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A series of unfortunate events plague the GOP

A series of unfortunate events plague the GOP

The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s home is just the latest in a series of unfortunate events that plague the GOP. It all started on June 24 when the Supreme Court, dominated by justices appointed by Republican presidents, nullified Roe V. Wade and the abortion rights that women have had for half a century.

Since then, it has been all downhill for the party with less than 100 days left until the midterm elections.

A national survey for The Economist conducted just before the Supreme Court’s Dobbs abortion ruling showed the GOP with a 4-point edge in the generic congressional trial heat. A new poll conducted last week for the magazine showed that Democrats enjoyed a 5-point advantage. That’s a swing of 9 points and millions of votes for Democrats in the last seven weeks.

Kansas voters clearly demonstrated their reaction against the Dobbs ruling when they overwhelmingly rejected an attempt by anti-abortion forces to allow the state legislature the right to limit choice in the Sunflower State. The resulting vote in favor of keeping abortion rights in this traditionally red state is a clear signal to Republicans that the party’s anti-abortion crusade is an electoral albatross.

But there is much more to the erosion in GOP support besides abortion.

President Joe Biden is on a roll. Gas prices are declining while the supply of jobs continue to grow. The most recent Democratic initiative is the Inflation Reduction Act, which is the most significant step the United States has taken to fight climate change, passed the Senate and is poised to reach Biden’s desk soon. The bill would be a welcome relief to millions of hard-working Americans who pay more than their fair share of taxes and to the people who have endured the death and destruction from the flooding, drought, insufferable heat waves and forest fires associated with climate change. The bill would fund the fight against climate change by making corporate scofflaws pay their fair share of taxes.

The agreement would also allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, a change that could save billions of dollars for millions of Medicare recipients. Senate Democrats also aimed to place a cap on the price of insulin dosages for Medicare payments at $35, but Senate Republicans blocked the provision. Soon Americans will see ads that attack vulnerable Senate Republicans for their callous indifference to the millions of people who suffer from diabetes.

If the Inflation Reduction Act becomes law, it will boost Biden’s standing before the midterm election which in turn boosts the prospects of Democratic midterm candidates. He has already encouraged Congress to pass significant legislation to fight COVID-19, improve infrastructure and to combat gun violence. The Inflation Reduction Act would be is the jewel in the crown of an impressive presidential legislative resume.

But the biggest problem that has plagued the GOP is Trump’s refusal to leave the stage. The raid on Mar a Lago is just another episode in the tragic Trump soap opera. Predictably, Republicans, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), rallied behind their idol after the FBI search and seizure of Trump’s home in Florida. Trump’s hold on his party makes it easier for Democrats to tie the GOP to its fallen leader. Days after the raid related to documents that should have been turned over to the National Archives after leaving the Oval Office, Trump took the Fifth Amendment in a another legal matter and refused to answer questions posed in the investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James about his dubious business dealings in the state.

His legal jeopardy on multiple fronts guarantees he will dominate media attention for months — while the GOP tries to keep the spotlight on the sitting president. The GOP congressional leadership wants to make the midterm campaign a referendum on Biden. Now the campaign pivots on a choice between the recovering incumbent and his disgraced predecessor.

The House committee investigating Jan. 6 exposed Trump’s failure to stop the pillage of the temple of American democracy. He has campaigned widely to aid candidates who believe in his Big Lie about a false narrative of the 2020 election. Senate Republican candidates like Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Herschel Walker in Georgia won their GOP primary campaigns with Trump’s support but now are struggling in the last few months of the midterm campaign.

The worst thing for Trump’s party is that he has threatened to announce his candidacy for president in 2024 before the end of the 2022 midterm campaign. This is a clear indication that Trump cares more about himself than he does about his party or anything else for that matter.

Since the first of the year, about every pundit living and breathing has predicted a GOP takeover of Congress, but the GOP just couldn’t stand success. While inflation is still high and the president’s approval rating is still low, the GOP may recover. But even if it does, the magnitude of the Republican victory in the fall will be far less impressive than it appeared to be in the spring.

Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. His podcast, “Deadline D.C. with Brad Bannon,” airs on Periscope TV and the Progressive Voices Network. Follow him on Twitter: @BradBannon

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Unfortunate circumstances: 12 unforeseen injuries that ended UFC main events

Unfortunate circumstances: 12 unforeseen injuries that ended UFC main events

For the first time in UFC history, back-to-back main events have ended with a “TKO due to injury” designation.

First, it was UFC on ABC 3, where Brian Ortega suffered a shoulder injury upon his escape from a Yair Rodriguez submission attempt. One week later, Tom Aspinall suffered a knee injury that ended his UFC Fight Night 208 main event vs. Curtis Blaydes in premature fashion.

