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Thief Had Good Taste In Guitars…

December 14, 2017

…but still is a criminal.

Make that scum.

“What could I knock off of this,” said the man as he selected a $2,100 Les Paul guitar from a display area in the back of Heid Music store, 7948 Tree Lane. An employee discussed the price for a moment, when the man announced: “Let me check with my wife.” He then headed for the door; guitar in hand. The employee quickly announced, “I don’t want that leaving the store.” To which the man responded, “No, it’s cool, it’s cool.” No it wasn’t cool. He left the store, got in a car and drove away. Fortunately, Heid has very good surveillance cameras and a MPD officer recognized the suspect as someone he had arrested for an earlier retail theft. This one took place around 5:00 p.m. this past Monday. A positive ID was made by the MPD on Wednesday. The suspect was located and arrested for felony retail theft. Unfortunately, the 2014 Gibson ES Les Paul is still missing, and he’s not talking.

Think Of These Two Famed Mariners Meeting

December 14, 2017

If you ever wonder what makes this blogger smile, well here is an example.  It often is found in the pages of history.  Today in the final paragraph from chapter twelve 0f Toby Lester’s The Fourth Part Of The World is a scene that begs a short story all to itself.

It is March 4, 1493 when a battered caravel seeks refuge from heavy seas and noses up into Portugal’s Tagus River.  The vessel flies a tattered Spanish flag.  It will come to anchor a short distance from a Portugal man-of-war commanded by Bartolomeu Dais who had years before sailed around what we now know as the Cape of Good Hope.   Dias will not receive a hero’s welcome for his find as at the time of his return no one could be sure he had found the way to the spices of the east.    It will be roughly a decade after his discovery when the legendary story we now know comes into being.

Now on that March day as Dais demands an explanation as to why this vessel has anchored in Portuguese waters he got a most surprising response.

A tall Genoese mariner aged 42, with blue eyes and a ruddy complexion introduced himself as Cristoforo Colombo.  He announced that he has just sailed west to the Indies and has returned.

IMAGINE these two face-to-face with their backgrounds and the large hopes and dreams of geographers and rulers as many sought a way to further enhance trade and political power. Never before have I read that these two actually met and in such a dramatic way.

If I were teaching history–and Lord knows if I had many lifetimes one would be so devoted–this is where I would start and then move my class backwards in time to show how we arrived at such a momentous meeting on the Tagus River.

In these times of self-created and generated chaos in Washington I find the way to get smiling and pondering new ideas and learning more is to open a book of history.

Consider How Allen Drury Would Write This Trump Story Into Book

December 14, 2017

Famed writer Allen Drury used top-of-the-fold headlines to help create his award winning books, such as Advise And Consent.

With the news that is now being reported on a daily basis about President Trump’s cozy, utterly perplexing, and dangerous relationship with Russian President Putin comes the thought of how Drury would handle this in book form. Consider what the author could work with for a real-life plot.

Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House.

Interviews with more than 50 current and former U.S. officials show that the personal insecurities of the president — and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality — have impaired the government’s response to a national security threat.

As Trump resists or attempts to roll back efforts to hold Moscow to account and tries to forge a partnership with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the situation is without parallel in U.S. history — and the repercussions radiate across the government.

Those very words could be on the back of the cover jacket to lure the reader inside the pages. But the fact is, of course, this is no winter-time read, or summer beach-romp type of book.  This is our sober reality in America due to under-educated voters not grasping the role they play in our republic.

The meddling and criminal acts related to Russia and President Trump will be told.  But the best seller will be due to Robert Mueller.

The Graph Republicans Do Not Want You To See

December 14, 2017

In a nutshell there have been more than 70 special elections for state and federal legislative seats in 2017.  

The Democratic margin has been 12 percentage points better, on average, than the partisan lean in each race. Sometimes this has resulted in a seat flipping from Republican to Democratic (e.g. in the Alabama Senate face-off on Tuesday or Oklahoma’s 37th state Senate District contest last month). Sometimes it has meant the Democrat barely lost a race you wouldn’t think a Democrat would be competitive in (e.g. in South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District in June). Sometimes it’s merely been the case that the Democrat won a district by an even wider margin than you’d expect (e.g. in Pennsylvania’s 133 House District last week).

The point is that Democrats are doing better in all types of districts with all types of candidates. You don’t see this type of consistent outperformance unless there’s an overriding pro-Democratic national factor.

Majority Want Trump To Resign Over Sexual Predatory Ways

December 14, 2017

I think President Trump should resign over the undermining of our national election in November 2016.  The law, I know, will resolve this matter in due time.  But for now most Americans wish for Trump to leave over another matter.

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that 53% of voters think President Trump should resign because of the allegations of sexual harassment against him, while 42% think he should remain in office.

Trump’s approval rate is 41% to 56%, which leads to this interesting point: “Much has been made of Trump’s numbers being so poor despite an improving economy, but only 32% of voters actually say their economic situation has improved in the last year. 22% think it’s gotten worse, and 42% say it’s just stayed the same.”

Let me note that looking ahead to the 2018 midterm elections, voters prefer Democrats on the generic congressional ballot by a 51% to 40% margin.

So having Trump stay around will have its benefits–such as we saw in Red Alabama this week.

