The Ledes

Friday, July 31, 2015.

AP: "Beijing was selected Friday to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, defeating the bid from Almaty[,Kazakhstan,] in a surprisingly close vote to become the first city awarded both the winter and summer games."

The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, July 30, 2015.

New York Times: "The commander of a group of Syrian fighters trained by the United States has been kidnapped by Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, his group said in a statement Thursday. The commander, Nadeem Hassan, and seven of his fighters were taken by the Nusra Front, a rival of the Islamic State in Syria, as they were returning from a meeting in Turkey."

AP: "Afghanistan's Taliban on Thursday confirmed the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar, who led the group's self-styled Islamic emirate in the 1990s, sheltered al-Qaida through the 9/11 attacks and led a 14-year insurgency against U.S. and NATO troops. The Taliban Shura, or Supreme Council, chose Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who had served as Mullah Omar's deputy for the past three years, as its new leader, two Taliban figures told the Associated Press...."

Washington Post: "The U.S. economy rebounded between April and June, new government data showed Thursday, expanding at an annualized rate of 2.3 percent. Growth in the second quarter remained modest, particularly compared with the breakneck pace seen in much of 2014, but it also signaled a bounce-back from a surprisingly sluggish winter when the economy was at a crawl."

New York Times: "Government officials and families of passengers lost on a Malaysian jet that vanished last year with 239 people aboard responded warily on Thursday to the discovery of possible wreckage from the aircraft, reluctant to fan hopes after more than a year of fruitless searching and false rumors. Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss of Australia, whose country has led the search for the jet, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, said that the discovery of an airplane part thousands of miles from the search area was 'a very significant development' but cautioned against concluding that it was from the missing aircraft."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: "A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday."

AP: "Federal health advisers on Tuesday[, June 9,] recommended approval for a highly anticipated cholesterol drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, but with the caveat that more data is needed about its long-term ability to reduce heart attacks. The expert panel recommended by a 13-3 vote that the Food and Drug Administration approve the injectable drug, called Praluent."

Washington Post (June 4): "The first-ever 'female Viagra' came one step closer to coming to market, as a key advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted Thursday afternoon to recommend that the FDA approve the drug with conditions. The committee voted 18-6 to recommend that the FDA approve flibanserin, a drug designed to boost the low sexual desire of otherwise healthy women."

White House Live Video
July 31

1:00 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing with Energy Secretary Ernest Munoz

2:00 pm ET: Open government public meeting

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

***********************************************

Jane Hamshire of Firedoglake: "... I have decided to pass the torch on to Kevin Gosztola and Brian Sonenstein, who will launch their own media organization called Shadowproof that will build on the success of FDL."

Dylan Byers: "MSNBC has formally decided to cancel three programs -- 'The Cycle,' 'Now with Alex Wagner' and 'The Ed Show' -- as part of a larger effort to shift its daytime lineup away from opinion programming.... Alex Wagner and Ari Melber, a 'Cycle' co-host and MSNBC's chief legal correspondent, will remain with the network. Ed Schultz, the host of 'The Ed Show,' will leave the network, as will 'Cycle' co-hosts Abby Huntsman, Krystal Ball and Toure.... In September, MSNBC will add a 5 p.m. program hosted by 'Meet The Press' moderator Chuck Todd, while Brian Williams, the former 'Nightly News' anchor, will serve as the network's breaking news and special reports anchor."

If you can memorize & learn to use the University of New Hampshire's long list of "bias-free language," you can be the most politically-correct person in your neighborhood. Via Jonathan Chait. ...

... CW Etiquette Tip: calling out your friends for using outmoded terms like "overweight" & "rich" is not politically correct. Simply try to steer the conversation in a more "inclusive" direction. So if your friend says to you, "My rich neighbor got so overweight he has to use a wheelchair now," you say, "Oh, that person of material wealth has become a person of size who is wheelchair mobile? Wow! He's your neighbor? I remember him when he was a person experiencing homelessness who lacked advantages that others have." It sounds so natural, your friend will never realize you've corrected his biased, dated stereotypes. ...

     ... UPDATE: Turns out the university's president is biased against the bias-free language guide & he was unaware of its existence until this week. Also, a Republican state legislator is "outraged" & finds the guide a good excuse to cut funding for the state university. Naturally. Thanks to MAG for the lead.

