Happy Friday, folks!
1. Three Takeaways From the Virginia Primary (Real Clear Politics)
The biggest surprise of Tuesday night’s results was Trump-aligned Corey Stewart’s strong second-place finish in the GOP race.
Observers apparently expected Stewart to get trounced in the GOP primary because of the president’s general lack of popularity. But Trump remains very popular with Republicans. Or maybe it’s more correct to say that Trump’s base has secured control of the Republican Party, forcing non-Trumpers out wholesale. Regardless, if you still think of the GOP as your party, then you’ve bought into Trump’s shtick. That’s just where we are, even in a relatively progressive state like Virginia.
It’s also why this GOP Congress won’t impeach the president no matter what he does. They can't. Their base will revolt and run them all out of office.
[Lt. Gov. Ralph] Northam beat former Congressman Tom Perriello by double digits Tuesday, securing his place on the general election ballot in November.
I’m not sure that this actually is newsworthy on a non-local level, but Northam was the more moderate, Big Party pick, and he won. Speaking personally, I think that’s probably good. I myself can get behind the occasional moderate Democrat, but I don’t want the Far Left to try to pull me onboard just because they’re feeling it now that we have Trump in the White House. That kind of overreach is how we wind up with another four years of the same mess we’re enduring right now.
Virginia has, in the past few decades, gone from a reliably red state to a swing or even light blue state. In 2016, Clinton won there by five points while winning the national popular vote by two, indicating that it leans slightly to the left of the country as a whole. While national level politics exercises a weaker influence on gubernatorial elections than congressional elections, it still has some pull. That baseline Democratic lean gives Northam an advantage.
Despite its heritage, Virginia is becoming a liberal northeastern coastal state. The economy around D.C. is too big and too successful for it to be anything else long term. This may take another ten years to play itself out, but in this country of “haves” and “have-nots”, Virginians are definitely “haves”. They always have been. In a modern context, this makes them more like New Yorkers than Carolinians.
2. How Yankees CC Sabathia got hurt and what's next (NJ.com)
As much as rookie right fielder Aaron Judge and the Yankees' high-powered offense has carried the club this season, the starting rotation is just as responsible for the three-game AL East lead it will take into Wednesday's series finale with the Angels.
No. 1 starter Masahiro Tanaka has stunk for most of the season, but everyone else has picked him up, including the oldest member of the rotation.
Sabathia, 37 come July and in the final year of his contract, is 7-2 with a 3.46 ERA in 13 starts.
Sabathia pulled a hammy Tuesday night in a miserable loss that ultimately came down to an error at first base. It’s frustrating because I think Sabathia has been really good for the team, but what can you do? Every good pitch the man threw already felt like a gift from Father Time.
The article says that the Yankees are most likely going to put reliever Chad Green into the starting rotation full time, but Green didn’t look great in Sunday’s start against the Orioles, and putting him full time would put a good bit of stress on the bullpen for a prolonged period of time. Meanwhile, the Yanks also have a few guys at AAA who they could pull up by way of an extended audition, which would also give the club more options if Masahiro Tanaka’s start on Monday—a good one, for once—turns out to be little more than an uptick in his continued downward spiral.
Anyway, the Yankees have seen as many injuries as anyone this year and have managed to keep moving forward. They saw another rash of injuries last night, including to one of their pitchers, Adam Warren. It still hurts to lose a guy who’s been as good in the clutch as Sabathia has just as the season is getting interesting, but at 37, Sabathia’s injury was probably more a matter of time than the result of any actual bad luck. Hopefully things will turn around for the Yanks once they get back from their West Coast road trip.
3. Around the world, beer consumption is falling (The Economist)
Beer-drinking patterns also change as countries grow richer. In a study in 2016, Liesbeth Colen and Johan Swinnen of the University of Leuven examined the effects of income growth and globalisation on beer consumption in 80 countries between 1961 and 2009. They found that as GDP per person increased in poorer countries, beer became more popular. But when it reached around $27,000 per person, consumption began to fall again, probably as people became more aware of the dangers alcohol poses to health. Consumers may also start to opt for more expensive drinks, such as wine, once they can afford them. And beer consumption rises as countries become more globalised, the authors found. When international drinks companies move in, punters may find a new favourite tipple.
At first glance, this looked like a story about the changing tastes of the Chinese consumer. But really, it’s about people apparently choosing quality over quantity. On balance, it’s hard to argue that this is a bad thing.
4. 2017 Army Football Trailer
Gamora and Nebula are both the adopted children of Thanos and suffered at his hands as he attempted to mold them into the perfect killing machines. They’ve both broken free of his grip, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 lingered on their emotional and physical scars in a big way. Remember that scene where Nebula describes having pieces of her body replaced with machine parts every time she lost a fight to her sister? Well, these would be the adopted kids who are perfectly fine with that kind of treatment and have stuck with dear ‘ol dad. As a bonus, this would make the fight a big family affair and give the Guardians another excuse (beyond saving the galaxy again) to get involved…
Created by writer Jonathan Hickman and artists Jerome Opeña and Jim Cheung during Hickman’s lengthy Avengers and New Avengers runs, [the Black Order] were originally a group of aliens hand-picked by Thanos to act as his personal strike team…. They even invade Wakanda, a plot point that feels like it could be making the jump to the big screen…
Earlier this year, motion capture specialist Terry Notary was cast in Infinity War and he described himself as Thanos’ “right hand bad guy.” This… suggests that he’s playing Corvus Glaive, the default leader of the Mad Titan’s crew. It’s not clear which other members of the group will appear in the movie, but their line-up includes Proxima Midnight, Black Dwarf, Ebony Maw, and Supergiant.
|Thanos and the Black Order via. ComicBook.Com. Corvus Glaive is second from the left.|
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That's all I've got. Enjoy your weekend.