November 2022

November 21:

Details emerged of the two unarmed patrons at Club Q, the Colorado Springs gay nightclub, whose bravery ensured that last night’s shooting was not far worse. Five people were killed and several injured.

The UN again warned about the precarious nature of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

***

November 20:

Read previous post: Ten Days Later, Ten Years Later

The COP27 conference ended in Egypt with a deal reached for developed nations to pay more to developing countries for the effects of climate change. But after establishing the fund to contribute towards so-called “loss and damage” the talks stopped short of addressing the use of fossil fuels.

***

November 19:

Well now. Let’s see how this turns out, shall we…?

***

November 18:

Attorney-General Merrick Garland announced he had moved to appoint a Special Counsel to take over the two DOJ investigations involving former president Donald Trump. Jack Smith, fresh from prosecuting war crimes at The Hague, will oversee the probes into both the Jan 6th insurrection and the Mar-a-Lago documents case. As you can imagine, the decision has split opinion.

This is somewhat worrying…

Is this really the end for Twitter?

Joking aside, it might be the end for Ticketmaster in its current form too…

It’s all going nuts…

***

November 17:

The first woman Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced she would pass the torch to a new generation of leaders. Democratic octogenarians Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn will be handing over – most likely – to Hakeem Jeffries, Katharine Clark and Pete Aguilar.

On the Republican side of the aisle, the party that has just finished campaigning on the economy, crime and immigration announced its first priority…

Aaron Judge was named the American League MVP. Paul Goldschmidt won the award in the National League.

***

November 16:

Common sense, equality and fairness took a small but significant procedural step forward today. Legislation to protect same-sex and inter-racial marriages now needs to again pass in both houses, but appears set to become law.

It looks like the deadly missile incident in Poland was the result of Ukrainian air defences, which themselves, of course, are the direct result of Russian bombardments.

Meanwhile… talking of restrained. Or someone who should be…

Let’s hope the rest of the “campaign” remains as much of a joke as the New York Post thinks its launch was…

And in other “leadership” news…

MLB’s Managers of the Year are Buck Showalter of the Mets in the National League and Terry Francona of the Guardians in the American League. Showalter has now won four Manager of the Year awards, with four different teams in four different decades.

Justin Verlander and Sandy Alcantara unanimously won the Cy Young award in the AL and NL respectively.

***

November 15:

Nato and the G7 condemned a missile explosion inside Poland that killed two people. It isn’t yet sure who fired the missile or what the circumstances might have been. The explosion occurred at the same time as Russian missiles targeted civilian infrastructure across Ukraine. Both Poland and Nato are considering an appropriate response.

As expected…

and, sure as night follows day…

Nolan Ryan he is not. One of these guys, maybe…

As the Republican party licks its Trump-inflicted wounds from the midterms, there are signs of the hint of the disunity it will face in the new Congress, with Rick Scott announcing he will challenge Mitch McConnell for the Senate leadership, while soon-to-be House majority leader Kevin McCarthy held off a right-wing challenge to his nomination for Speaker.

Meanwhile, someone who thinks God wants him to be President has a new book, and he’s very sensitive about what anyone can ask him about it.

Elsewhere, it’s business as usual…

If you didn’t see this clip this morning from Vaughn Hillyard – whose midterm coverage has been consistently excellent – take a moment to watch it.

It’s what should be the last word (but almost certainly won’t) on the Arizona Governor’s race.

Oh, and…

And apparently every single one of them is ahead of you in the Ticketmaster queue for Taylor Swift tickets.

***

November 14:

Katie Hobbs held off a challenge from Trump-endorsed election-denier Kari Lake in the race for Governor of Arizona. The last time the state had the Governorship and two US Senators was 1950. The question now becomes will Lake be at Mar-a-Lago tomorrow alongside the former president as he announces another run?

And talking of election-deniers…

As the final tally in this week’s elections continued to emerge, a politically re-invigorated President Biden was in Indonesia for the G20 summit, meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. A nominal return to “sanity” with the midterms will help send a message of reassurance to US allies, particularly in Asia.

Former President Trump was due to respond today to a subpoena from the Jan 6th Committee. Instead, he sued to prevent it. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that Trump had wanted to use the Justice Department and IRS to target his political foes while in office – technically an impeachable offence.

A man described as “armed and dangerous” was taken into custody this morning after three student athletes were killed last night on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Meanwhile, four students were found dead in a house near the University of Idaho campus in what were described as “homicides”.

***

November 13:

Still waiting for outcomes from the West Coast in races that will dictate the nature of the House of Representatives for the next two years. It looks like whatever the final tallies – which still might take a few days – the majority on either side will be entertainingly small.

Read the Q&A I did earlier in the season with California native Michael Avila who is a Texas voter: Not All Who Wander Are Lost.

In the conclusion to the Arizona Fall League…

***

November 12:

Back from the brink. We have a Republic if we can keep it.

Tonight the American people took a step closer to keeping it. Trumpism isn’t gone, but hopefully this is the end of nasty, personalized, performative politics.

