Paul Ryan's Democratic challenger is a veteran, an iron-worker, union organizer, cancer survivor and Berniecrat

Randy Bryce wants to challenge Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan for the First District of Wisconsin, where Ryan beat his most recent Democratic challenger by 35 points. Read the rest

Sean Spicer expected to leave post

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, first held an off-camera briefing that had one reporter describe him as "just kind of useless", then was ridiculed by colleague and top Trump crony Steve Bannon as getting fatter, thereby explaining his unwillingness to be seen, and is now reported to be "searching for his own replacement." With luck it will be Laura Ingraham.

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A right-wing Dem Senator who voted to sell weapons to Saudi is being primaried by an environmental activist

Senator Joe Manchin [D-WV, @Sen_JoeManchin, +1 304-342-5855] is a right-wing Democrat Senator whose inglorious career includes breaking with his party to endorse President Trump's deal to sell record quantities of weapons to the Saudis. Read the rest

Oregon becomes first US state to issue nonbinary gender on IDs

Beginning in July, Oregon driver's licenses and state IDs will allow applicants to choose M, F, or X for their gender designation. This follows an open comment period where the overwhelming majority of commenters praised the proposed legislation. Read the rest

China suddenly approves 9 Trump trademarks it previously rejected, what, no reason, why?

Said one intellectual property attorney, “The speed with which these appeals were decided is mind-blowing.”

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U.S. Marshals arrest 2 Turkish men accused of role in embassy beating

Remember when the President of Turkey came to Washington to visit Trump, and his goons beat the crap out of American protesters on American soil? The DC-based Turkish news site Washington Hatti reported today that Eyup Yildirim was arrested for playing a role in this incident, and the Daily Caller now reports that a second, Sinan Narin, was also arrested. Both men beat peaceful protesters outside of the embassy of Turkey.

Reports Chuck Ross at the Daily Caller:

U.S. Marshals have arrested two Turkish men living in U.S. for their role in beating peaceful protesters outside of the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. last month, a source with knowledge of the matter tells The Daily Caller.

The State Department confirmed in a statement to TheDC that arrests have been, and the Washington, D.C. Metro police department identified the two men as Eyup Yildirim and Sinan Narin.

“Now that charges have been filed, the Department will weigh additional actions for the named individuals, as appropriate under relevant laws and regulations. Any further steps will be responsive and proportional to the charges,” a State Department official said.

Yildirim, a 50-year-old construction company owner from New Jersey, faces charges of assault with significant bodily injury and aggravated assault. Narin, from Virginia, faces an aggravated assault charge.

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Crowdsourced sleuthing exonerates politician viewing "dirty" pic

What happens these days when a photographer's photo inadvertently shoulder-surfs your phone screen? If you're a politician and the content vaguely resembles porn, internet sleuths are on the case. In one case this week, depending on your point of view, the results were a disappointment or a relief. Read the rest

NBC to go ahead with Alex Jones interview

Megyn Kelly, formerly of Fox News and now at NBC, interviewed Alex Jones, erstwhile conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook truther. It hasn't been broadcast yet, but posted excerpts suggest a smarmy effort to elevate Jones to mainstream attention, an amoral stunt posed as casting sunlight on darkness. NBC's deployment of Jones' nasty brand of bullshit, where the parents of slaughtered children are liars working to destroy Americans' right to own guns, is not going down well, but Kelly has little patience for critics.

The spectacle has many on the internet wondering where the bottom is. Spoiler: there is no bottom.

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Reporters at U.S. Capitol told they are not allowed to film interviews with senators in hallways

In Washington today, a bizarre development that breaks with years of political and press tradition. This can't have anything to do with their secret plan to take away health care, could it?

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The internet is changing civil wars, and will change them further

In The New New Civil Wars, a poli sci paper included in this year's Annual Review of Political Science, UCSD political scientist Barbara F. Walter describes the profound ways in which civil conflicts have been transformed by the internet, and makes some shrewd guesses at what changes are yet to come. Read the rest

Trump accuses Comey of lying under oath, which is a felony

Donald Trump went full Donald Trump the day after fired FBI Director James Comey hearing this week gave damning testimony in the most eagerly anticipated U.S. congressional hearing in years. Today began with early-morning aggro tweets from the President. Then, taking reporter's questions at a press conference with the President of Romania, Trump accused Comey of lying under oath to Congress.

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UK Conservatives lose majority in election shocker

The Conservative Party had a startling collapse at the polls in the United Kingdom's general election, falling short of control of the House of Commons and forcing its leader, Prime Minister Theresa May, to cut a deal with the fringe Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland to muster enough MPs to govern and cling to her job.

May called the snap election three years early, in hopes of turning a huge polling lead into a commanding political mandate going into forthcoming negotiations to leave the European Union. But instead of extending the party's slim majority, the Tories' shambolic campaign saw it evaporate as the opposition Labour party surged, led by an unexpectedly effective Jeremy Corbyn.

The general consensus is that May's failure is too great for her to continue as Prime Minister, especially with the chaos of Brexit negotiations looming. But she moved quickly to shore up her position, striking a deal to form a new government with DUP support as Corbyn and others called for her to resign.

With the count all but complete, the Conservaties won 318 seats, the Labour Party 261, the Scottish National party 35 seats, the Liberal Democrats 12 seats, the DUP 10 seats, and others 13. The far-right UK independence party did not win a single seat. Read the rest

Lord Buckethead wins 249 votes in UK general election challenge to Prime Minister May

Lord Buckethead, standing against British Prime Minister Theresa May in the country's Wednesday general election, won a staggering 249 votes. The "intergalactic space lord" who "enjoys planet-conquering" and "dominating inferior species" (and UK TV light entertainment classic Lovejoy) fought for office in the Maidenhead, Kent constituency hitherto and henceforth considered a safe seat for May's Conservative party.

Though Buckethead did well, May retained her seat by thousands of votes.

The nation as a whole, however, is unexpectedly up for grabs: May, convinced by opinion polls that a snap election would yield a landslide mandate for her Brexit agenda, instead found herself reeling against a resurgent Labour Party, led by the suddenly and unnervingly competent old-timey socialist Jeremy Corbyn. Though her party seems likely to retain the largest vote and perhaps a very slim majority in Parliament, her cred is toast. And Corbyn's success is energizing the left, and not just in Britain...

The far-right UKIP party seems to be utterly vanquished, too, a sweet outcome for anyone left of Mussolini.

That said, given the assumption Corbyn's Labour party will hang parliament without quite gathering enough seats to topple the Tories, are you ready for Prime Minister Boris? Just imagine how great he'll look in photo ops with Trump. Read the rest

Watch the insane pro-Trump political ad running today against Jim Comey

The election, for Trump, will never be over, and today he's running against former FBI Director James Comey. Comey is testifying today that the president is (in brief) a lying weirdo who wanted him to ask for his job, to pledge loyalty, to clear him publicly, and to end the investigation into his Russian-entangled surrogates. The Great America Alliance, a pro-Trump political action committee, is running a campaign-style ad against Comey today depicting him as a showboater who struggles with the facts. Read the rest

TFW you're a White House reporter listening to Sean Spicer

Vice compiled this terrific compilation of White House reporters' reactions as they listen to Sean Spicer. If you don't laugh, you'll cry.

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Comey Hearing Bingo (Update: random variations option)

His "prepared remarks" are already out, and tomorrow's the big show.

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Trump won’t block Comey’s testimony in Congress on Thursday

The White House says President Donald Trump won't invoke executive privilege to block former FBI director James Comey, whom Trump fired, from testifying to Congress this week. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, and it's a very big deal.

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