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On Politics With Lisa Lerer: On to November



On Politics With Lisa Lerer: On to November

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By Lisa Lerer

Hi. Welcome to On Politics, your guide to the day in national politics. I’m Lisa Lerer, your host. Tonight we’re following Hurricane Florence updates. If you’re in the path of the storm, stay safe.

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What is it they say about primaries? They come in like a lion and out like a lamb? They get better with age? They taste like … chicken?

Whatever. The point is that the mess of state primaries, special elections and runoff races is finally over, and the final stretch of the midterms has officially begun.

We’re excited. Around here, nothing says fall like foliage, pumpkin spice dog treats (they’re real; Editor Tom says: “animal cruelty”) and campaign rallies.

But before we move into all the political fun we have in store over the next 53 days, we thought it was worth taking a look back at what we learned.

CreditOli Scarff/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

There are new rules. But we still don’t exactly know what they are.

President Trump’s victory blew up a lot of what the “experts” thought they knew about politics. The midterms showed that he is continuing to change the rules.

He waded into Republican primaries — a decision once seen as anathema — and a lot of his chosen candidates won. G.O.P. strategists worry that a least a few of those candidates are out of step with the general electorate.

On the Democratic side, high-profile insurgent candidates — including Ayanna Pressley in Boston and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York — bucked the party establishment and ousted longtime incumbents.

The revolution kind of happened.

Despite all the attention paid to those Democratic upsets, 71 percent of the non-establishment candidates challenging incumbents in House primaries lost, according to the Brookings Institution.

But — and this is important — challengers still had a significant impact on the party. Scores of them rejected corporate PAC dollars. They pushed for single-payer health insurance in races across the country.

The desire for fresh blood in the party was real and resonant: By our count, about 60 Democrats have said they won’t back Nancy Pelosi for speaker should their party win control of the House.

It’s (still) all about Mr. Trump.

The president always casts a shadow over the midterm elections. But this one seems to block out the sun, moon and stars.

Republicans tried to outdo themselves in their support for the president. (My favorite example? In the Minnesota governor’s race, the candidates debated what was worse: Tim Pawlenty calling Trump “unhinged and unfit,” or Jeff Johnson calling him a “jackass.” Mr. Johnson won the primary.)

For Democrats, each new controversy was like a shot of adrenaline to their volunteers, donors and voters.

Republicans are quick to note that the president remains popular with their base. But with polls forecasting a surge in Democratic turnout, Mr. Trump’s larger-than-politics presence may end up benefiting his opponents most.

One for the history books.

After years of stagnating around 20 percent of Congress, record-breaking numbers of women are running for House, Senate and governor. They were joined by unprecedented numbers of L.G.B.T. and minority candidates.

Every primary night seemed to bring another first: Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar are likely to be the first Muslim women in Congress; Deb Haaland of New Mexico is poised to be the first Native American woman; and Gina Ortiz Jones, of Texas, could become the first Filipina-American. And in Vermont, Christine Hallquist became the first transgender candidate for governor on a major party ticket.


Jonathan Martin’s district of the week

We’re starting what we hope will be a regular feature: Tapping the brain of our national political correspondent Jonathan Martin. No one knows political trivia — or where to find the best nosh on the campaign trail — better. He sent us this:

Like many of you, I have the Carolinas on my mind this week. And I can’t think of the Carolinas without thinking of Charleston.

Few cities have been impacted by a storm like the Holy City. Hurricane Hugo devastated Charleston in 1989, and the legacy of legendary former Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. is inextricably linked to the recovery he helped oversee. (How much does Charleston love its still-alive-and-well former mayor? They named their new minor league baseball stadium after him, and quickly short-handed it as “The Joe”).

Lisa tells me this is the part of these riffs where I have to offer restaurant suggestions, so here goes: The Ordinary, a really neat space in an old bank downtown, or The Wreck, which is a beer-served-in-a-can beauty on Shem Creek over in Mt. Pleasant.

