1. It’s Thursday, June 16, 2016.
2. David Wright has been the face of the Mets since pretty much the day he stepped into the uniform in 2004.
Alas, his long string of injuries – including his attempt to play through spinal stenosis that might cripple other people – seems cruel to both Wright and fans who root for him and the team.
The announcement that he is undergoing surgery to repair a herniated neck disc is one more blow to a man who has represented the Mets with strength, pride and class.
I would love nothing better than to see David Wright back on the field for my favorite team, and I’m sure he’ll give it his best. He always does.
3. A British member of Parliament was killed today while meeting with constituents in Birstall, about 200 miles northwest of London.
A 52-year-old man is under arrest, the BBC reports.
The incident involving the Labour MP, Jo Cox, comes amid the heated referendum campaign over whether or not Britain will withdraw from the European Union. Cox, who was 41, supported Britain remaining in the EU.
The campaign is an echo of what we’re seeing here with the Trump phenomenon – it’s surprising that the supporters of Brexit don’t wear red baseball caps reading “Make Britain Great Again.” In this case, the ease in which people can immigrate between EU nations is making Britons – especially the English – anxious.
The Brexit vote is a week away. Much as it would be a tragedy if the United States disengaged with the world by following Trump, it would be bad for Europe and the World if the United Kingdom acts out of fear and does the same.
4. As a liberal Democrat, the idea of filibustering in the U.S. Senate is unsettling. The filibuster has most famously been used by racist Southern senators to kill civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s.
But then there was yesterday. And while it might seem hypocritical to some, there certainly were differences to the talkfest staged by Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and other Democrats – and, yes, one Republican.
For one thing, yesterday’s filibuster was aimed at advancing, not stopping, legislation. In this case, it was an effort to get a vote on two measures that would at least try to stem some of the mass shootings we’ve seen in this country.
For another, instead of holding the floor by reading recipes or “A Tale of Two Cities,” the Democrats actually spoke to what they believe about the epidemic of gun violence.
5. Murphy and a lot of other people are revolted by the notion that “thoughts and prayers” are the only thing Congress can offer after an atrocity such as occurred Sunday in Orlando.
Congress can actually try to do something. It can pass legislation to try to keep weapons out of the hands of people who would commit such acts. And while I don’t think it seems like too much to ask, it can also limit the type of weaponry available to that which you wouldn’t use in a war zone.
The two measures Murphy and the Democrats want a vote on would restrict sales of weapons to people on terror watch list and would expand background checks for buying a gun. They’re pretty weak compared to what’s needed, but, hey, you gotta start somewhere.
The Times’ story on the filibuster took a very skeptical tone. Murphy ended his filibuster after nearly 15 hours when he said there was an agreement for a vote on the proposals. But the Times says there probably would have been votes anyway, since it’s impossible for the Republicans leading the Senate to vote on anything without Democratic complicity.
But while the filibuster went on, it was a sight to behold. Murphy and most of his colleagues offering the arguments for why something needs to be done. Why it’s unacceptable that this country hasn’t acted to curb these mass killings.
Orlando is the biggest so far, with 49 victims. Because it took place at a gay nightclub, it reeks of homophobia. Because the shooter’s ancestry was Afghan and he claimed allegiance to ISIL, it hints at terrorism.
But what it really is is some warped mind who got his hands on a semi-automatic weapon and killed people because he couldn’t think of anything else worth doing.
6. The filibuster was great. But I’m still skeptical.
We talk a lot about doing something when these killings occur. Yet, if the nation didn’t do anything after the killing of elementary school kids in Connecticut in 2012, it won’t do anything when the victims are at church, a holiday party, a college or a nightclub.
I’m hoping to be proven wrong.