Tales in the war against reality waged by Trump and his party:
And yet, James Fallows sees cause for optimism (assuming Trump doesn't blow up the world):
In [the election's] calamitous effects—for climate change, in what might happen in a nuclear standoff, for race relations—this could indeed be as consequential a “change” election as the United States has had since 1860. But nothing about the voting patterns suggests that much of the population intended upheaval on this scale. “Change” elections drive waves of incumbents from office. This time only two senators, both Republicans, lost their seats.
[C]ity by city, and at the level of politics where people’s judgments are based on direct observation rather than media-fueled fear, Americans still trust democratic processes and observe long-respected norms. As I argued in a cover story last year, most American communities still manage to compromise, invest and innovate, make long-term plans.
Given the atrophy of old-line media with their quaint regard for truth, the addictive strength of social media and their unprecedented capacity to spread lies, and the cynicism of modern politics, will we ever be able to accurately match image with reality? The answer to that question will determine the answer to another: whether this election will be a dire but survivable challenge to American institutions or an irreversible step toward something else.
Only 698 days until the 2018 election...
(Meteorological) Winter is less than a week old and already we've set a winter weather record. We got our first snowfall of the season yesterday, and the 163 mm we got officially in Chicago was the largest snowfall we've ever gotten for the first snow of the season.
Davenport, Iowa, got an inconvenient 259 mm. Yikes.
The Illinois State Climatologist reports on the autumn season, which for meteorologists ended Wednesday:
This was the 5th warmest November on record for Illinois, based on preliminary data. The statewide average temperature was 8.6°C, and 2.7°C above normal.
It was also the 2nd warmest fall on record for Illinois. The statewide average temperature for fall was 15.2°C, 2.8°C above normal. Only the fall of 1931 was warmer at 15.4°C The climatological fall months are September, October, and November.
It was an absolutely beautiful season here. That's one of the benefits to Chicago of anthropomorphic climate change.
Despite everything awful happening around the country, here in Chicago we've had unusually gorgeous weather. We've had 81% of possible sunshine this month, well above the normal 43%. And we've also had near-record heat, with today predicted to be 22°C, a whopping 14°C above normal.
Of course, tomorrow a cold front will come through to give us our first freeze since April, but hey, it's November.
The Weather Channel has the forecasts for battleground states in one convenient location:
Today is Election Day, and you may be wondering, not only what conditions will be like as you head out to the polls, but also whether the weather may factor in the battle for control of Senate, not to mention the presidency.
A 2012 poll commissioned by The Weather Company found weather can have a game-changing effect on turnout in a close election, with party affiliation and demographics key factors.
- Michigan: Some rain showers will move through the state from west to east along a cold front during the day, but widespread heavy downpours are not anticipated. Highs will range from the 40s in upper Michigan to the 50s in lower Michigan.
- Ohio: Light rain showers will increase during the day, particularly in western and northern Ohio. It will be much warmer-than-average with afternoon readings in the 60s for most.
But most of the U.S. is precipitation-free today, and many places, including Chicago, have near-record warm temperatures.
So what does it mean? It means we may have the largest voter turnout in U.S. history, which will help the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton more than the other guys.
Recaps of the debate comprise just a few of the things I haven't had time to read today:
- Who hated Trump's caginess on whether he'd accept the election results if he lost? Everyone: The Economist, The New Republic, The National Review, Talking Points Memo, everyone.
- Trump's debate performance is being compared to book reports by kids who haven't read the book.
- Pilot Patrick Smith says Trump's airline wasn't that bad for customers, but it never made a profit either.
- Meanwhile, the Cubs beat the Dogders 10-2, which means the series will be decided at Wrigley on Saturday or Sunday.
- Looks like Chicago will have a warm-ish November and a normal-ish winter.
- One of the world's largest data centers, here in the South Loop area of Chicago, will soon be a lot bigger.
- Funny statistic: almost all airport noise complaints come from a handful of people—like the one person in Maryland who complained about Washington Dulles 1,024 times last year.
- Finally, "Hamilton," which I saw Sunday, got a rave from the Tribune.
Back to my meetings.
Tonight I've gotten invited to hear Lin-Manuel Miranda speak at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and after that, a masquerade. Then tomorrow is Chicago Gourmet. Then Sunday I'll either plotz or walk 30 kilometers. (Though in truth I'll probably be fine as my cold, tapering though it is, makes me not want to indulge too much.)
Meanwhile, here are some articles that I may read in the next few hours:
If possible, I'll post some photos from Gourmet.
So...I hate to admit this, but I'm going to US Cellular Field tonight, because my trivia team won a bunch of Sox tickets. This will make me 0-for-3 on paying to get into the place, which I like. And tonight, in a very literal way, the park will go to the dogs:
The White Sox will receive an attendance boost from some canine fans Tuesday when the team hosts its annual “Bark at the Park” event, and they hope it’s enough to set a new Guinness World Record.
The Sox are attempting to set a record for the most dogs at a sporting event when the Sox host the Indians in the second game of a four-game series. They need a minimum of 1,000 dogs in attendance for the record, and the dogs must remain in their outfield seats for a period of 10 minutes, starting at the top of the third inning, in order for the record to count.
A Guinness World Record adjudicator will be on hand to verify the record.
The event is sold out. The event, not the game, mind you; as the Tribune points out, "The Sox announced an attendance of just 12,588 fans for Monday’s 11-4 victory over the Indians, so 1,000 dogs could make up a sizable chunk of the crowd Tuesday."
Oh, and it's supposed to rain.
From yesterday's Times: you know how global warming is "just a theory?" Not anymore.
The results are in for meteorologcial summer 2016, and it was, in fact, really warm and soggy in Illinois. Chicago's average temperature of 23.5°C was 1.4°C above the 1980-2010 normal. That period was the warmest in history, however, so the summer that just ended Wednesday was Chicago's 18th warmest in recorded history, putting it at the 88th percentile.
Did I mention wet? For June through August, we got 338.8 mm of precipitation, a damp 32.8 mm above normal—not a record, but still very squishy.
Oh, wait—we did hit a record after all. Illinois' statewide average 175.0 mm of precipitation in August, and 349.0 mm for July and August combined, were both the wettest such periods in recorded Illinois history.
Combine the humidity that produced all that precipitation with the above-normal heat and this past summer was uncomfortable.
September, however, has been delightful. The Tribune reports that yesterday Chicago had 100% of its possible sunshine for the first time since June 21st, and we may have an entire weekend—3 days in a row—for the first time since November 10th.