45 days … nothing to cheer

U.S. House members must be high-fiving each other, slappin’ backs and telling themselves that they really know how to negotiate these deals.

It’s all just pure crap!

The House of Representatives has voted on a 45-day stopgap funding measure that reportedly will head off a potentially catastrophic government shutdown. The measure heads to the Senate, where it faces a friendlier audience.

This kind of government funding simply makes me sick!

Good government has no place in a House of Reps dominated by the MAGA-moron-club-of-kooks caucus within the Republican Party that boasts of being able to shut down the government if they don’t get their way on drastic spending cuts.

A much better way to run the federal government would be for all sides to come together and look for compromise. That’s not how Congress functions these days. The GOP majority is hanging by a shoestring. MAGA cultists keep threatening House Speaker Kevin McCarthy with his job if he doesn’t do their bidding.

The threat of a shutdown looms damn near all the time!

So, it appears Congress will set aside enough money to run the government for the next month and a half.

Then what? More of the same stubborn nonsense?

This is no way to govern!

Panel serves ‘nothing burger’

Well now, it appears that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, a panel comprising supposedly serious lawmakers, has offered the public a telling preview of the emptiness of the effort to impeach President Biden.

Put another way, they got nothing from the witnesses they called this week in the first hearing called to conduct an “impeachment inquiry” into the president’s alleged “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

There is nothing there!

The GOP-led House — which is now being run by the cabal of kooks comprising the MAGA Morons — is trying to find something on which to hang around Joe Biden’s neck.

Listen up, gang! You won’t find anything that holds up as an impeachable offense. Even some Republicans in the House — some of whom are members of the MAGA cult — are trying to drum a semblance of sense into the numbskulls seeking to impeach the president.

The Republicans in Congress are hellbent on finding something with which to accuse the president. They are acting solely out of vengeance for Democrats’ ability to impeach Donald Trump twice.

Democrats, though, compiled actual evidence. Thus, there was demonstrable evidence of a high crime and misdemeanor. Not this time!

The Judiciary Committee, if it was handling this inquiry with the seriousness it deserves, surely would be able to provide something to ponder. As it stands today, the House GOP has served us a juicy “nothing burger.”

Following bride’s advice

My late bride once informed me — and I don’t recall the precise time or even the context of the conversation — that she didn’t want me to grieve forever if she left this Earth before I did.

“I want you to be happy,” Kathy Anne told me with a note of sternness in her voice. “If you find someone, then you should pursue that relationship,” she added. My response was similar, but not identical. I believe I answered with, “I want the same for you sweetie, but to be honest the thought of you being ‘with’ another man would drive me out of my mind.”

Well, Kathy Anne did leave this world first. I believe I am ready, though, to follow her instruction about finding happiness.

This journey I’ve been on since the worst day of my life likely will never end. The journey has been dark and at times full of sadness. Until just recently. It has brightened a bit largely because my own head has cleared and I am able to actually think about where I want to be in, say, three to five years.

I do not intend to move from Princeton, Texas. This will remain my forever home, as it belonged to Kathy Anne and me and served to be our base of operations while we visited our granddaughter, her parents and while we traveled throughout this great big, gorgeous country of ours. I’m still able to all of that, although the travel plans have changed a bit; but I am making that work, too.

As for future companionship, well, I will let that play out in due course. I have advised my sons — and any young man willing to listen to this advice — against “looking for the girl of your dreams. She will just show up.” It happened to one of my sons, and it damn sure happened to me. My other son will find that individual, I am sure, one day.

So will I. Thus, I am declaring that I won’t resist the tug into a new relationship when it starts to pull. But whoever comes along will need to understand the nature of the huge hole that remains in my permanently damaged heart.

If she has taken steps along a journey of her own, I am certain that she’ll get it.

Resign, Sen. Menendez!

An editor of mine once said that “if someone calls you an ass, blow it off as one person’s opinion. But if everyone around you does, then you’d better start shopping for a saddle.”

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has been indicted on bribery charges; so has his wife, Nadine. The ranks of fellow Senate Democrats calling for him to resign has swelled to more than 30.

You know, he ought to just quit. Go home and get ready for a trial that likely is going to send this guy to prison.

It’s instructive to note two other points about Menendez’s current plight. One is that the Republican caucus in Congress has been silent. Hmm. Why is that? Oh, wait! The longer Menendez sits in the Senate, the less time the media will spend looking at assorted scandals and criminal indictments leveled against the former POTUS … who happens to be a Republican.

