Rant & Raves #2

**Fox News afternoon anchor Shepard Smith sometimes goes apoplectic and either gives tirades or tries to overwhelm an interviewee with an obviously biased attack over something or other. On 08 October, he had an interview (first-timer) with North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones, the subject being a letter sent out by Jones to constituents advocating for a new speaker with “integrity” to replace outgoing Speaker Boehner. This was just a few hours after presumptive successor Kevin McCarthy had stunningly announced his withdrawal for consideration. Smith tried unsuccessfully to cut Jones into little pieces. Then, he interviewed Dan Webster, the Florida congressman who's trying to get the job. While Smith agitatedly asked questions, Webster calmly threw him off stride. The brouhaha was occasioned by the rumors flying around Washington for years that McCarthy and North Carolina Congresswoman Renee Elmers, both married, were having an affair. If true, this would allow the mainstream media to orgy-monger loudly and long enough to bury any House movement with McCarthy in the speaker's chair. One thinks of democrat Texan Jim Wright, the first speaker to resign because of scandal (1989) or Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich, who stepped down in 1998 and resigned from Congress shortly after in 1999. One remembers the rigors of then-Senator Baucus in 2010 desperately trying to ram Obamacare through Congress while at the same time trying to situate his mistress in D.C. Sordidness is more the rule than the exception, it seems, in officialdom. Smith needs to take two aspirin and have a nap some days. And Baucus? U.S. Ambassador to China!

**The Clinton-Blumenthal saga grinds on with the introduction of still more emails on her private server. Seems Blumenthal had vested interests in the Libyan affair having to do with what countries get to do (or not do) regarding the private-contractor windfalls that every U.S. CEO dreams about. These “opportunities” are open for corruption on levels that are unbelievable. As State Secretary at the time of the Libyan invasion by the U.S. in 2011 (Clinton lobbied the UN—not Congress—for permission to devastate the impoverished country), what did Clinton do and when? Only the shadow knows, but at that time Blumenthal had been barred by POTUS from any position in the U.S. government. It's perfectly natural to wonder what Hillary got out of the skullduggery, especially in light of her former shenanigans. But, of course, as she said a while back, she and hubby Bill were broke when they left the White House, even though he had been paid $3,200,000 in the previous eight years and they paid no rent. Hillary isn't just a liar...she's a COMPULSIVE liar. It would have been easier to tell the truth that everyone knew but lying was so much more fun, apparently.

**POTUS seems never to learn the value of vetting a situation before getting mixed up in it—the Trayvon Martin and Ferguson, Missouri, affairs, for instance. He, as well as then-attorney general Holder, shifted their mouths into high before putting their brains in gear. Obama did it again in the Ahmed Mohamed affair that happened in the Dallas suburb of Irving. Without considering the ramifications of the young Muslim 14-year-old in his display of what he said was a clock he'd made and taken to school, the president reacted to the boy's handcuffs (the clock looked like a bomb, thus the cops) by inviting him to Washington as some sort of Muslim role model, presumably. It turns out that the boy's father is a strange anti-American character who believes 9/11 was perhaps an inside job with Bush 43 blowing the WTC away for some nefarious reason, maybe to make Muslims look bad, as if their imams need any help in that effort. The man also runs for the presidency of Sudan even though he lives in Texas. Of course, none of this might have mattered to POTUS anyway, since passing up an opportunity to show “tolerance” to Muslims should never be missed. One wonders what POTUS would have done if the boy had been a Southern Baptist. Yeah...nothing!

**The media is at it again, or at least the cable media and their 24/7 news alerts that graduate from being alerts to full-blown stories that last for days or weeks, depending upon the subject matter. The overnight shooting in Flagstaff, Arizona, at yet another college campus (one dead, three injured, one in custody) is the current subject. The cable folks won't let anything go if enough people can be rounded up to give their ideas or caterwaul for the cameras. After all, there has to be content to fill all those hours. The newsies give a tsk-tsk for copycat killings but keep these killings before the public to such an extent that other 15-minutes-of-fame wannabes who are also wacko can't wait to get in on the act...all those cops and crying and prison jump-suits and Face-book records/pix. Wow...become a celebrity! These things have always gone on but they were covered mostly just locally, and that was that. Now, there's a veritable industry built on the craziness, sadness, and sanguinary-value of mass-misery. These things should be reported and left to the authorities. Instead, the authorities show up for press conferences virtually on-scene to aid and abet what should be ignored in a timely (quick) fashion. Ferguson was still making news today. Egad!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark