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submitted by D-Kelman to brexit [link] [comments]
17,410,742 people voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, a process now famously known as Brexit. The country is now three years down the line, we have replaced Cameron with May and now May with Johnson, we're probably going for another General Election and absolutely nothing has been done to sort the problems that caused this.
Since I can't be bothered typing it out every time, let's call it 17.5 million people. In political circles, that's known as a "shitload". That many people voting for major reform of our entire system is something that warrants sincerity when analysing it, sadly this hasn't been the case with Brexit. We on the losing side chalk most of this up to populism, lies and let's be honest.... stupid folk. I'll put my hands in the air and say that the vast majority of people who voted against Brexit think that the vast majority of those who voted for it are intellectually inferior. We, the losers, think that you don't understand what you've done. We think you've cocked it all up a bit, we think you got angry at the "elite" and we definitely think quite a few of you are racist. That is not however the reason 17.5 million people voted to leave the EU. If anyone believes that over half of the UK is a bunch of raving mad racists, then they’re morons. 17.5 million people are not a monolith. They're not all twats and neither are we. This deserves a proper analysis where instead of guessing solutions and hoping they fit, let's take a serious look at the reasons why so many people would vote for such a drastic change.
I want to be clear and reiterate, I’m a 25 year old Remain voter who is giving his own opinion. I am not a professional at this. If I'm wrong, I'm a just a bog-standard bloke getting something wrong. Here’s my honest opinion why folk voted for Brexit, why I understand and why it’s fair for me to pissed off.
Small amount of history required. The United Kingdom closed World War II with a determination to strengthen Europe. Churchill was only too aware of the vulnerabilities within the continent and encouraged a pan-European approach which would allow nations to easier curtail any rogue state. He did however make the UK's position on Europe a little hazy:
We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed.
On 18 April 1951, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and West Germany signed the Treaty of Paris to become the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). We didn't. Which is weird but the reasoning is vitally important. The UK didn't want to sign up to such an agreement despite economic indications it would be profitable. Trading with Commonwealth countries was decreasing and joining the ECSC would surely offset it. There was at the time, great expectation that were the UK to join the ECSC the British legal system and parliamentary tradition would be altered and potentially disappear. Notably Labour were the strongest in opposition of European integration as they feared the effects it may have on their socialist principles.
Now, nobody needs a massive history lesson but it's important to quickly cover the rest. Weakening UK/US relations forced the UK closer to Europe and in 1970 negotiations began to join the now named, European Economic Communities (EEC). Despite some reservations the UK agreed a deal and joined the EEC in 1973. It wasn't that easy though, prominent Socialist Labour MP Tony Benn was concerned and wanted a further referendum on the permanence of the UK's relationship with the EEC. So divisive was the topic that Conservative MP, Nigel Farage's idol and definite racist; Enoch Powell inferred support for a Labour vote in 1974 so that they could back Benn's referendum. All of this considered, in 1975 the UK voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EEC with 67% of voters backing a Yes vote. It's interesting to consider here, we did not vote to join, that was decided for us and we certainly didn't vote on the permanence of our relationship, we just voted whether we stayed or not. To say that the UK walked into what we now know as the EU would be an understatement, we stumbled our way in. But, we were in.
Then around 20 years just sort of happened. Europe became less of a serious talking point and more of a political football. Thatcher's generally pro-European Conservatives were frustrated with the Maastricht Treaty which sought to protect workers rights and Neil Kinnock lead the generally anti-European Labour party to a policy of much greater integration in Europe. You can go through the period of '73 till now over and over again, the one thing you will conclude is that there never was consensus. Euroscepticism has always existed. Whether it's the Socialist who believes the European market-driven economics will harm equality or the Capitalist who believes the EU's focus on rights and bureaucracy will suffocate the UK economy, there was always opposition on both sides.
Euroscepticism is a perfectly valid stance to have. Whatever side of the aisle you come from, you've had team-mates who would call themselves eurosceptics. Some folk just don't believe in globalisation.
Okay, if I am to be honest about my Remainer stance, be honest about yours, this was never about Europe was it? You don't care about Brussels or regulations on bananas. Nobody cares about regulations on bananas. You feel pissed off that for almost half a century now, nobody gave a shit about your city/town/ village.
In 2016 a study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) analysed the fortunes of 74 UK cities with populations of more than 100,000, developing an index of relative decline based on changes in employment rates, levels of highly qualified workers, the number and type of full-time jobs, net migration rates and population change (the previous sentence is entirely from a Guardian article, yup I’m THAT guy). In simpler terms they wanted to find out which city has regressed fastest. Where's the biggest shithole essentially.
Should we do a top 10 and bottom 10? Okay.
|Cities showing lowest relative decline: ||Cities showing highest relative decline: |
|1) Milton Keynes ||1) Rochdale |
|2) Cambridge ||2) Burnley |
|3) Brighton ||3) Bolton |
|4) Aberdeen ||4) Blackburn |
|5) Crawley ||5) Hull |
|6) Cheltenham ||6) Grimsby |
|7) Worthing ||7) Dundee |
|8) Cardiff ||8) Middlesborough |
|9) Bournemouth ||9) Bradford |
|10) Edinburgh ||10) Blackpool |
Now, my UK geography isn’t that bad but I’m still struggling with places like Crawley and Worthing. Let me put it this way, the North of England has been completely neglected. It’s honestly embarrassing seeing how systematic this decline is. Not one city in the South of England shows up until bloody Swindon at 26. This is a fucking joke. Too long we have looked at figures like these and talked about Thatcher and her deindustrialisation. Thatcher left in 1990. It’s 30 years later, I went to Huddersfield recently, it’s awful. We’ve completely forgotten vast swathes of England and if we want to pin this on the EU then that’s fine but let’s be very clear, absolutely every politician in the UK Parliament is fundamental aware of this issue and is doing nothing to solve it.
I have grown up in Edinburgh. I went to a private school, I’ve been to 4 continents, I know how to ski, I have a university degree and I am a notorious lazy bastard. For me and my friends to laugh at people on radio phone-in shows saying why they voted Brexit is just about the most fucked up thing going. I have had literally everything you could ask for handed to me and my side of the argument has the audacity to tell others that they are the ones who don’t understand.
Allow me to take a guess for a second. I’m being genuinely sincere when I say this because I truly want to understand. You’ve grown up in a city in North England like for example Grimsby. You’re one of the thousands who live in Grimsby and you love it. Of course you do, it’s home and with a proud tradition you and your family have always voted Labour. You proudly tell all that the last time Grimsby didn’t have a Labour MP, we were still fighting the Germans. You are what’s known as a “Safe Seat”. Nobody cares about you, nobody is campaigning in Grimsby because you’re just going to vote Labour. It stretches further though, you’re in such an entrenched Labour seat that not even Labour care too much about you and take it for granted you’ll always vote and, you do. You know that only two parties can win the election so you have to pick between the party that forgot about you and the party you hate. You vote Labour.
Grimsby continues to be neglected and you’ve had enough. You need someone to sit up and listen. The two party system has effectively taken away your only meaningful way of democratically showing disgust but now someone is giving you another option. Sweeping Europe is populism but you don’t care, all you see is someone actually showing up. Someone talking about Grimsby in that same positive light you always saw it in. You see someone who tells you that you’re right. They tell you it isn’t your fault and that the people running your country for the last 50 years have forgotten about you, instead favouring immigrants. Now there are fuck all immigrants in Grimsby. Nigel Farage stood for Parliament in South Thanet. There are no immigrants in either South Thanet or Grimsby but because of that, you don’t really know any immigrants. All you know is what you’ve been told and the only person who fucking bothered to speak to you were the populists so what the fuck are you supposed to think when they stand you in a polling booth and expect you to vote Labour? You don’t. You say fuck them. I’ve been taken for granted for too long. You mark an ‘X’ in the box next to UKIP or the Brexit Party. You’re proud. All of a sudden you matter. You made the difference. You’re part of a campaign and it’s full of patriots and “good decent” people.
