NBC Fires Matt Lauer, N. Korea Fires Missile

Fired: In a stunning development in the sexual harassment scandal sweeping the ranks of politics, entertainment, and journalism, NBC News has fired “Today Show” anchor Matt Lauer for “inappropriate” sexual behavior.

Lauer has been the pillar of the “Today Show.”

“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” NBC News President Andrew Lack said in a memo.

Lack said it was the first complaint against Lauer in his over 20 years at the network, but it may not have been the only incident.

He said the accusation against Lauer “represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”

Lauer’s co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie announced the news on “Today” this morning. Near tears, Guthrie said, “All we can say is we are heartbroken; I’m heartbroken.”

Missile Men: North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan for the first time in four months, provoking threats from President Trump. “We will take care of it,” he told reporters in Washington. “It is a situation that we will handle.”

Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham said on CNN, “We’re headed toward a war if things don’t change.”

Some experts believe the North Koreans can hit Washington, DC. The missile reached an altitude of 2,800 miles and flew about 600 miles downrange. It was a significantly longer flight than the last two ICBM tests, but experts believe the North Koreans have not yet developed the technology to deliver a thermonuclear bomb.

Tax Matters: The Senate budget committee cleared their tax reform bill, putting the law up for amendment, debate, and possibly a full vote this week. Some senators who expressed reluctance appear to be drawing closer to approval. A lot of wheeling and dealing going on there.

Democratic, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California yesterday skipped a meeting with the president that was to discuss a spending bill to keep the government running after Dec. 8.

Trump tweeted — in advance of the meeting — “Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!”

Neither did they. Schumer and Pelosi issued a statement saying, “Given that the President doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead.”

Benghazi: Former Libyan militant leader Ahmed Abu Khattala was found guilty yesterday of terrorism, but acquitted of murder in the attack on the US Benghazi consulate that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens, another State Department officer, and two CIA security contractors. Khattala, 46, faces up to 60 years in prison. Prosecutors admitted that they had no evidence that Khattala personally fired a weapon in the 2012 incident.

Office Politics: A federal judge has declined to block President Trump’s appointment of Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to temporarily run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Leandra English, who was appointed temporary director by her outgoing boss, had argued that the law says she should have the job until Congress replaces her. The judge’s ruling may not be the last word on this dispute.

Serial: Tampa police have arrested a suspect in a string of random street murders in the city’s Seminole Heights neighborhood. Howell Donaldson III, who works at a McDonalds, will face four charges of murder.

Benched: The NY Giants announced they have benched their 13-year starting quarterback Eli Manning for his backup, Geno Smith.

Manning, 36, a two-time Super Bowl winner and MVP, has started every Giants regular-season game since Nov. 21, 2004, a streak of 210 games. He was nearly in tears when he spoke to reporters. The Giants started the season with playoff buzz but are now 2-9 for the season.

The Obit Page: Anthony Senerchia Jr., who fought the debilitating disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for 14 years, and inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, has died at age 46.

The Ice Bucket Challenge in which people dumped buckets of ice water on themselves and others was the big rage in the summer of 2014, raising $200 million for research into the disease.

Happy Holidays: CNN says that its employees will not attend President Trump’s Christmas party for the press. Trump tweeted, “Great, and we should boycott Fake News CNN. Dealing with them is a total waste of time!”

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Wednesday, December 13, 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

"The greatest absurdity of our time is You Know Whom, which goes without saying but I will anyway. What his election showed is that a considerable number of people, in order to demonstrate their frustration with the world as it is, are willing to drive their car, with their children in the back seat, over a cliff, smash the radiator, bust an axle and walk away feeling good about themselves. No other president in modern times has been held in contempt by a preponderance of people from the moment he said, 'So help me, God.'"

-Garrison Keillor on President Trump

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