Category Archives: Politics

Good-bye 42

The last 12 hours of my 43rd year got off to a sour start.

Following my fourth marathon day at Buffalo Wild Wings, I stopped at the QuikTrip in Riverside to fuel the Buick so I wouldn’t have to do it tomorrow.

When I arrived, I noticed a white GMC Yukon sitting in front of pump #4 with the pump in the tank. He was blocking one of the four non-ethanol pumps, and of course, I wanted non-ethanol.

After three or four minutes in the store, I pulled out of the lot in front of the store. Yet all the non-ethanol pumps were not available: the Yukon was still there, one was blocked by a guy fixing his car, another was blocked by a car not getting non-ethanol, and another was in use by someone actually buying non-ethanol.

I waited for three minutes for the Yukon. Nothing.

I finally had to go in and ask the clerks at the cash register to see if the Yukon owner was in the store. Sure enough he was. He told me he would move it. He looked pissed off.

First, it is absolutely RUDE to block a gas pump when you’re done. Move on.

Second, it is even more RUDE to block a pump which has non-ethanol or diesel. EVERY pump–20 of them in this case–has the three standard grades of 10% ethanol gas. And while it was busy, there were eight pumps open for the regular gas.

Third, why the hell do people leave their vehicle in front of the pump when they want to go shop in the store? That’s stupid. Why not pull the car to the front of the store so you don’t have as long to walk?

I am to the point where I might just have to take a trip to Tulsa and chew out the bigwigs at QuikTrip. No, I won’t make a special trip–although I could go for Whataburger–but I will send an angry letter. No cursing, no threats, but just my absolute disappointment at the lack of courtesy.

It was a great day at Buffalo Wild Wings. Robb and Theresa stopped by for an hour. Theresa brought me some of her homemade sausage to take back to Russell.

Yet I’m ready to get back to Russell. Got a lot of work to do between now and Wednesday at noon.

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I left B-Dubs upset last night. I was hoping Peggy would stop in Kansas City on her way from Des Moines to Paola. She was in Iowa yesterday to watch Caitlyn play, and she was heading to Courtney and Andy’s home to stay before going to Wichita today for the Ottawa-Friends match. I asked her to consider stopping on her way down I-35, but I never heard from her.

When I left B-Dubs, I made a beeline straight for Overland Park and Cheesecake Factory. I got two slices of cheesecake (tiramisu and Godiva–delicious) and a strip steak. The steak was overcooked and thin, so that taught me a lesson–stick to Cheesecake. I would have been better off making a second stop at Outback on the other side of I-435. Oh well.

I felt very guilty that I didn’t go to Wichita and to Ottawa, where Caitlyn was a member of the homecoming court. I was much harder on myself than they were on me. St. Louis bought a lot of goodwill.

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Georgia choked today. The third-ranked Bulldogs gagged to a mediocre South Carolina team 20-17 in double overtime in Athens.

I won’t go into how much I hate overtime in college and high school football. If you’ve read the blog you know my stance.

If anyone in the SEC was going to beat Georgia, South Carolina is the LAST team I wanted doing it.

Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp revealed himself as a gigantic douchebag last year when he vigorously defended then-Maryland coach D.J. Durkin, who helped kill Terrapins offensive tackle Jordan McNair with his gross negligence. Muschamp fired back at anyone who dared speak ill of Durkin and called those who did “soft”.

I never liked Muschamp when he coached Florida, although he dragged the Gators into the abyss, so that was good for LSU. The defense of Durkin sealed it.

Muschamp, Jimbo Fisher, Urban Meyer and Kirk Ferentz are four coaches I would never, EVER want any male relative of mine to play for. Nick Saban is a more complicated matter, one I don’t have time to delve into right now, considering its after 2300 and I want to be back in Russell in 12 hours.

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LSU didn’t choke, although the Bayou Bengals had me way too nervous. They traded blows with Florida for three quarters before pulling away in the fourth to a 42-28 victory in Baton Rouge. The Bayou Bengals will be fourth or fifth in the polls tomorrow, depending on where Oklahoma is slotted following its 34-27 victory over Texas in the Red River Rivalry. Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State will be the top three.

