Wiretap: Mississippi GOP-Tea Party showdown headed for overtime

The “struggle for control of the Republican party,” a long-running favorite politics media narrative, was the winner of yesterday’s Republican U.S. Senate primary race in Mississippi. The race pitted 42-year veteran lawmaker Thad Cochran against Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel. The race was too close to call late last night. So there is a spike this morning in: “The Tea Party’s winning!” “The Tea Party’s losing!” The winner for real? The political campaign industry. The race so far has cost $12 million, according to the Washington Post. One of the many tweets from on the ground in Mississippi last night came from a reporter who overheard staffers from Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel’s campaign wondering about where they were going to could find more money to pay for a runoff election.

Best take: Slate’s Dave Weigel on MSNBC days ago. He predicted a runoff election. He also said this in response to a question about the Cochran campaign running on the senator’s ability to wield influence on Capitol Hill and win federal cash for Mississippi projects: “The problem is, who is the voter who is passionate about that? Who is the Republican primary voter who associates Thad Cochran with a role in the Senate that can move money back? Someone who remembers what he did in 2005 and 2006 after hurricane Katrina, certainly, but… you’re asking for a certain sort of transactional knowledge of politics from a Republican primary voter — and there’s gonna be some of that… — but how many of these Republican voters… really care about that? There are so many conservatives who think he’s been there this long, and because the state hasn’t completely turned around, why should they reward him? Why not replace him with someone who is more combative, more Ted Cruz-like against Barack Obama? Why not give the office to a fighter?”

Tweet of the night went to GOP establishment communications person John Feehery. He was told in many of the ways you can tell someone in 140 characters that he was utterly tone deaf, a RINO, someone who personifies the problem with the Republican Party in Washington. A sample from the exchange:

JF twet
JF tweets

Complete with cliche headline (“Don’t Harsh Our Mellow, Dude“) comes a(nother) mainstream-media column about Colorado’s veeery scaaary recreational pot regime. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd came to Denver, bought an edible and ate the whole thing — just like a tourist. Then she lay on her hotel bed and descended into full Willy Wonka freak out: “I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.” Tangerine trees and marmalade skies! Sigh. A billion conventioneers and sports tourists come to Colorado and get blind drunk every weekend. You can hear them sharing their equally compelling stories at 3 a.m. at the top of their lungs in random parking lots, into their phones on the bus to the airport or you can read them at their Facebook feeds which, hey, maybe a medium better suited for MoDo’s Denver folly travel-journal entry than the nation’s paper of record?

A jury found Boulder police officer Sam Carter guilty on all nine counts levied against him — including four felonies — for plotting to kill an elk in the middle of the city, shooting the elk on someone’s lawn, calling a taxidermist pal to cart it away and stuff it and then covering up the whole affair. His phone texts detailing the crimes as they happened all but guaranteed his conviction.

Hoosierland dispatch: “Complying with federal standards designed to prevent incarcerated people from being raped is too expensive, according to Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence. So he informed the federal Justice Department that his state will not comply with its anti-rape standards.” Think Progress.