FROM Cameron McWhirter
Democrats and the lessons of a losing campaign If Jon Ossoff had won yesterday in the Atlanta suburbs, his campaign would have provided a blueprint for other Democrats to challenge the GOP, but he lost — after the most expensive Congressional race in history. The political novice, surprised a lot of contributors by taking a moderate tone. His opponent, veteran Republican Sharon Handel's message was tough as nails. So, was his typically centrist campaign a blueprint for failure? It's the fourth special-election defeat for Democrats with an unpopular Republican in the White House; many anti-Trump activists around the country are angry. They're tired of waiting for the National Party to do “something right” — and they're organizing on their own at the state and local level.
Another Mass Shooting in a Divided Country In Chattanooga today, a Marine general and a Navy admiral remembered the four Marines and one sailor killed by a Muslim gunman last week as "heroes." The FBI has 250 agents on the scene and others running down some 400 leads around the world. The shooter is being regarded as "a homegrown violent extremist, who acted on his own… with nobody assisting him on that day." When a self-described white supremacist gunned down nine black people in a Charleston church, official national mourning began immediately. When a young Muslim man killed four Marines and a sailor in Chattanooga, it took the President five days to lower the flags on government buildings. Military supporters are angry, calling it evidence of estrangement between the armed services and a society that takes them for granted. Call it "terrorism" or "an act of war," they expect more such incidents to come. What's the likely impact on a rapidly changing South?
Ex-Educators Get Stiff Sentences in Atlanta Test Cheating Case In Atlanta today, eight of 10 former public school educators were sentenced to jail in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on standardized tests. Judge Jerry Baxter of the Fulton County Superior Court called the case, "the sickest thing that's ever happened in this town." Cameron McWhirter is based in Atlanta for the Wall Street Journal .
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?