Honestly, why do we need polls before the end of October? Most of the early polls are based upon reputation and nothing more. Same with college basketball, where Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina are automatically ranked in the preseason no matter what.

Missouri beat Ole M(P)iss 38-27. Good. As much as I can’t stand Florida, I totally depise the plantation in Oxford. I wish there would have been more allegations against Hugh Freeze which would have given the SEC reason to expel the Rebels.

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Washington won AGAIN in the National League Championship Series. The Nationals take a 2-0 lead back to the banks of the Potomac. The Cardinals had better find an offense NOW or else there will not be another game at Busch Stadium III until April.

The Yankees beat the Astros 7-0 in the first game of the ALCS at Houston. I can see it now….all the east coast media slobbering over the prospect of commuting up and down I-95. People in Philadelphia might not be so excited about the idea.

It wasn’t a good day for Larry. The Cardinals lost again, and the Blues got hammered 6-3 in Montreal. At least Mizzou prevented it from being a total disaster.

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Louisiana’s governor’s election is going to a second round. Incumbent John Bel Edwards failed to reach the necessary 50 percent plus one vote to win in the primary. He will now face Eddie Rispone in a runoff.

Rispone is a carbon copy of former governor Mike Foster–an rich old white man financing his own campaign. Foster didn’t do squat in two terms. He was more concerned about hunting and riding his motorcycles.

Louisiana was a total mess under Edwards’ predecessor, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal. Jindal cut state services and higher education to bare bones and the state swam in red ink deeper than the Mississippi River running through Baton Rouge. Jindal neglected the Bayou State to prepare his presidential campaign, which bombed spectacularly thank God.

Edwards–no relation to former four-term governor Edwin Washington Edwards–has put Louisiana back on solid financial footing. Of course, too many sycophant voters see a “D” next to Edwards name an automatically think he’s evil.

Rispone ran disgusting attack ads against both Edwards and Republican U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham, who finished third. I am so glad I’m not in Louisiana to see this crap.

Politics disgusts me. Period. I hate it. I’m sick and freaking tired of the hatred on both sides. Just because someone has an opposite view to yours doesn’t mean he or she is your mortal enemy. The real enemies are in North Korea, Russia, Venezuela and other countries which would destroy the American way of life.

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My 43rd year is down to its last 10 hours. By time I reconnect with this blog, I will be into my 44th. Good night.

How cheap can you be?

This fucking sucks. I was writing a nice post on the most overrated 12-1 college football team in the history of the sport, the 2007 Kansas Jayahwks, and the stupid WordPress app on my iPad crashed, taking all the work with it. SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT.

Maybe I’d be better off doing the KU football one on my computer. That way it will autosave. Besides, I’ve still got time for that one.

I am having a terrible, terrible time of it. I had hell to go through yesteday at the driver’s license bureau in Hays. I didn’t have the proper documents. The REAL ID law, which took effect for Kansas driver’s licenses August 1, is complicated. I had to go to Hays because in Russell, you can only take care of your driver’s license EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY. That’s it. Thank you, Sam Brownback, for being such a tight-fisted asshole that rural residents either have to drive long distances to renew their licenses, or have to do it on a particular day, which may or may not be convenient for them.

Kansas is also cheap because it won’t give you a new license immediately. You have to get a temprorary one on a thermal sheet of paper and it is mailed to you two weeks later. What is this, a 1990 fax machine? Kansas is too cheap to purchase laminating machines to do it then and there? In Louisiana, I walked out with my new license card a few minutes after filling out hte paperwork and taking a new picture.

I don’t know if Brownback belongs on the Mount Rushmore of cheapskates, but he certainly is in the running.

I would definitely have include Charles O. Finley, the former owner of the Athletics who screwed his players royally by serverely underpaying them, which in turn led to pitiful teams, save for the teams which won three consecutive World Series from 1972-74, and that was only because most of the players came up through the team’s farm system. When it came time to pay Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers and the others, they all bolted, knowing Finleey was a cheap bastard.

