And just courting more failure anyway
Fake-out news instead of progress in Cleveland
A principal concern that I have about this is that the Browns, whom Condoleezza Rice and I both love, will use her to satisfy the Rooney Rule and will fail to consider any other black candidates for the head coaching job.
John Dorsey, the Browns general manager, did say that he’d consider a woman for the job. Leaking that Rice would be the first such candidate underscores what a joke that was. This is throwing table scraps at feminist goals, using that promise for P.R. value rather than progress.
Rice, like me, is a Browns fan. Has been since her days growing up in Alabama. Our differing politics aside, she could possibly bring something to the organization in another capacity. But there are women now coaching football who could use this interviewing experience.
The Browns have a promising rookie quarterback, at last, as well as other young stars who need the best coaching that you can find. Dorsey does not appear to be focused fully on that mission. Considering Condi Rice is something Trump would do if he were running the Browns.
The canary-county in the GOP’s coal mine?
“Sitting back in the 1960s, I would never have believed this would happen,” said Stuart K. Spencer, a party strategist who spent more than half a century ushering Republicans, including President Reagan, into office.
But noting the extensive demographic and political changes that have taken place [in California] — especially over the last two decades — “it’s pretty understandable,” Spencer said. …
It’s the Republican wipeout in Orange County, a wellspring of conservatism that nourished generations of state and national party leaders, that stands as a shock. Many never thought they would see a day when its expansive suburban tracts were anything but flaming Republican red.
“A huge deal,” said Eileen Padberg, a veteran GOP strategist who recently shed her affiliation out of frustration with Trump and the national party.
Likening the GOP’s hegemony to a dictatorship, Padberg said that for as long as she could recall, “If you wanted contracts, if you wanted a job, you had to be a Republican.”
But, she said, as Orange County changed — growing younger, more diverse, more socially tolerant — most of its Republican lawmakers failed to change with it. “They focused only on their right-wing base,” Padberg said, “and didn’t do a good job problem-solving.”
Why rake when you can vacuum
Is this real life?
But still plenty of red in Orange County’s new blue
Going into 2016, the GOP had carried Orange County in every presidential race since 1936 and held four House districts there. Then Clinton won it by 8% and Dems [have now won] every House district that includes Orange County.
On other hand, Orange County voters still open to GOP down-ballot, though barely: GOP still ahead in the two state Senate seats it was defending in Orange (though its margin in #SD34 is melting), and Don Barnes won an important sheriff’s election with immigration and ethics in backdrop.
My usual point: given big scandals in sheriff’s office, allegations of abusive detention, and *huge* immigration stakes, fact that Barnes appears to have done better than (all?) other Republicans running countywide signals work still to be done to make these issues and races salient.
Why I say sheriff’s race was important for immigration in OC: the department has been actively opposing, resisting CA’s “sanctuary” law. [There have been many] organizing successes in making such stuff salient — but also some cases (OC, Tampa…) of it not quite breaking through.
The Trump-GOP corporate tax cut was a missile aimed at high-tax/high service blue states like New York / California / New Jersey.
• Republicans now down to one House seat in New Jersey.
• Dems routed GOP in California’s Orange County.
• Big Dem pickups in New York, even in rightish congressional districts.
Multiple causes here, obviously, but don’t underestimate this one.
Chalk up another House seat — and a complete sweep — for the Dems in Reagan Country (the midterm wave now stands at +37)
Trump refused to listen to Khashoggi’s murder, and still doesn’t (want to) know about MBS’s involvement
Trump also suggested he may just live with it, even if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman misled him, because “we do have an ally and I want to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good.”
“I don’t know,” he told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “Who could really know? But I can say this, he’s got many people now that say he had no knowledge.”
Trump said he had refused to listen to a tape of the killing shared by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Because it’s a suffering tape, it’s a terrible tape,” he said. “I’ve been fully briefed on it. There’s no reason for me to hear it. … It was very violent, very vicious and terrible.”
