It's Cory Booker's race to lose

In marking anniversary of Equal Pay Act, Obama extols gay rights

The critique of Chris Christie — in 1 cartoon

Ominous signs of progress for immigration bill

Never heard of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board? You should.

What will Congress do and say about the NSA?

Rand Paul and the rise of the libertarian Republican


Sen. Chiesa: Newly-appointed Sen. Jeff Chiesa (R-N.J.) was sworn in this afternoon, becoming the 46th Republican senator -- at least for the next four months.

A worker changes out the name of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) for incoming Sen. Jeff Chiesa (R-N.J.) Monday in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington. (Photo by NBC News’s Frank Thorp, via Instagram)

He'll likely be replaced by a Democrat: With the filing deadline passing at 4 p.m. Monday, New Jersey Republicans failed to land a big-name candidate for the race, and early polling shows Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) is a huge favorite in both the Democratic primary and the general election. Booker drew three primary opponents: Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. On the GOP side, 2009 gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan is favored over Dr. Alieta Eck.

Carney declines comment: The White House continues to be silent on NSA leaker Edward Snowden, with press secretary Jay Carney no-commenting Monday. "...I am not going to be able to discuss specifically this individual or this investigation ... nor would I characterize the president’s views on an individual or an ongoing investigation," Carney said.

Snowden pardon petition gains supporters: But the White House is unlikely to be able to stay silent forever. A petition urging the government to pardon Snowden had more than 26,000 signatures by Monday afternoon. It needs 100,000 to force the White House to respond to it -- something that seems probable at this point. Snowden was apparently in Hong Kong Monday (despite an extradition agreement between the semiautonomous Chinese territory and the United States) but he checked out of his hotel Monday.

Snowden's Ron Paul connection: Snowden gave then-Rep. Ron Paul $500 in the 2012 presidential race, and Paul returned the favor Monday, praising Snowden's disclosure of secret intelligence-gathering programs that libertarians decry as government overreach. "We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk,” Paul said on his Web site.

Hillary is on Twitter: And she describes herself as a "pantsuit aficionado."

Any ideas?: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) jokes about his gang involvement during Monday's immigration reform debate. Durbin is often involved in "Gang of X" groups seeking bipartisan deals.

Race tightens in Massachusetts: A new Suffolk University poll shows Gabriel Gomez (R) closing to within seven percentage points of Rep. Ed Markey (D) in that other special election -- the one for John Kerry's old seat in Massachusetts. Markey led by 17 points in the last Suffolk poll, but the newer version suggests he's being hurt by the controversies in the Obama administration.

Crossroads signs on to immigration effort: The GOP-leaning outside group Crossroads GPS says it will push for the immigration overhaul compromise -- even as many Republicans are balking at supporting the bill. At the same time, Crossroads is pushing for certain changes to the bill, including increased border security. Here's an ad the group is running in D.C. newspapers:


With a hellafied anchor lean.