Will Oremus of Slate likes Windows 10. CW: I haven't had the courage to try switching over yet. I'll lose EVERYTHING!

Fuck off! I’m done with you. -- Jon Stewart, to Wyatt Cenac

... Alex Jung of New York: Jon Stewart repeatedly yelled at Wyatt Cenac when Cenac questioned a "Daily Show" segment meant to be a defense against Fox "News" allegations that Stewart's Herman Cain imitation was racist. ...

... Maron's WTF podcast of his interview with Cenac is here. ...

... CW: Here's the thing, black people. When you confront white liberals with accusations of racial bias, WE WILL NEVER ADMIT IT. We will remind you that we have been fighting for black civil rights for 50 years (Bernie Sanders). We will tell you all lives matter (Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley). We will tell you that white people are responsible for expanding your rights (Hillary Clinton). We will deny your accusations (Every one of us). And all the while, we will be highly insulted, even if we don't tell you to fuck off. Because white people's feelings matter. And, after all we've done for you, we can't believe you would accuse us of racism.

Even when they're only lip-syncing, some entertainers are pretty damned talented. I'm not much of a fan of Tom Cruise's, but ...

Tech Crunch: "It’s no secret that Google+ didn’t quite work out the way Google envisioned and now, after already moving Google Photos out of the service, it’s starting to decouple Google+ profiles from its regular Google accounts."

Stupid Pet Tricks, Reptile Edition:

Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast: NBC News Chairman Andy Lack is replacing MSNBC's Ed Schultz with -- Chuck Todd. [CW: Excellent decision! Let's change "MSNBC" to "VPN" -- "Village People's Network."] "The only programs that appeared safe from disruption were Morning Joe..., hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski; Hardball ... with Chris Matthews; and The Rachel Maddow Show at 9 p.m. Those programs have performed respectably...." ...

We live in a time when much of the corporate media regards politics as a baseball game or a soap opera. Ed Schultz has treated the American people with respect by focusing on the most important issues impacting their lives.... I am very disappointed that Comcast [the parent company of NBC & MSNBC] chose to remove Ed Schultz from its lineup. We need more people who talk about the real issues facing our country, not fewer.... At a time when a handful of large, multi-national corporations own our major media outlets, I hope they will allow voices to be heard from those who dissent from the corporate agenda. -- Sen. Bernie Sanders

Washington Post: "The latest update from NASA's Kepler space telescope — designed to spot distant exoplanets — adds more than 500 new possible planets to the fray. That's in addition to the 4,175 planets already found by Kepler. And of those 500 new potential planets, scientists say, a dozen could be remarkably Earth-like. That means they're less than twice as large as Earth, are potentially rocky and are at the right distance from their host stars to harbor liquid water." ...

... Guardian: "Scientists on the hunt for extraterrestrial life have discovered 'the closest twin to Earth' outside the solar system, Nasa announced on Thursday."

Worst Person Ratings in the World. Andrew Kirell of Mediaite: Rumors are a'flyin' that MSNBC is headed for another line-up shake-up, which could include the Return of Dr. Olbermann, who is departing ESPN -- again. Because their third place in cable ratings wasn't as bad as their third place is now (sometimes 4th, behind Al Jazeera). And because the New Olbermann is now a suits-licking pussycat, unlike the Old Olbermann from way last week.

Some Would Be Heroes. Washington Post: Coast Guardsman Darren Harrity swims a mile in choppy, fuel-slicked sea to save four men in a leaky lifeboat.

New York Times: "What Pet Should I Get?" -- an aide to Dr. Suess's widow found the manuscript in a box. Dr. Suess -- Theodore Geisel -- died in 1991.

     ... Via BuzzFeed, for the fun of it.

Washington Post: "On Monday, famed physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian tycoon Yuri Milner held a news conference in London to announce their new project: injecting $100 million and a whole lot of brain power into the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, an endeavor they're calling Breakthrough Listen." ...

... CW: What a waste. You know all they'll find is angels hovering around a pantheon of some sort & maybe, if they're lucky, their long-dead pooches floating around Pet Heaven, which is real & wonderful.

