Wednesday, February 05, 2020

A DAY OF DRAMA, COAST-TO-COAST

credit Oregon live
FIRST, THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
Tuesday, February 4th, 2020, was an interesting day.  The President of the United States, Donald John Trump, presented us with his State of the Union address in what might be best described as “great theater”.  I watched that entire event and was both amused and disappointed in the behavior of so many of our elected officials.
TENSION FROM THE GET-GO
I watched as The President refused to shake the extended hand of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Upon watching that video clip over and over again, it’s unclear to me if his slight was intentional or not.  He didn’t shake Vice President Mike Pence’s hand, either, as he handed him a copy of his speech.  One thing is certain - that instant in time didn’t do a thing to calm the animosity between the Republicans and Democrats in the chambers.
A GOOD SPEECH AND REPUBLICAN AEROBICS
The speech was a good one, although almost instantly following the delivery many sources pounced on the text and cited phrase after phrase as “lies”.  Very sad.  I was amused when the Republicans, seemingly after every sentence uttered by President Trump, stood in unison and gave him a standing ovation… Up-Down, Up-Down, Up-Down…  
credit PBS
A MEDAL FOR RUSH - AND CONTROVERSY
Also sad was the strained partisanship demonstrated by both sides, even during some very moving introductions of honored guests, including conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, to whom President Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom - the highest award possible to a civilian - right there on the spot.  He had the First Lady, Melania, affix the medal around Limbaugh’s neck.  That award has ignited a firestorm of criticism of Limbaugh and Trump.
IMPEACHMENT IS OVER
Later today the Senate finally voted on the two articles of impeachment filed by the majority in the House of Representatives and both charges were rejected.  The first was rejected on a 52-48 vote, with Republican Senator Mitt Romney voting with the Democratic majority.  In the second vote he stayed with the Republicans and it resulted in a 53-47 vote.  I’ve tried to watch most of the hearings, but they dragged on and on and on and on, so I didn’t see every single word.  It was a colossal waste of time and resources and very likely did nothing at all to bring our country together - quite the contrary.  
credit CNBC.com
NANCY’S RIP AND TEAR PERFORMANCE
The low light, of course, was the image of Speaker Pelosi, standing behind President Trump as he wrapped up his speech to the applause in the chambers, dramatically ripping up her copy of his speech and slamming the torn sheets down on the desk before her.  It was immature and behavior not worthy of the Speaker of the House.

COSTA MESA COUNCIL MEETING SIMULTANEOUSLY
Simultaneously, my Costa Mesa City Council was going about doing their work, beginning at 4:00 p.m. with a closed session that took longer than expected.  The regular meeting didn’t start until 6:15 and ran smoothly right up to the first and only Public Hearing - the ordinance changes recommended to our codes to accommodate and codify the placement of wireless cell facilities throughout our city.

CELL TOWER ORDINANCE MARATHON
That segment of the meeting took nearly 5 hours, including a very long, unusual Closed Session in which the Council and their lawyers discussed the information presented by more than 30 concerned citizens and others.  By the time this item was completed it was 12:20 a.m. today, Wednesday, February 5th.
MANSOOR BAILS OUT EARLY - AGAIN
One of the most interesting occurrences was the fact that, following the vote on that Public Hearing, Councilman Allan Mansoor decided to just up and leave the meeting before the remainder of the agenda was handled.  This is not the first time he has bailed out early.
STEPHENS UNLOADS
That led to a couple interesting comments at the very end of the meeting, right at 1:00 a.m. this morning.  Mayor Pro Tem John Stephens, clearly miffed at Mansoor’s departure said the following when Mayor Katrina Foley asked if there were any additional Council member Comments:
“Yeah, I gotta comment.  So, for those of you that are here and those of you that might see this on video, It’s very important to show up at council meetings.  I’ve never missed a council meeting.  I’ve come to council meetings during trials, deaths in the family, illness in my family and illness to myself.  It’s very important to stay to the end. It’s very important that, if you have something to say, to make a suggestion, that you make that suggestion.  It’s very easy to say nothing and vote “No” and then leave.  And, it’s not helpful.  And somebody said earlier, that you should go with your gut - that move is gutless.  You all know who I’m talking about.  Have him watch what I said.  I want him to respond.”
FOLLOWED BY FOLEY
Then, as she was about to close the meeting, Mayor Foley said the following: “My comment is that I would like the City Attorney to look at our attendance policy and the salary conditions and bring back a recommendation with regards to council members who don’t show up for the meetings, and whether or not they should continue to receive their pay.”
GENIS AS A JACK-IN-THE-BOX
Yes, indeedy, it was an interesting meeting, to say the least.  During this time Councilwoman Sandra Genis was bouncing up and down like a jack-in-the-box, coat on, papers in hand, trying to get out of the room.

MANSOOR THE DULLARD
I have written about Allan Mansoor ever since he was first elected to the City Council almost 20 years ago.  He was not the sharpest knife in the drawer back then and the edge on his blade has only gotten duller - much duller.  He has a very hard time putting together a coherent sentence and certainly cannot be considered a “thought leader” on the dais.  It will be interesting to see if anything evolves from his early departure (again) this morning.
AM I “BACK”?… PROBABLY NOT

In case you’re wonder if this entry means I’m back…. probably not.  I can no longer stay up all night at a meeting, then go home and write blog entries until dawn.  This meeting was important and I did watch my recording of it over the course of today, Wednesday.  See ya…

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