May 7, 2014

Last night's GOP Senate primary in North Carolina was billed as a surrogate battle in the Republican Civil War between the establishment and grassroots. But it ended up being more of a surrender than a battle. And since establishment candidate Thom Tillis easily trounced his two grassroots conservative opponents, it would be easy to declare today that the tea party is toast.

The truth is probably more complicated than that. In fact, if the tea party didn't show up, or put up much of a fight, it might be because they already won the war. I'll let The Atlantic's Molly Ball explain:

[I]f Tillis represented the Republican establishment — something he denies, of course; it is not a label anyone embraces — he also represents the party's new, post-Tea Party mainstream. He was endorsed by National Right to Life and the National Rifle Association. As House speaker during a time when Republicans took over North Carolina's government for the first time since 1896, he oversaw a dramatic slate of rightward policies, from tax cuts to voter ID, that he terms a "conservative revolution."

It was hard for opponents to paint Tillis as a liberal when actual liberals were picketing his initiatives on the steps of the statehouse in Raleigh on a regular basis. If this race is any indication, the "Republican civil war" storyline so beloved of pundits in recent years may have to be retired... [The Atlantic]

The theory goes like this: In the beginning, the GOP establishment had grown old and fat and corrupt, and the tea party bench was full of young and talented and pure candidates. And so, when quality candidates like former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio and former Rep. and Club for Growth head Pat Toomey challenged moderate GOP candidates like then-Gov. Charlie Crist (Fla.) and then-Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) — both of whom later became Democrats — it was like picking low-hanging fruit.

But there are only so many Rubios and Toomeys (and only so many Crists and Specters). So it gets increasingly harder to replicate this success. The well of quality tea party candidates goes dry, and eventually, you're scraping the bottom. What's more, the early victories send a message to the old guard that they'd better clean up their act.

And so, the tea party message gets co-opted by the establishment — which, for tea party conservatives, ought to be cause for celebration; incumbents who want to survive either get religion, or get ousted.

If the tea party is having a bad year, it's only because they are a victim of their own success. Matt K. Lewis

1:45 a.m.

In a stunning victory, progressive activist Cori Bush defeated Rep. William Lacy Clay in Missouri's 1st Congressional District Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Clay has represented the district for the last 20 years, and before that, his father, William Lacy Clay Sr., held the seat for three decades. Bush ran against the incumbent in 2018, but lost by a 20-point margin. On Tuesday, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, Bush has 48.6 percent of the vote, compared to Clay with 45.5 percent.

Bush was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and is calling for universal health care, raising the minimum wage, and police reform. In a victory speech, Bush said Missouri's 1st Congressional District "has decided that an incremental approach isn't going to work any longer. We decided that we the people have the answers, and we will lead from the front lines." Catherine Garcia

1:13 a.m.

Voters in Missouri on Tuesday approved a ballot measure expanding Medicaid to roughly 230,000 low-income residents.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, 53 percent voted "yes" on the measure, while 47 percent voted "no." Missouri is the sixth red state to expand Medicaid, and the second to do so amid the coronavirus pandemic, after Oklahoma. The state is now reporting on average more than 1,200 daily new coronavirus cases, nearly three times more than a month ago, Politico reports.

Missouri has until July 1, 2021, to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The measure amends the state's constitution, so lawmakers cannot add requirements to the program. Gov. Mike Parson (R) opposed the expansion, saying it was too expensive and the state doesn't have enough money to pay for it. The federal government gives states up to 90 percent of funding necessary for Medicaid expansion, an improvement over the 65 percent provided to Missouri now under its current program.

"Quite frankly, Missourians are sick and tired of not getting their fair share," Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for the ballot initiative's organizers, told Politico last week "They pay their taxes, they've seen now 37 other states use that money to expand access to health care. Meanwhile, our economy's clearly ailing here." Catherine Garcia

12:33 a.m.

To raise money for cancer research, Andrew Walker and Jacob Adkins traded in their ice skates for rollerblades and hit the road.

Walker and Adkins are hockey players at the University of Massachusetts Boston. They wanted to do something during the pandemic to help others, and came up with a way to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society: the roommates would rollerblade from Boston to Mason, Michigan, a nearly 900-mile journey.

Cancer has affected both of them personally, with Adkins' mother in remission after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and Walker's grandfather dying of the disease. Adkins and Walker — who dubbed themselves the Men in Blades — completed their trek in 10 days, arriving in Mason late last month. They raised $28,100, a feat they are especially proud of since donations to so many charities are down because of the pandemic.

