Weekend Quick Takes

Quick takes on this week’s news of note….

SCOTUS Anniversary

On this day, July 7, in 1981 President Ronald Reagan nominated the first woman ever to sit on the Supreme Court of the United states. Reagan nominates Sandra Day O’Connor to be an Associate Justice and she will go on to serve for 25 years on the Court.

Hate Restaurant Reopens

The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, VA reopened yesterday after closing for two weeks in the wake of controversy over its refusal to serve people of certain political beliefs. The restaurant infamously refused to serve Sarah Sanders, Presidential Press Secretary, and forced her and her family to leave the establishment for the sole reason that she worked for the President.

But that was not enough for the hate-filled owner, who then followed Sanders and her family to another restaurant across the street and screamed and heckled them from the sidewalk.

The owner of the Red Hen said later that he felt so strongly because of the intolerant policies of the Trump Administration about gay and immigrant issues. He felt, apparently, that the best way to express his views on tolerance were to throw out customers because they disagreed with him and then stalk them once they left.

Intolerance Toward Children

In a video that has gone viral, a man was seen taking on a 16 year old and his friends in a San Antonio Whataburger restaurant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMIlXjg_WuQ

The man did not like a pro-Trump hat that the 16 year old was wearing, so he walked over, launched a verbal tirade against the kid (to show his superior maturity, no doubt), picked up a drink cup and threw the drink at the 16 year old and then took the hat off his head and told him “This is going to go great in my f***ing fireplace, b**ch.”

San Antonio police have said that the man, 30 year old Kino Jimenez, has since been arrested and jailed.  (Note:  30 years old is the reported chronological age, obviously not the age of maturity).

Cult Leader Executed

The leader of a cult in Japan whose followers released deadly gas in the Tokyo subway in 1995, was executed Friday. Shoko Asahara, was one of 13 people sentenced to death in connection with the attack. He was hanged Friday morning along with 6 people also involved in the attack.

Members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult carried bags of sarin gas onto five crowded trains on three subway lines during the morning rush hour on March 20, 1995. The attack killed 13 and injured thousands.

The cult had also been linked to more than a dozen other deaths, including a smaller gas attack a year earlier for which Asahara was also later convicted.

Such a barbarous attack on innocents, young and old, is a perfect example of the need for a death penalty. The fact that it took more than 20 years after the attack to carry out the sentence is a sad course. A number of people were not even alive when the attack happened—so there has been a long time of suffering for those who knew the victims and wanted closure, and there is little deterrent effect when decades pass before you see the consequences for your actions.

Updates and Quick Takes

The passing of an American icon, Russia gets a hard slap on the hand, the latest update on sanctuary cities and states, kids can now legally be kids and other news of note that you will want to read to keep informed:

Passing Of An American Hero

Yesterday Linda Brown, the central figure in the historic Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case that ended separate but equal, passed away.

To the family of Ms. Brown, may your personal memories sustain you and may the knowledge that Linda Brown fought injustice and forever changed our country in a positive way be a remembrance of a life that made a difference to millions of people.

Thank you Ms. Brown and may you rest in peace.  We are better for you living your life as you did.

A Coordinated Response To Russia

In an unusually widespread, coordinated response to Russian actions, at least 20 countries have expelled Russian diplomats in response to the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England (A British law enforcement officer was also affected).

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that an investigation into the incident had revealed Russian involvement, which was actually very similar to another incident involving a former Russian living in the UK a number of years ago.  The UK then expelled a number of Russian diplomats who, the Prime Minister said were using diplomatic passports to spy.  In support of the British and as a reaction to the Russian attempt to commit murder on another country’s soil, the United States expelled 60 Russian diplomats which was more than any in history.  Expulsion announcements on the same day included almost all members of NATO and the European Union, along with a number of other countries. Continue reading “Updates and Quick Takes”

Friday Quick Takes–It’s Taxing

End of the week quick takes focus on comments about the recently passed tax plan.  Some different perspectives and…interesting opinions in this edition…

Do What I Say, Not What I Do

Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who served during the Obama Administration, said that the recent tax bill was a ‘ticking time bomb’ because of the large increase in the national debt that will result.

That is a very legitimate concern and the largest drawback to law Over 10 years, even if optimistic estimates of increased economic growth play out, the debt will increase by hundreds of billions of dollars (the initial estimate by the CBO is $1.5 trillion). At some point, that will have to be addressed.

However, it’s ironic and strangely odd that this concern would come from the Treasury Secretary who helped form economic policy during an Administration where the national debt doubled, rising roughly $10 trillion, in 8 years.

But That’s My Money!

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week that the recently passed tax reform bill was bad, in part, because it unfairly penalized high tax states by limiting the deduction for state taxes to $10,000. Well, yes, yes it does.

Or said another way, others will no longer be subsidizing people from high tax states by allowing them to pay less in federal taxes.

There is, of course, one obvious solution: stop having such high taxes.

 

That is just too much to consider for Cuomo.  So he has announced that he is having the state of New York sue the federal government in an attempt to invalidate the law, saying its unconstitutional.   Unconstitutional?  How is that, you may ask.  Good question, but that has sort of become ‘the thing’ to do when you disagree with a law may threaten to not give you as much money as you have started to feel entitled to getting.

So, we have one government suing another government, taking up a courts time and resources because…well, because it’s so important to settle the question of who gets more of the taxpayer’s money.