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Elvis Presley Presented Medal Of Freedom At White House Ceremony

November 16, 2018

Elvis Presley ranks Number One with this blogger.

Presley dominated American music and culture for decades, selling more than a billion records.  He will be forever linked to Republican President Richard Nixon–another source of great interest to me–for as many decades as Elvis has been heard by my ears.  All are aware of the famous picture of the two shaking hands in 1970 that is among the most popular at the National Archives.

Today Donald Trump gave the medal posthumously to ‘The King’ at a White House ceremony.

To take note of the high honor for Elvis I add this speculator footage and performance of Elvis from 1972.  An American Trilogy is a fitting song for today.

Freedom Of The Press Wins An Important Battle

November 16, 2018

A federal judge today ordered the Trump administration to immediately return, on a temporary basis, the press pass of CNN reporter Jim Acosta.

Judge Timothy Kelly, who was appointed by Donald Trump a year ago to federal district court in Washington, said the White House must give the credential back temporarily to give Acosta a chance to persuade the administration that he should be allowed to keep it. He ruled that the Trump administration had most likely violated Mr. Acosta’s due process rights when it revoked his press badge after a testy exchange with Trump at a news conference last week.

“I want to emphasize the very limited nature of this ruling,” the judge said from the bench. “I have not determined that the First Amendment was violated here.”

White House Spokesperson Sanders, in a written statement, said the White House will be putting a list of procedures in place to allow for “decorum at the White House”.

I know what any good parent would say to such a response.  ‘If you want decorum you need to first create it, yourself.’  That will be a near impossible task for Trump.

There has been an ongoing discussion in the nation about how the political and governing institutions must hold under the strains and chaos created by Trump.  Some feared they could not hold, and the republic as we know it, would suffer harm at the foundation.  Today, we have a strong piece of evidence to show that our checks and balances are still fully employed and doing the work our Founders envisioned.   For that we can all be proud.

As to the larger issue of the First Amendment, it is vital we not relent on this matter.  Make no mistake today was important.  It was an important interim ruling.  I stress, continuously, about the  need for a free and independent press.  There is no need for me to state that our nation has an out of control autocratic person in the Oval Office.  Each day our nation’s core values, the rule of law, and democratic order are under attack.  Absolutely we need to have a strong and vibrant Fourth Estate reporting facts and insight so to allow citizens knowledge of their government.

I applaud all the news operations around the nation who came to the defense of freedom of the press.  There is a lesson here not to be missed.  With resistance to unwarranted and illegal decisions we can force, through law, the corrupt ones to back down.

Long time readers to this blog know I love history.  Therefore, the following makes for a perfect ending to this post.  President John F. Kennedy spoke to the American Newspaper Publisher Association in 1961.

“Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed–and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.”

And so it goes.

Country Music Star Roy Clark Dead At Age 85

November 15, 2018

Country star Roy Clark, the legendary singer and guitar player who headlined “Hee Haw” for nearly a quarter century has died. He was 85.

A representative for the singer said Clark died on Thursday at his Tulsa, Oklahoma home due to complications from pneumonia.

Fox News Supporting CNN’s Jim Acosta

November 15, 2018

UPDATE–No ruling today but another hearing to be scheduled for Friday at 10:00 A.M.

Fox News is supporting CNN in its legal fight against the Trump administration for White House access. Fox News president Jay Wallace released a strong statement and also filed an amicus brief.

“Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the president and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people,” Wallace said in the statement.

According to the CNN public relations Twitter account, Fox News is now far from the only outlet to stand up for CNN. ABC and CBS News expressed their support for CNN and Jim Acosta, filing friend-of-the-court briefings of their own.

A number of free press organizations have also condemned the White House’s move to ban Acosta from having White House access.

The administration on Wednesday asserted “broad discretion” to regulate journalists’ access to the White House, a sweeping claim that could have a dramatic impact on news organizations’ ability to cover government officials if it is upheld in court. Judge Timothy Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia heard arguments Wednesday in the lawsuit.

The judge in the CNN lawsuit against the Trump administration to reinstate White House reporter Acosta is supposed to issue a decision by 3 P.M.

Yes, It Was A Very Good Mid-Term Election For Democrats

November 15, 2018

I follow state governments both in terms of policy ideas—-and there are some good ones–and the politics, too. That is why this election was so exciting to me.

Democrats made significant advances on the state level. They took control of seven legislative chambers: the state Senates in Colorado, Maine, and New York; the House in Minnesota; and both chambers in New Hampshire. The state Senate in Connecticut used to be evenly split; it’s now in the hands of Democrats. The GOP lost its supermajorities in the Michigan and Pennsylvania Senates and in both chambers in North Carolina.

Democrats also flipped seven governorships, and now control all three statehouse branches in 13 states as well as the mayor’s office and council in Washington, D.C., compared to seven before the election.

So when you hear Republicans try to counter with their rhetoric, which is mixed with crying jags and gin, you can counter with the facts.

Election Turnout History

November 15, 2018

The last time midterm election turnout was this high, US senators had just become directly elected & women did not have a universal right to vote.

Weather Patterns With Headline Making Consequences

November 14, 2018

Here’s the projected Friday jet stream pattern across North America showing the ridging over the Eastern Pacific and west end of the continent. Sadly, this is the same pattern diverting critical rain producing system around California where fires continue to burn.

 

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