The Wider World

“Filibuster” could be a target

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN and Democratic senators are struggling to raise the debt limit before the Oct. 18 deadline.

The stalling technique called “filibuster,” honored and criticized for decades in the U.S. Senate. may be coming under attack soon as President Joe Biden and Democrats struggle to approve lifting the federal government’s debt limit before the Oct. 18 deadline.

The filibuster – the right of a single senator to hold the floor and stop the Senate’s business – has been praised as a way to stop a bad law or a dangerous appointee and condemned as a means to frustrate the will of the majority, and can be overcome with 60 votes.

Biden on Tuesday, speaking of a temporary rules change requiring only a simple majority to stop a filibuster, said, “It’s a real possibility,” according to the Associated Press.

The Senate is split 50-50 between the two parties, but Vice President Kamala Harris can break the tie for the Democrats. The resolution has already been approved by the House of Representatives.

Another bad day for Facebook

One day after social media giant Facebook (and its associated applications Messenger, Instagram and Whats App) were knocked off the internet for up to six hours, it took more knocks before a Senate subcommittee.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, told the panel that her ex-employer was dangerous and resistant to change, according to The New York Times.

“I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy,” she said. She added, “The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer but won’t make the necessary changes.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, replied, “Most of us just don’t recognize the false picture of the company that is being painted.”

Also in the news …

  • In the wake of mass incursions into Taiwan’s air space by Chinese military planes, President Joe Biden said Tuesday he had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping and both agreed that the future of the island nation – which China claims as its own territory – should be determined by “peaceful means,” according to Reuters.
  • The U.S Treasury Department has warned Arizona that it could not use federal funds to “undermine” face mask requirements in schools, such as offering grants to school districts that don’t require face coverings.

Sports: Red Sox eliminate the Yankees

The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees 6-2 at Fenway Park in the American League Wild Card game on Tuesday. The BoSox had home runs from Xavier Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber.  Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton went deep for New York. Nathan Eovaldi had a strong start for Boston, working 5.1 innings and yielding four hits and one run. He struck out eight batters.

The Red Sox now advance to the NL Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Weather:  Cool and cloudy for a while

In West Orange County, we’ll be getting a nice dose of autumn weather for a while. Wednesday’s high will be 75, with an overnight low of 63 under partly cloudy skies. The mercury will drop to 70 on Thursday (63 low) with cloudy skies, then 69 on Friday and a partly cloudy outlook. Saturday will warm up a bit to 74. In the coastal areas of Huntington Beach, daily highs will be two to three degrees cooler.

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