on this day … 3/15 1989 – The FDA decided to impound all fruit imported from Chili after two cyanide-tainted grapes were found in Philadelphia, PA.

44 BC – Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated by high ranking Roman Senators. The day is known as the “Ides of March.”


1341 – During the Hundred Years War, an alliance was signed between Roman Emperor Louis IV and France’s Philip VI.

1493 – Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first New World voyage.

1778 – In command of two frigates, the Frenchman la Perouse sailed east from Botany Bay for the last lap of his voyage around the world.

1781 – During the American Revolution, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place in North Carolina. British General Cornwallis’ 1,900 soldiers defeated an American force of 4,400.

1820 – Maine was admitted as the 23rd state of the Union.

1862 – General John Hunt Morgan began four days of raids near the city of Gallatin, TN.

1864 – Red River Campaign began as the Union forces reach Alexandria, LA.

1875 – The Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, John McCloskey, was named the first American cardinal.

1877 – The first cricket test between Australia and England was played in Melbourne. Australia won by 45 runs.

1892 – New York State unveiled the new automatic ballot voting machine.

1892 – Jesse W. Reno patented the Reno Inclined Elevator. It was the first escalator.

1900 – In Paris, Sarah Bernhardt starred in the premiere of Edmond Rostand’s “L’Aiglon.”

1901 – German Chancellor von Bulow declared that an agreement between Russia and China over Manchuria would violate the Anglo-German accord of October 1900.

1902 – In Boston, MA, 10,000 freight handlers went back to work after a weeklong strike.

1903 – The British conquest of Nigeria was completed. 500,000 square miles were now controlled by the U.K.

1904 – Three hundred Russians were killed as the Japanese shelled Port Arthur in Korea.

1907 – In Finland, woman won their first seats in the Finnish Parliament. They took their seats on May 23.

1909 – Italy proposed a European conference on the Balkans.

1910 – Otto Kahn offered $500,000 for a family portrait by Dutch artist Frans Hals. Kahn had outbid J.P. Morgan for the work.

1913 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson held the first open presidential news conference.

1916 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 troops, under General Pershing, over the border of Mexico to pursue bandit Pancho Villa. The mission failed.

1917 – Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicated himself and his son. His brother Grand Duke succeeded as czar.

1919 – The American Legion was founded in Paris.

1922 – Fuad I assumed the title of king of Egypt after the country gained nominal independence from Britain.

1934 – Henry Ford restored the $5 a day wage.

1935 – Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda banned four Berlin newspapers.

1937 – In Chicago, IL, the first blood bank to preserve blood for transfusion by refrigeration was established at the Cook County Hospital.

1938 – Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1939 – German forces occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and part of Czechoslovakia.

1944 – Cassino, Italy, was destroyed by Allied bombing.

1946 – British Premier Attlee offered India full independence after agreement on a constitution.

1948 – Sir Laurence Olivier was on the cover of “LIFE” magazine for his starring role in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

1949 – Clothes rationing in Great Britain ended nearly four years after the end of World War II.

1951 – General de Lattre demanded that Paris send him more troops for the fight in Vietnam.

1951 – The Persian parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry.

1954 – CBS television debuted its “Morning Show.”

1955 – The U.S. Air Force unveiled a self-guided missile.

1956 – The musical “My Fair Lady” opened on Broadway.

1960 – Ten nations met in Geneva to discuss disarmament.

1960 – The first underwater park was established as Key Largo Coral Reef Preserve.

1964 – In Montreal, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were married.

1968 – The U.S. mint halted the practice of buying and selling gold.

1970 – The musical “Purlie” opened on Broadway in New York City.

1971 – CBS television announced it was going to drop “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1977 – The first episode of “Eight is Enough” was aired on ABC-TV.

1977 – The U.S. House of Representatives began a 90-day test to determine the feasibility of showing its sessions on television.

1979 – Pope John Paul II published his first encyclical “Redemptor Hominis.” In the work he warned of the growing gap between the rich and poor.

1982 – Nicaragua’s ruling junta proclaimed a month-long state of siege and suspended the nation’s constitution for one day. This came a day after anti-government rebels destroyed two bridges near the Honduran border.

1985 – In Brazil, two decades of military rule came to an end with the installation of a civilian government.

1989 – The U.S. Food and Drug administration decided to impound all fruit imported from Chili after two cyanide-tainted grapes were found in Philadelphia, PA.

1989 – The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs became the 14th Department in the President’s Cabinet.

1990 – In Iraq, British journalist Farzad Bazoft was hanged for spying.

1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev was elected the first executive president of the Soviet Union.

