The Ledes

Monday, August 31, 2015.

New York Times: "Former Gov. Marvin Mandel, whose record of modernizing Maryland’s state government was overshadowed by a messy divorce and a fraud conviction for helping associates profit from a racetrack deal, died on Sunday in St. Mary’s County, Md. He was 95." While in office, he left his wife for another woman. Of the other woman, whom Mandel married, his first wife Bootsie asked, “How can she be a first lady when she isn’t a lady first?” ...

     ... The Washington Post obituary is here. The Baltimore Sun's obituary is here.

NBC News: "Dr. Wayne Dyer, the self-help guru whose best-seller 'Your Erroneous Zones' was adopted by millions as a guide to better living, has died at 75, his family and publisher said Sunday."

New York Times: "Wes Craven, a master of horror cinema and a proponent of the slasher genre best known for creating the Freddy Krueger and 'Scream' franchises, died on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 76."

The Wires

The Ledes

Sunday, August 30, 2015.

New York Times: "Iran’s judiciary sentenced two people to 10 years in prison on Sunday for spying for the United States and Israel, but their names were not released, local media reported. It was not clear if the Iranian-American reporter Jason Rezaian, who faces similar charges, was one of them." ...

     ... AP Update: "Leila Ahsan..., The lawyer for Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who was tried for espionage in a Revolutionary Court..., says the court has yet to issue its verdict on Rezaian."

New York Times: "Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and acclaimed author who explored some of the brain’s strangest pathways in best-selling case histories like 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,' using his patients’ disorders as starting points for eloquent meditations on consciousness and the human condition, died Sunday at his home in New York City. He was 82." ...

... Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times: "Dr. Sacks ... was a polymath and an ardent humanist, and whether he was writing about his patients, or his love of chemistry or the power of music, he leapfrogged among disciplines, shedding light on the strange and wonderful interconnectedness of life — the connections between science and art, physiology and psychology, the beauty and economy of the natural world and the magic of the human imagination."

AP: "Los Angeles and the U.S. Olympic Committee have struck a deal that will make the city America's 2024 Olympic bidder pending approval by the city council next week. If the council approves the deal at a meeting Tuesday, the USOC will announce Los Angeles as its candidate, a person familiar with the process told The Associated Press."

AP: "Turkish fighter jets have carried out their first air strikes as part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State in Syria. A Turkish foreign ministry statement said that late on Friday the jets began attacking Isis targets across the border in Syria that were deemed to be threats to Turkey."

Public Service Announcement

New York Times [Aug. 20]: "As many as 60,000 American women each year are told they have a very early stage of breast cancer — Stage 0, as it is commonly known — a possible precursor to what could be a deadly tumor. And almost every one of the women has either a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, and often a double mastectomy, removing a healthy breast as well. Yet it now appears that treatment may make no difference in their outcomes."

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."

White House Live Video
August 28

12:00 noon ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

Maureen Dowd: Trump has got the best of Jeb! & Hillary: "Trump’s 'gusto,' as he likes to call it, has thrown into sharper relief the grinding-it-out, impatient entitlement, the overthinking and overcorrecting of Jeb and Hillary. Both campaign like they are owed, not because of their great national achievements, but because of their byzantine family dynamics."

The Oliver Brief. We do note, however, that the so-called 'Insular Cases,' which established a less-than-complete application of the Constitution in some U.S. territories, has been the subject of extensive judicial, academic, and popular criticism. See, e.g., Juan Torruella, The Insular Cases: The Establishment of a Regime of Political Apartheid, 77 Rev. Jur. U.P.R. 1 (2008); Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. Territories, Youtube (Mar. 8, 2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CesHr99ezWE. -- Footnote, Paeste v. Guam, Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon

Jordan Golson of Wired: "Boeing’s developed a laser cannon specifically designed to turn unmanned aircraft into flaming wreckage. The aerospace company’s new weapon system, which it publicly tested this week in a New Mexico industrial park, isn’t quite as cool as what you see in Star Wars — there’s no flying beams of light, no 'pew! pew!' sound effects. But it is nonetheless a working laser cannon, and it will take your drone down. People keep flying their drones where they shouldn’t.... Luckily, there haven’t been any really bad incidents — that is, no one has been killed by a civilian quadcopter or plane, yet."

"The cream cheese is too damn much." Scott Lemieux and I agree.

Sunday Morning Come-Down. Politico: "Al Sharpton is leaving MSNBC's weekday dayside lineup, and moving to Sunday mornings. Sharpton's last weekday 'PoliticsNation' will be Sept. 4. He moves to Sundays a month later on Oct. 4, according to a memo sent to MSNBC staff by the channel's president Phil Griffin Wednesday evening."

Washington Post: "Stephen Hawking believes he’s solved a huge mystery about black holes."

Washington Post: "The case for canonizing [Sister Blandina Segale,] the 19th century Italian-born nun, whose run-in with Old West outlaw Billy the Kid is the stuff of legend, was presented at a ceremonial 'first inquiry' in Albuquerque on Tuesday. If approved, her name will be sent to the Vatican, where it will head down the long (and somewhat secretive) path toward sainthood."

New York Times: Can't sidewalk scaffolding be attractive? Yes, it can.

