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Ear to the Ground

Detroit Files for Bankruptcy, Lewis Black Messes With Texas, and More

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Posted on Jul 18, 2013

Biggest Bankruptcy: After decades of mismanagement and facing billions of dollars in mounting debt, Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection Thursday, becoming the largest city in U.S. history ever to do so. Calling it a problem “six decades in the making,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder explained the decision after the announcement: “The fiscal realities confronting Detroit have been ignored for too long. I’m making this tough decision so the people of Detroit will have the basic services they deserve and so we can start to put Detroit on a solid financial footing that will allow it to grow and prosper in the future.” (Read more)

Clinics Close: Planned Parenthood is reportedly getting set to shut down three of its women’s health clinics in Texas after a strict anti-abortion measure that has been the subject of much controversy was signed into law Thursday. The Texas legislature’s 2011 funding cuts to women’s health services also played a role in Planned Parenthood’s decision. Said Melaney A. Linton, president of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast: “The combined impact of years of budget cuts to women’s health care services and the dismantling of the successful Women’s Health Program will take affordable, preventive health care options away from women in Bryan, Lufkin and Huntsville—just as these policies have taken health care away from an estimated 130,000 others—when Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is forced to close these family planning health centers at the end of August.” Of the three, only the clinic located in Bryan performed abortions. (Read more)

Rocky Relations: President Obama may cancel some of his itinerary for a trip to Russia planned for September in part because of the impasse over Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker who is seeking asylum there. The meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Obama was announced last month by the White House as an extra stop on his visit to St. Petersburg for the G-20 Leaders’ Summit (Obama is still committed to going to the conference). White House spokesman Jay Carney, however, declined to say whether the meeting was off when directly asked about it. From The New York Times: “While the White House may be using the meeting as leverage to win cooperation as it seeks the return to the United States of Mr. Snowden, who is now staying at Moscow’s airport, the reconsideration also reflects a broader concern that the two countries are far apart on issues like Syria, Iran, arms control and missile defense.” (Read more)

Who’s Her Daddy? In something out of an episode of the Maury Povich show, a paternity test has revealed that Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., is not the father of Victoria Brink, the 24-year-old woman who he has been claiming was his out-of-wedlock daughter. CNN conducted the test on Brink with Cohen’s participation. The congressman said he was “stunned” and “dismayed” at the results. “I still love Victoria, hold dear the time I have shared with her and hope to continue to be part of her life,” he said. The relationship between the two was revealed in February, when Cohen accidentally tweeted publicly at Brink during the State of the Union. (Read more)

Video of the Day: “The Daily Show’s” Lewis Black is all riled up that Gov. Rick Perry’s tour across America to lure businesses away from other states and into Texas has finally reached New York. But Black is prepared. In a hilarious PSA-style parody, Black fires back with an ad that extols the virtues of New York City. “People come here from all over the world. For the freedom to live as they choose, for the variety of cultures, but most of all for the fact that it’s not Texas,” he says. Then Lewis delivers a serious message for the gaffe-prone governor: “Don’t mess with Texas? No, don’t fuck with New York.” 

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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