Our favorite stories of the week

Joan McCarter

The Senate’s quietest rock star has some very tough questions for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

Quietly and determinedly, Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii has become one of the fiercest voices among the still too-small cadre of women senators. She’s doing it in the nomination hearings of all five of the committees she sits on, starting with these questions.

Kerry Eleveld

Democrats seize on Trump’s corruption ahead of midterm: ‘the fish rots from the head’

When Democrats introduced an anti-corruption plank of their “Better Deal for our Democracy” platform in May, it didn’t exactly make waves. But competing headlines this week about the indictment of one of Donald Trump’s earliest congressional backers, New York Rep. Chris Collins, for insider trading and the serial grifting of Trump Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross have given a new group of young anti-corruption Democrats a chance to raise their initiatives once again with the American people. The AP writes:

Laura Clawson

Transit union forces D.C. officials to scrap special treatment for white nationalists

Late last week, the Washington, D.C. transit authority floated the idea of providing reserved train cars for white supremacists on their way to what’s intended to be Charlottesville 2.0—the new “Unite the Right.” Officials were quoted saying it was to prevent violence between white supremacists and counter-protesters, but seriously, give us a break here. The idea was quickly scrapped after the union whose members operate the trains said they would not enable special treatment for white supremacists:

Kelly Macias

Once a teacher, always a teacher: Elizabeth Warren’s lesson of persistence for progressives

Last week at Netroots Nation in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to speak with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. A well-beloved figure among progressives and the Daily Kos community, Warren graciously agreed to give us some time before her speech to ask a few questions about her background, priorities for Congress, and what she’s most proud of accomplishing in the Senate.

Mark Sumner

The Kochs turned the GOP into a crazy train, then left the keys where any idiot could find them

The thing about a rampaging mob is that it rampages. Once it gets out the tiki torches and starts yelling “Monster,” someone’s windmill is going to burn, and steering this marching disaster can turn out to be a little trickier than it seems.

Meteor Blades

Migrant kids likely to be exposed to chemicals at military bases where gov’t wants to detain them

Back in June, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that two military bases had been chosen to house migrants who enter the United States without the required paperwork. The Pentagon said then that it would house up to 20,000 children in tents at military bases. At the time, the Trump regime’s policy of separating undocumented children from their parents had been reversed in favor or family detention.

Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter Poza

A state struggling to get lethal injection drugs is experimenting on a man with … an opioid?

Nevada really, really wants to execute Scott Dozier. It’s even marshaled support from 15 other states to fight for the right to execute Dozier using an untried cocktail including never-before-used fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin. But pharmaceutical giant Alvogen, which produces one of the other drugs involved, has argued in federal court that its product, midazolam, was illegitimately obtained. The court ruled for the drug company; the Supreme Court opted not to upset the district court’s decision.

Jen Hayden

Desperate Ted Cruz humiliatingly invites the man who called his wife ugly to campaign with him

Ted Cruz has long believed his U.S. Senate re-election was a given in deep red Texas (that’s trending more purple every day). But, along came Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic challenger who has relentlessly toured the state, holding one town hall meeting after another and is suddenly within striking distance of this once safe Senate seat. Enter desperate Ted Cruz, the ugliest form of Ted Cruz. The Ted Cruz most likely to make mistakes. Take for instance, the time he announced Carly Fiorina as his running mate, well before coming close to securing the nomination. We all know how that went. About as well as this victory hand thing.

Walter Einenkel

A different take on the Nunes tape: He’s laying the groundwork for exonerating Trump of collusion

In the leaked recordings of Trump henchman Devin Nunes speaking at a GOP fundraiser last month, Nunes lays out a pretty explicit example of what kind of collusion he says would rise to the level of illegality. In the audio obtained by The Rachel Maddow Show, Nunes paints a hypothetical scenario in which the fundraiser’s host, Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, gets stolen emails directly from a foreign government and then releases them. 

Jessica Sutherland

‘But I’m a cheerleader!’ SC woman tries to flex white privilege during DUI stop, fails miserably

It’s no secret that police brutality is typically reserved for folks of color, while police congeniality is reserved for their white counterparts, whether they ask for it or not. A South Carolina woman actively demanded the White Girl Treatment this weekend after law enforcement caught her blowing through a four-way stop at over sixty miles per hour.

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