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This week: Final looks at the midterms and the Great War anniversary / Celebrating Wu-Tang Clan / Divided Sexual America / High blood pressure and dementia

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Why electing two Native American women to Congress is about more than making history
By Sarah Sunshine Manning | The Lily | November 2018
“It’s about asserting indigenous women’s ancestral right to leadership”
Also see, from Texas Monthly: ‘Underdog: Beto vs. Cruz’ on 36 Hours in El Paso
Also see, from Texas Monthly: Beto O’Rourke Lost the Battle But Won the War
Also see, from The New York Times: Down With the Year of the Woman

2. Can Europe’s Liberal Order Survive as the Memory of War Fades?
By Katin Bennhold | The New York Times | November 2018
“The anniversary comes amid a feeling of gloom and insecurity as the old demons of chauvinism and ethnic division are again spreading across the Continent. And as memory turns into history, one question looms large: Can we learn from history without having lived it ourselves?”
Also see, from The New York Review of Books: World War I Relived Day by Day
Also see, from Library of America: Harry S. Truman: Waiting for the Armistice
Also see, from The Washington Post: On this World War I anniversary, let’s not celebrate Woodrow Wilson

3. In revealing new memoir, Michelle Obama candidly shares her story
By Krissah Thompson | The Washington Post | November 2018
“In the 426-page book, Obama lays out her complicated relationship with the political world that made her famous. But her memoir is not a Washington read full of gossip and political score-settling — though she does lay bare her deep, quaking disdain for Trump, who she believes put her family’s safety at risk with his vehement promotion of the false birther conspiracy theory.”

4. The New York Times is digitizing more than 5 million photos dating back to the 1800s
By Laura Hazard Owen | Nieman Lab | November 2018
“The photos will be used in a series called Past Tense.”

5. Why Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F*ck Wit
By Stereo Williams | The Daily Beast | November 2018
“Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the greatest rap group of all time’s seminal debut, ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).’ ”

6. Peace Regimes
By Jesse Kindig | Boston Review | November 2018
“A regime is imposed from without, which begs the questions: whose peace, in this peace regime, is being insured, and who is subject to its imposition? To insist that such a regime is a kind of peace is to willfully forget the violence you are, in fact, wreaking.”

7. Republicans and Democrats Don’t Just Disagree About Politics. They Have Different Sexual Fantasies
By Justin Lehmiller | Politico Magazine | October 2018
“Republicans were more likely than Democrats to fantasize about a range of activities that involve sex outside of marriage.”

8. Pregnancy high blood pressure linked to dementia decades later
By Cheryl Platzman Weinstock | Reuters | November 2018
“Pregnant women who develop pre-eclampsia, a condition involving dangerously high blood pressure, have more than three times higher risk of dementia later in life than women who don’t have this pregnancy complication, researchers say.”

9. The Suffocation of Democracy
By Christopher R. Browning | The New York Review of Books | October 2018
“As a historian specializing in the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, and Europe in the era of the world wars, I have been repeatedly asked about the degree to which the current situation in the United States resembles the interwar period and the rise of fascism in Europe. I would note several troubling similarities and one important but equally troubling difference.”

10. Franco’s family demands dictator be buried with military honors
By Natalia Junquera | El Pais | October 2018
“His seven grandchildren want him to be interred in La Almudena cathedral, in the heart of Madrid”

Election 2018: Recommended reading II

Today we’re seeing a blizzard of news analysis pieces, essays, op-eds, and a million other election-related items. Here are five pieces I’d recommend.

1. Jeff Sessions out as attorney general
By Politico | November 2018
“President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday that Jeff Sessions is out as attorney general, and that Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, will take over as the acting head of the Justice Department.”

2. Texas Congressional Delegation Grows More Diverse Amid Several Republican Upsets
By Marcia Recio | Texas Monthly | November 2018
“An evening that included the unseating of longtime Congressman Pete Sessions saw the historic election of the state’s first two Latinas to Congress.”

3. How a Democratic U.S. House could alter foreign policy
By Patricia Zengerle | Reuters | November 2018
“Democrats plan Russia-related investigations, such as a probe of possible business ties and conflicts of interest between Trump and Russia. From a policy perspective, a Democratic-led House would push to punish Russia for interference in U.S. elections and activities including its aggression in Ukraine and involvement in the Syrian civil war.”

4. A partisan war awaits Trump. That just might suit him.
By Peter Baker | The New York Times | November 2018
“Combative by nature, happier in a fight, the president may now have to choose between escalating the pitched conflict that has torn Washington apart in recent years and attempting the sort of reach-across-the-aisle conciliation that has rarely marked his presidency so far.”

