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Columnists
Reagan: Fake news from Virginia

Will someone please throw an ocean of ice water on the Pelosi-Schumer-MSM axis of evil?

Their ecstasy over the results in Virginia’s election returns Tuesday night shows how desperate the Democrats are for any sign of hope that their party is not already dead.

Democrats merely won the elections for governor in Virginia and New Jersey—two Blue States where they were always expected to win.

It was hardly a “wave election.” Republicans suffered no surprise losses to Democrats and the GOP still controlled a huge majority of the country’s governor’s offices and state legislatures.

Yet by Wednesday morning the liberal media’s talking heads were so happy you’d have thought President Trump had been voted out of office, the Democrats had won back Congress and Hillary Clinton had been installed on her Oval Office throne.

Republicans loses in Virginia and New Jersey were gleefully framed by the liberal media as referendums on President Trump’s first year, but it was Fake News.

It would have been real news if the Republican governor candidates, Ed Gillespie of Virginia and Kim Guadagno of New Jersey, had pulled off surprise wins.

Or if a liberal Democrat had taken the Congressional seat vacated by conservative Jason Chaffetz in Utah (instead of being crushed by a Republican who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 but supports his agenda).

But the pundits breathlessly telling us a Democrat won in Virginia and New Jersey? News? Yes. Shocking? Hardly.

A serious repudiation of Donald Trump? The first signs of the decline of Trumpism? Don’t think so.

Trump or no Trump, from day one Ed Gillespie was never going to win in Virginia, where about 10 million federal workers live and vote Democratic.

And in New Jersey, a true-blue state, the only Republican politician who was repudiated on Tuesday was Mr. Unpopularity himself, outgoing Gov. Chris Christie.

His Lt. Governor, Guadagno, never had a prayer—and she wasn’t endorsed by Trump, who knew it.

I can understand the Democrats and their media soulmates wanting to make Tuesday’s elections into a fake referendum on President Trump.

But I don’t understand the Republicans and conservatives who joined in and said the elections were a sign of doom for the GOP in the 2018 elections.

Republicans will have their problems in 2018, especially if they can’t get anything important through Congress.

But this week’s election results had nothing to do with 2018 or President Trump—until he tweeted himself into the story.

Unfortunately, despite being in Asia, our narcissist in chief had to blame Gillespie’s loss on the fact that Gillespie didn’t fully embrace him.

Not everything is about Donald Trump, but he—like the hate-blinded media—thinks it is.

Some facts about Virginia, Mr. President:

Hillary beat you there by 5 points last year. On Tuesday Gillespie got more votes than you did, but Democrats turned out in much greater numbers in the suburbs of northern Virginia.

That’s why the former head of the Republican National Committee lost—as everyone but his kids knew he would.

For you to blame Gillespie’s defeat on his not embracing you is totally narcissistic, childish and wrong, Mr. President.

Not to mention self-destructive. Instead of the media discussing the tough speech you gave to the North Koreans, they talked about your Gillespie tweet.

How about acting like a grown-up president, for a change, Mr. Trump?

How about tweeting something like, “Congratulations to the Democrats for their victories on Tuesday. When I come back from Asia I hope we can find a way to work together on tax reform.”

So Trump is still Trump. His core constituency will stay faithful to him, no matter what he said about Gillespie or how he said it.

But if he keeps tweeting the way he does, the president will never win more friends in the Republican Party.

And if he’s ever going to get anything passed in Congress by 2018, he’s going to need every Republican friend he can get.


Columnists
Guzzardi: Should day baseball return to the World Series?

Cagle Columnist

Baseball scribes proclaimed the 2017 World Series as one for the ages. You can’t prove it by me, an Eastern Time Zone fan unable to meet his modest three-inning goal. Still, FOX included me as one of its 106 million viewers. The math is dicey, however. Anyone who watched “part of” a single game counted in FOX’s final tally.

On behalf of workers, 55 million school-age children, and another 55 million U.S. senior citizens, I’m circulating a petition to start the weekend games during daylight hours. My constituency was disappointed to miss the latter innings of the Houston Astros championship run over their valiant but vanquished challengers, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Major league baseball is a $10 billion industry, and bean-counting MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, the multimillion dollar owners he represents, and the television networks can afford the advertising hit they’d absorb from afternoon starting times. Eight of the 30 owners are billionaires, and the others are just a couple of bank deposits away from reaching 10-figure status.

Not that Manfred would do anything but toss my petition when it reaches his desk. MLB is raking in money almost as fast as the Bureau of Engraving and Printing cranks it out. The league has posted 14 consecutive years of record revenue, driven mostly by local franchises’ television ratings, and a decade of ever-higher post-season viewing.