Another person who would be etched in granite on the Mount Rushmore of cheap bastards is Joe Dean, LSU’s athletic director from 1987-2000. His penny pinching ways fucked LSU fans over good, giving them football coaches Curley Hallman and Gerry DiNardo, and men’s basketball coach John Brady. Thank God for Mark Emmert. Emmert, who became LSU’s chancellor in 1999, told Dean in no uncertain terms he was conduing the search for the coach to replace DiNardo, which led to Nick Saban leaving Michigan State for Baton Rouge and LSU’s program returning to college football’s upper crust. Had Dean been allowed to hire DiNardo’s replacement, who knows what would have happened.

I’d have to seriously consider Royals owner David Glass, who ran the team like a Walmart store. Walmart is known for cheap shit, and the Royals were pretty much the same until recently.

At least I have a few weeks to take care of the driver’s license. It’s aggravating nonetheless.

Scalise still critical

In the early minutes of Thursday morning, at least in the Central Time Zone, U.S. Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House Majority Whip, is still in critical condition. The bullet entered his left hip and damaged internal organs.

Yikes.

If the bullet hit the bowels, Scalise is as good as gone. If the bowels are perforated, fecal matter will enter the body cavity and poison the vital organs–heart, liver, colon, what have you–and cause septic shock.

Even if he pulls through, Scalise faces a very difficult road back. I would think his left hip would have to be totally replaced, and doctors will probably do the right one as a precaution. Although he wasn’t hit in the head like Gabby Giffords was in the 2011 Tucson shooting, Scalise’s future in Congress is very, very uncertain.

The deceased shooter, James Hodgkinson, spewed plenty of anti-Trump, anti-Republican and anti-conservative rhetoric, at one point calling president Trump an “a-hole”.

It’s one thing to swear about the president’s policies. It’s another to get personal, and that’s crossing the line. I admit I have been guilty of it far, far, far, far too often. I can’t count the number of times I’ve crossed the line when I shouldn’t have. I regret each and every time I did.

Major League Baseball umpires have said repeatedly through the years that managers and players can say they made a bad call (using the expletive for horse manure), and they do not risk ejection. However, if the player or manager calls the umpire (horse manure), he’s ejecting himself.

The same goes here. You can say Trump’s policies are horrible. You can say Obama’s policies were horrible. However, to say Trump is an a-hole or to call Obama the n-word? Totally unacceptable.

I’ve had it with all the rancor. I don’t want to listen to the political channels on SiriusXM when I’m driving. I’ll play my iPod, the music channels or SiriusXM, or find sports talk. In Kansas City, that’s easy, since two stations (KCSP 610 AM and WHB 810 AM) are all sports, all the time. Here in Russell, it’s harder. ESPN Radio has to do in that regard.

I was hoping WWL AM in New Orleans would have coverage of the shooting and updates on Scalise’s condition. Instead, the 9 p.m. hour was all about LSU baseball and their first game in the College World Series Saturday vs. Florida State. I’m looking very much forward to that. I’ll be watching at Minsky’s Pizza. I’m sure Lindsay will make me swear to behave myself.

Okay enough gloom and doom. Time for me to hit the sack. Crista and I visit in less than nine hours.

Pray for Steve Scalise, his family and the citizens of Louisiana, all of them, not just those who live in Scalise’s district. My native state needs him on Capitol Hill.

Baseball practice becomes target practice 

For those who don’t know yet, United States Representative Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) was shot and wounded this morning in northern Virigina while he was working out with Congressional colleagues in preparation for Thursday’s annual Congressional baseball game in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Nationals’ park. The game is an annual tradition which raises money for charity, and also allows members of Congress on both sides of the aisle get together and enjoy camraderie. 

