TIME Government

Lynch Emerges as Lead Attorney General Candidate

Loretta Lynch
Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, speaks during a news conference in New York, Monday, April 28, 2014. Seth Wenig—AP

(WASHINGTON) — U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch has emerged as the leading choice to be the next attorney general, but President Barack Obama does not plan to make a nomination until after a trip to Asia next week.

People with knowledge of his plans say Obama has decided against pushing for confirmation in the lame duck and instead will leave it up to the Republican-controlled Senate next year.

The White House would not comment on whom Obama plans to name. But the people with knowledge of his thinking say Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney for Eastern New York, has risen to the top of his list in the past couple of weeks. If selected, she would be the first black female attorney general. Florida’s Janet Reno was the first woman attorney general.

TIME 2014 Election

Republican Wave Floods States

Republicans hold a record number of seats in state legislature as a result of 2014 election

To say it was a good night for Republicans on the state level would be an understatement. Republicans now control 23 state governments outright and are on track to hold more state seats than they have since the late 1920s, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

After Tuesday, the GOP has the upper hand in 69 of the 99 country’s legislative chambers. In Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and West Virginia at least one chamber flipped from Democratic to Republican majorities. Results have yet to come down in Colorado, where Gov. John Hickenlooper was barely able to stave off a Republican challenge to his reelection. In many states Republicans are not simply the majority, they’ve secured a veto-proof supermajority, including in Florida and Missouri.

“Voters overwhelmingly voted for a new, open, innovative future for their families by electing state level Republicans in record numbers across the nation, including in traditionally blue states,” said Matt Walter, the president of the Republican State Leadership Committee in a statement. Walters said Republicans were successful largely thanks to their recruitment of a diverse set of candidates, including the youngest lawmaker in the U.S.

The payoffs for the GOP victories the state-level could be substantial. In states where the Republicans have single-party control they have shown willingness to advance aggressive party agendas: think North Carolina during the 2013 session. Come 2020, when state lawmakers will again be tasked with redrawing electoral maps, party control will be crucial.

Democrats haven’t lost hope.“Republicans had a great night,” director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) Michael Sargeant says. “But our operations were able to make sure we limited the damage in some places. ”

Democrats raised a reported $17 million and made about 2 million voter contacts this cycle. Sargeant says that work resulted in Democrats holding on to majorities in key states including the Maine House, the Iowa Senate, and the Kentucky House, which he says will ensure Republican agendas don’t sail through in those states.

“Those victories along with some others were critical to make sure they’re still balances,” Sargeant says.

TIME The Brief

#TheBrief: Why Even Red States Want a Higher Minimum Wage

The first minimum wage was $0.25. Today, that’s $4.22

San Francisco and Oakland voted Tuesday to increase their minimum wages, and so did four states that roundly backed Republicans. Rising standards of living and inflation may be what triggered this increase, but is paying workers more the one issue we can all agree on?

Watch #TheBrief to find out what’s driving the push to pay their workers more.

TIME politics

The Midterms’ Real Winner? Independents and Fiscal Sanity (Maybe)

Nick Gillespie is the editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason.tv.

The next two years are the Republicans’ time—if they use it wisely.

You can forgive Republicans for thinking the midterm elections were all about them. Hell, they picked up seven Senate seats — and legislative control — from Democrats and added at least 10 seats to their House majority (some races are not yet finalized). Controversial GOP governors such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott withstood tough re-election challenges and more state legislatures are in Republican hands than ever before.

Yet Republicans mistake the meaning of the midterms at their own peril. These elections were a particularly frank repudiation of Barack Obama and the past six years of failed stimulus, disastrous foreign policy, and rotten economic news. Even the President’s historic health-care reform remains a negative with voters. But if the GOP thinks it has a mandate to return to the equally unpopular bailout economics and social conservatism of the George W. Bush years, it too will be sent packing as early as the next election.

A few days before the midterms, just 33% of respondents in an ABC News/Washington Post poll gave the GOP a “favorable” rating, which was 6 percentage points lower than what they gave the Democrats. A whopping 60% said that President Obama had no “clear plan for governing,” but even more (66%) said the Republicans lacked one.

