Kentucky slide –> Newly elected Kentucky governor Matt Bevin, as his first act in office, issued a series of executive orders. Two — revoking voting rights for ex-felons and repealing a minimum wage increase for state employees — undo signature achievements of Bevin’s predecessor, Democrat Steve Beshear. Bevin also would change the wording of marriage liscenses so that county clerks, like Kim Davis, would not have to put their names on a document affirming gay marriage. Mike Wynn and Tom Loftus report for the LouisvilleCourier-Journal.
Both sides of his mouth –> Mike Allen at Politico: “In June, Ted Cruz promised on NPR that opposition to gay marriage would be ‘front and center’ in his 2016 campaign. In July, he said the Supreme Court’s decision allowing same-sex marriage was the ‘very definition of tyranny’ and urged states to ignore the ruling. But in December, behind closed doors at a big-dollar Manhattan fundraiser, the quickly ascending presidential candidate assured a Republican gay-rights supporter that a Cruz administration would not make fighting same-sex marriage a top priority.”
Ask questions later –> In Georgia, CNN security guard Bobby Daniels got word that has son “was having an emotional breakdown, he had a gun and had just been holding a hostage,” Wesley Lowery reports for The Washington Post. “Bobby Daniels beat the deputies there, and according to family members talked his despondent son into putting the weapon down on the hood of a car. Moments later, the father of five was shot twice — not by his son, but by a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy…
“Daniels’ death is one of more than 960 fatal police shootings by on-duty police officers in 2015, according to a Washington Post database, and the 246th black person to be fatally shot by the police this year.”
Taking a stand –> The LA Times has an in-depth look at pushback from staff at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, recently purchased by billionaire political donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in “one of the most bizarre chapters in U.S. journalism in years.” Among the interesting tidbits: Editor-in-chief Michael Hengel learned he had accepted a “voluntary” buyout from an editorial published by the new owner.
Sanders’ turn –> At Bloomberg News and The New York Times, Hillary Clinton has published op-eds on how she says she’ll rein in Wall Street. Now, in his own Times op-ed, Bernie Sanders writes about his plan.
The dark forces coalesce –> “In 2015 it became clear, obvious even, that various reactionary forces have coalesced into a larger, coherent counterculture… that exists not just in opposition to racial diversity in politics and culture, but in order to advance its own agenda, which across a variety of fronts seeks to preserve and promote the cultural and political preeminence of white guys,” writes Joseph Bernstein at Buzzfeed. The “racist, reactionary, offense-embracing, meme-savvy internet is not simply a disparate collection of ravings from immature and bitter young men with too much time on their hands. Rather it is a flourishing protest culture, indeed a coherent counterculture, created in response to the growing ethnic and gender diversity of contemporary media and pop culture and to the incursion of identity groups into previously homogenous digital spaces.”
On the other hand –> “There is a backlash against the liberalism of the Obama era. But it is louder than it is strong,” argues Peter Beinart at The Atlantic. “Instead of turning right, the country as a whole is still moving to the left.”
Big disconnect –> “A majority of U.S. Republicans who had heard of the international climate deal in Paris said they support working with other countries to curb global warming and were willing to take steps to do so, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Tuesday. The desire for action is notable for an issue that has barely made a ripple on the campaign trail among 2016 Republican presidential candidates.” Reuters’ Megan Cassella reports.
Weird and getting weirder –> Amidst tempestuous weather across the nation, “Temperatures in New York City are predicted to be in the 70s, more than 30 degrees hotter than normal. Tourists and residents alike seemed unnerved by the unseasonable weather,” writes Jonah Bromwich at The New York Times. “The warm temperatures are not the only unusual atmospheric phenomenon taking place over the holiday. An asteroid will pass close to the earth on Thursday, and a full moon will be visible on Christmas for the first time since 1977. A Christmas moon will not return until 2034, when, scientists say, the planet will be significantly warmer.”
Happy holidays, we’ll see you next year –> We’ll be taking the the next several days off. We hope you’ll get some time with family and friends, away from the headlines, too. Thanks for reading this year, and see you in January.