New York Times: "In a pair of legal filings on Friday, two nuns who object to [singer Katy] Perry’s proposed purchase of their order’s convent on eight acres [in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles] disclosed an email describing any sale to the saucy pop singer as a breach of their sacred vows.... The court papers include claims by several of five surviving nuns in the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary that the archdiocese is betraying them and bullying them into supporting a sale other than their preferred transaction with [another buyer]."

NASA: "In the latest data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, a new close-up image of Pluto reveals a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes. This frozen region is north of Pluto’s icy mountains, in the center-left of the heart feature, informally named 'Tombaugh Regio' (Tombaugh Region) after Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930."

Hill: "President Obama is making a final 'Daily Show' appearance before host Jon Stewart leaves the political comedy program after 17 years. Obama will sit down for his final chat with Stewart on Tuesday, the White House confirmed Friday."

For an actual feel-good moment, Lindsey Bever of the Washington Post tells the story of 16-year-old small-plane crash survivor Autumn Veatch. Veatch, who was injured in the crash that killed her grandparents, walked untold mild through rough terrain until she came to a public road & parking area.

Washington Post: "Nearly two months after a molestation scandal prompted TLC to pull reruns of the popular reality program '19 Kids and Counting' from the air and online, the network announced that it has officially canceled the program."

Washington Post: "Filmmaker George Lucas, singer-songwriter Carole King and dancer-actress Rita Moreno are among an unprecedented six honorees to be saluted at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. Seventies rockers the Eagles, actress Cicely Tyson and conductor Seiji Ozawa will also be honored at the Dec. 6 event, Kennedy Center officials said Wednesday. A major fundraiser for the arts center, the gala celebration will be televised on CBS on Dec. 29."

Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker reviews Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman. ...

... Laura Marsh of the New Republic: "Scolars have been pointing out Atticus Finch's racism for years."

New York Times (July 15): "It was the last day of business at F. A. O. Schwarz on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan."

New York Times: "A day after its successful flyby, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sent back the first close-up photographs of Pluto, revealing a young surface dotted with ice mountains. The piano-size spacecraft traveled nine years and three billion miles to study the dwarf planet and its five moons." Includes one close-up photo from 25 miles out. More on NASA's site.

New York (July 14): "We're halfway through July, but until this morning, there was still snow on the ground in Boston. The last of the city's historic snowfall, a disgusting frozen mass of dirt, snow, and trash, was officially pronounced melted this morning"."

Here are time-lapse photos of the long melt:

Contact the Constant Weader

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Alaska

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AP. January 1, 2011: "Republican Joe Miller has conceded the Alaska U.S. Senate race to party rival Sen. Lisa Murkowski, ending nearly two months of debate and court litigation."

AP, December 30: "Sen. Lisa Murkowski was officially named the winner of Alaska's U.S. Senate race Thursday, following a legal battle that lasted longer than the write-in campaign she waged to keep her job."

Anchorage Daily News, December 26: "Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller announced late Sunday that he would continue his challenge in federal court of the write-in election of rival Sen. Lisa Murkowski, but added he would not oppose certification of Murkowski's victory by state election officials. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline, who is hearing Miller's federal challenge, had already said he would probably lift his order staying certification, allowing Murkowski to assume office Jan. 5 without losing seniority or leaving the state short a U.S. Senator."

Anchorage Daily News, December 22: "The Alaska Supreme Court today ruled against Joe Miller on all counts, a decision that leaves his challenge of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s victory on life support. Miller is weighing his options now, a spokesman says.... U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline today gave Miller until Monday morning to argue the federal courts should take up any remaining constitutional issues."

Anchorage Daily News, December 10: "A Superior Court judge has ruled on all counts against Joe Miller's challenge of Alaska's election for U.S. Senate. The judge on Friday found the state tallied the ballots properly and there was no evidence for Miller's suggestions that fraud tainted the election. The state judge, William Carey of Ketchikan, gave Miller until early next week to appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court. The timing is critical because a federal judge has blocked certification of Sen. Lisa Murkowski as the winner until the lawsuit is settled."

