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The Blanche Report: The Press Conference, The Trial and The Comptroller

Edward Burkhardt, president of the company that owns the Montreal Maine & Atlantic railway finally showed up in Lac Megantic yesterday. Suffice it to say he did not give command performance. We did some of our own investigation and went on the RailWorld Inc website, which is the parent company of the Montreal Maine railway. The website looks like Burkardt talks – cold and impersonal and a bit childish.

He never went to see those who are living in shelters, he did not bring a translator to a town that is 99% French speaking, he blamed the engineer for not setting the brakes properly when no one knows what caused this horrible accident, he spoke in a matter-of-fact manner with zero compassion when what he should have done was be sensitive to the agony the residents of that town are going through. Basically, if someone could get a hold of the video of the press conference, it could be used in a class on what not to do or say during a crisis. In the past few months Hillary Clinton has given 14 speeches charging more than $200,000 per speech. We used our trusty calculator and figured out that she made around $3 million. Nice. While deciding whether or not to run for president, she’s amassing a small fortune and quietly lobbying for herself all over all over the United States.

Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman is accused of killing Trayvon Martin last year. His trial has been running for the past couple of weeks in Sanford Florida and tomorrow the jury will begin deliberation.  What a coincidence that just this week dozens of Miami police officers went through riot training  just days before a verdict is expected.

Officials in Florida are asking that people try to hold back and not provoke others to engage in potentially violent mass action. In case those attempts prove futile,  investigators with a local federally-funded fusion center are already combing through internet posts and other social media in an attempt to be on top of any activity before it gets out of control. We suggest that everyone batten down the hatches – and quickly. Sounds like no matter what the verdict, there’s going to be trouble. Remember we told you about Eliot Spitzer running for comptroller of New York? Well, it seems that he means business and has the money to make sure he gets what he wants. He announced his candidacy on Sunday night and has until tonight to collect the signatures of 3,750 Democrats to qualify for the Sept. 10 primary. Guess what? He is paying canvassers as much as $800 each per day to scramble all over the city for those signatures. He is trying  to pull off in four days what typically takes months of campaigning. Stay tuned. Looks like there’s another drug scandal brewing in baseball. Alex Rodriguez is expected to be questioned Friday by Major League Baseball officials as the MLB continues its investigation into Biogenesis, the former anti-aging clinic in Miami that is alleged to have given Rodriguez and other players performance-enhancing drugs. If they find out that he or any other players took those drugs, it’s a 100 game suspension. The players certainly won’t miss the money, but it puts yet another stain on professional sports. Looks like Lance Armstrong may have some company.

Good Shabbos, We’ll talk…

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