Variety later saying that "it is unfortunate to see the continuous inaccuracies and misrepresentations made by the media of Mrs. Trump as anything less than the independently successful woman that she is." Jeva Lange

9:09 a.m. ET

In public, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is brushing aside concerns that Donald Trump's nomination will hamper his chances at reelection. But behind closed doors, Politico discovered in a recording of a private event, it's a drastically different story.

The Arizona senator warned his closest supporters at a private fundraiser last month that Trump might make this race his toughest yet. "If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life," McCain said, according to a recording. "If you listen or watch Hispanic media in the state and in the country, you will see that it is all anti-Trump. The Hispanic community is roused and angry in a way that I've never seen in 30 years."

For years now, McCain has worked to win over Arizona's large Latino population, which makes up 22 percent of the state's eligible voters. While he's been successful so far, and, as Politico notes, is "certainly the favorite in his race to win a sixth term in the Senate," McCain is privately admitting that Trump's remarks could very well create an opening for his Democratic opponent to take his seat. "Frankly there's an element of nativism in it as well, as you know. The first wedge that Donald Trump had that gave him notoriety was, 'build a wall,' 'rapist,' 'murderers,' etc.," McCain said at the fundraiser. "And so, this is going to be a tough campaign for me."

Listen to McCain's full remarks at the private fundraiser, via Politico, below. Becca Stanek

8:31 a.m. ET

KFC is taking the whole "finger lickin' good" thing to a new level. The chain's new marketing campaign in Hong Kong comes in the form of edible nail polish, so, you know, you can lick your fingers any time to get that fried chicken taste in your mouth. The nail polish comes in two different colors, one that tastes like the Original fried chicken and the other which tastes like the Hot and Spicy stuff.

"It tastes like chicken," Anna Mugglestone, marketing and communications director for the agency running the campaign, said. "It's crazy. I don't know how they do it." Mugglestone says the nail polish campaign is a way "to remind the younger generation" of "the great taste and good times the brand stands for."

Yum? Becca Stanek

8:25 a.m. ET
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Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced he will step down later this month following widespread reports of tension with Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. President Erdogan has attempted to shift power away from the prime minister and to the president, a move that reportedly made Davutoglu uneasy. Davutoglu succeeded Erdogan as premier and leader of the Justice and Development Party in 2014, and will step down at the party's congress on May 22.

Davutoglu is viewed in by the West as a cooperative reformer who seeks to deepen Turkey's relationship with Europe, while Erdogan is viewed skeptically for his censorship of the press and crackdown on political dissent, The Wall Street Journal reports. Davutoglu's decision to step down could weaken relations between Ankara and Washington as the nations go forward in the fight against ISIS Jeva Lange

7:54 a.m. ET

If Donald Trump were to follow through with his plan to deport America's 11 million undocumented immigrants, the economy would suffer a devastating blow, according to a new study from the American Action Forum, a conservative think tank. The study finds that Trump's deportation plan would remove about 6.8 million workers from the U.S. economy, in turn causing a slump in private sector output anywhere from $381.5 billion to $623.2 billion. The economy would shrink by about 2 percent.

Problems would likely extend beyond the initial slump, too. The study contends that many of the jobs left vacant by the mass deportation would go unfilled because there wouldn't be enough legal workers willing to do them. That would leave potentially millions of vacancies in industries including farming, construction, and hospitality, which employ the highest share of undocumented immigrants.

"The things Donald Trump has said are utterly unworkable," American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin said. Becca Stanek

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