The Ledes

Friday, October 24, 2014.

Seattle Times: "Two students are dead after one of them opened fire Friday morning in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School cafeteria before turning the gun on himself, according to law-enforcement sources. Police said a girl was killed and two other girls and two boys were wounded  in the 10:45 a.m. shooting.... Jarron Webb, 15, said the shooter was angry at a girl who would not date him, and that the girl was one of the people shot.  He said he believes one of the victims was his friend since kindergarten." Marysville is near Seattle.

Guardian: "European leaders have struck a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030. But key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised."

New York Times: "American security officials said Thursday that they were looking into a new report that Islamic State militants had used chlorine gas as a weapon against Iraqi police officers last month near Balad, north of Baghdad."

Bloomberg News: "Mali became the sixth West African country to report a case of Ebola, opening a new front in the international effort to prevent the outbreak of the deadly viral infection from spreading further."

New York Times: "Frank Mankiewicz, a writer and Democratic political strategist who was Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s press secretary, directed Senator George S. McGovern’s losing 1972 presidential campaign and for six years was the president of National Public Radio, died Thursday at a hospital in Washington. He was 90."

The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, October 23, 2014.

Los Angeles Times: "Islamic State still generates tens of millions of dollars a month in illicit income despite a U.S.-led effort to cut the financing streams that have helped turn the once-obscure militant group into a terrorist organization unlike any previously seen, a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said Thursday."

Guardian: "The prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, vowed a tough and uncompromising response to a brazen gun attack on the national parliament on Wednesday that left a soldier dead and a nation in shock. As calm fell on Canada’s idyllic capital, where hours earlier Michael Zehaf-Bibeau had forced his way into the parliament building in a hail of gunfire before being killed by a ceremonial official, Harper delivered a sombre television address declaring that the country would not be cowed by terrorism." ...

... Toronto Globe & Mail: "Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the slain 32-year-old suspected killer of a Canadian Forces soldier near Parliament Hill, was a labourer and small-time criminal – a man who had had a religious awakening and seemed to have become mentally unstable. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. The two were divorced in 1999." ...

... New York Times: "A day after a terrorist attack convulsed the heart of Ottawa, the Canadian capital, the city’s police chief said he was satisfied that it was the work of a lone gunman, who shot dead a soldier before being killed in a hail of gunfire in the Parliament building.... In the hours following the raid, police officials had said that there might be as many as three armed men."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post, September 17: "Artificial sweeteners might be triggering higher blood-sugar levels in some people and contributing to the problems they were designed to combat, such as diabetes and obesity, according to new findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

New York Times, September 1: "People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study [financed by the N.I.H.] shows."

White House Live Video
October 24

12:45 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

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

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

Washington Post: A "virtual autopsy" of King Tut suggests the boy king had "buck teeth, club foot and a pronounced overbite."

Stephen Colbert describes his workday:


No Surprise Here. Valerie Tarico of AlterNet, in Salon: "... online search traffic from behind closed doors in Jesusland suggests that the bad, nasty, sexual impulses righteous believers are trying so hard to shut down may be their own. And if Google search patterns mean anything, they’re not succeeding too well: studies consistently demonstrate that people in conservative religious states search for adult materials online far more often than people in blue states."

Jeffrey Frank reviews, for the New Yorker, a new biography of Nelson Rockefeller by Richard Norton Smith. The review is fairly entertaining & informative.

Michael Cieply of the New York Times: "... several of the companies behind 'Citizenfour' — which takes issue with Mr. Obama’s expansion of Bush-era surveillance, and his administration’s attempt to prosecute [Edward] Snowden for espionage — are led by some of the president’s close political allies. They include Harvey Weinstein, the Weinstein Company’s co-chairman, as well as Jeff Skoll, the founder of Participant Media, and Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, who all have been major contributors to Mr. Obama’s political campaigns."

Washington Post: "President Obama's credit card was rejected last month at a restaurant in New York. 'I went to a restaurant up in New York when I was -- during the U.N. General Assembly, and my credit card was rejected,' Obama said Friday while signing an executive order to protect consumers from identity theft. 'It turned out I guess I don’t use it enough. They were -- they thought there was some fraud going on. Fortunately, Michelle had hers.'"

"Who's Gonna Stand Up & Save the Earth?" Not Stephen Colbert:

Novelist John Grisham recants his apologia for child porn. Good to know.

Unsolved Mystery. Washington Post: "Human remains recently exhumed from an Alabama grave are not those of the notorious fugitive William Bradford Bishop, who is accused of killing five family members with a small sledgehammer in Montgomery County in 1976 and setting their bodies on fire, law enforcement officials said Wednesday. The FBI said that DNA taken from the unidentified body in Scottsboro, Ala., on Oct. 9 did not match Bishop, who is a member of the Ten Most Wanted list." Original story further down this column. Thanks to Haley S. for the lead.

