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NRA Endorses Bump Stock Restriction; Report: Trump Will Scrap Iran Nuke Deal

Check out Bill’s Daily Briefing for Friday, October 6, where we round up the day’s biggest headlines for your perusal. Take a look.

The Mystery Grows More Mystifying

Investigators are still searching for anything that will help make sense of why Stephen Paddock opened fire and killed 58 people.  Along with his arsenal of 23 weapons, Paddock’s hotel room had one computer and other unidentified electronic devices.  Forensics experts hope to find something revelatory in those devices or in one of the killer’s homes, but the only conclusion thus far is that Paddock’s mental health seems to have been rapidly deteriorating.

More on His Meticulous Plan

While Paddock’s motive remains a puzzle, there is more evidence showing just how thoroughly he planned the massacre.  He recently went to a gun show in Arizona and attempted to buy tracer bullets, which light up as they travel toward a target.  The vendor was out of tracers, but Paddock stocked up on other ammo at the show.  His car in the Mandalay Bay Hotel parking lot had 50 pounds of explosives and 1,600 bullets, leading law enforcement authorities to believe that he hoped to escape.

NRA Endorses Bump Stock Restriction

Even the National Rifle Association agrees that the administration should restrict “bump stocks,” those devices that transform a semi-automatic rifle into a machine gun-like weapon.  The add-ons, which are legal and easily available, enabled Stephen Paddock to fire hundreds of rounds per minute and almost surely led to more deaths than if he had to pull the trigger once for each round.  President Trump and other Republicans have also implied that they are ready to restrict bump stocks.

Today’s Mixed Jobs Report

The Labor Department unveiled its much-watched monthly jobs report this morning.  The United States economy lost 33,000 jobs, largely because of the hits taken by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  However, the unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low of 4.2% and hourly wages increased.  Analysts surmise that the job losses should be temporary and do not signal a widespread economic slowdown.

Report: Trump Will Scrap Iran Nuke Deal

The Washington Post is reporting that President Trump will abandon the six-nation nuclear deal that was hammered out with Iran during the Obama administration.  The president’s move is not unexpected, given that he ridiculed the arrangement at nearly every campaign stop last year.  The Post, which seems to be relying on well-sourced information, claims the White House will officially “decertify” the deal next week and assert that it is not in the USA’s national interest.

President Ominously Hints At Coming “Storm”

President Trump invited all his top military advisers to the White House last night and cryptically warned of an imminent “storm.”  But it is totally unclear whether he was talking about a storm involving Iran, North Korea, or ISIS.  When pressed on just what he meant, President Trump simply said, “You’ll find out.”  The only thing for certain is that he was not referring to Hurricane Nate, which is threatening the Gulf Coast.

Tax Reform Hits a Snag

The Hill is reporting that Republicans in Congress are already divided on tax reform, which President Trump is counting on after the failure of ObamaCare repeal.  The major hurdle for any tax bill will come in the Senate, where Republicans have just 52 seats and very little margin for error.  A few GOP Senators, among them libertarian Rand Paul and soon-to-retire Bob Corker, have already voiced their skepticism about the tax legislation.

NFL Star Hit Hard for “Sexist” Comment

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is used to being thrown for a loss, but he made a remark this week that will hit him very hard in the wallet.  During a press conference, Newton said “it’s funny to hear a female talk about (passing) routes.”  If it was a joke, it got very few laughs, especially from Dannon Yogurt, which quickly dropped Newton as its high-paid spokesman.  It’s worth noting that the female reporter, who took great offense, sent out racially inflammatory tweets a few years back, even using the dreaded “n-word.”  It’s also worth noting that sponsors don’t seem to care if players disrespect the National Anthem or mimic peeing dogs in the end zone.

Hollywood Big to Sue NY Times for $50-million

Harvey Weinstein, one of the America’s most prolific movie producers and a major Democratic donor, says he has been defamed by the New York Times, which ran a lengthy piece outlining his long and sordid history of sexual harassment.  In what appears to be contradictory, Weinstein both apologized for his behavior and moved forward with a lawsuit against the paper that documented that behavior.  The Los Angeles Times has piled on, describing Weinstein as “just another overgrown Hollywood man-baby.

Let the Statue Wars Resume!

Forget about mass shootings, hurricanes, and North Korea, let’s get back to what really matters.  Some people in Pittsburgh are calling for the removal of a statue depicting famous American composer Stephen Foster because it includes a black banjo player.  Foster, known as ‘the father of American music,’ wrote classics such as “Oh! Susanna” and “My Old Kentucky Home.”  The statue in question was sculpted in 1900 and now sits on public property near the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Leading Democrat Calls for Pelosi to Step Aside

Linda Sanchez, a 48-year-old Congresswoman from California, is the fifth-ranking Democrat in the House.  She has just gone where Democrats fear to tread, publicly calling for elderly party leaders to step aside and “pass the torch.”  There’s no doubt she was referring to the top three House Democrats – 77-year-old Nancy Pelosi, 78-year-old Steny Hoyer, and 77-year-old James Clyburn.  Rumors that Sanchez has hired a food taster have not been confirmed.

California Now a “Sanctuary State”

Meanwhile, 79-year-old Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law designating California as a “sanctuary state.”  The legislation limits the ability of local law enforcement officers to help the feds on immigration matters and symbolizes the cultural war between the USA’s most populous state and the Trump White House.  Meanwhile, illegal immigrants who support DACA protested and blocked traffic on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, creating a major headache for commuters.

Nobel Peace Prize Announced

This year’s Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, whose goal is to rid the world of every one of its 15,000 nukes.  The Nobel committee, which is big on sending messages, is using this year’s prize to pressure North Korea and the United States.  It is also seen as a thinly-veiled endorsement of the Iran nuclear deal, which President Trump is expected to exit next week.  The Nobel Committee rarely follows that sage advice usually attributed to movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn:  “If you want to send a message, call Western Union!”

“Fearless Girl” Firm Fined for Gender Bias

The Wall Street firm State Street Global Advisors signaled their virtue when it commissioned a statue depicting a young girl staring down the “Charging Bull” statue on Wall Street.  The “Fearless Girl” statue was meant to advertise a State Street fund consisting of “gender-diverse” companies, and its plaque reads, “Know the power of women in leadership.”  Well, in a delicious bit of irony, State Street Global Advisors has been accused of paying female executives far less than their male colleagues.  The firm will pay settlements to 300 women who were underpaid relative to men.  When it unveiled the statue earlier this year, State Street Global Advisors also created a slick video advertising its deep and abiding commitment to women.

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