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Republican Dan Bishop narrowly defeats Democrat Dan McCready in close-watched North Carolina race

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On Tuesday night, Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop won a narrow victory over Democratic Marine veteran and renewable energy investor Dan McCready in the closely-watched special election for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

The Associated Press and NBC News called the race for Bishop.

North Carolina’s 9th District is a heavily conservative region in the southern portion of the state, which voted for President Donald Trump by 12 points. But forecasters and polls consistently suggested a close race — leading some to speculate the election is a bellwether for Trump’s re-election prospects next year.

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A do-over of the election was called earlier this year after the 2018 race, between McCready and Charlotte Baptist pastor Mark Harris, was thrown out by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Ballot irregularities and testimony uncovered a massive election fraud scheme to favor Republicans, in which political operative Leslie McCrae Dowless paid people to deliver him absentee ballots from predominantly elderly, African-American voters in Bladen and Robeson Counties. Over a thousand ballots may have been destroyed in an election that Harris carried by just over 900 votes.

In the final days of the campaign, Trump rallied in North Carolina to turn out voters for Bishop.

This win, along with a less closely-contested one in North Carolina’s 3rd District, brings the Republican House caucus to 199 members, versus 235 for Democrats.

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Mick Mulvaney is Trump’s new fall guy on corruption — and Republicans just play along

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It's getting increasingly more difficult to keep track of all the new impeachable acts President Trump commits every day. And perhaps even more difficult to imagine the most outrageous thing he can do that the Republican Party would still defend.

This article first appeared in Salon.

It took almost two weeks, but the White House has finally admitting what everyone knew from day one: Trump demanded a quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government before releasing military aid authorized by Congress. Republicans have been denying the obvious, remaining willfully blind to a brazen scheme. That suddenly seems quaint, now that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has confessed on live television that there was a quid pro quo.

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The week Donald Trump’s presidency crashed and burned — and Republicans noticed

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It feels as though every week during the Trump administration is a year and every year a decade. Every day there is a crisis or an outrage or a revelation that takes your breath away. But the underlying dynamics always seem to be the same no matter what. The press reports the story, the Democrats get outraged, the pundits analyze it, the president rages and then Fox and the Republicans all line up like a bunch of robots and salute smartly. Then we reset until the next crisis, outrage or revelation. It's an exhausting cycle that never seems to get us anywhere and it's bred a fatalistic response in many of us: "Nothing matters."

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Turkish president threatens US over Trump’s insulting letter: ‘When the time comes necessary steps will be taken’

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an on Friday warned the United States that it would pay a price for the letter send by President Donald Trump that warned him that history "will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen" in northern Syria.

The letter, which also advised Erdo?an to not "be a tough guy" or "a fool," was widely ridiculed in the media for sounding childish. Erdo?an, however, said on Friday that he took the president's letter as a serious insult to his stature as a world leader.

As reported by the BBC's Jon Sopel, Erdo?an called out the president's letter for being out of line with standard diplomatic protocol, and he suggested his country would not forget how the president showed them such little respect.

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