Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, the President reflected on the significant progress made by this country in 2014, and in the nearly six years since he took office":

The Ledes

Saturday, December 20, 2014.

New York Times: "The United States transferred four detainees from the Guantánamo Bay prison to Afghanistan late Friday, the Defense Department announced Saturday, fulfilling a request from the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, in what officials here characterized as a show of good will between the United States and the government in Kabul.The four men are not likely to be subjected to further detainment in Afghanistan, an Obama administration official said."

New York Times: "In an apparent targeted killing, two police officers were shot in their patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon by a man who later fatally shot himself in head, police officials said."

Reuters: "Dozens of protesters were arrested on Friday in Milwaukee when they blocked rush-hour traffic on a major highway to protest the killing of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer this year. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department took at least 73 adults and one minor into custody during the protest that blocked Interstate 43, which runs through the city, according to the department's Twitter feed."

The Wires

The Ledes

Friday, December 19, 2014.

Los Angeles Times: "Lowell Steward, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen who flew more than 100 missions during World War II, died Wednesday, according to Ron Brewington, former national public relations officer for the Tuskegee Airmen. Steward was 95."

NBC News: "The Army has concluded its lengthy investigation into the disappearance of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in eastern Afghanistan and must now decide whether Bergdahl should face criminal charges. Bergdahl reportedly walked away from his base into the hands of the Taliban and was held hostage for five years. Based on the investigation, the Army must now decide whether Bergdahl should be charged with desertion or a lesser charge of being 'absent without leave,' AWOL."

New York Times: "The Pakistani military said on Friday that it had killed 62 militants in clashes near the border with Afghanistan, stepping up operations against insurgents after the Pakistani Taliban carried out an attack at a school that left 148 students and staff members dead."

New York Times: "Mandy Rice-Davies, a nightclub dancer and model who achieved notoriety in 1963 in one of Britain’s most spectacular Cold War sex scandals, died on Thursday after a short battle with cancer, her publicist said on Friday. She was 70."

Denver Post: "James Holmes, the man who killed 12 people inside an Aurora movie theater two years ago, is 'a human being gripped by a severe mental illness,' his parents write in a letter that pleads for him to be spared from execution.'" The letter is here.

Public Service Announcement

Surprise! December 19: Dr. Oz is a quack.

Washington Post, November 21: Learn how to use your thermostat & save $$$.

New York Times, November 17: "For the first time since statins have been regularly used, a large study has found that another type of cholesterol-lowering drug can protect people from heart attacks and strokes."

White House Live Video
December 19

1:30 pm ET: President Obama holds a press briefing

If you don't see the livefeed here, go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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A former resident of Somerville, Massachusetts, calls into outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick's last regular monthly radio call-in show:

Sixteen times Stephen Colbert broke character on his show. With videos. ...

... Winger John Hinderaker of Powerline has never seen Colbert's show, but he's pretty sure it was an hour-long ad for the Democratic party. "I am not in favor of restricting anyone’s right to free speech, but if federal law is going to bar a businessman from contributing enough to buy more than a minimal amount of television time on behalf of his party or his candidates, why shouldn’t Stephen Colbert and Comedy Central be prohibited from airing millions of dollars worth of pro-Democratic Party propaganda?" CW: Evidently, Hinderaker has not heard of Fox "News."

Los Angeles Times: "A hashtag about asking police officers questions for a CNN panel turned extremely negative almost as soon as it was posted Tuesday. #AskACop was meant to be used by viewers who wanted to tweet questions to officers for the town hall segment "Cops Under Fire,” hosted by Don Lemon. There was an overwhelming response -- most of which were criticisms toward police." CW: Apparently CNN had no idea people were pissed at the police.

Bill Carter of the New York Times: "For nine years, Stephen Colbert has relentlessly maintained his pompous, deeply ridiculous but consistently appealing conservative blowhard character on his late-night show, 'The Colbert Report' — so much so that when he puts the character to rest for good on Thursday night, he may have to resort to comicide. The Grim Reaper is his last guest."

New York Times: "Life on Mars? Today? The notion may not be so far-fetched after all. A year after reporting that NASA’s Curiosity rover had found no evidence of methane gas on Mars, all but dashing hopes that organisms might be living there now, scientists reversed themselves on Tuesday. Curiosity has now recorded a burst of methane that lasted at least two months. For now, scientists have just two possible explanations for the methane. One is that it is the waste product of certain living microbes.... It could have been created by a geological process known as serpentinization, which requires both heat and liquid water. Or it could be a product of life in the form of microbes known as methanogens, which release methane as a waste product.... The scientists also reported that for the first time, they had confirmed the presence of carbon-based organic molecules in a rock sample. The so-called organics are not direct signs of life, past or present, but they lend weight to the possibility that Mars had the ingredients required for life, and may even still have them."

"Oh, God, It's Mom." Kelly Faircloth of Jezebel: "Oh my Lord, shut it down, here is the greatest moment in the history of C-SPAN: A (very Southern) mama called into one of their shows to yell at the guests. Not because she disagrees, but because the guests are brothers and both her sons and she is sick and tired of their shit":


Escape from Alcatraz. Live Science: "... on the night of June 11, 1962, three inmates left Alcatraz in one of the most mysterious prison breaks in American history. John Anglin, his brother Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris tucked dummy heads into their bed sheets and snuck into an unused utility corridor through holes they had crudely drilled through their cells. Then, from the prison roof, they shimmied down the bakery smoke stack and climbed over the fence. From the northeast shore of the island, they floated away from the prison on a small raft made from more than 50 stolen raincoats that were inflated with a musical instrument that was converted into a pump. Even the FBI still calls the plan 'ingenious' on its website. After a 17-year investigation, federal authorities concluded that the men most likely drowned during the escape...."

