Over the weekend, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a self-identified white nationalist drove his car into her. James Alex Fields was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, and on Wednesday, hundreds gathered at a Charlottesville movie theater for Heyer’s memorial service.
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.
After the unceremonious ouster of Anthony Scaramucci, the White House is on the hunt for a new director of communications … preferably one who doesn’t go on on-the-record profanity-filled rants to reporters. But until they find one, the New York Times reports that Trump aide Hope Hicks will fill the role.
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.
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:
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.
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?
One of the things to keep in mind about an open presidential nominating contest with no clear front-runner is that an awful lot of politicians have been thinking of themselves as White House material since about the third grade. Add in the wildly unlikely identity of the 2016 winner and you have a recipe for egos running wild.
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.”
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.
And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny
By Andrew Sullivan
Inside the most unorthodox campaign in political history.
By Gabriel Sherman
There’s nothing simple about this candidacy—or candidate.
By Rebecca Traister
What should Democrats in Congress — and Barack Obama, and you — do now?
By Jonathan Chait
Select All / Nov. 9, 2016
Social media helped overturn the political order.By Max Read
The Cut / May 12, 2016
What I learned listening to Stern with my father.By Stella Bugbee
Science of Us / Dec. 9, 2016
In the richest country in the world, one bad break can trigger a downward spiral.By Jesse Singal