FROM Noah Bierman
What a "Speaker" McCarthy Would Mean for California Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield made it official today. He wants the Speakership, when John Boehner gives up the job at the end of next month. McCarthy said today he wants to "lead the fight" for conservatism and heal the deep divisions in the Republican caucus. Noah Bierman covers Capitol Hill for the LA Times .
Which Party Will Control the Senate? There's no doubt the Republicans will still run the House after next week's election, but control of the Senate has both parties biting their nails. With Mitt Romney in the White House, his party would run two branches of government, bolstered by a sympathetic Supreme Court. If Barack Obama is re-elected, a Democratic Senate might be a buffer against the Congress, with a chance of making the Court less conservative. Razor-thin, increasingly nasty campaigns are being fought out over abortion, the role of government, party loyalty and bipartisanship. We hear about crucial races still too close to call.
A Soldier's Mysterious Death in Afghanistan Ciara Durkin served in a finance unit in Afghanistan. Her family was first told she died "in action." Now the Army says she was killed by a single gunshot near a church. Sometime before she was killed, the Massachusetts National Guardswoman told her family that if anything happened to her, they should press for an investigation. Now, both Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy are demanding to know what happened, and an Army liaison has been with the family every day. Noah Bierman reports for the Boston Globe .
100 days of executive action: Accomplishment or posturing? President Trump's first 100 days have featured a flood of high-profile executive orders. Which ones do what he says they do, and which ones don't? How are Trump voters feeling now?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.