6 Actually Interesting Things You Missed in Thursday’s Midterm Races

Here's a weird fact about America in 2014: While many people aren't following the midterm elections because they seem too long and dull, a sizable portion of the electorate is willing to read a seven-book series to find out who'll wind up on the Iron Throne of Westeros.

HBO has yet to make a nudity-filled TV adaptation of the current election, but you can get up to speed with Intelligencer's daily campaign recap. In this edition, Lena Dunham implores her girl army to vote, we learn you can still get a newspaper endorsement after threatening to break a reporter in half, and Scott Brown is accused of not knowing New Hampshire geography. This is what he gets for not flipping back to consult the map.

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At Least Lindsey Graham Knows His Audience

"I'm trying to help you with your tax status," the South Carolina Republican joked with a group of good old boys, according to a secret recording that will definitely matter less than the 47 percent tape. "I'm sorry the government's so fucked up. If I get to be president, white men in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency." It is cute that Lindsey Graham thinks he could be elected president.

Michael Jordan Thinks Obama Is a ‘Shitty’ Golfer

Asked for his ideal foursome on the course, the King of Trash Talk told Ahmad Rashad, “I’ve never played with Obama, but I would.” Then he had second thoughts. “No, that’s okay. I’d take him out. He’s a hack.”

“He’s the president of the United States — he’s a hack?” Rashad responded.

“I never said he wasn’t a great politician,” Jordan shot back. “I’m just saying he’s a shitty golfer.”

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Confessions of a ‘Partyist’: Yes, I Judge Your Politics

How would you feel if your child married a supporter of the opposing party? I’ll admit it: I wouldn’t like it very much. Partisan affinity is not the only, or even the most important, quality in my children’s prospective future mates. I would certainly prefer a kind, well-adjusted Republican over an angry, emotionally unstable Democrat. Still, all things being equal, I'd rather not greet my child's future spouse with a copy of Bill O'Reilly's latest tucked under his or her arm. Does that make me a bigot?

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7 Actually Interesting Things You Missed in Wednesday’s Midterm Races

If you're like most Americans, you aren't following the midterm elections. They do seem sort of boring, but much like skipping Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, if you don't watch, next season you'll be confused about why everyone is angry at some guy named Scott.

To help you keep up, we at Intelligencer are providing a daily recap of the most interesting events on the campaign trail. Today's wrap-up includes plenty of preliminary 2016 drama, with appearances by Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul. It's basically that one episode where Kim comes to visit.

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Neither Staten Island Congressional Candidate Can Name the Last Book They Read

The best moment of last night's debate in New York’s 11th Congressional District between indicted tough Michael Grimm and his don't-screw-this-up Democratic challenger Domenic Recchia came in the lightning round, when NY1's Errol Louis basically asked the candidates to name a book, any book. In a rare flash of bipartisan harmony, both men agreed that reading is hard.

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The Guy Investigating the Secret Service Prostitution Scandal Resigned During His Own Prostitution Scandal

David Nieland, the Department of Homeland Security’s lead investigator into the Secret Service’s ill-fated Colombia trip in 2012, quietly resigned over the summer after he was spotted during a prostitution sting, the New York Times reports. Just a little field research?

According to the Times, Nieland was stopped by police in south Florida while leaving a building that was under surveillance for sex work, but “he showed them a badge, officials said, and told them that he was part of an undercover human trafficking operation with agents from the Department of Homeland Security.” Classy. Then he told his office he’d been stopped for a broken tail light.

A woman interviewed later, however, identified Nieland in a photo and said he’d paid for sex. (He denies the claim and has not been charged; a criminal investigation is ongoing.)

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Fox News Doctor Calls for ‘American Jihad’

The Obama era has seen a resurgence of conservative constitutional fetishism — the belief that the Constitution not only requires the Republican domestic agenda, but is figuratively or even literally divine. Fox News columnist and television personality Dr. Keith Ablow has taken this premise and applied it toward American foreign policy. The result is a remarkable column calling for what he calls “American Jihad.”

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5 Actually Interesting Things You Missed in Tuesday’s Midterm Races

Next week's elections will determine who runs the country for the next few years, but Americans appear to be far more concerned about important issues like the state of Renée Zellweger's face and figuring out whether they even want to know what Gamergate is. 

Thus we at Daily Intelligencer are compiling a daily roundup of all the midterm excitement you're missing out on. In today's installment, President Obama tries not to drive away Democratic voters, a gay man defends his Republican mom against her gay opponent, and a Senate candidate makes an ad about the Washington football team because he doesn't think politicians should be talking about the Washington football team. We promise, it all (sort of) makes sense.

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Mitch McConnell Afraid to Vote to Repeal Obamacare

Mitch McConnell appeared on Fox News today and was asked if Republicans — should they gain the Senate majority — would vote to repeal Obamacare. McConnell’s answer was revealingly evasive. First McConnell conceded that the Senate wouldn’t bother passing repeal because “Obviously, he's not going to sign a full repeal.” But then McConnell proceeded to explain what measures Republicans would put up for votes instead:

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Video of the day

Charlie Rangel Opens Debate With Fake Phone Call

Congressman Joe Garcia Picks Ear, Eats It on Live TV

Sarah Palin Thinks Chelsea’s Baby May Make Hillary ‘Open Her Eyes’ About Abortion

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In The Mag

Back on the Trail

When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.

By Jason Zengerle

Reading List

Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013

The Case for Deficit Optimism

For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.

By Ezra Klein
Salon Jan. 15, 2012

The NRA's Democratic Helpers

Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.

By Steve Kornacki

From the Archives

New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010

Boehner's Army

After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009

With Friends Like These

Obama drew progressive ire from day one.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008

Hiding In Plain Sight

How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.

By Jeff Coplon