I get it. Nobody cared and now they do. You wanted people to notice you and now they do. That makes complete sense to me. One question, why the EU?
Seriously, why the EU? When we actually sit down and look at the arguments it’s kind of crazy. We don’t want immigrants? The cities with the highest levels of immigrants tend to have the most pro-immigrant opinions. In Scotland we literally rely on European immigration, without it we’re seriously in trouble. I will say one thing, unfettered immigration is not fair and it’s not right, we in the Remain camp absolutely need to recognise that. There are people within this nation who need help and before we kick off about racism it is vitally important that we appreciate just how forgotten parts of our country are, while, in very broad terms, areas with larger amounts of immigration do tend to take more focus politically and higher public spending. Again, that’s fair. You can be angry about immigration. We need a much more sophisticated policy so that areas like Scotland can maintain higher levels while other areas can take less. Hopefully that might encourage spending to increase in the North of England and greater understanding of some of the immigrant communities. Here’s the thing though, I hope I would do the same. The vast majority of the people that have been subjected to some pretty heavy abuse and increasing violent attacks are just standard folk from across the world. If I told you that you could leave where you are and achieve a better life for your family by working elsewhere, would you do that for your family? Would you travel miles to set up a completely new life in a foreign land? Would you have the balls to do that? And before we say, “Nah, I’d stay and improve my home”, seriously why is Grimsby such a shithole then? Give credit where credit is due, the decision to move so far is, if nothing else, bold and I’ll be honest, I might be a snowflake but I massively admire anyone who is willing to not just say they’ll do anything for their family but actually go and do it.
What other key words have we got? Brussels? There’s this attitude in the UK that the Belgian capital and pretty much the entire country itself is pointless despite the Belgae dating back to the time of Julius Ceasar. Let’s not get into an argument over whether Belgium is a nice country or not, some folk like some places, some like others. If you don’t like Belgium, I can assure you, not even the Belgians give a shit. The properly debatable issue with Brussels is the fact that certain European Union institutions can be found there. The European Commission, the Council and part of the Parliament effectively make Brussels the Capital of the EU so when people say they don’t like Brussels, they’re really meaning they don’t like the centralisation of power outside of the UK. That in large part is Euroscepticism and a completely valid opinion. Like I said about Euroscepticism earlier, I can understand it. It falls apart here though when the solution to that is simply more power in Westminster, I mean absolutely nobody has an alternative to these laws just being transferred to the national Government. It’s seen as bringing power closer to home and as such becoming more democratic but answer me this. Have any of the recent UK votes, the elections or the referendums resulted in actions that you feel properly represent you? Nah. Taking back control in the fashion Brexiteers want is going to result in the same bullshit as before unless we properly look at what the real problems are. That’s the key. This has absolutely zero to do with a Bulgarian MEP giving his or her own opinion and anyone who tells you it does, they’re lying. Plus, if you were disappointed in how the EU was run, why did none of you vote in European elections? That includes Remainers. In fact, more so Remainers, at least the Brexiteers did something with the EU elections, most Remainers telling you how crucial the EU is, never even voted for that democratic assembly.
Money? That £350m we would get every week? That’s shite. You know it’s shite. There aren’t going to be more jobs, you aren’t going to earn more money, we all know that. Enough of the economical arguments. If you genuinely think the UK is going to be wealthier after leaving the EU, you’re betting on Scotland winning the next World Cup, while you’re not definitely wrong, it’s extremely likely that you are.
Let’s be completely honest with one another here, we have no idea what’s going to happen. There’s only one thing that we can take forward as a certainty and that’s that you and I have to share this island for the foreseeable future. I promise to not jump to conclusions and call you a racist. I also promise to go forward with Brexit, you guys won a democratic vote and I’m not going to stand in the way of that. You in return do not have to stop calling me a snowflake, you don’t have to change your view of the UK and you definitely don’t have to like me. You do on the other-hand have to understand my point of view. Economics aside, my girlfriend is from Spain. She only came here because of the EU. I can get behind a policy if it makes it easier to meet humans like her. I also think globalisation drastically reduces the susceptibility to major wars and helping to strengthen countries around us has a knock-on effect in my opinion. Not only does the EU really help minimise tensions, it does a great job of allowing all nations to participate in movements that are bigger than just our nation. It was far too fucking hot this summer. That’s not normal. We do need a global effort on climate change and the EU helps that in my opinion.
Whatever happens, I really don’t think you’re a twat. You’re entitled to think I am but I pledge to make a genuine attempt to help the forgotten areas of our nation. Also, I’ve never been to Grimsby. I have no idea if it’s a shithole. Photos do look bleak though.
TLDR: A letter from me, a Remainer, to Brexiteers on why I understand and I would have probably done the same.
Great Lakes Baseball Federation Newsletter #3. Preseason Preview
GLBF Preseason Preview submitted by beadlejuice44 to OOTP [link] [comments]
Detroit - So, the inaugural draft was quite the event, and now every team has an identity. Let's take a look at how each team is built, and make some likely very wrong predictions for the upcoming season. The East Division Elmira Marksmen:
The Elmira Marksmen had the 12th pick in the inaugural draft, and used it on closer Minyomei Cochran. It was a tad odd to see a closer as the first pick for the Marksmen, but with the next pick, they kicked off the second round by taking ace pitcher Shane Sharp.
Before spring training could even begin, Elmira made sure to lock up Sharp, to the tune of $231,000 over the next five seasons. With an average annual value at only $47,000, Elmira could end up on a very team friendly contract.
However, the Marksmen struggle to get about decent in the rest of their rotation. Jose Ortiz will likely be the number two in the rotation, as he should be a plus pitcher, winning more than he loses. The final three in the rotation, Bobby Thompson, Jimmy Carter, and Chris Martin all all wildcards. While not bad in any sense, none of them are particularly good. Thompson will strike out a fair number of batters, but will have problems with walks. Jimmy Carter will be the opposite of Thompson, a pitcher who will limit the walks, but can be very hittable at times. Finally Chris Martin, doesn’t do anything great, but doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. He fits the role of fifth starter well.
The bullpen is led by Cochran, who is an early favorite for reliever of the year award. If Elmira is winning going into the ninth inning, the game is all but over. Josh Clark and Jason Loupe will be the other two relievers that Elmira will rely on out of the pen. The rest of their pen is much like the back half of their rotation, won’t do anything amazing, but you won’t see complete implosions often. With the Marksmen having seemingly at worst average pitchers, this should be one of the better staffs top to bottom in the league.
While the arms in Elmira are all solid, the same can not be said for the sticks.
The corner outfielders, Devin Jolly and Vic Templeton will lead the charge from the plate.
Jolly and Templeton, the 36th and 37th overall picks respectively, are both very balanced hitters and would be welcomed additions to most teams lineup.
Elmira’s only other true threat with the bat will be 22 year old first baseman Denny Seghi. Seghi could contend for a batting title, but won’t make a habit of jogging around the bases. The only other spots in the lineup that could possibly be a bright spot are center fielder Tony Guzman and third baseman Sean Barnett, but those are at best, 50/50 guys.
Overall, if the Marksmen pitching can carry them, they have a chance at the postseason. But it’s not hard to imagine some frustrated pitchers after a 2-1 loss. Roanoke Railsplitters:
The Roanoke Railsplitters won the draft lottery and had the first overall pick. They used it on starting pitcher Jeremy Byers. Byers is 23 years old and is widely considered to be one of the best pitchers in the league. With no prior professional experience. Byers will be on the league minimum contract. Besides Byers, there are no standouts in the Railsplitter rotation.
Geoff Hawkinson and Jessie Lovell are both above average pitchers who will give their team a chance to win every time they take the mound. Pitcher Zion Williams was injured during spring training, but should be ready for the season. Williams is a middle of the road pitcher. Jeremy Flores and Jim Ross will both battle for the fifth spot in the rotation once Williams returns.
