The Wires

The Ledes

Sunday, February 7, 2016.

New York Times: "Robin Chandler Duke, a rags-to-riches grande dame who married an ambassador and became one of America’s best known advocates for women by championing reproductive rights and international family planning, died in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday. She was 92."

New York Times: "Defying warnings of tougher sanctions from Washington, North Korea launched a rocket on Sunday that Western experts believe is part of a program to develop intercontinental ballistic missile technologies."

White House Live Video
February 5

12:30 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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Public Service Announcement

New York Times (February 4): "Pregnant women whose male sexual partners have spent time in a country with confirmed transmissions of the Zika virus should either abstain from sex or use condoms during intercourse for the duration of their pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.'

USA Today: "Women of childbearing age should avoid alcohol unless they're using contraception, federal health officials said Tuesday, in a move to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome. 'Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant,' said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 'About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and even if planned, most women won’t know they are pregnant for the first month or so, when they might still be drinking.'"

New York Times (January 14): "Federal health officials are debating whether to warn pregnant women against travel to Brazil and other Latin American and Caribbean countries where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in newborn babies. Officials say it could be the first time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises pregnant women to avoid a specific region during an outbreak." ...

     ... NYT Update (January 15): "Federal health officials on Friday advised pregnant women to postpone traveling to 13 Latin American or Caribbean countries and Puerto Rico where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in babies." ...

... The Washington Post reports on the crisis in Brazil.

Washington Post: "Media mogul Sumner Redstone has resigned as board chairman at CBS Corp. after a court battle raised questions about the 92-year-old executive’s mental competence. He was replaced by Leslie Moonves, the longtime CBS president and chief executive, CBS announced Wednesday. The transition took effect Tuesday when Redstone was appointed to the role of CBS chairman emeritus, CBS said."

... New York Timess: "A small 16th-century oil on panel largely kept in storage at a Kansas City, Mo., museum is a work by the Dutch Renaissance master Hieronymus Bosch, researchers [in the Netherlands] said on Monday, a finding that, if accepted by other scholars, would add to the tiny list of about 25 recognized Bosch paintings in the world. The painting, 'The Temptation of St. Anthony,' dated 1500-1510, had previously been attributed to the workshop of Bosch or to a follower of Bosch, known for his comic and surreal images of heaven and hell and the earthly moral purgatory in between."

Radio host Diane Rehm discusses her "retirement" plans with Karen Heller of the Washington Post.

Washington Post: "A lost story by famed British children’s author Beatrix Potter — the Tale of Kitty-in-Boots — has been discovered among her memorabilia and will be published this year more than a century after she wrote it. Jo Hanks, a publisher with Penguin Random House who made the discovery at London’s Victoria & Albert museum in 2013, called the story the biggest Potter discovery in generations and almost certainly the last, the London Times Newspaper reported Tuesday."

Boston Globe: "Late Night host (and New Hampshire native) Seth Meyers stars in this trailer for his fake movie, Boston Accent, which just laughs at all the devices used in every movie ever made in Boston":

Tim Egan's Confession: "I can no longer wait in a grocery store line, or linger for a traffic light, or even pause long enough to let a bagel pop from the toaster, without reflexively reaching for my smartphone."

Planet Nine. Caltech: "Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun. The researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, discovered the planet's existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations but have not yet observed the object directly." ...

... CW: Planet Nine, my ass. I will never abandon Pluto! But this is a mighty thrilling development. ...

... UPDATE. Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post interviews Mike Brown, one of the discoverers of Planet Nine. It turns out, as certainly every astronomer knows, that Mike Brown was also the guy who killed Pluto! Even his daughter is mad at him for that.

New York Times: "Five planets will parade across the dawn sky early Wednesday[, January 20,] in a rare celestial spectacle set to repeat every morning until late next month. Headlining the planetary performance are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. It will be the first time in more than a decade that the fab five will be simultaneously visible to the naked eye, according to Jason Kendall, who is on the board of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York."

Los Angeles Times: "The backlash against this year's Academy Award nominations escalated Monday with announcements by director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith that they would boycott the Feb. 28 Oscars ceremony, citing the absence of people of color in all four acting categories for the second year in a row. If other prominent entertainment industry figures join the boycott, it has the potential to spoil Hollywood's annual showcase event."

Donald Trump playing Donald Trump in movies & on teevee shows:

New York Times: "#OscarsSoWhite, that damning hashtag that made the rounds last year, can again, unhappily, be revived for this year’s Oscar nominations, which were announced Thursday morning.... The only Academy nods for two of the year’s biggest films about African-American characters went to white people.... In all the lead categories — best director, picture, and all four acting categories — only Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the Mexican auteur who won best director and picture last year, for 'Birdman,' adds a note of diversity. This year he was nominated for 'The Revenant.'”

