Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, will be published in August 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights, and the intersection of money and politics. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, and he is a frequent guest and commentator on MSNBC and NPR. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Photo by Ports Bishop)
On Tuesday, Democrats in Kentucky will choose their nominee to battle notoriously corrupt Governor Ernie Fletcher this November. This is not just a typical Democratic primary, but another chapter in what some have described as the ongoing battle for the soul of the Democratic Party.
I saw Paul McNulty, who announced yesterday that he was resigning as Deputy Attorney General, at the Dallas airport on Sunday. He was coming from a prosecutor conference at San Antonio and I was returning from a wedding. The similarities end there. McNulty sat in first class and I trudged back to coach.
Before the GOP candidates auditioned for the Republican nomination, the Campaign for America's Future held a great debate between the American Prospect's Bob Kuttner and the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol on an apt subject: "Can Conservatives be Trusted to Govern?"
David Sirota has a good post up about how the media is overlooking Fred Thompson's lucrative stint as a lobbyist. In a profile of the possible presidential candidate yesterday, the New York Times mentioned that during the eighteen year gap between working as a Congressional staffer and winning a Senate seat in 1994, Thompson "took on some lobbying clients." Who those clients were and what the work entailed, goes unmentioned. It's a mere throwaway in the larger narrative of the Reagan Republican returning to save the GOP.
Not content with its conservative media empire, Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp is making an ambitious bid to buy the Dow Jones Company and its prized product, the Wall Street Journal. NewsCorp is offering to buy at $60 a share, all cash, 65 percent above Dow Jones' closing price yesterday (which shot up $18.42 as news of the bid broke). Owning the WSJ, along with Barron's and Dow Jones Newswires would be a fantastic coup for NewsCorp, which is launching its rah-rah business channel later this year.