The Roanoke bullpen is painfully average outside of a couple arms. Closer Adrian Rogers will be a solid closer, but isn’t infallible. Jim Church will likely be called on to get them out of sticky situations. Church has some of the nastiest stuff in the league, but outings without a walk will be uncommon. Reliever Brian Donde sprained his ankle during spring training and will likely miss about a month of the season. His return will help sure up the bullpen.
The lineup in Roanoke will be led by right fielder Danny Avalos, who should find himself among the top of the home run leaderboards come season's end. His fellow outfielder, 38 year old Bryan Longshore looks to keep his production up in his late 30’s and if he can it will be a big boost to the Railsplitters lineup.
Second baseman Mike Van Slyke will be asked to hit lead off and his speed could make him a plus hitter at the top of the lineup. Third baseman Matt Wright should provide some pop in the middle of the order as well, likely hitting behind Avalos.
The Railsplitters look to have a solid lineup. Byers should be a leader in the rotation, with Hawkinson needing to step up as the number two. The bats will need to help out when the back end of the rotation is pitching. If Williams can come back to support Church and Rodgers in the bullpen, Roanoke should have a solid staff. Their offense could be quite streaky. Don’t be surprised if this team goes through a few streaks throughout the year because of it. However, having a stud like Byers at the top of the rotation should help stop any losing streaks before they get too out of control. I expect this team to be competing for a playoff spot. Scranton Thunderbolts:
The Scranton Thunderbolts had the 11th pick in the inaugural draft and used it to take starter Bill Thompson, they then used their second round pick to take another starting pitcher in Randy McDaniel. It was a bit curious to see general manager Freddy Delgado spend his first two picks on pitchers, especially when Philbin’s Park is one of the best hitters park in the league.
Larry Moss should slot in nicely as the third man in the rotation, looking to make his age 37 season one of his best yet. The back end of the rotation does leave a lot to be desired. Andy Freimanis and Andy Gilmore are below average at best, and if the Thunderbolts are in contention come trade deadline time, expect them to be in the market for a replacement.
The bullpen will be led by closer David Cleveland, and Steve Ashley. Cleveland will start out the season as the closer, having some electric stuff on the mound. Ashely is thought by some to be the better pitcher, but will start out as likely the eighth inning man. Mike Rowe and Roberto Coello will be the other relievers that will be put into high leverage situations.
The Scranton offense will need all the help it can get from Philbin’s Park. There are very few standouts in the Thunderbolt lineup. To make matters worse, fifth round draft pick Roberto Hernandez had “elective eye surgery” just a day before the season kicked off. He will likely miss about the first quarter of the season.
In his absence, outfielders Billy Molter and Val Leandro will look to fill the void. Both Molter and Leandro are closer to role players than MVP candidates. One bright spot in Scranton is the catcher position. Phil Boyles, while not a great hitter by league standards, will probably be one of the better hitting catchers in the GLBF.
This team will struggle in the league’s first season. McDaniel and Thompson will only be able to do so much, and with a weak back end of the rotation, any good the dynamic duo can produce is likely going to be wiped away. A standard bullpen won’t affect this team one way or the other. Losing one of their top bats due to non necessary surgery is sure to be frustrating for Scranton fans. With no real pop in their lineup, it will be surprising if this team is doing anything but golfing in late September. Bowling Green Griffons:
The Bowling Green Griffons were able to pick up pitcher Tony Arreola with their second round pick, getting great value with the 23rd overall pick. Arreola is only 22 a and will be asked to help out at the top of the rotation with Jim Latimer. Latimer, checking in at only 23 years old, was the team’s fifth round pick and has shown improvements over spring training. It will be hard to say which one of the two young guns will head up the rotation.
Jeremy Middlemas and Ted Van Leer are tasked with being the middle of this team's rotation. Both project to be nothing better than average. However, a ruptured UCL suffered by starter A.J. Megee will sideline him likely until past opening day 2021. In his place Bubba Glanville will try to steady the back of the rotation. If he can be average, it will be a win for the Griffons.
The Griffons strength will almost certainly be their bullpen. Their closer Jose Lopez will try to shut the door for Bowling Green. Brian Delph, Travis Henson, Eric Kenison, and Blake Marlow would have spots in the back end of any GLBF bullpen. Putting them all in the same uniform will spell trouble for opponents. This is the strongest pen in the East, and possibly the entire league.
Center fielder Carl Stasiak, who caused quite the stir when the Griffons took him second overall, is looking to prove his worth. Stasiak could arguably be the best defender in the league. Along with his outstanding defensive skills, he has quite some pop in his bat. There to help out Stasiak is left fielder Randy Haley, who will draw walks and hit balls out of the park at an equal rate. Ricky Jaime will be a third bat in the lineup that can go yard at any point. Those three should prove for a formidable three-four-five in the lineup. However the rest of the lineup is filled with nothing special. If outfielder Josh Hughes and second baseman Andrew Hodges pull their weight, this could be one of the better lineups in the league.
Bowling Green doesn’t have a glaring weakness in its 25 man roster. As long as the injury bug stays away, I expect this Griffons team to be among the best in the league. The value they got out of some of their mid round picks will pay off this season. The Central Division Dayton Huskies:
The Dayton Huskies spent their first round pick, the ninth overall on pitcher Ron “Doogie” Schwartz, who will head up their rotation. Schwartz is a very well rounded pitcher who will be a very solid anchor for the Huskies rotation. Unfortunately, for the Dayton faithful, there is no clear number two. 25 year old Joe Santana could be the number two, but he will be battling for the spot with Austin Williams and Kelly Wright. Although seemingly none of them would be the number two for a playoff caliber rotation. Kellen Clifton will round out the rotation, although his is just as forgettable as the name Kellen. Fifth round pick Rob Browning blowing out his flexor tendon and missing the entire season doesn’t help matters at all.
Their bullpen is no bright spot either. They do have a lights out closer in Dan Sandler, and 24 year old Ron Eledge is a nice piece, they don’t offer up much more in the way of difference makers. If teams can get to the Huskies bullpen, they will always have a chance to come back.
Now this is usually the point where despite all their pitching flaws, I can bring up their offense to out slug teams. But their offense is painfully average. Their best hitter will likely be center fielder Jon Hicks, but he likely won’t be bringing home any hardware come seasons end. Maybe if 35 year old left fielder Corey Rumpel can turn back the clock, and third baseman Steve Greathouse can prove the scouts wrong, then maybe this lineup will have a little firepower. Their first baseman Corey Terry could be up for the batting title, and does have above average power, but will have to improve his patience at the plate in order to be a serious difference makers.
This team just lacks that “umph”. While Ron Schwartz is a very good arm, he is only one man, and if he has to turn the ball over to the bullpen before the ninth, things could get scary. They have no real star on offense. It will take some improvement, either via young players growing, or by trade if this team is going to dance in the postseason. Belle Isle Bandits:
Belle Isle’s rotation can be described as “good, not great’’. Led by third round pick Mike Ryan, Ryan would likely find himself as a number two in some better rotations. Despite this, Belle Isle signed the 28 year old to a five year extension, paying him around $45,000 per year. However spots two through five are quite solid. Ben Bertuca, Ed DeBaere, Phil Mitchell, and John Talmadge are all about the same skill set, none are really set themselves apart from each other. Bertuca will likely be the number two in the rotation, while Talmadge is the best bet to end up on the back end. The front of the rotation is probably below average for spots one and two, while the three, four and five come out above average league wide.
The Bandits bullpen is just good enough. They spent a fourth round pick on closer Pat Singer and their investment should pay dividends. They can lean on Kennie Tillman and Hunter Greiner outside of the ninth. A few other average arms could eat up innings when needed. Don’t expect to have this bullpen to have a major effect either way.
