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News Roundup – London Fire, Bill Cosby, US Open

I’m still having some trouble understanding how a relatively modern apartment tower goes up in flames. Today, apartment complexes are supposed to be built so that the fire is contained. In the United States, modern buildings are supposed to have multiple fire suppression systems including sprinklers. It does not appear that this was the case in this building built in 1979. Initial estimates of five or 10 people who died appear to be completely wrong. Latest estimates put over 58 people dead. Now, it appears that the finger-pointing has started. The relief effort has been described as “absolute chaos”. This is bad.

A mistrial has been declared in the Bill Cosby assault case. I am sorry but I find this whole thing extremely sad. Bill Cosby was one of my heroes. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was rare to see a Black face on TV. The constant was Bill Cosby. He was playing an international spy or he was on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He was funny, thoughtful and always portrayed a black man who was positive. He developed a Saturday morning cartoon based on some of the characters in his stand up. Again, it was funny and positive. I think is pretty clear that Bill Cosby has done something wrong. When over 60 women over a 40 to 50 year period stand up and say similar stories, something is going on. In my opinion, my hero, Bill Cosby, is a serial rapist. It breaks my heart to say that.

Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for telling her boyfriend who was trying to kill himself to get in the truck which was filled with lethal carbon monoxide gas via cellphone.

On the other hand, Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found NOT guilty of second degree manslaughter after shooting an unarmed Black man, Philando Castile. His girlfriend streamed the aftermath on Facebook. I would just like to know when it is NOT okay to shoot a black man.

The final round of the U.S. Open begins in a couple of hours. As with any major sporting event, there is lots of discussion. Most of it is nonsense. Most the experts thought that Jason Day, Rory McIlroy or even Dustin Johnson would be contending for this US Open. They are all at home. Now, Brian Harman, who won earlier this year, Tommy Fleetwood, a European player who has never won in the US, Brooks Koepka, is one on those extremely long hitters who the pundits thought should win and win often and Justin Thomas, who shot a 63 yesterday, are all in contention. This should make for an interesting final round.

By |2017-06-18T14:46:07-04:00June 18th, 2017|Domestic Issues, Foreign Affairs, Sports|Comments Off on News Roundup – London Fire, Bill Cosby, US Open

Government Shutdown – Koch Brothers

frustration (2)

Government Shutdown – Frustration

Government shutdown day 10. Nothing really is going on. I did enjoy the letter that one of the Koch Brothers sent to Capitol Hill. The letter basically stated that they were not behind the government shutdown.

Data seem to suggest otherwise. From LA Times:

Conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, for example, is a Koch-funded nonprofit that calls for repealing Obamacaresupports tea party favorites like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and spent more than $36 million during the 2012 election.

And the Koch brothers recently donated $500,000 to the Heritage Action Fund, a conservative advocacy group, through the intermediary Freedom Partners. Heritage Action Fund has urged lawmakers to place Obamacare at the forefront of their shutdown and debt limit considerations. The group even held a “money bomb,” asking for a surge of donations to support its efforts to “ensure Obamacare is defunded.”

What was their plan? To “attach legislation to defund Obamacare to a ‘must pass’ spending bill,” and eventually “force Speaker (John) Boehner to act on defunding.”

That’s a scenario that sounds uncannily like the buildup to the shutdown.

By |2013-10-10T21:02:22-04:00October 10th, 2013|Congress, Party Politics|Comments Off on Government Shutdown – Koch Brothers

Government Shutdown: Never Negotiate With an Extortionist


The government is going to shut down. The government shutdown is going to happen.

Never negotiate with an extortionist. You know how this is going to go. No matter how badly you want whatever it is they are holding over your head, don’t give in.

In the United States, we know how bills are supposed to be introduced in the Congress, how they’re discussed in committee and then passed by one Chamber of Congress. The other chamber then has an opportunity to vote on the bill and modify it. If the bill is passed by both chambers, but the versions of the bill are different, then there’s a committee from both houses of Congress which discusses the bill. It’s then voted on again by both houses of Congress. The bill goes the president when it’s through in the Congress to be signed or vetoed. That’s exactly what happened to the Affordable Care Act. Then, the law was immediately challenged and it was upheld by the Supreme Court. We’ve all seen Schoolhouse Rock. That’s how this thing works.

If you don’t like a law that is currently the law of the land, there’s a process for repealing laws. As far as I know, the process does not include shutting down the government because you’re having a hissy fit. Republicans don’t have a prayer of repealing ObamaCare through the normal process, so they thought they would circumvent the normal process and pretend nobody was looking.

More from Robert Reich:

What’s happening in Washington these days may seem far removed from my boyhood memories, but Washington is really just another children’s playground. Its current bullies are right-wing Republicans, now threatening that if they don’t get their way they’ll close down the government and cause the nation to default on its debts. (more…)

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