Terror in Toledo! ABC News: "A man caught on video the moment a public art installation in Toledo, Ohio -- a giant, 250-pound red ball -- decided to run away and start rolling down streets lined with parked cars. Part of a Toledo Museum of Art exhibit, the RedBall Project had been wedged between Roulet Jewelers and Ice Restaurant in downtown Toledo when a thunderstorm and strong winds this past Wednesday evening knocked the ball loose and caused it to start rolling away, according to Kelly Garrow, the museum's director of communications."

... AP: "America’s two foremost Democratic families, the Obamas and the Clintons, mingled on Saturday[,August 15,] as politics mixed with summer repose on swanky Martha’s Vineyard."

Washington Post: "Offering such perks as 'free' bags and 'free' airline tickets, [some credit] cards are big on promises, but they often fall short on the delivery. And although these financial instruments are legal, experts say they are not always worthwhile."

Kori Schulman of the White House: "Today (August 14), the White House joined Spotify — and our inaugural playlist was hand-picked by none other than President Obama. When asked to pick a few of his favorite songs for the summer, the President got serious. He grabbed a pen and paper and drafted up not one, but two separate summer playlists: One for the daytime, and one for the evening." ...

... CW: If you're subscribed to Spotify, you can play the President's list from the linked story (at "Today".)

Washington Post: "Google, one of the best-known brands on the planet, on Monday[, August 10,] radically restructured itself under the corporate name Alphabet, an almost unprecedented shift that reflects the company’s far-reaching ambitions and the vast Web it helped evolve. The move represents Google’s biggest push yet to ... turn the company into a multifaceted General Electric for the digital age."

Bureaucracies Move in Mysterious Ways. New York Post: "The city [of New York] moved to fire an employee for missing about 18 months of work, even though he had the best excuse of all time — he was dead. Bureaucrats at the Human Resources Administration filed charges against Medicaid-eligibility specialist Geoffrey Toliver accusing him of going AWOL — even though his death by cancer was reported in an online obituary.... 'It is my understanding that . . . his employer was fully aware that he was not able to come back to work,' Toliver’s brother Anthony told The Post. 'It is my understanding that my brother’s family spoke directly to his supervisor during his long hospitalization and informed them of his death.'” ...

... CW: Doesn't surprise me at all. When I lived in Manhattan, my mother sent me a gift which came directly from the catalog company from which she had bought it. My father had died a few years earlier, but my mother was still getting these catalogs in his name. So my father's name, not hers, appeared on the package as the giftor. He had never lived in New York City. He was not the addressee on the package. The package didn't come from New York City. And my father was dead. But never mind all that. A few months after I received the gift, I got a letter at my New York home addressed to my father. It was a notification from the city ordering my father to show up for jury duty. Or else.

 

Josh Feldman of Mediaite: "For years and years, plenty of websites (Mediaite included) have written about the many times Jon Stewart has 'destroyed,' 'annihilated,' or 'eviscerated' anything from terrorism to race relations to Fox News. Well..., on his penultimate night, Stewart discovered that he didn’t actually do any of that":

Exit Laughing. John Koblin of the New York Times: "Since [Jon] Stewart started hosting 'The Daily Show' 16 years ago, the country’s trust in both the news media and the government has plummeted. Mr. Stewart’s brand of fake news thrived in that vacuum, and turned him into one of the nation’s most bracing cultural, political and media critics. With his over-the-top presentation of the news — his arms swinging wildly, his eyes bulging with outrage, followed by a shake of the head and a knowing smile — Mr. Stewart attracted a generation of viewers ready to embrace an outlier whose exaggerations, in their view, carried more truth than conventional newscasts." ...

...Stewart hasn't done any interviews prior to ending his run on the "Daily Show," but he did sit down with "Daily Show" producers for an "exit interview" on Episode 20 of the "Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart." You can listen to it here.

Los Angeles Times: "Donald Sterling filed for divorce Wednesday[, August 5] in Los Angeles Superior Court, almost a year after a contentious legal fight with his wife, Shelly, led to the sale of the Clippers.... However, the court later rejected Wednesday’s filing because it was incomplete, according to a spokeswoman. The matter is expected to be re-filed."

New York Times: "Jason Fine, the editor of Men’s Journal, will take over as the managing editor of Rolling Stone as part of what the magazine’s publisher, Jann S. Wenner, described as a 'shake-up.'”

"Where Are My Pancakes?"

The Word Salad King. If Donald Trump's good friend & possible running mate Sarah Palin is the Word Salad Queen, it stands to reason that the Donald would be the king. Slate challenges you to diagram this "sentence." To help you out, Slate has transcribed the words in the order delivered. Not that the order delivered matters much:

Obama Slept Here

For a mere $22.5MM this Martha's Vinehard house on 10 acres can be yours. The Obamas stayed in the house for 8 days in 2013. The current owner bought the property, which has expansive views of the Atlantic & Chilmark Pond, in 2000 for about $3MM. So, hey, the price is negotiable. Slide show.

The Birth of Franklin. Washington Post: After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Glickman, a white California mother wrote to cartoonist Charles Schultz urging him to introduce a black character to his "Peanuts" cartoon strips. When Schultz demurred, saying he was afraid "it would look like we were patronizing our Negro friends," Glickman got two of her "Negro friends" who backed the idea to write to Schultz. A short time later, Schultz introduced Franklin. Oh, yes, & strips showing Franklin in an integrated! classroom upset Southern editors, according to Glickman.

Contact the Constant Weader

Click on this link to e-mail the Constant Weader.

Alaska

You're on an auxiliary page. Click Constant Comments-Home on the bar above to go to the main page. 

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." 


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