The news yesterday was that, at 5.2 points, the Dems’ generic-ballot advantage had dwindled to its lowest point of Trump’s presidency. But as encouraging as that was, there were milestones still untouched by the GOP. Yesterday the party was at 40.2 percent on the ballot, tied for its highest mark of the Trump era. But they’d never once inched above that since Inauguration Day.
Until now. As I write this they’re sitting at 40.5 percent, just 4.7 points back of Democrats. If they can knock another point off that lead, they’d probably be narrow favorites to hold the House. And needless to say, they’re heavy favorites right now to hold the Senate.
But you don’t need polling to tell you that. Just look at how red-state Democrats are voting on Gina Haspel, knowing how angry their base will be at them.
Republican lawmakers are pushing back against President Trump’s request for Congress to cut $15 billion from programs including children’s health insurance and Ebola disaster relief, saying the vote could make them vulnerable to Democratic attacks in this year’s midterm campaign.
“I worry about the messaging the Democrats will be able to do off it,” said Rep. Ryan A. Costello (R-Pa.), voicing a concern shared by numerous other lawmakers. “Those ads write themselves.”
Everything that can be said about why the GOP has been climbing in the polls lately (the economy! North Korea! fewer tweets!) has been said, so in lieu of an exit question, and to put a bow on the news day, go play around with The Upshot’s ingenious “yanny or laurel?” widget. Until I used it I was only able to hear “yanny” in the clip; now I can not only hear “laurel,” but if I start way down towards the “laurel” end of the spectrum and keep adjusting leftward, I keep hearing “laurel” — even if I reach a point where I otherwise hear “yanny” when I’m starting from dead in the middle. It’s a heck of an illusion, almost as good as this “what if the GOP keeps the House?” surge of polling optimism.
The migrant caravan reached the southern border of Mexico Thursday night and NBC News reports some have already crossed the border. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal described the situation along the Mexican border as tense:
Tension was palpable in Ciudad Hidalgo, a tiny tropical village in Mexico surrounded by rain forest and banana plantations that borders Tecun Uman in Guatemala, with the two towns separated by a muddy river. Late Thursday, some 300 Mexican federal police officers equipped with antiriot gear were deployed to the border crossing ahead of the caravan’s expected arrival…
Many migrants marched along the river banks on Thursday afternoon. “Let them know that we are going to cross to Mexico!” shouted a man clad with a cap in front of the crowd.
The border between Mexico and Guatemala (at this location) is the Suchiate River. Here’s what that looks like from the bridge spanning the river:
The Noticias video below helps explain the sequence of events. This is a live stream but you can scroll back. First people were massed at the yellow gates on the Guatemalan side of the bridge. Then they broke through those gates and streamed onto the bridge as seen in that clip above. The migrants made their way to the Mexican side of the bridge and, at first, it appeared the gates were open, but they were pushed closed by police with riot shields.
A shoving match ensued between the police and the migrants trying to re-open the gates. Some migrants are throwing things at the police and the police appear to be using batons to keep people’s hands off the gates. Finally, when the gate is shut, you see some men jumping off the bridge into the water where they swim to a nearby raft.
Nellie Ohr, wife of twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr appeared on Capitol Hill Friday to face lawmakers in a closed-door grilling.
Mrs. Ohr was supposed to appear for a deposition last month but she was refusing to cooperate with lawmakers.
Nellie Ohr invoked marital privilege on Friday preventing her from answering questions about her husband Bruce Ohr.
MANU RAJU: Very rare bipartisan agreement: Both sides say Nellie Ohr interview has been led to nothing. She invoked marital privilege preventing her from answering qs about talks with her husband. @MarkMeadows sees no reason to bring her back. @CongressmanRaja calls it a “nothing burger”
Very rare bipartisan agreement: Both sides say Nellie Ohr interview has been led to nothing. She invoked marital privilege preventing her from answering qs about talks with her husband. @MarkMeadows sees no reason to bring her back. @CongressmanRaja calls it a “nothing burger”
Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr invokes spousal privilege in closed door interview to not answer some lawmaker questions related to her husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, says Dem Rep. Krishnamoorthi.
Rep. Mark Meadows confirmed Nellie Ohr invoked spousal privilege.