Belle Isle spent the third overall pick on 32 year old Tyler Tramback, and he very well could be the league's MVP. His contact and power both grade out among the elite in the GLBF. His patience should help push his OBP to the top of the leagues leader boards. General manager Jon Gomez put a collection of solid role players around him. Center Fielder John Roum is a nice piece of the Belle Isle lineup. First baseman Will Costello has a great eye, and decent power, but outside of those two, you’re going to see a lot of platoon in the Bandits order. 40 year old second baseman Jeremy McMillan will spend the first month sidelined with a broken collarbone.
This team has the largest range of what could happen. On the one hand their rotation could pitch solid enough to allow their bats to win them games. But if a few of the pitchers go into cold spells at the same time, this team could see lengthy losing streaks. It’ll be a treat to follow Tramback’s season, they will need to have a few other bats step up if they want to talk division title. Port Huron Patriots:
The Port Huron Patriots will have their rotation anchored by second round pick Jon “Little Rat” Hansen. At only 24 years old, Hansen could be a mainstay of the Port Huron rotation for years to come, if the Patriots play it right. As for the rest of the rotation, it’s... not good. Josh Hamlet was slated to be a top half of the rotation guy, but shoulder tendinitis has sidelined him for the first few weeks of the season. J.J. Williamson is an alright pitcher, but is going to be asked to be in a bigger role than he probably should.
Sung-tae Im, Seth Morrison, and Jordan Raygosa are all players who honestly should probably be in the minor leagues still. This will be one of the weakest rotations in the league unless someone makes a major improvement.
The bullpen in Port Huron should be a plus, but not by much. Closer Jeremy Bradford, while a solid pitcher, doesn’t stack up with the elite in the GLBF. Matthew Holter and Josh Kirkland are two really good strikeout guys that can help the Patriots get out of some sticky situations, the rest are a collection of average Joe’s, not going to kill this team, but don’t expect to see an all star out of the rest of this bullpen..
The bats are where Port Huron will have to win games. Led by fourth overall pick right fielder Evan Mendenall, he seems to be a very good player, but fourth overall might have been a tad of a stretch. Tzu-Jao Eng will be the team's everyday second baseman. He will hit for a high average, whilst not being a liability in the power department. The platoon at center field of Corey Brown and Aaron Getzelman should yield high returns. But it would be surprising if this lineup finds itself atop many leader boards.
This team’s rotation will be the death of it. Having three guys in the rotation who are not major league caliber starters is just too much to overcome. While their bullpen and lineup are both pluses, they are not nearly enough to overcome what may be the league's worst rotation. Even if Hamlet comes back and outperforms expectations, this rotation still will fall shy of average. Expect more losses than wins. Muskegon Riptide:
The Muskegon Riptide got one of the steals of the draft, picking up 32 year old ace Bobby Perry in the second round. Supplementing their rotation in the fifth round with pitcher Bryan Stigall, those two look to lead Muskegon to a Central division title. Jaylen Jones, Bill Adair, and Chris Boyer all round out the rest of the rotation, providing for a decent back end of the rotation. While not the best rotation, it should be good enough to make the postseason with talent around it.
While the starters for the Riptide are very solid, the same cannot be said about the bullpen however. Their closer Jimmy McDaniel ranks among the worst in the league, and unfortunately, may be the best arm that Muskegon has. There are just no other noteworthy arms to talk about. Most of the arms in this pen are extremely forgettable and could be the thing that holds this team back. I expect to see moves to bolster the bullpen come if they are anywhere near contending this season.
The Riptide spent their first round pick on first baseman Chris Brill, who hits for contact and has elite patience, and also possesses a very strong power stroke. He will be aided by third baseman Jeremy Rizzuto as the top two bats in the Muskegon lineup. If some good not great players such as center fielder Charlie Fox and left fielder David Murray can make noticeable improvements, this lineup will end up being very solid.
Muskegon is a tough team to grasp. Both the offense and rotation are a plus, but the bullpen is such a negative it may be too much for them to overcome. Being in a weaker division gives them hope, but will have to have a few pleasant surprises if they want to see the postseason. The West Division Rockford Red Hawks:
On to the third and final division in the GLBF, it is the West Division.
Rockford’s rotation will struggle throughout the 2020 season. Led by fourth round pick Rob Mitchell, there is a steep drop off in talent after Mitchell. While Mitchell won’t find himself leading many rotations around the league, he will be asked to do so in Rockford at only 22 years old.
The two and three spots will be occupied by Curt Angelini and Jim Drive, both of whom are closer to the fifth starter in any rotation than an ace. Not too much to get excited about with those two. Rounding out the rotation, Jason Reichenbach and Dave Clow are two uninspiring arms. If they end up with a .500 record at season’s end, the Red Hawks will have squeezed every drop out of them.
The word that can best describe how the Red Hawks bullpen will be used is “patchwork”. They have one of the elite arms at closer in Kevin Perry, and a couple solid arms in Jabari Booker and Kirk Mann, but the rest of the bullpen will have to be used strategically in order to avoid implosions. If manager Geoff Metcalf utilizes this pen correctly, they will be a plus, but it will take a tactician at manager to get it out of this group.
Right fielder John Nickelson was the seventh overall pick and the first one by Rockford. The man known as “Quasimodo” should be in the hunt for a batting title year in and year out. At age 25, and signed to a seven year contract, Rockford has its face of the franchise for the better part of a decade. Helping out Nickelson in 2020 will be helped out by Devin Rumsey, who will challenge for the league lead in walks, but doesn’t lack any power or contact. Outside of those two the only other hitters of note are left fielder Phil Appel, who by his own right has an elite eye, and center fielder Sal Avalos, who will hit for average, but home runs and walks will be rare.
Rockford is another team that is just alright. The rotation falls off quickly, the bullpen is a toss up depending on how it is used. Nickelson will be a mainstay in northern Illinois, and Rumsey should be one of the better first basemen in the league, but outside of that there isn’t too much that moves the needle in Rockford. Expect somewhere around .500 for this club. Peoria Lancers:
Now to the other team from the Land of Lincoln.
The Peoria Lancers spent their third and fourth round picks on starters T.J. Hernandez and Dan Gallagher respectively. While these two aren’t going to be revered as the best one two punch in the league, they will certainly be a very respectable duo. Josh Patton should slot in the third spot of the rotation nicely. Jayden Neighbors is right about where a fourth starter should be, very average. Jimmy Fair will be the final man in the Lancers rotation, and he could likely hold water in that spot, but shouldn’t be leaned on for big games.
The back end of the Lancers bullpen is extremely solid. Cameron Ingram is another one of the elite ninth inning men in the GLBF. Scott Siravo and Harry Merritt both have extremely nasty stuff that will bolster Peoria through the seventh and eighth innings. Reliever Brian Kinne also has some high level stuff, but will struggle to find the strike zone, and limiting long balls.
While Rockford has Nickelson, Peoria has their own bat that will lead their franchise for the next seven years. Bob “Lumpy” Jackson will play third base and is an all around hitter who will likely be in the MVP race for years to come. First baseman Vince Baird should hit over .300, giving Jackson someone to drive home. Peoria fans will look for left fielder Joe Clark to hit a high number of home runs. Center fielder will be a key piece if this team is going to be successful in 2020.
This Peoria team is good. Not great but good. They should end up with more wins than losses in 2020, but if that will be enough to take the west will be seen. Lumpy Jackson will be a fun player to follow this year, and could win the Most Outstanding Player award if Peoria brings home hardware. Thunder Bay Salukis:
The only team from the Great White North, the Thunder Bay Salukis surprised some experts when they took Zane Lemus 10th overall. While a good pitcher, being picked in the first round seemed like a bit of a stretch. They did help out their rotation when they got good value taking J.D. Dominguez in the fifth, who some think may be the ace of the Saluki staff. Victor Vazquez can be a suitable middle of the rotation guy. But Thunder Bay will need to find another starter for this rotation to be considered that of a playoff team. Fidel Alvarez and Joe Hillestad will both hurt this team and will lose more games than they win.
