From chicken politics to war stories to Elena Kagan’s wardrobe malfunction

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Chicken politics, from Nevada to Minnesota You can’t wear a chicken suit to the polls in Nevada this year. The legislature banned chicken suits after a brouhaha involving Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden, described by AP:

The millionaire casino executive and former beauty queen recently suggested that people barter with doctors for medical care, like when “our grandparents would bring a chicken to the doctor.”

Democrats responded by setting up a website, “Chickens for Checkups,” and by sending volunteers in chicken suits to her campaign events.

Too chicken to run? Dozens of Minnesota legislative races have only one candidate – and a few more have candidates from only one party. Politics in Minnesota has a handy chart of these as-yet-uncontested districts, and an article explaining some of them. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, for example, some DFL districts are considered such sure things that no Republican wants to run. If you want to crow, you still have two weeks to file as a candidate.

Insider stories: Ex-Minnesota journalist David Carr writes about MinnPost in the New York Times, in a generally positive story that every MN media addict will want to read. Among Minnesota’s new media, MinnPost is the biggest player, despite David Carr’s dismissal of its $1.1 million operating budget: “the numbers sound more like a successful taco stand than a big news operation.”

From the fronts: Somali Al-Shabab rebels, who control most of the country, attacked the presidential palace Sunday, reports BBC. Government and African Union forces fought back, and 14 people were reported dead, including five members of a family killed when a mortar landed on their home. The president was out of the country, attending a peace conference in Turkey.

In Afghanistan, reports BBC, insurgents launched the second major attack in a week on an allied air force base, this time in Kandahar. NATO forces suffered several casualties, but did not report any fatalities. The previous attack, on Wednesday, targeted the military base at Bagram, and one U.S. contractor was killed there.

In Kabul, the lower house of parliament went out on strike, protesting President Karzai’s failure to nominate 11 remaining cabinet members on time. Juan Cole has details on both all the fighting, at the military bases and in parliament.

Juan Cole also has background on Pakistan’s ban of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blackberries and some other social media, pointing out:

In turn, the controversies raise the question of whether there are limits to economic and social development in ideological states. Ironically, Pakistan is a parliamentary democracy but its judiciary, earlier a champion of democracy, is in this instance behaving like the authoritarian Communist Party of China.

Wardrobe malfunction: The Washington Post dissed Elena Kagan Sunday, devoting an entire article to wardrobe analysis (“frumpy” and “dowdy”) as well as a photo caption proclaiming: “UNUSUAL: Most women, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar, cross their legs when sitting, but not Kagan.”

Satyam Khanna, writing in Matthew Yglesias’s Think Progress blog, observes:

So, to clarify, for cute nerd Sam Alito, boring clothes = “tidy” and “Brooks Brother’s solid.” For questionably heterosexual middle-aged Elena Kagan, boring clothes = “wholly middle aged” and “stuck in a time warp.”

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