• Stateside

    Victory for decency in Alabama

    There is much to be said about the narrow but astonishing victory of Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in the special election for the US Senate in Alabama on Tuesday. This, after all, is a state where Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton a little more than a year ago by more than 27 percentage points. Writing at The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein makes some important points: Roy Moore was a uniquely flawed and vulnerable candidate. But what should worry Republicans most about his loss to Democrat Doug Jones in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate race in Alabama was how closely the result tracked with the GOP’s big defeats last month in…

  • Stateside,  Trump

    Flynn pleads guilty

    It was almost two years ago that Donald Trump’s future national security adviser Michael Flynn and future 2016 Green party candidate for president Jill Stein joined Vladimir Putin in Moscow to celebrate the Russian propaganda outlet RT. Trump reportedly considered choosing Flynn as his 2016 running mate and Flynn led chants of “Lock her [i.e., Hillary Clinton] up!” at the Republican convention. Today Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign’s and administration’s contacts with the Russian government– a classic plea deal. So I guess we’re going to learn a lot more about what happened between those two…

  • Stateside

    Santa Rosa after the Tubbs Fire

    Cross-posted from Ordinary Times As coffee brewed in the kitchen, I took to my shower with the enthusiasm only a commuter at 4 AM can muster, mentally coaching myself for the week ahead. It was a rather warm week, so I was stunned that neighbors appeared to be running their fireplaces; the unmistakable smell of burnt roughage was potent. I put on my clothes, got on my bike and began my ride to the train station. I was immediately greeted by the barricade of fire and smoke that had claimed the adjacent neighborhood. The road exiting our block was teeming with fretful drivers. All of Northern Santa Rosa had apparently…

  • Stateside

    More Anti-Semitism at Bay Area Schools

    I noted the growing issues with anti-Semitism at public schools in the infamously left-wing California Bay Area a few months back and recent examples continue to bubble to the surface. According to Algemeiner, the Alameda School District has routinely ignored anti-Semitic language directed at Jewish students. In Alameda, California, middle and elementary schools have been defaced with swastikas and a Jewish elementary school student reportedly received a death threat. Under pressure from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and the parents of Natasha Waldorf — who received multiple antisemitic threats at Alameda High School — Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) officials are finally admitting that antisemitism is a problem and that they’ve…

  • Stateside

    Cracks in the Trump Electoral Strategy

    Tuesday was a good night for Democrats and a bad one for Trump. Jonathan Martin writes: Voters delivered their first forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party on Tuesday night, with Democrats exploiting Mr. Trump’s deep unpopularity to capture the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey and make significant inroads into suburban communities that once favored the Republican Party. The Democratic Party’s crowning success of the night came in Virginia, where Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, an understated physician and Army veteran, won a commanding victory for governor, overcoming a racially charged campaign by his Republican opponent and cementing Virginia’s transformation into a reliably Democratic state largely immune to…

  • Stateside,  Trump

    “Fake news” gets real

    There’s a lot we still don’t know, but the Papadopoulos guilty plea is the thing to watch. He’s obviously sharing some interesting things with the Mueller investigation. Fox News is on it: tfw you're a very credible news network and definitely not a propaganda outlet pic.twitter.com/hyZg1yk8WJ — Brian Tashman (@briantashman) October 30, 2017

  • Russia,  Stateside

    “Russia is our friend”

    Less than two months after the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, by a white supremacist, a few dozen neo-Nazis gathered in the city for another tiki torch-lit demonstration, with (again) the ostensible purpose of protecting Confederate monuments. The crowd chanted “You will not replace us.” No word if anyone replaced “You” with “Jews,” as many of the demonstrators did in August. And no word from President Trump on whether he considered some of the protesters “very fine people,” as he did in August. I’d be inclined to dismiss the whole thing as a rather pathetic display, but for this: They promised to keep returning to Charlottesville, which they…

  • Guns,  Stateside

    Now Las Vegas

    Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Orlando, now this. It’s still not clear what was behind the madness of the shooter who killed at least 50 people and wounded hundreds more, or (among other questions) how he managed to transport 10 rifles to his hotel room without anyone noticing or calling the police, or if he had an automatic weapon, but my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the first responders. From what we know about the gunman, it doesn’t appear that a border wall or tougher immigration rules would have made a difference in this case. After Sandy Hook, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo asked, “How Do We…

  • Sports,  Stateside,  Trump

    And so…

    While millions of Americans face months of utter misery and health crises without electric power or reliable supplies of fresh water, President Trump focuses his (and the media’s) attention on what’s really important: African-American professional athletes who kneel in protest during the National Anthem. Speaking Friday at a rally for a candidate for US Senate from Alabama in a Republican primary (whom he didn’t do any favors), Trump rambled for an hour-and-a-half on a number of topics, including this: President Trump issued a profane call to NFL team owners to fire players who engage in peaceful political protest on the field while speaking Friday night at an Alabama rally for…

  • Stateside,  Weather

    And now, Irma

    Best wishes to everyone in the path of yet another “unprecedented” storm barreling toward the US– Hurricane Irma, which is on course to strike the Gulf Coast of Florida Sunday morning. In one of the biggest evacuations ever ordered in the U.S., about 6.3 million people in Florida — more than one-quarter of the state’s population — were warned to leave, and 540,000 were directed to clear out from the Georgia coast. Authorities opened hundreds of shelters for people who did not leave. Hotels as far away as Atlanta filled up with evacuees. “If you are planning to leave and do not leave tonight, you will have to ride out…