The other is Menendez was tried once before on corruption charges. His trial ended with a hung jury, meaning that prosecutors couldn’t get all jurors to convict him. So, the case was dismissed. It could have been re-tried. However, a hung jury doesn’t imply innocence in that earlier corruption scandal.

Had the Senate Democratic caucus shown any guts, it would have expelled Menendez from the Senate after the first criminal trial. But they are gutless wonders. They brought him back to the fold and allowed him to function as if nothing had happened.

Now comes the latest criminal indictment alleging that the Menendezes had gold bars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars stashed away along with envelopes stuffed with cash.

This indictment looks serious enough for Menendez to just walk away now and defend himself in court. Yes, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. However, Menendez is not entitled to remain in the U.S. Senate.

Senator pokes fun at dress code

John Fetterman is making light of the desire among some of his U.S. Senate colleagues to require that our elected senators adhere to a dress code that does not include hoodies, short pants and sandals.

Fetterman is the Pennsylvania Democrat who is the subject of this debate. He doesn’t seem to think it’s important enough to discuss, chiming in with quips and cracks about the attention being paid to the dress code by other members of the deliberative body. He yuks it up.

Well, Sen. Fetterman, some of us out here do think it’s serious enough to warrant discussion and debate. It isn’t a frivolous thing to require members of Congress to respect the legislative body enough to dress appropriately when the government is on duty.

Why is it wrong for the Senate and House to dress respectfully? House members and senators don’t dress to impress. They should respect the office they hold and the institution they are serving. I mean, these men and women do important work on Capitol Hill and to my way of thinking it’s only appropriate that they dress the part of officeholders assigned to doing work on our behalf.

I am aware that a lawmaker’s attire does not dictate the policies he or she follows. But still … if they ‘re going to occupy important offices that help shape the future of our great nation, what is so damn wrong with asking them to dress the part?


What? Trump’s a crook? No-o-o!

A judge has ruled that Donald J. Trump is a crook, a fraud who lied his way into obtaining business deals that fattened his wallet.

How did he do it? By overstating his wealth … repeatedly! The supposed titan of commercial real estate even faked the size of his Trump Tower apartment to enable him to obtain funds for this or that business deal.

Trump, quite naturally, is appealing the judge’s ruling, all the while hurling epithets at the judge who made the ruling from the bench in a court proceeding,

Raise your hand if you are shocked — shocked, I tell ya! — to learn this about the Republican Party frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. You may count me out of that roll call of numbskulls.

But, of course none of this will matter to the gullible MAGA moron crowd of cult followers who insist it’s the judicial system that’s corrupt, not the idiot who has been determined to be the fraudulent mastermind behind a fraudulent empire.

Liberal ain’t a dirty word

OK, kids, I’ve had enough of the epithets that come from the MAGA side of the great divide aimed at liberals who for too long have cowered under the threat of recrimination if they dare defend their political leanings.

I consider myself a center-left liberal. I am not a flamer the way some of us on the left have become. I want a strong military; I dislike spending more government money than we take in; I stand for the National Anthem; I have no problem with saying “one nation under God” while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

But political liberalism has become a whipping boy of the right.

The day that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton got acquitted of those impeachment charges by the Texas Senate, he took a moment to blast “the liberal Texas speaker, Dade Phelan,” who happens to be a Republican from my old haunts in Beaumont.

Paxton meant to tar Phelan with what he considers a four-letter word in the contemporary political lexicon.

One contemporary definition of liberalism goes something like this:

A willingness to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; openness to new ideas; “one of the basic tenets of liberalism is tolerance.”

I have to ask: What is so downright evil about any of those benchmark characteristics of political liberalism? My answer: Not a damn thing!

Yet, the MAGA cult that has perverted Republicanism into something not recognizable to those who followed the policies of Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan, has done an even more thorough job of perversion regarding liberalism.

They conflate liberal policies with “socialism.” They contend that anyone who adheres to liberal principles is somehow not American enough.

What’s equally maddening, though, is that liberal politicians stopped embracing their political benchmark. They gravitated to terms like “progressive,” seeming to avoid saying the word “liberal” out loud.

Well, they shouldn’t have to run like thieves from a noble political philosophy. Nor should those of us who share it with them.

Toby has ‘issues’

More than a few readers of this blog have inquired over the years about the pooch whose face you see here. He is Toby the Puppy and he is my constant companion.

Well … I have some news to report about my Puppy. He is going to undergo aggressive treatment for cancer. That’s all the bad news I have. I have plenty of good news to report regarding my furry pal.

