Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Short Takes

Multiple deaths reported in suicide attack at Istanbul airport.

Deadly train crash in Texas.

Senate Democrats block G.O.P Zika “poison pill” bill.

Trump promises to confront China over trade pacts.

NASA’s Juno probe approaches Jupiter.

R.I.P. Pat Summitt, winningest coach in Division 1 basketball.

The Tigers beat the Marlins 7-5.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Short Takes

The search is on for survivors after the floods in West Virginia.

Mulligan: Petition for re-vote on Brexit hit 3 million signatures.

Death toll could rise in Central California wildfires.

Iraqi commander: Fallujah “fully liberated.”

First vessel passes through expanded Panama Canal.

The Tigers got swept by Cleveland.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Short Takes

House Democrats sit-in for a vote on gun control.

North Korea fires off two ballistic missiles.

Bernie Sanders: “It doesn’t appear I’ll be the nominee.”

Colombia and rebels agree to a cease-fire in 50-year conflict.

Michigan A.G. sues two companies over Flint water crisis.

The Tigers beat the Mariners 5-1.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Short Takes

Venezuela is circling the drain.

The Justice Department released transcripts from the 911 calls during the Orlando massacre.

The Supreme Court — with one notable dissentmade it easier for police to conduct searches.

Oakland has trouble keeping police chiefs.

Trouble in Trumpland.

Tropical Update: TS Danielle is heading across Mexico.

The Tigers beat the Mariners 8-7 in extra innings.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Short Takes

Investigators begin inspecting EgyptAir black boxes.

Deadly heatwave and wildfires in the Southwest.

Angels block Westboro protestors at Orlando funerals.

U.K. prime minister warns Brits face “existential” choice in Brexit vote.

Trump says he doesn’t need GOP.

The Tigers lost two of three to the Royals this weekend.

Cleveland beat Golden State to win NBA championship.

Summer starts today at 6:34 p.m. EDT in the Northern Hemisphere.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Short Takes

President Obama met with victims’ families and survivors in Orlando.

British MP killed in attack in Yorkshire.

EgyptAir black box recovered from Mediterranean.

Britain edges closer to Brexit vote next week.

Disney reviewing “signage” after toddler’s death by alligator.

The Tigers beat the Royals 10-4 but lose J.D. Martinez with a broken elbow.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Short Takes

Pakistan and Afghan forces exchanged gunfire across their borders, killing several on both sides.

President Obama smacked down Donald Trump’s attack on Muslims.

Hillary Clinton won the D.C. primary.

DNC computers breached by Russian hackers.

The black boxes from Egyptair flight have a ten-day deadline.

Retail sales in May surpassed expectations.

The Tigers beat the White Sox 11-8.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Short Takes

The death count in Orlando is fifty.  It is the worst mass shooting in American history.

Man arrested with weapons on his way to L.A. pride parade.

Bernie Sanders will meet with Hillary Clinton tomorrow.

English and Russian soccer fans riot in Paris.

Who won a Tony (besides “Hamilton”)?

The Tigers took two of three from the Yankees over the weekend.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Short Takes

Four dead in an attack in downtown Tel Aviv.

Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi touted cultural ties with the U.S. in an address to Congress.

Ohio’s restrictive voter laws suffered another setback at the hands of a federal judge.

Some Republicans are plotting a convention coup.

The Tigers dropped one to the Blue Jays.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Short Takes

Primary results from California, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, and Montana.

President Obama met with Indian Prime Minister Modi to discuss, among other things, climate change.

Syrian leader Assad vowed to retake all of the land held by armed rebels.

Stephen Hawking says black holes are not “the eternal prisons,” meaning some things might make it through.

Colin has gone post-tropical and is heading out to sea.

The Tigers beat the Blue Jays 3-2 in 10.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Short Takes

Supreme Court to hear two death penalty cases.

President Obama is itching to campaign for Hillary Clinton.

Fed Chair Yellen speech suggests that they’re rethinking interest rate hike.

R.I.P. Peter Shaffer, playwright.

Tropical Update: TS Colin triggers a state of emergency in central and panhandle counties in Florida.

The Tigers beat the Blue Jays 11-0.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Short Takes

Forest fire forces 5,000 Californians to evacuate.

Muhammad Ali’s funeral is set for Friday in Louisville.

Two NPR journalists killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Almost There: Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Tropical Update: TS Colin is heading for the big bend of Florida.

The Tigers swept the White Sox.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Short Takes

U.N. warns that 20,000 children are trapped in Fallujah.

Search teams pick up possible signal from Egyptair black box.

Trump U staffers describe “fraudulent scheme.”

President Obama returns to Elkhart, Indiana, touting economic recovery.

Ken Starr resigns from Baylor in wake of sexual assault scandal.

