November 16, 2018

Lightning Round

November 15th in 6 stories

by Chris Thomas

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Image by Dave Dildine, WTOP

It’s time for another Resistbot lightning round. One day, five stories, more links than I care to count. Here we go!

Selling Out Americans

Our first story comes from the New York Magazine and business insider. We’ll just let the headlines do the talking:

The very short version of this moral and foreign policy trainwreck is as follows:

A few weeks ago the Saudi government kidnapped and horrifically murdered an American in Turkey.* For reasons beyond understanding, the Turks took this rather worse than the White House. Now, the Trump administration is looking into what it could offer the Turks to let the murder of an American by the Saudis in Turkey drop… and what they came up with was turning another American over to the Turks to face beheading.

* Sort of, it was in the Saudi embassy in Turkey which, by convention, is sovereign Saudi territory but is nonetheless in Turkey.

A Crack In The Wall

This story comes from Vox simply because this publication refuses to link to anyone who defends blackface.

A MAGA outlet just published a piece blaming Trump for the GOP midterm loss

Calling “American Greatness” a “MAGA outlet” doesn’t do the publication’s devotion to Trump justice. American Greatness positively fawns over Trump and Trumpism with articles like “Why ordinary American are unperturbed by Russia mania.” That even these staunch allies are beginning to question the GOP’s embrace of the “white identity politics and violent rhetoric” of Donald Trump signals a potential realignment within the Republican Party.

Tightening the Ammo Belt

The 2018 election was a punishing one for the NRA. As Bloomburg points out, the organization has thrown off any semblance of independence and has “[come] out as an exclusively Republican organization. Politically, the NRA now lives by the GOP, dies by the GOP.” Of the 33 House seats Democrats flipped, 15 went from NRA A-rated Republicans to F-rated Democrats.

Then, in what has to be the worst political own-goal in recent memory, the NRA told “ self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane.” The response was nothing short of apocalyptic.

Doctors Are Sharing Gruesome Photos Of What It's Like To Treat Gun Violence Victims

But if the eroding influence of the NRA in American politics has to be summarized in one article, it’s this one from The Trace:

The NRA Has Killed Free Coffee for Employees

It’s Mueller Time

After a long period of silence Robert Mueller looks to be making waves in Washington again, drawing the ire of the President in an early morning Tweetstorm on Thursday.

What Trump's Latest Outburst About Mueller Could Mean

What’s Mueller up to? Beats us; if there’s one thing the last year has shown its that the Mueller investigation plays its cards very close to the chest. But with a new (and probably illegal) Attorney General in play and McConnell unwilling to protect the investigation, there’s a lot to keep track of.

The Footnotes Of History

The election for Maine’s 2nd District didn’t receive the hype of the Beto O’Rourke campaign but it was no less important. Democrat Jared Golden took the seat from incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin by a thin margin but what made the race a historic one is that it marks the first Congressional election decided by ranked-choice voting.

Jared Golden wins Maine's 2nd District race, flips another seat in U.S. House to Democrats

Ranked choice voting reduces the “spoiler” effect of 3rd party candidates, making third parties more viable without forcing voters to sacrifice their ideals for political pragmatism, though, in a blow to Democracy, Poliquin is challenging the validity of Maine’s voting system in court.

The Long Shadow of Racism

On a somewhat less upbeat note, Mitch McConnell is trying to ram through a lifetime judgeship for Thomas Farr. Most Americans haven’t heard of Farr but that doesn’t make him any less cartoonishly evil.

Mitch McConnell Is Still Tying to Give Thomas Farr a Lifetime Appointment to the Federal Bench

Farr’s resume reads like the backstory of a villian in a John Grisham novel: personal lawyer for segregation-cheerleader Jesse Helms, defender of illegal racial gerrymandering, and an unashamed partisan, Farr even lied to the United States’ Senate about his role in a voter suppression scheme.

Yet McConnell is pushing for a confirmation vote in the Lame Duck session of the Senate.

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