5. Don DeLillo on Trump’s America: ‘I’m not sure the country is recoverable’
By Xan Brooks | The Guardian | November 2018
“He has spent half a century dissecting America’s dreams and nightmares. Now the great novelist is imagining what his ‘deluged’ country will be like three years from today”

Follow past entries here.

Election 2018: Finally over

This series was meant to continue into the midnight, 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. hours but the intricacies of editing took precedence, followed by the need for some sleep.

9:00 to 10:00

What a night. Democrat Beto O’Rourke goes down in defeat. Republicans hold the Senate and may lose the House. Bexar County is bluer than ever.

The hardest part of the night is underway … editing all the little stories that are flowing in from the reporters and piecing them all together for tomorrow morning’s broadcast.

Preparing a newscast seems to be more art than science — the tone has to be just right; there’s a particular balance of information and voices that must be achieved.

Follow past entries here.

Election 2018: It ain’t over ’til it’s over

7:00 to 8:00

Our news coverage plan is unfolding almost flawlessly. I’m so proud of my reporters. I’m so proud of my entire news team.

Some of these races are unfolding with greater drama than anyone expected. Differences in vote percentages that are less than one percent in some races.

The mood in the newsroom is one of confidence, excitement and fascination. Republicans in Bexar County took a beating in early voting, and many Democrats are leading.

But there are almost 8,000 precincts in Texas, and only a fraction of their votes have been tallied. The following hours offer only more drama and tension.

It’s only 8 p.m. Six hours to go. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

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Election 2018: The turnout factor

6:00 to 7:00

Less than an hour to go. Polls close at 7 p.m., and then the early voting numbers are released two minutes later.

Some analysts think so many people have voted early that those results alone may be enough to call some of these races.

In this county, more than 100,000 people voted today. Nationwide, I’ve heard turnout numbers may break 50-year records. Amazing.

Why? We can guess. Some of the more interesting stories in the coming days will be the ones that include voters’ voices and endeavor to answer that question.

Follow past entries here.

Election 2018: A rhythm to the heartbeat

2:00 to 5:00

From now on, it’s all about how the pieces will fall into place … or perhaps not exactly into place, depending on how well we’ve planned but also how flexible we are. Some races matter more than others, if only because of how many lives the victors will affect from their seats of political power. More than 450,000 in Bexar County have voted early, via mail, or in person today, and there are about two hours left.

“Keep the stories short and detailed …” “Get their voices and the sound swirling around them …” “These five stories at the top and bottom of every newscast …”

The approach to news, the philosophies, the strategies … after 11 months as a radio news editor, this old newspaperman still has so much more to learn. Sometimes it feels like I’m evolving from thinking two-dimensionally to thinking three-dimensionally.

But there’s a rhythm to the heartbeat of this organism. A pattern in the tapestry. If nothing else, I can latch on to the regularity of how this organism moves from one hour to the next, from one day and week to the next, and make it a part of my own rhythms.

My reporters are filing in, slowly but surely, as we approach our scheduled 5 p.m. staff meeting. I’ve kept them informed about where their candidates will be tonight, where the watch parties will be, and reliable contact numbers. We’ll have our meeting, have some pizza, and then I will deploy our army into the political world, and then the battle begins.

Follow past entries here.

Election 2018: Recommended reading

Today we’re seeing a blizzard of news analysis pieces, essays, op-eds, and a million other election-related items.

Here are five pieces that I’d recommend. I may offer recommendations later in the evening. Please add your own recommendations in the comments.

1. 12 Young People on Why They Probably Won’t Vote
By Rachel Bashein, Zak Cheney-Rice, Amelia Schonbek, and Emma Whitford | New York Magazine | November 2018
“More than half of American adults plan to cast ballots in November, but only a third of people ages 18 to 29 say they will. Here, 12 young adults on why they probably won’t vote.”

2. 7 things to watch on Election Day
By Lisa Hagan and Max Greenwood | The Hill | November 2018
“How big will turnout be? Democrats will pick up House seats but how just how many? It’s not the economy, stupid.”

3. What’s at stake for women in this year’s midterms
By Emily Sugerman | The Daily Beast | November 2018
“Female candidates and abortion rights are on the ballot, while the #MeToo movement is one everyone’s mind.”

4. Voters Head to the Polls, and America Waits for Answers
The New York Times | November 2018
“Will Republicans hold onto their majorities in the House and Senate? Will President Trump’s supporters come out in force at the polls once again? Will a “blue wave” happen?”

5. Spotify Made a Texas Voting Playlist
By Dan Solomon | Texas Monthly | November 2018
“The Sweden-based music streaming service wants to rev up Texans to do their civic duty with songs popular in the state.”

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