👓 Governor Admits He Was in Racist Yearbook Photo | New York Times

Read Governor Admits He Was in Racist Yearbook Photo (New York Times)
Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, said he was “deeply sorry” for the decision to appear in the photo but resisted calls for his resignation.

I’ll bet that the Republicans who have let Trump’s racism slide will crow the loudest for his ouster.

🎧 The Daily: What a Border Sheriff Thinks About the Wall | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: What a Border Sheriff Thinks About the Wall from New York Times

A sheriff in Arizona tells us how President Trump’s immigration policies have played out in his county, and why his interpretation of the president’s message has changed.

👓 The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine critical of Trump, to shutter after 23 years | CNN

Read The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine critical of Trump, to shutter after 23 years (CNN)
The Weekly Standard, the magazine that espouses traditional conservatism and which has remained deeply critical of President Donald Trump, will shutter after 23 years, its owner Clarity Media Group announced Friday morning. The magazine will publish its final issue on December 17.

Alas there goes the last bit of logic to the center of the old party. Trump’s transformation of the Republican Party is almost complete.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Watering Down Democrats’ Power in Wisconsin | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Watering Down Democrats’ Power in Wisconsin from New York Times

Across the country, Democratic candidates for governor and attorney general have won seats that had long been held by Republicans. But Republican-controlled legislatures in some states are resisting that transfer of power.

This kind of crap really drives me crazy and is very non-democratic.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: A 30-Year Plan to Transform the Courts | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: A 30-Year Plan to Transform the Courts from New York Times

Republicans have created a pipeline of conservative lawyers to help carry out a sweeping reconfiguration of the federal judiciary.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Why Peter Strzok Wanted to Testify | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Why Peter Strzok Wanted to Testify from New York Times

We look at what happened when the embattled F.B.I. agent appeared before lawmakers to explain his controversial text messages.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Trump’s Supreme Court Finalists | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Trump’s Supreme Court Finalists from New York Times

With the president expected to announce his choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, we look at the top candidates.

👓 Peaceful Transfer of Power Update | Kevin Drum

Read Peaceful Transfer of Power Update by Kevin Drum

This morning I mentioned how excited Republican legislatures have become about stripping state officials of power just before those state officials happen to become Democrats. But I missed one. It turns out that many years ago Florida handed authority over concealed-carry permits to the state’s agriculture commissioner. Why? Because sometimes law enforcement playfully tries to actually enforce the law, and the NRA would prefer that not happen. Instead, they want concealed-carry permits rubber stamped by an elected official. But then this happened:

The agriculture commissioner’s office attracted unwanted attention in early 2018 after it was found that for 13 months, the department’s Division of Licensing stopped using results from an FBI crime database that ensures those who apply do not have a disqualifying history in other states.

This was fine with the NRA, of course, but even in Florida it turns out that voters were unamused. As a result, they elected a Democrat as agriculture commissioner. A Democrat! This is the NRA’s worst nightmare, no now they’ve proposed that concealed-carry permits be transferred to…

…the state’s CFO.

The what?

Yeah, Florida has a CFO. It’s an odd office that was created just a few years ago, and the CFO doesn’t really seem to do all that much. But he is a Republican, so he’ll do. Democrats have counterproposed that concealed-carry permits be handled by law enforcement, which actually makes sense, but so far Republicans are having none of it. They’re dedicated to stripping the ag commissioner of authority and giving it once again to a Republican.

There’s no telling how hard they’ll kowtow to the NRA on this, but for now it looks like we have four GOP states that are desperately trying to strip elected officials of power in lame duck sessions before Democrats take over. Naturally, I have an updated map:

👓 George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, dies at 94 | The Washington Post

Read George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, dies at 94 by Karen TumultyKaren Tumulty (The Washington Post)
George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States and the father of the 43rd, was a steadfast force on the international stage for decades, from his stint as an envoy to Beijing to his eight years as vice president and his one term as commander in chief from 1989 to 1993.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

He negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, a measure that was ratified by the Senate in President Bill Clinton’s first term.  

Interesting that he dies on the same day that Trump declares victory over the death of NAFTA.
November 30, 2018 at 11:42PM

He lost to New York billionaire Donald Trump,  

Is he really a “billionaire”?! I thought the Times’ own reporting had refuted this pretty soundly?
December 01, 2018 at 12:14AM

👓 Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Miss. Senate Runoff After Racially Charged Campaign | NPR

Read Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Miss. Senate Runoff After Racially Charged Campaign (NRP)
Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith won the Senate runoff in Mississippi by a margin of 54-to-46 percent, according to the Associated Press, overcoming a series of missteps that brought the state's dark history of racism and violence to the forefront. Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the Senate earlier this year after Republican Thad Cochran stepped down because of health reasons, defeated former congressman and agriculture secretary Mike Espy. Neither candidate had won the requisite 50 percent in the first round of the special election on Election Day. She is the first woman elected to the Senate from Mississippi.

Even if she weren’t a virulent racist, she’s a horrible pick because she simply doesn’t seem to be able to think or operate for herself without being propped up by a staff behind her.

Too often I’m just saddened at what America is producing.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Plan to Discredit the Florida Recount | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Plan to Discredit the Florida Recount from New York Times

The partisan battle over several close races risks damaging public confidence in the state’s election systems.

👓 Brian Kemp’s Lead in Georgia Needs an Asterisk | The Atlantic

Read Brian Kemp’s Lead in Georgia Needs an Asterisk (The Atlantic)
If the governor’s race had taken place in another country, the State Department would have questioned its legitimacy.

🎧 The Daily: Nancy Pelosi’s Dilemma | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Nancy Pelosi’s Dilemma by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

Under fire from both parties, the longtime House Democratic leader faces an uncertain political future.

🎧 The Daily: The Trump Voters We Don’t Talk About | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Trump Voters We Don’t Talk About by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

New data offers a more nuanced look at this group beyond “white men without a college degree.”

🎧 The Daily: Paul Ryan’s Exit Interview | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Paul Ryan’s Exit Interview by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

As speaker of the House, the Republican lawmaker should be at the peak of his powers. Instead, he’s walking away.