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October 10, 2019

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) just made it back into the Democratic presidential debates, but now, she's threatening to not show up.

Gabbard in a video released Thursday said she's "seriously considering" boycotting the Democratic primary debate scheduled for Oct. 15, which she qualified for after not making the stage in September's debate. She claims the Democratic National Committee and the media "are rigging the election" using "polling and other arbitrary methods" that are "not transparent and not democratic."

Gabbard had previously taken issue with the criteria by which the DNC determines which candidates will qualify for the debates. For the October debate, candidates needed to reach two percent support in four qualifying polls and have at least 130,000 unique donors. In a recent interview with The Hill, the Hawaii Democrat argued there has been "a lack of transparency in that whole process about which polls are selected." A DNC spokesperson pointed out to The Hill that the criteria for the October debate was laid out in May.

In the video, Gabbard also criticizes the "so-called" debates in general as "really not debates at all" but rather "commercialized reality television meant to entertain rather than to inform or enlighten," concluding by keeping viewers on the hook and teasing a final decision within "the next few days." Considering the debate is only five days away, the announcement may end up being quite last minute.

Either way, this could potentially be Gabbard's last chance for such a stunt, as with the DNC having recently increased the polling threshold to three percent, she has yet to qualify for the fifth debate set for Nov. 20. Brendan Morrow

October 1, 2019

On Tuesday, Steve Linick, the State Department's inspector general, requested an urgent briefing with senior congressional staffers, CNN reports.

The staffers told CNN the briefing will be private, and Linick reportedly asked for the meeting after his office obtained documents from the State Department's acting legal adviser. It's unclear what information he will provide; one congressional aide told CNN the request was "highly unusual and cryptically worded."

The request came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said State Department officials set to testify in the House impeachment inquiry are being bullied and should not appear before Congress. The House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight committees have scheduled five depositions in relation to the inquiry, which was sparked by a whistleblower complaint filed in response to President Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the call, which Pompeo was reportedly listening in on, Trump asked Zelensky to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, is set to appear before the committees on Thursday. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was scheduled to testify on Wednesday, but will now appear next Friday instead, congressional staffers told CNN. In the complaint, the whistleblower said that on the day after Trump's call with Zelensky, Volker and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland met with Zelensky and told him how to "navigate" Trump's requests. Volker resigned from his role last week. Read more at CNN. Catherine Garcia

September 29, 2019

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday said the whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will testify in the House "very soon."

Schiff told ABC News they are waiting on the whistleblower's attorneys to receive security clearances. One of those attorneys, Mark S. Zaid, tweeted on Sunday that his team is working with both parties in the House and Senate "and we understand all agree that protecting whistleblower's identity is paramount." They are still coordinating details, he added, and no date or time has been set.

Schiff said the whistleblower will give their "unfiltered testimony," and lawmakers are "taking all the precautions" to protect their identity. Catherine Garcia

March 27, 2017

Two years after HBO series True Detective's widely panned second season came to an end, rumors of a third season are bubbling up. Though HBO has yet to give the season the go-ahead, Entertainment Weekly reported Monday that the show's creator Nic Pizzolatto has written at least two episodes for a possible third season, and Emmy-winning writer and producer David Milch — known for his work on Deadwood and NYPD Blue — has signed on to help.

While HBO head of programming Casey Bloys said in July 2016 that the network was "open to another season," there was not a "take for a third season yet." Pizzolatto was said to be working on other projects at the time. If the revival does get the greenlight from HBO, Matthew McConaughey — half of the dynamic duo from the widely acclaimed first season — has already said he'd be interested in reprising his role. Becca Stanek

May 24, 2014

On Friday, The Financial Times' reporter Chris Giles released a report, in which he claims that the data underlying Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, is inaccurate. Piketty's theory is that wealth inequalities are shooting back toward levels not seen in nearly a century, and his tome outlining that argument has become a bestseller and catapulted the French economist into the limelight. In the wake of Giles' report, economist Paul Krugman offered his own take today.

The New York Times columnist noted that Giles uses the data to conclude that there has been "no obvious upward trend" in wealth concentration over the past half century. This, Krugman says, cannot be right, either, "and the fact that Giles reaches that conclusion is a strong indicator that he himself is doing something wrong."

Krugman does note that Piketty needs to respond to each question raised in FT's report, but for now, it appears that at least one prominent economist is throwing his weight behind his peer. Read Krugman's full column over at The New York Times. Sarah Eberspacher

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