Before discussing the most important sports story in North America since...well, since the States were United, let me highlight some of the political and professional stories percolating:
- The Economist has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. "This choice is not hard."
- Meanwhile, the High Court in London ruled today that Parliament must actually vote to trigger Brexit, which gives MPs another crack at the piñata and perhaps a way out. No telling when Teresa May plans to schedule this vote as the UK Supreme Court still has to hear the case. In any event, the government now can't trigger Article 50 for the indefinite future.
- TPM's electoral scoreboard now stands at Clinton 269, Trump 221, with New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Florida now toss-ups. Nate Silver points out that his estimates have Clinton at about the same point Obama was in 2012, giving Clinton 293 to Trump's 244. Deeply Trivial explains more about Silver's statistics.
- Meanwhile, if it seems like the FBI is in full-on Clinton-hating mode, it's because they are. The Guardian's Spencer Ackerman reports that the bureau is "Trumplandia" and totally off the rails. Great. TPM (where Ackerman worked previously) analyzes the journalism making the FBI's political interference worse.
- University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone is appalled by elected Republicans threatening a scorched-earth rear-guard assault against Clinton's policies. Brian Beutler agrees it could be a long two years until the 2018 mid-terms in which absolutely nothing gets done.
Stay tuned for the real story of the day.
I'm having trouble typing these words: The Cubs have won the World Series.
I'm sure I'll have more to say later.
But: the Cubs have won the World Series.
Where do you go from there? A woman president, maybe?
I hope against all the evidence I see that 2016 isn't the best year of my life. And I will sweat day and night to ensure this is merely the landing on the staircase.
Meanwhile, my neighborhood is all sirens and shouting, so...I'll leave the wordsmithing until later.
But the Cubs have won the World Series.
The World Series.
I don't even know what to do with that fact yet.
The Cubs' World Series Game 7 tonight in Cleveland may be "the biggest game in Chicago sports history," according to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. I agree.
But still, I'm trying to maintain perspective:
- This is the only the second time in franchise history they've played in November. Last night was the first.
- They won the National League pennant after a 71-year drought. That's not trivial.
- If Cleveland wins, maybe they'll be so happy there it will tip Ohio into Hillary Clinton's column.
- They have played some amazing baseball during this series, and during this season.
- They'll be back next year.
So let's see what happens. And go, Cubs, go!
It's going to be a nerve-wracking week.
Tonight, the Cubs play Game 7 of the World Series against the Indians, after some truly wonderful baseball list night:
The first-inning sequence in a 9-3 victory at Progressive Field stunned a nervous crowd of 38,116 into silence and announced, loudly, that the Cubs had come ready to rise to the occasion. Facing a win-or-go-home scenario, the Cubs arrived with an intensity the Indians failed to match. Zobrist smacking Anthony Rizzo's hand with more emotion than he has shown all season only underscored the impact of the collision. Passion is contagious too.
By the time Addison Russell hit the first Series grand slam in Cubs history in the third, they knew. Everybody knew. From Zobrist's zealous reaction to Russell's expressive response rounding the bases, the Cubs made clear from the get-go they had no intention of going home. One of the biggest innings of the season occurred in the first, when the Cubs scored three runs and locked-in starter Jake Arrieta struck out two of his first three hitters, as if to say, "I've got this."
There was much joy in Mudville—or at least in Lakeview—last night. Also no parking, which the Chicago Police say will continue through Friday.
But with five days and change until polls open Tuesday, the presidential race has tightened, and Republicans in Congress are already threatening to smash the board if they lose the game:
I just heard what seems to be the closing argument from Donald Trump and his supporter Paul Ryan. In so many words, if Hillary Clinton wins, we'll throw so many investigations her way that nothing will ever get done and it will be nonstop tension and drama.
Republicans in the 90s realized they usually could not win on policy and made a conscious decision to practice opposition by scandal and investigation. This latest turn of the email case is really just another example of this. What Trump and Ryan are arguing now is little different from the Republican strategy of creating legislative gridlock and then running against governmental paralysis. It's just pure gall and dishonesty. It would be funny if they weren't in a position to put the country through it again.
Remember: people are most dangerous and unpredictable when they're losing. And the Republican Party is losing its war against history.
In between meetings and client visits, I've been paging through New York Magazine's article from last week, "The Final Days of the Trump Campaign:"
Perhaps the most surprising thing to ponder at this late stage in the election is just how close the race could have been had he taken nearly any of the advice offered to him by advisers. “This thing was doable if we did it the right way,” one adviser told me.
When Paul Manafort, a veteran Republican lobbyist and operative cut from Establishment cloth — he’d worked on Gerald Ford’s, George H.W. Bush’s, and Bob Dole’s presidential campaigns — came onboard to serve as campaign chairman at the beginning of the general-election season, he suggested a strategy that was the exact opposite of the one Trump pursued in the primaries. He wanted Trump to lower his profile, which would force the media to focus on Clinton — a flawed opponent with historic unfavorable ratings who couldn’t erase the stain of scandal, real or invented. “The best thing we can do is to have you move into a cave for the next four months,” Manafort told Trump during a meeting. “If you’re not on the campaign trail, the focus is on her, and we win. Whoever the focus is on will lose.”
But Trump is Trump, after all, and his entire campaign is based on him being better than "so-called 'experts.'" Kind of like the Brexit folks. I just hope Clinton's actual experts know how to beat this dangerous charlatan.
Here's hoping for a Game 7.