Vestal Goodman Vs. Modern-Day ‘Christians’ In Alabama

December 13, 2017

Let us be mindful about what happened in Alabama on Tuesday.

It was first, and foremost, a stunning upset and rebuke of the way the Republican Party presented itself and operated in the Alabama senate race.  Had there been a credible GOP candidate that dark red state would not be the reason Democrats are rejoicing today.  But due to the truly unbelievable way today’s Republicans conduct politics Democratic candidate Doug Jones secured a senate win.  He allows every person who knows the road we are on under the Trump Administration to be dangerous to have a bit of faith that the nation can be reclaimed.

But at the same time let us not forget that over 600,000 people in Alabama did vote for Roy Moore in spite of the credible accounts of his actions in malls as he preyed on teenage girls.  The exit polls show 80% of the evangelical voters who showed up at the polls went for Moore.  That so many of these voters claimed to be ‘Christians’ can not be forgotten.

Let us not forget that those who attend all-day singins’ with chicken dinner on the grounds, shook off their pious go-to-service clothes and wore their partisan jeans and baseball caps to the polls where they showcased who they really are deep down.  With their ballot cast for Roy Moore, the twice-ousted state Supreme Court chief justice, these so-called followers of Christ gave public approval to a man accused of pursuing sexual relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s.

But that was just fine with these folks who shout out the name of the Lord in services and wave about in rhythmic timing to their songs.   After all, Moore is just like they are.  He, too, opposes the rights of gay Americans, Muslims and women.  So what if he likes girls who still need pimple cream?  Moore had their back when it came to the ones who they think need to be hated.

I have known many sincere and Christ-centered people over the years.  In the past election I was struck by some of them who spoke candidly with me about their beliefs, and how even though they were conservative, they could not in good conscience vote for Trump.   I think of the famed ones who grew up in Alabama, such as Southern-Gospel singer Vestal Goodman from Sand Mountain, and can only imagine what the look on her face would be if she knew how hundreds of thousands acted in her state on Election Day.

Goodman was aware of her icon status among many gay people and never made any demeaning statements as her first calling was to serve her Lord and not the political class. Too many in Alabama this election cycle failed to grasp that teaching from their front row in the church where come this Sunday they again will be perched with pious heads held high.  They embraced the rancid culture of their political party while undermining the very teachings that many would claim to hold dear.  In so doing they marched in exactly the opposite direction of Vestal.

The 600,000 plus who put their partisan tribe above reason and logic at the polls Tuesday thought they were making way for tax cuts, and smaller government.  The fact is the tax cuts that get passed by the GOP are always serving the rich to the detriment of the ones with the baseball hats at the ballot box.  The cuts in government always undermine their best interests, such as when it comes to health care.  This February it was noted out of the top ten states with the highest number STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) Alabama ranked number nine.    When it comes to buying hook, line, and sinker the Republican talking points the voters in Alabama bite like crazy.  But they are also the ones hurt the most by conservative governing, and the majority of Republicans there are not informed enough or able to discern that fact.

The Republican Party dodged a bullet with the defeat of Moore.  The last thing they needed was a pedophile as an anchor around their neck for the mid-terms and beyond.

But the national citizenry also received something of a gift from the 600,000 who cast a ballot for the losing candidate.  From coast to coast Americans can look at the hearts of ‘Christian’ voters who claim to live one way but proved they really reside in a very dark place.  Never again do we need to pretend they have a moral message we need to heed.  They are just as power-hungry and craven as others.

Vestal would have prayed long and hard about all that is now happening in this land.  I applaud those who use their faith for such positive purposes.  Too few, however, fall in her camp.  The proof is in the pudding with the 49% who cast a ballot for Moore.

Meanwhile the rest of us need to double and then triple down on reminding every voter, every day that President Trump and the national GOP endorsed and worked to place a pedophile in the United States Senate.

Can I hear an Amen?

Roy Moore Should Heed The Words Of Richard Nixon

December 13, 2017

(I know there are often lessons from history on this blog which features Richard Nixon.  With over 70 books on my shelves about the man and having been a Nixon history buff for decades I simply ask that we step back in time one more time…..)

In 1961 it was the first time in 100 years that a candidate for president had announced the result of an election in which he was defeated, and thereby needing to announce the victory of his opponent.

But that was the case as Vice-President Richard Nixon found himself in the awkward position of formally certifying the election in Congress of Jack Kennedy.  It was then as the presiding officer over a Joint Session in the House chamber that Nixon made the following statement.

“In our campaigns, no matter how hard fought they may be, no matter how close the election may turn out to be, those who lose accept the verdict and support those who win.”

On Tuesday night Roy Moore made an error that Nixon never did.

Moore in a most ungracious and sore-loser manner refused to concede the Alabama Senate race to Democrat Doug Jones.  Earlier in the evening, Jones declared victory, and all news outlets–even FAUX News–declared Jones the winner.

Moore told supporters he may seek a recount despite the vote tally showing that he is simply dreaming–perhaps of pre-teen girls.  “It’s not over,” Moore said. “That’s what we’ve got to do, is wait on God and have this process play out.”

It seems God already let it play out too long with Moore and is now calling in his cards.

Another wining hand from the Lord.

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