Draining the Swamp: How’s That Working?

By George Smith

Are you ready to look at the condition this country finds itself and make a determination based on facts or are you okay with a litany of “alternative truths”?

This column contains information – facts, facts and more facts – that some readers may not want to hear or even believe. Feel free to check them out; I did and if you find any figures or statements are in error as stated, call me out. Some conditions: You have to state your “facts” and source; you cannot divert the message by mentioning Hillary Clinton, President Obama or Robert Mueller.

First, let’s talk about the president: Donald Trump once stated he owned four companies that declared bankruptcy; Clinton countered that in a debate in 2016 and said the number was six. Clinton was correct. Trump’s companies that have gone bankrupt include: Trump Hotels and Casinos, three Atlantic City, N.J. casinos, New York City’s Plaza Hotel and Trump Entertainment Resorts.

Trump stated he counted the three New Jersey casino bankruptcies one as a single filing, even though they were filed separately. Regardless of the number, those bankruptcies left investors and small businesses sucking wind, with Trump declaring more than once that he was just using the existing laws to his advantage.

Trump has repeatedly stated he only hires the “best people.” Yet, he has a turnover rate of 68 percent of his closest White House advisors in only 27 months. Some key positions (chief of staff, communications director, press secretary, etc.) have turned over multiple times. The 68 percent figure is “by position”; if three or more people have held a single position (chief of staff, communications director, etc.), the multiple turnovers are not included in the 68 percent figure.

Now, about draining that swamp: Andrew Wheeler is Environmental Protection Agency director; he is a former lobbyist for the oil and gas industry; Betsy DeVoss, a former fund raiser and unabashed cheerleader for private religious schools, is Secretary of Education; Wilbur Ross, secretary of commerce, and Steven Mnuchin, treasury secretary, are both billionaires who added to their wealth substantially during the 2008 recession, are in charge of creating national economic policy. Ross kept his investments in firms that the Commerce Department oversees;

It’s hard to forget that early in the Era of Trump, 15 women claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Trump before he was president; the White House staff and website have touted First Daughter Ivanka Trump’s line of jewelry; First Lady

Melania pushed her line of jewelry and “timepieces” on the QVC channel; First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner’s sister worked hard to persuade Chinese businessmen to invest in a family development project, touting the fact that Kushner was hot stuff at the White House; Kushner and his spousal unit also received security passes first denied by the White House security clearing house.

The attorney general, William Barr, was named to the post because he was already on record as being in Trump’s corner on whether or not the president could obstruct justice. He fulfilled Trump’s hopes for him with a decidedly less-than-stellar performance in a senate hearing and then blew off the Democrat-controlled House hearing. Barr lied (not “fudged the truth,” not “misspoke’ and not “erred on the side of confidentiality” … but flat-out lied to Congress) about what Mueller’s report and the procecutor’s sentiments about Barr’s interpretation stated.

Meanwhile, the thriving industry of operating private prisons are in an economic boom with the Trump Administration’s affection for tent cities. Coupled with the nation’s zero-tolerance for illegal immigrants, and Trump’s edict of separating children from their families, the figures published for the daily cost of each detainee varies widely from upwards from $133 to almost $800 per day.

Of course, the private contactors charge what they can get and there has been little pushback from any federal official who can make decisions on the unreasonable costs. The Department of Human Services (DHS) estimates the cost of maintaining families (mother and children) together costs $319 per day; separating children from their parents and housing the children (including babies) in “tent cities,” in fenced-in enclosures costs $775 per person per night.

Okay, what is this costing you, the taxpayer? DHS reported that more than 51,300 immigrants, on average, were held in detention centers each day in fiscal 2018.

You do the math, using a combination of the figures above. I did and threw up in my mouth. Just taking the $319 figure, that would be more than $16,270,000.

Why does it cost so much and why is the government doing to keep costs down? The administration could have children stay at the Trump’s International Hotel in D.C. for a measly $575 a night, have room service and still save money.

Shoot, the Day’s Inn in El Paso is only $64 a night and a double room at Super 8 in Brownsville, Texas is only $54.55.

This administration cut taxes bigly on the wealthiest one-percent and corporations, gave the middle class a pittance and then took away certain deductions so the pittance handed out was an enlarged pittance that was so much of a pittance as to not really count for much at all.

As you have probably already figure out, this administration does not care about costs or the working economically wounded – it is not spending its money, it’s spending your’s. And this administration does not care about costs, unless it’s money coming out of the pockets of the Richie Rich’s of the high-dollar crowd.