My only call is to be faithful to what I believe is the right thing to do, and I'll trust God for the ultimate outcome. -- Joe Miller, expressing the view that some universal supernatural being gives a shit about the Alaska Senate race

AP, December 4: Republican candidate Joe "Miller has mounted a vigorous post-election campaign as his lawyers wage a last-ditch legal challenge to throw out write-in ballots for Sen. Lisa Murkowski in their hard-fought Senate race."

AP, November 30: "The state [of Alaska] is asking a judge to decide a case over Alaska's still-disputed U.S. Senate race by next week. In court papers, attorneys for the state seek a ruling by Dec. 9 due to 'the risk that Alaska will be deprived of a U.S. senator for some period if this dispute is not resolved quickly.' They also want the judge to the decide the case brought by Republican Joe Miller outright, in the state's favor, unless Miller provides proof to back up claims of fraud, which they call unfounded."

Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washington Post, November 27: "Much of America may have moved on, but Joe Miller has not. More than a week after the last vote was counted in Alaska's closely watched U.S. Senate race, the Republican nominee continues to press his case in court in hopes of grabbing back a victory that once seemed inevitable."

New York Times, November 19: "A federal judge [Ralph R. Beistline] in Alaska on Friday placed a conditional hold on the certification of the results of the contentious Senate race between Joe Miller and Senator Lisa Murkowski, telling the Miller campaign to take its legal challenges to state court.... The judge ... did not rule on the question of whether misspelled votes should count.... Judge Beistline said that the issue was a state matter and that his stay applied only if the Miller campaign took its claim to state court."

AP, November 18: "Joe Miller, the Republican candidate in the Alaska Senate race, asked a federal judge for a preliminary injunction stopping officials from certifying the election."

AP, November 17: "Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday became the first Senate candidate in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign, emerging victorious over her tea party rival following a painstaking, week-long count of hand-written votes. The victory completes a remarkable comeback for the Republican after her humiliating loss in the GOP primary to Joe Miller."

Fairbanks Daily News Miner, November 16: " U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has widened her lead over GOP rival Joe Miller to 10,400 votes in Alaska's Senate race and is returning to the state, where she could declare victory as early as Wednesday."

Anchorage Daily News, November 15: "The Murkowski campaign is all but claiming victory as Sen. Lisa Murkowski leads Joe Miller by more than 1,700 votes after Monday's review of write-in ballots."

Anchorage Daily News, November 13: "The Division of Elections has finished reviewing the write-in ballots for nearly three-quarters of the precincts, and the results show Lisa Murkowski on track to be the first write-in candidate elected to the U.S. Senate since 1954."

The AP has a run-down of write-in & absentee ballots cast & challenged up through November 13.

Anchorage Daily News, November 12: "The Division of Elections just finished reviewing write-in ballots for the day and has now gone through 72 percent of the precincts in Alaska. The results haven't changed much: Nearly 98 percent of the write-ins are going to Lisa Murkowski. Over 90 percent of Murkowski's votes are unchallenged, as Joe Miller's observers made fewer challenges today than previous days. The Miller campaign has successfully challenged just 1.5 percent of the 69,249 write-in ballots that have been reviewed. It looks as though the Miller campaign needs to disqualify 12 percent of the write-in votes for Murkowski in order to win the election. And that's not happening."

Anchorage Daily News, November 12: "The Division of Elections has reviewed write-in ballots for almost half the precincts in Alaska and is counting nearly 98 percent of them for Lisa Murkowski. The Murkowski campaign is acting confident of victory and is accusing Joe Miller of taking 'desperate' measures to try to win."

Anchorage Daily News: "The state says that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller has no business going into federal court now to challenge the counting of write-in ballots for his opponent and urged a federal judge to dismiss the case he filed this week."

Anchorage Daily News, November 11: "Almost 98 percent of write-in ballots opened Wednesday went to Lisa Murkowski on the first day of a count meant to decide Alaska's U.S. Senate race. The Division of Elections accepted few of the objections made by Joe Miller's campaign to the ballots."

Anchorage Daily News: "The federal judge originally assigned to hear Joe Miller's lawsuit to challenge how write-in ballots are counted took himself off the case Wednesday because of the 'negative opinion' he held of Miller. U.S. District Judge John Sedwick said Miller left the court system in a lurch in 2004 when he called Sedwick at 4:20 p.m. to tell him he was quitting that day as a part-time federal magistrate judge in Fairbanks." Judge Sedwick said his wife contributed to Lisa Murkowski's write-in campaign." ...