1990 – The Ford Explorer was introduced to the public.

1990 – The Soviet parliament ruled that Lithuania’s declaration of independence was invalid and that Soviet law was still in force in the Baltic republic.

1991 – Four Los Angeles police officers were indicted in the beating of Rodney King on March 3, 1991. (California)

1991 – Yugoslav President Borisav Jovic resigned after about a week of anit-communist protests.

1994 – U.S. President Clinton extended the moratorium on nuclear testing until September of 1995.

1996 – The aviation firm Fokker NV collapsed.

1998 – More than 15,000 ethnic Albanians marched in Yugoslavia to demand independence for Kosovo.

1998 – CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired an interview with former White House employee Kathleen Willey. Wiley said U.S. President Clinton made unwelcome sexual advances toward her in the Oval Office in 1993.

2002 – Libyan Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi began his life sentence in a Scottish jail for his role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988.

2002 – In the U.S., Burger King began selling a veggie burger. The event was billed as the first veggie burger to be sold nationally by a fast food chain.

2002 – In Texas, Andrea Yates received a life sentence for drowning her five children on June 20, 2001.

2002 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Associated Press that the U.S. would stand by a 24-year pledge not to use nuclear arms against states that don’t have them.

2004 – Clive Woodall’s novel “One for Sorrow: Two for Joy” was published. Two days later Woodall sold the film rights to Walt Disney Co. for $1 million.
Disney movies, music and books

To run or not to run… that is no longer the question for Ron Kind

WI-Gov, WI-03: On Friday, Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Ron Kind announced that he will not run for governor next year and will instead seek re-election to the House. Kind frequently flirts with seeking statewide office but, like Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, never actually goes for it.

Kind’s decision will likely be greeted with relief by House Democrats, since his 3rd District swung from 55-44 Obama to 49-45 Trump and could have been tough to defend without him. However, Democrats looking to take down GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who is likely to run for re-election in 2018, probably won’t be so happy. Democrats consistently do well in Madison and Milwaukee, but having a candidate who can also carry areas like Kind’s southwest Wisconsin seat could make all the difference between a statewide win and a statewide loss.

While Democrats would absolutely love to defeat Walker, it’s far from clear who they’ll run. Ex-state Sen. Tim Cullen recently said that he’s likely to get in, but Cullen is a weak fundraiser who has pissed off plenty of Democrats over the years. (Walker once called him “pretty reasonable” in what he thought was a private conversation, which may be the kiss of death in a primary.) State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout is considering, and like Kind, she hails from a rural area that swung from Obama to Trump. But Vinehout won just 4 percent of the vote in the 2012 primary to face Walker in the recall election, so she may not have what it takes to run a tough race.

Joe Parisi, the executive of Madison’s Dane County, didn’t rule out a run for governor all the way back in May, but he doesn’t appear to have said anything since then. Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ, who lost the 2014 attorney general race 52-45, has set up social media accounts ahead of an unnamed statewide bid. The Associated Press also says that Assemblyman Dana Wachs, who like Kind and Vinehout represents Eau Claire, is considering, but he doesn’t seem to have said so publicly yet. It’s possible that, now that Kind has made his plans clear, some of these people will make their own plans clear, and other names may come onto the radar as well.

Whoever steps up to challenge Walker, assuming he goes ahead and seeks a third term, won’t have an easy time beating him. Despite his failed 2016 presidential bid, Walker is a tough campaigner, and he will have all the money he could possibly need. But polls last year showed Walker with a weak approval rating, and if the GOP suffers the midterm backlash the president’s party usually suffers, the governor will probably feel it. It’s very likely that national Democrats will target Walker, but it may be a while before the Democratic field takes form.


CA-Sen: On Thursday night, Politico reported that there was “increasing buzz in state Republican circles” that ex-GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was interested in challenging California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein next year. Schwarzenegger’s spokesman did nothing to dispel the chatter, saying that, “Right now Gov. Schwarzenegger’s focus is on using his platform to bring some sensibility and coherency to Washington by fighting for redistricting reform, like we did in California. We are keeping all of our options open as far as how we can accomplish that.”

Schwarzenegger waited until Sunday to put out a statement saying that, while he was “deeply flattered” he was being asked to run, he was instead focused on redistricting reform, though he didn’t actually outright say he would not run for the Senate. Democrats will certainly be happy if this is the last thing they ever hear about a Schwarzenegger for Senate campaign. While he would have a very tough time winning, Team Blue would be horrified if they had to spend any money in this extremely expensive state.

