There’s a lotta hand-wringing going on with Democrats and opinion writers who are covering the 2020 campaign for the party out of power over Bernie, who emerged triumphant out of the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, but who is polarizing within the left. You can read that everywhere. But, scant attention is being paid to the GOP primaries. What Republican primaries?, you might ask. Well, Trump is not the only Republican on the ballot in some places, including New Hampshire, which also primaried for the GOP last night. Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, who you might remember ran for VP last time as a libertarian, got 9.1% of the vote. This showing was characterized as “surprisingly well” by The Week. The Washington Post reported the count from 91.6% of the precincts as 124,394 for Trump and 13,207 for Weld. Even Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman who has bemoaned Trump’s personality and called his supporters cultish, came in with 898 votes. Two other candidates I never heard of had similar showings. On the whole, New Hampshire, while early in voting is too small to be too much of a harbinger. Are you voting in a Super Tuesday state? Texas’s Democratic and Republican primaries are March 3 and early voting is February 18-28. Remember, there are candidate for positions other than president who are in primaries for both parties, such as congressional districts. One district in the Houston area has several Republicans vying to be the party’s nominee after the incumbent announced retirement. Whatever your political leanings, you should research your ballot ahead of time and check out the candidates and issues – state, local and federal. This is true for primary and general elections. For fellow Texans, I recommend you check out this voting guide from the Texas Tribune.
There’s a lot of concern about the breakdown of trust in American institutions, ranging from our government to the media. It’s therefore a bummer that this concern extends to baseball. The cheating scandal over our hometown team, the Houston Astros, definitely deflates fans and enthusiasm. The Washington Post now reports that its hometown team, the Washington Nationals, knew what the Astros were doing with sign stealing and were able to overcome it to win their own World Series championship. Sadly, the Post reports, the cheating by the Astros was widely known inside baseball. Kudos to the Post for revealing a remarkable story of how the Nationals gathered what they needed to know about the Astros’ scheme. For locals, it’s sad because winning the World Series in 2017 was the emotional uplift this whole region needed after the deluge of Hurricane Harvey. If you missed it, The Sage Leopard chronicled the craziness of living in isolation within the Addicks Reservoir pool for several days during and after the storm. You can read about that here.
There’s a lotta reasons I haven’t gone on a cruise (although I have not ruled it out), including getting sick and/or stuck at sea. Another cruise ship in Asia is seeing that reality play out due to understandable concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Holland America’s Westerdam was denied entry to four countries (Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand) and the U.S. territory of Guam. The cruise line now hopes to drop off passengers in Cambodia and fly them home from there. Meanwhile, the outlook for the virus remains unknown, according to the World Health Organization, CNBC reports. The virus’s disease now has a name for classification purposes: COVID-19. The virus is named SARS-CoV-2. How much do you want to bet we all just keep calling the epidemic “coronavirus”?