New York Times: "CBS announced a new subscription Internet streaming service on Thursday that allows people to watch its live television programming and thousands of its current and past shows on demand without paying for a traditional TV subscription. The new 'CBS All Access' service, costing $5.99 a month, is the first time that a traditional broadcaster will make a near-continuous live feed of its local stations available over the web to non-pay-TV subscribers. At its start, the live stream will be available in 14 markets in the United States." ...

... New York Times: "HBO announced Wednesday that it would start a stand-alone Internet streaming service in the United States in 2015 that would not require a subscription to a traditional television service, a move that intensifies the premium cable network’s growing rivalry with Netflix. Just hours after HBO unveiled plans for its new service, Netflix announced that its subscriber growth was slower than expected...."

Joe Coscarelli of New York: "Following its initial mercy killing at the hands of Jon Stewart, Crossfire was rebooted last year with Newt Gingrich and Van Jones to dismal returns..., CNN ... scrapped it for good today [October 15] so that Newt can spend more time with his animals — and hopefully run for president again."

Joe Concha of Mediaite: "A well-placed source tells me MSNBC will be announcing major programming changes sometime in the next month, including the cancellation of Ronan Farrow‘s afternoon program, Ronan Farrow Daily." CW: I've caught a few minutes of Farrow's show a couple of times, & it was clear the guy was in way over his head. His performance was as embarrassing as the Russert kid's, though he isn't an obnoxious bro in the Russert-kid mold. I'm not sure if the suits will ever figure out that legacies & children-of-famous-people are usually not the best & brightest, perhaps because a lot of the suits themselves are legacies.

Philip Shenon in Politico Magazine: "If even Robert Kennedy was a conspiracy theorist, it is hard to see how millions of other Americans will ever be convinced to accept that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone."

Bill Carter of the New York Times: "MSNBC has seen its ratings hit one of the deepest skids in its history, with the recently completed third quarter of 2014 generating some record lows."

Snowden, The Movie:

... AND, Snowden's girlfriend is living with him in a Moscow apartment. David Harding of the New York Daily News: "His girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, moved into his apartment in the Russian capital in July, a detail that was revealed in the new documentary, 'Citizenfour.'” ...

... George Packer of the New Yorker on Laura Poitras & making the film "Citizenfour." ...

... Steven Zeitchik of the Los Angeles Times discusses the film. He attended the premiere at the New York Film Festival, where the documentary got a rare standing O. CW: I'm kinda sensing that "Citizenfour" can best be described as "documentary as hagiography." And, yes, I'm definitely seeing an Oscar here. Call me an oracle.

 

 

A video for Marco I'm-Not-a-Scientist-Man Rubio & Bobby I'm-Not-an-Evolutionary-Biologist Jindal, & all their non-scientist Republican friends:

Selina Gray, on right, saved Arlington House treasures during the Civil War.Michael Ruane of the Washington Post: "When Robert E. Lee’s wife, Mary, fled Arlington House at the start of the Civil War, she gave her personal slave, Selina Norris Gray, the keys to the mansion and responsibility for the grand house the Lees had lived in for 30 years. Gray fulfilled her duties. She is famously credited with saving from marauding Union soldiers numerous heirlooms belonging to George Washington that were stored in the house. Now the National Park Service, which administers Arlington House, has acquired what it says is a rare and previously unknown photograph of Gray and, apparently, two of her eight children."

"An FBI wanted poster shows William Bradford Bishop Jr. The image on the left shows how Bishop would look now. (Getty)"Dan Morse of the Washington Post: "For nearly 40 years, the legend of Bethesda fugitive William Bradford Bishop Jr. carried an air of not just evil brutality but refined sophistication. This was a man suspected of killing his family with a small sledgehammer in 1976 and setting their corpses on fire. Then he vanished, taking with him fluency in five languages, the experience of a world traveler for the State Department, and a fondness for playing tennis, flying airplanes and drinking Scotch. There were alleged sightings: a public park in Stockholm, a restroom in Sorrento, Italy, a train station in Basel, Switzerland. Now, in a potentiality stunning development in the case — centered in a municipally owned cemetery in the northeastern corner of Alabama — remains that were exhumed Thursday may tell a different story. Bishop could be the heretofore unidentified man called John Doe, who was struck by a car while walking down a highway in 1981, a person who appeared to be homeless, who’d worn several layers of heavy, dirty clothes and weighed just 155 pounds." ...

... CW: If you like mysteries & enjoy reading about how they're unravelled, you should find this a compelling story.

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." 


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