As Stephen Colbert said recently, Mark Kelly is an astronaut, while Blake Masters is the same, “but without the ‘tronaut’ “…

And another big finale in AZ…

***

November 11:

Late election news out of the West tonight…

***

November 10:

Russian forces on the Ukrainian frontline are in retreat from Kherson, while Russians at home try – yet again – to figure out what it all means, as well as what’s true and what’s not.

And of course there was a “connection” to what’s happening in the US…

In the ongoing fallout from Tuesday’s US midterms the popcorn is a-popping for the expected bare-knuckle brawl – because a battle of wits would be too one-sided – between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.

Check out the midterm wrap-up, Democracy Dodges A Bullet… For Now

Meanwhile, all is not good over at Twitter – especially after President Biden’s off-the-cuff remark yesterday about Elon Musk’s relationships with foreign entities. Biden said: “[His] cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at. Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate – I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting it’s worth being looked at and that’s all I’ll say.”

Check out my Q&A with Alina Utrata on what’s happening with Twitter

(Although with every day that passes the whole Elon Musk story just gets more and more surreal. Who honestly knows how it will end…)

In the “real” world, markets rallied – their biggest one-day pop for two years – after the latest inflation number came in lighter than expected.

***

November 9:

Yesterday’s midterms aren’t the end; they’re just the beginning.

Here’s a rundown of the highlights from election night and its aftermath, including some prescient quotes from a couple of the Q&As we’ve done this season:

Democracy dodges a bullet, for now…

***

November 8:

Election Day.

***

November 7:

One day before the midterms – with more than 40m early votes cast – and the parties are effectively tied in a generic ballot. One of the most striking things about which issues Americans see as most important is that climate and environment are virtually absent, or at least very low on the list of priorities, with everything taking a back seat to the economy.

This, on the day that the COP27 conference – sponsored by Coca-Cola – begins in Egypt.

Meanwhile, preparations for tomorrow’s likely-more-of-the-same horse race election coverage are well under way, complicated in part by how the daily chaos of the Elon Musk/Twitter story is currently sucking up so much airtime.

Oh, and…

Meanwhile, there’s some other voting to be done…

***

November 6:

*Quirky coincidence… Dusty Baker made his managerial debut for the San Francisco Giants on 6 April 1993 against the St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals’ lead-off hitter that day was Geronimo Peña – father of this year’s World Series MVP Jeremy.

As the Phillies were imploding last night – Kyle Schwarber bunting?? – Pennsylvania was politics central as the current and two former presidents appeared in the state to rally support ahead of Tuesday’s midterms. All of them delivered dire warnings about the future of the country. For some reason, Donald Trump decided to take his first verbal swing at Florida Gov – and potential 2024 candidate – Ron DeSantis.

But perhaps a more ominous picture of potential voters can be found here…

***

November 4:

With four days to go until the midterms, senior Democrats appear to be scrambling to reinforce candidates in states where they should technically feel more secure; a sign that – despite some encouraging signals on early voting – their collective messaging may not be breaking through sufficiently.

Talking of the former president, today is the day he has to respond to the subpoena from the Jan 6th committee to turn over documents he controls. In completely not unrelated “news” he seems to be hinting at a big announcement – surprise, surprise – for the same day he would be required to appear for in-person testimony.

Justin Verlander has now started a World Series game in three different decades – and has given up the most home runs in WS history. But he picked up his first win and Jeremy Pena became the first rookie shortstop to homer in the Fall Classic as the Astros won a riveting Game Five in Philadelphia 3-2, taking a lead in the series by the same score as it moves back to Houston for Game Six on Saturday.

***

November 3:

In his first companywide communication with staff since taking over at Twitter, Elon Musk said he was going to start reducing the company’s 7,500-strong workforce tomorrow.

And there’s more…

Reaction to President Biden’s speech last night warning on the stakes for democracy at next week’s midterms was pretty much exactly as you’d expect. Sure, he was preaching to the choir and of course it would have been a more effective message if, say, Mitch McConnell had been standing alongside him, but that was never going to happen. Protecting democracy has become by default a partisan issue and we’re all going to have deal with the outcome of that.

One of these stories will likely get more play than the other…

Overseas, there was an assassination attempt on Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan and more missile launches on the Korean peninsula.

The World Series will be heading back to Houston after a combined no-hitter behind six excellent innings from Cristian Javier helped the Astros to a 5-0 win, tying the series at two ahead of tonight’s Game Five.

***

November 2:

Angst and uncertainty abounds, globally and at home. Missiles flew in the skies over North and South Korea, with the North recording the most launches in a single day, apparently in response to joint military exercises by the South and US. Elsewhere, former Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu – still under a corruption cloud – is poised to return to power, while defeated Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro broke his silence on the recent election. If that wasn’t enough, Russia looks set to resume grain exports from Ukraine in exchange for assurances about its Crimea fleet.

At home, meanwhile, with six days to go to the midterm elections and polling seemingly indicating momentum moving towards Republicans in key states behind messaging on the economy and crime – perhaps artificially creating expectations of a victory that may or may not be fulfilled – President Biden made a televised address this evening outlining the dangers to democracy if election-deniers are to wind up in control of Congress.

First Lady Jill Biden, meanwhile, is planning to be at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia this evening for Game Four of the World Series. The Phillies took a 2-1 series lead last night in the re-scheduled Game Three.