Republican Mark Meadows confirms Nellie Ohr invoked marital privilege, and that it has limited any new information from her on husband Bruce Ohr as go between dossier producer Fusion GPS and Justice/FBI. https://t.co/ZuCN7nm2dF
The House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees sought to question Nellie Ohr after her husband Bruce Ohr gave an explosive testimony to Congress.
The former Associate Deputy Attorney General told Congress the FBI knew his wife, Nellie Ohr worked for oppo research firm Fusion GPS yet failed to disclose that information to the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court].
Nellie Ohr was paid multiple large payments by Fusion GPS, the oppo research firm that commissioned dossier author Christopher Steele.
This week there have been stories about two different Hollywood actresses who both find Disney Princess movies to be problematic in some way. Once celebrities are talking about it, it’s sure to become a trend if it wasn’t one already. First up is actress Keira Knightley who told Ellen Degeneres that she doesn’t allow her daughters to watch Cinderella or the Little Mermaid. From the BBC:
Knightley told Ellen DeGeneres that 1950’s Cinderella “waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Don’t! Rescue yourself. Obviously!”
She said of Little Mermaid: “I mean, the songs are great, but do not give your voice up for a man. Hello!”
The actress added: “And this is the one that I’m quite annoyed about because I really like the film. I love The Little Mermaid! That one’s a little tricky – but I’m keeping to it.”
I realize there’s probably no upside to arguing about something like this but I guess I expect a bit more from people who actually work in the film industry telling stories for a living. Cinderella is not about a woman waiting around to be rescued by a rich man. That’s missing the real emotional core of the story. Cinderella is about a woman who has been unfairly abused her whole life by her family but whose good qualities are finally recognized and given the respect they are due. The point of the story isn’t that she marries a rich dude, though that does happen. The point is that Cinderella is elevated after years of oppression and her family is punished (violently in some version of the story) for their wicked behavior.
As for the Little Mermaid, I have daughters and I’ve seen this more times than I can count. So I can say with certainty that Knightley gets this one wrong too. In the film, Ariel is obsessed with living life on land and after rescuing a drowning prince she agrees to trade her voice for a chance at happiness (largely because her father refuses to help her pursue her dreams). When Ariel asks how she can win the prince without her voice, the villain suggests she use her looks and pretty face.
But it doesn’t work. Under the villain’s spell, the prince is going to marry the villain until Ariel’s friends intervene and help her get her voice back. It’s only at that moment that the prince realizes Ariel is the one he loves. So, even if you woke-analyze this thing to death, the message isn’t ‘give up your voice for a man and rely on your looks.’ Only the evil villainess recommends that and it doesn’t work. The message here is that a prince will love your voice first and foremost and, in fact, probably won’t love you without it. That seems like a pretty decent message for girls.
Actress Kristen Bell, who starred in Disney’s megahit Frozen, also has problems with at least one of Disney’s princess films. During a recent interview with Parents magazine, she said she talks to her kids about elements of Snow White that bother her, including the kiss:
“Every time we close Snow White I look at my girls and ask, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got that apple?’ I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’ And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m doing something right.’”
The apple question is not the only one that Bell—a Disney Princess herself as the voice of Anna in Frozen—has after reading the tale. “Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission?” Bell says she has asked her daughters. “Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping!”
I guess her kids won’t be trick or treating this Halloween since that would also be taking food from strangers. The kiss thing is especially silly. Snow White wasn’t taking a nap, she was all but dead. The dwarves were mourning her. Also, the prince isn’t some random guy. He fell in love with her at the beginning of the film and has been searching for her ever since. The whole point of the kiss is that it’s symbolic of his “true love” not some pervert taking advantage of an unconscious woman. And even when he kisses her he clearly believes she’s dead. The prince is surprised when she sits up, alive. Snow White then falls into his arms and rides off into the sunset with him. She loves him too. She’s happy. There is nothing creepy about it.
I wouldn’t expect your average woke-feminist to care about any of these details but, again, these women tell stories for a living. The details and the symbolism ought to matter a bit more than making some political point. Instead of taking a second look, Bell is now claiming to be the victim of misplaced internet outrage:
Thank u Margot, I find the outrage annoying and misplaced as well. I’m a mom who wants my girls to possess critical thinking and aks a ton of questions. So that’s what we do when we read books. https://t.co/wptcM2DfLt