Ghost of Mississippi: The Hyde-Smith, Espy race


Above photo caption.  Phil Carlos Wilson took this photo of Claudia Bivins wearing the flag.  "As I laid the rebel flag down across Vernon's grave, I told my grandson what it represents -- our hope that racism and hatred would die," Bivins said. "That it would be killed at the root of our hearts, minds and souls."

Click HERE to read more about Bivins tribute to Vernon Dahmer


Ballot Box – Election – MISSISSIPPI, USA

The final tally is pending official certification but this past Tuesday Republican candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith beat her opponent, Democratic candidate Mike Espy: 473,109 to 404,640.  While a victory is a victory the margin is yet another warning bell for the GOP (Grand Old Party) and President Donald Trump’s waning popularity.

People protest and march against US President Donald Trump’s alleged interference in Robert Mueller’s investigation in New York City on November 8, 2018. – President Donald Trump was accused on November 8, 2018, of pushing America toward a constitutional crisis after his firing of the attorney general cast doubt over the future of an explosive probe into election collusion with Russian agents. (BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

In a state where voting is polarized among ethnic and party lines, in a normal environment voting experts felt the race should not have been close.  Even though Hyde-Park will remain in Washington, DC as Mississippi’s second Senator, she was not viewed as a strong candidate.  In the run-off with Espy two blunders cost her more than a few votes that reminded people of Mississippi’s past.  Many voters voiced consternation about having to vote for Hyde-Smith but felt their loyalty to the GOP was more important to the state’s legacy.

Vestiges of Slavery

For some slavery is a thing of the past.  Not every White person owned slaves and not every African-American was a slave, although a good many were.  Fast forward to 2018, data shows our society is more congenial than ever.  However, there is still an attitude that persist with many Whites that African-American’s can never be their equal.   It will be denied but simply look at the social fabric of the United States and inequality remains a persistent thorn in our image.  That attitude is a direct result of the legacy of slavery and racism where one race was dominant over the others.

 

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”  Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President

 

Segregation Academies

Brown v Board of Education was a landmark case in a pivotal time for the United States.  Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling public schools across the nation were ordered to end the practice of segregating students based on race.

 

While some accepted the ruling as the “law of the land” there were just a many who resisted.  The resistance came in many forms and the basis was race.  Many Whites who were part of that population didn’t necessarily define themselves as racist but through their ancestral inheritance they could never fathom direct association with African-Americans, let alone attend the same school with them.

 

Year after year, resistance took many forms.  Across the nation and specifically in Mississippi leaders developed a plan to thwart the ruling.  Rather than open their schools to all ethnicities they abandoned them and set-up private schools known as segregation academies.  The result was the assurance those with financial resources could opt out of public education and not have to attend classes with non-Whites.

 

In 1975, Cindy Hyde-Smith was a minor and she attended Lawrence Academy, which was a segregated academy founded in 1970.  More than likely the decision was made by her parents.  It’s one thing to aspire for a quality education but it is another to do so while minimizing your socialization with other groups?  Apparently Hyde-Smith enjoyed her school experience because to maintain the tradition, as an adult she enrolled her daughter in the same environment.

 

Creatures of habit

 

Some may think what is the big deal of wanting to attend a school with people like you?  The problem arises when you claim to want to represent a state made up of all types of people.   One’s socialization is in the spotlight of how you communicate with others.  In Hyde-Smith’s case, her past sheds light of some of her comments during the campaign where she appears to favor one group over the other, while claiming to be the representative for all!

 

The Ghost

Many Mississippians acknowledge their past history.  Since its opening in December 2017,  the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum has become a destination for locals and visitors to the state.  It showcases the resilience of the African-American experience in Mississippi but it also puts a spotlight on the injustices they had to deal with.  Part of the exhibit is the state’s history of lynching.

 

People from all walks of life make comments which may be viewed as racially insensitive.  Certain topics are taboo or better left unspoken.  One of those topics is any mention of lynching’s.  It conjures up all types of negative feelings and emotions.  For African-Americans who were oftentimes the victims, especially in Mississippi one would assume any comments would be held privately, let alone those who hold public office.

Hyde-Smith attempted to minimize her comment about lynching, instead employing the typical strategy of blaming those who brought her remarks up, as having some ulterior motive against her, instead of simply accepting the fact the remarks came out of her mouth?

 

The lynching comment and the fact of her likeness to segregated schools give pause to her mandate of successfully and equally represented all who claim Mississippi as their home state.

