The Tea Party has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts to pick off entrenched GOPers via primary campaigns this election cycle. That may all change Tuesday in Mississippi, where a strong challenger could knock off a sitting senator — and in doing so draw Democrats an easier route to maintaining their Senate edge.
The Tea Party vs. Establishment dichotomy is a bit reductive, but it fits the fight between state Sen. Chris McDaniel — endorsed by Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum, among others — and incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. And unlike other upstart challengers, McDaniel has a decent chance to win; scarce polling on the race shows him running even with Cochran.
Though presumed Democratic candidate Travis Childers is a long shot to win regardless of who secures the GOP nomination, he'd certainly fare better against the more volatile, lesser-known McDaniel. In a best-case scenario for Democrats, McDaniel tanks his own campaign by turning into another Richard Mourdock, the former Indiana GOP Senate candidate who won the party primary, then bombed in the general election after saying pregnancies resulting from rape were "something that God intended to happen."
Is a repeat of that scenario unlikely? Absolutely. But Democrats would still rather see the Tea Party emerge victorious Tuesday, if only to make one more Senate race a little more winnable for them come November. Jon Terbush
The manufacturer of the lifesaving allergy drug EpiPen said Monday that it will release a generic version of the medicine for a list price of $300 for two, following widespread criticism after the company, Mylan, dramatically increased the price from $100 for two to as much as $700 since 2007.
The generic form of the drug will be available in both 0.15 and 0.30 mg in strength.
The announcement follows backlash over the steep increase in price, including outrage expressed by Hillary Clinton. Mylan also announced last week a savings card for patients with higher out-of-pocket costs, which, Reuters reported, will cover "up to $300" for a two-pack of epinephrine dispensers and cut costs for a patient paying list price by about 50 percent. Jeva Lange
Chinese police have arrested a 52-year-old man from Lanzhou who they believe murdered 11 people during a 14-year rampage. If confirmed, the arrest of Gao Chengyong could mark the end of a nearly three-decade-long hunt for China's "Jack the Ripper."
The first of the killer's victim, 23, was murdered in 1988, and discovered with 26 stab wounds; the youngest victim was 8. "The killings, the last in 2002, had several characteristics in common. The killer tended to single out women who were wearing red. He is said to have followed them home, usually attacking them during the daytime. Sometimes he raped them before stabbing them to death, and sometimes he did so after they had died," The New York Times reports. The killer was deemed "China's Jack the Ripper," after the Victorian serial killer of the same name who was never caught.
Gao was arrested after his uncle was booked for a minor offense; the uncle's DNA indicated he was related to the killer. After being arrested at his grocery store, Gao confessed to the killings.
The arrest comes as a shock to Gao's family; the alleged killer apparently lived a normal life, raising two sons. "I didn't know what to say, or how to deal with it," one son told the news website, Everyday Portfolio. Jeva Lange
Donald Trump is getting a taste of his own medicine: While the Republican nominee has successfully branded his political enemies with nicknames like "Lyin' Ted Cruz" and "Crooked Hillary Clinton," Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough came up with a moniker of his own for Trump, and it appears to be sticking.
"A lot of people are calling him Amnesty Don. People are saying it," Scarborough said Monday. "They're calling him Amnesty Don. Amnesty Don, that's what people are calling him, I'm not calling him that. Amnesty Don. Hashtag Amnesty Don. For 14 months, Amnesty Don has been putting illegal immigration at the center of Amnesty Don's campaign... And, yet, nobody in Amnesty Don's own campaign can tell you what Amnesty Don's position is after Amnesty Don won the primaries promising to deport 11 [million illegal immigrants]."
