BY JOE GENCO
A short take on today’s news:
- Long-time National Enquirer publisher David Pecker (yes that’s really his name) will not face criminal charges for catching and killing a story about President Trump’s affair with a Playboy Bunny.
- As the inaugural investigation continues, it now appears the Trump organization overcharged itself for venue rentals. What a better way to launder donations. Look away please, look away.
- Rev. Roy Herberger and Msgr. Frederick Leising have been returned to duty after being cleared of charges. Two other priests remain on administrative leave.
- This Tweet from Sen. Lindsey Graham: “You don’t need to have been convicted of a crime. Impeachment isn’t about punishment. It’s about cleansing the office.” (Of course, he was talking about Bill Clinton.)
- A federal judge in Texas has declared that the Trump administration’s removal of fines from the for those who forego health insurance has rendered the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Appeals are expected. The 5-judge Supreme Court majority who preserved the ACA a few years ago remains in place but has been emboldened by the new David Souter, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is finding his way as a pragmatic moderate.
- Someone killed Mandy Steingasser 25 years ago. Police think it was Joe Belstadt. So do prosecutors. There will finally by a trial this summer.
- The pay-to-play indoctrination of new members of Congress, hosted by Harvard and sponsored by lobbyists, is receiving additional scrutiny. Thankfully, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others questioned the appropriateness.
- “Indoctrination” I remember that word, it was the one the Trumpsters used to describe what the liberal school teachers were doing to our children. I need a new foil hat. If your children are more left wing than you like, despite your Conservative values, perhaps you should consider the self-righteous tone of your political rhetoric long before blaming teachers. Listen to your kids rather than lecturing.
- Apparently, “Trump’s in charge now” was not a sufficient reason for the U.S. Forest Service to approve a pipeline cutting through the George Washington and Monongahela Forests and across the Appalachian Trail. The agency actually needed valid reasons for changing its previous rulings. A whim was not enough.
- Buffalo Billion bid rigging fleeced taxpayers but generated scant prison sentences for the perps, who remain free on bail as Emperor Cuomo skates because Trump removed Preet.
- Cozy Catering fed me for the last 2 days at a work party and a BNI party. Rob Schofield is awesome. No muss, no fuss. Contact him for details. Oh and bacon wrapped dates. Mmmm.
- There’s a new cable documentary on Richard Matt. May he rot in hell.
- President Trump and his supporters love to point to Chicago as the reason gun laws don’t work. Objective analysis shows while gang violence is an issue, Illinois does not have the toughest gun laws and proportionally, is not as murderous as portrayed, but hey, why let the facts get in the way. Chicago is where Obama came from. Allegedly. That makes it bad.
- Boyd Curiosity: What is the oldest edible vegetable cultivated by man? It appears to be cabbage. Some folks ate it even before inventing corned beef.
- What if John Updike, Philip Roth or Norman Mailer had written Slaughterhouse Five? How would it have been different? The Vonnegut classic turns 50 this year.
- WNY Weather: Fog chill and damp, high of 4 (39) today. Much the same tomorrow with the addition of some rain. Planning to go out to see the Sabres tonight with some friends if anyone is interested in joining us.
- Missouri troopers have taken to shooting feral hogs from helicopters and leaving the carcasses to rot.
- Nice to look at the TSN trade bait board and see not a Sabre listed.
- Five Bills to watch Sunday against the Lions. For me, it’s all about the offensive line, and getting Allen to stop running so much before his gets killed. I predicted 10-6 this season. Apparently I was dyslexic.
- An under-rated element in the resurgence of the Sabres is the return to health of Zach Bogosian, a dominant force when he is not dinged up.