Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Reading the various story lines on Pres Trump's unhappiness over Nordstrom's discontinuing his daughter's clothing line, brings to mind a letter President Truman wrote to music critic Paul Hume who panned his daughter's singing.
"Miss Truman cannot sing very well and has not improved over the years."
Truman responded with a letter to Hume:
I've just read your lousy review of Margaret's concert. I've come to the conclusion that you are an "eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay."
It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you're off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.
Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!
Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you'll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.
Truman would have been fun if Twitter had been around back then.
It has been tradition since 1953 that a luncheon be held in Statuary Hall in the Capitol after the inaugural ceremonies have ended. Actually this began in 1897 when the senate committee on arrangements gave a small luncheon for new President McKinley. However it's current form began with Eisenhower in 1953. That first meal consisted of creamed chicken, baked ham and potato puffs.
Today 200 guests will be served Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp in a saffron sauce and peanut crumble, Angus beef from Virginia with Idaho potatoes and a dark chocolate sauce, and a chocolate souffle with cherry vanilla ice cream. And California wines will accompany the food.
Interestingly, lobster in some form seems to be a fixture on these Inaugural luncheons. In 2009 Obama's first luncheon featured lobster and shrimp in the seafood stew, but duck and pheasant with winter vegetables as the main course. An apple cinnamon spongecake was for dessert. Four years later, the lunch included steamed lobster with New England chowder, bison with a wild huckleberry reduction and wild rice, and a dessert of apple pie.
Bush in 2005 was served scalloped crab and lobster with roasted Missouri quail and brined root vegetables and a dessert of lemon pudding. In 2001, he enjoyed a lobster pie, center cut beef tenderloin steaks and toffee pudding with vanilla bean ice cream.
In 1961 Kennedy's menu consisted of Cream of Tomato Soup with Crushed Popcorn, Deviled Crapmeat Imperial, New England Boiled Stuffed Lobster with drawn butter, Prime Texas Ribs of Beef au jus, Sting Beans Almandine, Broiled Tomato, Grapefruit and Avocado sections with Poppyseed Dressing, Hot Garlic Bread, Butterflake Rolls, Pattiserie Pateau Blanche, Mints and Coffee. I'd guess wine was also served but it isn't mentioned on the official menu.
Whew! They really liked to have a full meal back in 1961. How they stayed awake for the afternoon parade is beyond me.
Fake News! Fake News! News that is made up to make something out of nothing or news made up to make someone look bad. However, I take a slightly different view. Yes there is fake news and often it is coming from major news outlets and is found in the way headlines are written or the tone surrounding the actual story which serve to give the reader the idea that the story is not a big deal or a really big deal. It turns what is a real story into one that conveys an immediate bias.
Take this story from the Washington Post yesterday on a House of Representatives Oversight Committee hearing on the worker fraud found in the Federal Patent Office. Here is the headline for the story: "Clash over patent-office fraud a sign of what's to come for federal workers." The lead in says this:
"House Republicans on Wednesday dressed down a top U.S. Patent and Trademark Office official and a union leader for what they called a weak response to reports of time and attendance fraud by patent examiners.
The rebukes, in response to an inspector-general investigation released this summer, may foreshadow things to come with President Donald Trump in the White House and Republicans controlling Congress.
Trump and conservatives on Capitol Hill have vowed to target the federal bureaucracy, holding civil servants accountable when they perform poorly or break the rules — behavior they say has been tolerated by the Obama administration across the government with few repercussions."
Now the reader may be thinking, bah! this is just another scam by the republicans in Congress to pick on democratic appointees and for good measure add a bit of Trump before the actual facts of the story have even been put forth. Stay with me here for a minute because the Post does get to the facts of the matter and they're nothing like the headline or the story introduction.
It turns out the Washington Post itself did an investigation in 2014 on the patent office workers who did no work but lied about their hours. Now it turns out 1000's of hours were billed but no work was done.
"This time and attendance abuse cost the government as much as $18.3 million, with employees who review patent applications billing the agency for almost 300,000 hours they never worked, investigators found. They said the full scale of the fraud is probably double what the numbers show, because they gave employees the benefit of the doubt: If they badged in once at the agency’s Alexandria headquarters or logged in at home, they got credit for a day of work."
We've hit the post election point in time when media political commenters have lost any self awareness. This morning one of the guests on MSNBC's Morning Joe program was giving his view on administrative changes. He believes that the incoming administration can't be "too ambitious, too transformational". Being these things will make people uncomfortable.
Funny how this works when administrations change from democrat to republican. It's all cheers for being a transformational government when say, an Obama is elected, but hold on a minute when it's a republican.
The senate race in Illinois is very close as of this morning. Incumbent republican Mark Kirk is fighting to keep his position against Rep Tammy Duckworth and it hasn't been pretty.
Kirk has been a surprising disappointment to me even though I'm not voting in Illinois anymore. He has proven himself to be more of a democrat than a republican by his votes in the senate and whichever of these two wins, it won't make much difference.
After dinner last night Dale, Ferdie and I took a walk over to visit a bit with the many police who were on our campus. There were scores of them, standing by various of their cars, just waiting. Their entire shift was to be on stand by in case something happened surrounding the debate down the street. We talked with one group after another and found them to be some of the nicest people. It's possible they were really bored and welcomed the chance for something to pass the time. They all immediately took to Ferdie who did his best to be loving.