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If you read Idra Novey’s new novel, Those Who Knew, a year or two from now, you might think she was inspired to write it by watching everything that transpired during the recent hearings and investigation surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court.

Last week saw two debates between Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican challenger Leah Vukmir. Both debates were characterized by tension and hostility as the two clashed over abortion, immigration, health care and a host of other issues. 

In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com why he thought the debates were so combative. 

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Over the weekend, Germans gathered in central Berlin to protest the increase of xenophobia, nationalism and racism in their country. The AfD, or Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany), is the political party of Germany's extreme right, and was the focus of the protesters — whose numbers were estimated at over 200,000.

Penguin Random House

President Abraham Lincoln termed the push-pull, sometimes violent war for our nation’s soul as “the battle for our better angels.” More than 150 years after the Civil War’s end and Lincoln’s death, the battle goes on unabated.

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Chuck Quirmbach

The Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers resume their battle for baseball's National League Championship Monday night at Dodger Stadium. They'll do so with the best-of-seven championship series tied at one game apiece, following the Dodgers 4-3 victory Saturday night at Miller Park.

The Brewers took a 3-0 lead in the contest, but the Dodgers scored two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings for the win.

The Brewers loss broke the team's 12-game winning streak, which included Friday's night's series opener that Milwaukee won 6-5.

The two candidates vying to become the next U.S. Senator from Wisconsin met for a second debate on Saturday Night. Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin went head to head with Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir. If there was one thing Baldwin and Vukmir wanted people to take away, it’s that they are different. 

ART MONTES

Editor's Note: This week’s stories address the topics of domestic violence and rape.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The deeply troubling and sadly common subjects of domestic abuse and sexual assault continue to impact the lives of millions of women, men and children, as well as dominate the headlines - no matter the month. We honor the survivors who courageously share their stories, and thank the allies who have supported them.

Angelina Mosher Salazar

This year, for the first time, Milwaukee has achieved a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index. The MEI looks at how LGBTQ friendly a city’s laws, policies and services are. 

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett stresses the importance of this report and Milwaukee’s progress: "When we send that message that we are an inclusive city, we are sending a message of love and understanding and respect — and that’s important for us to do."

José Carlino / Courtesy of Milwaukee Magazine

Home design is a uniquely personal yet universal endeavor. The October issue of Milwaukee Magazine features a series of interesting, local homes, the art they bear, and some local artisans refining — and redefining — home furnishings.

ANGELA PETERSON/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

When students switch schools, they’re more likely to fall behind in class and less likely to graduate high school. A new Milwaukee Journal Sentinel series is analyzing the data on student churn both in Milwaukee and across the state.  

Education journalist Erin Richards reported the series, called Lessons Lost, with the help of a Marquette University O’Brien fellowship.

U.S. Department of State (IIP Bureau)

At the founding of the United States, the right to vote belonged to a privileged few. White, male, property owners were the only people directly steering the fate of this nation. It took significant struggles to change that. The Civil War, women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights movement were just pieces of the complex web of events that gave most adult U.S. citizens the right to vote.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers recently swept the Colorado Rockies, three games to none, to move on to the National League Championship Series. They take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a best-of-seven series that opens Friday. At stake is a berth in the World Series — the Brewers first since 1982. 

"It’s easy to see why folks would side with the Dodgers in the best-of-seven, but at this point, Milwaukee’s won 11 in a row, you can’t discount them — it’s going to be a series, you’d assume. But yeah, it’s going to be difficult," says sports contributor Shaun Ranft.

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin scientists have made two breakthroughs that may help hydrogen become a bigger player in renewable energy production and storage. While the researchers say there's still a long way to go with their work, it's a step toward the "hydrogen economy" some were predicting nearly 20 years ago.

Sunvest Solar, Inc.

A recent report commissioned by the United Nations predicts dramatic consequences if greenhouse gas emissions continue at current rates. So, what can you, as an individual, do about climate change? 

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When Wisconsin voters go to the polls on Nov. 6, they will vote in some key national and statewide races, including the election for governor, a U.S. Senate seat, and the state attorney general. 

And in many places, voters will decide the fate of local school districts which are seeking money for major projects. The number of such referenda has ballooned in Wisconsin and the issue of school funding has become central to the gubernatorial race. 

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