While "Amnesty Don" might not have the same supervillain-like appeal as "Crooked Hillary Clinton," it is a rather brutal mocking of Trump's latest flip-flop. Trump claimed last week that he is "softening" his immigration positions, and would mostly follow President Obama's policies, "perhaps with a lot more energy," except he will eject the "bad" immigrants "so fast your head will spin." This is contrary to Trump's former promise to deport 11 million illegal immigrants.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 29, 2016
Watch Scarborough's masterful branding — hey, he learned by watching the best — below. Jeva Lange
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 29, 2016
At 12:01 a.m. on Monday morning, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) officially ceased hostilities to honor the terms of a peace accord signed in Havana, Cuba, last week. FARC leader Rodrigo Londono, also called Timochenko, described the ceasefire as permanent. "Never again will parents be burying their sons and daughters killed in the war," he said Sunday from Havana. "All rivalries and grudges will remain in the past." Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has pledged that starting today, the Colombian military will no longer attack FARC rebels.
Colombians will vote on whether to accept the peace accord in an Oct. 2 referendum, and FARC commanders will meet in September to ratify the peace deal on their end. Polls suggest Colombians will approve the deal, and if they and FARC's leadership do ratify it, the rebels will have six months to turn over their weapons. In return, a post-FARC political faction will be given 10 seats in congress for 10 years, or two terms, after which they will have to win elections to retain their representation. The FARC insurgency is the longest-running armed conflict in the Americas; more than 220,000 people have been killed in the 52-year guerrilla war. Peter Weber
Hillary Clinton's running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), has his harmonica, but don't worry, Donald Trump's running mate has an endearingly dorky hobby, too: cartooning. Last week, Esquire dug up some old cartoons Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) drew for the law school newspaper when he attended Indiana University in the mid-1980s. Esquire characterized the comic series, "Law School Daze," as "strange." On CNN, Jake Tapper calls Pence's cartooning "good, clean '80s humor."
On the Fox News late-night show Red Eye, the impaneled journalists and lawyers and comedians were less charitable than Tapper. Host Andy Levy and Reason editor Matt Welch were reasonably sympathetic of Pence's cartooning, but the rest of the guests had none of it. You can hear their critique of the Indiana governor's humor (and policies) below, but watch at least the first part for the dramatic readings of "Law School Daze" — it really brings the lack of humor to life. Peter Weber
On Monday, the United States will reach its goal of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees as part of a yearlong resettlement program, the U.S. ambassador to Jordan announced Sunday.
Since Syria's civil war broke out in 2011, nearly five million Syrians have fled the country. Close to 660,000 live in Jordan, and several hundred refugees are leaving Jordan over the next 24 hours for resettlement in the U.S. Ambassador Alice Wells said refugees are "the most thoroughly screened category of travelers to the United States, and Syrian refugees are subject to even greater scrutiny."
The resettlement program focuses on the most vulnerable refugees, including those who are ill, targeted for violence, or experienced torture. One of those people is Nadim Fawzi Jouriyeh, 49, a former construction worker from Homs who has heart problems. He told The Associated Press he feels "fear and joy, fear of the unknown and our new lives, but great joy for our children's lives and future." He is headed to San Diego with his wife and four children, including 14-year-old Mohammed, who said he is excited to go to school and wants to one day study medicine. Catherine Garcia
Last week, Megyn Kelly broadcast an interview with Julian Assange in which the WikiLeaks founder threatened to release damaging information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and explained why he isn't releasing anything negative about Republican nominee Donald Trump. On Saturday night's Greg Gutfeld Show, the host posed this question about Assange to his panel of entertainers and writers: "Is he really concerned about the future of America or is he just doing this for his own sick satisfaction? And since when do we have the right to look at other people's secret stuff?... When is hacking okay? When it's someone you don't like, like Hillary?"
These are some serious questions, and the panel split, 3-2, in Assange's favor, with Gutfeld evening the score. Gutfeld's show isn't Fox News Sunday or Meet the Press — his panel was an odd mix of novelist and literary critic Walter Kirn, former National Security Council staffer Gillian Turner, professional wrestler Tyrus (George Muchoch, formerly Brodus Clay), National Review writer Katherine Timpf, and Jeff Dye, a stand-up comedian and reality TV personality, who hosted the MTV show Numbnuts — but their discussion is animated and pretty interesting, and it touches on many of the issues of privacy and security that don't always have clear answers. You can watch below. Peter Weber