The bullpen is the weakest spot of this team far and away. While there are no overtly bad pitchers, there aren’t any stars there either. Bobby Siglow will be a good closer, although will blow an occasional save. Honestly, the rest of this pen is just painfully average. Steve DeWald will have the best chance of breaking out of that group, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Another arm in this pen would go a long way.
The sticks in Thunder Bay will be the bright spot. Third baseman Nick Meloche will lead the way on offense. Not far behind Meloche will be the right side of the Saluki infield, first baseman Tanner Gibson, and second baseman Mike Bock. While neither will win a batting title, both will hit their fair share of home runs. A player that may be under looked is left fielder Dave White. White is a very balanced hitter who should be able to keep pace with anyone in the Thunder Bay lineup.
The Salukis’ offense will be the reason they win their games. While the pair of Lemus and Dominguez should do a good job of leading the pitching staff, a weak back end of the rotation will be amplified by a lackluster bullpen. This team will have to hit it’s way into the postseason, and I think they may be able to do it. Lexington Thoroughbreds:
The final team in the GLBF, the Lexington Thoroughbreds will post one of the better rotations in the GLBF. Headed by fifth and sixth round picks Pierce Starnes and Nate Moore, they are both capable number two’s although neither are true aces. The three and four of Ricky Garcia and Frank Jimenez will slide into those roles very nicely. The fifth starter Ben Ayler leaves much to be desired and will be a weak point for this staff.
The Thoroughbreds bullpen will need to be aided by the monstrous Thoroughbreds Ballpark. Closer Adam Lucchese isn’t anything special, and his supporting cast is even more so. Jordan Hawkins has some nice stuff, but that is if he can find the strike zone. Jason Farmer will be a big arm for this bullpen, although his skill set is more suited to that of a role player than of a set up man. Hopefully the defense behind this bullpen can bail them out of some bad pitches.
Lexington made maybe the most curious move of the first round, taking 38 year center fielder Ernie Brindel. While division rivals Rockford and Peoria are taking future faces of the franchise, Lexington spent their most valuable asset on a player who will be out of baseball at the next presidential election. Besides that, their best hitter might be their second round pick, right fielder and much younger 27 year old Tyler Reid. Reid will be a guy who you see near the top of home run leader boards, but you’ll also see him put up some large strikeout numbers as well. Their third round pick, 28 year old Brian Wille, shockingly fell to them at 32nd overall and will provide a solid bat for Lexington. Often forgotten about corner outfielder Terry Greathouse will be a key to taking this lineup from above average, to playoff contender.
Playing in a huge ball park will help the Lexington pitching staff, and maybe that is why general manager Dan Ausdemore used his first three picks on offense. Even though he made the most questionable first round selection, his next two picks helped make up for it. This could be one of the better lineups in the league, but having a large ballpark is a double edge sword. However, expect this team to play meaningful games in September.
Now that we got that behemoth of a preview out of the way. It's now time for some probably going to be laughably wrong predictions.
*I did not look that game generated predictions before I made mine East Division
- Bowling Green Griffons. Record: 70-55
- Roanoke Railsplitters. Record 66-59
- Elmira Marksmen. Record 60-65
- Scranton Thunderbolts. Record 57-68
- Belle Isle Bandits. Record 68-57
- Muskegon Riptide. Record 64-61
- Dayton Huskies. Record 58-67
- Port Huron Patriots Record 56-69
- Thunder Bay Salukis. Record 67-58
- Peoria Lancers. 65-60
- Lexington Thoroughbreds 60-65
- Rockford Red Hawks. 58-67
PELOSI to CHRIS WALLACE: ‘I am a master legislator’ -- CAN KELLY ‘TAME’ the White House zoo? -- SENIOR ADVISERS’ ‘casual access’ to Trump will continue -- JARROD AGEN promoted -- NEW NYT podcast -- B’DAY: Jim Rutenberg
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PELOSI to CHRIS WALLACE: ‘I am a master legislator’ -- CAN KELLY ‘TAME’ the White House zoo? -- SENIOR ADVISERS’ ‘casual access’ to Trump will continue -- JARROD AGEN promoted -- NEW NYT podcast -- B’DAY: Jim Rutenberg
by [email protected]
(Daniel Lippman) via POLITICO - TOP Stories
Happy Sunday. SPOTTED last night having dinner at one big table at BLT Prime at the Trump hotel: President Donald Trump, Gen. John Kelly, Dina Powell and David McCormick, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Louise Linton, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Hilary Geary Ross.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK – TRUMP’S WEEK -- Monday: President Trump is presenting the Medal of Honor. ... Tuesday: He holds a small business event at the White House. ... Friday: Trump visits FEMA headquarters to get a briefing on the hurricane season. This week’s theme is the “American dream.”
GROUNDHOG DAY -- “As Trump steams, Senate Republicans consider new repeal effort,” by Burgess Everett, Josh Dawsey and Rachael Bade: “Senate Republicans’ party-line attempts to repeal Obamacare aren’t dead just yet — at least not if President Donald Trump has anything to say about it. Trump, increasingly impatient with the long-stalled repeal effort, met with three Senate Republicans about a new plan to roll back the health care law on Friday, signaling some lawmakers -- as well as the president -- are not ready to ditch their seven-year campaign promise.
“The group is trying to write legislation that could get 50 Republican votes, according to multiple administration and Capitol Hill sources. The proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) would block grant federal health care funding to the states and keep much of Obamacare’s tax regime. White House officials also met with House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) to brainstorm how to make the idea palatable to conservatives, according to two sources familiar with the meeting.” http://politi.co/2tNTxf7
-- ONE CONSERVATIVE said to us the other day that Obamacare is a tax bill -- even the Supreme Court said so. So keeping the taxes would be akin to keeping the entire law, for many conservatives.
ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND -- yesterday at 12:19 p.m.: “After seven years of‘talking’ Repeal & Replace, the people of our great country are still being forced to live with imploding ObamaCare!” … at 12:27 p.m.: “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” … at 1:04 p.m.:“U.S. Stock Market up almost 20% since Election!” …
… at 4:36 p.m.: “Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!” … at 7:15 p.m.: “I love reading about all of the ‘geniuses’ who were so instrumental in my election success. Problem is, most don’t exist. #Fake News! MAGA” … at 7:29 p.m.: “I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet…” … at 7:35 p.m.: “...they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!” … at 7:37 a.m.: “Don’t give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace...and go to 51 votes (nuke option), get Cross State Lines & more.”
KELLYANNE CONWAY on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: “He’s going to make that decision this week [whether to end cost sharing reduction payments], and that’s a decision that only he can make.” http://politi.co/2uOlPYq
-- A FEW QUICK NOTES: Every permutation of repeal and replace got fewer than 50 votes, so ancillary issues -- like being able to buy insurance across state lines -- is besides the point at this moment. IF TRUMP follows through on his threat to end the employer contribution for members of Congress, that would be a big deal, and could strip lawmakers of one of the only appealing benefits of their job. ALSO: Congress has to fund the government at the end of September and lift the debt ceiling shortly after that. Not passing anything until Obamacare is repealed and replaced is not necessarily a realistic position.
-- @burgessev: “Historically, conservatives use filibuster to block progressive legislation. Take this away and the next D Washington has few limits.”
