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Showing posts from September, 2020

The Woman Who Could Be the First Democratic Senator From Kansas Since 1932

  Kansas Republicans thought they had dodged a bullet when the so-called “establishment candidate,” Rep. Roger Marshall won the Senate primary against Kris Kobach, a Trump mini-me. But recent polls show that Marshall is in a dead heat with his opponent, Democrat Barbara Bollier. Back in 2004, Thomas Frank put Kansas on the modern-day political map with his book titled, What’s the Matter With Kansas? In his telling, “conservatives won the heart of America” by convincing Kansans to vote against their own economic interests in an effort to defend traditional cultural values against the bicoastal elites. Does Frank’s analysis still apply? We know that Trump’s Republican Party, now that it’s passed huge tax cuts for the wealthy, has no agenda other than the so-called “culture wars” against women, people of color, immigrants and LGBTQ Americans. That’s what animates the Republican base of nostalgia voters , including those in Kansas. It should have propelled Kobach to victory in the 2018 Ka

We're Likely to See an Epic Showdown at Fox News on Election Night

Donald Trump has made it perfectly clear how he plans to try to steal the election. He'll declare victory on election night and then attempt to stop the counting of mail-in ballots via his disinformation campaign about fraud. His hope is to create enough chaos to force the issue to the Supreme Court or Congress, where he expects to have the advantage.  The Biden campaign and Democrats have assembled a team to handle the legal challenges. But this will be a public relations battle as well. That's where the role of the media will come into play and, as I've already suggested , they should be planning now for how they will handle the scenario that the president has telegraphed will come.  Recognizing all of that, David Ignatius at the New York Times   talked to senior political journalists at Fox News, ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC to find out how they are planning to cover  "the results of a presidential contest unlike any other in our history." What he heard is somewhat

Is the Durham October Surprise Fizzling?

As we head into the last month of this election season, we are approaching the time when political analysts expect a so-called “October surprise.” One that has been bandied about as a possibility stems from Attorney General Barr’s assertion that he won’t wait until after the election to release the findings of U.S. Attorney Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. But there are some indications that one could be fizzling. Here is a timeline of recent events related to that investigation. Durham interviewed former CIA Director John Brennan - August 22, 2020 According to multiple news reports, the Durham investigation has focused on a claim that Brennan politicized the intelligence indicating that Russia’s attempt to influence the 2016 election was aimed at supporting Trump’s candidacy—which has been refuted by both the Mueller probe and the bipartisan investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee.  According to Brennan’s spokesperson, Nick Shapiro, the fo

No, Amy Coney Barrett Is Not the New Feminist Icon

By all accounts Amy Coney Barrett is an intelligent woman. Noah Feldman, who expects to disagree with her on most of her future opinions and votes, described Barrett as " a brilliant and conscientious lawyer." Of course, she seems to have grown up in a fairly privileged environment, as the daughter of a lawyer with Shell Oil Company and a high school French teacher. Living in the suburbs of New Orleans, Barrett attended an all-girls private high school before going on to college and graduate school.  But as intelligent as Barrett might be, she is not a "new feminist icon," as Erika Bachiochi  has written . Let's take a look at how Bachiochi makes that claim. The entire argument is based on the fact that Barrett and her husband are the parents of seven children. In the ultimate "you can have it all," they've done so while advancing their professional careers. Barrett has suggested that it's all about teamwork. We were open to either one of us s

From Wellstone to Weeks: The Uprooted Election in Minnesota's Second Congressional District

Until last week, no one was paying a lot of attention to the race in Minnesota’s second congressional district. Incumbent Democrat Angie Craig has been running ahead of her Republican challenger, Tyler Kistner, in a suburban district that has mirrored the swing towards Democrats over the last few years. Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates the seat “likely Democrat,” while the Cook Political Report has it “lean Democrat.”  But then Adam Weeks, representing the Legal Marijuana Now Party in the race, died suddenly at the age of 38. The cause of his death is unknown at the moment. But a friend of Weeks, Joey Hudson, told the Star Tribune that he had been worried about the candidate’s health. He had a bad ski accident the year before and was recovering from addiction, Hudson said, adding that he should not have been out walking miles on the campaign trail. Weeks had supported Donald Trump for president in 2016 but was also concerned about the major parties, Hudson said. Hudson also said W