Geez, so much depressing news today

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Talk about depressing news. The following came out just today:

  • The Republicans’ House tax bill includes a provision lifting a 1954 ban on political activism by churches.
  • According to the New York Times, one complaint to NBC about “Today” host Matt Lauer came from a former employee who said Lauer , who is married, had summoned her to his office in 2001, locked the door and sexually assaulted her, instigating intercourse. She told The Times that she passed out and had to be taken to a nurse.
  • North Korea showed on Wednesday that missiles it has developed could reach all of the United States.
  • The House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 38) on Wednesday that would allow concealed-carry permit holders from one state to legally carry their guns in any other state, regardless of any other state’s concealed-carry laws. Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.
  • Garrison Keillor, the down-home host of A Prairie Home Companion until last year, has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of misconduct.
  • With the U.S. Department of State in turmoil, there are reports that President Trump will replace Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who has held his job for only 10 months, with Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA. Politico reported today that Pompeo has no formal diplomatic experience and is widely considered a hawk skeptical of the kind of international deal-making, even with America’s enemies, that many diplomats consider a necessary part of U.S. foreign policy.
  • Yesterday, President Trump shared videos on Twitter that supposedly portray Muslim turmoil, committing acts of violence, images that are likely to fuel anti-Islam sentiments.  UK Prime Minister Theresa May admonished Trump, declaring that he was “wrong” to share anti-Muslim videos posted online by a “hateful” British far-right group. Some MPs in Parliament called Trump “racist,” “fascist” and “evil.”
  • While Trump and Republican members of Congress are pushing to lessen regulation of for-profit schools, California is suing for-profit online-only Ashford University and its parent company, Bridgepoint Education, for misleading students about its tuition costs, burying them in student loan debt and offering little of value in return.
  • Steven T. McLaughlin, a member of the New York Assembly, was only moderately disciplined for sexual harassment after an investigation by the Assembly’s ethics committee found that he had asked a female Assembly staff member for naked pictures. The sanctions include forbidding him to employ interns, and an official statement of admonition from the Assembly speaker. The ethics committee also determined that he leaked the name of his accuser, in violation of instructions he had received that the victim’s name and incident remain confidential.
  • Despite warnings from investment professionals Jamie DimonJack Bogle, Warren Buffett , Joseph Stiglitz and Ben Bernanke that Bitcoin is a fraud, people are still buying it.  Bitcoin advanced yesterday to a high of $11,434 before the reversal took it as low as $9,009,” though “as of 3:36 p.m. in New York, it traded at $9,911.10. “If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price for it one day,” Dimon said.
  • Media disclosed that the Republicans’ House tax bill includes a provision conferring a new legal right for fetuses. The provision would allow families to open 529 educational savings accounts for “unborn children” – essentially college plans for fetuses. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, argues, “Affirming this language through the tax code would lay the foundation for “personhood,” the idea that life begins at conception thus granting a fetus in utero legal rights. It’s long been the holy grail of the anti-choice movement, since it would be the basis on which they would argue to outlaw abortion entirely.”
  • Media reported that playwright-screenwriter Israel Horovitz has been accused by nine women of sexual harassment. One accuser said she was 19 when she began a summer fellowship with Horovitz at the Gloucester Stage Company in Massachusetts. On her first night, she said, Horovitz drove her to the family home. locked the door, kissed and fondled her,  then led her to his bedroom, where she said he raped her.
  • A Nov. 26-28 poll by pro-Trump group, America First Policies, found Republican Roy Moore ahead of Democrat Doug Jones 46 percent to 45 percent.

    And finally…

  • After spending eight years bitching about the unconscionable $9 trillion increase in the national debt under Obama, Republicans are pushing a tax bill that could add $1.5 trillion or more to the deficit over the next 10 years and maybe a lot more if Congress renews expiring tax provisions.

All this in just one day. Depressing.

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“What Happened” to Hillary?

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In Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened, Hillary:

  • Lets readers know, in no uncertain terms, that she is a monument to perseverance.
  • Claims to be a paragon of virtue who never stooped to bad behavior. “I couldn’t—and wouldn’t—compete to stoke people’s rage and resentment,” she writes.
  • Engages in what the New York Times describes as “a score-settling jubilee,” criticizing Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, Russians, racists, Julian Assange, misogynists, James B. Comey, the media, James B. Comey, Vladimir Putin, James B. Comey and others. “If not for the dramatic intervention of the FBI director in the final days,” she says, “we would have won the White House.”
  • Blames Barack Obama for not alerting the nation to the danger posed by Trump. “I do wonder sometimes about what would have happened if President Obama had made a televised address to the nation in the fall of 2016 warning that our democracy was under attack,” she wrote.
  • Takes a swipe at Joe Biden’s presidential ambitions, saying Barack Obama “…made it clear that he believed that I was our party’s best chance to hold the White House and keep our progress going, and he wanted me to move quickly to prepare to run.” The New York Times has characterized this comment as “…a grim reminder of the worst we’ve read about Clinton: She needs a separate storage unit to hold her grudges — and her sets of tiny knives.”
  • Criticizes Today Show host Matt Lauer for grilling her so aggressively about her controversial email practices during a NBC presidential debate that she was “ticked off” and “almost physically sick”.
  • Figures Donald Trump invited her and Bill to his 2005 wedding to Melania Trump because “he wanted as much star power as he could get.”
  • Insists Bernie Sanders is not a real Democrat
  • Was  “incredibly uncomfortable” to be stalked on stage by Trump during a presidential debate.
  • Claims she suffered disproportionately from charges of untrustworthiness or inauthenticity simply because she was a woman, not because of any of her behavior during her long career.
  • Blames voter suppression in swing states for her loss.
  • Never, ever, in a million years thought she could lose to Donald Trump, an inferior opponent across the board, from intelligence to political savvy and understanding of the American people.

As Vanity Fair put it, “…this book shows her to be just like Hillary Clinton, only more so, meaning that you’ll love it or hate it or feel however you already felt about its author.”

There. Now you don’t have to buy the book.