... As Ian Millhiser of Think Progress notes, "Judge Sedwick is only the most recent in a long string of Miller’s former supervisors who were turned off by his poor conduct in the workplace."

AP: "A federal court judge has denied a request by U.S. GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller to immediately stop the state Division of Elections from counting write-in ballots that did not spell a candidate's name correctly. U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline said Wednesday in his written decision that Miller has demonstrated no potential for irreparable harm."

Matt Bai in the New York Times on the Murkowski write-ins: "What all of this probably means is that some critical number of independent voters decided they didn’t like the options the two parties had given them, and they were willing to go to the trouble of writing in a candidate who seemed to have a real chance of winning rather than pull levers A or B."

Washington Post, November 10: the write-in count begins.

Wall Street Journal: Alaska's Division of Elections begins the write-in vote count for U.S. Senator Wednesday, November 10, despite Joe Miller's suit to prevent the board from using "discretion" by counting misspellings as long as the voter's intent is clear. "Rick Hasen, an election-law expert at Loyola Law School, said states typically interpret election rules so they maximize the chances voter intent is considered. Alaska, in particular, 'has generally taken the view that statutes should be liberally construed,' he said." ...

... AP, November 9: "GOP nominee Joe Miller is asking a federal judge to keep the state from using discretion in counting write-in ballots in Alaska's hotly contested U.S. Senate race."

Alaska Politics Blog: Miller gains ground over write-in candidate (presumably mostly Murkowski) as absentee ballots are counted.

AP: "Election workers in Alaska are scheduled to begin tallying more than 30,000 absentee and early-cast ballots in the state's still-undecided Senate race. ...

... Huffington Post: "Alaska's Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller, still awaiting the official results of his battle against write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has unveiled his latest weapon in battle that he is thought to be losing: a video that he says shows unlawful electioneering from a federal contractor." CW: I listened to the video; I don't know if it's illegal, but it's definitely electioneering.

AP, November 5: "Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she's received well-wishes from colleagues in Washington since Tuesday's election. She tells The Associated Press support has come from a 'whole handful' of Republicans and Democrats, including Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and Vice President Joe Biden. She says Biden told her he was proud of how she 'stood up.'"

Time: Sen. John Cornyn, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, fundraises for Joe Miller's legal fight. CW: if Murkowski prevails, I wonder if she'll still caucus with Republicans, as she has said she would.

Anchorage Daily News: "Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is acting as though she already has pulled off an improbable victory after her write-in candidacy, enthusiastically thanking supporters and telling them they've made history." BUT ...

... KTUU: "An attorney for Alaska Senate hopeful Joe Miller says election workers should not be allowed to use discretion in determining whether a write-in vote counts for Sen. Lisa Murkowski."

In Alaska the write in candidate(s), whoever that may be, is ahead, but the state will not even open the write-in ballots for two weeks. Here's an early Anchorage Daily News story.

Anchorage Daily News: "With just over half of the vote counted, Republican incumbent Sean Parnell held a commanding lead over Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz in the contest for governor."

New York Times, October 31: "The wrinkles of a write-in campaign in an Alaskan election could mean it takes weeks before anyone knows whether Senator Lisa Murkowski pulled off a political miracle. Then again, the race could be called on election night. Or it could end up in court.... And depending on how the Senate races in the Lower 48 are decided, control of the United States Senate could rest on whether the Democratic candidate [Scott McAdams] pulls off an even bigger upset.

Lisa Murkowski lumps Joe Miller in with the brownshirts (and she's right):

Joe Miller is a Nightmare on Nome Street, but his Halloween ad is pretty funny:

... CW: Even funnier -- Democrat Scott McAdams is now ahead of him in the polls. Shira Toeplitz of Politico: "After several rough weeks on the campaign trail, a new poll out of Alaska shows Republican Joe Miller has fallen to last place in the three-way Senate race. A Hays Research Group poll released Thursday showed write-in candidates, presumably meaning Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in the lead with 34 percent, Democrat Scott McAdams with 29 percent and Miller with 23 percent." ABC News' Jonathan Karl tweets that McAdams could win with 29% of the vote because many write-in votes will likely be tossed. Via Ben Smith.

