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Daily Reads: A Political Earthquake in Alabama Shakes DC

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A Political Earthquake in Alabama Shakes DC

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A hard-fought win for the Democrats –> A surge in turnout, and a really big spike in African-American turnout, propelled Doug Jones to an unlikely victory in his Senate race in deep-red Alabama last night. At The Nation, John Nichols notes that Jones won 96 percent of the black vote and 31 percent of the white vote, and writes that this “did not just happen. Jones and his supporters worked hard to mobilize and turn out the African-American vote.”

At Vox, Matt Yglesias argues that argues that while the sexual assault allegations against Moore certainly played a role in the outcome, “the Republican Party is led by an unpopular president and unpopular congressional leaders who are pursuing an unpopular agenda, and it’s putting them in massive electoral peril.”

David Drucker reports for the right-leaning Washington Examiner that many top Republicans are quietly relieved that they lost the race and won’t have to carry Moore’s baggage into next year’s midterms. “We didn’t just dodge a bullet, we dodged a missile,” said one GOP operative.

But at Bloomberg, Albert Hunt warns that the loss in a state like Alabama should cause Republicans to panic.

Meanwhile, Roy Moore has so far refused to concede defeat, which left some commenters unsurprised.

Speaking of unpopular agendas –> The FCC is set to vote Thursday on whether or not to repeal net neutrality rules. A vast majority of Americans — including three out of four Republicans — oppose the move, according to a new survey that offered respondents detailed arguments both for and against the proposal. Brian Fung has the details at The Washington Post.

Senior Republican negotiators were close to reaching a deal Tuesday to reduce the tax rate for high-income households from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, blowing past political concerns about aiding the rich in order to ease passage of a $1.5 trillion tax package,” according to The Washington Post’s Erica Werner and Damian Paletta. 

Meanwhile, Alayna Treene reports for Axios that they’ll offset some of that lost revenue by reducing the home mortgage reduction. 

Bloomberg offers a roundup of other developments as House and Senate negotiators work to hammer out their differences and runs down the state of the bill’s play.

A uniter not a divider –> Leaders from Muslim-majority states are holding an emergency summit in Turkey today in order to create a united front in opposition to Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital absent a broader peace agreement. Zeynep Bilginsoy and Sarah El Deeb report for the AP that, in an impassioned speech, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said “that the United States is no longer fit to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and should be replaced as mediator by the United Nations.”

Abbas also “called on the world’s nations Wednesday to reconsider their recognition of Israel after the Trump administration’s decision,” reports Jack Khoury at Ha’aretz.

And Reuters reports that “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on world powers to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.”

Speaking of Erdogan –> Vice’s Alexa Liautaud reports that the Turkish strongman is imprisoning so many dissident Turks that the country has run out of prison space and Erdogan is now planning to build 228 new detention facilities.

Another special counsel? –> Donald Trump is calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate what New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait describes as “various right-wing hobbyhorses and conspiracy theories, ranging from the years-old sale of non-weapon-grade uranium that did not involve Hillary Clinton, to the FBI’s investigation of the Steele dossier, to the idea that some FBI agents may be revealed as non-Trump supporters.”

And CNN’s Jim Acosta says that during a reporters’ “pool spray” with Trump, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders pulled him aside and threatened to bar him from future briefings if he asked Trump a question about one of his controversial tweets. Erik Wemple has more on that story at The Washington Post.

A clumsy smear –> Someone sent a document around to various media outlets purporting to be a copy of a sexual harassment complaint against Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), but the former staffer whose name was attached to the allegation denied that she had written the complaint, said her signature was forged and “even basic facts about me are wrong.” She then turned the matter over to police, who are now investigating. Mike Allen has more details at Axios.

In other news –> “The Arctic is warming faster than at any point in the past 1,500 years, according to a federal government report released Tuesday.” Megan Jula reports for Mother Jones that the report “also found that maximum winter sea ice coverage in the Arctic was the smallest ever recorded.”

The defense rests –> A day after four women who had accused Donald Trump of harassment or worse called for Congress to investigate their claims, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders produced a list of witnesses that would supposedly exonerate the president. At ThinkProgress, Judd Legum points out that the list of witnesses consists of two women who were not in a position to have first-hand knowledge of the events in question and one “notorious liar” whose story doesn’t pass the smell test.

Lawfare –> Robert Reich writes about two lawsuits filed by corporations against public interest groups trying to hold them accountable. Both suits, he writes, were filed in order to drown their critics in legal fees and make it impossible for them to operate effectively. “Who’s behind all of this? Both the lawsuits I just mentioned were filed by Michael Bowe. He is also a member of Donald Trump’s personal legal team. Bowe has publicly stated that he’s in conversations with other corporations considering filing their own SLAPP lawsuits.” [Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.]

Under the command” –> Natasha Bertrand reports for Business Insider that Konstantin Kozlovsky, “a Russian hacker believed to be a member of a hacking collective called Lurk,” told a court over the summer “that he was ordered by Russia’s security services, known as the FSB, to hack the Democratic National Committee.”

The Force is in each and every one of us –> Finally, The Stranger’s Charles Mudede looks at the radical politics enshrined in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.



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