I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

And Another Thing...

Sometimes, I really hate politics.  The underhanded nature of things, the back room deals, the secret support of questionable candidates, the cover-ups, and the big-mouthed blathering of pundits (myself included) make the process a messy, disgusting aspect of American life but I can't seem to back away from it.  Maybe it is just a part of who I am, or maybe it's my innate desire to stir things up that keep me interested and as someone who likes history, it's fun to watch it repeat itself.  While a free electorate is what our forefathers intended, it's kind of become something altogether different, hasn't it?  It's just a big pile of rhetorical goo and we have to choose between candidates whom we think will do the least amount of damage rather than the most good for the country.

On a local level, we have a battle for County Sheriff that looks pretty interesting, but more than likely, it will turn out to be a tempest in a teapot.  The incumbent Sheriff, John Whetsel, is looking to win re-election with ease primarily because his opponent hasn't defined himself or worked to change the impressions of days past.  Mike Christian is a State Rep who was embroiled in the controversy that saw former Representative Randy Terrill spend time behind bars.  Christian was rumored to have testified against Terrill to save his own hiney, and that's what the vast majority of the public can remember about him.  He doesn't have any substantial legislation that changed lives in Oklahoma, he hasn't cured cancer, and he has failed to get his message out.  Mike is a good guy, but his consultants haven't done him any favors. 
Another race is that of the County Clerk.  Carolyn Caudill was defeated in the Republican primary by David Hooten; a man best known for his musical abilities and meat sauces available in many area grocery stores.  He will face Libertarian Chris Powell who hasn't really put forth too much effort in the campaign.  Hooten will win this one in a walk and then he and his consultant Lance Cargill (yes, that Lance) will find themselves in strange territory in Oklahoma County government.  But then again, the voters could surprise us all and vote for Powell.  Probably not, but maybe.
On a personal note, if y'all are available, stop by Bourbon Street Saturday night and listen to the reorganized Signal 8 Band.  We kick off the party at 9pm and play until the bartender throws us out or tells us to shut up.  Katie, Cal, Merv, and myself invite you to take a break from politics, a break from the madness that is every day life and slip away to music mayhem with us.  We'll be playing some of your favorite classic rock tunes as well as a couple originals that Katie wrote herself.  In other words, you will have a blast and we hope to see you there.  

See you soon!

Ron "Gorilla" Black

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Blair, Caudill, Reynolds Go Down

The Tuesday runoff election was one of the most entertaining to watch in a very long time.  While the voter turnout stank to high heaven, the results were surprising to say the least.  It's sad to see so few people heading to the polls but given the political climate, we should expect as much.  Campaigns have become mud slinging propaganda-fests that are void of truth and reality and most often filled to overflowing in lies and deceit.  

The 20-year incumbent in the County Clerk's office was unseated by a business owner who is best known for his trumpet and not for his prowess in political affairs.  Not only was Caudill defeated, but David Hooten beat her with an almost 2-to-1 ratio.  Caudill's office has been plagued with problems for many years; hell, I remember pointing out problems with her office back when I was the afternoon drive host on WKY.  There were those who thought I was being too mean, but it turns out that I was spot on in my analysis.  Caudill will, of course, get to take her retirement and ride off into the sunset but she will be riding out of town on a hog rather than a steed.  Hooten will take over in January and he will have his hands full.  Not saying that the County Clerk post is the most difficult and complex in all of County government, but it is certainly one of serious responsibility and sitting on the Budget Board to allocate dollars to and fro can be a daunting task.  Will he rubber-stamp the desires of the senior members of the Board or will he trumpet reform and accountability (see what I did there)?

Former State Representative Mike Reynolds ran for Cleveland County Court Clerk and was defeated by almost 1,000 votes by Marilyn Williams.  Reynolds was known for his "smaller government" stances while in the House of Representatives.  There were plenty Republicans in Cleveland County who were shocked that Reynolds lost to Williams and they will probably analyze that race for many weeks to come.  Williams went after Reynolds on her Facebook page calling him a "career politician," which is terribly ironic because Reynolds advocated for smaller government; except where he decides to run apparently.  No doubt we'll see Reynolds again somewhere because he is very active in the GOP and rather enjoys politics.  

The biggest and most fascinating race was Senate District 41 in Edmond where Air Force pilot Adam Pugh faced the Goliath that is the former football player-turned-pastor, Paul Blair.  Blair racked up a ton of endorsements including those from members of the State House and the former "Dr. No" of Congress, Tom Coburn.  In the past, an endorsement from Coburn almost guaranteed a victory. Blair even received the endorsement of Congressman Steve Russell who was involved in the capture of Saddam Hussein!  Blair also picked up the endorsement of former Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane and current Oklahoma County Democrat District Attorney David Prater.  Neither endorsement carried enough weight to push Blair beyond the relative newcomer, Adam Pugh.  Somehow, Pugh became the David of this David and Goliath match up and came out on top. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Good News Wednesday

Bad news, negative news, and depressing news have dominated this week and it has worn me slick.  Every now and again, we just need positive things to say to each other and to read about.  Today, I am doing my level best to provide something a little different to read and maybe put a smile on your face.  Let's start with police shootings...

Shootings:  The police officers killed in cold blood this last week were and are being memorialized in their communities and it is right that they be honored.  As a result of the shooting, those communities have largely rallied their support for the families of the officers and while their deaths are tragic and deplorable, people are starting to see just how dangerous the work of law enforcement can be and hopefully, are seeing how important a part of our society they are.  I know that I make sure that I stop and thank them whenever I see them for putting their lives on the line every day for people like you and me.

