Celebrating Jesse McReynolds On The Grand Ole Opry Stage


Driving down East Washington this evening we were listening to a replay of the Tuesday night Grand Ole Opry from Nashville, Tennessee.  Center stage on the circle of wood, that comes from the original stage of the Ryman Auditorium, stood Jesse McReynolds on his 90th birthday.

What a fantastic broadcast and memory on Sirius radio for the fans of bluegrass and the Opry.

Born on July 9, 1929, the music legend is known for his mandolin playing.  He and his brother Jim began performing together around 1947, originally with the name The McReynolds Brothers.

Alongside Jim, he recorded more than 50 albums, featuring one of the smoothest and most influential vocal duets in bluegrass music. These recordings can be heard often in our home.  In fact this morning their music played loud and clear from our living room speakers.

Following Jim’s death in 2002, Jesse has carried on the McReynolds tradition touring with his band, the Virginia Boys.  The music they made is simply priceless, the harmony flawless.  That is why we play it loud!


Raise Debt Limit Permanently

I agree with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin as he urges congress to raise the debt limit before the August recess. If not, he says its possible the federal government could “run out of cash in early September before congress is back in session”.

I also strongly concur with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her efforts to finalize a deal that would raise the debt ceiling in the next few weeks. In concert with this I also think it wise to set spending levels for the next two years as part of the vote.

This is not the first time the debt limit will be made into a partisan fight. And this will not be the first time I write on this matter.

The federal debt limit fight (should it occur) is troubling.

Troubling in that too many in this nation seem unaware of the disaster looming if the correct decision, the only logical decision, is not made. How we came to this point where there are so many citizens unable to recognize the danger of not raising the limit is a damning indictment of our educational system.

Debt-ceiling drama should end. I was hopeful in the fall of 2017 that Trump might follow through on his question about the matter. In a White House meeting at that time with congressional leaders he asked why congress needed to vote on the issue at all. Now, granted, Trump was not aware about the matter of which he was speaking, but still there was hope as the number of news stories at the time demonstrated, as well as positive words from my desk.

When it comes to the debt limit there has never been any doubt as to where I stand. I want a bill with no dust-ups. It would still be a most sound move to pursue a deal that would permanently remove the requirement that congress repeatedly raise the debt ceiling. That would be good news for the nation. But Republicans, being the scolds they naturally are,would be most scornful of such an outcome.

Playing To Bigotry In GOP Base With Colin Kaepernick Ad


No one can ever say the GOP does not use every racial trick and dog whistle in the book when it comes to playing to their always angry base.

On Wednesday the National Republican Congressional Committee distributed a fundraising email.  It included an image of Colin Kaepernick in the email appeared side-by-side with President Trump.  The Kaepernick image seemed to have been altered to make Kaepernick’s skin tone appear darker.

Manually manipulating the photo so that he would look darker is just par for the course from a party that is demographically growing smaller by the year.  The only way to hang on to power is to use the most vile means available to them.  This fundraising attempt is just more proof of that fact.

The latest egg on the face of the GOP follows up on Kaepernick letting Nike know that a new shoe (Air Max 1) which showed the Betsy Ross Flag Air was objectionable.  The reason being that the flag is now used by extremist groups including white nationalists.

Instead of repudiating white nationalists the GOP darkens the skin of Kaepernick and asks for money based on racism. And the rest of us are asked to believe the GOP are not playing to the bigots in their party!

Republicans would love to have the African-American vote as they did in the aftermath of the Civil War.  But look at the exit polls from the past 12 presidential elections and the trouble of the GOP is abundantly clear.  The Republican candidate garnered only about 10 percent of the black vote, while the Democrat averaged 87 percent.  

It is clear that the party that gave America President Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation no longer exists. It is now the party of Trump along with a disturbing number of white supremacists.