So which news stories / issues / topics grab your attention here at the end of the week?
Surprise! The southbound I-495 bridge magically reopened Thursday afternoon, weeks ahead of schedule. DelDOT gave Delaware media just a few minutes' notice. Was the decision to reopen that haphazard? Or perhaps DelDOT itself didn't know until the last minutes! DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt warned the agency would have to close the bridge periodically (if possible, off hours) for minor tweaking. The northbound side is not supposed to reopen until September 1st.
Three Democratic U.S. senators (Richard Blumenthal & Chris Murphy of Connecticut; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin) have called on the Baltimore Ravens and the National Football League to stiffen what they call the "plainly inadequate" punishment for Ray Price. Price, of course, was penalized with a two-game suspension - at the price of $529,000 in wages - after police accused Rice of knocking his then-finacee unconscious at an Atlantic City casino. Critics have complained that such a suspension is way too lenient, somewhat less than players have received for possession of marijuana.
Tropical Storm Bertha has formed off Barbados; early computer models keep Bertha away from the East Coast, but you never know.
That odd couple, Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), has introduced legislation requiring comprehensive background checks for folks seeking jobs in the nation's public schools. The legislation could very well sail through the Senate, as did a similar measure in the House. But, as The PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE notes, when the same two senators last year offered legislation requiring background checks for would-be gun owners, gun owners' organizations quickly derailed that legislation. That has some people complaining bitterly about a seeming double-standard. "I wish that our legislators would demonstrate a consistency of thought and courage on the totality of background checks issues", said a top public official in Newtown, Connecticut, E. Patricia Llodra.
An audio recording of President Clinton - made with Mr. Clinton's permission by the former president of Australia's Liberal Party - has President Clinton telling some Australian businessmen September 10th, 2001 - the day before the 9/11 attacks - that he COULD have ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden, but decided not to, for fear for extensive civilian casualties (some 300 innocent women & children) in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Speaking of civilian casualties, even some supporters of Israel are warning the Netanyahu government to cool it with Israel's offensive into Gaza.
A Gaza ceasefire imploded only hours after it began Friday. Israel accused Hamas of breaching the U.S. & U.N.-brokered truce by firing missiles and mortars. About two hours after the official start of the ceasefire, Israeli tanks and artillery began firing rounds in the southern Rafah area. A hospital in Gaza reported 40 Palestinians killed.
It is important to put Middle-East conflicts into context: Even though the Israel/Hamas war is the lead story from the Middle-East, Syria remains the deadlier conflict. (Of course, that could change.)
Should we judge global leaders' assertiveness and toughness by their pets?
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin posted a photo on Twitter displaying President Vladimir Putin holding a small leopard juxtaposed with a photo of President Obama holding a small, white dog. The caption: "We have different values and allies."
Posted at 9:01am on August 1, 2014 by Allan Loudell
Our country is being invaded by Central America and all those senators can think about is an NFL player? No wonder our nation is so messed up.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 1, 2014 3:21pm
Hats off to DelDOT, opening the Southbound lanes ahead of schedule.
Question, have either the state or feds gone after that company that put the dirt there, or are they just going to get away with it? I hear nothing in the news about this. WDEL might want to sic Amy Cherry on Governor Markell with your camera crew there to video the interview, maybe she can get some answers. THAT company should NOT get away with that nor just a slap on the hand. Where's our "great" State AG Beau Biden? Why isn't his office pursuing this?
Background checks that include mental-health stuff, YES. for both teachers AND people wanting to purchase guns and rifles. The NRA and extreme TEA party "wingnuts" on the far right fear that, because probably most of them would no longer qualify to own a gun/rifle - heh heh.
Fri, Aug 1, 2014 5:11pm
Listen to DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt on-the-air with me at 5:35 p.m.
I've asked him about this before.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 1, 2014 5:34pm
Allan, it's 5:33pm, I'm listening.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 1, 2014 5:58pm
Allan: Good interview. He gave reasonable answers, so essentially they've [DelDOT] retained legal counsel to supplement the assistant AG that's assigned to DelDOT [interesting sidebar... all state agencies have their own assistant AG]. Something about needing the right expertise for this type of case that is beyond the AG office ability. So it appears that DelDOT is going to try to get as much of the money back from the defendant as possible [excellent].
The Fed will cover most, if not all, the money Delaware will spend. They gave the state 2 million dollars already to get things going, and will provide the rest after the state submits its final amount for reimbursement. Apparently Delaware's three Congressional folks - Carper, Coons, and Carney - were instrumental in getting fast response from the Feds.
One question, if the Fed is giving Delaware all the money via a reimbursement, won't DelDOT have to give whatever it gets in a lawsuit [after paying court costs and these other lawyers] the remaining money to the Feds, since technically Delaware didn't spend any money?
Again, thanks for the heads-up, it was a good interview Allan. I just had logged on to WDEL.com and saw your note at 5:33 p.m.
Fri, Aug 1, 2014 6:08pm
Yeah, Mike, I had thought of that question too, but time was limited, and we'll have many more chances to ask it.
Have a good weekend!
Sat, Aug 2, 2014 3:00am
The above is an account later deleted by BBC dealing with the investigation of the downed Ukraine airliner.
It appears though filtering that the Ukraine's were tailing civilian aircraft to fool radar, then diving down and bombing the Russian supported separatists...
That gives credibility to the argument that the separatists thought they were shooting down an enemy. Their radar shows a blip rising up from Ukraine to 6 miles high then coming towards them.... I'd shoot too....
Ukraine then is using human shields to conduct their war. They are to blame perhaps more than the Russians...
Nothing really made sense before. Why would they shoot down a civilian airliner. This does. Remember the US shot down a similar Iranian airliner in the first gulf war under the same principle.. And the Americans cheered as did the separatists, until they realized the gravity of their error...
Sat, Aug 2, 2014 3:10am
100 years ago yesterday.... August 1.
Germany declared war on Russia. Russia said it was at war with Austria-Hungary only. Italy declared its neutrality, violating its agreement to fight with Germany and Austria. Germany and the Ottoman empire sign a secret treaty committing the two nations to the same side if war breaks.
100 years ago today... August 2nd.
Germany invades Luxembourg. No shots fired.
Skirmish at Joncherey, first military action on the Western Front
Germany declares war on France, and invades neutral Belgium. Britain then sends an ultimatum, rejected by the Germans, to withdraw from Belgium.
Sun, Aug 3, 2014 1:53pm
In the meantime, Mexico declares war on America with the help of a compliant American president.
Sun, Aug 3, 2014 3:47pm
Oops! Sorry, I meant compliant American dictator.
Sun, Aug 3, 2014 5:15pm
Pizza, you stopped making sense a long time ago... Go back to posting music... please..
What was that composer's name you delivered pizza to? How about him?
And since we tend to forget, here is a reminder as to why we have issues in today's Government... Congress... and the House in particular. Let us review the history of today's Republican Party... and then ponder, is it any wonder they are still incompetent today?
Who ignored intelligence reports that over and over again said Al Qaeda would attack American targets with hijacked planes?
Who lied and led us into two wars and never funded them?
Who gave tax break after tax break to the richest top 1% while these wars raged on and on?
Who passed Medicare Part D to the cost of a trillion dollars a year and did not fund it, just charged it to the deficit?
Who allowed 47,000 manufacturing plants to close, eliminating 3 million jobs, while paying corporations over $1 trillion dollars to do this?
Who allowed Wall Street to destroy the American economy and turned a blind eye to all signs that something was wrong in the derivative sector?
Who put a poison pill in the Post Office to destroy an American Icon that has been around since Benjamin Franklin?
Mr. Pizza... that is who.. That is why no one seems takes his statements seriously... History long ago proved that all he says is bunk.
So Pizza, how about some good music for a change?
Sun, Aug 3, 2014 6:24pm
Glad to oblige, Kavips. You'll need to set aside two hours to here this concert in its entirety, but I promise you, it's well worth it:
Sun, Aug 3, 2014 9:31pm
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty."
- 1 Corinthians 1:27
Sun, Aug 3, 2014 11:16pm
Thanks Pizza... Knew I could count on you...
For the others, here is a clip from the Funny (Fancy)Farm of Alison Grimes versus McConnell.
I point to this not as partisanship, but to show the distaste towards the Washington establishment. I think she makes a good case as to the real problem existing in Washington. I'm sure that the exact same cases are flip flopped where a Republican is challenging a current Democratic incumbent... A bit of background, ... this is the only time that tradition in KY allows both candidates on the same stage at the same time. After this, it will probably be the only time.
What fascinated me, was the rebuttal to her claims that Mitch was more concerned about DC social hierarchy, than he was about the citizens in his state. His speech, certainly reinforced exactly what Grimes claimed. I don't think he mentioned the people of Kentucky once. It was all about Obama... and his party's status...
Though a Democrat, I'm afraid John Carney and Tom Carper sound exactly like Mitch. It is all about power. Not people... If you can get past the partisanship here, I'd like to know what you think about Washington's distance from the rest of America.... and if you think they are as insane up there as they appear to be....
Sun, Aug 3, 2014 11:33pm
WASHINGTON -- The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, said Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, the second-ranking Democrat on the committee. The panel voted Thursday to declassify the report, the result of two years of investigation by the committee. U.S. intelligence agencies will have to approve making the report public.
Thompson said the report "confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given."
-- Intelligence agencies were "warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened."
-- "A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack."
-- "There was no 'stand-down order' given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind."
-- The administration's process for developing "talking points" was "flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis."
The House Republicans just threw Issa under the bus and ran over him two or three times...
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Aug 4, 2014 8:43am
The TEA folks, including Right-Wing Talk Radio will call the Republicans on that Benghazi House Intelligence Committee RINO's, turncoats, Democrat lites, etc.
This should clear Hillary's name with this issue, other than with the TEA folks.
Mon, Aug 4, 2014 4:45pm
It also clears Obama, the greatest president Mr. Pizza will see in his lifetime... lol.
(Hopefully before he dies, he will realize it.)
Mon, Aug 4, 2014 5:03pm
Imagine, 100 years ago... We'd wake up and hear what happened today, August 4th...
Germany invades Belgium to outflank the French army.
Britain protests the violation of Belgian neutrality, guaranteed by a treaty;
German Chancellor replies that the treaty is just a chiffon de papier (a scrap of paper).
The United Kingdom declares war on Germany.
The United States declares neutrality.
I do this to convey the surrealism that the war had on the populations around the world, most could not believe their leaders had all collectively lost their minds at the same time.
It would be as if Russia did a massive invasion of the EU this morning and China marched down the Korean peninsula today.... And ostensibly over Gaza... Today, 100 years ago, it was on that same level....
We seem to be very close to the same psychology today. Of what the hell, have a little fun, wage war, whatever.... (Most predictions were it would be diplomatically settled in 2 months or less) Instead, 4 years, 20 million dead.
Mon, Aug 4, 2014 8:03pm
Communist party 2016 baby!
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