No simple narratives from Tuesday primaries. Voters in Pennsylvania, Idaho, Nebraska, and Oregon held primaries yesterday. “The realities of a complex array of races with their own local dynamics defy the construction of pat narratives,” writes Matthew Yglesias. But while no easy and overarching narratives emerged, there were a few notable results from Tuesday’s votes:
Socialist women win in Pennsylvania. Two candidates running as part of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) won challenges against more traditional Democrats for seats on the state legislature. The “pair of first-time candidates…knocked off two incumbent state legislators from a well-established Pittsburgh political family,” notes Yglesias. “Both Dom and Paul Costa, the incumbent losers, were on the conservative side of modern Democratic Party politics but also seemingly well-entrenched.” Taking their place in the general election will be Sarah Innamorato and Summer Lee.
Berniecrat with biker vibe beats out incumbent. John Fetterman, mayor of the small Pennsylvania town of Braddock, won over incumbent lieutenant governor Mike Stack. Fetterman—whom NBC Philadelphia’s Brian X. McCrone describes as “a progressive Democrat who received Bernie Sanders’ endorsement but looks like he just walked out of a biker bar”—will now serve as incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s running mate in November’s general election, with Republicans Scott Wagner and Jeff Bartos as their opponents.
The office of lieutenant governor “itself is not particularly powerful or significant,” writes Yglesias, “but it does provide a statewide platform from which to run for higher office—either governor or senator—and consequently we are going to end up hearing more about John Fetterman in years to come.”
In any event, his wife seems cool:
— Gisele Fetterman (@giselefetterman) May 16, 2018
Two Senate candidates backed by President Trump won yesterday. The #MAGA-endorsed winners were Pennsylvania’s Lou Barletta and Nebraska’s Deb Fischer. “Barletta, currently a congressman, was heavily favored over state Rep. Jim Christiana to become the Republican challenger for Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, who is seeking a third term in November,” reports the Associated Press. “Fischer, the incumbent, defeated four GOP challengers and will be the strong favorite to win re-election in deep-red Nebraska.”
Congratulations to Deb Fischer. The people of Nebraska have seen what a great job she is doing – and it showed up at the ballot box! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2018
Wikipedia will be out of this world. A nonprofit plans to print all of Wikipedia and shipping it to the moon. The group, Nova Spivak’s Arch Mission Foundation, intends to print all 25 million existing Wikipedia pages on small metal disks. “The project was inspired by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, which tells the story of a group of academics and artists tasked with preserving humanity’s collective knowledge to mitigate an impending galactic dark age predicted to last for thousands of years,” reports Motherboard.
Budget balancers stand alone. Rand Paul is back with another plan to balance the budget, but as usual it has little chance of gaining enough colleagues’ approval. The bill “would severely curtail federal spending, according to two people familiar with the matter,” and balance the budget within five years, reports Politico. “But its spending cuts in future years are so steep that the plan is highly unlikely to pass. The budget needs 50 votes to move forward, but Republicans control only 51 seats, and several center-right members are unlikely to support such strict spending cuts.”
- Chicago cop William Whitley pleaded guilty to sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl.
- “Our healthcare systems are designed for the workforce of 1950.”
- “We Millennials have been accused in think pieces of ruining a litany of good things—including democracy, marriage, beer, and napkins—but I’d like to posit that American foreign policy is notably not among them,” writes Matt Purple at The American Conservative.
- The ACLU is suing over Iowa’s ban on almost all abortion procedures.
NORTH KOREA WATCH
Bolton threatens North Korea talks. “We shed light on the quality of [National Security Advisor John] Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him,” wrote North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan in a Tuesday statement.
Prior to the scheduled summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump, “unbridled remarks provoking the other side of dialogue are recklessly made in the US and I am totally disappointed as these constitute extremely unjust behaviour,” wrote Kim Kye-gwan. “It is absolutely absurd to dare compare the DPRK, a nuclear weapon state, to Libya which had been at the initial stage of nuclear development.”
“If the Trump administration fails to recall the lessons learned from the past when the DPRK-US talks had to undergo twists and setbacks owing to the likes of Bolton,” he continued, “and turns its ear to the advice of quasi-“patriots” who insist on a Libya mode and the like, the prospects of the forthcoming DPRK-US summit and overall DPRK-US relations will be crystal clear.”