I am hardly alone in my weakness for the charms of Charleston, and as more folks move to the area, its politics are changing. While still Republican-leaning, the congressional district that takes in most of the city could feature one of this year’s sleeper races. Republicans there ousted Representative Mark Sanford in a primary earlier this year and are running Katie Arrington, an enthusiastic backer of President Trump, against the Democrat Joe Cunningham, a local attorney.

It is one of those districts where, if Mr. Trump’s fortunes don’t improve, Republicans could find themselves in an unexpectedly competitive race.

And after Hurricane Florence, that could lure more reporters back to the Carolina coast for why we want to be there: to cover a political story, and have a good meal or three.

Send him your restaurant recommendations (preferably in battleground states) here.

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Thanks for writing

Part of what has made our first week so much fun is reading your letters. We heard from high school students, a 97-year-old nun, and readers in all corners of the country. In all, over 500 of you wrote to let us know what you want to see in this newsletter.

Jules in Denver said that they’d like to read about “what people are doing to band together … to *incite* politics.”

Elaine in Louisville (“83 years old and still kickin’!”) asked for “stories unrelated to the disconcerting news out of Washington.”

And Conrad in New Jersey suggested “an occasional look at an interesting race for a local office somewhere in the country.”

Good idea, Conrad. We want to know who we don’t know. Are there candidates in your community running for any level of office who interest you, inspire you or infuriate you?

Tell us about them and why they stand out. Write us at onpolitics@nytimes.com, and we may feature your pick in an upcoming edition.


Help me feel smarter

They aren’t mentioned in the same breath as Scorsese and Spike Lee, but they should be. Here are 20 women from film history that you should know.

Elkhart, Ind., is the “R.V. capital of the world” — and stronghold for Trump supporters. But signs of a slowdown have residents worried. Read that story.

Here’s one to think about over the weekend. How will the police solve crimes on Mars? The Atlantic looks into it.


… Seriously, guys

It’s Friday! After a long week, we’ve all earned some funny photos of animals. Here you go.


Isabella Grullón Paz and Margaret Kramer contributed to this newsletter.

Thanks for reading. Politics is more than what goes on inside the White House. On Politics brings you the people, issues and ideas reshaping our world.

Is there anything you think we’re missing? Anything you want to see more of? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at onpolitics@nytimes.com.

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On Politics: Democrats Continue to Gain as More Midterm Races Are Finalized




On Politics: Democrats Continue to Gain as More Midterm Races Are Finalized

Good Wednesday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.


What seemed like a mixed midterm result for the G.O.P. has turned more grim as Democrats continue to pick up seats in the House and narrow the Republican hold on the Senate. Read about the stronger Democratic gains.

President Trump is considering firing Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security who has long been a target of the president’s displeasure, according to three people close to him. Read about the staff shake-up.

There were conflicting reports on Tuesday on whether Mira Ricardel, a deputy national security adviser, had been fired. But there is no question that the first lady, Melania Trump, no longer wants her at the White House.

Mr. Trump issued a blistering personal attack against President Emmanuel Macron of France, and sought to defend his decision not to visit a cemetery of American soldiers while in France because of rain. Read more on his comments.

With a recount underway in the Florida governor’s race, Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee, is back on the campaign trail a week after conceding the election. Though the outcome is unlikely to change, Mr. Gillum has made it clear he is not going away.

Representative Kyrsten Sinema’s victory marked the first time a Democrat has been elected to the Senate from Arizona since 1988. Read more about Ms. Sinema, and here are six takeaways from her historic race.

On an otherwise bleak election night for North Dakota Democrats, Ruth Buffalo became the first Native American Democrat elected to the state legislature, unseating the architect of the very law tribes had feared would disenfranchise them.

As freshman orientation for new members of Congress began, Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led activists in a protest in Nancy Pelosi’s office. The move is an early notice to Democratic leaders that the new House may be divided.

Despite a dismal election last week, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California looks set to become House minority leader. Read more about Mr. McCarthy — and his chances of securing the new role.

