I’m not a scientist. — Republicans
I’m not a Republican. — Scientists
Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker takes seriously Jonathan Haidt's assertion that social psychologists are biased against Republicans. CW: What both Konnikova & Haidt seem to overlook is that most of what passes for conservatism today is laughable bullshit. Where it's not cohesive sociopathy, it's incoherent, non-intellectual rationalization based on disproved hypotheses or deceit. So, yeah, I guess the vast majority of social psychologists are "biased" against Republicans/conservatives to the extent they can see through the malarky & discount it -- or study! -- it.
All the News Is Bad News. CW: I'll let Nate Silver break it to you.
Jonathan Chait: "The contest to control the Senate is about one thing: whether Obama can confirm judges and staff his administration.... What’s more, if a Supreme Court justice becomes incapacitated or dies, the judicial gridlock could become a Constitutional struggle.... News reports have wildly overstated the legislative importance of Republican Senate control. At the same time, they have understated its importance to the judiciary." ...
... David Firestone of the New York Times Channels Victoria D. (See yesterday's Comments): "... given the universal mythology that a lower deficit is always a good thing, would it kill Democrats to point out that the deficit actually has fallen by more than 50 percent since President Obama took office? None of [the Democratic candidates] mention that the budget is in far better shape largely because taxes went up on the rich, and because health care costs are falling. It’s unusual even to hear that unemployment is down to 5.9 percent, or that 5.5 million jobs have been added since 2009, which is four times more than under all eight years of George W. Bush.... If Democrats lose control of the Senate next week, they may wonder why they ... left out the country’s good news." Read the whole post.
Richard Hasen & Dahlia Lithwick in Slate: "This year’s scary election ads will destroy any lingering confidence in the judicial branch....In 39 states, some or all judges must face some kind of election — often a partisan one. These races used to be about as interesting to watch as Bingo night. But now, it’s all Law and Order, and all the time. The ads are scarier than the shows they interrupt. These new judicial attack ads are a consequence of a series of Supreme Court rulings that have allowed judicial elections to get noisier, nastier, and costlier, with no limit on outside spending by groups such as the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity." CW: Thanks again, Supremes!
Kentucky. Michael Beckel of the Center for Public Integrity: "The most mysterious force in Kentucky’s pivotal U.S. Senate race is a ghost that dwells in a hole in a wall. Hunt for the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, and one finds no grassroots army, no canvassing operation, no office or headquarters at all — just a scuffed U.S. Postal Service box nestled inside a suburban shopping plaza about 10 miles from downtown Louisville.... Corporeal or not, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition has ... haunt[ed] Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in her increasingly unlikely bid to unseat incumbent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky." Via Charles Pierce.
Maine. Darren Fishell of the Bangor Daily News: "Wondering how to blow $1.2 million in two days? Try a whole lot of TV ads. At least, that’s how seven political action committees spent their $1.2 million over the last two days, according to the latest filings with the Maine Ethics Commission. Most of that spending — about $852,000 — went to benefit the campaign of Democrat Mike Michaud, who is locked in a dead heat against incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage, according to a BDN/Ipsos poll released today."
Massachusetts. Fish Story. Nestor Ramos & Michael Levenson of the Boston Globe: "Some of the details of Charlie Baker’s emotional 2009 encounter with a soulful fisherman may have been lost at sea. Baker on Thursday acknowledged that he may have misstated some of the particulars of the story he told tearfully during a debate this week. That, in turn, has complicated efforts to locate the man whose hardships, in Baker’s retelling, produced one of the most remarkable moments in this year’s race for governor.... Despite searches mounted by both campaigns, several media outlets, and various New Bedford fishing industry lifers, no one has been able to find the massive man whose embrace Baker described as 'like hugging a mountain.'” Via Charles Pierce. ...
... Justin Snow of Metro Weekly: "Responding to calls from the National Organization for Marriage for social conservatives to vote for pro-LGBT Democrat Seth Moulton over his openly gay Republican opponent, Richard Tisei, Moulton’s campaign refused such support Thursday." ...
... As Charles Pierce reminded us yesterday, vote for Moulton.
Beyond the Beltway
Sari Horwitz & Kimberly Kindy of the Washington Post: "Justice Department investigators have all but concluded they do not have a strong enough case to bring civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., law enforcement officials said."
Free to Be My Congressman Again. AP: "Former Florida Congressman Trey Radel, who resigned in January after pleading guilty to cocaine possession, has had his record expunged.... U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman William Miller said Friday that Radel completed all the conditions of his probation and was granted an early termination of it in July. Miller said Radel then asked to have his case dismissed and his record expunged, and prosecutors agreed with the request."