Dems Win Gov. Races, “Hundreds” More

The Ballot: Voters decided state and local races yesterday, giving an indication of the direction they are headed for the mid-terms a year from now.

In Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam trounced the Trump-backed Republican candidate, Ed Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chair. Gillespie played it two ways, accepting Trump’s endorsement, but declining to have Trump campaign with him. Virginia rejected Trump in 2016.

In New Jersey, financier Phil Murphy overwhelmed Chris Christie’s Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. She campaigned with a Trump-style populism, but there wasn’t much chance a Christie/Trump associate would be elected. Hillary Clinton took New Jersey in 2016.

The important thing in New Jersey is that the criminal graft trial of Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez is moving toward a conclusion. If he’s convicted and can hang on until Jan. 16, Murphy would replace him with a Democrat. Christie would replace him with a Republican.

Down Ballot: In Maine, voters chose to expand Medicaid coverage under Obamacare, making it  available to a lot more low-income residents. It’s a rebuke to Gov. Paul LePage, who has vetoed previous legislative efforts to do the same.

New York:  Voters overwhelmingly shot down a proposal to hold a constitutional convention to update the state’s constitution. The campaign against it stirred fears that the same old party hacks would control the game.

Ohio:  Voters killed a measure to limit the price of prescription drugs purchased by the state. Big Pharma opposed it, outspending the “yes’ side three-to-one.

Nation: Roy Halladay, who pitched 16 seasons in Major League baseball and won the Cy Young Award twice, died yesterday at age 40 when he crashed his airplane into the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast. He had retired four years ago.

Halladay flew a small limited-production amphibious plane that could land on its belly in water.

He played with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. Halladay threw a perfect game with the Phillies during the 2010 season and a no-hitter in the  postseason.

The Shooter: Texas gunman Devin Kelley once escaped from a mental hospital while he was in the Air Force, authorities say. He was accused of threatening his superiors and attempting to smuggle weapons on base. It’s unknown for the moment how he was later able to buy guns with a psychiatric commitment on his record.

Kelley was shot and wounded by a man near the church, prompting president Trump to say that tighter gun laws might have resulted in the deaths of “hundreds” more people.

Investigators at the scene of the massacre in a small Baptist church in Sutherland Springs say they found 15 30-round rifle magazines. What is clear is that loose gun laws led to the deaths of 26 people.

Traveling Man: President Trump attempted to visit the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea for a photo opportunity yesterday, but his helicopter had to turn back because of heavy fog.

Trump was more conciliatory in his rhetoric while in South Korea. Nothing like being within artillery range to temper your bravado. He said he sees diplomatic progress and “Ultimately, it will all work out.”

The Weinstein Effect: National Public Radio’s CEO Jarl Mohn is taking medical leave in the midst of sexual harassment turmoil at the network. The head of the news department, Michael Oreskes, was pitched out over allegations by several women.

Mohn said he had a burst aorta last March and returned to work with the warning that he could not allow his blood pressure to rise. Nothing like the current atmosphere to take care of that. Mohn said in an email to the staff, “Regretfully, the hypertension has returned to a dangerous level, and I have been instructed to take medical leave until my health returns to normal, at a minimum of four weeks.”

Yeah, well, take two aspirin and ignore the news.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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