A new Prime Minister is ready to step forth

Max Fisher/NY Times:

How Political Primaries Drive Britain’s Dysfunction

In the United States, too, the rise of inside-party primaries has empowered candidates at the extremes, and the result is likely to be a greater disconnect with the public.

Britain’s Conservative Party selects leaders first by winnowing down candidates in the traditional way: voting among party lawmakers. In four out of five such rounds, Ms. Truss was only the third-most selected candidate. In the fifth round, she came in second to Rishi Sunak, who is seen as more moderate.

But, since 2001, the party has put its final two leadership candidates to a vote among dues-paying members. Ms. Truss’s libertarian ideas were seen as risky and extreme among party officials. But they were embraced by primary voters, who chose her over Mr. Sunak.

Those voters — about 172,000 of them — bear little resemblance to the average Briton. Roughly two in three are male. Two in five are 65 or older, double the proportion in the general population. Three in four voted to leave the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum, compared with only 52 percent of Britons, and 58 percent of all Conservative supporters.

Ms. Truss’s economic ideas may have wooed those primary voters, but her policies, and the economic shudder that followed them, alienated much of the rest of the country. Even many Conservative supporters, most of whom do not qualify to vote in primaries, told pollsters that they intended to vote for other par


Mark Landler/NY Times:

How Tumultuous Forces of Brexit Divided U.K.’s Conservative Party

Some experts link Liz Truss’s downfall to the ripple effect of Britain’s departure from the European Union and the bitter, ideologically opposed factions it created in her party.

Ms. Truss’s calamitous tenure, critics said, is the most extreme example of post-Brexit politics that have now brought the Conservatives to crisis. In the process, it has damaged Britain’s economic standing, its credibility in the markets, and its reputation with the public, which is watching a leadership contest that may return Mr. Johnson to the helm of a party that tossed him out only three months ago.

Narrator: Nah. Didn’t happen.


Benjy Sarlin/Semafor:

Midterm polls have decisively turned in favor for Republicans

“Democrats have gotten everything they could out of abortion,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Chris Hartline said. “They’ve punched themselves out. And they have nothing left to talk about.”

But Democrats say their Senate map is still beating early expectations, even as public polls tighten, keeping them in position to potentially pick up seats.

“If you think that Nevada or Wisconsin or Arizona were not going to be decided by very small margins, you haven’t paid attention,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman David Bergstein said. Some are also hoping new attacks on Republicans over conservative proposals to cut entitlement spending will help put their candidates on defense.

Some are taking solace in non-polling metrics.

Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist known for his optimism, noted the party has beaten expectations in post-Dobbs special elections in New York, Alaska, and Kansas. He’s hoping high early vote numbers in places like Georgia are a sign energy remains high and women and young voters will defy likely vote models.

In a nutshell, you get a typical off year wave when only one side is energized. But that’s not this year. This year there are two waves, two Americas. So we need to wait to see who shows up and where. But (see early voting in Georgia) it’s likely that a lot of people show up on both sides, and records are set.

Why? Because there are two competing visions.  Not just the usual “out party” thirsting for victory, but a Democratic and independent coalition that’s pissed off. And whoever shows up more wins.

That’s why you should ignore the nonsense about  “J6 Committee made no difference” or “Roe/Dobbs is petering out”. Too soon to say.

Marisa Kabas/MSNBC:

In Kari Lake and Tudor Dixon, the GOP offers a cynical alternative to Trump

Being a woman isn’t enough, but Republicans want you to think it is.


n a seemingly hostile political environment for women, with abortion rights and female bodily autonomy on the ballot, multiple states have far-right Republican female candidates like Lake in Arizona, Tudor Dixon in Michigan and Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Arkansas running for governor as Trump stand-ins, sometimes against female Democratic opponents. These former media personalities have flipped the script on a country full of women desperate for representation by cynically offering themselves as an option, while actively working to diminish women’s rights.


First Read:

‘Anger on their minds’: NBC News poll finds sky-high interest and polarization ahead of midterms

Less than three weeks before Election Day, voter interest has reached an all-time high for a midterm election, with a majority of registered voters saying this election is “more important” to them than past midterms.

What’s more, 80% of Democrats and Republicans believe the political opposition poses a threat that, if not stopped, will destroy America as we know it.

And two-thirds of reliable Democratic and Republican voters say they’d still support their party’s political candidate, even if that person had a moral failing that wasn’t consistent with their own values.

On Democrats’ side, President Joe Biden’s approval rating remains steady at 45%, while congressional preference continues to be relatively even (with 47% of registered voters preferring Democrats to control Congress, versus 46% who want Republicans in charge) and “threats to democracy” are voters’ No. 1 issue for the third straight NBC News poll.

For Republicans, the positive signs are that Biden’s approval among independents and swing-state voters is in the 30s and the low 40s, that the GOP once again holds the enthusiasm advantage and that Republicans lead in congressional preference among the smaller set of likely voters, 48% to 47%, although that’s well within the survey’s margin of error.

Tossup. Dogfight. Even steven. No one really knows who’s going to win, even though they tell you they do.


Ben Smith/Semafor:

Top Fox lawyer’s “big screw up” could reveal Lachlan Murdoch’s secrets

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch’s top lawyer spent nearly four years without a license to practice law in California, which could have major consequences for high-stakes lawsuits tied to Fox News’s coverage of the 2020 election.

Viet Dinh, who earned $12 million last year as the Murdoch son’s effective second-in-command, became the company’s chief legal officer in September of 2018. He lives in Los Angeles, where the company is based. But records at the California State Bar indicate that he only became licensed to practice law in the state this June.

Dinh is a prominent Republican legal figure best known for writing the Patriot Act as a Bush Administration lawyer, and he’s licensed to practice law in Washington, DC. His status with the California bar was first raised internally at Fox in 2018, a person familiar with conversations at the time said. The person recalled that Dinh dismissed the concern.

More recently, however, he has scrambled to quietly fix his licensing issue, which could open up otherwise privileged, and potentially sensitive or embarrassing, communications with Murdoch to discovery because they don’t qualify for attorney-client privilege.

“It is a pretty big screw up for a major corporation and a big ticket guy,” said Shawn Martin, a law professor at the University of San Diego who has served on the State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct.


Florida needs workers to rebuild after Ian. Undocumented migrants are stepping in.

Hundreds have arrived in the Sunshine State despite Gov. Ron DeSantis’s warning that those without papers are not wanted in Florida.

Their arrival puts the Republican strongholds that weathered the worst of the storm in an awkward position as they attempt to recover: With low unemployment, a shortage of construction workers and an above-average elderly population, can Florida rebuild without them?

“We’d like them back,” Nancy Randall, a real estate agent who declined to give her age or political affiliation, said of the immigrants DeSantis had flown to Martha’s Vineyard, after Ian drove four feet of water into her green-shuttered home in Naples, soaking her grandmother’s rocking chair and everything else. “We need all the helpers we can get.”

Take a moment for something beautiful.


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