A stalled “recovery” really isn’t a recovery. “The U.S. economy nearly stalled in the first quarter as weakness overseas hurt exports and frigid weather curtailed business investment. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.1% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That matched the second-weakest quarterly reading of the nearly five-year-old economic recovery.”

epa04186776 Ukrainian Maidan self-defense activists clash with special police, who are guarding the Cabinet of the Ministers building in Kiev, Ukraine, 30 April 2014. The clash between the factions had started for unknown reasons. Armed separatists seized more government buildings in eastern Ukraine on 30 April, as Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened measures against Western companies operating in Russia if the United States and European Union imposed more sanctions. EPA/ANDREW KRAVCHENKO / POOL Ukrainian Maidan self-defense activists clash with special police in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday. (Andrew Kravchenko/European Pressphoto Agency)

If he is mired in a criminal probe, there may be a new Republican governor. “A criminal grand jury has launched a probe into Gov. Pat Quinn’s troubled anti-violence program —  once likened to ‘a political slush fund’ — delivering a major blow to the Democrat as he seeks re-election this fall. On Tuesday, the Quinn administration turned over 1,000 documents pertaining to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative to the Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez following a subpoena from her office. ”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) isn’t about to be trapped in the isolationist mindset. “There’s a temptation by some to move toward isolationism, but our country has always been, since World War II, the leader of the free world. We’ve been a beacon, not just for our country but for others, and it’s helped keep the world a lot safer.”

It doesn’t sound like Vladimir Putin has been halted. “As pro-Russian gunmen seized another city in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, the country’s acting president said the government’s police and security officials were ‘helpless’ to control events in large swaths of the region, where at least a dozen cities are now in the hands of separatists. With the admission by the country’s acting leader, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, that major chunks of the country had slipped from the government’s grasp, the long-simmering conflict in Ukraine seemed to enter a new and more dangerous phase.”

Jonathan Karl is not to be stymied. “Jay Carney clashes with Jon Karl: That Benghazi e-mail from Ben Rhodes wasn’t about Benghazi.” Really, that is the excuse for the memo to prep Susan Rice for five shows focused on the murder of four diplomats in Libya? C’mon.

Nor has this explanation stopped lawmakers. “Senate Armed Services Committee member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Rhodes’ ’email is a smoking gun. It shows political operatives in the White House working to create a political narrative at odds with the facts.’ Graham said the White House intentionally ‘provided the most beneficial political story for the president’ instead of telling the truth. Armed Services Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and a spokesman for House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) also expressed concerns that the emails showed the White House was pushing a false narrative.” Well, let’s put everyone under oath and get to the bottom of it.

Republicans never imagined Heath and Human Services nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell would be blocked. This is all about getting answers to simple questions like, “How many people have paid?” “She’ll have to get through two tough confirmation hearings — one in Finance, the other in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. And many Republicans indicated that they have big questions for Burwell, who they hope is exponentially more responsive than outgoing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to their inquiries. Republicans want assurances that Burwell will reply to their written letters on Obamacare implementation and work with them on other HHS issues — something they say Sebelius rarely did.”