For weeks before the midterms, Mr. Trump warned ominously about the threat from a caravan of migrants streaming toward the United States border. But only a week after the election, he has dropped the issue almost entirely.

An independent bipartisan commission concluded in a sharply critical report that strained forces and budget shortfalls have cast doubt on the Pentagon’s strategy to confront global threats, in a challenge to Mr. Trump’s commitment to support a strong military.

Mr. Trump’s trade war is stoking an internal fight among his top economic advisers, with officials sparring over the White House’s approach to dealing with China and other trading partners. Here’s more on the feuding.


Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Margaret Kramer in New York.

Check back later for On Politics With Lisa Lerer, a nightly newsletter exploring the people, issues and ideas reshaping the political world.

Is there anything you think we’re missing? Anything you want to see more of? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at onpolitics@nytimes.com.

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Brexit deal: Tory ministers meet to decide fate of agreement – Politics live




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  1. Brexit deal: Tory ministers meet to decide fate of agreement – Politics live  The Guardian
  2. This is a Brexit deal that delivers! May breaks EU deadlock as Cabinet summoned TODAY  Express.co.uk
  3. Brexit: UK and EU ‘agree text’ of draft withdrawal agreement  BBC News
  4. Full coverage

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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Putting on Ayers




Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) and Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Donald Trump is reportedly considering replacements for several senior-level administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Chief of Staff John Kelly. One name being floated as Kelly’s replacement is Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s current chief of staff.

  • CNN filed a lawsuit against Trump and several White House aides, after the administration suspended CNN journalist Jim Acosta’s press pass last week.

  • Trump named Neomi Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, to fill the seat vacated by Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • Hate crimes in America increased by 17 percent last year, even while overall violent crime fell very slightly, according to newly released data from the FBI.

  • At least 44 people are dead, and more than 200 people are still missing, as the Camp Fire—now the most destructive fire in California history—continues to blaze through the northern part of the state.

Today on The Atlantic

  • This Is a Problem: President Trump appointed Matthew Whitaker to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week. The move is unconstitutional, argues former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo.

  • ‘A New Kind of Centrism’: Even though they had some high-profile losses, progressives still see last week’s midterms as a victory for progressive thinking. (Elaine Godfrey)

  • Young and Blue: The House of Representatives is an “unfriendly environment for rising talent,” reports Elaina Plott. Why is it so hard for young Democrats to get leadership roles there?

  • Doomed Policies: President Trump reportedly plans to fire Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen for weak enforcement of his immigration policies. But Nielsen isn’t the reason why they’re failing, writes David A. Graham.

  • Becoming Michelle Obama: The former first lady’s new memoir is a strikingly intimate look at life as a political spouse. (Hannah Giorgis)


Georgia state Senator Nikema Williams (D) is arrested by capitol police during a protest over election ballot counts in the rotunda of the state capitol building in Atlanta. Dozens filled the rotunda in the center of the Capitol’s second floor Tuesday just as the House was scheduled to convene for a special session. (John Bazemore / AP)

What We’re Reading

Oops: A poorly designed ballot might have swayed the midterm elections in Florida. Here’s how. (Dana Chisnell and Whitney Quesenbery, The Washington Post)

Bigger Than They Thought: With all the votes counted, the Democrats had a larger win this year than Republicans did in 2010. (Matthew Yglesias, Vox)

A New American Revolution: Revolutions have always shaped American society, starting in 1776. In 2018, the left has tried to stage a new revolution—one modern America doesn’t need, argues Victor Davis Hanson. (The National Review)


Mapping Fire: California’s wildfires are still raging. Keep track of them. (Lauren Tierney, Laris Karklis, and Tim Meko, The Washington Post)

We’re always looking for ways to improve The Politics & Policy Daily. Concerns, comments, questions, typos? Let us know anytime here.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

Elaine Godfrey is an assistant editor at The Atlantic.
Madeleine Carlisle is an editorial fellow at The Atlantic.

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