How to make the majority rule in America

Even in bright-red Kansas, notorious xenophobe Kris Kobach might normally find running for governor to be a challenge. The state is known for its rock-ribbed Republicanism, but it has elected its share of Democratic governors — Kathleen Sebelius, who served in President Obama’s Cabinet, was the most recent — and Kobach, carrying the baggage of his Trumpist national profile and a recent contempt-of-court citation, has the kind of personality that’s often been rejected by Kansas voters, who often seem temperamentally (if not ideologically) moderate. This year, though, the GOP nominee for governor in Kansas has an unusual advantage: His opponent has an opponent. Maybe that’s not a fair way to… Read More

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American citizen from Orange County detained in Vietnam on a “spurious charge”

Orange resident Michael Nguyen, an American citizen, remains in a Vietnamese prison. His wife and four daughters haven’t been able to speak with him since he was detained last month and they’re worried sick. But family members said they’re happy that local legislators are banding together in a bipartisan effort to work on his release. Nguyen’s family has met in recent weeks with four Congress members: Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Irvine, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, Rep. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Yorba Linda, the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman. Start your day with the news you need from the Bay Area and beyond. Sign up for our… Read More

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Kathy Griffin messed up big-time with her Trump photo. Or did she?

Even for someone accustomed to charges of cheap shots and bottom-feeding, Kathy Griffin was taken aback by the swift, angry response to the photo of her holding a fake, severed head of President Donald Trump. She should have known better. Start your day with the news you need from the Bay Area and beyond. Sign up for our new Morning Report weekday newsletter. “I am a comic. I cross the line, I move the line, and then I cross it,” she said in a statement shortly after tweeting and then deleting the provocative pic on May 30, 2017 — which she claimed was a spur-of-the-moment outtake. “I went too far.… Read More

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Do Republicans really want to keep the House?

Republicans appear very worried about the possibility of losing the House of Representatives this fall. For good reason. The president’s party losing the midterm elections is not exactly unheard of. This happens for a variety of reasons. President Trump’s biggest problem is that he lost to Hillary Clinton in a number of suburban congressional districts currently represented by business-class Republicans. Spoiler alert: The Clintonite candidates running against them will do just as good a job taking care of these voters’ stock portfolios as our old friend Rep. Blueblazer McEntrepreneurship. Still, I can’t help but wonder if the average GOP congressman really cares about the party winning as opposed to holding… Read More

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The coming Republican wipe-out

What if Republicans have an epic wipe-out in November’s midterm elections? All the evidence points to a disastrous GOP belly flop. We know that the party that holds the White House typically loses seats in Congress during a midterm election. That would be the case even if President Trump were popular. But he isn’t. True, he was doing notably worse a year ago, with his approval ratings hovering between 36 and 38 percent. For the past three months he’s bounced around in a narrow range of 41 to 43 percent. That’s an improvement — but it’s still historically low. And when it’s combined with his consistently very high disapproval rating,… Read More

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Could a grown-up Tea Party save the GOP?

The trade wars continue to escalate, and there’s no clear end in sight. China has added another $60 billion worth of U.S. goods to its list of imports it plans to tax. President Trump seems fully ready to respond in kind. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow has been left to shore up his boss’ now-infamous claim that trade wars are “easy to win.” Don’t worry, America. China’s going to back down any day now. At moments like this, words may come unbidden to your mind that you never expected to say. Where have you gone, Glenn Beck? I mean this figuratively, of course. Beck is still alive and thriving… Read More

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