Notes from a Quiet Street—V

Just some observations when we’re not feeling real bloggity.

The words of Alfred Damon Runyon, 1920s New York newspaperman, seem appropriate to recall in this important political campaign year and form this entry’s scripture reading.

“Son,” the old man said, “as you go around and about in this world, some day you will come upon a man who will lay down in front of you a new deck of cards with the seal unbroken and offer to bet he can make the jack of spades jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear.   Son,” the old man continued, “do not bet him because as sure as you do, you are going to get an earful of cider.


Our tour bus stopped at an intersection a few days ago and we spotted this interesting juxtaposition of signs, grabbed our camera, and caught the image just in time.


The signs struck as kind of funny, particularly given the political climate here and the overt efforts by the Humphreys and the Sinquefields to buy elections.  We thought we might congratulate the Alaskans on their candor but then realized the signs were at a parking lot next to the legislative building and it was the parking that was soliciting money.  Yes, the capital city is Juneau but the legislative building is in Anchorage and there are times when the Governor doesn’t want to live in Juneau and the legislature doesn’t want to meet there.

But the signs did make us think.

Fun times are about to start in Cleveland

Donald Trump is holding a nominating convention in Cleveland in a few days.  The Republican National Committee arranged the dates and the venue and the delegate selection process.   It did not, however, arrange for Donald Trump and that’s why this could be the most entertaining national convention in years.

Conventions have degenerated into carefully orchestrated infomercials but this year the orchestration has turned severely dissonant.  We might actually watch this convention.

Governor Nixon has withheld $115 million dollars approved for spending by the legislature after getting a look at state tax collections and deciding they’re not trending in the right direction to support that spending.  Several legislative leaders have done some huffing and puffing about the action.  We’ll see in September if they want to take the responsibility that will go with overriding the vetoes. The problem with overriding the withholds is that the legislature will bear the sole responsibility if the economy continues to struggle and there really isn’t money available to pay the bills. But so what? By then, there will be a new governor and the legislature will have a lot of new faces so it will be THEIR problem.

Overriding the withholds might not mean much other than the legislature saying, “It’s okay to spend the money.”   The Governor can still tell his department directors to be guided by his withholds.  By January, 2017, his successor will have a better handle on the fiscal outlook to decide whether to give his department directors the same message.  Overriding governor’s spending restrictions then amounts to little.  Legislative grandstanding, maybe.

We’ve been kind of quiet for the last few days being increasingly unimpressed by the political commercials we’re seeing.  They either have no real substance to them or they’re pitchforks-and-broadswords and show no qualities that encourage many disaffected voters to have any increased confidence that we have or will have a rational government in Missouri.

The real reason we haven’t had much to say is because we’re trying to figure out what we can say about our two weeks (more or less) in Alaska. Most of those who have taken a look at the place find themselves lacking adequate superlatives to describe what they’ve experienced and witnessed.


Denali, from forty miles away.  The highest mountain in the United States. Some people still call it Mt. McKinley.  As impressive as Denali is, remember this:  Everest is about fifty percent bigger.                                                          —-

We passed through Wassilla.  Saw the former Sarah Palin place.  The only things visible from her house are the railroad tracks, a shopping mall, and a whole lot of trees. We were told she lives in Arizona now.  We wonder if she can see New Mexico from there.

One thought on “Notes from a Quiet Street—V

  1. You have a new follower! I’ve listened to you on the radio for years, and loved your book on the art of the Capital-referencing it in my MA thesis in fact. But hadn’t read your blog until today and have to say I think I’ve been missing out. Couldn’t agree more on the rhetoric of this campaign cycle. You should consider adding a WordPress share button sir, I think you’d get a lot of bloggers like me sharing your thoughts.

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