... BUT ...

... The linked story above has a better video, but it's not embeddable.

Rolling Stone: "David Letterman will retire from late-night television on Wednesday, May 20th. The Late Show host's production company Worldwide Pants announced the news, according to Deadline, with CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves praising Letterman’s 'remarkable legacy of achievement and creative brilliance [which] will never be forgotten.'"

Washington Post: "New information from NASA's Curiosity Rover suggests that Mars may once have had large, long-lasting lakes above ground. That would challenge the more popular theory that water on the planet was only underground, or only appeared in a few areas for a short amount of time. The key to this latest theory is Mount Sharp, which stands 3 miles tall and sits in the red planet's Gale Crater. But Mount Sharp is a curious formation: The layered mountain is made of different kinds of sediment. Some layers were probably deposited by a surrounding lake bed, and other seem more likely to be the result of river or wind deposits." CW: Yeah, there was probably once a really well-developed life on Mars with flora & fauna & -- eventually -- little green men who didn't believe in climate change.

New York Times: "After weeks of planning, New York City welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Sunday for a three-day visit, greeting Prince William and his wife, Catherine, with the blend of enthusiasm, sarcasm and bemusing antagonism that tends to tail the urban celebrity tourist."

The Wrap: "Longtime CNN political anchor Candy Crowley is leaving the network."

December 6: Max Fisher of Vox: So two white guys -- guys who will have no trouble finding other jobs -- get fired, & half the New Republic staff walks out in protest. Where was the outrage when Marty Peretz was editor & writing racist screeds? The contrasting reactions speak "to a larger problem of how we think about racism in American society and particularly in the elite media institutions that have badly lagged in employing people of color." ...

... Scott Lemieux in LG&M: "For all its sins [of the past], I don’t see how turning the magazine into another traffic-chaser under the aegis of a CEO who speaks Meaningless Buzzword and apparently lacks the attention span to read more than 500 words at a time is a good thing." ...

... Charles Pierce: "... contra Chait, and even though the magazine unquestionably has regained a lot of its lost quality, especially in its actual reporting, I think the notion that The New Republic is 'an essential foundation of American progressive thought' is a ship that sailed a long time ago." ...

... Zandar in Balloon Juice: " The number of damns I give about TNR as a going concern at this point equals approximately the number of black voices writing for the magazine, which is to say zero, but YMMV."

... December 4 & 5: Dylan Byers of Politico: "Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier, the top two editors at The New Republic, quit on Thursday amid a shakeup that will relocate the Washington-based magazine to New York City, sources there told Politico on Thursday. Gabriel Snyder, a Bloomberg Media editor who previously served at The Atlantic Wire, has been tapped to replace Foer as editor. The magazine will also reduce its print schedule to 10 issues a year, down from 20." ...

     ... New York Times Update: "More than two dozen members of the staff of The New Republic, including several contributing editors, resigned on Friday morning, angered by an abrupt change of editors and what they saw as a series of management missteps. The resignations include the senior editors Alec MacGillis, Julia Ioffe and Isaac Chotiner, and the contributing editors Sean Wilentz and William Deresiewicz, according to several staff members who are leaving. A list compiling the names of those resigning was obtained by The New York Times." ...

     ... AND more from Jessica Roy of New York. ...

... Jonathan Chait: The New Republic has lost its way. ...

... Ezra Klein: "It's a bit early, I think, to write The New Republic's eulogy. Gabriel Snyder, the magazine's new editor, is a smart and web-savvy guy." ...

... Leah Finnegan of Gawker: "Indeed, an entire magazine is now doomed to fail because a white man has been fired and — gasp — an internet-savvy white man has been brought in to replace him! In TNR's 100-year history, I never would have imagined such a triage of injustice. It's clear that the new leadership of the magazine—with all their greasy Facebook money—is dead set on ruining a (historically racist) publication no one ever read in the first place, and was on the slow road to Irrelevance City. What will Chris Hughes do next? Perhaps the publication might even become interesting. Scream!"

Charles Pierce is completely taken with Ed Snowden. He's brave, credible & intelligent, blah-blah, & the film "Citizenfour" is bee-youtiful. For an antidote to starry-eyed Charles, see this review by Fred Kaplan of Slate.

This is quite cool:

 

Washington Post: "Scientists are 99.999 percent sure, in their most conservative estimate, that remains found in 2012 really do belong to King Richard III. These results, published Tuesday in Nature Communications, put a 529-year-old cold case to rest -- all thanks to some intense genetic detective work." CW: Let's hope one of the expert detectives wasn't Shaun Parcells. You may weigh in, Dr. Schwalb. ...

Welcome to Gramercy Park! -- "one of the most forbidden places in Manhattan." New York Times: Woody Allen couldn't get in to film, Robert De Niro couldn't get in, but Shawn Christopher, who was honeymooning in Manhattan, borrowed a key and "took three 360-degree panoramas using Photo Sphere, a Google app, and then uploaded them to the company’s ubiquitous Maps site. He had gotten into the park using another of his favorite technologies, Airbnb, where the room he rented included not only fresh linens and Wi-Fi but also one of the 383 coveted keys to the park. Mr. Christopher was unaware at the time that guests had to be accompanied by key holders on their visits and that commercial photography was prohibited." So take an insider's view of the park.

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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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