La Fete de Marquette Kicked Off In High Gear

With a gospel ending ranging from Amazing Grace, Amen, and Down By The Riverside two-time Grammy Award winners Terrance Simian and the Zydeco Experience made for a most remarkable evening as La Fete de Marquette kicked off tonight a couple of blocks from where James and I live. This is the festival I like and support in the neighborhood each year as it is the best planned and executed. I like the fact the events are in Central Park, where these festivals belong. Hats off to all those who made this weekend possible. Prepare to tap and swing to the music this weekend!

Congratulations To Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live is at the top of the Emmy nominations with 22 bids.  The long-running ‘‘SNL’’ received a wealth of awards for its cast, hosts, and guest stars, including one to Alec Baldwin for his recurring portrayal of President Donald Trump.

Satire at its best on television.  All too, and sadly so, all the show needs to do is take the script off the headlines from the morning papers.  We live in a very dangerous and troubling time for our democracy.

Baldwin makes for a perfect Trump and allows us to at least laugh at the needless chaos caused by one without a governing resume.


Donald Trump Jr.’s Lawyer Also Handled Mobsters

Donald Trump Jr. has hired a lawyer with experience representing mafia families.  This week Donald Trump Jr. confirmed he had hired Alan Futerfas, a criminal defense attorney, to represent him in matters relating to the Trump administration’s ties and collusion with Russia.

Futerfas’s law firm focuses on white-collar crime, and Futerfas has personally represented people with alleged ties to New York’s Bonanno, Gambino, Genovese, and Colombo crime families.  In one of his biggest cases from that period, Futerfas won a new trial in 1997 for mob captain Anthony Russo after it was revealed that a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent may have leaked information to fuel an organized crime war in the early 1990s.

Another client of Futerfas was Nikita Kuzmin, a Russian national who agreed last year to pay $6.9 million for creating computer malware that made users’ bank accounts vulnerable to cyber criminals.

Looks like Futerfas is a perfect fit for Trump Jr.

Democrats Win Legislative Races In Historically Republican Districts

These are the type of races–and outcomes--that underline where the mood of the nation is in 2017.

Tuesday night Democrats flipped two historically Republican legislative districts in OklahomaHouse District 75 and Senate District 44. Both seats had been in GOP hands since before they were both redrawn in the last round of redistricting in a state that Trump won last fall with 65 percent of the vote

Last November, Democrat Karen Gaddis pulled just 40 percent of the vote in House District 75, while Clinton won just 36 percent.

Tuesday, Gaddis won with 52 percent

In the last election in Senate District 44 (2014), the Democrat earned just 42 percent of the vote, and Clinton won just 37 percent here in 2016.

Tuesday, Democrat Michael Brooks-Jimenez won with almost 55 percent

The massive swings towards Democrats in these districts track with the double-digit growth in Democratic performance in the majority of special elections at both the congressional and state legislative level since Trump’s election last November. The greatest of these swings—48 percent!—was also in Oklahoma in May.

Tuesday’s Democratic pickups are the third and fourth of the cycle, respectively. Democrats flipped a state House seat in New Hampshire and a state Assembly seat in New York in May. In both elections, the Democrat not only won, but also overperformed Clinton’s numbers last fall by 11 percent and 39 percent, respectively. Additionally, Democrats have held key seats in the IowaVirginia, Connecticut, Delaware, and South Carolina legislatures and have over-performed in 19 out of the 26 two-party legislative and congressional special elections held since Trump’s election in November.