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David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

A moderate House Republican, one of those rare species, bemoaning the start to this Congress:

"Week one, we had a Speaker election that didn't go as well as a lot of us would have liked. Week two, we spent a lot of time talking about deporting children, a conversation a lot of us didn't want to have. Week three, we're debating reportable rape and incest -- again, not an issue a lot of us wanted to have a conversation about. I just can't wait for week four."

We have another riveting installment in the rich, sordid recent history of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where in the last few years one justice stood accused of choking another in her chambers in the presence of other justices and the chief justice was called "a total bitch" by one of her brethren. Now the GOP-controlled legislature is advancing a state constitutional amendment that would effectively oust that same chief justice, a liberal woman who has held the post for nearly 20 years, by changing the rules on how the chief justice is selected.

It's our favorite time of year -- the Golden Duke awards, when TPM honors the year's best purveyors of scandal, idiocy, and straight-up crazy. This is the eighth annual installment of the Golden Duke awards, named after Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the California Republican congressman who spent time in the clink after an unparalleled spree of flagrant sleaze and unbridled tawdriness.

You can check out last year's deserving winners here.

So without further ado, this year's categories are:

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You've seen by now the huge news that the US and Cuba are finally moving toward normalizing relations after more than half a century of official estrangement, if that's not too nice a way of putting it. Dylan Scott has the latest from the White House, with details of the the major diplomatic initiative, which included a big assist from Pope Francis.

Live video from the apparent hostage situation in Sydney. The Associated Press is playing it more cautiously, stopping short of calling it a hostage situation. But the BBC goes further:

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For a lot of folks, the Senate Intel Committee report is so long overdue that it seems like a rehash (no, there's lots of new details in here) of a dark chapter that has been closed. But so long as the CIA continues to assert that torture (though it doesn't use that word) yielded actionable intelligence, I don't see how you can call this a closed chapter in American history. From CIA Director John Brennan's statement today ("EITs" is the euphemism for torture: enhanced interrogation techniques):

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