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April 3, 2014

The Chicago Cubs are not a good baseball team. Though we're only days into the season, Baseball Prospectus gives them just a 4.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, fourth-worst of any team in the majors. The odds are stacked so heavily against the Cubs doing anything right that you wouldn't be surprised if they failed at even getting dressed — and hey, look at that:

On the left is Cubs outfielder Junior Lake, wearing one of the team's alternate away uniforms. On the right is Anthony Rizzo, wearing a different away uniform that was also worn by the rest of the team Thursday. If only someone would get Lake Travis Wood's screwy batting helmet to complete the ensemble. Jon Terbush

12:22 p.m. ET
Jack Gruber-Pool/Getty Images

Tennessee is a Republican stronghold, a fact that was demonstrated clearly by President Trump's 61 percent victory in the state last November. But high opinion of the president in the Volunteer State is fading, and it's fading fast, a Middle Tennessee State University discovered Wednesday. Today, Trump is approved of by just 51 percent of Tennessean voters.

"New presidents often enjoy a so-called honeymoon shortly after winning their first election, when unifying inaugural addresses and a public that hopes for the best contribute to even greater support and job approval than their winning vote totals," explained the associate director of the poll, Jason Reineke. He dubbed Trump's plunge a "hangover" for voters, with Trump's "job approval at the outset of his presidency ... actually worse than his winning vote total in the state."

Even former President Barack Obama had a higher favorability rating in Tennessee during his first term than Trump, when 53 percent of the state's voters approved of his job in office.

The conclusions come from a survey of 600 registered voters between Feb. 12 and 16, and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points. Jeva Lange

11:58 a.m. ET

More than 100 women flocked to the Twin Cities tattoo shop Brass Knuckle on Tuesday to get the words "nevertheless, she persisted" inked permanently on their bodies, Star Tribune reports. The quote has become something of a rallying cry for liberal women after it was used by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) earlier this month.

"Did I ever think I would get a Mitch McConnell quote tattooed on my body? No, I did not," said organizer Nora McInerny. "But those are three words that any woman would be able to see themselves in, regardless of politics."

McInerny had originally planned for a few friends to get the tattoos together for charity, but she accidentally set her Facebook event to public, not private. Because of McInerny's following as a blogger and social media star, nearly 2,000 people expressed interest in the event after just a few days.

Some people waited more than six hours to get the tattoo, and anyone who couldn't get in was told they could make an appointment through March, with $55 of the $75 tattoo going to a local pro-choice nonprofit.

A post shared by Nora McInerny (@noraborealis) on

"Those words remind me of every woman I know who has kept going even though it's difficult or it might make you unpopular. I just thought it was a perfectly beautiful sentiment,” McInerny said. "Also, I'm incredibly impulsive.” Jeva Lange

11:51 a.m. ET
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Almost two-thirds of Americans have at least some concerns about the U.S. getting into a "major war" during the next four years under President Trump, an NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll released Wednesday revealed. A plurality, 36 percent, reported being "very worried," while 30 percent were "somewhat worried." Twenty-five percent said they are "not too worried" about the threat of war. Only 8 percent said they are "not at all worried."

Levels of concerned varied widely between Republicans and Democrats. A striking 88 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters said they were worried about the possibility of war, while 60 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters said they weren't at all concerned.

The poll was conducted online from Feb. 13-19 among 11,512 adults. Its overall margin of error is plus or minus 1.4 percentage points. Becca Stanek

11:09 a.m. ET
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is the proud owner of 3,643 website domain names. Some, like TrumpEmpire.com, TrumpBuilding.com,and TrumpOrganization.com, make sense for a former real estate mogul to purchase. Others, like TrumpFraud.org, TrumpScam.com, TrumpNetworkPonziScheme.com, I'mBeingSuedByTheDonald.com, and DonaldTrumpSucks.com, are purchases perhaps intended to avoid potentially damaging content being published under embarrassing URLs. But then there some Trump domain purchases that defy explanation, like TrumpArmy.com and TrumpRussia.com.

