Early and Often

‘RINO’ Curtis Wins Utah GOP Special House Primary

Though conservative firebrand Chris Herrod hasn’t conceded yet, the Associated Press and most political observers have named Provo mayor John Curtis the winner in yesterday’s special GOP primary in the third congressional district of Utah. Held to select a successor to Fox News’ latest “personality,” Jason Chaffetz, the primary was a three-way affair involving front-runner Curtis, Herrod (endorsed by an ideologue-dominated party convention), and basketball scion Tanner Ainge (son of former BYU and NBA star Danny Ainge). Most of the drama was generated by Herrod’s friends at the Club for Growth, who ran a lot of ads labeling Curtis a tax-loving RINO, mainly because he was a Democrat back in the day.

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America Coming To Grips With an Incorrigible Trump

President Trump made a morally disturbing and politically divisive series of statements yesterday about last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville at what was supposed to be a press briefing on his plans for infrastructure investments. By now, most public officials have felt compelled to weigh in on his shocking self-identification with neo-Confederate efforts to protect monuments to slavery and Jim Crow, and his suggestion that counterprotesters in Charlottesville had as much or more to do with the breakdown in law and order as the motley crew of white supremacists who started the whole thing. As my colleague Margaret Hartmann explained, members of Trump’s own party split between those who flatly repudiated him, those who defended him, and those who pretended he didn’t say what he said.

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Trump’s Aides Tried to Conceal His Crazy, Racist Beliefs From the Country

Donald Trump’s aides have been angry with him frequently — indeed, usually — since the beginning of his presidential campaign. But they have rarely registered their dismay as nakedly as they did Tuesday night, when he spontaneously altered a plan to deliver remarks on infrastructure without taking questions into a free-form defense of white supremacists. One official told NBC News that Trump had “gone rogue.” Mike Allen reports that chief economic adviser Gary Cohn is “between appalled and furious,” and that there is a danger one or more high-level officials could resign. Chief of Staff John Kelly’s disgust was registered on his face:

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Trump Fans Moore and Strange Head to a Runoff in Alabama Senate Race

In an impressive show of his statewide appeal to conservatives, Judge Roy Moore seems sure to finish first in tonight’s Alabama’s special GOP Senate primary to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s old seat. But Moore will now face appointed senator Luther Strange in a September 26 runoff where the incumbent will have a big financial advantage and the backing of President Trump.

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CBO: Trump Killing Obamacare Subsidies Would Raise Premiums and Budget Deficits

On occasion, when President Trump has issued his terroristic threats to cut off the so-called cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies, he’s made it sound like he’s just getting out of the way and letting Obamacare “implode.” And both he and some congressional conservatives like to talk as though continuing CSR subsidies (which help offset the cost of measures insurance companies are required to take under the Affordable Care Act to prevent large out-of-pocket costs for low-income policyholders) is just a “bailout for insurance companies.” How could regular people get upset about that?

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Planned Parenthood President Says Democrats Are ‘Totally Wrong’ to Compromise on Abortion

In an interview on Politico’s Off Message podcast Tuesday, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards pushed back hard against the idea that Democrats should support candidates who are antiabortion. She said that recent comments by prominent Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and DCCC chairman Ben Ray Luján are “a shocking sort of misunderstanding of actually where the country is … which is overwhelmingly supportive of abortion rights.”

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In Utah Today, Voters Are Picking Jason Chaffetz’s Successor

Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate special primary election today is getting lots of national attention. But in another deep-red state across the country, the GOP is holding another “tantamount” primary (a primary “tantamount” to a general election due to the heavily partisan nature of the jurisdiction): the third congressional district of Utah. In this profoundly conservative district that includes the cities of Provo and Orem, the abrupt resignation of the apparently bored Representative Jason Chaffetz has created a fine opportunity for some ambitious Republican to secure a safe seat.

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Andrew Sullivan's Liveblogs

July 28, 2016

The Last Night of the DNC

Clinton didn’t screw it up – but she didn’t soar either. She owned her wonkishness.