Los Angeles Times: "Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards have been announced, and 'The Revenant' is leading with 12, including for best picture. Other nominees for best picture are 'The Big Short,' 'Bridge of Spies,' 'Brooklyn,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' 'The Martian,' 'Room,' and 'Spotlight.' All the snubs, surprises and reactions from nominees coming below." Full coverage via the linked page.

Christian Science Monitor: "... thanks to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue University, the lowly incandescent bulb is getting a jolt of new life. The six-researcher team says it has found a way to boost the bulb's efficiency twenty-fold, which would leave today's favored compact fluorescents (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the dust, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology." ...

     ... CW: If these bulbs go into production, it should make Rand Paul very, very happy. If only MIT could do something about his big-shit problem. Science does have its limits.

Los Angeles Times: "A 21-year odyssey came to an end Tuesday when National Football League owners voted to allow the St. Louis Rams to move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season and gave the San Diego Chargers an option to join the Rams in Inglewood."

** Washington Post: "In a paper published in the open-access journal eLife this week, researchers say they have pinpointed what may well be one of evolution’s greatest copy mess-ups yet: the mutation that allowed our ancient protozoa predecessors to evolve into complex, multi-cellular organisms.... Incredibly, in the world of evolutionary biology, all it took was one tiny tweak, one gene, and complex life as we know it was born." The paper is here. ...

... CW: Sorry, fundies, this is a lot more exciting than a trip to the Noah's ark amusement park or whatever it is.

The Los Angeles Times' Golden Globe coverage is here.

New Yorker: More Pluto!

New York: "Lumosity is one of these 'brain training' programs, and yet, according to the Federal Trade Commission, many of those claims aren’t backed up by science. On Tuesday, Lumos Labs — the company behind Lumosity — agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission for $2 million for misleading consumers on claims that playing these mental games would help with cognitive performance and prevent mental decline as we age. 'Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease,' Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. 'But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.'”

New York Times: "Twitter is experimenting with introducing a longer form of tweet, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans, in what would be another gradual move away from the simplistic design sensibility that the service was originally founded upon. The project, which internally has been referred to as 'beyond 140,' is still in its testing phase and is not set to be introduced until at least March...."

Washington Post: "Four newly discovered elements managed to squeak their way in[to the periodic table] just before the end of 2015, filling up the table's seventh row and marking the first additions since 2011." CW: Since I know squat about chemistry, let me say here -- in the fullness of my ignorance -- that the periodic table should stick with elements that occur in nature. If chemists want a "sub-periodic table" to show off their lab-created, unstable elements, let 'em have it. I don't see how an "element" can be artificial. Anyone who knows what s/he's talking about is free to set me straight.

TPM: "Twitter announced Thursday it's bringing back Politwoops, the popular gaffe-tracking transparency tool that tracked politicians' deleted tweets, after unceremoniously killing off the service earlier this year.... Twitter revoked developer API access for the project, a venture of The Sunlight Foundation and The Open State Foundation, in August 2015."

If you are interested in what George Lucas thinks about the "Star Wars" series & other stuff, you can find out here, presuming Charlie Rose doesn't monopolize the conversation (okay, silly presumption). ...

... Later Lucas said he was sorry he said some of those nasty things.

... Hank Stuever of the Washington Post: The "final episodes of 'Downton Abbey' are among the show’s best since the first season — and they’ll reassure those hoping for the happiest possible endings for nearly every character."

BBC News: "A monument from a temple in the ancient city of Palmyra destroyed by so-called Islamic State (IS) is to be recreated in London's Trafalgar Square. The 2,000-year-old arch is all that remains of the Temple of Bel, part of the Syrian Unesco World Heritage site, captured by militants in May. It will be recreated from photographs, using a 3D printer. The institute behind the project hopes the arch will draw attention to the importance of cultural heritage." ...

... John Brennan & Sarah Knapton of the (Irish) Independent: "Ireland's saints and scholars were descended from farmers and bronze metalworkers from the Middle East and modern-day Ukraine, scientists have found. Researchers have sequenced ancient Irish human genomes for the first time. They discovered mass migrations to Ireland thousands of years ago resulted in huge changes to the ancient Irish genetic make-up. A team of geneticists from Trinity College Dublin and archaeologists from Queen's University Belfast made the findings, which show a massive shift in our genetic mix over the course of just 1,000 years. They believe the genetic influxes brought cultural change such as moving to settled farmsteads, bronze metalworking - and may have even been the origin of western Celtic language." ...

... CW: One trouble with denigrating certain ethnic groups: we're all cousins. Sorry, "white" people.

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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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