BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | OCT 16, 2018
“Let’s celebrate! Put on your Sunday best. We’re going to Sears!”
Mike Brady (actor Robert Reed), dad on the sitcom The Brady Bunch
I still remember our Mom taking us to the Sears store on East 10th Street in Sioux Falls, SD. It was back in the days of Ozzie and Harriett and Wally and the Beaver. We went shopping there for clothes, sheets and towels, and other of life’s essentials, but we got to look at the toys, too.
Our Mother, Marge, had only two hands (a lot of times as a single Mom, it seemed like she had more), so given there were three of us pests, one got to roam free like a loose puppy in a store full of bones. It was usually our sister, Carol, because Mom liked her best.
The Sioux Falls Sears store was a giant place, far from home in the North end of town. The ceilings went up to the sky and the aisles were wide and endless. People smiled and there was always a friendly Ajax-clean motherly clerk in a dress or a fatherly type in a razor-thin tie around every corner to show you the goods, and ring up your cash or check. Continue reading
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | OCT 10, 2018
The Senate confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was a new low in American politics and jurisprudence. The bar was set so low you could trip over it.
Senators on both sides of the partisan divide thought so, too, and said so publicly. Senator John Cornyn of Texas said on the Senate Floor we could not take a lower road, because we were already on the lowest. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called it a new low in American history. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat, said “both sides horribly handled the process around this nomination.”
Maine Senator Susan Collins, said we had reached ‘rock bottom’. Cover-up and whitewash, liar, con artist, the decline in decency were a few of the terms used to describe the participants and events.
There were breathtaking invasions of privacy, unspeakable expressions of anger and hatred, ugly protests and vicious death threats. Senator Cory Gardner revealed that his wife received a graphic text of a beheading after the vote. Kavanaugh’s wife received threatening emails with incredibly vile language. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford got the same treatment and ultimately was forced from her home because of threats. Continue reading
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | OCT 5, 2018
The movement to reform the U.S. Congress is like a G-rated flick that would make Walt Disney yawn. There’s no sex, no violence, no scandal, no crime, comparatively little political intrigue, and no big-time stars, just a lot of risqué talk about filibustering the motion to proceed.
It is doubtful the subject will come up in campaigns, either, beyond the patronizing and often hypocritical blather about running against Washington.
Several weeks ago the House Rules Committee held a hearing on about 40 reforms that members wanted to see brought up on the opening day of the next Congress in January 2019. The attention to it was, as you would expect, silence.
There wasn’t any news coverage, except from Paul Krawzak at Congressional Quarterly, who understands the subject matter.
The need for reform couldn’t be clearer, or more critical, or more timely.