2019

Our offbeat debrief of the off-year elections: Trump ‘always makes it about him’
Political Theater, Episode 102

President Donald Trump concludes a rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It is tempting to read into the 2019 campaign results, so-called off-year elections, for signs of what’s to come in next year’s big political brouhaha. Political prognosticators beware!

But while we don’t want to look too much into what happened in high-profile gubernatorial and special elections that President Donald Trump campaigned in, there are a few key data points to consider, particularly a growing rural-suburban partisan divide that showed up in places as disparate as Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky and Virginia. 

Women’s health political fights heat up in battleground states
Opponents and supporters of abortion rights gear up for record-setting advocacy campaigns

Control of state governments, Congress and the White House could depend on the ability of proponents and opponents of abortion rights to turn out core supporters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fights over abortion and birth control in all three branches of government are fueling record-setting advocacy campaigns by liberal and conservative groups ahead of the 2020 elections.

Control of state governments, Congress and the White House could depend on special interests turning out core supporters and elevating issues such as the Supreme Court’s consideration this term of a potentially landmark abortion case.

Capitol Ink | Center Stage

Christians turn to artificial intelligence to stop porn use
Evangelical groups increasingly relying on technology in budding ‘purity-industrial complex’

Michigan-based tech firm Covenant Eyes has developed an app that uses artificial intelligence to detect pornography on a user’s screen and alert "allies" about it.

Evangelical groups are turning to artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to help their members fight addiction to online pornography in a budding industry that one scholar calls an emerging “purity-industrial complex.” 

As pornography has exploded beyond just websites to apps and social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr and others, tech companies closely affiliated with church groups are capitalizing on the fears of devout Christians that “porn is the greatest threat to Christian purity and even the moral standard of the nation,” said Samuel Perry, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma and author of “Addicted to Lust.”

Capitol Ink | Twitter Testimony

Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Sheila Jackson Lee were front row at Kanye West’s ‘Sunday Service’
Kanye brings ‘Kongress’ together

Kanye West, center, speaks during Sunday Service at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York on Sept. 29, 2019, in New York City. (Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Who says bipartisanship doesn’t exist? 

Texas Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Sheila Jackson Lee proved us wrong at Kanye West’s highly talked about Sunday Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, per Crenshaw’s Instagram.

Hill Democratic aides remain conflicted between Warren and Biden
But latest staffer survey finds plenty of agreement across the aisle over 2020 outcome

Who’s the better general election candidate? Hill Democratic aides are split between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

A year’s worth of polling by CQ Roll Call on politics reveals that congressional aides are just as bewildered by the Democratic field and its prospects as anyone else.

They’re pretty sure, at the same time, that control of the House and Senate won’t change. And both sides are feeling confident about winning the White House.

The missing voice of John McCain in impeachment and Ukraine
Late senator was the foremost expert and advocate in Congress for the Eastern European nation

Sen. John McCain waves to supporters at an opposition rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, in December 2013. No Republican has stepped in to replace the late senator as a top advocate for Ukrainian democracy, Murphy writes. (Yuriy Dyachyshyn/AFP via Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — If there was ever a time and a place where the voice of John McCain was missing from Congress, this is it — at the intersection of an impeachment, an election and a constitutional crisis.

The late Arizona Republican was one of the few members famously ready and willing to stand on a political island if he thought it was the right thing to do. So it’s easy to imagine him waiting in the well of the Senate to flash a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down on the fate of President Donald Trump, with cable pundits everywhere holding their breath until he did.

Capitol Ink | Permanent Tattoo

Trump and Democrats agree that one impeachment lawsuit should be dismissed
Both sides agree National Security Council official's lawsuit should get tossed

The Justice Department and the House Intelligence Committee told a federal judge that Kupperman’s lawsuit should now be tossed from court as moot (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration and House Democrats found something to agree on with when it comes to the impeachment inquiry — that former National Security Council official Charles Kupperman’s lawsuit should get tossed from federal court.

Kupperman filed the lawsuit last month asking the courts to decide whether he should comply with a House subpoena focused on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, or if he should follow a White House directive not to testify.