Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have a bit of a mess on their hands.
GOP land went crazy on Thursday when Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) abruptly pulled out of the race to replace Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as House speaker. Tweets and headlines frequently employed the word "chaos" to describe what happened after McCarthy withdrew. The news caused major reverberations throughout the political world, yet much of the rest of the country was probably wondering why everybody was freaking out. Here's a quick primer:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) in 2012 during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Benghazi.
When Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suddenly dropped out of the running for House Speaker Thursday, it wasn't immediately clear who was the odds-on pick to succeed outgoing House Speaker John Boehner. But there were two contenders who remained in the race: Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Daniel Webster of Florida. And some eyes turned quickly to Utah's Jason Chaffetz, who is perhaps the more prominent of the pair and who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
McCarthy's surprising self-defenestration, though, did not immediately boost Chaffetz's chances; other names were quickly floated by House Republicans and pundits. Yet the story of Chaffetz's rise from kicker on the Brigham Young University football team to a speaker contender is an intriguing tale, in which he has hit several rough spots. A small sampling:
Protesters hold up their hands painted red as the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, John Campbell, testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on October 6 about the bombing in Kunduz.
On October 3, just after 2 a.m., a US AC-130 warplane dropped its first bombs on a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, beginning an attack that lasted more than an hour. The strikes killed 12 MSF staff and 10 patients, including three children, and they wounded 37 others.
"Those people that could had moved quickly to the building's two bunkers to seek safety," Heman Nagarathnam, MSF's head of programs in northern Afghanistan, who was in the hospital at the time, said in a statement. "But patients who were unable to escape burned to death as they lay in their beds."
After news of the attacks spread, MSF withdrew from Kunduz and demanded an independent investigation, describing the incident as a "war crime." Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called the attack "tragic, inexcusable, and possibly even criminal."
Sheriff Paul Babeu speaks to the press gathered in July 2014 in Oracle, Arizona, approximately 50 miles from Tucson. He discussed his concerns over the expected arrival of a few dozen unaccompanied minors of Central American origin.
Paul Babeu, the strident Republican, anti-illegal-immigration Arizona sheriff perhaps best known for allegedly threatening to deport his gay, immigrant ex-lover, announced Monday that he's running for Congress.*
In 2008, Babeu was elected sheriff of Pinal County, a large county bordering the southeast portion of the Phoenix metro area. A statement released on his website Monday, decrying "President Obama's unconstitutional power grabs" and pointing out his anti-illegal immigration bona fides, announced his plans to win the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat who is running for US Senate.
"I’ve spent seven years fighting Washington’s inaction and now it’s time to bring the fight directly to our nation’s capital,” Babeu said. "I will work tirelessly to protect the residents of rural Arizona, shrink the federal government, overturn Obamacare and guard against attacks on the 2nd Amendment."
In the wake of mass shootings, many of Americans turn—where else?—to the internet to look for answers. Google data reflects these searches in the wake of major shootings. Using Google Trends data, the Google News Lab put together a series of maps that show whether people in each state were more likely to search for the phrase "gun control" or "gun shop" in the 24 hours following the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, in June; Moneta, Virginia, in August; and yesterday's shooting in Oregon.
Over the course of 2015, the majority of searches in most states have been for "gun shop":
In the day after the Charleston shooting, the map looked much the same:
After the Virginia shooting, the map almost completely flipped:
So far, in the day after the Oregon shooting, the map is almost completely tilted toward searches for "gun control":