Donald Trump is officially the Republican nominee for president, but there are still two days left for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH. [more inside]
Elisabeth Moss will star in a 10-episode Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood is a consulting producer; The 100's Bruce Miller wrote the script and is an executive producer along with Daniel Wilson (The Handmaid's Tale feature film), Fran Sears (The Sophisticated Gents) and Warren Littlefield (Fargo). [more inside]
The GOP is freaking out about the ever-increasing likelihood of Trump as their nominee. The New York Times talks to GOP leaders and consultants, who talk of a Republican National Convention floor fight and an effort to save the rest of the party's candidates. And Lindsey Graham roasts the whole party.
Amidst an increasingly unpredictable political season, tonight the Iowa caucuses will finally cast the first votes of the 2016 presidential campaign. It's an outsider vs. establishment war in both parties, as Republican leaders struggle to dislodge Donald Trump and Ted Cruz from the top while Hillary Clinton marshalls her endorsements and long résumé against the populist zeal of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. The best guesses of FiveThirtyEight, BetFair, and Ann Selzer's gold-standard Des Moines Register poll all favor Trump and Clinton, but the race remains very close, and turnout in the demanding and complicated caucus events will be key. Vox provides a helpful video explainer on the process [previously]. Pass the time with FiveThirtyEight's 40-minute elections podcast, and keep an eye on the New York Times live blog of the caucuses for real-time updates once voting starts at 8:00 PM Eastern -- and don't forget to leave your two cents in the MeFi election prediction contest!
The Presidential Candidates Ranked By Their Usefulness In A Bar Fight: Kasich is the guy who shows up to the bar in business casual and turns out to be carrying a butterfly knife. He’s the guy who scares the piss out of everyone by wading into the deepest part of the fray while swinging double-fist thunderpunches and screaming an extemporaneous sermon. He’s the guy carving tattoos into his own arm with a broken bottle, the guy who palmed a handful of darts twenty freaking minutes before you even sensed there would be a fight, the guy who is slamming someone’s head into the bar long after the fight is over, screaming “Taste it! Taste it!” You do not want Kasich in any sort of a leadership position ever, but you definitely want him on your side in a bar fight.
Political candidates aren't technically allowed to coordinate with the Super PACs that support them. Which is why Ted Cruz quietly uploaded 16 hours of footage to an old, unused YouTube channel for his Super PACs to find. BuzzFeed found out, and Gawker decided to do him a favor and edit all their favorite, most awful moments from the footage into a single, glorious campaign advertisement: "One more hug." "I love you, Mom." "And hold for a second."
The GOP 2016 presidential candidates will again be split into two sessions for tonight's debates on CNN, but the pool is getting smaller, as Rick Perry suspended his campaign, bowing out before being in the second-tier debates for a second time, and former Virgina governor Jim Gilmore, with a hair above 0% nationally, will participate ... via Twitter*. But the biggest news on the main stage is the inclusion of Carly Fiorina, thanks to her rise in the few polls since the Fox debate (previously). [more inside]
Tonight (Thurs., Aug. 6, 2015) is the first official** televised debate for Republican presidential candidates, to be held in two separate events on Fox. First, there's the happy hour debate at 5 PM EST, with the seven candidates who didn't make the final cut*. At 9 PM EST, the Prime Time debate takes place with the top 10 candidates. You can watch online, if you have cable authentication, but you can also participate through Facebook, who are co-presenting the debates. Otherwise, wait until after the show for clips to start surfacing, or you can follow live-blogging a-plenty (NPR | New York Times | The State | Reason), and you can add your two bits with the Fox News Election HQ 2016 App. [more inside]
Our long Springfield nightmare is over: Harry Shearer will indeed be coming back for the next season of the Simpsons (previously). Simpsons fans are understandably happy with the news, but others who had hoped to replace him may be a little bummed out.
Ted Cruz dot com: A domain name cautionary tale "On March 23rd, Texas Republican senator and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz announced that he was going to run for president. If you [go] running to his website, tedcruz.com, to see what he had to say you [will be] shocked to see the message, "SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA. IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW!"" [more inside]
Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas, global warming denier, and (attempted) NASA funding slasher, has been appointed to chair the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness. In other words, he will be overseeing NASA. [more inside]
The Absolutist: [The New Yorker] Jeffrey Toobin profiles the current state of Ted Cruz.