Alas, for the working public, kids, and old folks, the last day outdoor World Series game was played in 1984, 33 years ago when the Detroit Tigers beat the San Diego Padres. , Technical clarification: three years later, in 1987, the St. Louis Cardinals played the Minnesota Twins during afternoon hours. But since the Twins hosted its games in the dreary Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, I can’t call it daylight baseball. I’ve been in the Metrodome, Houston’s Astrodome, and Seattle’s Kingdome, all were dark, dank, dungeons. I’m talking about baseball under the sun and on green grass, not beneath roofs and on synthetic turf.

To be sure, the 1984 World Series was a snoozer as the Tigers steamrolled the Padres, four games to one. Since the Tigers started its season 9-0, and won 35 of its first 40 games, the outcome surprised no one.

On the other hand, the 1971 World Series that included the first night game thrilled. On October 13, in Pittsburgh’s old Three Rivers Stadium and in front of 51,000 fans, the lights went on during the fourth game between the Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles. With the Orioles leading two games to one, the O’s jumped off to a quick first inning 3-0 lead as the first three batters singled, and scored on a passed ball and two sacrifice flies. But for the next eight innings, the O’s managed only one hit as the Pirates won the game, 4-3, and eventually captured the series in seven games.

Series MVP Roberto Clemente went three for four under the lights, and batted .414 for the series, his last ever. Tragically, on January 1, 1973, Clemente died in a plane crash off his native Puerto Rico.

Day baseball may never return to the World Series. Since televisions became must-have household items after World War II, I should be happy that I was lucky enough to watch so many sunlit games for so many years.


Columnists
West: On climate, the United States now stands alone

In Bonn, Germany, representatives of countries around the world have gathered for the annual UN Climate Change Conference. The mood might be a little different this year, however, because just a single country stands apart by not participating in the recent landmark Paris climate agreement

Embarrassingly, that country is the United States.

To be fair, until recently, we were one of three international holdouts. Just last month, Nicaragua—previously abstaining because they found the standards too lax—agreed to sign on. And this Monday, the war-torn nation of Syria announced that it too would join the rest of the world in implementing the agreement.

Ironically, it was American diplomatic leadership that made the agreement possible in the first place. In December 2015, more than 200 countries in Paris convened for the negotiations, which had been ongoing for some time. The same problem had been holding up climate talks for years: How could an agreement be built in such a way that each country in the world had to do not too much—but also not too little—to solve a problem that transcends borders and affects everyone around the world in different ways?

The true innovation of the Paris agreement was the mechanisms for both flexibility and accountability that it employed to solve this problem. Each country—large and small, rich and poor—committed to fighting climate change by enacting its own unique plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Then, every five years, all parties would reconvene to show their progress towards these goals; the targets were not legally binding, but the theory was that a sort of ‘international peer pressure’ could serve as an enforcement mechanism and would incentivize increasing those standards over time.

China and the United States made a symbolic gesture by ratifying the agreement together in September 2016, but President Trump had different plans. In June of this year, he announced our unilateral withdrawal from the agreement, ostensibly because its (again, legally non-binding) terms were not favorable to the United States. In reality, this appears to have been nothing more than red meat for his base and another step in his quest to dismantle every piece of his predecessor’s legacy.

This would be less painful if Trump Administration was doing something—anything—to address the national security, economic, public health, or other real and measurable consequences of climate change. Unfortunately, our current climate and energy policy appears all but stuck in the past.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt only seems to be in the news when he’s meeting with oil executives or taking taxpayer money for expensive commercial flights (including one $36,000 whopper to Italy). Meanwhile, the only group benefitting from Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s power plan for the United States are coal companies—like that of Trump backer Bob Murray, whose company stands to be subsidized by the higher prices paid by millions of American consumers. From rolling back the Clean Power Plan to approving new pipelines, the Trump Administration seems determined to roll back every one of the Obama Administration’s efforts to fight climate change and promote clean energy.

But while America is losing out on investment opportunities in clean energy, the rest of the world isn’t. China and India have overtaken us in this sector that is already providing hundreds of thousands of jobs to Americans, and could be providing far more. Leaders in these countries understand that just as fossil fuels dominated the last century, this century’s drivers of economic development will revolve around solar, wind, and other clean energy technologies—and that whoever develops the best technologies first will benefit from exporting that technology around the world.

Though the United States government may stand alone in ‘opting out’ of international efforts to fight climate change, there is hope beyond the federal level. Governors, mayors, CEOs, and private citizens around the country are setting their own goals to limit emissions, essentially trying to replicate the positive effects of the Paris climate agreement. The #IAmStillIn campaign has been one successful method for recruiting states, cities, companies, and communities to action, but there are many more.

Even in an absence of federal-level leadership, individual Americans are eager to show the world that we aren’t backing down from the fight against climate change. And that is anything but embarrassing.