Even as the Republican “wave” was cresting in real time on Election Night, reports my Reason colleague Matt Welch, GOP-friendly Fox News analysts such as Brit Hume, George Will, and Charles Krauthammer didn’t pretend this was a vindication of the party’s agenda for America. “It’s striking how unanimous they are that this election really doesn’t have much to do with Republicans suddenly waking up and smelling the vision,” wrote Welch. “They just didn’t get in the way of a restive electorate during a particularly painful six-year-itch.”

The long-term trends in voter self-identification underscore the electorate’s lack of trust or confidence in either party, but especially the Republicans. In 1988, according to Gallup, 36% of Americans called themselves Democrats. Now only 31% do. Nowadays, just 25% of us cop to being Republicans, down from about 32%. At the same time, a record-high 42% define themselves as politically independent.

As can be gleaned from some of the midterms’ other results, voters want a government that keeps its nose out of our private lives and morality. Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. all legalized recreational pot and staunchly anti-abortion “fetal personhood” initiatives were voted down in the two states that put the matter before voters (support for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that guarantees a woman’s right to a first-trimester abortion, has remained above 50% for decades). Gallup finds fewer and fewer Americans think the state should “promote traditional values.” Currently, 48% agree with that notion, while an equal number says “the government should not favor any particular set of values.”

At the same time, twice as many Americans think there’s too much regulation of business and the economy as believe there’s too little and 59% think the government has “too much power.” That’s up 17 percentage points from a decade ago.

If the Republicans are actually listening to the voters, they would do well to drop the social issues that they have harped on in the past and focus instead on reducing the size, scope and spending of government. Unfortunately, there’s every reason to believe that the new GOP Congress will be ready to increase spending on the military and old-age entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare. Headlines like “Election Outcome Is Good News for Defense Industry” pretty much tell you all you need to know about Republican attitudes toward the former.

And when it comes to programs that disproportionately benefit seniors while beggaring the rest of us, remember that it was a Republican President and Congress that forced through Medicare Part D, the prescription-drug plan that was as unnecessary as it was expensive. A survey of the campaign websites of incoming Republican Senators found very little in the way of specific promises to cut specific programs but lots of verbiage declaring undying support to “protect” and “preserve” Medicare and Social Security, two of the biggest ticket items in the federal budget.

In his 2012 bestseller The People’s Money, pollster Scott Rasmussen reported that after a prolonged, bipartisan spending binge in which federal outlays grew by 55% in inflation-adjusted dollars, fully two-thirds of Americans supported “finding spending cuts in all government programs. Every budget item, Americans emphatically believe, needs to be on the table.” A week before the midterms, fully 57% of voters were on board for cuts, but only 19% “trust the federal government to do the right thing most of the time.”

The next two years are the Republicans’ time. If they use it wisely, they may well be at the start of a long-term ascendancy. But if they disrespect the rising numbers of independent voters, they will be back in the minority faster than they realize.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: November 6

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. How do you frighten political strongmen? Teach journalism.

By Thomas Fiedler in the Conversation

2. Far from policing free will, taxes on sugary drinks make sense in the context of subsidies for corn syrup and the Medicaid and Medicare expense of 29 million Americans with diabetes.

By Kenneth Davis and Ronald Tamler in the Huffington Post

3. Palm oil production has a devastating impact on the environment, but smart science and better farming could reduce the harm.

By Michael Kodas in Ensia

4. We shouldn’t let Ebola panic squelch civil liberties.

By Erwin Chemerinsky in the Orange County Register

5. What we learn from video games: Giving military robots controls like “Call of Duty” could save lives on the (real) battlefield.

By Patrick Tucker in Defense One

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Civil Rights

How Gandhi’s Time in Jail Helped His Cause

Mahatma Gandhi TIME Cover 1930
Mahatma Gandhi on the cover of TIME, Mar. 31, 1930 TIME

Nov. 6, 1913: Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in South Africa while leading a march to oppose a racist policy

Before he was the pioneering civil rights activist called by the honorific “Mahatma” (“great soul,” in Sanskrit), Mohandas Gandhi was a young attorney just trying to take his seat on a train.

Not long after moving to South Africa in 1893 to help an Indian merchant with a legal problem, he was kicked out of the first-class section of a train — despite having bought a ticket for it — after being told, “This is for whites only,” according to Ramachandra Guha, the author of Gandhi Before India. “He had just come from England, where — at least in London in the 1890s — professionals who were colored did not face discrimination,” Guha said in an interview with NPR. The experience was both humiliating and eye-opening, and set the stage for the civil disobedience that would become Gandhi’s legacy.

He paid a price — including four periods in jail during his 21 years in South Africa — for demonstrating against discrimination, but continued with protests, such as leading Indian expats in opposing a racist law requiring all Indians to register with the “Asiatic Department” and to carry their registration cards at all times or risk deportation. His final stint in a South African prison began with his arrest on this day 101 years ago — Nov. 6, 1913 — for leading a march of more than 2,000 people to protest a tax on Indian immigrants.

While he left South Africa for good the following year, his arrest record was far from complete.

Going to jail was, in fact, one of the sharpest tools in Gandhi’s nonviolent tool belt, along with fasting (or a combination of the two). According to TIME’s 1948 report on his assassination, British authorities often freed him from jail when he began to fast, “lest a massive anger at his death in their hands engulf India.” Gandhi himself once said, according to the story, “I always get my best bargains behind prison bars.”

The lessons he learned about the effectiveness of peaceful protest in South Africa formed the basis for his efforts to end British oppression in India. In the book Satyagraha in South Africa, Gandhi relates a conversation with a tailor in 1915, just after returning to India.

He gave me some account of the hardships inflicted on the people in Viramgam, and said:

“Please do something to end this trouble…”

“Are you ready to go to jail?” I asked.

“We are ready to march to the gallows,” was the quick reply.

“Jail will do for me,” I said. “But see that you do not leave me in the lurch.”

Read TIME’s original coverage of Gandhi’s assassination, here in the archives: Saints & Heroes: Of Truth and Shame

MONEY investing strategy

5 Mental Habits That Make Investors Rich

141106_INV_DreamInvestor
PeopleImages.com—Getty Images

Don't take yourself so seriously.

If I could build a dream investor from scratch, his name would be Paul.

Paul is an optimistic a-political sociopathic history buff with lots of hobbies who takes others’ opinions more seriously than his own.

Let me tell you why he is going to kick your butt at investing.

The sociopath

Psychologist Essi Vidling once interviewed a serial killer. Vidling showed the killer pictures of different facial expressions, and asked him to describe what the people were feeling. The murderer got most right, except pictures of people making fearful faces. “I don’t know what that expression is called, but it’s what people look like right before I stab them,” he said.

Paul couldn’t harm a fly. But a key trait of sociopaths is the ability to remain calm when others are terrified, so much that they don’t even understand why other people get scared. It’s also a necessity to becoming a good investor. In her book Confessions of a Sociopath, M.E Thomas writes:

The thing with sociopaths is that we are largely unaffected by fear … I am also blessed with a complete lack of sentiment … My lack of empathy means I don’t get caught up in other people’s panic.

Paul is like this, too. He doesn’t understand why people investing for 10 years get fearful when stocks have a bad 10 days. Recessions don’t bother him. Pullbacks entertain him. He thought the flash crash was kind of funny. He doesn’t care when his companies miss earnings by a penny. He’s immune to that stuff, which is a big advantage over most investors.

The a-political investor

Paul has political beliefs — who doesn’t?

But he knows that millions of equally smart people have opposite beliefs they are just as sure in. Since markets reflect the combined beliefs of millions of people, Paul knows that there is no reason to expect markets to converge on his personal beliefs, even if he is dead sure it is the truth. So he never lets his politics guide his investment decisions.

Paul knows that political moralizing is one of the most dangerous poisons your brain can come across, causing countless smart people to make dumb decisions. Even when he is bothered by political events, Paul repeats to himself in the mirror: “The market doesn’t care what I think. The market doesn’t care what I think.”

The history buff

Paul loves history. He loves it for a specific reason: It teaches him that anything is possible at any time, no matter how farfetched it sounds. “One damned thing after another,” a historian once described his field.

Paul knows that some people read history for clues on what might happen next, but history’s biggest lesson is that nobody has any idea, ever.

When people say oil prices can only go up, or have to fall, Paul knows history isn’t on their side — either could occur. He knows that when people say China owns the next century, or that America’s best days are behind it, history says either could be wrong.

History makes Paul humble, and prevents him from taking forecasts too seriously.

The hobbyist

Paul likes golf. He enjoys cooking. He reads on the beach. He has a day job that takes up most of his time.

Paul loves investing, but he doesn’t have time to worry about whether Apple is going to miss earnings, or if fourth-quarter GDP will come in lower than expected. He’s too busy for that stuff.

