Joan Rivers and vicious humor

I don’t think I ever saw the late Joan Rivers actually perform her standup comedy routine except for very short bits but her presence could be felt everywhere in the media and so I knew about her indirectly. I knew that she was a pioneer, entering the field of standup comedy when it was almost exclusively a male field and that she had to fight her way to make it.
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Bernie Sanders

The independent socialist senator from Vermont appeared on The Colbert Report and gave his take on what the state of the nation is. Being a socialist, he has little difficulty talking about class and the oligarchy. His condemnation of the way that the very rich have taken over the country and his call for a single-payer system of health were both wildly cheered by the audience.
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Joaquin Castro

Joaquin Castro is a Democratic congressman from Texas. He, like his twin brother Julian who used to be mayor of San Antonio and is now secretary of Housing and Urban Development, represents the next generation of Democratic party leadership. He was interviewed recently on The Daily Show and sounded good. Let’s hope they do better and not sell out as easily as that other once-rising hopeful Cory Booker, who seems to be completely in the pockets of Wall Street.
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The mayor and the gang signs

The reports of abuse by police departments all over the country have been gaining increased attention and drawing much needed attention to the need for elected officials to exert greater control over them. Not every one does, with many preferring to turn a blind eye. And when they do something, even to the mere extent of speaking out against police abuses, the police can retaliate against them using their allies in the media, as the mayor of Minneapolis found out.
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The next big scare?

So the great freak-out about Ebola in the US has now subsided with the last person who had the disease, the doctor in New York, being cleared and released from hospital. There are a few encouraging signs that the rate of spread of the infection in West Africa, at least in Liberia, is slowing down and that containment of this deadly disease may be on the horizon though it must be emphasized that the dangers are still very real and Sierra Leone in particular still faces major problems.
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Where feeding the homeless is a crime

I read a news item recently about a 90-year old man who was arrested (twice!) in Fort Lauderdale because he violated a city ordinance that prohibited people from feeding homeless people in public. While the city asserts that it is doing so for the good of the homeless, one cannot help but have the suspicion that the real reason is that they don’t want the sight of homeless people to ruin the tourist experience for this popular vacation spot.
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The real winners in the election

Whoever the candidates and parties are, in US elections there is always one certain winner.

(This clip aired on November 4, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)