Anchorage Daily News, October 27: "After a day's worth of back-and-forth, the Alaska Supreme Court on Wednesday said voters can look at a list of certified write-in candidates when they go to the polls.... The decision could aid Sen. Lisa Murkowski's write-in U.S. Senate bid; her campaign had fought to keep the lists at polling places."

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller lied to his former employer several times about using others’ computers for political purposes in 2008 before he finally told the truth, according to documents released Tuesday by the Fairbanks North Star Borough in response to a court order in lawsuits brought by two media outlets." The article links to related documents. The Anchorage Daily News story, which is extensive, is here. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's statement pretty well sums up the whole story:

The bottom line is Joe cheated, he lied, tried to cover it up, lied again, then finally got caught and had to admit it, just as he lied to Alaskans when he initially denied any problems with his employment at the Borough, claiming his record was 'exceptional' and 'second to none.'

Rachel Maddow tries to interview an evasive Joe Miller on his positions on gay rights & other issues. I don't think she got any answers:

Still Hiding out in Facebook. Anchorage Daily News: "Sarah Palin uses her Facebook page to criticize Sen. Mukowski.

The Editors of the Anchorage Daily News endorse write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Ben Stein, who is an obnoxious, first-class jerk, writes a commentary in the Atlanta Dispatch saying Republican Senatorial nominee Joe Miller is a bigger one. Stein, a Yale Law grad (or so he says), doesn't believe Miller is really a fellow alum. Stein supports M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I.

CBS News, October 25: "Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller admitted on Sunday that he had been cited for an ethics violation in 2008, just a day after an Alaska judge ordered for the release of personnel records surrounding the incident.... Former Fairbanks North Star Borough mayor Jim Whitaker said earlier this month that Miller was nearly fired from the [Fairbanks North Star] Bureau -- where he worked as a part-time lawyer -- for using the computers in an attempt to oust Randy Ruedrich, head of the Alaska Republican Party, from his position." Miller has previously, & repeatedly, refused to answer questions about his "background."

Alaska Dispatch, October 23: "An Alaska judge has ordered the Fairbanks North Star Borough to release personnel records of U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller.... In an interview with CNN on Monday, Miller admitted he was disciplined in 2008 for misusing computers during his work at the Fairbanks North Star Borough."

David Corn of Mother Jones: one of Joe Miller's paid consultants is Terry Moffitt of North Carolina, who runs a cure-the-gays program. Miller himself says, "homosexuality is a sin & therefore immoral."

Alaska Dispatch: "Write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski, a veteran Republican lawmaker, and political newcomer Scott McAdams, a Democrat mayor from the town of Sitka, fielded sometimes complex questions ... at the debate [Monday] sponsored by the Alaska Dispatch. Joe Miller, who edged out Murkowski to win the GOP primary in August, declined to attend the debate."

It's Okay to Handcuff Liberal Bloggers. New York Times, October 18: "Security guards for Joe Miller, the Republican Senate candidate from Alaska, handcuffed and detained the editor of an online news site at a campaign event in Anchorage on Sunday. A statement by the Miller campaign described the editor, Tony Hopfinger of Alaska Dispatch, as a 'liberal blogger' who was trying to create a “confrontation” with Mr. Miller.... Mr. Hopfinger, a longtime Alaska journalist who has written for prominent national news outlets, told the Anchorage Daily News that he had been trying to question Mr. Miller...." Anchorage Daily News story here. Alaska Dispatch stories here and here; with photos.

A real policeman questions Tony Hopfinger, in handcuffs, as Joe Miller's "security" detail looks on. Anchorage Daily News photo.Anchorage Daily News reporter Richard Mauer taped Hopfinger after he was handcuffed & while Miller's security force continued to detain him. As you can see, Miller's guards attempted to manhandle Mauer & accused him of "trespassing":

 

Steve Benen comments on the handcuffing & detention of journalist Tony Hopfinger by guards working for Alaska's Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller. Benen wonders if this is the Tea Party's vision of American "freedom." CW: I think it is. Taking the law into your own hands takes law enforcement out of the hands of "the government" and reduces taxes "wasted" on police & the courts. See links to news stories under today's Ledes in the right column. ...

... Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is waging a write-in candidacy against Miller & Democratic nominee Scott McAdams, issued a statement condemning Miller's actions.

This behavior is particularly disturbing, especially for someone who claims to be a ‘constitutional conservative.' Apparently Joe Miller has forgotten both the first and fourth amendments to the United States Constitution. -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski

... The "security goons" "scare" Andrew Sullivan. ...

... CNN Update: "Republican candidate for Senate in Alaska, Joe Miller, admitted he was disciplined for the misuse of local government computers but said it was not a factor in his eventual departure from his job as an attorney at the Fairbanks North Star Borough (an area of Alaska) in September 2009." CW: the article includes a video of John King's interview of Miller, but it currently (8:30 pm ET) isn't loading properly. ...

... Fox "News" Update: Miller tells Neil Cavuto that Hopfinger followed him into the restroom (with a camera?) TPM video:

     ... Anchorage Daily News: in an earlier statement, made before Miller told his "bathroom ambush" story, Hopfinger said he & Miller had coincidentally used the bathroom at the same time, but that he (Hopfinger) didn't ask Miller any questions then because he thought it inappropriate.

Lisa Murkowski runs her Ted Stevens ad. Very effective:

Jay Newton-Small of Time, October 12: Joe Miller is no longer speaking to local media. But he's been on Fox "News"! Newton-Small writes, "Miller's upset with the Alaska Dispatch's investigation into his employment records. Miller said he'd no longer answer questions about his personal life. Um, since when is employment history considered personal?"

Okay When I Do It; Unconstitutional When You Do It. Anchorage Daily News, October 7: "U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller acknowledged Thursday that in the past his family received assistance from federal Medicaid and Denali KidCare, the state low income health care program. His opponents in the race responded that he’s a hypocrite for taking assistance while now saying federal entitlement programs are unconstitutional. Miller’s campaign didn’t provide an answer for for the past week-and-a-half did not answer when asked what low-income assistance he has received."

Lamest Endorsement Humanly Possible. Matt Finkelstein of Media Matters, October 6: "Leaked emails revealed a dispute between Todd Palin and Tea Party-backed Senate candidate Joe Miller (R-AK) over Miller's apparent hesitation to say Sarah Palin is qualified to be president." When repeatedly pressed, Miller told Fox "News" that Palin was qualified under the Constitution. CW: yeah, so am I. Miller's tepid "endorsement" may alienate Palin fans. Media Matters has the video.

Alaska Dispatch, October 4: "U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller confirmed Monday night that his wife -- once hired to work as a part-time clerk for the same Alaska court in which he was serving as a U.S. magistrate judge -- went on unemployment after she left the job.... In the weeks leading up to the admission about his wife's unemployment history, Miller has finessed his message on unemployment benefits, saying he's not opposed to them but that they should be managed by the states -- not the feds."

Extreme Alaska. ABC News: Joe Miller says the federal minimum wage is unconstitutional and must be abolished. You can watch Jonathan Karl of ABC News & Mike Allen of Politico interview Miller here. CW: I can't bring myself to post it.

Oh, Let Them Cancel Each Other Out. Politico: "One day after it was revealed that Sen. Lisa Murkowski failed the bar exam four times, the Tea Party Express called out the senator Saturday as a hypocrite for attacking the legal record of their endorsed candidate, attorney Joe Miller.

McClatchy News, October 1: "It took Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, five attempts to pass the Alaska Bar Exam, a piece of her biography that has gone unreported until now, when she faces a long-shot write-in bid for another term in her Senate seat."

CNN, September 29: "A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that 38 percent of likely voters in the state support GOP nominee Joe Miller, with 36 percent saying they back Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was narrowly defeated by Miller in last month's GOP primary.... Nearly four in ten Democratic likely voters say they plan to write in Murkowski's name."

Plugs from the Crypt? New York Times: Sen. Lisa Murkowski's campaign is considering running ads the late Sen. Ted Stevens cut for he shortly before he died in a plane crash & before she lost the Republican nomination to Joe Miller.

Los Angeles Times, September 22: "Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was spared her position as the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday as her colleagues declined to oust her, despite her independent campaign for reelection in Alaska after losing the Republican Senate primary last month."

