Remember, "back in the day" when news out of the White House or State House would be, maybe, a thirty-second clip once or twice a day. That has all changed. Every day, multiple times a day, my news alert goes off and before I even reach for my phone or computer mouse the first thought is, "What in the heck did this administration do now?" Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee where I attempt to distill some of the stories you've seen and some you may have missed. However they are all laced with my commentary. Why? Because it's what I do early on Sunday morning while you rest.
White House Fatigue
You too? Maybe that's the goal. To, daily, do crap that defies normalcy and wear us down. I've heard from dozens of people who tell me, "News? I don't pay any attention to that. It's just too crazy." From hiring people to oversee agencies they once fought in court to cabinet secretaries who are so out of touch with reality (Yes Betsy DeVos we're looking at you) they have no clue of reality. The daily grind can get to you...and many have simply "tuned out". Again, perhaps that is the agenda.
Let's Go To...
Recently "45" has found a new goal. Something that he, no doubt, hopes will turn aside questions about Russia, porn stars, birthers, nationalism, crotch groping, money laundering, abuse of power, trade wars and other "fake news" stories. What is it? "Let's go to Mars!" But what to do with the many supporters of "45" who say the 1969 Moon Landing was a hoax? (Key Alex Jones theme music.) "45" seeking to do something that will be "a really big deal" and something that would beat out the legacy of President Kennedy has been focusing on taking a trip to Mars. News flash...the president is already in outer space.
In addition this effort now has Russia saying the the U.S. would be badly beaten in a race to Mars. All of this talk takes our attention away from crazy stuff like wall building and trade wars. Again...all planned? (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
In tweets on Saturday "45", just hours after his personal attorney John Dowd released a statement calling on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Special Council Robert Mueller's investigation to shut it down, was at it again. Saying it was all fake and that the investigation was a "WITCH HUNT" and there was no collusion and that it was all because of "Crooked Hillary". Tired yet? Thought so... Every day I have to remind myself that this is the President of the United States of America. There has been no one who has done more damage to that office than this man. And it is so awful...
And then there is the firing of Andrew McCabe. Once upon a time the GOP was known as the "law and order" party. They loved the FBI and special councils and...well, you know. Now in a purely political move Attorney General Jeff Sessions fires the head of the FBI on "trumped up charges". Wanna talk about a "witch hunt"? This administration has done more to disgrace this country and our law enforcement in one year than we've ever before seen. Shocking. But, immediately following the firing several democratic congresspeople offered McCabe a job in an effort to save his $60,000 a year pension. Tune in tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow First Daughter Ivanka Trump will be in Waukee, Iowa. Following closely behind her will be Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) further cementing her admiration for "45" and his policies. Ivanka will be here to "assess the job ready skills of high school students in a new public private partnership". And....people will step all over themselves to rub elbows with them. Maybe the governor is thinking that the Trump name will be helpful in 2018. Just like it was in Pennsylvania last week where a democrat edged out a "45" fan in a district that "45" won by 20 points in 2016. Bring it Kim...bring it.
Meet Eddie Moore
Last week I attended the 32nd Annual Symposium of the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission called "Blueprint for Building Community". I was able to sit down with three people who I found to be truly amazing. Madison DeShay and her husband Richard Duncan are doing a documentary about Center Street. The four block area was a vibrant, thriving hub of African-American economic and cultural life. It was destroyed by urban renewal in the 1950's. We'll air that segment soon on The Business News Hour.
I also met Dr. Eddie Moore who has, for over 20 years, been writing and speaking on White Privilege in America. It is a powerful interview that cuts to the heart of "America's Original Sin" and offers up ways that we can begin to correct what is in the hearts and minds of so many. We'll also have that conversation on The Business News Hour in the very near future. But, just in case you want more here is the link to WhitePrivilegeConference.com Yes, there is such a thing..
Protecting a Serial Abuser
Meanwhile Iowa was buzzing about the former State Senator and leader of the Iowa Republican Senate Caucus Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) who was caught knoodling (Gosh, I love that word...thank you for using it last week Kathie Obradovich...it was perfect!) with a young woman, not his wife, at a local watering hole that uses Red Solo Cups for glassware. Says a bunch...right? Rising to prominence were two men who have been protecting this guy for years. Sen. Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) is the new leader of the GOP State Senate and Sen. Charles Schneider (R-Clive) becomes president of the senate. Least we forget about Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton) who championed the Iowa School Segregation Bill who also rose in the ranks. Are you catching a theme under the golden dome?
Meanwhile, I remembered what Kirsten Anderson (who won a $1.75 million sexual harassment lawsuit) told me during our visit at the Iowa State Fair when she officially switched parties and become a Democrat. "It was awful. The harassment, the stories, the jokes and the threats we had to put up with I would not wish on anybody." Who might you think she was talking about? Yep...those same cronies who have been there all along. Enjoy it while you can...
Let us turn our attention to Theresa Greenfield who is running to oust Congressman David Young (R-IA) from his office representing Iowa's Third Congressional District. On Wednesday Theresa files with the Iowa Secretary of State papers to run in the district. Feeling pretty good about getting the 1,790 signatures in two days early were dashed on Thursday when her campaign manager Noah Wasserman disclosed that he had forged some of the signatures. Theresa fires him and then sets off on a 24 hour blitz to gather the required signatures from the 16 counties that make up the Third District saying that even if there was "one bad name on those petitions it was one too many". Other Democrats pitched in. Staffers from four gubernatorial campaigns, activists and even Pete D'Alessandro who is running against Theresa joined in the effort. I got the call from her about 1:30 on Friday afternoon asking for help but I was on my way to Mason City to conduct services at Adas Israel for the weekend. I made a couple of calls to friends whom I thought might help. By 5:00PM on Friday Theresa re-submitted the documents hoping that she had the right number of signatures. We'll not know until tomorrow if she made it. But WOW...what a movement.
I have supported Theresa from the beginning and this only polished her brand. Should she make it on the ballot voters, I believe, will remember this effort and choose the "scrappy farm kid" as their standard barrier to take on the Blue Wave to Washington. I could not be more proud...
Tomorrow our son has a birthday. I hope to, as we've done for years, go out to lunch and share stories. Every parent admires their kids and I am no different. Now, closer to 40 than 30 it will be a wonderful day...and I am so proud of he and his family. I truly am blessed.
Then, on Tuesday, the First Day of Spring, I will mark the 4th anniversary of my Mother's death. Four years...and I think of her every day.
Two monumental events in 24 hours. Again, I am truly blessed.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Sunday.