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March 25, 2014

It's all fun and games until someone develops a crippling sugar addiction. First you're admiring your shining Ring Pop with your friends, and the next thing you know, you're in a skeevy alleyway bartering a half-licked jewel for a coveted morsel of rock candy.

Parks and Recreation's resident deadpan youth Aubrey Plaza stars in this dark faux ad from Funny or Die for the nostalgic treat that was popular during the '80s and '90s. Beware: Sugar can tear your relationships apart. --Samantha Rollins

2016 Watch
11:38 a.m. ET
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The Washington Post this week published a very useful overview of the rise of the Clinton Foundation, from its humble roots helping small business owners in Harlem to the sprawling philanthropic empire it has become today — one that has produced numerous conflicts of interest that have already created headaches for Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations.

One of the more interesting aspects of the story is how the Clinton Foundation filled a void in Bill Clinton's restless post-presidential life, turning him — project by project, donation by donation — into the "world's middleman" for getting stuff done, whether it be lowering the cost of AIDS drugs or fighting childhood obesity:

For Clinton, the foundation had re-created many of the things he loved about the presidency — cheering crowds, an army of aides, and a resonant sense that he was doing good on a global scale.

Even better, in this job, there were no foreign crises to derail his plans. And no meddling Republicans. In fact, the foundation drew contributions from some who were once Clinton’s most bitter GOP enemies, including Newsmax chief executive Christopher Ruddy and conservative mega-donor Richard Mellon Scaife.

There was also no date when the ride had to end. [The Washington Post]

Of course, now that his wife is running for president, Clinton's excellent adventure may be coming to an end quite soon. Read the whole piece at the Post. Ryu Spaeth

harper lee
10:51 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If you're a To Kill a Mockingbird fan, this auction is for you.

Christie's auction house in New York will auction off six of Harper Lee's original typewritten letters on June 12. The letters, written between 1956 and 1961, could sell for as much as $250,000.

Lee's letters are addressed to her friend Harold Caufield, an architect in New York. The letters mention Lee's worry about her sick father, who was the model for To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch. In one of the letters, Lee also tells Caufield that she was "surprised, stunned, and dazed" by the novel's success. Meghan DeMaria

Payback time
10:44 a.m. ET

In March, a Department of Justice report revealed that agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had "sex parties" with prostitutes and members of the drug cartels they were supposed to be investigating in Colombia.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee promised investigation and retribution, soon finding that the parties occurred by the dozen over the course of several years — all on the taxpayers' dime, of course.

On Tuesday night, the House authorized financial penalties for the profligate agency, cutting $43 million from DEA employee salaries. Of that total, $20 million in cuts will only be withheld until the DEA implements policy changes to address its employee misconduct issues. The other $23 million will be diverted to funding investigations and supporting the victims of sexual abuse, as well as purchasing police body cameras. Bonnie Kristian

10:14 a.m. ET
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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has teamed up with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and a bipartisan group of House members to call for the release of 28 classified pages of the 2002 Senate inquiry into the cause of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Paul has introduced the "Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act" to declassify the pages — though as a last resort he could read them into the Senate record under the protection of the Speech or Debate Clause.

As for the content of the pages, former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who supports Paul's plan, says, "The 28 pages in the report of over 800 pages go to the question of who financed 9/11 and they point a strong finger at Saudi Arabia." Saudi Arabia has argued this is not true, endorsing the declassification to squash Graham's allegation.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), one of the bill's backers in the House, believes releasing the pages would not damage national security, "and it would give families [of 9/11 victims] the answers they deserve." Bonnie Kristian

2016 Watch
10:12 a.m. ET

As part of our ongoing series on the 2016 candidates, produced in partnership with Rubin Report, The Week's Marc Ambinder and Dave Rubin concisely analyze the Kentucky senator's biggest strengths and weaknesses. Watch below:

Coming Soon
10:03 a.m. ET

Here's a very, very early tip for your 2016 Oscar pool: Go ahead and check off Meryl Streep's name in the Best Supporting Actress category now. The first trailer for Suffragette — which features Streep as famed political activist Emmeline Pankhurst — seems all but guaranteed to land the actress a record-setting 20th Oscar nomination:

Suffragette follows Maud (Carey Mulligan), a young British housewife who becomes active in the political movement aimed at securing women the right to vote. "Never underestimate the power we women have to define our own destinies. We have been left with no alternative. Defy this government!" says Streep, a vocal leader of the suffragette movement, in one of several impassioned speeches featured in the trailer.

Suffragette hits U.S. theaters on October 23. Scott Meslow

9:54 a.m. ET

Unsuspecting bathers at the Fudo no Yu hot spring outside of Tokyo have been taking in more than just panoramic views: The famous onsen has reportedly turned into an orgy hotspot.

The mixed-gender bathing and privacy at the hot spring — it can only fit about 10 people and doesn't employ a supervisor — apparently proved too alluring for swingers and the adult film industry.

Local residents and other bathers had been complaining about witnessing lewd acts for about a year, but the last straw appeared to have been a succession of weekend orgies involving as many as 15 middle-aged men and several younger women... The bath, part of the popular Shiobara onsen resort, is also thought to have been targeted by voyeurs armed with cameras, the site said, citing a report in the Mainichi Shimbun. [The Guardian]

“We had no choice but to close the bath," an unidentified local told the Asahi Shimbun. It has since been drained of its water — and, hopefully, thoroughly scrubbed. Nico Lauricella

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