Today’s quick hits, Nov 13, 2018

Senator is defiant about lynching remark (Jackson Free Press): Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, defended her impromptu remark about a fellow cattle rancher — “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row” — as an exaggerated expression of regard amid criticism of racial insensitivity in the state with the highest number of lynchings.

Chefs applaud Prop 12 passage (Eater Los Angeles): Three California chefs say passage of Proposition 12, requiring farmers to give sows, veal calves and egg-laying hens more space, is a step in the right direction that will mean higher-quality food.

Denham trails in Central Valley (San Francisco Chronicle): First-time candidate Josh Harder, a Democrat, leads four-term Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican member of the House Agriculture Committee, in a U.S. House race in the Central Valley as vote-counting continued.

Food is political, says Ocasio-Cortez (Bon Appetit): The youngest woman ever elected to Congress, self-described Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says “my campaign started in food,” the most tangible indicator of social inequality.

House Dems may slow NAFTA pace (New York Times): With Democrats taking control of the House in January, President Trump may face demands for greater protections for U.S. workers.