This Week in the News
You Heard it Here First!
I know most of you are really busy, so thanks to retirement the Fiercely Dude can follow the important news stories of the day, and as a public service I’ll share all the news worth knowing! Here goes!
Vice President Kamala Harris has gills! Yes, gills. This is a part of a larger conspiracy theory that Harris did not actually attend the State of the Union Address and was instead replaced by a body double. Evidence? Her neck is a little wrinkled. Well heck…I too have gills!
A few pranksters flew a small balloon over the Chinese embassy in D.C. Click this to see the story and video. You may note that the pranksters’ video is available on Tik Tok, a Chinese organization that many lawmakers want banned.
A 32-year-old British fellow named Jody Pool stole almost 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs and other chocolates worth about $38,000. Oh, and he also stole a truck to haul away those chocolate delights. The dude loves chocolate. I can relate.
American casinos earned more than $60 billion in profits during 2022. That does not include tribal casinos which reportedly earned another $41 billion. I’d like to make it clear that my wife was not responsible for ALL of these profits (I’ll be sleeping on the sofa tonight).
Everyone is a critic, but some critics suffer harsh consequences. A German ballet director smeared feces on the face of a newspaper critic who had given a less-than-glowing review. It’s all good now because the director apologized saying it was “a disgraceful act in the heat of the moment”. However, it seems to me the “moment” must have been quite long since one doesn’t normally just find bags of poop lying around. His dirty deed required at least some planning and should have given him time to reconsider!
For those of you who thought Patrick Mahomes’s success as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback resulted from years of dedicated hard work and laser-like focus, think again. Recently retired backup quarterback, Chad Henne, revealed that Mahomes is successful because he wears the same pair of red underwear during every game. TMI: I wore the same pair of black underwear to every class for 45 years and never washed them because I feared I’d wash out the good luck.
Former Vice President Mike Pence was subpoenaed by the Justice Department to provide his recollections regarding the January 6, 2021 insurrection and attempt to overthrow the government. Pence is fighting the subpoena based on Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution which applies to senators and representatives and states that “for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place”. Pence was automatically President of the Senate by virtue of his position as Vice President of the United States, so he contends that the Constitution protects him against testifying. It is important to note that as President of the Senate the V.P. cannot comment, debate, or vote (except to break a tie), so he/she is not really a senator. His contention is hollow, in my opinion, and will not be upheld in the courts. I will spare you the details, but the other sections of Article 1, Section 6 make it pretty clear that section applies to elected senators and representatives (which, as I said, he was not). I think the obvious question is why Pence objects to talking to the DOJ regarding January 6th.
As usual with politicians, fact-checking statements is important, so let’s fact check some of President Biden’s State of the Union claims. He claimed that:
Medicare would be authorized to negotiate drug prices as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. This seems to be accurate.
25% of the total federal debt was a consequence of former President Trump’s administration. This is true, but at least a portion of that debt was a consequence of pandemic relief which Democrats also supported.
Oil companies earned record profits. This appears to be accurate.
A large number of new jobs were created during his first two years. This is true, but most new jobs were likely a consequence of the post-pandemic economic surge and companies refilling positions left vacant during the pandemic although some new jobs may have resulted from his infrastructure bill.
Take-home pay has risen under his administration. This is true, but because of inflation real wages have declined.
He seemed to state that exports are outpacing imports thanks to his policies. This is probably false because the 2022 trade deficit was about $1 trillion, a record deficit.
He stated that the federal government is now replacing lead pipes for millions of homes and schools, but Congress has still not provided funding to cover replacing all those pipes.
Payton Gendron, a white supremacist, was given a life sentence for killing ten black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY. His hate was fueled by online conspiracy theories.
We routinely hear about the number of American “mass shootings”, but there is no universally accepted definition of that term. Some groups define mass shooting as an incident when four people are injured or killed (meaning 68 mass shootings this year), others only use the term if four people die in a shooting incident (meaning six mass shootings this year), etc. Regardless of the counting strategy, you might find it interesting that 20,138 Americans died from guns in 2022, excluding suicides. America is second only to Brazil in the total number of gun deaths.
Pay attention to today’s news because the Georgia grand jury investigating former President Trump’s attempts to overturn his election loss in that state will release at least a portion of its findings. You may recall that Georgia’s Secretary of State actually recorded the conversation when Trump asked him to find enough votes to overturn the Georgia results.
Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and United Nations Ambassador, declared her campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. It will be interesting to see the number of Republicans who decide to seek that nomination against former President Trump but who refuse to mention him by name. Republicans still fear his influence although it seems pretty obvious that their election losses in recent years are his fault.
As usual, I appreciate you following along.
So when did you retire, David?