… AND THIS: “Lawsuits could force feds to pay Obamacare insurers,” by Paul Demko: “A pending court decision could force the Trump administration to pump billions of dollars into Obamacare insurers, even as the president threatens to let the health care law ‘implode.’ Health insurers have filed nearly two dozen lawsuits claiming the government owes them payments from a program meant to blunt their losses in the Obamacare marketplaces. That raises the prospect that the Trump administration will have to bankroll a program the GOP has pilloried as an insurer bailout.” http://politi.co/2vbn2LD
NEW CBS NEWS NATION TRACKER POLL -- “Six months in, the latest CBS News Nation Tracker study shows President Donald Trump’s strongest backers like seeing him fight his chosen opponents: they want the President to call out those he believes disloyal, fight with the mainstream media, and they’re the only group among the segments in this study where a majority wants the President to do more tweeting. But what they applaud seems precisely what most others dislike, and that is costing the President potential support, even as many give him credit for an improving economy.”
PETER BAKER: “Trump Tries to Regroup as the West Wing Battles Itself”: “President Trump enters a new phase of his presidency on Monday with a new chief of staff but an old set of challenges as he seeks to get back on course after enduring one of the worst weeks that any modern occupant of the Oval Office has experienced in his inaugural year in power. With his poll numbers at historic lows, his legislative agenda stalled and his advisers busy plotting against one another, Mr. Trump hoped to regain momentum by pushing out his top aide, Reince Priebus, and installing a retired four-star Marine general, John F. Kelly, to take command. But it is far from certain that the move will be enough to tame a dysfunctional White House.
“The shake-up followed a week that saw the bombastic, with-me-or-against-me president defied as never before by Washington and its institutions, including Republicans in Congress, his own attorney general, the uniformed military leadership, police officers and even the Boy Scouts. No longer daunted by a president with a Twitter account that he uses like a Gatling gun, members of his own party made clear that they were increasingly willing to stand against him on issues like health care and Russia. The setbacks came against the backdrop of a West Wing at war with itself, egged on by a president who thrives on conflict and chaos. Mr. Kelly, who had been serving as secretary of homeland security, brings a career of decisive leadership to his new assignment as White House chief of staff. But he confronts multiple power centers among presidential aides, all with independent lines to the man in the Oval Office who resists the discipline and structure favored by generals.” http://nyti.ms/2wbgNog
THE KELLY LOOKAHEADS …
WAPO’S PHIL RUCKER, BOB COSTA and DAN BALZ: “Trump enlists Kelly to enforce order, but can the ‘zoo’ be tamed?”: “When Kelly made the rounds on Capitol Hill before his nomination hearings in January, he did not know Trump very well and asked people there to share stories about the president-elect. He wanted to know how Trump made decisions. Told that Trump relished competing power centers around him, Kelly grimaced and said nothing. ...
“Trump’s transition documents included a lengthy memo about White House structure, based on past administrations. ‘They didn’t follow the product at all,’ said a person with direct knowledge of what transpired as Trump was setting up his administration. ‘They did it instinctively … The president-elect didn’t want to say no to anybody.’ The result was the White House that now exists, populated by advisers with competing ideologies that reflect an administration that is an amalgam of populist nationalists, hard-line conservatives and establishment Republicans — and a few Democrats. …
“The environment is poised to change in the Kelly era. The new chief of staff is expected to have full control over the Oval Office and schedule, officials said. Trusted aides such as Hope Hicks, Dan Scavino and Keith Schiller -- as well as senior advisers such as Kushner, Bannon and Conway -- will continue to have casual access to the president.” http://wapo.st/2tNL0cg
ANDREW RESTUCCIA, BRYAN BENDER and JOSH DAWSEY: “Kelly’s first task: Stabilize the West Wing: The no-nonsense retired Marine Corps general will soon be thrust into the center of the West Wing soap opera”: “When he officially becomes chief of staff on Monday, Kelly, a no-nonsense retired Marine Corps general, will be thrust into the center of the West Wing soap opera, where President Donald Trump’s policy agenda regularly gets preempted by feuding advisers and headline-grabbing scandals. ... ‘I think this is the best and last shot,’ said one person close to Kelly. ‘This is it.’ ...
“Kelly wants to have more of a pecking order among the staff and a more ‘traditional’ approach, one White House official said. But others in the White House said it’s too early to make predictions. ‘Everything is up in the air. Anyone who tells you they know anything is lying,’ a White House official said. ... Kelly has built relationships with several top White House aides in recent months, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Stephen Miller, who have played a central role in Trump’s immigration crackdown.
“Kelly has nonetheless expressed frustration about the White House to friends and associates, complaining about the slow pace of hiring and bristling at having to answer to lower-level aides, according to one person who has spoken to him and another person familiar with the tension. ... Asked to name any similarities between the two men, the person said, ‘They’re both Catholic, but that’s probably about it.’ ... Kelly is expected to make his first staff change at the White House on Monday, when he’ll bring in Kirstjen Nielsen, his chief of staff at DHS.” http://politi.co/2tTD0KV
THE NEVER ENDING CAMPAIGN -- “How 2018 became the new 2020,” by Gabe Debenedetti: “The 2020 Democratic presidential road show is already underway. And 2018 is beginning to look like the dress rehearsal. Top contenders are making endorsements, picking sides in party primaries and aggressively working the fundraising circuit on behalf of 2018 candidates, all the while building their own name recognition. With many of presidential prospects on the ballot themselves next year, potential challengers to Donald Trump are also stockpiling cash to help run up their re-election margins to burnish their stature for the big election on the horizon.
“The early focus on the midterms is a marked departure from previous practice, and a further acceleration of the presidential campaign cycle. Prior to the 2016 presidential primary season, for example, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders largely stayed off the campaign trail and out of elections until late 2014 — roughly six months before they officially announced their campaigns. But with a historically large presidential field taking shape, more than a dozen prominent Democrats — including governors like Terry McAuliffe and Steve Bullock, and senators like Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris — have recognized the need to distinguish themselves from the crowd. And they are already working hard to advance their brand while helping to reinvigorate the dilapidated party infrastructure in advance of the midterm elections.” http://politi.co/2viPoo7
TRUMP is at his Virginia golf resort this morning, per the pool.
-- @markknoller: “By my count, it’s his 36th visit to one of his golf clubs, 15th time at the one in Sterling, VA - since taking office.”
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE is in Tallinn, Estonia. Pence chief of staff Nick Ayers alerted staff and reporters on the trip that Jarrod Agen, communications director, had been promoted to deputy chief of staff, according to pooler Ashley Parker of the Washington Post.
IN MOSCOW … -- “The Kremlin is done betting on Trump and planning how to strike back against U.S. sanctions,” by WaPo’s Andrew Roth in Moscow: “Regardless of whether the Kremlin believes its own denials of interfering in the 2016 elections, there is one undeniable truth: Russia is now Washington’s greatest political foe. Understanding that President Trump is ‘tied hand and foot,’ as one foreign policy hawk here put it, Moscow is weighing options for retaliation.
“After a dalliance on the Trump train, Russia is once again channeling the ruthless realism that drives its political id, and embracing its role as antihero. ‘Okay, you think we’re bad guys, we’re going to be bad guys, and we’ll see whether you like it or not,’ said Konstantin Eggert, a television political commentator, describing the Kremlin thinking.” http://wapo.st/2tUhg1k
RUSSIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI RYABKOV on potential retaliation as because of new U.S. sanctions to ABC’S MARTHA RADDATZ: “If the U.S. side decides to move further towards further deterioration we will answer, we will respond in kind. We will mirror this. … “I can assure you that different options are on the table and consideration is being given to all sorts of things, both symmetrical or asymmetrical to use a very popular word in the world of diplomacy.”
FOR YOUR RADAR -- AP: “U.S. bombers fly over South Korea after North’s 2nd ICBM test”: “The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force against North Korea following the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test. The U.S. also said it conducted a successful test of a missile defense system located in Alaska. The B-1 bombers were escorted by South Korean fighter jets as they performed a low-pass over an air base near the South Korean capital of Seoul before returning to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the U.S. Pacific Air Forces said in a statement. …
“‘North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,’ said Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander. “Diplomacy remains the lead. However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.’ ‘If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing,’ O’Shaughnessy said.” http://bit.ly/2hcLebc
SUNDAY BEST …
-- HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI defends her leadership to CHRIS WALLACE on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” -- “I am a master legislator. I know the budget to the nth degree. I know the motivation of people I respect the people who are in Congress. I think this is a great moment for those of us who understand what is at stake with the Affordable Care Act – what our possibilities are in terms of working together with the Republicans as has been our experience in the past. So I feel very confident about the support I have in my caucus. I have never not been opposed within my caucus.”