Drain the swamp? If I was not crying, I’d be laughing.

“First, let’s take stock of where we are: The EPA is run by a former coal lobbyist. An ex-oil lobbyist heads the Department of Interior. Betsy DeVos, funder and champion of private religious schools, runs education policy. Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross, billionaires who profited handsomely from the 2008 collapse, are in charge of protecting the economy. And at the Department of Justice, a top official who recommended that the federal government put more immigrants in privately-run detention centers hopped over to a job at the GEO Group, which pays immigrants $1 for a day of labor but can’t seem to find a way to prevent detainees from dying. No wonder the United States has plummeted in the corruption ranking maintained by Transparency International.”

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Circumference of Me – Chapter 8

8. The legends of warlords

Another major failing among mid-level managers is an inability to see beyond their own boundary lines. Thinking, “I am in charge of this project, and I will control it,”is simply wrong-headed. Each department is a part that exists to assist other parts so the corporate engine can runsmoothly and efficiently.

Turf protectionism was common among ancient warlords and still is practiced by nations or regions run by tribal chiefs. There are no successful companies among which turf warfare is tolerated. There is nothing worse in a business than a “virus” – a  virulent strain of egotism – created by the ministrations and manipulations of quarreling corporate warlords.

Managers who adhere to the archaic practice of turf protection, to the detriment of the company, will not be around to see necessary changes unfold.

While “turf” is strictly a boundary issue and a sincere bugaboo in the constant search for corporate success, a manager’s “territory” should be constantly scrutinized for expansion possibilities – not in the sense of “securing more territory” to feel important, but to improve the internal processes that benefit the company. In other words, how can one department help other departments in ways individual managers may not have even contemplated? And how do you accomplish that without offending the boundary issues of other managers?

Overtures must be presented in terms of mutual consideration and benefit.

“I was thinking about that interesting project you mentioned last week and how it could help the company. What if my department assisted you by . . . ?”

There is an example of the absolute best that communication and camaraderie have to offer: A word of praise, followed by an offer of assistance.

Real life. Real, positive results.

If you want to expand your territory, do it for the right reasons. If you just want to be in charge of “more”simply to expand your turf, buy grass seed.

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Why is Rep. Gohmert…well, such a presidential toady

By George Smith

Louis Gohmert is an enigma inside a puzzle wrapped in a mystery.

Just kidding. The elected U. S. representative of Texas’ First Congressional District is as easy to read as the kid’s book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.”

This elected official simply needs to be needed, to be admired, to serve a higher power. He is one of President Trump’s most fervent and energetic public relations soothsayers. Due to his double-jointed ability to religiously bow, scrap and lick boots and posteriors all at the same time, he is a frequent guest on conservative television talk shows, radio and podcasts force-feeding conspiracy theories and right-wing pabulum. Inviting. Rep. Gohmert on a program is like tossing a slow curve to Barry Bonds back in the day…you know what’s going to happen.

In his role as Special Junior Deputy Assistant to the Senior Assistant Deputy Enabler of the President, it’s not surprising Gohmert has myriad opinions; it is no revelation that his opinions  just happen to mirror those expressed by the president. He is, in a phrase, Kellyanne Lite.


Louis Buller Gohmert, Jr., of course, tweets. (Doesn’t everybody?) He mainly tweets support for Trump, liking what he likes and hating what he hates which frequently includes anchor babies, terrorist babies, same sex marriage and, well, you know.

It is rumored that he occasionally has an independent thought but had therapy sessions to squelch those errant missives.. 

Gohmert has long been considered a loose-tongued Republican who is enamored with conspiracy theories and any rumor that is Clinton-related. He has, at various times, been castigated for his mouthings by fellow GOPers like the late John McCain, Marco Rubio, Scott Brown and John Boehner (who beat him like a dirty rug when Gohmert challenged him for Speaker of the House).

Gohment is not, by definition, a laughingstock in political circles, he is an entire season of “Oddball Comics” on the Comedy Channel.

He has at various times let his tongue cover up his eyeteeth so he could not see what he was saying; unfortunately, his words live on in infamy.