"This experience has humbled both of us and has made us just that much more grateful for the people around us and that much more loving," Adkins told WHDH. Catherine Garcia

August 4, 2020

Rep. Roger Marshall defeated former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in Tuesday's Kansas Republican Senate primary.

With 70 percent of precincts reporting, Marshall has 39 percent of the vote compared to Kobach with 26.4 percent. Bob Hamilton is in third place with 19 percent, followed by David Lindstrom with 6.9 percent.

Republicans had been worried about the very conservative Kobach winning the primary but not being able to clinch the general election; he lost the state's governor's race in 2018 to Democrat Laura Kelly. "You have sustained real-world trials and evidence and data that say that Kris Kobach is an extremely poor general election candidate who absolutely could be the first Republican to lose a Senate race in Kansas in over 80 years," GOP political operative David Kensinger told KPR.

State Sen. Barbara Bollier, a former Republican and retired anesthesiologist, won the Democratic primary, and will face off against Marshall in November. They are vying to win the seat being vacated by Sen. Pat Roberts (R), who is retiring. Catherine Garcia

August 4, 2020

The Aurora Police Department in Colorado is apologizing after a video was posted online showing officers with their guns drawn as five members of a Black family, including a 6-year-old girl, lie face down in a parking lot.

The department says the officers mistakenly thought the family was in a stolen car. The incident took place on Sunday, with Brittany Gilliam telling CBS Denver she was sitting in the car with her 6-year-old daughter, 12-year-old sister, 14-year-old niece, and 17-year-old niece when a police officer approached. "He proceeded to handcuff me and I saw him handcuff the kids, so I started getting angry, why are you handcuffing kids," she said. Video shows Gilliam, her sister, and her 17-year-old niece in handcuffs, with the entire family face down on the asphalt and one of the children screaming, "I want my mother!"

The police department said Gilliam's car had the same license plate number as a suspected stolen motorcycle they were looking for — except Gilliam's plate wasn't from the right state. This was considered a "high-risk stop," Interim Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson said in a statement, and protocol calls for officers "drawing their weapons and ordering all occupants to exit the car and lie prone on the ground."

Wilson said the department will now look into enacting new practices and training for high-risk stops, and while Gilliam, who plans on filing a federal lawsuit against the department for excessive force, wants to see "better protocol," she is mostly worried about her daughter, sister, and nieces. "Those kids are not okay," she said. "They're never going to be okay. That was a traumatic experience. Would your kids be okay after that? Having a gun pulled on them and laid on the ground. Especially a 6-year-old."

The Aurora Police Department is already under scrutiny following last year's officer-involved death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old unarmed Black man who was detained as he walked home from the store. He died after being placed in a chokehold and injected with ketamine. Catherine Garcia

August 4, 2020

Lebanese officials believe Tuesday's enormous explosion in Beirut's port was likely caused by 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse, and Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed that those "responsible for this catastrophe will pay the price."

The blast killed at least 78 people and injured nearly 4,000, Lebanon's health ministry said, with many people still missing. The explosion leveled buildings, flipped cars, and blew out windows, and was so strong that it registered as a 3.3 magnitude earthquake.

Beirut's hospitals, already under stress due to the coronavirus pandemic, are now overwhelmed by patients, and medical facilities are asking for blood donations and generators. The city's governor, Marwan Abboud, told reporters he has "never in my life seen damage this enormous ... this is a national catastrophe. This is a disaster for Lebanon."

Lebanon is experiencing high unemployment and poverty rates, and Diab has asked for international assistance. Several countries, including Egypt, Jordan, and the United Kingdom, have pledged to help, and so has Israel, a country with which Lebanon is still technically at war; the country said it offered the Lebanese government "via international intermediaries medical and humanitarian aid, as well as immediate emergency assistance." Catherine Garcia

August 4, 2020

It cost nearly $5 billion for Disney to close Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and its other theme parks from mid-March to June, the Walt Disney Company revealed on Tuesday.

During an earnings webcast, the company said it posted a loss of nearly $5 billion for the third quarter, which included a $2 billion loss in its parks, products, and experiences segment, USA Today reports. This segment's revenue dropped 85 percent to $1 billion compared to the same quarter in 2019.

While Shanghai Disneyland reopened in May, followed by Disney World and Disneyland Paris in July, Disneyland in Southern California remains closed. Hong Kong Disneyland reopened in June, but after a surge in coronavirus cases, shut its doors again last month.

Florida has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the United States, and executives said Disney World is seeing more cancelations and lower attendance than expected. "This is obviously a very uncertain time," CEO Bob Chapek said. "We should be in good shape once consumer confidence returns." Catherine Garcia

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