While the term “freak injury” might not be appropriate to use when discussing a sport that is inherently dangerous, a dozen have ended in unforeseen injuries – broken legs, separated shoulders, eye pokes, etc. – that don’t typically come in the sequence of MMA combat.

Scroll below to see a chronology of UFC main events that ended in that nature.

Note: Injuries sustained on a TKO due to strikes or tapout due to a submission are not included, nor are retirements on the stool due to extended fight damage or exhaustion. Laceration-based stoppages also are not included since they come as an intentional result of the opposition’s attack.

UFC 90: Patrick Cote suffers knee injury vs. Anderson Silva

CHICAGO- OCTOBER 25: Anderson Silva (L) wrestles with Patrick Cote in the Middleweight Title Bout at UFC’s Ultimate Fight Night at Allstate Arena on October 25, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Date: Oct. 25, 2008
Location: Chicago
Result: Anderson Silva def. Patrick Cote via TKO (injury) – Round 3, 0:39
Injury: All was going well for Patrick Cote against one of the future all-time greats until it wasn’t. One of the better performances anyone has put on against Anderson Silva ended with Cote holding his knee, down on the canvas due to a torn ACL.

UFC 163: Chan Sung Jung dislocates shoulder vs. Jose Aldo

Aug 3, 2013; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Chan Sung Jung (blue gloves) during UFC 163 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Aug. 3, 2013
Location: Rio de Janeiro
Result: Jose Aldo def. Chan Sung Jung via TKO (strikes) – Round 4, 2:00
Injury: Shoulder dislocations happen in MMA, but none perhaps in a bigger moment than Chan Sung Jung’s long-awaited first UFC title fight. Midway through Round 4, Jung’s shoulder came out of its socket after a punch attempt. While the TKO win for Jose Aldo was ruled to have come from follow-up strikes, the shoulder dislocation was the reason for Jung’s initial retreat – he tried to lodge it back into place – and subsequent cover-up. The injury was serious enough that Jung needed surgery. He tore it again in 2021.

UFC 168: Anderson Silva breaks leg vs. Chris Weidman

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva, UFC 168

Date: Dec. 28, 2013
Location: Las Vegas
Result: Chris Weidman def. Anderson Silva via TKO (injury) – Round 2, 1:16
Injury: In one of the most grotesque and high-profile injuries in MMA history, Anderson Silva snapped his leg. A result of great defensive technique from Chris Weidman, a leg kick from “The Spider” backfired in horrific fashion. Silva’s leg shattered; he broke his tibia and fibula.

UFC Fight Night 74: Charles Oliveira suffers neck injury vs. Max Holloway

Date: Aug. 23, 2015
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Result: Max Holloway def. Charles Oliveira via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 1:39
Injury: In one of the more bizarre sequences in UFC history, Charles Oliveira grabbed his neck and went down against Max Holloway. As he rose to his feet against the cage, Oliveira grabbed his throat, seemingly untouched. Initial reports stated Oliveira suffered an esophageal tear. However, he recently revealed it was a reccurring neck injury that left his body tingling.

UFC Fight Night 120: Anthony Pettis suffers rib injury vs. Dustin Poirier

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) leaves the fight against Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Nov. 11, 2017
Location: Norfolk, Va.
Result: Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis via TKO (injury) – Round 3, 2:08
Injury: There are tight body triangles and then there’s the one Dustin Poirier had Anthony Pettis in during their five-round lightweight main event showdown. With Poirier on his back, Pettis attempted to turn into his opponent. However, Poirier slid into mount and in the process, broke one of Pettis’ ribs.

UFC Fight Night 159: Jeremy Stephens suffers eye injury vs. Yair Rodriguez

Sep 21, 2019; Mexico City, MEX; Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) reacts after being poked in the eye by Yair Rodriguez (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sept. 21, 2019
Location: Mexico City
Result: No contest – Round 1, 0:15
Injury: In one of the more memorable main event failures in UFC history (for all the wrong reasons), Yair Rodriguez poked Jeremy Stephens in the eye 15 seconds into their main event clash. Unable to see, Stephens couldn’t continue. The bout was called off. Mexican fans pelted the cage and Stephens with food and beverages – which even caused UFC commentator Brendan Fitzgerald to hide under his desk. The matchup was rebooked for one month later in Boston. Rodriguez defeated Stephens by unanimous decision.

UFC Fight Night 178: Tyron Woodley suffers rib injury vs. Colby Covington

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 19: Tyron Woodley (R) reacts after suffering a rib injury against Colby Covington in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Date: Sept. 19, 2020
Location: Las Vegas
Result: Colby Covington def. Tyron Woodley via TKO (injury) – Round 5, 1:19
Injury: A dominant four-round showing from Colby Covington was topped off by a fifth-round Tyron Woodley injury. What looked like a normal takedown attempt caused Woodley to scream out in pain – and referee Dan Miragliotta to intervene. An X-ray later confirmed Woodley broke a rib.

