OMAHA — There’s a general election playbook for how to run as a Democrat in Nebraska’s 2nd District, and in many other congressional districts like it. Run to the middle. Sand down the ideological edges. Get distance from the national party. Kara Eastman has tossed it out the window. Story Continued Below After she shocked national Democrats by winning her primary in May, there was no pivot to the center, no cautious equivocating. In the run up to November, she even brought in some of the most liberal members of Congress to stump with her—a tactic that in past years would have been seen as ruinous. “The district predominantly, the way it’s been competed for over the last decades – and I have worked directly or indirectly on the 2nd District in every cycle going back to 2000 – almost everybody will move toward the center,” says Jim Rogers, a veteran of Nebraska politics who served as campaign manager for former Rep. Brad Ashford, … [Read more...] about The 2018 Race That Could Settle the Democrats’ Civil War
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Inmate No. 15000-030 is released into the frigid January morning at 8:46, a gray custodial suit of sweatpants and long-sleeved thermal clinging to his immense frame, a bushy salt-and-pepper beard wrapping around his face, a guard escorting him with a high-powered rifle slung over his right shoulder. Most politicians would appear hopelessly—dangerously—misplaced in a federal prison. Kent Sorenson is not most politicians. Standing over six feet tall and weighing every bit of 270 pounds, with 11 tattoos and a cleanshaven head, Sorenson is probably the only state senator to have ever been mistaken for a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. That happened during his first stop on the penal turnpike, the Metropolitan Correctional Center (“The MCC”) in Chicago, an administrative facility with maximum-security lodging where the “fish” was viewed warily by fellow inmates. A white supremacist, they figured, sizing him up. It didn’t take long—as soon as … [Read more...] about Kent Sorenson Was a Tea Party Hero. Then He Lost Everything.
One month ago, Michael Avenatti—the Stormy Daniels lawyer, Donald Trump antagonist, and yes, potential 2020 presidential candidate—spoke at an Iowa Democratic Party fundraiser and declared to a cheering crowd that there was “no greater question facing our party and our nation” than “how” Democrats fight. He chastised Democrats for having “a tendency to bring nail clippers to a gun fight” when they should be fighting “fire with fire.” Avenatti is the lead storm chaser in a little-noticed front in the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign: Who can out-Trump the sitting president by going the furthest to break procedural “norms”? Even if Avenatti has little chance of winning the nomination, he could still wreck the 2020 Democratic race. In fact he’s already doing it, by using his considerable media skills and political instincts to frame the contest around how far Democrats should go when wielding power, and to … [Read more...] about Michael Avenatti Is Winning the 2020 Democratic Primary
DALTON, Ga. — The last time her mother saw her, Christine Medlin couldn't move her left hand. It stuck out from her arm at a 90-degree angle, as though her wrist was flexed. She couldn't move her fingers either. She was in the Hamilton County Medical Center emergency room in 2012 with a cut running from her wrist to her elbow. A knife's blade had sliced tendons and ligaments. A doctor needed to perform surgery, but Medlin legally couldn't sign the necessary waiver. She had tested positive for cocaine, her mother, Susan Medlin, said. Christine Medlin began showing troubling signs as a teenager when she quit the softball team and began acting out, her mother, Susan Medlin, said. (Photo contributed by Susan Medlin) Christine Medlin began showing troubling signs as a... Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press. Privately, Susan Medlin said, Christine explained what happened. Her girlfriend of 11 years, Amy Gale Duckett, attacked her during an argument. They were both … [Read more...] about Before they found her body in a shallow grave, a life of addiction, illness
CHARLESTON, W.Va.—Last fall, after watching the death toll from opioids climb unchecked for years, Dr. Rahul Gupta, the man in charge of combating one of the worst health crises in America, decided to do something no one had ever tried. He ordered his staff to do an in-depth analysis of every person in his state who had died of a drug overdose over the preceding year—all 887 of them. Since 2014, West Virginia has held the grim distinction of having the highest overdose death rate in the country, according to Centers for Disease Control figures. In 2016, West Virginia’s death rate, according to the most recent federal data, was 52 per 100,000 people—nearly three times the national average. The next highest state, neighboring Ohio, had 39 deaths per 100,000. What West Virginia lacked, though, were the hard numbers that might point officials to a way out of a disaster that showed no signs of abating. Story Continued Below “We wanted to know who each person … [Read more...] about The Immigrant Doctor Who’s Solving West Virginia’s Opioids Crisis