Scalise represents Louisiana’s first district, which includes much of Jefferson Parish, the most populous parish in Louisiana, located to the west of New Orleans. Scalise represents a large swath of southeastern Louisiana outside of the city limits of New Orleans, including St. Bernard Parish, where I grew up and was living at the time Hurricane Katrina struck. Scalise did not represent St. Bernard at the time of Katrina, but it was drawn back into the district when Louisiana lost one House seat (going from 7 to 6) after the 2010 census. 

The shooting occurred just before 7 a.m. CT (8 a.m. ET). I first saw it on Twitter, then the news spread like wildfire across the Internet and all the television networks. Such is the 24-hour news cycle. It was reported around noon CT that Scalise was out of surgery and in stable condition, but as I pulled into Buffalo Wild Wings in Salina just after 3, Sean Hannity said Scalise had taken  a turn for the worse. He is listed in critical condition. 

Scalise was shot in the hip, which I’m guessing will mean hip replacement at the very least. I’m worried he won’t make it. For him to take a turn for the worse after surgery is a very distressing sign. I should know, becuase I was near death myself in late 2004 battling pneumonia and a collapsed lung following a buildup of fluid. 

Jefferson Parish has produced some very powerful politicians over my lifetime. To wit: 

  • Dave Treen, who represented most of Jefferson in the House beginning in 1973, was elected Governor in late 1979, becoming the first Republican to be elected as Louisiana’s chief executive, and the first GOP governor, period, since federal Reconstruction following the Civil War.
  • Bob Livingston, who was first elected to the House in 1977. More on him below.
  • David Vitter, who was elected to succeed Livingston in 1999 and later served two terms in the U.S. Senate.
  • Piyush (Bobby) Jindal, who succeeded Vitter in the House and was elected Governor in 2007.
  • John Alario, who is currently president of the Louisiana Senate. He was Speaker of the Louisiana House for two terms in the 1980s and 1990s. 

It could have been a lot worse if it weren’t for two Capitol police officers who were assigned to Scalise as a security detail. Scalise qualified for a security detail since is the House Majority Whip, which is a leadership position. Of the 435 members of the House, only five automatcially qualify for such protection: the Speaker (Paul Ryan of Wisconsin), Majority Leader (Kevin McCarthy of California), Majority Whip (Scalise), Minority Leader (Nancy Pelosi of California) and Minority Whip (Steny Hoyer of Maryland). In the Senate, the Vice President (President of the Senate) has Secret Service protection, while the leaders and whips have security all the time. Any member 

The Capitol police officers gamely took out the deranged shooter, 66-year old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois Hodgkinson later died of his wounds. 

Hodgkinson was a known progressive due to his rants on Facebook, where he was a member of several groups devoted to bashing president Trump and all Republicans. He was a volunteer last year for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. The Vermont senator denounced the attack. 

If Scalise does not make it, it would continue a long line of heartbreak for member of Congress from Louisiana who rise into leadership positions. 

In 1972, the Bayou State was hit with a double whammy. 

First, Senator Allen Ellender, who was the Senate’s President Pro Tempore, the second-ranking position in the body behind the Vice President and third in line of succession to the presidency behind the Vice President and Speaker of the House, died of a heart attack in Washington. He had served in the Senate since 1936, when he assumed the seat once held by Huey Long, and was chairman of the Appropriations Committee, probably the most powerful in the Senate since it controls all government spending, although bills have to originate in the House under the Constitution. 

Ellender was running for a sixth term, although he was facing a strong challenge from then-State Senator J. Bennett Johnston, who had barely lost the Democratic primary for governor in late 1971 to then-U.S. Rep. Edwin Edwards, who was elected to the first of his four terms in February 1972. 

Johnston won the seat and served for 24 years, but never rose to Ellender’s lofty status. His bid to earn a leadership post was defeated in 1988 when he lost the race for Majority Whip to George Mitchell of Maine. Mitchell later became Majority Leader, then chaired the infamous Mitchell Commission, which produced the report which named hundreds of Major League Baseball players as steroid users. 

Less than three months after Ellender died, Rep. Hale Boggs, then the Majority Leader, flew with Alaska Rep. Nick Begich on a private plane from Anchorage to Juneau to attend a fundraiser.