 

More perplexing is Hyde-Smith’s comments during the run-off debate on November 21st

 

 “WE HAVE TO DEFEND OUR CONSERVATIVE VALUES. WE HAVE TO DEFEND OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS. WE HAVE TO DEFEND THE UNBORN CHILDREN IN MISSISSIPPI. I’M THE CANDIDATE THAT CARES. I’M THE CANDIDATE THAT HAS BEEN THERE SIX. I’M THE CANDIDATE THAT DONALD J. TRUMP HAS SAID WE NEED YOU BACK.  Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, Nov. 21st.

 

Mississippi acknowledges its past racial history.  Indeed, through the years it has made progress.  Hyde-Smith’s challenge will be her allegiance to all Mississippians, not just those who espouse the Conservative values she emits.  She also must reconcile her attitude for using lynching as a reference to someone she has affinity for.  Then, she must use her power to deal with the education schism the state is known for and one which her parents and she perpetuated by being active participants.

 

In the meantime, those who voted now can take a break and ponder if they are willing to adjust their own racial bias.

Mid Terms: Still Lots of Votes to Count!


https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
 

The mid-term election was on November 6, 2018.  Nearly five days later there are still many votes left that need to be counted or in the words of Democratic Nominee for Governor of Florida, Andrew Gilliam, “we must ensure every vote cast is properly recorded.

Higher turnout

Although interest in this year’s mid-terms was historic, turnout came in at approximately 50%, which is higher than normal but embarrassingly low for a nation that prides itself on democracy.  Many countries, even some which the United States mocks has turnout at 75-90 percent, far greater than the U.S.

 

The large numbers of votes yet to be counted is another issue.  No doubt millions were properly recorded but due to advances in the election process vote-by-mail and provisional ballots has increased year after year.

Too close to call

A greater concern regarding counting the outstanding balance is the large number of races which are considered, “too close to call.”  That number increased drastically during this cycle.  Some point to the interest as a response to Donald Trump’s antics.  Whatever the reason, democracy works best when more people take the time to vote.

 

As of latest report California has a little over 4 MILLION VOTES TO COUNT.

CLICK HERE

Los Angeles County has approximately 350,000

Mid-Term Postscript: Trump v “Low-IQ” Waters


Now that the much talked-about mid-term elections have come and gone, many who took time to engage can get back to their daily routine.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

 

A part of Donald Trump’s political ascendance was his ability to target his opponents and mock them in a way to make them irrelevant or plucking away any political favorability they had.

 

It’s the House fool

 

As the mid-terms came many political pontificator’s were nervous in wiping Trump’s success off the table or declaring many of his missteps were self-inflicted.  After all his rallies were huge hits, packed to the brim with supporters?  Many assumed his magic would last forever and that he was untouchable?  A good many more bought into the notion of his celebrity and the new-found Republican party he had developed.  The economy was booming.  Tax cuts were rolling in.  The wall would be built, absent of any money from Mexico.   Ending his second year as president, Trump was feeling a bit giddy.  His tone was who in their right mind would vote against what was achieved?

 

The IQ Factor

From “low-energy Jeb” to “lyin’ Ted Cruz” to “dishonest Hillary” on and on, Trump had created a line that many supporters came to adore which was about the House of Representative from the 43rd district of California named Maxine Waters.  He declaredly labeled her as “Low IQ” Maxine.”  The name stuck with his supporters and he took glee and great pleasure in admonishing her.  The fact he has created a history of marginalizing or mocking those who are non-white, intimating them as lazy, stupid, criminalistic or other negative attributes was not seen as racist behavior.  To his supporters he was simply telling it like it is!!! And, after all he was making their lives better, not to mention giving them their country back?

 

The result of losing the house

 

For two years Trump and his administration has held the wild card of controlling all three branches of the government.  Yesterday, they received a public rebuke as they lost the House of Representatives.  While some will dismiss this fact, it is critical and may provide a glimpse of what Trump and his supporters must deal with.  The win provides the Democratic party with the coveted power of being transformed into chairs of the many committees.  It also provides them with power of the subpoena.

Attendees react as election results are displayed on a screen during an election night rally for State Senator Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat from Virginia and U.S. Representative candidate, in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Wexton defeated two-term Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock, ousting a Republican in a northern Virginia district that was arguably the top target for Democrats in their effort to take back the House majority, according to projections from NBC and CNN. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

 

One chair swap that will take place in January 2019 is the Financial Services Committee.  Despite Trump labeling her as a “low IQ” individual, Maxine Waters is in line to be selected as chair.  Those who know her define her not by an IQ issue but brilliant in being an advocate against the powerful, specifically personalities such as Trump.  They applaud her resilience and track record of getting the job done.  Whatever motivated Trump from creating the moniker he assigned her, he may come to regret it as she becomes laser focused on all of his alleged corruption and mis-dealings, including releasing to the public his long-promised tax returns.

Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some will dismiss her strategy as “what’s the big deal?”  They may be blind of not understanding what transparency is all about?  Or, perhaps like some have stated, they may fear the exposure of his financial entanglements which perhaps could be a reason of his behavior, not necessarily just the Mueller special investigation?   In the meantime, yes, the economy is moving and consumer confidence is up but the core reality is many view the president as untrustworthy and the likes of Waters and others in the house now have the ability to put a spotlight of what they have been prevented from uncovering or at least obtaining an honest answer for the people they represent.

 

The Trump and Waters soliloquy will be an interesting dance.  One might assume Trump felt he would never lose the house to allow Waters to be unleashed?  The voters decided that reality.


BEFORE WE GO…..ICYMI

Many of you recall the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin?  The again, some of you are aware of the Women’s Movement which mushroomed the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president?  But how many remember the killing of Jordan Davis who was gunned down by Michael Dunn in Jacksonville, FL?  Unlike George Zimmerman the killer of Martin who was found not guilty, Michael Dunn was found guilty of Davis’ death and is now in prison.  Like the parents of so many who have been found their plight by the end of a gun, Davis’ mother found the energy to raise her voice and become a political voice.  

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Yesterday, Lucy McBath was one of those women who threw their hat in the political ring and won their election (although the results are within the range of an automatic  recount).  If she is ultimately successful, her victory is a sign of how democracy works – at the local level.

Lucy McBath declares victory in Georgia’s 6th District race  

The race was too close to call Tuesday night 

 

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Roberts Lament


above caption:  Roberts pulling Hill.  Digital First Media.

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 28: A view of the World Series Trophy after the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

[Chavez Ravine]   Many die-hard Los Angeles Dodgers fans, like myself are finally awakening from the nightmare of losing games four and five of the 2018 World Series, resulting in the Boston Red Sox achieving the championship.  As tough as it is, most will salute the Red Sox for executing when they had too.  At the same time, they applaud the effort of the Dodgers for making the tough journey through the regular season and going through the gauntlet of the playoffs to be in a position to play in the coveted World Series.  But the facts are the facts, even in Little League if you only get three hits, more than likely you will be on the losing end, as was the case in game five.  Unfortunately that was the case in games two and five.

“Today is the first day I am able to talk about it.  I have been upset since Sunday” A. Tillman, Dodger fan

It seems longer, but Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts just finished his third year.  In all of those years his team has made the playoffs.  Remarkable, the last two years he took his team to the World Series.  As impressive of what he has achieved, including the admiration of most fans, many will still hold his decision in game four of pulling Rich Hill as the death knell of the series, thus ending our season.

Baseball – a game of failure!

Baseball is an interesting game.  Those who are not diehards define the game as boring, too long to complete a game, on and on.  It’s a very technical game which is why some make comments, having very little understanding of the nuances.  It is a game of failure!  Most hitters hit between .250 – .300, which translates if you have ten at-bats, you can rest assured you will make an out in seven or even eight times!  Unlike other sports such as basketball where you can score quite frequently, games are long due to commercial breaks versus length of actual play.  The 18 inning game the other night will be noted in years to come.  As was the case in that game, runs or a score can be tough to come by, and the only way a team can be victorious is to outscore the opponent, yet in many innings, like the 18th inning doozy, no runs might be scored at all!

The Wild Horse strikes again

The decision to pull Hill will go down in history as a key point in the 2018 World Series.  Just minutes earlier, Yasiel Puig sent Dodger fans into a frenzy by blasting a three-run home run making the score 4 – 0.  Surely the Dodgers could secure nine outs and snag a win?  In doing so it was a sure bet they would even the series at 2 wins a piece, giving the team the much-needed momentum, they were seeking?

 

The baseball god’s thought otherwise.  While Roberts decision has been the focal point and much consternation of the fans, those who truly understand the game know better.  Baseball is a game of statistics and super-charged analysis.  In 2018 in the games Rich Hill pitched he normally lasted 5.2 innings.  No doubt, in game four he was exceptional and at times appeared ready to break Don Newcombe’s record of pitching complete games of a double-header, on the same day!!  He breezed through the sixth inning BUT his pitch count was near a record high of 91.  In the bottom of the sixth he told Roberts to “keep an eye on him.”  Again, just nine outs to secure a win.  He started the seventh inning and walked Aruban sensation Xander Boegerts.  Roberts still did not pull the plug.  The next batter was the pesky Eduardo Nunez.  Hill blew him away with three pitches to strike him out.  Apparently, it was at that point that Roberts felt Hill had given his all and wanted him to go out on a high note.  In comes Scott Alexander and to the surprise of the nearly 55,000 who were packed in the Ravine, as well as the millions who were watching on television, he walked the next batter on four straight pitches!!!  Ouch!