The illness is contained in one spot. He is showing zero signs of discomfort. Toby the Puppy continues to exhibit a voracious appetite and his thirst is virtually unquenchable … meaning that he’s drinking a lot of water.

That’s all very good news, according to the board certified veterinary oncologist who saw him today.

What’s next will be determined in the next day or two. He’s going to get a CT scan. The doc asked me to take him back to spend the day so she and her staff can collect a generous urine sample.

I want to share this news with you only because so many readers of this blog have seemingly enjoyed reading about his travels with my bride and me. We have taken him all over this great land and through half of Canada. He’s seen all of it and enjoyed along with his parents.

We, of course, lost my bride — Kathy Anne — in February. Toby the Puppy has stepped up to fulfill the role that falls on those of his species. He has become this “man’s best friend.” 

The doctor isn’t making any promises on the treatment and whether it will rid him of the disease. She is optimistic, though, that the aggressive path she intends to pursue will produce positive results. “We absolutely can control this thing,” she told my son and me today.

And I have made it abundantly clear — several times, in fact — that I want her to deploy any method she feels is possible to control it and, hopefully, to get rid of it.

Toby the Puppy is a trooper of the first order. He is my champion.


Trump talking his way to hoosegow?

What I am about to declare is hardly an original thought, but it surely is one that I share … which is that the judge presiding over one of Donald Trump’s four pending trials should consider revoking Trump’s bail and ordering him locked up until he stands trial.

The ex-POTUS recently suggested — and this simply is beyond anything that is remotely reasonable — that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley should be “executed.”

It is as crystal clear as it can possibly be that fines and warnings are not shutting the former POTUS up. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the case involving the 1/6 assault on our government, has told Trump to keep his trap shut or else face the prospect of going to trial immediately.

That has had zero impact on Trump’s use of social media to level preposterous allegations against Judge Chutkan, special counsel Jack Smith, the grand jurors who indicted Trump and now Gen. Milley, who is set to retire in a few days from his post as the nation’s leading military officer.

All of this does lead to wonder whether Trump is in command of his faculties. All this blather about President Biden’s age and his alleged loss of mental acuity ignores what appears to be taking shape in the muddled noggin of the nimrod Biden defeated for president in 2020.

Donald Trump’s competence well might become a topic of serious debate. Which means to me that Judge Chutkan, who is known to be a tough jurist who doesn’t suffer fools at all should consider Trump to be such an imminent threat that he needs to be silenced … as in locked up behind bars.

Do I want to see it happen? No. However, I want even less for a criminal defendant with the base of political support that Donald Trump continues to enjoy being able to whip them into a frenzy and, therefore, presenting the opportunity for one of them to act on his crazed rants.

‘Transfers’ dominating college football

Well … I got through another college football Saturday with a smile on my mug as I got to watch my Oregon Ducks deliver a beat down to the Colorado Buffaloes on national TV.

But … I am troubled by the trend that has developed in college football. It’s the “transfer portal” that, to my mind, has resulted in a form of intercollegiate free agency among these student-athletes.

Football players frequently “transfer” their eligibility from one school to another. It allows them some additional college football playing time, which presumably could enhance their financial windfall come draft day in the National Football League.

The old-school fuddy duddy in me isn’t entirely sold on the transfer portal. Watching the Ducks-Buffs game Saturday filled my ears with lots of commentary on all the transfers playing for both Oregon and Colorado. Indeed, the Ducks’ quarterback, Bo Nix, is a kid who transferred from Auburn to play for Oregon. Head U of O coach Dan Lanning calls Nix ‘an elite quarterback” who, after the Saturday blowout of Colorado, has become a Heisman Trophy candidate.

But my point is that the transfer portal vehicle creates a sort of traveling road show quality to all these athletes moving from one university to another to burnish their marketability with the pro franchises. It’s not unlike what has happened over the course of 50 years to Major League Baseball, where athletes shop themselves around the league when their contract expires with the team for which they have played.

It’s difficult these days to attach any loyalty to players who come to a major league franchise, and then leave after three or four seasons. Which is why I always enjoy seeing players inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame who played their entire career with a single team.

Now it’s intercollegiate tackle football that’s been bitten by this transfer portal bug.

Finally, I will stipulate that my devotion to my home state Ducks won’t diminish over the transfer notion. I hope Bo Nix wins the Heisman … but I would enjoy it even more had he played the whole time for Oregon.