Obama Donor Blocks Access to Hagan Stimulus Records

AP

An incumbent senator voted for a massive taxpayer stimulus that just happened to benefit businesses owned by that senator’s immediate family members. That same senator later recommended someone to lead a government agency that is currently stonewalling journalist requests to obtain documents related to that stimulus funding. Some would call that cronyism. Either way, it looks pretty bad for Senate Kay Hagan (D., N.C.).

Hagan has come under fire in recent weeks amid reports that businesses owned by her husband, son, and son-in-law directly benefited from the federal stimulus package Hagan voted for in 2009. The Carolina Journal has been all over the story, but encountered a roadblock recently while trying to obtain documents related to the stimulus award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Kay Hagan Flip-Flops on Ebola Travel Ban

AP

Senator Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) on Friday announced her support for a temporary travel ban on non-U.S. citizens from West African countries affected by the Ebola virus. She claims to have supported such a ban “for weeks,” and while she has said in the past that a travel ban might be “one part” of a solution to the Ebola crisis, Hagan never fully embraced the idea, and just days ago dismissed a travel ban as something that “is not going to help solve this problem.” Now she’s calling it “a prudent step the President can take to protect the American people.” So, which is it?

Christopher Nolan Films, (Properly) Ranked

My next film will be 300 minutes and you'll love it, sheeple! (AP)

Over at Mother Jones, Ben Dreyfuss unveiled a completely incorrect ranking of Christopher Nolan films. More egregious than the actual ranking, however, was this bit of heresy:

Of those seven films,* one is great, four are good but forgettable, and two are bad bad bad.

“wow wrong,” as the kids might say. Nolan has never made a bad film (let alone a bad-times-three film). On a four-star scale, only Following would drop below three (and that one just barely; it’s a glorified student film, so it’s technically rough) and several would be fours.

Anyway, here’s the correct ranking of Christopher Nolan’s films.

REMINDER: Sean Eldridge Is the Worst Candidate of 2014

(Facebook)

In a little over two weeks, Sean Eldridge will be forced to concede defeat in the NY-19 congressional race. In an ideal world, Republican incumbent Chris Gibson will win reelection by at least 30 points.

Eldridge is the worst candidate of the 2014 cycle, and represents everything that self-respecting Americans hate about politicians. He is an entitled carpetbagger, whose rich husband has purchased multiple mansions in neighboring districts in an effort to fulfill his political ambitions. (Eldridge is married to New Republic editor-in-chief Chris Hughes, who made millions after he was randomly assigned to be Mark Zuckerberg’s roommate at Harvard.)

Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “Republicans Want You to Be Terrified of Ebola—So You’ll Vote for Them,” by Brian Beutler in the New Republic.

Gawker Media’s Concern for the State of Political Journalism Is Cute, Ironic

Cory Gardner football

I have to admit to being amused by Deadspin completely and utterly crapping the bed with this Cory Gardner story. For those of you not on Twitter last night*, Deadspin “broke” a story about how Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner “lied” about playing football as a youngster. Groundbreaking stuff and clearly relevant to his possible performance as a United States senator! However, it was quickly revealed to be utterly untrue. The Denver Post reported that Deadspin’s main source called the report totally fake. Gardner himself posted photos from his teen years in a football uniform. It was a cluster from start to finish.

And normally I’d just let that go. Shit happens, news outlets make mistakes. Except that Gawker Inc. has been really concerned about the quality of political reporting in recent months, with Gawker’s Adam Weinstein wondering “Is Ratfucking Journalism Dead?” before criticizing several much-discussed Free Beacon pieces.** So I accept the solemn responsibility of answer Weinstein’s question: Yes, ratfucking journalism is dead. And y’all over at Gawker Media killed it.

Poll: Harry Reid’s War on the Koch Brothers Is a Bust

The face of failure. (AP)

Senate Majority Leader (for now) Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has led a rambling crusade against right-leaning philanthropy barons Charles and David Koch. Over the last several months, Reid has called the Koch brothers “un-American” and suggested they were the “main cause” of climate change, among many other incoherent tirades. Democrats running in close races across the country have followed suit, and tried to attack their Republican opponents by linking them to the Kochs.