Examples:

  • Gohmert was on Fox News in a panel discussion about the international influence of Google on world affairs when he popped off with an unrelated and derogatory allegation about Holocaust survivor, philanthropist and Democratic candidate supporter George Soros. Of course, the allegation made right-wingers giddy for days. The fact that the allegation was simply not true created a need for a Fox news apology for Gohmert’s “false allegations” against Soros.
  • Three years ago, according to news reports, he said that the U.S. should not use resources fighting LGBTQ equality measures because “We’d never choose a same-sex couple to help populate the moon.” Ooooooookay.
  • In a rant about limiting the number of bullets in a magazine, Gohmert said why draw “the line at 10/ What’s wrong with nine? Or eleven? It’s kind of like marriage when you say it’s not a man and woman any more, then why not have three men and one woman or four women and one man or why not somebody have a love for an animal.”

This is the elected official that said we can’t have gays in the military because they’d be like the Greeks and give each other “massages all day ready to go into a big, planned battle, then you’re not going to last very long.”

          Rep. Gohment seems to be in a constant state of consternation. He sees liberal bugaboos and terrorists and an undermining of democracy everywhere he looks; followers of his Bizarro World thinking patterns are amazed he doesn’t have whiplash from all the head-snapping.

      Gohmert is a lawyer so it is surprising he never considers he needs evidenced to back up his claims of will o’ the wisp actions by dastardly Demos or terrorist cells ready to pounce. Of course, like his Supreme Leader, making outrageous statements without substantiating evidence is part of their normal workday; they both know that certain elements of Fox News and other conservative outlets will give them a pass and forum to push the story.

How out of touch with reality is he? He once nominated Florida Rep. Allen West for Speaker of the House. The only problem was West had been defeated for re-election.

It’s time for a change, East Texas. I grew up in East Texas in his district and now live in Arkansas. The embarrassment for East Texas that I feel is as strong as pure grain alcohol even 45 mile east of the Texas state line.

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Josey Reunion Barrell Race 2019

JOSEY RANCH, MARSHALL, TEXAS – When the cream of the crop entered the city of Marshall, Texas it was business as usual at the Josey Ranch. When you’re sitting aboard On Raw Firepower like 17 year old Autumn Woodruff, of Granbury, Texas was at the recent 26th Annual Josey Reunion Barrel Race, running a blazing fast 16.089 time is just par for the course. The 17 year old cowgirl inched out 2016 Reunion Champion Pete Oen (16.101) and NFR finalist Tiany Schuster (16.141) to clinch the championship on a beautiful Sunday afternoon of barrel racing. Featuring over $150,000 in cash, prizes and scholarships, the Reunion, held at the historic Josey Ranch is home to world champions RE & Martha Josey.  Each year the Reunion is a homecoming for any former Josey student who has attended any of their schools / clinics since their start in 1967. This year’s race featured riders from 18 states and Ireland. Cheering on the contestants, from the alleyway, for both events were Josey instructors Gary Arthur and Ty & Lisa Mitchell.  Suvoy Rosser and his team of tractor drives kept the ground in prime shape throughout both events.

The Show started promptly at 6:00pm Thursday May 2nd with the top shelf announcing team of Randy Adams and Coy Huffman going “Live” in the arena and around the world via the livestream produced by Mark Burt of Mark’s Video Productions and hosted on Barrelhorsenews.com. Thursday evening the kickoff event, the Josey Reunion Pole Bending Championship saw returning champion Jaden Thomas of Deridder, LA grab the top prize. While so many champions return each year to compete, the Reunion proves to be a starting point for many future champions. This year was no exception with Carter & Riley Bell ages 11 and 5 from Coushatta, Louisiana attending. These 2 young riders had attended their first Josey clinic only 2 weeks before at Easter and ended up finishing in the Top 50 of the new 5-D format earning a 4th and 8th place respectively in the 5-D. At the traditional Sunday morning church service featuring many great speakers, scholarships and Josey sponsor Dale Steege of MVP presenting a $1000 scholarship. The Reunion Short Go Finals feature drags after every 2 riders offering the best ground to all and is run from slowest to fastest making it one of the most exciting, nail biting contests in the country. The Granbury, Texas High School senior rode her 7 year old Firewater To Fame gelding “Buck” like a true champion. Starting as a Josey student at the age of 12, she said her favorite thing about being a Josey student besides winning the Reunion is the positive attitude, competitor support and great friendships that are made. Currently qualified for the Texas HS Rodeo finals she plans to concentrate on training her string of futurity horses as well as develop her barrel horse breeding program. Josey Reunion 2D Champion, Amy Havens, riding Peppy’s Classic Fame (16.590); 3D Champion, Kara Moore, riding VF Blitzing Speed (17.098); 4D Champion, Linzy Taylor riding Miss Smart Dash (17.612); 5D Champion, Terrie Hammonds, riding Wrangling Memories (18.100).