Switzerland opened up the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest on record.

The Tigers beat the Angels 3-0.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Short Takes

Next: Taliban appoints new leader.

Eleven states make a federal case out of peeing in private.

The T.S.A. says long lines at airports are here for a while.

The housing market recorded their best gains in 24 years in April.

The Tigers lost 8-5 to the Phillies.

Tropical Update: Invest 91L gets an early start on the season.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Short Takes

The U.S. will seek the death penalty in the case of the Charleston shooter.

President Obama chided Vietnam on human rights.

Federal judge rules against Ohio’s limits on early voting.

Cuba will legalize small and medium-sized private business.

U.S.-allied forces launched an offensive against ISIS in Syria.

The Tigers beat the Phillies 3-1.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Short Takes

Austria: The racist xenophobic right-wing candidate narrowly lost the presidential election.

Baltimore: One of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray was acquitted in a bench trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court tossed the conviction of a black man found guilty by an all-white juror based on overwhelming evidence of racism.

That’s Hot: Temperatures in India hit 123.8 F.

Tropical Update: It’s a little early, but there’s something brewing in the ocean.

The Tigers beat the Phillies 5-4.

Monday, May 23, 2016

It’s (Not) Only May

The Detroit Tigers are not quite in the cellar in the American League Central Division — thank you, Minnesota Twins — but today they have a .488 record and they’re 4.5 games behind the division-leading Chicago White Sox.

But hey, it’s only May and a lot of things can happen between now and the end of the season.  A lot of teams have come from behind to win and even go on and win the World Series.  The Tigers have good hitters, they’ve got a few good pitchers, and they could pull it off with some teamwork and good offense.  But right now they don’t look so hot.

The same can be said for the Democrats.  Compared to the GOP, they should be running the bases at a trot, and either one of their candidates should be leading the presumptuous Republican nominee by double digits purely based on qualifications and demeanor.  But right now they have problems.

As Josh Marshall points out, the Democrats are still battling it out over their nominee while the Republicans have already sealed their fate.  It’s normal for there to be tough numbers for the candidate who has yet to secure the nomination.

The first is that there’s a very real chance that Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States, a prospect which should genuinely scare people in a way that a conventional, even very conservative, Republican would not. The second is that Trump’s move into what is for now something like a dead heat is largely or perhaps entirely do to the fact that Republicans are consolidating around their nominee in advance of Democrats doing the same, something that seemed wildly improbable in March or even April.

Another way to look at this is that these results is that they should be deeply worrisome to you if you’re expecting that Hillary Clinton is going to win in a blow out in November. On the other hand, these numbers should be mildly encouraging if you recognize the powerful draw of partisan alignment (the fact that partisans of both parties, but especially Republicans, will fall in line behind almost anyone from their party) and the difficulties of either party winning a third presidential term in office.

The key is that even with what should be a momentary advantage (having Republicans unify while Democrats are still battling it out) Trump is still at best even and probably a couple points back. As long as Democrats can unify in the relatively near future, Hillary Clinton should get her own nudge forward in the polls, enough to give her a meaningful though not large advantage. As Philip Bump notes here, a whole party is currently running against Hillary Clinton. No one is yet running a campaign against Donald Trump.

[…]

One of the revealing nuggets of information from the recent NYT/CBS poll was that 72% of Bernie supporters say they plan to vote for Clinton against Trump. That compares to 60% of Hillary supporters who said the same thing about Obama in the same poll eight years ago. As we know, virtually all of Hillary’s supporters went on to vote for Obama. (People are often not the best predictors of their own actions.) We should expect pretty much the same this year. Indeed, this poll says they’re already substantially further along in that direction. But of course the difference between 90% and 95% and 99% of Sanders supporters voting for Clinton makes all the difference in the world. And whether Sanders lines up unambiguously and strongly behind Clinton will be key for that pretty small – but still critical – number who could go either way.

The difference between the Democrats and the Detroit Tigers — other than that fact that I’m pretty sure Bernie Sanders can’t hit a sinker — is that the fans really can’t do much to get their team to win other than cheer them on from the bleachers.  They can’t go out in the field and back up the outfield or pinch hit when Miggy has a slump.

But Democrats can do something.  They can go out and work the field by contacting their local party office and seeing what they can do to get the vote out, support local candidates, and if there’s a good Democrat running against an entrenched Republican member of Congress, at least stir up the dust.  If you can’t contribute monetarily, sign up to walk the precincts, get a yard sign, speak up to your friends and co-workers, write letters to editors, get involved.  Don’t expect the other person to do all the work because that’s what they’re thinking: someone else will do it.

Yeah, it’s only May.  But time flies, and in elections you can’t say, “Wait ’til next year.”