UFC Fight Night 187: Belal Muhammad suffers eye injury vs. Leon Edwards

Date: March 13, 2021
Location: Las Vegas
Result: No contest (accidental foul) – Round 2, 0:18
Injury: An unfortunate eye injury halted the biggest fight of Belal Muhammad’s career prematurely. In the early stages of Round 2, Leon Edwards accidentally poked Muhammad’s right eye. The foul resulted in visible damage and the fight to be called. Muhammad has since called for a rematch, but has yet to receive it.

UFC 264: Conor McGregor breaks leg vs. Dustin Poirier

Jul 10, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor holds his leg after suffering an injury against Dustin Poirier during UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Date: July 10, 2021
Location: Las Vegas
Result: Dustin Poirier def. Conor McGregor via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 5:00
Injury: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier – the rubber match. Who would’ve guessed it would end in the most high-profile leg break since Anderson Silva against Chris Weidman? But in MMA, expect the unexpected. Late in Round 1, McGregor stepped back and his leg caved under him. In between rounds, McGregor was deemed unable to continue – and for good reason. He suffered a broken tibia and fibula. Adamant on the stool the fight be stopped due to doctor stoppage/injury rather than “retirement,” McGregor got his wish.

UFC on ESPN 36: Aleksandar Rakic suffers knee injury vs. Jan Blachowicz

Date: May 14, 2022
Location: Las Vegas
Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Aleksandar Rakic via TKO (injury) – Round 3, 1:11
Injury: It wasn’t out of the realm of possibility Aleksandar Rakic could’ve earned a title shot if he beat Jan Blachowicz. Instead, the injury bug bit. In an early Round 3 exchange, Rakic’s knee buckled. He crumpled to the canvas and the fight was over. Later, exams showed he sustained a torn ACL.

UFC on ABC 3: Brian Ortega suffers shoulder injury vs. Yair Rodriguez

Jul 16, 2022; Elmont, New York, USA; Brian Ortega (red gloves) reacts to fight against Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Date: July 16, 2022
Location: Elmont, N.Y.
Result: Yair Rodriguez def. Brian Ortega via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 4:11
Injury: Everyone was seemingly hyped for Yair Rodriguez vs. Brian Ortega – a matinee main event on ABC. That’s why there was an audible murmer of disappointment on Long Island when the fight ended before it really even got started. While his submission defense succeeded initially, Ortega injured himself as he pulled out of a Rodriguez armbar attempt. He was rendered unable to continue.

UFC Fight Night 208: Tom Aspinall suffers knee injury vs. Curtis Blaydes

Jul 23, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Tom Aspinall (blue gloves) falls to the ground while fighting Curtis Blaydes during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Date: July 23, 2022
Location: London
Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Tom Aspinall via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 0:15
Injury: It could’ve been Tom Aspinall’s contendership coming-out party. Instead, it was a 15-second nightmare for the Brit. Aspinall threw a kick at Curtis Blaydes, stepped back, and his knee gave out. It was all over just like that.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events for David Malukas at Long Beach Puts End to a Strong Run

A Series of Unfortunate Events for David Malukas at Long Beach Puts End to a Strong Run

Long Beach, CA (Sunday, April 10, 2022) – Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports rookie David Malukas had a good start to his first Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, but a series of unfortunate events meant he would see his race end with nine laps remaining.

Started: 18th
Finished: 21st

• Malukas ran strong in his Grand Prix of Long Beach debut, having made his way to 11th before making his first pit stop on Lap 29.
• Unfortunately for the rookie, he crossed the pit exit line too soon upon returning to the track and had to serve a drive thru penalty.
• The penalty sent him to the back of the field, but still on the lead lap.
• Malukas then had to return to pit lane about 30 laps later to get his belts tightened for safety reasons but that would end up putting him two laps down to the leaders.
• A final unfortunate event happened on Lap 76 when he ended up making contact with the Turn 8 tire barrier while trying to avoid a spinning Jimmie Johnson.

David Malukas #18 HMD Honda – Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports
“I have a bit of bruises and blisters from my first Long Beach Grand Prix but what a series of unfortunate events this race was! I started off strong all while saving the black tires, hoping we could make them last longer and play with our strategy. However, after exiting pit lane with a set of red tires, I crossed the line too soon, which was unfortunate. After serving my drive thru penalty I was still on the lead lap so that was all good but then somehow one of my belts became undone and I had to head to pit lane again to get that fixed and that put me two laps down.
“At that point, I just wanted to bring it home but with about 10 laps to go, Jimmie Johnson spun going into Turn 8 and I tried my best to steer out of his way but I clipped the tire barrier and damaged the front end of my HMD car and that was the end of my race. I truly love the track here in Long Beach and wish things could have gone better but we had no luck this weekend. We had a really good test at Barber in October at my first test with the team so hopefully things can turn around for us at that race in a few weeks.”