The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Let’s Talk About Texts
There’s nothing like a good knock-down, drag-out hearing about — what else? — THE 2016 ELECTION. The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees had a good old time Thursday calmly discussing whether there was bias in the FBI’s investigation of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In the hot seat was FBI special agent Peter Strzok, who gave as good as he got about text messages with a woman who was not his wife that were about politics. Griffin Connolly and the Roll Call video team had a good time cataloguing the seething emotions at the hearing, which featured a healthy dose of questions and allusions to infidelity.
It Goes Up to 11
It’s been a year of milestones for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. First, the Kentucky Republican became the longest-serving Senate Republican leader earlier this year, breaking the record set by Bob Dole. Then on Thursday, he cast his 11,000th vote as a senator. McConnell and his colleagues made little fanfare of the vote. Maybe because it was the last chamber vote before packing up for the week. Maybe because he’s got a new Supreme Court nominee on his mind: Brett Kavanaugh.
This Week’s Podcast
Just in time for Friday the 13th comes the political documentary “Dark Money,” an examination of the fight over money in politics, this time through the lens of how politicians, activists, citizens and journalists hash it out in Montana. Campaign finance reporter Kate Ackley and I discussed the movie with its director, Kimberly Reed, and one of the movie’s subjects, former FEC Commissioner Trevor Potter. Have a listen:
White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short is leaving! Long live White House Legislative Affairs Director Shahira Knight!
Having a Ball
Just in time for next week’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Nationals Park, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History is screening some of Hollywood’s best movies about the national past time, including “The Natural,” “Moneyball” and “Pride of the Yankees.”