Things You May Have Missed …

For the past two weeks, the spending bill and threat of a federal government shutdown has been the front page news … and the 2nd and 3rd page news.  The other big news was whether Oprah Winfrey might one day run for president, and the allegations that Trump paid $130,000 to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, to keep her quiet about an affair.  I have repeatedly upheld the rights to a free press, and will continue to do so as long as there is breath in this body, but I do wish that our legitimate press would find a way toward better balance.  So, here are a few snippets that you may have missed in the glare of the partisan bickering and trumpeting over the past two weeks.

Not a racist???

Kansas State Representative Steve Alford is a 75-year-old white Republican. Alford was giving a speech at a public meeting earlier this month, when he was asked why Kansas had not yet legalized marijuana as other states have done.  His response?

alford“What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s and when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas [and] across the United States. What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why — I hate to say it — it’s the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off those drugs just because their character makeup, their genetics, and that.”

Say WHAT???

Two days and much criticism later, Alford gave a tepid apology while claiming that he is not a racist …

“I was wrong, I regret my comments, and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt.”

The fox guarding the henhouse …

U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan, a republican from Pennsylvania, is a member of the House Ethics Committee.

Ethics: moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity.

MeehanAs such, we would expect Mr. Meehan to abide by the highest standards, yes?  Well, don’t hold your breath, folks.  True, Patrick Meehan has been outspoken about the issue of sexual harassment in Congress, but he hasn’t exactly applied those standards to his own circumstances.  It seems that Mr. Meehan, age 62, took special interest in one of his aides who was decades younger than he.

Meehan professed his romantic desires for her — first in person, and then in a handwritten letter.  The aide rebuffed his overtures, and then he became ‘hostile’ toward her, according to several others in the office.  The environment became so toxic that the aide filed a complaint, but ultimately resigned from her position.

Eventually a settlement was agreed upon by Meehan and the aide, for an undisclosed amount, said to be several thousand dollars, and a confidentiality agreement was included.  And guess where the money to pay the settlement came from?  You guessed it … Meehan’s congressional office fund.  We The People paid because Patrick Meehan wished to let Wee Willie Winky out to play with younger girls.  I do hope the good people of Pennsylvania remember this in November when they head to the polls.

Putin joins the NRA …

putin-NraIn a report from McClatchy Publishing, it appears that the National Rifle Association (NRA) had more than one reason for supporting Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.  According to the report …

“The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.”

Thanks to the conservative attack on campaign finance restrictions (ie., Citizens United) and disclosure rules, the system has become much less transparent, in ways that enable those with resources — including, perhaps, hostile foreign governments — to influence the elections while keeping their tracks covered.

I don’t know about you, my friends, but I am beginning to feel as if I am living within a John le Carré novel.

North and South – Reunited …

On Wednesday (January 17th) it was announced that North and South Korea will march together under one flag to kick off the XXIII Winter Olympics opening ceremonies on February 9th in PyeongChang, South Korea. This will be the first time in twelve years that the two Koreas will come together since the 2006 Olympics in Turin.  It is far from a peace treaty between the two nations who have been at war for the better part of six decades, but it is a step in the right direction

North Korean Athletes Attend World Student Games In South KoreaMeanwhile, guess who wants credit?  You got it … the Great Divider, Donald Trump, who has added to the tension and concerns in the area with his constant threats and taunts against North  Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.  On January 4th, during a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in,Trump reportedly asked Moon to publicly give him credit for making the talks between North and South possible.  And then he tweeted …

“With all of the failed “experts” weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total “might” against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!”

No, Donnie, you don’t get credit for this one.

I’m sure there is more news behind the smoke screen of the government shut down, but this is all I have for this afternoon.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the return of Jolly Monday after its one-week hiatus.

14 thoughts on “Things You May Have Missed …

  1. Dear Jill,

    The president has chutzpah. His theme song should be, something like ” You thought it was always about you. In a way he has a point. Both sides (North and South Korea) were probably ecstatic to have President Trump out of the way.

    This is sort of like the US Senate, The collegiate attitude has been heightened with the thought of keeping the president at arms length so that those willing to work across the aisle can do so.

    The NRA/ Russian connection has potential. Too many republicans in the US Congress are the definition of hypocrisy. Too many of these better than now Christian republican legislators are subject to the same temptations as those they deem less worthy. Too many of these same guys suffer from the curse of racism. They have yet to figure out that most Americans don’t share their views.

    We are suffering from a dysfunctional government.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dysfunctional government is putting it mildly, my friend! It is a train that left the tracks and is careening wildly down a mountainside. How people can still look at this mess and say he’s “doing a great job”, I will never know … one Canadian reader told me that a recent poll shows even 20% of Canadians think he’s made this country a better place to live! I think insanity must, after all, be contagious. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, I hate to say it, but you seem to be becoming a bit of an anti-Trumpist in your old age. How dare you spread the truth about a known liar! How dare you expose a racist for not caring about whether 1930s propaganda was based on any kind of truth. I mean, it’s obvious the people alive then knew so much better than people alive today. I ask you, could present day directors have produced a classic like “REEFER MADNESS”??? And using all-white actors too, when everyone knew they were really wanting to use black actors, but couldn’.t find any because they weren’t smart enough to act!
    Oh, Jill, you should be sighing more. The things you do, sigh…
    Well, I think you should just keep on doing as you are already doing.
    Wise grabd-daughter, by the way…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Holy Saint Mary!” exclaimed Machiavelli turning in his grave after reading Trump’s Korean tweet… “Why, that’s brilliant! I totally overlooked that move in my dissertation.”

    Point deux: Wanna get rid of Trump and his Trumpeters at the white house? Rename it the “Rainbow House” and they’ll run like rats jumping off a sinking ship.

    Point trois: The NRA is missing a golden opportunity for advancement. Were I the prez of that organization, I’d push for new chapters, the Moscow NRA branch; the London NRA branch, the Berlin NRA branch, etc. Start with selling water pistols and pellet guns, and there’s no way but up from there, folks. We’ll have ’em all yet!

    Sorry, but it’s Sunday and I don’t work on Sundays…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I especially love your Machiavelli reference!!! 😀 On point #2 … I thought it would be fun to sneak in and paint the front exterior in rainbow colours! And on point #3, the problem with that idea is that all those other countries have such restrictive gun laws and the poor NRA would not be able to sell more than 10 funs a month. Awwwww … sad, isn’t it? Thanks for giving me a chuckle!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, as a general rule, when a politician begins a sentence about how he or she is not a racist, it is a poor argument in a losing cause. On your second issue, the word ethics is lost on too many politicians. Moving beyond the sexual harassment, I find it unethical for a politician to knowingly lie. But, there are only a minority of politicians who would pass that test.

    In this vein, I have shared with senators, Congresspersons and White House, that everyone can share blame for the shutdown, but I lay most of the blame at the President’s feet for the DACA crisis, chaos and distrust. Overshadowed by his racist comments, the President knifed Senators Graham and Durbin in the back. Very few people trust the unethical man in the White House. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, as my young but astute granddaughter says, “it seems that if you have to say you are not a racist, then you probably are one”. The word ‘ethics’ has been subjected, apparently, to the alternative definition. Sigh. Yes, I believe that in the final hours, the members of both parties in the senate were doing what they could to try to come to terms, even though the terms did not please either party. Trump was the one who played his own hand to the detriment of all of us. He needs to be held accountable, but he won’t be. Sigh.


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