Facebook and Murder, Trump and Taxes

Streaming Death: Facebook is defending itself after a Cleveland man posted video of himself randomly killing an elderly man, and then went live on Facebook announcing the murder. More than two hours passed before Facebook took down the videos.

A company statement said they are reviewing their procedures but, “In this case, we did not receive a report about the first video, and we only received a report about the second video — containing the shooting — more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted.”

The statement went on, “We disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better.”

Part of their problem is that users can go live with anything they want. It’s technology ungoverned. And while algorithms can pick up suspicious words and phrases, video is almost impossible to read.

A manhunt is underway in several states for the shooter.

The Tax Man: President Trump promised dramatic tax reform during his campaign even while refusing to reveal his own tax returns for public evaluation. Now, congressional Democrats say they will refuse to cooperate with Trump’s reform plans unless they know how Trump and his family might benefit from changes, according to the NY Times.

Despite big promises, Trump has not offered a tax plan and congressional Republicans are mired in their own politics, much as they were with healthcare. It might also be hard to pass some of the favorite Republican reforms that would not benefit the Trumps. Getting rid of the alternative minimum tax, and the estate tax, would make them richer.

Spicey Says: Press Secretary Sean Spicer yesterday defended the denial of  public access to the White House visitor logs saying, “We’re following the law as both the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act prescribe it.” The White House must preserve the records, but is not required to release them.

The Obama White House released most of their visitor records, but kept some private, which Spicer called a “faux attempt” at transparency. “When you go through and you scrub everyone’s name out that you don’t want everyone to know, that really is not an honest attempt to doing it,” he said about the Obama policy.

The Canary Election: President Trump was up early this morning tweeting against the Democratic candidate in a congressional special election in Georgia. “Democrat Jon Ossoff would be a disaster in Congress. VERY weak on crime and illegal immigration, bad for jobs and wants higher taxes. Say NO”

The national Democrats have poured more than $8 million into Ossoff’s campaign, hoping to turn a traditionally Republican seat and fire a warning shot at the president. Ossoff, who has never run for office before, has to win 50 percent of the vote to win outright against 11 Republicans running against him

Drug Rain: Court papers reveal that the music star Prince, who died of an overdose, had narcotic painkillers stashed all over his house, some of them in aspirin and vitamin bottles. Prince did not have a prescription for many of the drugs, and some were prescribed in someone else’s name. Prince was found dead in the elevator of his Paisley Park, Minn. home in April last year.

Brexit: British Prime Minister Theresa May stunned the country calling for an early election, hoping to solidify support for the Conservative Party heading into the country’s exit from the European Union. May became prime minister only in July.

May said, “In recent weeks, Labour have threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill.”  But she runs the risk that she could lose support in the election, not gain it.

The Runner: Fifty years after being the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, Kathrine Switzer at age 70 ran the race again, crossing the finish line at 4:44:31, an average mile of 10:51.

Switzer became a sensation in 1967 when a race official tried to pull her off the course because she was a woman. Switzer’s boyfriend at the time, a huge former football player, sent the official flying with a body block. Switzer had no intention of changing the world, but she did.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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