1 Hurricane Nicholas Aftermath
Hurricane Nicholas made landfall near Matagorda, Texas just after midnight Tuesday, and while the storm was a minimal hurricane, most of the problems so far are due to heavy rainfall. Winds have still been an issue, with over half a million homes and businesses without power in Texas, mostly in the Houston area. The storm quickly lost strength after landfall and was downgraded to a tropical storm yesterday. With rainfall totals as high as 14 inches already reported in places like Galveston, any additional rain could cause much worse problems. What’s left of Nicholas will continue to move to the east today, with the forecast calling for anywhere from five to 10 inches of additional rainfall in Texas, Louisiana, and southern Mississippi and Alabama. Flash flood watches cover a large part of the gulf coast, some of which is still recovering from Hurricane Ida.
2 Gavin Newsom Survives California Recall Election
California Governor Gavin Newsom cruised to victory in yesterday’s recall election. While he faced serious headwinds and multiple crises as polls over the summer showed him in real jeopardy, national attention and strong campaigning by the Democrat changed the course of the election in the last few weeks. Party leaders like President Joe Biden helped rouse Democratic voters with a message that warned a Republican replacement would roll back COVID protections and betray the state's progressive character. For the record, no Republican has won a statewide race in California since 2006, and their leading candidate in this race, Larry Elder, had his share of controversy recently. Biden called Elder a "clone of Trump" over the weekend. Newsom thanked California voters for keeping him in office. “We said yes to science. We said yes to vaccines,” he said at a news conference. “We said yes to ending this pandemic. We said yes to people's right to vote without fear. We said yes to women’s constitutional right to decide.”
3 Investigation Into Kabul Airstrike Jumpstarts As Blinken Faces More Questions
Secretary of State Antony Blinken dealt with day two of being grilled by a House committee yesterday. After Monday's performance there were calls for his resignation. Yesterday, it was the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s turn to question the secretary. The almost five-hour-long hearing was less partisan than Monday’s, but that was because both Democrats and Republicans took a hard line with Blinken. Many questions remain unanswered after the two hearings, including the continuing investigation into the August 29 drone strike in Kabul that the State Department says stopped a car bombing. Neighbors and relatives of the driver of the vehicle the drone blew up say the driver wasn’t affiliated with ISIS-K, but rather a California-based company named Nutrition and Education International. More congressional hearings are expected in the coming weeks, most likely after investigations into the drone strike are complete, which means Blinken isn't out of the woods yet.