The Congress of the United States has acted today. In a rare display of bipartisanship, the House was able to able to override its former "we must all suffer the sequester equally" to "well, if you can afford to fly to your travel destinations, you must not be made to suffer unduly by waiting in a stuffy old plane while sitting on the tarmac at Midway." Also, this old airport wait was putting the hurt on that customary congressional "three-day work week, and then we're outta' here." However, those of you who depend on Meals on Wheels, and those of you taking experimental cancer fighting drugs, well you'll just have to suck it up, or if you're inclined to the Anglo method, keep a stiff upper lip. This will all continue to play out for another two years and then the voting public will have a chance to clearly voice their opinion. Won't it be fun to watch it all come tumbling down. In the meantime, contribute to your favorite charities. Keep your eyes on the sick, the poor, and the school children.
Dad was easy about dispensing wisdom. Usually, it would come in the form of an occasional comment, or running commentary if you deigned to venture into the basement on Mondays. For it was there he could be found doing the laundry, week, after week, after week. So what's up with this laundry business? His work week ran Tuesday through Saturday, so Monday was his Sunday. Still with me on this? And since Mom worked at Doc Gilsdorf's office, until his untimely death, and at the Bignall Lumber Yard until Russ's untimely death, and then at the record library at Mercy Hospital until the family moved to St. Paul in the early 60s, Dad felt it his obligation to do the laundry, to get that item off Mom's to-do list. It was there that anyone eager to learn might post themselves, could wait in anticipation for something to hold on to in later life. It was on one of these Mondays that Dad blurted out "Never trust a turncoat!" I forget what specific human behavior motivated that comment, but I probed it a bit, and he was equal to the explanation. It was fairly simple: if a person will turn on a dime and profess eagerly and loudly that which he/she has always opposed: beware the change-coat.
This brings Eddie Schultz to mind. An import to Moorhead State University for his football skills honed in Virginia, he became a media personality in the Fargo Moorhead community. Graduating from football play-by-play, he established himself as a talking head. For a long time he was the espouser of right-wing views. Whatever the conservative line was, Fast Eddie was there, in full support. And then suddenly he had an epiphany. He was a full-bore, knock 'em down liberal. It all happened so quickly. Soon he was on MSNBC agressively kickin' ass and takin' names, and occasionally speaking with seeming fondness at his attachments to the Fargo area. At times I thought he was a true beliver, an honest-to-God conversion. Truth be told, I truly appreciated, and am indebted to, the manner in which he took on Wisconsin's union-bustin' governor Scott Walker.
But then, all of a sudden, MSNBC decides to ditch Fast Eddie from the prime-time hour of 7-8 PM Central. Replaced him in a heart beat with Chris Hayes. Ed of course, insisted that HE had instigated the change. And in a few New York minutes, Ed was working on weekends. Do you know who watches MSNBC on weekends? Put simply, folks who like to watch shows about men and women in prison, and how they spend their time either lifting weights or tatooing each other with sharpened spoons. (All right, I took a peek one time.)
Well, it seems the time-slot switch for Eddie was more than he could bear. He began to crack up. A couple of weeks ago he proclaimed on his nation-wide radio show that the school children of Fargo were being used as slaves, filling sandbags that were soon to be used in what is now an almost annual flood fight to keep the entire city from going under. Eddie said that the reason the eighth grade students were enslaved was that the process was designed to keep rich people from having to pay for sandbags.
Well here is a simple truth. If the rich people in Fargo get their feet wet, so does every middle class and whatever class you can imagine family in the Fargo Moorhead area. The terrain is a pool table top; drop a quart of water in the middle of it and it will flow into all six pockets. The students serve the entire community, however you define it.
The story does have a relatively positive outcome. Ed's loss is our gain. If you have never watched Chris Hayes in a live TV situation, you owe the experience to yourself. He is by far one of the brightest lights working in the media today. He is the intellectual equivalent of Rachel Maddow, George Will, or William F. Buckley, you choose your political bent. Watch him early on and then you can say several years down the pike, when he is one of the leading news analysts in the country, "Well, I used to watch Chris religiously when he was on MSNBC."
Morrissey is a retired school superintendent who is now content to scribble, swim laps, make wine, and do genealogy. His wife calls it chasing dead people...he can almost keep up with them.