RNC:  Yes, it has been a circus and a series of mistakes and silly behavior, but we had the opportunity to meet the Trump family and get to know them just a little better.  So far, Donald's son has stolen the show and won the hearts of the GOP faithful.  See?  That's good news!  Oklahoma's Governor Mary Fallin will also get a chance to shine for a few minutes before The Donald's speech tomorrow evening as well, and let's face it; our Governor is a media darling.  

New 9 Street View (or something):  News 9 was showing off their new digital gadgetry for their helicopter today and to be honest, it's pretty cool.  As the camera man pans across the land, the streets and businesses show up superimposed on the area itself.  Imagine a see-through Google map overlay of the terrain and then, you will understand.  It is a big deal for law enforcement and for first responders who are chasing a bag guy, that's for sure  It is also going to come in handy on their storm chasing weather moments.  Plus, Oklahoma City is the first city to have such wizardry.  

Maybe I'm getting old or sentimental, but like the song goes, "we're all in this together," and political party doesn't matter where lives are at stake.  We all know better.   Let me leave you with this:

It could always be worse.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened at the GOP Convention

The entertainment level at the GOP Convention in Cleveland may take the title of "greatest show on earth" soon because the hits and misses just keep coming.  Whether it be the Colorado delegates stomping their feet and marching out of the Conventional Hall like a bunch of dope-smoking weenies, you have the doggone POTUS candidate's wife using Michelle Obama's speech!  What a bloody train wreck it has been and we've only just begun!  It is hilarious and tragically sad at the same time.  

It's insanity.  It's as thought the whole of the convention has been turned over to the children who are busy playing with their crayons and wetting their pants.

There is even a contingent who are staying away from the convention, headed up by the ever-pathetic John Kasich from Ohio who is by far the most liberal Republican to come of out the Republican Party in the last two decades.  Key Senators are avoiding the convention and it simply makes them look like petulant children who can't stand the heat and only proves that the people did the right thing by not voting for them at the polls (particularly Kasich).

And speaking of foot-stomping points of interest...

State Senator wanna-be Paul Blair, who happens to also be the pastor of one of Edmond's more active Baptist churches had a meeting/press conference where announced that his opponent had slandered him because of a photoshopped picture of the Pastor Blair.  Well, first, he's a public figure and as a result is open to be lampooned predicated on the 1st Amendment of the Constitution that he claims to have read and so vehemently supports.  Second, It is highly doubtful that his opponent has the ability to use Photoshop itself but rather an opponent of the former football player turned pastor turned candidate for State Senator.  

From the Oklahoman: 
Blair said Pugh’s supporters have also posted on social media that he has ties to Kansas’ Westboro Baptist Church.  
“These kind of baseless vile accusations can destroy a man’s reputation forever. And can destroy the reputation of a church forever,” Blair said Monday afternoon from the fourth floor press room inside the Oklahoma state Capitol. 
Pastor Blair had for himself quite the all-star lineup backing him; he had Congressman Steve Russell, term-limited House Rep Kevin Calvey, and other supporters by his side when he proclaimed that his opponent had slandered him.  The Scripture is clear about issues between brothers that they are supposed to take issues to one another in private and then if it isn't resolved, kick it up a notch.  Seems to me that Blair ignored the very Scriptures he preaches from.  

But I could be wrong.  One of the "tricks" in talk radio is to have someone known to the host call in to the show to disagree and to so with tenacity.  The aggregate result is that the loyal listeners circle the wagons and call in to support the talk show host.   Blair would never do that with his campaign, would he?  I don't think so.  

Blair doth protest too much, methinks.  You have to ask yourself why a former football player who heard the "call from God" to be in ministry now thinks the time has come to move to the realm of elected office.  From what I recall about the New Testament, Matthew 23 was pretty clear about what Jesus thought of the religious/political leaders of his day.  Thought the role of the Church was to make disciples, care for the sick, the elderly, the poor, the widows...not push for voters.  And he's talking about "slander?"  What?  He wants to be a State Senator but the pastor seems to have thinner skin than when he played football.

But what do I know?

On another local runoff front, things have been pretty quiet in the Oklahoma County Clerk race.  The embattled incumbent of about a hundred years, Carolynn Caudill, will  be facing trumpet-player and musician to the elected elite, David B. Hooten.  Hooten ran for the State Senate a couple years back and lost and now he found himself in a runoff with seasoned campaigner, Carolynn Caudill.  If Hooten thinks that she's just going to lay down and do nothing, he has a few things to learn about the incumbent County Clerk and her supporters who are already elected down at the County.  This is not going to be a walk in the park for the newcomer, but the talk is that he has former Speaker of the House Lance Cargill running his campaign.  This one has the potential to be an awesome race or fizzle and be a dud.  Wooten tends to be a bit soft-spoken, but giving credit where credit is due, the musician has gained the endorsements of former Governor Frank Keating and Governor Mary Fallin which means he must be pretty tough.  Hooten has the chance to blow Caudill out of the water, but he is going to have to start sounding his horn (see what I did there?).care 

Of course, my opinions don't really amount to much these days and I've been horribly wrong in the past.

The whole political climate right now is very sad and frightening for the GOP; or at least it should be.  The future of the party depends on its ability to be more inclusive, to recruit more women to run for office, and to have more people of color run and actually receive the support of their respective party offices.  So far, we're coming off like a bunch of xenophobic, redneck, racist dingleberries who are completely out of touch with culture.  Something has to be done and it isn't going to come from plagiarism nor will it come from pastors who are jumping the pulpit to run for public office.  

These are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but, in this case it is highly unlikely.

Ron "Gorilla" Black