New York Times, September 21: "Senate Republicans are not happy with their colleague, Senator Lisa Murkowski, for running as a write-in candidate in Alaska’s Senate race and they intend to show it. Not content with Ms. Murkowski’s resignation from her leadership slot, Senate Republicans intend to meet Wednesday and vote to strip her of her position as the senior Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee." CW: remember how the Democrats treated "independent" Joe Lieberman?

Jay Newton-Small of Time has more on Sen. Lisa Murkowski's chances as a write-in candidate in Alaska. Also, see the first comment.

Joe Miller, Yale Law Grad & Wingnut. Think Progress: on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Miller what he would do to help the 43.6 million Americans living in poverty. "Miller initially ducked the question, but when Wallace persisted, Miller accused Americans of suffering from an 'entitlement mentality' and argued that providing unemployment benefits was not among Congress’ enumerated powers."

Politico: Sen. John Cornyn, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Alaska's Senatorial Republican nominee Joe Miller are not amused by Lisa Murkowski's write-in campaign.

More on Lisa Murkowski's write-in bid from Time's Jay Newton-Small.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski announces her write-in candidacy for re-election:

Anchorage Daily News: "Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced Friday she'd pursue an unprecedented write-in bid to recapture the Senate seat she lost to Joe Miller in the August Republican primary."

McClatchy News: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Murkowski should "move on."

Roll Call, September 8: "Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will likely be forced out of her party leadership position should she decide to launch a write-in or third-party candidacy, a Senate Republican said Wednesday."

New York Times: "Joe Miller, the Republican candidate for Senate from Alaska, has been found at fault in a three-car accident that happened shortly after he took a narrow lead in the Republican primary."

Ryan Grim: Alaska's Senate Republican candidate Joe Miller claims, "God is funding my campaign." But K Street apparently has God's back.

Anchorage Daily News, August 31: "Incumbent Lisa Murkowski has conceded to challenger Joe Miller in the [Alaskan] Republican primary for U.S. Senate."

Anchorage Daily News: "The Alaska Division of Elections said Thursday that it has more than 20,000 absentee and questioned ballots left to process from Tuesday's primary election. Most are expected to be Republican primary ballots that will decide the too-close-to-call race between U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Joe Miller."

Washington Post, August, 26: "Sean Cairncross, the general counsel of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is headed to Alaska at the request of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) to help provide guidance to the GOP incumbent who finds herself trailing attorney Joe Miller (R) by roughly 1,600 votes."

Jay Newton-Small of Time profiles Joe Miller, the Palin-backed Alaskan Senate candidate who make squeeze out incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowsi.

Karen Tumulty & Philip Rucker of the Washington Post: "If there had been any doubt that this is a year when no incumbent can afford to be caught off-guard, it has been put to rest by the ambush of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's Republican primary."

Anchorage Daily News: "Gov. Sean Parnell, who inherited the job from Sarah Palin and was credited with restoring calm after her tumultuous tenure, won the [Alaska] GOP gubernatorial primary Tuesday. Parnell beat a field of challengers that included former legislator Ralph Samuels and Bill Walker, an Anchorage attorney who mounted an aggressive campaign funded with hundreds of thousands of his own dollars."

AP: Alaska's Republican Senate primary is still undecided at 6 am ET Wednesday, August 24, with incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski trailing tea party & Palin-supported candidate Joe Miller by 2 points with more than half the precincts counted. Note: race still too close to call at 12:30 pm ET. ...

     ... Anchorage Daily News Update: "Joe Miller's lead over Sen. Lisa Murkowski slightly narrowed to 1,668 votes with all the election precincts counted on Wednesday. A stunned Murkowski said she is not giving up hope until absentee ballots are counted starting next week.

Anchorage Daily News: "Candidates trying to unseat Gov. Sean Parnell are making a final push for votes before Tuesday's primary election, hitting the Kenai Peninsula State Fair this weekend and going head to head with Parnell in a televised debate tonight. ...

... Jeanne Devon, the Alaska Muckraker: conservative Republican candidate for governor Ralph Samuels campaigns on the inspiring slogan, "I Promise Not to Quit." 


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