The annual 2 week festival continued over the following Mother’s Day weekend with the 38th Annual Josey JR World Barrel Race for riders 20 & under. The race started in 1981 by Martha and her best friend Joyce Barney featured several new offerings this year. Making it a 5-D format like the Reunion, it also was a qualifying race for the KK Run For Vegas. World Champion Kellie Kaminski was on hand to oversee the 44 riders who competed in the qualifier as well as the Josey JR World. Paitlyn Berklund riding Mahogany Stardust ran a 16.192 to win it as well as the 2nd Go Round of the Josey JR World. Longtime sponsor Purina was on hand to present the Purina-Josey Ranch Barrel Horse of the Year to Patton Ann and Alexis Rae Lynch.  The award went to Patton Ann’s horse JJJ Bonnie Rae.  This beautiful palomino Quarter Horse mare was the 2018 JR World Champion and has had an amazing string of victories throughout 2018. They credited part of this great horse’s success to the Purina feed program they use as well as their time as Josey students and received one ton of feed for their amazing horses.

This year it paid to be a Josey student since a record 130 of the 176 Short Go finalists were alumni with 14 of them in the top 176 finalists rode horses purchased through Josey Ranch horse sales. Of the Top 50 champions, 36 of them were students with both the 3-D Champion Grace Edleston and Reserve Champion Rilee Leasor as well as 4-D Champion Lila Jardine and Reserve Champion Kenedie Richardson all riding horses purchased through the ranch sales program headed up by Suvoy & Cheryl Rosser. 

Sunday’s Championship Short Go followed a inspirational church service, and the scholarship awards along with an MVP $1000 scholarship also awarded. Throughout the past 53 years RE & Martha Josey have awarded over $200,000 in scholarships to deserving young riders. With the rains over, the short go finals proved to be a blistering fast race with Faith Gilbreath from Gilmer, Texas going right down to the wire to win it with a time of 16.059 aboard DC Duallin Eagles.  This solid Josey student team who also were the 2018 Barrel School Reserve Champion, was outfitted in signature Josey equipment like the Josey Cash saddle and Josey Mitchell Reverse gag bit and also raked in a 1-D 9th place Reunion finish as their warm up for the JR World championship. Similar to the Reunion finals, running from slowest to fastest saw the race go down to one of the best finishes in recent years with Faith taking over the win from 1st go round winner Paige Jones & High Cotton Lane of Wayne, Oklahoma who ran a 16.067 to fall just shy of the championship. However, Paige finished as the weekend’s high money earner raking in $5,210 and winning the Don Wasson Fastest Time Custom Bit Award for her 1st Go winning time of 15.889. Thanks to John Chance, Jay & Sandy Thurston, LifeWave/Aculife patched horses took their share of the $7000 LifeWave money.  RE & Martha Josey would like to thank all of their super sponsors and their outstanding staff.  Josey Jr World 2D Champion, Jaden Thomas, riding Freckles Doc O’Gold (16.566), 3D Champion, Grace Edleston, riding Keno (17.060); 4D Champion Lila Jardine, riding KK Patch of Frost (17.562); 5D Champion, Riley Bell, riding Hawk (18.104)

Addition Reunion images available for viewing on EastTexasExposed.com/iExposed.us:

Click here to see Gallery 1

Click here to view Galley 2

Click here to view Gallery 3

Click here to view Gallery 4

Click here to view Gallery 5

Josey Reunion Finals
May 5, 2019
Name State Horse Time
1D
1 Autumn Woodruff TX Raw Firepower (Buck) 16.089
2 Pete Oen OK Perks Of Being Famous 16.101
3 Tiany Schuster TX Show Mance 16.141
4 Sheryl Gamboa TX The Bolderdash 16.231
5 Barbara Burns TX Flit Bar Buzz (Buzz) 16.272
6 Karlie Sanders LA Kas De Stone (Stick) 16.275
7 Charley Goodknight MO G C H 16.287
8 Abby Pursifull AR Pearl 16.321
9 Faith Gilbreath TX DC Dualin Eagles 16.337
10 Raelee Self TX Duece 16.355
2D
1 Amy Havens TX Peppys Classic Fame 16.590
2 Tyler Rivette OK Frenchman On The Rock 16.597
3 Brooke Lottinger LA Cougar 16.620
4 Andee Shae Nored Tx Honor Sharp Star 16.667
5 Natalie Bland TX The OK Fuel (Bandita) 16.670
6 Catherine Medlock AR LS Pies On Fire (Suzie Q) 16.673
7 Raelee Self TX Skye 16.677
8 Shelby West TX Sun N Sevens 16.699
9 Whitney Wells TX JF Booneshine (Booneshine) 16.753
10 Codie Jo Tupa AR Silver’s Dunn Lady (Bonnie) 16.758
3D
1 Kara Moore TX VF Blitzing Speed 17.098
2 Harley Jones MS Rare Ovation 17.105
3 Dene Culley OK Patriotic Sailor 17.123
4 LeAnn Brookes AR Catchtwentytwo 17.137
5 Autumn Randle TX Pretty Gal Shine (Rosie) 17.142
6 Carly Wall TX Chester’s Smoothin VF 17.150
7 Savannah Palmore TX Carl 17.154
8 Emma Berry LA Jett’s A Jet 17.187
9 Amy Havens TX Magnums Weasel FT (Weasel) 17.190
10 Andrea Hamilton TX TT Perks Cash Hoster 17.198
4D
1 Linzy Taylor TX Miss Smart Dash 17.612
2 Jessie Kinney TX Retariat’s Shining Diva (Diva) 17.616
3 Josie Smith TX Tatoos ashnforcash (Spock) 17.680
4 Kim Zimmers TX Mito PacMna (PacMan) 17.689
5 Cindy Toll IN Sheza Casanova Special  (Casey) 17.695
6 Mica Wilson TX Boo 17.734
7 Jo Ann Jones TX Ain’t Seen These Eyes (Sir Guy) 17.759
8 Georgie Sutton LA Bubblin Aristocrat (O’Malley) 17.792
9 Kristin Kudlic MA Bucky 17.806
10 Brittany Ellis TX Dixey 17.814
5D
1 Terri Hammonds TX Wrangling Memories 18.100
2 Rachel Tolar TX Colonel Dylans Daisy 18.149
3 Olivia Leasor KY Cesico 18.183
4 Carter Bell LA Shy 18.194
5 Kirk Thompson MO Capi 18.239
6 Michele Railston TX Frenchman Glory 18.243
7 Casey Keeton TX Smoothlikefirewater (Lena) 18.261
8 Riley Bell LA Joey 18.307
9 Robin Harrison MS Rockettes Rumors 18.318
10 Gina Youngblood TX Jewels 18.342

Marshall: Grammy Award winner Larry Mitchell to headline Saturday’s Twilight Tunes event

Grammy Award-winning producer, engineer and guitar texturalist, Larry Mitchell, will serve as the headliner for Saturday’s Twilight Tunes concert event, sponsored by by PazzeriaBy Pietro’s. The event will kick off at 7 p.m. at Telegraph Park with opening act, The Social Brigade, a pop/rock band from Shreveport bringing you your favorite cover hits from yesterday and today as well as original music.

Mitchell is a Grammy award-winning producer, engineer and performer who has toured the world playing guitar with well-known artists including Tracy Chapman, Billy Squier, Ric Ocasek and Miguel Bosé. In his original compositions, Mitchell skillfully weaves guitar textures that showcase his virtuosity as a solo artist and ensemble player.

As an artist, he has released 8 solo records and won a San Diego Music Award for best pop jazz artist. He is currently touring promoting his 2018 release “Déjà Vu.” As a producer-engineer, Larry has won 26 New Mexico Music Awards in various categories from pop, adult contemporary, rap, rock, country World music and Native American. He won a Grammy Award for producing, engineering and performing on “Totemic Flute Chants” by Native American artist Johnny Whitehorse, who is better known as Robert Mirabal of Taos Pueblo.

He has many long-standing endorsements and relationships with companies such as Ibanez Guitars, D’Addario Strings, D’Marzio Pickups, Tech 21 NYC, Cord-Lox, Dava Picks, Antares tech, Sennhieser Wireless systems, Pro Bag gig bags, Ultimate Ears, Peavey, Majik Box, Fractal Audio and now with Knaggs guitars and Godin Acoustic guitars, Morrow Audio cables.

“Twilight Tunes are always a hit for us as part of our Second Saturday events and is a fun, free wayto enjoy some great live music. So, bring a blanket or chair, grab a bite to eat from one of our fantastic downtown restaurants and enjoy the evening,” said Main Street Manager Rachel Skowronek.

For more information, contact Skowronek at 903-702-7777.