Now nearly 1,300 people are unaccounted for in Camp fire (and the death toll has risen to 76)
Even as hundreds of searchers sift through the rubble in the town of Paradise[, California] looking for the dead, nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire sparked in Butte County, Sheriff Kory Honea announced Saturday night. Authorities stressed that the long roster does not mean they believe all those people are missing.
Honea pleaded with fire evacuees Saturday to review the list of those reported as unreachable by family and friends and call if they are safe. Deputies have located hundreds of people to date, but the overall number keeps growing because they are adding more names, including those from the disaster’s chaotic early hours, Honea said. …
Rain was forecast for midweek, which could help firefighters but also complicate the search for remains. The National Weather Service warned that on Sunday, the area could get 20 mph sustained winds and 40 mph gusts, which could make it hard for crews to continue making progress against the blaze.
First responders have brought thousands of pets rescued from the Camp fire to California animal shelters (including many that suffered burns) — but this dog is still with his person
Stacey Abrams’s plan to fight for Georgia’s democracy in court
Abrams said the [new federal] lawsuit, which will fall under the umbrella of a new organization called Fair Fight Georgia, will look toward improving the state’s election system prior to municipal elections in 2019 and the 2020 presidential election. Fair Fight may also push for legislative changes at the Capitol, and Abrams said it will hold the state accountable for running elections fairly.
“We have to consider all the pieces that go into voter suppression and diminishing the ability of voters to cast their ballots,” she said. “And that means looking at the staffing and sourcing of polling stations, making sure that there are an adequate number of machines, making certain that poll workers who are often volunteers aren’t judging whether or not someone gets to vote based on how many pieces of paper they have left.”
As for whether she will challenge U.S. Sen. David Perdue in 2020 or seek another bid for governor in four years, Abrams is mum. But she is confident her legal challenges will help continue to expand Georgia’s electorate.
“We know that over the next two years there will be new people who will find themselves energized by politics,” she said. “And I think what we can do in 2020 is absolutely complete the transformation that started this year. It won’t only be at the top of the ticket, but also down the ticket.”
Newly discovered emails link pro-Brexit campaign with Cambridge Analytica, Steve Bannon, and the Mercer family
The possibility that both Brexit and the Trump campaign simultaneously relied upon the same social-media company and its transgressive tactics, as well as some of the same advisers, to further far-right nationalist campaigns, set off alarm bells on both sides of the Atlantic. Damian Collins, a member of Parliament, and chair of its Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which held an inquiry into fake news, told the Observer, which has broken much of the news about Cambridge Analytica in the U.K., that the new e-mails “suggest that the role of Bannon and Mercer is far deeper and more complex than we realised. There’s a big question about whether Mercer’s money was used in the Brexit campaign and it absolutely underscores why Britain needs a proper Mueller-style investigation. There are direct links between the political movements behind Brexit and Trump. We’ve got to recognise the bigger picture here. This is being coordinated across national borders by very wealthy people in a way we haven’t seen before.”
The American investigations into foreign interference in Trump’s election, and British probes into Brexit, have increasingly become interwoven. The role of the Russian Ambassador to the U.K., Alexander Yakovenko, has reportedly been the subject of interest both to Mueller’s investigators and to those in the U.K., who have examined his relationship to Banks. The role of Nigel Farage, the former leader of the far-right, Euroskeptic U.K. Independence Party, who has been an ally of Bannon and Trump, has also reportedly stirred the interest of investigators in both countries, especially after he was spotted in 2017 leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, in which Julian Assange has taken refuge. Assange’s media platform, WikiLeaks, published many of the e-mails stolen by Russia from the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 election season.
How and whether all of these pieces fit together is the subject of Mueller’s investigation, but the lack of a similar single, overarching investigation in the U.K. has led critics to call for one.
Finns seize long-awaited opportunity to debunk/dunk on President Trump over his raking comment
“Finland has ~73% forest coverage = 222,180 square kilometers of forests (world bank study). Our forests are densest in the world, averaging 72,000 trees in sq km. That’s 22 billion trees or 4,500 for every Finn (yale university study).
Please send help. Must bring own rakes.”
