Kind Caring Man, He’s No Moron

What Happens in Vegas.  The girlfriend of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock issued a statement yesterday saying she had no idea her boyfriend had violent intentions. Marilou Danley said, “I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man.” She’s been talking to the FBI.

Danley is Filipino by birth. She said Paddock unexpectedly bought her a plane ticket to the Philippines, then wired her a large sum of money and told her to buy a house. “I was grateful, but honestly, I was worried that first, the unexpected trip home, and then the money, was a way of breaking up with me.” She said. “It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone.”

President Trump visited shooting victims, first responders, and police in Las Vegas yesterday. He pretty much stuck to scripted comments, avoiding a repeat of his embarrassing performance in Puerto Rico.

Surprisingly, some Republican leaders have stepped up to say it might be time to outlaw “bump stocks” like the ones Paddock used Sunday night. The spring-loaded rifle stocks allow a semi-automatic assault rifle to fire at full auto.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who’s number two in the Senate, said, “I own a lot of guns, and as a hunter and sportsman, I think that’s our right as Americans, but I don’t understand the use of this bump stock.” Stephen Paddock had a dozen rifles fitted with bump stocks.

What Won’t Happen: Tuesday night, President Trump casually said on Fox News that the US would have to wipe out Puerto Rico’s $75 billion debt to bondholders in the wake of Hurricane Maria’s horrifically expensive damage. Puerto Rico’s bonds took a nose dive on Wall Street amid fears they could become worthless.

Yesterday, the White House was doing another “walk back” from their president’s remarks. “I wouldn’t take it word for word with that,” Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said on CNN. “We are not going to deal right now with those fundamental difficulties that Puerto Rico had before the storm.”

The White House did ask Congress for another $29 billion for hurricane relief in addition to the $15 billion already approved.

Petty Stuff: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a press conference yesterday to push back against an NBC News report that he called President Donald Trump a “moron” over the summer and affirm his “commitment to the president and the success of our country.” He said he never considered resigning.

Asked about the “moron” report, Tillerson said, “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that.” Still, Trump tweeted that, “The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson  …. They should issue an apology to AMERICA!”

Tillerson didn’t refute, he dodged, and NBC did not retract its story.

It’s significant that the press-shy Tillerson felt compelled to speak. In politics, affirmations of commitment are often the last word before resignation or firing. We’ll see.

Permawar: Three Army Green Berets were killed and two wounded yesterday during an ambush while on a training mission with troops in Niger. They were near the border of Mali where militants from an al Qaeda affiliate sometimes conduct raids.

Under the Sea: The explanation a Danish inventor gave for the August death of a journalist aboard his private submarine has come apart, just like the body of his victim. Peter Madsen, 46, originally said 30-year-old Kim Wall died when a hatch fell on her head and he buried her at sea. Her legless, armless, and headless body was later found washed up on shore.

Now investigators say Wall’s  body had 14 stab wounds to the genital area and they found a hard drive with videos of the torture and killing of women.

Swamp News: Pro-life Republican Congressman Tim Murphy, 64, of Pennsylvania announced he’s retiring after the revelation that he urged his 34-year-old mistress to get an abortion. It turned out she wasn’t pregnant.

The Jimmy Kimmel Test: Late night television host Jimmy Kimmel has suddenly become the conscience of the nation.

This week Kimmel spoke emotionally about gun violence and the lack of political action to stop it. “It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up,” he said in an opening monologue. “All these devastated families who now have to live with this pain forever because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and use them to shoot people.”

Kimmel started delivering serious monologues about health care when his son was born with a defective heart, requiring several surgeries. “And because of that I learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation,” he said. Getting Kimmel’s approval on a health care bill became known as “passing the Jimmy Kimmel test.” He described the last failed attempt as, “By many accounts, the worst health care bill yet.”

On guns, he continued, “There are a lot of things we can do about it. But we don’t, which is interesting. Because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that.”


Friday, February 23, 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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