Scott Detrow

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Democrats don't know who they will nominate for president in 2020, and they don't know yet where their convention will be held.

But the Democratic National Committee has now set a date for its next presidential nominating convention: July 13-16, 2020.

That's earlier than when conventions have been held in recent presidential election years, when the political spectacles have been staged as late as September, in order to maximize voter attention.

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that "Democrats are going to spend the next few months, including the August work period, focusing on the nation's health care system."

Every campaign manager running a Democratic campaign would have winced at that idea, had it come at any point between 2009 and 2017. "I would be pretty surprised," said Guy Cecil, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee's executive director in 2012 and 2014, at the idea a Democrat would willingly draw attention to health care so close to an election.

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Since most of the congressional candidates that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed this year are losing contested primaries, then Sanders' political clout must be fading, right?

"That's a stupid argument," Sanders told NPR this week.

"You know, he has a much broader look at politics than just elections," Sanders' longtime strategist Jeff Weaver said.

That is evident. The 2016 candidate repeatedly questioned the political value of his endorsements, and even expressed some mild indifference to the race-by-race results of the primaries he's waded into.

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Updated on June 6 at 10:10 a.m. ET

Democratic hopes to take back the House may have gotten a major boost on Tuesday, with the party seeming likely to avoid its worst nightmare as Democrats appear to have survived California's top-two "jungle primary."

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has a message for lawmakers who've been talking of removing him from his job.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

As House Republicans poured out of the closed-door meeting where Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told them he won't run for re-election this year, there was a constant theme: Things are on track. All is well. And a sitting speaker's decision to call it quits after less than three years in charge of the House chamber shouldn't be taken — at all — as a sign the GOP is facing an increasingly challenging election cycle.

"I go back to my district and people couldn't be more ecstatic about the things we're doing," Florida Rep. Brian Mast said. "I'm not concerned about it at all."

The Hogarth Shakespeare series has been having a little fun with the Bard in recent years, reimagining the plays for a 21st-century audience. The latest edition is a retelling of Macbeth by Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian author widely celebrated as the king of Nordic Noir.

Of course, it's not the kind of mystery novel he usually writes — after all, everyone knows how this one ends.

When Johnny Cash died almost 15 years ago, he left behind a treasure trove of unpublished poems and handwritten letters. The new album Johnny Cash: Forever Words, out now, immortalizes those words in music.

Joe Paterno's fall from grace was swift, sudden and completely unexpected.

In November 2011, the Penn State head coach set the record for most wins in the history of NCAA Division I college football after leading the team since 1966. Less than two weeks later, his glory came crashing down as instances of sexual abuse committed by Paterno's assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, came to light.

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SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

To the German city of Muenster now, where police say a vehicle has crashed into a crowd, killing several people and injuring others. For more on this developing story, NPR's Esme Nicholson joins me now from Berlin. Hello, Esme.

ESME NICHOLSON, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

A couple of weeks ago, NPR's Weekend Edition told you about America's only elected dogcatcher, Zeb Towne. He's held that position in the town of Duxbury, Vt. for 15 years in a row.

Towne told us he had never been bothered by that timeworn political insult: "You couldn't get elected dogcatcher!"

Major League Baseball players have more than a month to get ready for the season and shake off their winter rust, there's no spring training for the grounds crew.

There isn't much prep time before the MLB's nationwide opening day, when the field has to be perfect: Not too wet, not too dry, and the grass just the right length so that ground balls don't slow down too much or skip too quickly.

It has been a bad week for Cambridge Analytica.

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A grassroots rally featuring customized Beatles lyrics and sickle-and-hammer-adorned Donald Trump signs might not be the place you'd expect an outbreak of political pragmatism.

It came as the crowd sang a parody of "Come Together."

"Here come elections / We've got people running / we've high emotions / we've got strange primary," sang the protestors there for their weekly picket of Republican Darrell Issa's district office, as a tambourine beat away. "Come together, right now / turn it blue."

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has long led the push to provide a permanent legal status for "DREAMers" — young adults in the United States illegally who were brought to the country as children.

Durbin was in the mix on multiple bipartisan deals in recent months, as the clock ticked toward a March 5 expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Trump decided in September 2017 to end.

The Democratic National Committee's latest fundraising update fits into the general spot the committee has found itself in over the past year: Better than before, but still not good enough.

The DNC brought in more money than it did this time last year, but Democrats' $6 million January fundraising totals were still doubled by their Republican counterparts.

It's been a year since former Labor Secretary Tom Perez took charge of a DNC hurt by neglect, a hacking scandal and a devastating presidential election.

Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET

When it comes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program and Congress, no one seems to know what comes next.

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Well, the Senate's debate on immigration didn't really go anywhere. Yeah, this was a test of bipartisanship, and it appears to have failed with various proposals falling short of 60 votes. This is how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

A little after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., began a one-minute speech on the House floor.

Just over eight hours later, she concluded her record-breaking remarks.

According to the House historian's office, she delivered the longest floor speech since 1909 — and possibly ever.

Updated at 4:08 p.m. ET

Pennsylvania will soon have new congressional maps.

The United States Supreme Court has decided not to block a state court ruling requiring Pennsylvania's Legislature to immediately redraw its legislative boundaries.

Pennsylvania's state Supreme Court had previously ruled those 18 congressional districts — drawn by a Republican Legislature and signed by a Republican governor in 2011 — were overly partisan and violated the state Constitution.

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