And he likes it that way. He knows investing is mostly a waiting game, and he has plenty of hobbies to keep him busy while he waits. His ignorance of trivial stuff has saved him thousands of dollars and countless time.

The open-minded thinker

Paul knows he’s just one of seven billion people in the world, and that his own life experiences are a tiny fraction of what’s to be learned out there.

He knows that everyone wants to think they are right, and that people will jump through hoops to defend their beliefs. He also knows this is dangerous, because it prevents people from learning. Paul knows that everyone has at least one firm, diehard belief that is totally wrong, and this scares him.

Paul is insanely curious about what other people think. He’s more interested in what other people think than he is in sharing his own views. He doesn’t take everyone seriously — he knows the world is full of idiots — but he knows the only way he can improve is if he questions what he knows and opens his mind to what others think.

The realistic optimist

Paul knows there’s a lot of bad stuff in this world. Crime. War. Hunger. Poverty. Injustice. Disease. Politicians.

All of these things bother Paul. But only to a point. Because he knows that despite the wrongs of the world, more people wake up every morning wanting to do good than try to do harm. And he knows that despite a constant barrage of problems, the good group will eventually win out in the long run. That’s why things tend to get better for almost everyone.

Paul doesn’t get caught up in doom loops, refusing to invest today because he’s worried about future budget deficits, or future inflation, or how his grandkids will pay for Social Security. Optimists get heckled as oblivious goofs from time to time, but Paul knows the odds are overwhelmingly in their favor of the long haul.

I’m trying to be more like Paul.

Related:

Check back every Tuesday and Friday for Morgan Housel’s columns.

Related Links

TIME U.K.

Russell Brand Joins Thousands in ‘Anonymous’ Protests in London

British comedian Russell Brand joins anti-capitalist protesters during the "Million Masks March" in London on Nov. 5, 2014.
British comedian Russell Brand joins anti-capitalist protesters during the "Million Masks March" in London on Nov. 5, 2014. Jack Taylor—AFP/Getty Images

Protestors donned the anarchist collective's "Guy Fawkes" masks in Nov. 5 demonstrations

Comedian Russell Brand joined anti-establishment protests in London on Wednesday night, where police detained at least 10 people after violence broke out, reports The Independent.

In cities across the world, protestors have participated in the ‘Million Mask March’, promoted by the anarchist hacker collective Anonymous and attracting support from anti-capitalist, anti-war, and pro-Palestine movements.

Thousands gathered in London on Nov. 5, with many—though not Brand himself—sporting the Guy Fawkes masks made famous by the film V for Vendetta and now associated with Anonymous. Fawkes attempted to blow up the House of Parliament on Nov.5 1605, an event long commemorated across the U.K. with fireworks and bonfires.

When Russell Brand appeared by the Houses of Parliament, he was quickly surrounded by protestors and reporters. He told fellow activists that they “should have a loving, peaceful protest”. He added: “Stay cool, stay cool. I think you should be careful. Don’t get beaten up and arrested tonight.”

But police had obtained an order to allow them powers to remove people’s masks and violent clashes broke out, leading to several arrests.

[The Independent]

Read next: Russell Brand Explains How You Start a Revolution

TIME politics

In The Latest Issue

mitch mcconnell
TIME Illustration. Photo reference: Drew Angerer—Getty Images

How Mitch McConnell Won the Day
The GOP takes a victory lap

Is This Hillary Clinton’s Moment?
To win in 2016, she will need to appear fresh, aggressive and optimistic

The GOP’s Other Glittering Prize
Can Republicans agree on a leader to take back the White House?

Xi Jinping’s Power of One
China’s strongest leader in years, aims to propel his nation to the top of the world order

Life After War
Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are battling lasting wounds—both visible and invisible

Bob Hope and the Road to Utopia
How the comedian set the stage for Hollywood activism

Startups for Seniors
Innovators are targeting a demographic of consumers living longer than they ever have before

Cider’s Big Moment
Small-batch producers want to take on the beer establishment

Hitching a Ride With Comets
The European Space Agency’s new mission may reveal secrets of the solar system

Revenge of the Dollar
Reports of the demise of the world’s most popular reserve currency were greatly exaggerated

The Culture

Pop Chart

The Theory of Everything: A Grief History of Love
Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones soldier on in the Stephen Hawking biopic

