We have previously discussed the series of scandals in Washington where powerful individuals have been spared serious sanctions for acts where ordinary people have faced long and unrelenting prosecution. (here) It is part of America’s Animal Farm system where some individuals are more equal than others. That concern is even greater this week with the combination of the disclosure that Hillary Clinton did use a personal email system for classified communications and most media outlets appear to be ignoring the obvious import of that fact.
It often seems that a day cannot go by without finding something to truly hate about the NFL. Despite being a football (and Bears) fan, I have long found the NFL itself to operate just slightly above the level of the Barbary Pirate kingdoms. We can add the abusive treatment of cheerleaders. California this month moved to become the first state to require that cheerleaders be paid minimum wage by teams. While lawyers have long insisted that they already qualify for such pay, some NFL teams have been pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars while paying cheerleaders either nothing or the equivalent of $5 an hour. The “Buffalo Jills” for example were paid nothing. Nothing by a time that featured them and pulled in millions for televised games.
The email controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton continues to grow but there is one aspects that is less of a problem for her as it is for one of her allies, Paul Begala. Begala is shown in email seeking directions or talking points from the State Department on what to say about one of Clinton’s speeches and then writes back to tell Clinton aides that he gave her an “A+.” Such talking points are common in Washington but the email forces the practice into the open and raises the question about independence of commentators, even in today’s formula conservative-liberal/democratic-republican casting. People like Begala are supposed to be crushingly predictable in blindly support one side of the formula casting, so it is hardly surprising to see such scripting or shaping. However, some have asked about the propriety of a CNN commentator who appears to be so closely coordinated with a political figure like Clinton even on his impressions of her skills as a speaker. It was an ironic twist from a commentator who declared national that “voters to not give a sh**” about the Clinton emails.
This is truly painful since I am neither a fan of Donald Trump or beauty pageants, but here it is: Is it possible that the actions taken against not just Donald Trump but his business associations are excessive? NBC has issued a statement that it will no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and that Trump will no longer participate in “The Celebrity Apprentice.” (Univision previously banned the pageant as did Televise. Mexico swore not to send its contestant to the pageant). Now many people have long advocated a Dump the Trump position because they view him as an obnoxious self-caricature. However, NBC is now dropping its association with Trump because he said highly negative things about border illegal aliens at a political event. [Now Macy’s has joined the corporate Dump Trump movement]
One could understand dropping a personality from a show like “The Celebrity Apprentice” over public comments, but the network is shooting shows that are connected Trump’s business interests. It seems odd to pull the plug on the Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants solely because the events is connected financially to someone who has controversial political views. The Miss USA contestants expected to appear on NBC on July 12 from Baton Rouge. The network has aired the program for the last 11 years.
I am still doing commentary on today’s history ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. It was a remarkable day for all of us outside of the Court. As many of us quickly read through the opinions, hundreds of people broke out into song: singing our national anthem. It never sounded so beautiful or so meaningful. As I went live with Jake Tapper on CNN, I noticed a familiar reference however. The Chief Justice cited to the Sister Wives litigation now pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. I am lead counsel for the Brown family, which prevailed in striking down the criminalization of cohabitation in Utah. The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets also discussed our case.
Gaming sites are reporting that Apple has pulled all war games featuring the confederate flag from the App Store as “offensive” and “hateful.” That decision of course wipes out historically accurate Civil War games. As a military history nut, I find the actions by Apple to be bizarre and revisionist. This was the symbol of one side in one of the world’s most famous military conflicts. When used in the context of a war game, it is obviously being used to closely mirror the symbols, uniforms, and equipment of the time.