The plane never made it. It was lost in the Alaska wilderness forever and ever. Boggs, Begich, pilot Don Jonz and a Begich aide basically vanished from the face of the earth. Boggs was declared dead in absentia when the new Congress convened in January. Hale’s widow, Lindy, was elected to the seat and served through 1990. Lindy Boggs, the mother of journalist Cokie Roberts, later served as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and lived a fulfilling life before passing away at 97. 

Ellender and Boggs aren’t the only members of Congress from Louisiana in positions of power to see their careers end prematurely.

In 1998, Rep. Bob Livingston, who represents the same district Scalise does now, was poised to become Speaker after the resignation of Newt Gingrich. That all came unraveled the week before Christmas when Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, that upstanding citizen, revealed Livingston had an extramarital affair. Livingston, who was Appropriations Committee chairman during the 104th and 105th Congresses, resigned his seat. 

If Scalise does not pull through, it would be a devastating blow to Louisiana on Capitol Hill. 

Two representatives, Clay Higgins of Port Barre (3rd) and Mike Johnson of Benton (4th), are in their first term. Two more, Ralph Abraham of Alto (5th) and Garret Graves of Baton Rouge (6th), are in their second terms. Cedric Richmond of New Orleans (2nd) is in his fourth term, but he is a Democrat, and the minority party has very little pull in the House, much lesss so than the Senate. 

On the other side of Capitol Hill, both Louisiana Senators are in their first terms. Bill Cassidy was elected in 2014, unseating three-term Democrat Mary Landrieu, sister of New Olreans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and daughter of former Crescent City Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Maurice “Moon” Landrieu. John Neely Kennedy was elected last year, replacing David Vitter, who served two terms and was struck down by the a sex scandal where it was revealed he was a client of a notorious madam. Vitter ran for Governor in 2015 but was crushed by Democratic State Rep. John Bel Edwards of Amite City. 

Louisiana’s delegation would be very, very weak without Scalise. Possibly the weakest it has been since the start of the 20th century. 

Even after Ellender and Boggs died, Louisiana still had plenty of clout, due to Rep. F. Edward Hebert, who was chairman of the Armed Service Committee, and Sen. Russell Long, Huey’s son, who was chairman of the Finance Committee. 

James Hodgkinson’s political leanings are irrelevant here. He CHOSE to drive from western Illinois (Belleville is on the opposite bank of the Misssissippi River from St. Louis) to northern Virginia and open fire at a Congressional baseball practice. What kind of person does that? Someone with an evil heart. Hodgkinson is just as much of a piece of shit as Jared Loughner, the asshole who shot Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head (how did she survive?) in Tucson in 2011. Loughner did kill people, though, including a federal judge and Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year old granddaughter of former MLB manager Dallas Green, who led the Phillies to the 1980 World Series championship. 

I’m not sad Hodgkinson died, but I would have loved to see him have to face a jury of his peers and be sentenced to the federal supermax prison in Colorado, which houses the Unabomber, shoe bomber Richard Reid, and other high profile criminals. 

Yes, it is your right as an American citizen to vent, to write whatever you feel like on an Internet site, no matter how poor in taste it might be. However, nobody has the right to take a gun and shoot someone in cold blood. 

If Scalise doesn’t make it, he would be the first member of Cognress to be shot to death since Rep. Leo Ryan (D-California), who was shot by Jim Jones’ minions in Guyana in Novmeber 1978, only hours before the members of the People’s Temple drank the poisoned Flavor-Aid, killing 907. The last member of Congress to be murdered was Rep. Larry McDonald (D-Georgia), who was aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 007 when it was shot down by Soviet fighter jets in September 1983. 

Prayers are needed for Steve Scalise, his family, and each and every person living in Louisiana’s First Congressional District. 

Let’s also hope we don’t have to put up with this nonsense any longer. Sadly, I fear it will continue. 

