Mexico Earthquake, Irma on the Way

Tremors: A magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Mexico overnight and was felt for hundreds of miles by about 50 million people. Residents of Mexico City poured into the streets as the tremors went on for a minute during the biggest quake to hit Mexico in 100 years.

Some buildings collapsed and some deaths have been reported. Damage may be extensive in some areas, but reports are just trickling in.

Irma: Hundreds of thousands of Florida residents have hit the road to escape Hurricane Irma, the most powerful hurricane on record, which is expected to make landfall in the state this weekend.

“It is life-threatening,” Gov. Rick Scott warned. “This is not a storm you can sit and wait through.”

Irma, which has been downgraded from a Category 5 to a 4,  could pass straight up the Florida peninsula, raging on both coasts. As many as 875,000 people in three South Florida counties were ordered to evacuate. Gas stations were low on fuel or empty, and basic goods like bottled water, sandbags, plywood, and certain kinds of screws were in short supply.

The Department of Homeland Security announced that they will suspend deportation efforts for illegal immigrants affected by the storm.

At least 10 people are reported dead in the Caribbean. The power of Irma was demonstrated on the island of St. Martin, which is reported to have been devastated. One local official said that 95 percent of the island’s houses had been damaged and 60 percent were uninhabitable.

A photo posted online showed as many as 50 yachts crunched into a cove on the island of Tortola.

Give Us Your Tired: President Trump is trying to comfort the 800,000 immigrants he shocked by ending the Dream Act that protects illegal immigrants brought to the country when they were children. He tweeted, “For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about – No action!” For six months. Then their registration for protection can be used against them for deportation unless Congress passes a law to protect them again.

Junior: Donald Trump Jr. told Senate investigators yesterday that there was no campaign collusion with the Russians and he met with a Russian lawyer only to learn about Hillary Clinton’s “fitness, character or qualifications” to be president.

The five-hour session was closed, but Junior released a statement to the press. The Washington Post reports according to sources in the session that Trump said he didn’t remember a lot about the incident and that he never told his father about the meeting. He said he could not recall the White House involvement in drafting the first misleading public statement about the subject matter of the meeting that was revealed by the press.

Delaware Democrat Chris Coons later released a statement “for interested parties” in which he cited the federal statute barring lying to Congress.

Sex Education: Entering one of the most emotional frays in higher education, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced yesterday that she plans to rewrite the Obama administration guidance on campus sexual assaults.

“Survivors, victims of a lack of due process and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved,” DeVos said. She stepped on a mine with that phrase, “victims of a lack of due process,” a reference to young men accused of rape and assault.

Protesters held a loud demonstration outside as DeVos spoke at George Mason University in Arlington, Va.

DeVos said, “A student says he or she was sexually assaulted by another student on campus. If he or she isn’t urged to keep quiet or discouraged from reporting it to local law enforcement, the case goes to a school administrator who will act as the judge and jury.” She added, “The accused may or may not be told of the allegations before a decision is rendered. If there is a hearing, both the survivor and the accused may or may not be allowed legal representation.”

The Obit Page: Kate Millett, the activist who wrote “Sexual Politics,” one of the most-read and influential books of feminism’s “second wave” in the 1960s and 70s, has died of a heart attack at age 82 while visiting Paris.

Millett wrote about thousands of years of legal, political and cultural diminishment of women. She challenged the portrayals of women as disrupters of paradise in the Bible and Greek mythology and denounced Sigmund Freud’s theory of “penis envy.”

Taxing Thoughts: While hyping plans for tax reform, President Trump has repeatedly said the US is the “highest taxed nation in the world.” Economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman pointed out via Twitter that, “We are, as pointed out many times, lowest-taxed major advanced nation. Repetition of this lie shows contempt for intelligence of public.”

Actually, it shows a canny understanding of the public’s intelligence.

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Friday, November 24, 2017

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

"One of the things that actually Trump has benefited from is that, on a daily if not hourly basis, there are things he says that you could never have imagined any other American president -- left, right, up or down -- saying, and they kind of bleed into each other. And you sort of forget, 'Oh, yes, 72 hours ago, he said this...'"

-Jeff Greenfield on CNN’s "Reliable Sources"

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