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Vox Sentences: The GOP has assault-of-the-earth candidate in Montana

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Montana goes to the polls; Trump sparks NATO tensions; protests get fiery in Brazil.


I would like to have seen Montana (but they beat up reporters there)

Democratic Congressional Candidate Rob Quist Campaigns In Missoula, Montana Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Thursday’s special election for Montana’s at-large seat in Congress (to fill the seat vacated by now-Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke) was already closer than Republicans were comfortable with. [Politico / Elisa Schneider and Gabriel Debenedetti]
  • Then on the eve of the election Wednesday night, Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault for body-slamming reporter Ben Jacobs of the Guardian. (Jacobs was trying to ask Gianforte about the Congressional Budget Office score of the Republican health care bill.) [Fox News / Alicia Acuna]
  • In theory, the fact that Gianforte is in legal trouble for assaulting a member of the press should be good news for Democrat Rob Quist, a sometime folk singer who spent the weekend before the special election touring the state with endorser Bernie Sanders. [The Daily Beast / Gideon Resnick]
  • (It certainly helps Quist’s main campaign message — that the Republican agenda Gianforte would support is bad and unpopular — that the mere mention of a bad CBO score sent Gianforte into a rage.) [Vox / Jeff Stein]
  • It’s not actually clear that the body slam will affect the election, though. For one thing, plenty of Republicans are eager to defend Gianforte or assume that Jacobs had it coming, which is probably not healthy for democracy.
  • More concretely, early voting has been substantial in Montana. Many of the votes might already have been cast before Wednesday. [Billings Gazette / Matt Hudson]
  • If Gianforte is elected, he will join a long and illustrious list of members of Congress who’ve served while facing criminal charges. [Vox / Jeff Stein]
  • But he’s literally going to have to spend his days on Capitol Hill dealing with reporters who want to ask him questions he doesn’t want to answer. It is, to say the least, not clear he’s dispositionally cut out for the job. [Vox / Tara Golshan​]

NATOh, no, what has he done now

Leaders Meet For NATO Summit Photo by Stefan Rousseau - Pool/Getty Images
  • President Trump’s foreign trip had been, until Thursday, surprisingly light on crises. Then the NATO summit happened.
  • Trump, you may recall, was skeptical of NATO on the campaign trail — provoking serious concern that, should Russia strike a NATO member, he wouldn’t help strike back. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • His speech Thursday was expected to clear up that worry by explicitly endorsing Article V of the NATO Charter, which promises mutual defense. He ... did not do that. And everyone promptly panicked. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • In practice, US troops are already committed in NATO activities, so Trump’s personal feelings on Article V might not be that relevant. But it’s still an unnecessary drama at best, and a reason to trust the US less at worst. [War on the Rocks / Sara Bjerg Moller]
  • There were already enough such reasons. Trump told the assembled leaders to “pay up” to contribute to NATO’s defense... [BBC]
  • ...appears to have called the Germans “bad” and complained about the number of BMWs being bought by Americans... [Quartz / Max de Haldevang]
  • ...and shoved aside the prime minister of Montenegro to get the central position in a photo. [USA Today / Jessica Estepa]
  • All of this happened as the UK, which is livid at the US government for leaking information about the Manchester attack and investigation to the press, announced that it would limit intelligence sharing with the US to prevent leaks. [Reuters / Elizabeth Piper and Estelle Chirbon]
  • The Trump administration is promising to go after the leakers. But some of the distrust isn’t of American intelligence officers. It’s of Trump himself. Before the summit, European leaders thought of him as a “laughingstock” — they may not even be laughing now. [Politico Magazine / Susan Glasser​]

Brasilia (briefly) burning

Brazilian President Temer Orders Troops To Guard Streets After Day Of Protests Amid Corruption Scandal Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • Brazil has been wracked with protests calling for the resignation of President Michel Temer, after a newspaper reported last week on the existence of a tape in which Temer appears to order a business magnate to pay hush money to a former politician in jail on corruption charges. [LAT / Jill Langlois]
  • Temer has denied the accusations, which stem from the massive, ever-evolving Lava Jato scandal that’s snagged many members of Brazil’s political elite. [NYT / Simon Romero]
  • Temer has remained defiant, refusing to resign and saying “they will have to force me out.” Protesters appear to be taking that as a challenge. [Folha de S. Paulo / Fábio Zanini, Daniela Lima, and Marina Dias​]
  • The protests peaked Wednesday, when protesters set a government building on fire in the capital of Brasilia, and Temer ordered the military to patrol the streets. [Bloomberg / Kenneth Hughes and Marie Monteleone]
  • Footage posted on Facebook appears to show police officers shooting at protesters; one protester was injured by a bullet (49 protesters were injured in all). [AP via the Guardian]
  • Temer revoked the military order (criticized as an overreaction) Thursday after protests appeared to have calmed down. [BBC]
  • But he’s not out of the woods. In early June, a government tribunal will decide whether corruption was so rampant in the leadup to the 2014 election that the results of the election should be annulled — which would dissolve the government Temer stepped up last year to lead. [The Economist]

Miscellaneous

  • Chief Justice John Roberts has often acted as though racism is over. But it appears the 2016 election might have chang[Brennan Center / Ciara Torres-Spelliscy]
  • Getting struck by lightning is no joke. 90 percent of people struck survive, and survivors can experience long-lasting effects like seizures, deafness, memory loss, chronic pain, PTSD, and even personality changes. [Mosaic / Charlotte Huff]
  • How a former British Conservative MP became America's most popular and deranged anti-Trump conspiracy theorist. [Slate / Katy Waldman]
  • Maine's governor has been cracking down on social benefits, slapping work requirements on food stamps, and generally denying any help to "undeserving" poor people. It's a disaster. [The Atlantic / Annie Lowrey]
  • So it turns out CNN’s Jake Tapper is actually a pretty great humor writer? [McSweeney’s / Jake Tapper] -wilkes-booth

Verbatim

  • “Customs officials in Kuwait have apprehended a pigeon carrying drugs in a miniature backpack.” [BBC]
  • “At least one million people will die in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, researchers and advocates said on Tuesday, if funding cuts proposed by the Trump administration to global public health programs are enacted.” [NYT / Gardiner Harris]
  • “Spencer gets a note from Mary Drake in a wine bottle, and sends one back the same way, and gets another one, this time with a key. Mary Drake would fit in just fine with the other Rosewood moms sending messages by wine. All she needs is a lasagna box for Spencer’s allowance and they would have themselves a family.” [Autostraddle / Dufrau]
  • “A flock of geese was reportedly trying to cross Frontage Road at 7:22 a.m. The reporting caller thought someone should help them cross.” [Bozeman Daily Chronicle / Whitney Bermes]
  • “Uffmoor Wood, near Halesowen in the West Midlands, is padlocked as of today, after becoming a focal point for sheep-worrying, dirt bike scrambling, dog fouling, drug peddling and sex dogging.” [The Guardian / Gavin Haynes]

Watch this:

Meet the Chechen leader allegedly torturing gay people. [Vox / Mac Schneider]


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