--PELOSI ON JOHN KELLY: “I look forward to working with General Kelly. I’ve worked with him as Secretary Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security. So I will be speaking with him today. We look forward to working together. It’s a very important position – the President’s chief of staff to the President of the United States. And it has to be recognized that he is the chief of staff.”
-- HHS SECRETARY TOM PRICE talks with CHUCK TODD on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS: TODD: “So if they come up with a fix that helps, essentially gives some certainty to the insurance companies to go into rural markets, are you then going to implement the Affordable Care Act as it was meant to be, including encouraging people to sign up, encouraging enrollment, encouraging Medicaid expansion?” PRICE: “Well, our, as I said, our responsibility is to follow the law and again we take that responsibility very seriously and we will continue to do so. But remember that the current law right now is failing the American people. As I mentioned, I think, we’ve got 40 counties across this – 40 counties that will no longer have any insurance company next year.
“That’s not a choice for anybody. You’ve got a third of the counties right now that only have one insurance company providing coverage. That’s not a choice for anybody. You’ve got premiums that are up, deductibles that are up, people having that insurance card and no care, got insurers fleeing the market. 83 insurance companies fled the health insurance market last year. That’s before this administration came in. This system is imploding upon itself and that's what we’re trying to care of. That’s what the president has said. That’s why we need repeal and replace.”
-- PRICE to ABC’S MARTHA RADDATZ on “THIS WEEK” -- TRUMP DOESN’T REALLY WANT TO LET OBAMACARE EXPLODE: RADDATZ: “But he says... -- let it -- let Obamacare implode, then deal. What does that mean?” PRICE: “Well, I -- again, I think what that does is punctuate the seriousness with which he understands the American people are having to deal with the current situation.”
-- OMB DIRECTOR MICK MULVANEY talks with CNN’S JAKE TAPPER on “STATE OF THE UNION” -- TAPPER: “When General Kelly is sworn in on Monday as White House chief of staff, will all staff members immediately begin reporting to him?” MULVANEY: “I don’t know. I answer to the chief of staff. And I will continue to do that. The Office of Management and Budget actually reports directly to the chief of staff. Obviously, we answer to the president, as everybody does in the West Wing. But, as far as I know, my reporting doesn’t change, nor do I have any reason for it to change. So, we will continue to do our business at OMB the same way we did last week. I think we’re doing some good work, and look forward to continuing that under General Kelly’s leadership.”
FUN -- NYT’s NEW PODCAST – Per The Times: “[W]e published the first episode of ‘The New Washington,’ a new limited-run politics podcast that takes you inside Trump’s Washington. Each episode of ‘The New Washington,’ which airs once a week and will run through the fall, features interviews with politicians and Washington insiders, along with insight, analysis and perspective from some of The Times’s most intrepid reporters. ... In the introductory episode, Michael Barbaro talks with Carl Hulse about the most interesting and important characters in Washington today and what he’s learned from his decades covering these figures -- and sharing a home, and in one case a barber, with them.” http://nyti.ms/2u8FbFR
WAPO’S ROXANNE ROBERTS in REHOBOTH BEACH, DEL. -- “Joe Biden still wants to be president. Can his family endure one last campaign?”http://wapo.st/2u9e2CH
HOMESTATE POLITICS -- “Lisa Murkowski walked a tightrope in Alaska when she voted ‘no’ on Obamacare repeal,” by the L.A. Times’ Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage: “The chairman of the Alaska Republican Party says phones at the state GOP office have been ringing off the hook with Republicans angry or confused by Murkowski’s votes. To some moderates, independents and Democrats, she is a folk hero. Supporters planned a ‘Stay Strong Lisa’ rally on Saturday in Anchorage.” http://lat.ms/2viM38A
ELECTION WATCH -- “Hackers descend on Las Vegas to expose voting machine flaws,” by Kevin Collier in Las Vegas: “Election officials and voting machine manufacturers insist that the rites of American democracy are safe from hackers. But people like Carten Schurman need just a few minutes to raise doubts about that claim. Schurman, a professor of computer science at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, used a laptop’s Wi-Fi connection Friday to gain access to the type of voting machine that Fairfax County, Virginia, used until just two years ago. Nearby, other would-be hackers took turns trying to poke into a simulated election computer network resembling the one used by Cook County, Illinois.
“Elsewhere, a gaggle of hackers went to work on a model still used in parts of seven states, as well as all of the state of Nevada. Though the device was supposedly wiped before it was sold by the government at auction, the hackers were able to uncover the results the machine tallied in 2002. They were among the hundreds of cybersecurity experts who descended on ‘Voting Village,’ one of the most talked-about features of the annual DEF CON hacker conference. In a cramped conference room, they took turns over three days cracking into 10 examples of voting machines and voter registration systems — a reminder, they say, of the risks awaiting upcoming U.S. elections.” http://politi.co/2eYkwSM
BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from the Deutsche Bahn ICE train from Munich to Berlin, where he’s attending the American Council of Germany’s American-German Young Leaders Conference:
--“Scott Pruitt’s Crimes Against Nature,” by Jeff Goodell in Rolling Stone: “Trump’s EPA chief is gutting the agency, defunding science and serving the fossil-fuel industry.” http://rol.st/2uCAUhf
--“Patagonia’s Big Business of #Resist,” by Abe Streep in Outside Magazine: “The iconic brand has long been the conscience of the outdoor industry, forsaking hefty profits to do the right thing. Now the company is going to war against the Trump administration over protections for public land in a bid to become a serious political player—which happens to be very good for sales.” http://bit.ly/2h7eQGN
--“Strippers, Insane Asylums, Assassination, and Termites: Inside the Insane History of the World’s Greatest White House Replica,” by The Daily Beast’s Will O’Connor in Baton Rouge: “Governor Huey Long was so anxious to get to the White House that he built his own in Baton Rouge. An assassin’s bullet cut short Long’s ambitions, but his gaudy knock-off survives.” http://thebea.st/2uO1fHK
--“Slaves of Isis: the long walk of the Yazidi women,” by Cathy Otten in The Guardian: “When Isis rounded up Yazidi women and girls in Iraq to use as slaves, the captives drew on their collective memory of past oppressions – and a powerful will to survive.” http://bit.ly/2v83KXp
--“Kristin Beck: A Navy SEAL in Transition,” by Devin Friedman in the Nov. 2015 issue of GQ: “Back when she was a member of SEAL Team 6—Kristin Beck liked to grow her beard real long. But as disguises go, that was nothing compared with the life she lived as a man. What’s it take, and how does it feel, for a paragon of masculinity to travel so far to find her true self?” http://bit.ly/2v2g9fN
--“Naked Truths: Who are we without our clothes?” by Jamie Lauren Keiles in Racked -- per Longreads’ description: “Keiles spends a week at a naturist camp to learn ‘why people get naked.’ As she exercises, sun tans, and square dances her way through a week garbed for the most part only in shoes, she gets stripped not only of inhibitions around her own body, but also of notions around naturist intent, learning that most enthusiasts take off their clothes not for sexual reasons, but simply to feel free.” http://bit.ly/2vbWRVU
--“Instagram is Pushing Restaurants to be Kitschy, Colorful, and Irresistible to Photographers,” by The Verge’s Casey Newton: “[S]ome entrepreneurs are taking the idea a step further, designing their physical spaces in the hopes of inspiring the maximum number of photos. They’re commissioning neon signs bearing modestly sly double entendres, painting elaborate murals of tropical wildlife, and embedding floor tiles with branded greetings — all in the hopes that their guests will post them.” http://bit.ly/2v3C06j
--“Afghanistan’s Young Liberal Elites Challenge the Taliban,” by Susanne Koelbl in Der Spiegel: “A young, liberal elite has emerged in Kabul, including many women. It is taking a stand against the Taliban’s atrocities in the form of political and artistic initiatives and wants to put an end to Afghanistan’s culture of violence.” http://bit.ly/2v1XjWn
--“Tough Talk,” by Steve Kolowich in the Chronicle of Higher Ed: “A black philosopher at Texas A&M thought forcing a public discussion about race and violence was his job. Turns out people didn’t want to hear it.” http://bit.ly/2h6YCxB
SPOTTED: Ed Gillespie at gate 42 at Reagan airport Sunday morning. A “couple folks walked up to wish him well,” per our tipster.
