Republicans have attacked Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., for backing President Obama’s agenda on everything from health care to immigration. Starting Saturday, you can add another issue to the anti-Obama list: judges.
A new ad from the conservative third-party group Judicial Crisis Network criticizes the Democratic incumbent from Arkansas for backing President Obama’s judicial nominees, including Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. The 30-second spot will run for two weeks in the Little Rock media market, the state’s largest, with an ad buy worth more than $100,000, according to officials familiar with the ad. It will be on air for two weeks.
“When Mark Pryor rubber stamps Obama’s liberal judges, it hurts Arkansas,” the ad intones. “Enough is enough: Tell Mark Pryor to go to work for Arkansas, not Obama.”
The ad also references, although not by name, the looming battle over three of Obama’s nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, saying Pryor is “helping Obama pack a key court with new liberal judges.” Next week, the Senate is expected to vote whether to confirm Georgetown law professor Cornelia Pillard to one of the posts.
The GOP plans to take down Pryor, generally considered the Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbent during next year’s mid-term elections, by aggressively linking him to the president, who is deeply unpopular in deeply conservative Arkansas. Usually, that means mentioning Pryor’s votes in favor of Obamacare or the stimulus package. Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, Pryor’s expected Republican challenger, echoed the ad’s argument in a statement Friday.
“Whether it’s Senator Mark Pryor’s deciding vote for Obamacare or his rubber-stamping of Obama’s left-wing judicial nominees, one thing is clear: Senator Pryor always puts President Obama first,” said Cotton spokesman David Ray.
“Another day, another false attack from Tom Cotton’s Washington special interest pals trying to smear Mark Pryor because he looks after Arkansans,” responded Pryor spokesman Erik Dorey.
But these spots highlights some of the senator’s lesser known judicial votes, and underscore the difficulty red-state incumbents like Pryor can have trying to distance themselves from Obama. The two-term incumbent has tried to carve out an independent identity on several high-profile issues this year, like voting against expanded gun-sale background checks and voicing continued opposition to gay marriage.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”