The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
By Zeke J Miller
May 26, 2015

As you may have heard from a gleeful Rand Paul, many of the NSA’s spying programs—including the collection of virtually all American phone records—will expire next week if lawmakers fail to pass new legislation to keep them running. Let’s all hope they can avoid the four-word typo many lawmakers blame for putting Obamacare on the Supreme Court chopping block. Meanwhile, the U.S. blames recent Islamic State advances on Iraqi troops unwillingness to fight, which is the same reason the U.S. gave for the Islamic State advances more than a year ago. And avowed socialist and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is actually running, with plans for a bucolic lakeside launch rally later today. Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Bernie Sanders Rallies a Progressive Campaign With a Realist’s Eye
TIME’s Sam Frizell reports on the Democratic contender’s strategy

Four Words That Imperil Health Care Law Were All a Mistake, Writers Now Say
Oops… [New York Times]

Suspicion of US government reaches a new level in Texas
A divided nation as seen through a military exercise [Boston Globe]

The South China Sea’s Ticking Time Bomb
Beijing is bulldozing sand into the eyes of the world, TIME’s Mark Thompson writes

Carly Fiorina Talks, Iowa Swoons, and Polls Shrug
The former HP CEO is earning rave reviews—from the few who know who she is [New York Times]

Republican Presidential Debate Caps Upend 2016 Race
Move over Iowa Straw Poll, making the debate stage is the new viability test. [Wall Street Journal]

Sound Off

“Many of our politicians have surrendered to the false god of judicial supremacy, which would allow black-robed and unelected judges the power to make law as well as enforce it.” —Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Fox News Sunday warning of the role of American judges.

“What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight…They were not outnumbered, but in fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. And yet they failed to fight.” —Defense Secretary Ash Carter on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday on the fall of Ramadi.

Bits and Bites

Senate NSA vote underscores rift in 2016 field [Washington Post]

Marco Rubio the hawk turned dovish on Syria in 2013 [Politico]

Gen. Dempsey’s first fight in Iraq shapes his approach to Islamic State [Washington Post]

Breakdown of GOP campaign strategies [Des Moines Register]

Republicans grope for Obamacare replacement [Politico]

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