“I grew up in Finland. a) it rains all year round. b) we have a lengthy and cold winter. c) Finland is a sparsely populated country with just over 5mil ppl, with land size ~3/4 of CA and most of it forests and lakes. d) no friggin body is raking the forests.”
“We have had pretty much the warmest year ever. It has been +5-7C here in the east this week. The summer was one of the driest and hottest ever and that’s why we had quite many fires. On an average year fires are a non-issue. I didn’t complain about the heat myself (I love warm weather). It’s just that it tells you how climate change is changes our climate and that is certainly not good.”
NSC member in charge of U.S. Saudi policy has resigned
The official, Kirsten Fontenrose, had pushed for tough measures against the Saudi government, and had been in Riyadh to discuss a raft of sanctions that the American government imposed in recent days against those identified as responsible for the killing, according to two people familiar with the conversations. Specifically, she advocated that Saud al-Qahtani, a top adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, be added to the list, and he ultimately was.
The exact circumstances of her departure are murky, and it is unclear whether her advocacy for a hawkish response to the killing angered some in the White House. When she returned to Washington, according to the two people, she had a dispute with her bosses at the National Security Council, where she had served as the director for the Persian Gulf region.
The unknown long-term harm of inhaling wildfire smoke
Most research has focused on how smoke exposure affects firefighters or how air pollution, not wildfire smoke specifically, affects people’s health. Many large studies have linked air pollution to heart and lung diseases; one 2012 study found that pregnant women who were exposed to smoke during the 2003 wildfires in Southern California delivered babies with slightly lower birth weight than normal. …
There are similarities between particles found in air pollution from fossil fuels and those found in wildfire smoke. Both contain toxic particles that are invisible to the naked eye that can penetrate into lung tissue and get into the bloodstream. These particles are 2.5 micrometers in size — about one-fortieth the width of a strand of hair. There are also differences, though, that scientists don’t fully understand.
When residential areas burn, they release chemicals into the atmosphere that aren’t emitted when wooded or grassy areas burn. Plastics, household cleaning products, metals from vaporized stoves and washing machines, and synthetic materials from carpets add to poor air conditions. Researchers don’t know what kind of long-term health conditions could be caused or exacerbated by exposure to these compounds.
Stranded in Chico’s “Wallywood” and other places of refuge for Camp fire evacuees
Hundreds of evacuees are squatting at camp in a Walmart parking lot — a ramshackle village some inhabitants call Wallywood, a sardonic mash-up of their location and reduced circumstances. …
“Big picture, we have 6,000, possibly 7,000 households who have been displaced and who realistically don’t stand a chance of finding housing again in Butte County,” county housing official Mayer said. “I don’t even know if these households can be absorbed in California.”
The county has the capacity to place 800 to 1,000 households in permanent housing, Mayer said. Housing was already scarce in Butte County before the Camp Fire. The housing vacancy rate was less than 2 percent, which “is considered a crisis state,” Mayer said. Unlike wealthier Sonoma County, where fires destroyed thousands of homes last year, many residents of Paradise don’t have the financial means to rebuild their homes quickly.
Closing in on the biggest midterm (popular vote) wave in three decades
Assuming [the Democrats’ national lead in House votes] gets up into the ~8.5[%] range, Democrats are also on track to have the largest House popular vote margin by either party in a midterm since 1986, when they it by 9.9 points. D’s did win it by 10.6 points in 2008, but that was a presidential year.
Andrew Gillum concedes Florida governor’s race, again
Trump visiting what’s left of Paradise
Waiting for the president to pass
He also promised to put $500 million “in the farm bill for management and maintenance of forests”
Make America Rake Again
We’re all committed — I’m committed to make sure that we’ve got all of this cleaned out, and protected. Gotta take care of the floors, you know, the floors of the forest. It’s very important. You look at other countries where they do it differently, and, it’s a whole different story. I was with the president of Finland, and he said, “We have a, much different — we’re a forest nation.” He called it “a forest nation.” And they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem. And when it is, it’s a very small problem. So, uh, I know everybody’s looking at that. To that end. And it’s gonna work out. It’s gonna work out well.
Translation: “We still want to believe the Saudis”