Visiting those websites doesn't provide any answers either. Like most of Trump's registered domains, all that pops up is a GoDaddy template, indicating the domain name is purchased and paid for, but inactive. In the past, Trump has purchased domain names shortly before they became relevant, like when he purchased VoteAgainstTrump.com in 2012, when he was contemplating a presidential run. Shortly before announcing his presidential campaign in June 2015, he bought the domains MakeAmericaGreatAgain.vote and MakeAmericaGreatAgain.us.

Trump Organization spokeswoman Amanda Miller told CNN that Trump's purchases are a way protect "corporate identity" and "intellectual property," and noted "the use of 'negative' domain names is a serious issue facing all large companies around the world." She did not, however, shed light on why Trump registered the domain TrumpRussia.com despite his repeated claims he owns "nothing in Russia," or why he may have purchased a domain referring to his "Army" long before he became America's commander-in-chief. Becca Stanek

10:52 a.m. ET
Kevin Dietsch - Pool/Getty Images

Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece, Alveda King, claims she heard what might seem to be two rather understated reactions from President Trump during his Tuesday visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

The first came when [Trump's] gaze fell on a stone auction block from Hagerstown, Maryland, on which slaves would stand before being sold.

King, part of a small delegation to tour the new Smithsonian with the president, overheard Trump say: "Boy, that is just not good. That is not good."

Later, they came upon a set of shackles that were used to restrain children.

"That is really bad," King quoted the president as saying. "That is really bad." [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

While King described Trump as being "visibly moved," others were less sure about what Trump might have learned from the exhibit. "History is always instructive and the museum tells a powerful story, so it is unlikely that he wouldn't be moved by his visit," said Janice Mathis, the executive director of the National Council of Negro Women. "Now it is my hope that the visit will move beyond a celebration of Black History Month and that he will now consider public policy that is appropriate for a culturally and racially diverse nation today."

For his part, Trump said: "This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance, and hatred in all of its very ugly forms." Jeva Lange

10:33 a.m. ET

When Albuquerque police found Bryelle Marshall, 23, asleep behind the wheel of her parked car after reports of reckless driving, they decided to administer a field sobriety test. But instead of counting backwards from 100 or bending and touching her nose, Marshall decided to do her own demonstration of sobriety: cartwheels.

"We're not doing yoga, I don't know what you're doing. Put your hands down," a puzzled police officer instructs Marshall moments before she careens into acrobatics:

Police said Marshall appeared "extremely intoxicated and was having a hard time listening to officers' commands," NBC News reports. Marshall eventually ended up kicking an officer in the back mid-cartwheel and "at that point, Marshall's opportunities to complete the tests were over and she was arrested." Jeva Lange

10:15 a.m. ET

With questions swirling over President Trump campaign aides' alleged contact with Russia, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway's shameless plug for first daughter Ivanka Trump's products from the White House press briefing room, and the president's potential conflicts of interest, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is zeroing in on the issue that really matters: a tweet from Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park. Back in December, the national park's official Twitter account welcomed the new Bears Ears National Monument to the National Park Service Family:

The tweet's mention of a "hopeful" empty map slot that has "long been held" for Bears Ears caught Chaffetz's attention. He quickly sent a letter to the superintendent at Bryce Canyon asking if they'd gotten advance notice from the Obama administration about the monument designation, which he has called a "slap in the face to the people of Utah." "The White House is telling the governor as well as the congressional offices that no decisions had been made — that it was still an open question — so how is it [Bryce Canyon National Park officials] were already ready to go with that information?" Chaffetz said Tuesday. "The timing is serious."

Bryce Canyon interim superintendent Sue Fritzke denied the park received advanced notice, and said the welcome tweet was just that. "When we have another piece of land in the park service that is close by, we will reach out and welcome them to the federal family, and let them know we are here and interested in connecting," Fritzke said. The tweet was sent one day after former President Barack Obama designated the land.

Chaffetz has claimed the Bears Ears investigation is at the "very bottom of the list" of investigations, but he has apparently decided the question it's raised won't be "taking care of itself" — unlike questions raised by former national security adviser Michael Flynn's contact with Russia's U.S. ambassador during Trump's transition. Becca Stanek

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