What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Allegany Busted. I joined a Facebook group a few months ago that shows who’s been arrested in my old home county. It gives you a picture, a name, some vitals, and then their arrest record. If anything has ever sent me into a rage about the American justice system it isn’t that it’s slow or biased, but rather that it’s possible for someone who’s 28 years old to have been arrested 20 times and was somehow free to move about the county and get himself arrested for the 21st time. Maybe three-strikes-and-out is a little too excessive, but can we not agree as a society that by about your 20th strike you’re not going to be rehabilitated and constitute a clear danger to the health and welfare of the community? How someone like this should ever been entitled to breath free air again is simply beyond me. We humanely euthanize dogs that are vicious and can’t learn to live with the pack. I feel badly when society has to put down a dog, though. I wouldn’t bat at eye if we gave a short drop and a sudden stop to members of this professional criminal class.

2. You’re Fired. Social media is rife with “well informed” “opinion leaders” trying to make an argument that President Trump can’t fire Attorney General Sessions. Given the Attorney General’s position as a political appointee, AG Sessions served, using one of the most delightfully flourished phrases in the language, “at the pleasure of the president,” and he can and was fired. Sure, you’re free to use “asked to resign” as a euphemism, but the end result is exactly the same. The Office of the President often has a Senate conformation hurdle for hiring, but has pretty sweeping powers when it comes to terminating someone from the ranks of the political appointee class. I can only assume what these amateur political scientists on social media mean is that President Trump *shouldn’t* have fired Mr. Sessions. Even with this broad interpretation, their accuracy remains to be seen based on the amount of political fallout that’s generated and how it settles out. It’s certainly not going to damage the president’s standing with his base and he’s pretty consistently displayed an abject disregard to the opinion of the opposition party so the whole thing could end up being just another day in the West Wing in 2018.

3. Jim Acosta. Jim Acosta, CNN’s White House correspondent, has taken to the airwaves and social media platforms, retweeting that “freedom of the press is under attack.” Whether revoking press credentials from one individual employee of a company that has a healthy population of other employees more than capable of picking up his slack is actual an “attack,” of course is subject to debate. That said, it seems he does not like to see his rights abridged or trifled with by the government. Personally, I welcome Mr. Acosta and his company at long last to the defense of constitutional liberties… but until as he takes up the banner to defend all of the other liberties so carefully enshrined by the founders, I’ll opt not to give one good goddamn about what Mr. Acosta thinks.

Take Out the Trash Day…

In an episode of the West Wing, Josh and Donna have a conversation about why Friday is called “Take Out the Trash Day.” To boil it down, Friday is the day that the week’s bad news stories get released to the media. That’s mostly because except for a few hard core news junkies, people don’t tend to pay much attention to the news over the weekend. What little attention a bad story gets in the weekend press is swallowed whole by the new cycle before anyone logs in to the Washington Post on Monday morning.

While the chances of breaking a national scandal wide open here by yours truly is pretty slim, blogging faces much the same hazard as most other kinds of media – namely that Friday and Saturday tend to be low-volume events. It generally means what you’re reading on those days isn’t exactly “A” level material. When you throw in the fact that it’s a fair size portion of the country will be acknowledging Easter this Sunday, the viewership statistics drop right through the floor. Apparently, people spend Easter doing something other than tending to status updates on Facebook and catching up on the blogs they follow – to each their own, I suppose.

Don’t worry though, I’ll be right here posting my regular updates throughout the weekend, like some kind of evil, godless heathen. It’s ok, you can thank me later. I hope you didn’t mind this little bit of inside baseball discussion. It’s Friday after all and it only seemed fitting in celebration of Take Out the Trash Day.

Capacity…

I’m not much of a philosopher, but I know this isn’t the time for politics or posturing. It’s the time to come together, however briefly, and recognize that our country has been made the victim of a violent and bloody act of domestic terrorism. It’s made all the more tragic because the mass violence was delivered up at the hands of a fellow citizen. A West Wing episode titled “20 Hours in America” aired almost a decade ago, but it’s one of those hours of television that kind of sticks with you once you’ve seen it. Responding to a domestic terror attack on the campus of fictitious Kennison State University, President Bartlet offered what, for my money, is one of the best monologs in ever put on film. Given the events of the day, I found it more appropriate than any and words I could come up with on my own.

So without further introduction, I give you President Bartlet:

More than any time in recent history, America’s destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek, nor did we provoke an assault on our freedom and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people’s strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive… Every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we’re reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars. God bless their memory. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

A clip of the entire scene is available on YouTube. If you’ve got two minutes, I highly suggest you give it a look. The image/sound quality isn’t great, but I think it serves the purpose.