Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Dispatches: Sheldon, Warren, and Bill Write a Letter, Bad Craziness in Houston, and Sometimes it is Just Easier to Belly Up

Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates all co-authored a letter which showed up in the New York Times today. The three uber rich guys are pissed off at congress in general and their inaction on immigration reform in particular.

Of course everyone else is too, so why should they be any different? In fact the last NBC-WSJ poll found only 7% of Americans had faith in congress to do anything. It is not a difficult conclusion to reach, especially when the most significant thing proposed by the Speaker of the House lately has been to threaten to sue the president because he is doing things republicans don't like.

According to the billionaire club, "American citizens are paying 535 people to take care of the country. We're being short changed." They went on to say, "The current stalemate--in which greater pride is attached to thwarting the opposition than to advance the nation's interests--is depressing to Americans and virtually all of its business managers." Business managers, by the way, are code words for people who are really, really rich.

The authors pointed out that even though they don't agree on certain aspects of immigration reform, they could come to a compromise and pointedly wondered why congress couldn't do the same.

Gates has kept his party affiliation private and the distribution of his political contributions is equally as hazy. Most reports agree he gives slightly more money to democrats than republicans. Buffett is a registered democrat and an Obama supporter, although he does have disagreements on certain issues with the president. And--as we know all too well--Sheldon Adelson is a Screaming Mimi republican who throws so many huge wads of cash at GOP candidates you'd think all those green Benjamins were confetti.

The problem is, unlike congress, these three new amigos aren't scared of  tea party cranks and loons who see any compromise as capitulation to a guy they are convinced is an African socialist who is busily attempting to oppress the white race. In truth the mega bucks guys have seriously over estimated the courage and intelligence of the entire legislative branch. Hey, in the final analysis you can't shame people who don't understand the concept.

Meanwhile in Houston, Ronald Lee Haskell showed up in court today and promptly fainted while standing in front of a judge. No medical reason was given for the collapse, although it is easy to think it finally dawned on Brother Haskell the last person this certain to take the fatal hot shot was named, Tim McVeigh.

Haskell is, of course, the fine young lad who showed up at his former sister in law's house on Wednesday demanding to know where his ex-wife was. When the family members told him they didn't know he did what any American psychopath would do, he shot the seven of them, killing all but one.

The lone survivor, Cassidy Stay, saved herself by playing dead. After her former uncle left, she alerted police and they were able to prevent Haskell from getting to her maternal grandparents, who he planned on killing too.

On the second of this month, Ron Haskell, who previously had been convicted of assaulting his ex-wife, accused his mother of talking to her on the phone. He bound his mom with duct tape and choked her until she passed out. The next day she had a California court issue a violence protective order against her son. In November of last year he was accused of attacking his sister.

Haskell's attorney was quoted as saying he is researching an innocent by reason of insanity plea for his client, based on, "evidence of a troubled history."

Well, you have to plead something don't you? Let's face it, given what happened, there aren't a lot of options available to the defense at this moment.

Usually this is when I'd start railing against the unnatural gun fetish in America. During the rant I would howl about the gruesome reality that this nation is the only place in the entire industrialized world where a crazy fuck like Ron Haskell could possibly get his hands on a weapon--one which is good for only a single purpose--that is to kill another human being.

But it is late Friday afternoon, my argument will do about as much good as Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" drug policy, and somewhere it's 5pm, so, thankfully, the bar has opened.

Yes, sometimes it's simpy easier to belly up than it is to belly ache.


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