NV-Sen, NV-Gov, NV-04: Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen only took office two months ago, but he had quickly been talked up for higher office, including a potential Senate race against Republican Sen. Dean Heller. Now, the congressman isn’t ruling anything out when asked if he might run for another position in 2018 like governor. Kihuen told the Nevada Independent that he doesn’t “have any other political posts in sight,” but left the door open by qualifying his response with “right now.” If Kihuen does seek a promotion, he would leave behind a light-blue seat north of Las Vegas that voted just 49-45 for Hillary Clinton, which Democrats could have an easier time holding if the incumbent stays put.

Kihuen wouldn’t be the first newly elected House member to turn around and seek higher office during his first term though, and he might simply not want to appear overly ambitious by announcing so early in the cycle. However, waiting until closer to 2018 to jump in could let other Democratic candidates running for Senate or the open governor’s seat get a head start. No major Democrats have entered either race yet, but fellow Rep. Dina Titus is considering a Senate run, while Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak is mulling a gubernatorial bid.


CO-Gov: Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper faces term limits in 2018, and quite a few names have surfaced as potential GOP candidates to succeed him. Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton had not said anything before about launching a bid, but when asked at a recent event if he were planning on running for governor, Stapleton replied “not anytime soon,” which of course isn’t a no. Stapleton has been in office since 2011 and will face term limits himself in 2018, so he might be looking at the governor’s office for his next gig. Stapleton also recently headlined a rally calling for congressional term-limits and appeared at an event for the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity group, so he seems to be trying to get his name out and make connections.

The only announced Republican candidates so far are Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter and wealthy businessman Victor Mitchell, who served a single term in the state House nearly a decade ago. However, neither candidate has the statewide profile of Stapleton, who is George W. Bush’s second cousin. State Sen. Ray Scott and District Attorney George Brauchler, whose district includes four counties in Denver’s southeastern suburbs that are home to over one-sixth of the state, both previously said that they were considering running.

FL-Gov: This is not the story that Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum wanted during the second week in his quest for the Democratic nomination. Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil, a Democrat, announced on Thursdaythat he was investigating whether Gillum’s office broke the law when they used a taxpayer funded email system to send political messages.

Around the time that Gillum was announcing his gubernatorial bid, he apologized and reimbursed the city the almost $5,000 in taxpayer money he used to buy email software from a Democratic campaign firm, and for sending some messages that he acknowledged weren’t official government business, including an event with Joe Biden. This whole matter may be pretty minor, but as Democrats everywhere learned the hard way last year, what could be a mundane story about emails could become politically toxic when the word “investigation” is thrown in.

PA-Gov: This is Rep. Mike Kelly, one of the many Republicans considering challenging Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf next year, on Barack Obama’s decision to live in D.C. until his daughter finishes at a local high school:

I think we ought to pitch in to let him go someplace else, because he is there for one purpose and for one purpose only. And that is to run a shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda. It just doesn’t make sense. And people sit back and say, my gosh, why can’t you guys get this done?


GA-06: The Congressional Leadership Fund is out with another ad attacking Democrat Jon Ossoff that once again uses decade-old footage of him clowning around as Han Solo in college. This time, the CLF starts with a clip from Ossoff’s own new ad in which he says, “Imagine you had 30 seconds to make a life or death decision….” The narrator then sneers, “Would you really want THIS GUY making those decisions for your family?” as Jon Solo takes the stage.

It’s obviously a ploy to make Ossoff look like a callow youth, and presumably, the CLF’s focus groups suggest it might be at least somewhat effective, otherwise they wouldn’t be spending a million bucks on this campaign. But this time, they’ve also ramped up the charges to claim that “lied about his résumé.” That’s a potentially risky move, because the spot offers no proof for that incendiary accusation, and if the CLF can’t back it up, Ossoff could demand that the spot be taken down.

OK-01: During his successful 2012 primary campaign against GOP incumbent John Sullivan, Jim Bridenstine pledged to leave the House after just three terms. While fellow Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin seemed to back away from that identical promise last year, Bridenstine reiterated it as recently as last spring. Bridenstine doesn’t seem to have said anything about his 2018 plans since he was re-elected in November and he’d be far from the first person to disregard self-imposed term-limits, but Tulsa Republicans are starting to line up for what they seem convinced will be an open seat.

Back in January, ex-Army intelligence officer Andy Coleman announced that he would run; it’s unclear if Coleman has the connections he’d need to raise a serious amount of money. On Thursday, businessman Kevin Hern, who owns and operates 10 local McDonald’s locations, also joined the race. Assuming that Bridenstine keeps his pledge and departs, it’s a good bet that other Republicans will consider a bid for this 61-33 Trump seat.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and James Lambert.

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