The registered Democratic voter who sued to force his party to pick a new Senate nominee in Kansas did not appear at a Monday hearing for the case, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported, and the judges hearing it are now considering whether the lawsuit can continue without him.
The lawsuit that Secretary of State Kris Kobach is trying to hitch himself to in order to force a Democrat onto the ballot in the Kansas Senate race now faces a very uncertain future after the lead plaintiff failed to show up today for a hearing in the case.
The plaintiff has been a mystery figure throughout the saga over the Senate ballot. His name is David Orel. He's a registered Democrat, but his son is reportedly a member of the Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's staff. He has refused press interviews, and little is known about his background or his motives in bringing suit.
The biggest news story in Philly for the last few days has been the alleged hate crime against a gay couple downtown by a group of twentysomethings out on the town -- except Pennsylvania doesn't have a hate crime law protecting LGBTs.
There's so much good stuff about Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in Sahil Kapur's profile today, but I especially like an anecdote in which, during his time in the state senate, he said to a female Democratic colleague: "You women don't understand — guns are for men what jewelry is for women."
When he asked that colleague, Johnie Hammond, about it she told TPM:
"There are so many things to be outraged about in Steve's philosophy. I mean, humanism! People! When he talks about calves like cantaloupes, what is that?!" Hammond recalls a conversation the two had back in the legislature when she chided him for using the term "pro-abortion," and he obliged. "Steve needs more of those conversations where you see the humanity in the Democrat."
Even setting aside the mania about different electoral prediction models, it seems clear something significant has happened in the last ten days or so, perhaps ephemeral but significant nonetheless. And that something is a clear shift of Senate fortunes in favor of Republicans. The main drivers are the races in Alaska, Iowa and Colorado.
In each case, there are internal reasons put forward to explain the change ... a debate, a major gaffe, previously thin poll data. But there's a separate factor; and I wonder whether it's playing a roll buoying Republican candidates. That is, the return of terror politics.
Sea level rise is only one effect of climate warming. But it's one of the most linear and easiest to grasp. On Conrad Hackett's Twitter feed (a must follow, imo) I saw this study which was produced by Climate Central and then visualized by The Upshot. The upshot is that when it comes to the direct effects of rising sea levels - submersion and regular flooding - all countries are not equal. The impact is heavily weighted toward East and especially Southeast Asia.