Review: 9 Years Later, The Comeback Makes a Comeback
Lisa Kudrow is sharper than ever

Review: All Good Things Must End
Röyksoopp’s new album will be the Norwegian duo’s last

10 Questions With John Cleese
The British jester on growing up funny and the sad things about being a comedian

Kid Swap
Ever wish you had different parents? Well, they might wonder about you too

Conversation

Veterans at Home

Milestones

Brittany Maynard’s ‘Death With Dignity’
The young brain cancer patient has changed the conversation about life-ending medication

Peter Sagal Remembers ‘Car Talk’ Host Tom Magliozzi
Magliozzi, one half of public radio’s famous ‘Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers,’ died Monday aged 77. His NPR colleague remembers a career filled with laughter

World

Briefing

TIME politics

The GOP’s Other Glittering Prize

Can Republicans agree on a leader to take back the White House?

It’s going to be hard for Republicans to restrain their enthusiasm after their breathtaking victories on Nov. 4 in the Senate, the House and state capitols across the country. But they should. If we’ve learned anything about American politics over the past several years, it is that the electorate is far friendlier to Democrats in presidential years than it is in midterms, which is why the GOP triumph in 2010 was quickly followed by deep disappointment in 2012. At the risk of taking away the punch bowl too soon, GOP victories in states like Colorado and North Carolina were narrower than they should have been, considering that the electorates in those states will be younger and less white in two years, which will make them less hospitable terrain. Ed Gillespie’s near victory in Virginia was a welcome surprise. Yet Virginia is a state that Republicans ought to have in the bag in presidential years, and they don’t.

To win the White House, republicans will need a presidential candidate who understands how the country has changed since the Bush era and who offers a welcome contrast to the aging Clinton dynasty. But who will it be?

If Scott Walker had failed in his bid for re-election as governor of Wisconsin, he’d have instantly become a historical footnote. Instead, conservatives cheered as he won his third statewide election in four years. The case for Walker is that he’s demonstrated that he can fight and win against entrenched liberal interest groups and that his unpretentious, everyman style will play well in the all-important upper Midwest. The case against him is that in a dangerous world, the former county executive doesn’t have the experience or the know-how to be Commander in Chief.

Good news for Walker is, alas, bad news for Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor once considered the most formidable 2016 GOP contender. The Christie brand has lost much of its luster since the trumped-up Bridgegate imbroglio, though the governor is still a great talent. Christie’s pitch is not all that different from Walker’s: Both men have tangled with powerful public-worker unions. Both are unapologetic conservatives who’ve won in blue states. The difference is that Christie is seen–unfairly–as closer to President Obama than any Republican should be, and that perception will be difficult to overcome.

Something similar is true of Jeb Bush, the would-be white knight of the GOP establishment. Had the midterms been a disaster for the GOP, the case for Jeb would have been much stronger: once again, Republicans would need to turn to the Bush family to unite a party in disarray. The GOP’s strong showing instead suggests that a new generation is ready to take the helm.

One candidate who definitely got a boost from the midterms is Rand Paul, the junior Senator from Kentucky, who played a crucial role in sparing Republican leader Mitch McConnell from an ignominious defeat. Though McConnell opposed Paul in the 2010 GOP Senate primary, they’ve developed a strong working relationship as Paul has lent his Establishment colleague some of the young libertarian firebrands who fueled his come-from-behind victory. McConnell ran one of the most social-media-savvy campaigns in the country, a preview of what’s to come from a Paul presidential campaign. Rand Paul often takes positions–on mass surveillance, on drone strikes, on the war on drugs, on the size of government–at odds with those of mainstream Republicans. Yet he’s also developed an ability to soften some of his more hard-edged stances for public consumption. Moreover, GOP successes in gubernatorial races in deep-blue states like Massachusetts and Maryland lend credence to his argument that the GOP needs to welcome socially liberal voters.

And finally we have Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, junior Senators from Texas and Florida, respectively. Though Cruz and Rubio both came to office as Tea Party stalwarts, they’ve developed very different profiles. Cruz presents himself as the uncompromising defender of small-government conservatism who is willing to risk a federal shutdown or default in defense of his ironclad principles. Rubio, in contrast, is emerging as the candidate of middle-class aspiration, with a focus on reforming failing government institutions to tackle wage stagnation and the barriers to upward mobility.

Watch these two young Senators to see which path the GOP will take.n

Salam is the executive editor of National Review

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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