Bad times

Sorry I haven’t posted since Monday afternoon from Morse-McCarthy Chevrolet. But other than Tuesday night, when I covered the football game at Victoria and the elections went the way I hoped, it’s been pretty bad since.

I should have stayed away from Buffalo Wild Wings Monday. Would have saved gas. May have been able to get some work done. Instead, I went up there and stayed for less than two hours, the shortest visit I’ve made there in a very, very, very long time. I was going to stay through at least 8 p.m., when Buzztime’s The Pulse, the sports trivia game played every Monday evening from 7-8, is on, but I did not like what was coming my way. None of my favorites were working that night, and even worse, the crew in the bar was nobody I really cared for. As for the dining room, I could not plug in my computer, and besides, other than Raymie, there was nobody there I really wanted to see, either. I deicded it was best I get the hell back to the other side of town.

Of course, it rained all the way back to Overland Park, and it was raining pretty good by time I got back to the hotel. I got takeaway from the Outback near Oak Park Mall and ate most of it when I got back to the room. I was in no mood to work, however, and I slept through most of the Colts-Giants game.

It set me back Tuesday, and I had to stay until 2 p.m. to get everything done. Fortunately, the football game in Victoria wasn’t until 7, and I got to the school just before 6, enough time to use the restroom well before the game.

The game was better than I expected. Hoxie had only 13 players dressed, but it scored on a six-minute drive to open the game, then tallied again on the first play of the second quarter to increase its lead to 12-0. Victoria woke up and scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 20-12 halftime lead, only to give it up when the Indians scored midway through the third quarter.

The Knights’ superior depth finally wore Hoxie down, and Victoria pulled away to win 34-20. Next up for the Knights is a trip to MInneola Saturday at 5 p.m. I’m not happy with the late kickoff, because it means I’ll get no good pictures. Why can’t they start at 3 p.m.?

When I got home, I was scared to turn on the election results. I was afraid Sen. Pat Roberts would lose to the lying “independent” Greg Orman, who wasn’t man enough to admit he is nothing more than a left-wing Democrat who supports Obama’s agenda and would fall in line with whatever Harry Reid told him if elected. I was more scared Gov. Sam Brownback would lose to far left state Rep. Paul Davis, who never laid out a single policy of his own, but instead attacked Brownback with every chance he got.

Thankfully, the GOP turned out their voters across Kansas, and Roberts and Brownback both were re-elected, as were all four members of the Kansas U.S. House delegation, all of whom are Republicans as well..

That’s been the bright spot. I hardly went anywhere Wednesday and Thursday. I have a football playoff game tomorrow at Phillipsburg, and then it’s back south and west Saturday.

Scary times

If I were in Russell today, I would lock myself in the basement and watch The O.C. all day in honor of the 11th anniverasry of its premeire. But since I’m in Kansas CIty, I guess I’ll get out the room and go to Buffalo Wild Wings.

It’s primary election day in Kansas and Missouri. The nasty race between U.S. Senator Pat Roberts and wacko challenger Milton Wolf will finally be resolved tonight, and hopefully, Wolf will vanish from the political scene forever. I am conservative, yes, but Wolf is totally unfit to hold public office. You simply do not, do NOT, post autopsies online. Even worse, he made fun of the people in the autopsies. What a sick man.

I am scared to death of the Kansas governor’s race. All of the recent polls have put radical left-wing progressive Paul Davis ahead of Sam Brownback. Davis is nothing more than the male version of Kathleen $ebeliu$, who hoodwinked Kansas voters twice to be elected governor, then proceeded to spend the state into oblivion, let George Tiller the Killer operate an unsanitary baby killing mill in Wichita without fear of reprisal, and flouted the majority of Kansans by attempting to abolish the death penalty. She opposed conceal carry for a long time until she realized her veto would be overridden, and of course, she signed the law during an election year.

Paul Davis is as far to the left as they come. He’s going to let teachers unions rule education agendas. He’s going to raise taxes into the stratosphere. He’s going to attempt to put unworkable environmental restrictions on power plants. It’s all bad. Very bad.