HAPPY 28th ANNIVERSARY to Diane and Paul Begala.
WEEKEND WEDDINGS – “Deanna Howes, Peter Spiro” -- N.Y. Times: “Mrs. Spiro, 31, is the communications director at the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, which is in Washington. She graduated from Fordham and received a master’s degree in communication from Johns Hopkins. ... Mr. Spiro, 47, is the chief of staff to Representative Ro Khanna, a California Democrat. The groom graduated from Tulane and received an M.B.A. from Georgetown. ... The bride and groom first met at a political fund-raiser in 2013, and after an encounter at another fund-raiser, several emails and a much longer conversation at an awards dinner, they began dating in 2015.” With pichttp://nyti.ms/2uN7Hyr
… Wedding pichttp://bit.ly/2uKnu2J
SPOTTED: Rep. Ro Khanna, Archbishop of Vilnius Gintaras Grusas, Rev. Michael J. Sheeran S.J., former Amb. to Malta Gary Matthews, former Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), ret. Lt. Col. Jim Zumwalt, Heather Purcell, Geo Saba, Kevin Fox, Will McKelvey.
--Conrad Lucas, West Virginia GOP chairman and likely 2018 congressional candidate, last night married LeFlore Barbour, an RNC alum now a strategic partner at Direct Edge. The couple met in 2014 at an RNC meeting, and the wedding was in New Orleans. Pichttp://bit.ly/2eYC2WV
SPOTTED: former Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour, Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, RAGA political director Seth Wimer, RNC members Sharon Day, Christine Toretti, Henry Barbour, John Ryder, Vicki Drummond, Jonelle Fulmer, Doyle Webb, Jonathan Barnett, Jeannie Luckey, and Melody Potter, and Austin Barbour, Greg Thomas, Rob Cornelius, Jordan Burgess, Kayla Kessinger, Roger Hanshaw, Riley Moore, Brent Robertson, Katie Hirkman, former WV state Justice John McCuskey, Lane Flynn, Katie Leslie, and Jeppie Barbour.
--“Jamie Farnsworth, Andrew Finn”: “Mrs. Finn, 33, is a digital and operations manager for education initiatives at NBC News in New York. [She is also an alum of ‘Rock Center’ and CBS News.] She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ... Mr. Finn, 34, is a special counsel in the litigation group at Sullivan & Cromwell, a New York law firm. He also graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, though the couple didn’t meet until after both had moved to New York. He received a law degree from New York Law School. ... The couple met in Manhattan in 2015 at a Memorial Day weekend party. They talked about their common background in Wisconsin, and laughed when they exchanged cellphone numbers, as each had retained a 608 area code from their time in Madison.” With pichttp://nyti.ms/2hczSE3
OBAMA ALUMNI -- “Casey Pallenik, Bradford Simmons”: “The bride, 30 ... is a director of business development for Atlantic Media in Washington. She is also studying for an M.B.A. at Johns Hopkins. Previously, she was a political appointee of the Obama administration, where she served as a staff assistant in the East Wing visitors office, facilitating public tours and large events at the White House. She graduated cum laude from American University. ... The groom, 31, is a foreign affairs officer at the State Department, where he advises on energy security matters in the Asia Pacific. He graduated from Emory University in Atlanta and received a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University. ... The couple met in 2007 while studying abroad in Prague.” With pichttp://nyti.ms/2vb33wt
... Wedding picshttp://bit.ly/2tUquux
--SPOTTED: Graham Brookie, Samantha Tubman, Jonny Dach, Leslie Dach, Chelsea Bollinger, Emily Boyle, Mike DelMoro, Will Jennings and Adrienne Watson, Tess Hetzel, Dana Rosensweig, Elizabeth Pan, Julia Duncan, Micah Fergenson, Andrea Richter, Thayer Surette, Josh Volz, Alex Kahl, Rachel Alben, Kelly McCoy and Sid Mahanta.
BIRTHDAYS: Jim Rutenberg ... WSJ’s Shane Harris ... Dave Kochel, Jeb and Mitt alum ... Chris Battle ... Carl Lavin ... Medicare is 52 ... Arnold Schwarzenegger is 7-0 … Anita Hill is 61 ... Trump WH alum Michael Short … Eleanor Smeal is 78 ... former Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.) is 77 ... Michelle Bernard ... Mario H. Lopez, president of Hispanic Leadership Fund (hat tip: Joseph Culotta) ... Rebecca Kutler, VP at CNN … former CFTC Chairman Tim Massad is 61 ... Chelsie Gosk, social media at Airbnb and a New Yorker alum … Freeman Klopott … Meredith Simpson … Megan Rodriguez ... Fran McCarthy (h/t Jon Haber) … Tony Maciulis is 41 ... Mark Beatty, 270 Strategies founding partner and 2012 Obama deputy battleground states director. “It’s his last bachelor birthday -- he marries the love of his life in less than a month!” (h/t Lynda Tran) ... Ben Marter, comms director for Sen. Durbin ... Candace Randle ... Robert Gottheim … Brad Jenkins of Funny or Die … Bill O’Leary, a partner at Heidrick & Struggles, celebrating by playing golf and having dinner with the kids (h/ts Ben Chang) ...
... Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America ... Courtney Asbill ... former Rep. Quico Canseco (R-Tex.) is 68 ... former Rep. Wendell Bailey (R-Mo.) is 77 ... Furhawn Shah ... Kana Smith ... Ines de La Cuetara ... Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) is 51 ... Politico’s Tyler Weyant, Alexa Velickovich and Francesca Pigna ... MSNBC’s Isaac-Davy Aronson ... Garry Malphrus ... HuffPost’s Ashley Alman ... Maggie Easterlin Cutrell ... Kate Harris … Lindsay Butcher ... Colleen Murray … Glen Chambers … Salesforce’s Jim Green … Bonnie Eggers ... Nate Beeler ... Emily Sanders Elam ... Dave Koenig is 58 ... Robert Basmadjian ... Stephen Gallo is 33 ... Paul Dickson ... Wesley Boatwright is 53 ... George McDowell … Jonathan Spalter ... Asher Grady (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
The presidential election has a lot of action available: everything from betting on the Democratic nominee to if celebrities like the Rock or Oprah Winfrey will run. While the Tory high command will claim Bradford West is a safe Labour seat and the by-election was held mid-term, there will be alarm at the slump in the Conservative vote. With vital local elections coming up on May 3 - including the high-profile clash between Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone for London mayor - there will be concerns that the Betfred redeemed itself with the French election where turnover was over £1m – a similar figure to the 2015 UK general election. Next Thursday we’ll have at least doubled that figure to £2m-plus but all this record breaking on political markets represents a huge challenge. Politics Betting: Miliband must pass by-election test. Labour's leader is said to be embattled but Paul Krishnamurty believes that the party remain the most likely to win the next General Election. Oldham West and Royston By-Election: UKIP must be rated the value bet George Galloway's Respect pulled off an enormous upset in Labour-held Bradford West on a whopping 53% betting markets