No Free Speech at Berkeley, New Rules
Thursday, February 2, 2017
What Would Mario Say?: The University of California Berkeley had an anti-free speech movement last night. About 1500 protesters gathered to object to the scheduled speech by an editor of the right-wing and racists Breitbart News. Some of the protesters pushed back barriers and smashed windows.
The by Milo Yiannopoulos, who was banned from Twitter for harassing the Saturday Night Live comedienne Leslie Jones, was cancelled. He’s not a nice guy. Yiannopoulos once said, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that an ugly woman is far more likely to be a feminist than a hot one.”
The University said outsiders, not students, were responsible for the violence. Nonetheless, President Trump tweeted, “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”
Advice and Consent: If at first you don’t succeed, change the rules.
Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee altered the quorum rules before voting to send to the full Senate the nominations of Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services and Steven Mnuchin for Treasury. Democrats had refused to attend meetings in order to deny a quorum for voting. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said, “Long story short, we took some unprecedented actions today due to the unprecedented obstruction on the part of our colleagues.”
In other actions, the full Senate ended a contentious fight and confirmed former ExxonMobil executive Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State in a 56-43 vote. The votes dissenting against Tillerson were the most in Senate history.
Among many questions was how Tillerson plans to put into action President Trump’s “America First” credo without shattering international relations.
For the education department, two Republican Senators have abandoned Betsy DeVos. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska say they will not vote for DeVos, making it a 50-50 split if all Democrats vote against her. Vice-President Pence could be the tie-breaker.
Supreme Leader: Trump has advised that if his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch can’t get 60 votes in the Senate, Republicans should use the “nuclear option,” changing the rules to require only 51 votes in favor.
“That would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was put up to that neglect,” Trump said. “I would say it’s up to Mitch, but I would say, ‘Go for it.’”
Saber Rattling: Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn said yesterday in the White House briefing room that Iran is “on notice” for its recent ballistic missile test. He said the White House is considering “a whole range of options.”
By international agreement, Iran cannot have offensive ballistic missiles, but the country’s foreign ministry insisted that Sunday’s missile test was “solely for defensive purposes.”
The Business of President: A federal judge in Florida ordered a golf course in Florida to pay $5.7 million for refusing to give refunds to members who resigned, according to their contract. Not only did he not pay, but Trump sent a letter to the members who wanted to resign barring them from the club, of which they were still members.
Failure to pay is a standard of the Trump businesses.
National Defense: In keeping the country safe from terrorists, two Indian snowshoers from the Himalayas were denied entry to the US to compete in the World Snowshoe Championships in New York’s Adirondack Mountains later this month. According to the snowshoers, they were denied a visa by the US Embassy in New Delhi, citing the reason as “current policy.”
India is not on the list of the seven countries listed in President Trump’s immigration and travel ban, but you just never know when someone is going to attack America with a snowshoe.
All the Double Babies: Beyoncé announced that she is pregnant with twins.
Personal Finance: Actor Johnny Depp is in a fight with his financial managers, claiming their actions cost him $40 million. Of course, Depp spent like a sailor. He paid $75 million for 14 residences, including a French chateau, and a collection of islands in the Bahamas. He paid $18 million to buy and renovate a 150-foot yacht. Court records reveal he also spent $30,000 a month on wine. He looks it.