Afghanistan

Democrats Get Preferred Candidates in House Races in Texas
GOP sees mixed fortunes for establishment candidates in runoffs

Air Force veteran Gina Ortiz Jones won the Democratic nomination for Texas’ 23rd District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

General election matchups in Texas were set following Tuesday’s runoffs, including a few expected to be competitive in the fall. 

Democrats saw new opportunities in the Lone Star state after Hillary Clinton carried three Republican-held seats in 2016. Each of those races on the Democratic side went to a runoff after no one took more than 50 percent of the vote in the March 6 primary. A slew of Republican retirements sparked crowded GOP primaries, which led to runoffs in five open seats. The winners of most of these contests are likely to come to Congress from the Republican-leaning districts.

MacArthur Accuses Challenger of Embellishing Record in Afghanistan
Democrat Andy Kim frequently cites his role working for Gen. David Petraeus

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., is calling into question the resume of his Democratic opponent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur’s campaign is accusing Democratic challenger Andy Kim of embellishing his record as a national security adviser.

Kim has frequently referred to his time working as an Army strategic adviser in Afghanistan to then-Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Opinion: I’m Sorry You’re Not Sorry
An apology is not a sign of weakness — even inside the Beltway

The fastest way to end a controversy over an insensitive comment by a White House staffer about Arizona Sen. John McCain would have been a simple apology, Patricia Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We all know that the fastest way to diffuse tension or end a fight is to say “I’m sorry.” Not “I’m sorry if …” or “I’m sorry that you …” Just a simple, clean, “I’m sorry.”

It’s obvious to nearly everyone that an apology would have been the fastest way to end the controversy last week over a head-snapping leaked comment from White House staffer Kelly Sadler, who said ailing Sen. John McCain’s refusal to support President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director won’t matter because “he’s dying anyway.”

Baldwin Challenger Vukmir Puts Her on ‘Team Terrorist’
Wisconsin Republicans angling for party endorsement at convention on Saturday

Wisconsin GOP Senate hopeful Leah Vukmir aligned herself with CIA director nominee Gina Haspel against Sen. Tammy Baldwin and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. (Leah Vukmir via Twitter)

For many states, primary season is “Tell us how you really feel” season.

And Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Leah Vukmir feels she’s on “Team America,” while Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is on “Team Terrorist.”

Brian Mast Among Candidates to be VA Secretary
Freshman lawmaker is combat veteran who served in Afghanistan

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., is among candidates to be nominated to be Veterans Affairs Secretary (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Brian Mast confirmed he has been under consideration for the nomination to be secretary of Veterans Affairs.

“It is an honor to be considered to serve my fellow veterans and their families at the highest possible level,” the Florida Republican said Thursday.

CIA Nominees Often Feel Like a ‘Dancing Bear’ in Capitol Circus

Gina Haspel, nominee to become CIA director, arrives for her meeting with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in the Hart Senate Office Building on Monday, May 7, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of President Bill Clinton’s nominees for CIA director, after months of repeated hearings and delays by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, dropped out, saying that he felt like a “dancing bear in a political circus.”

Another one of Clinton’s CIA nominees, a retired Air Force general, Michael P. C. Carnes, withdrew because of a scandal involving a Filipino servant he had brought to the United States.

White House: Kelly Not In Running for Veterans’ Affairs Nomination
‘No change’ in Afghanistan strategy despite GOP senator’s claim

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a question during a recent briefing. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is not considering nominating chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine, for the top job at the embattled Department of Veterans’ Affairs, says the president’s top spokeswoman.

A day after a report surfaced, citing eight former or current White House staffers, that Kelly once called Trump an “idiot” and has frequently questioned the chief executive’s intelligence in front of other staffers. The White House pushed back against the NBC News report with force, with Kelly calling it “total BS” in a statement released shortly after the article was published online.

Voters Reward a Do-Something Congress. Wrong, Recent Results Show
Some midterm years are policy voids, others historic. Either way, voters tend to shake things up

Sound and fury signifying few achievements might describe what Congress has accomplished this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four years ago, the second session of the 113th Congress was widely identified as one of the most profoundly unproductive stretches at the Capitol in the run-up to a midterm election.

And yet the achievements of that divided Congress tower over the minimalist aspirations for this year held by the Republicans unilaterally in charge of the Hill. The limit on federal debt was raised in 2014, federal flood insurance premiums were rolled back, dozens of new waterway and environmental projects were authorized, a five-year farm bill was finished and, most notably, a generous deal was struck for improving veterans’ medical care.

An Intense Reporter Turned Patient Editor: Steve Komarow Remembered
Few Capitol reporters and war correspondents make no enemies; CQ Roll Call’s top editor an exception

Steve Komarow, CQ Roll Call’s senior vice president and executive editor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Steve Komarow, CQ Roll Call’s executive editor and senior vice president, accomplished something very rare in the often cutthroat worlds of Washington bureaus and foreign correspondence: Across a varied and accomplished career of four decades, his calmly confident news judgment and patiently clear-eyed managerial style produced nearly universal respect and virtually no lasting enmity.

At the Capitol and across several war zones, Komarow, who died Sunday at 61, stood out for his unruffled approach to the most dramatic developments, an equanimity in supervising high-maintenance reporters, an easy affect amid intense journalistic competition — and a cockeyed grin when confronted with the constant but mostly ephemeral melodramas of all four high-pressure newsrooms where he played pivotal roles.   

CQ Top Editor Steve Komarow Dies
Reporting ranged from the White House to the Khyber Pass

Steve Komarow, CQ Roll Call’s senior vice president and executive editor (CQ/Roll Call file photo) (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Steve Komarow, a veteran foreign correspondent and newsroom leader who served as senior vice president and executive editor at CQ Roll Call, died Sunday after a recent accident and long illness. He was 61.

“Steve and I joined CQ Roll Call in January 2015 and from the outset his intellect and encyclopedic knowledge of Washington was an enormous asset to our coverage and the development of new products,” said Paul McHale, CQ Roll Call’s president. “But that intellect never got in the way of what I will remember most about Steve, his humanity.”