Monday, December 11, 2017
Politics

American Forces Network won't air football, baseball on TV

No Rays and Red Sox. No Gators and Razorbacks. No NFL! The American Forces Network, which provides television and radio to American troops overseas, says because of the government shutdown it has no plans to screen football, baseball or other sports until things get back to normal.

Navy Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Harrington, an AFN spokesman, said in an email to Stars and Stripes that the broadcaster's attorneys had determined there is no sound policy or legal basis to air sports. The legal opinion advised that televised sport "is not deemed critical to accomplish essential aspects of the DMA (Defense Media Activity) mission in direct support of excepted military operations and activities."

Stars and Stripes writes that AFN has no plans to screen baseball playoff games while the shutdown is in effect. Gone, too, are the NFL and college football. There is a little consolation: AFN Radio channels are still on the air.

The sports shutdown is also frustrating troops in Afghanistan. Lt. Uriel Macias, a Navy reservist assigned to a stability operations team in Kabul, told Stars and Stripes he has noticed an impact on others who work in his office.

"They have to use the online play-by-play sites, and sit there and refresh it over and over again," he said. "Sports are an escape for a lot of people here, so it can be a little frustrating for them."

Call for politicians to watch language

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, an Iraq war veteran, on Friday called on Washington politicians to stop using terrorism metaphors during the current budget debate. Speaking on the House floor, Wenstrup addressed both sides of the debate, but also focused on the White House's comments equating Republicans to someone "with a bomb strapped to their chest."

"I have heard references to being 'terrorists,' to 'jihad' and to having 'bombs strapped to our chests,' " Wenstrup said. "I spent one year, 2005-2006 — perhaps the bloodiest time of the war — as an Army combat surgeon in Iraq. In this chamber, I have seen no 'terrorists,' no 'jihad,' nor any 'bombs strapped to chests.' If you have been to war, you would not use such rhetoric here."

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., on Thursday accused Republicans of waging a "jihad" against Obamacare.

Common complaint of visitors: restrooms

Despite the shuttered museums and the closed memorials, some visitors are still making their way to the National Mall in Washington. But they are encountering a key problem, reports the Washington Post: no restrooms.

There are restrooms at the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Washington Monument, but they are all locked. And since the museums along the Mall are also closed, those restrooms are similarly unavailable.

"I was just crying because I couldn't go to the bathroom for over like 45 minutes," said Jennifer Lioy, 27, who was visiting from Rochester, N.Y.

The issue of restrooms is a chronic problem on the Mall with many visitors saying there were too few, even before the shutdown.

A T. Rex will have to wait until spring

A rare Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, which is to be a centerpiece of a future exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, is a casualty of the government shutdown.

The T. Rex is one of the most significant acquisitions the museum has ever made. And a procession planned with great fanfare, involving a sendoff in Bozeman, Mont., on Oct. 11, has been canceled, along with a Smithsonian program for hundreds of schoolchildren who were going to be deputized as "junior paleontologists" to welcome the dinosaur.

The skeleton will be trucked to the museum in the spring. Several federal entities involved in the long move are now constrained because of the shutdown.

Information from the Washington Post and New York Times was used in this report.

Comments
As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class

As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class

The GOP tax plan on the cusp of becoming law diverges wildly from the promises President Trump and top advisers said they would deliver for the middle class — an evolution that shows how traditional Republican orthodoxy swamped Trump’s distinctive br...
Published: 12/10/17

Same income, but not taxes, in GOP plan

In most places, a dollar is a dollar. But in the tax code envisioned by Republicans, the amount you make may be less important than how you make it.Consider two chefs working side by side for the same catering company, doing the same job, for the sam...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Democrats fighting math and history in Alabama

Democrats fighting math and history in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Renegade Republican Roy Moore may be plagued by scandal, but it will take more than that to convince the voters of 44th Place North to show up for Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday. In a state where Democrats are used to losing, the m...
Published: 12/09/17
 ‘He believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy him’: A look inside Trump’s day-to-day

‘He believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy him’: A look inside Trump’s day-to-day

WASHINGTON — Around 5:30 each morning, President Donald Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to "Fox & Friends" for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s "...
Published: 12/09/17
Why Democrats decided Sen. Al Franken had to go

Why Democrats decided Sen. Al Franken had to go

  It seems like a distant memory now, but Al Franken’s arrival in the U.S. Senate eight years ago marked the very moment when Democrats’ control of Washington reached its highest point in a generation. After an eight-month recount, the ...
Published: 12/07/17
Updated: 12/08/17
Rep. Trent Franks to resign after broaching surrogacy with subordinates

Rep. Trent Franks to resign after broaching surrogacy with subordinates

WASHINGTON — Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is among the most conservative members of the House, said Thursday he would resign his seat in a statement where he acknowledged discussing surrogacy with two former female subordinates.Franks...
Published: 12/07/17
Sen. Al Franken says he’s resigning amid fresh accusations

Sen. Al Franken says he’s resigning amid fresh accusations

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken announced Thursday he will resign from Congress in the coming weeks following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations and the collapse of support from his Democratic colleagues, a swift political fall for a once...
Published: 12/07/17
Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Disturbed by stories about the rape of teens by supervisory staff, a pandemic of sometimes savage force, brutal beatdowns ordered by youth care workers and policies that permit the hiring of violent offenders, Miami-Dade’s state attorney wants to kno...
Published: 12/07/17
Romano: Like him or not, Latvala deserves a fair hearing

Romano: Like him or not, Latvala deserves a fair hearing

At some point, the truth has to matter, right? Evidence, due process, all of that? No matter how you feel about Sen. Jack Latvala personally (and I’ve never been a huge fan) or how you feel about the overzealousness of his defense (which I cr...
Published: 12/07/17

New Port Richey takes steps to outlaw drug paraphernalia

NEW PORT RICHEY — The city has taken the first step to outlaw the sale of drug paraphernalia in its downtown, and leaders hope to establish stricter rules citywide for businesses selling pipes and other gear that can be used to consume illegal drugs....
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17