World Series 2018: Dave Roberts on the Dodgers losing Game 4

The rest is history as even though the Red Sox put up nine runs in three innings, there was still hope.  Team leader Justin Turner led off the ninth with a hit.  The next batter, Kiki Hernandez blasted one of Craig Kimbrell’s pitches into the left field pavilion for a home run, and there were no outs!  The enthusiasm quickly dampened as Cody Bellinger meekly flied out to end the game.

 

Yes, in his usual professional and political demeanor Dave Roberts accepted the blame for the loss, even while trying to explain why he pulled Hill.  As mentioned in a game of statistics he had no idea Alexander would walk Benintendi on four straight pitches.  Surely, he may have thought about it but he figured the odds were long that recently acquired Ryan Madsen would offer up one of his coveted home run pitches.  Worse, perhaps trying to assuage Kenley Jansen’s ego, Roberts called on him in the eighth.  Clinging on to a one run lead, many felt it was a likely possibility but Roberts went with his gut which was torn apart as Jensen’s cutter didn’t cut and professional hitters like Steve Pearce earn their millions by being able to handle mistakes, or a pitch which doesn’t cut, instead transforming it to a basic fastball – waist high.  Many could hear the great Jim McKay of Wide World of States belting out his famous quote, “the thrill of victory….the agony of defeat.”

“Jansen hasn’t been the same since his heart ailment.  These games are too much pressure for him!”  JLT, Dodger fan

“What was Robert’s thinking?  He knew Jansen hasn’t been doing nothing but giving up homeruns!!! I’m done!  A millennial

So, for Dodger fans 2018 is history.  Most will recover from their wounds.  While some still want Roberts head on a platter, they also realize like the players, managers are not robots and after a couple of months of rehab they, like the other 29 teams who didn’t win the championship will give it another shot in 2019.  Go Dodgers!

Mortgage Fraud on the rise


Today mortgage information provider CoreLogic released its “Annual Fraud Report” documenting a rise in consumer mortgage fraud.  The report highlights that recently convicted former Trump campaign manager isn’t the only one who submitted false applications to secure mortgage loans.  As in the case of Manafort, mortgage fraud is a federal offense and the penalties can be stiff, including incarceration.

ALEXANDRIA, VA –  Manafort was charged with financial frauds and is the first defendant in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to face trial. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Even though the economy has improved, the rise in home prices and corresponding amount of income needed to qualify for a loan has increased.  Although it is a risk management issue the numbers note approximately 1 in 109 applications have some type of fraud.  The report reflects the fraud index has increased for the past seven quarters.

Two fraud issues that are top of mind for risk managers right now are false credit disputes and income misrepresentation.

Video discusses the report shown here

https://players.brightcove.net/75895570001/EJUJuZYOl_default/index.html?videoId=5822617829001

 

 

Unemployment numbers dip to 3.7%


 

US President Barack Obama shakes hands as Republican President-elect Donald Trump thanked him for creating a positive economy. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Publishing numbers not seen since 1969, yesterday the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its October jobs report.  The numbers reflect data compiled for the month of September as unemployment dipped to 3.7%, with new jobs pegged at 134,000.  That is good news for the Trump administration as it validates their message of a strong economy.  The news was expected and comes at a good time for them as even though they inherited the foundation of a good economy from the Obama administration, they have been mired in a string of self-inflicted blunders ever since taking over the reins. 

They view those blunders as attacks from those who are upset they won the 2016 election.  Others view them as leaders who are inexperienced at managing a government, fraught with suspicious characters linked to criminal behavior.

In addition to the Mueller investigation, they are dealing with a majority of the public not in support of their United States Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.  Earlier today Kavanaugh squeaked by with a 50-48 vote.  While there is jubilation from those who support Trump and Kavanaugh, the untold cost may not be realized until the mid-term vote slated for November 6th.   Some fear this and other moves by the administration might cost the GOP control of congress.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, Mass.) speaks to protestors gathered at the steps of the US Supreme Court as the Nation waits for the expected confirmation Judge Brett Kavanaugh, in Washington, D.C., on October 6, 2018.
(Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

 

Trump understands the media dynamic

As September numbers are a positive sign, Trump no doubt will use the data to proclaim the numbers reflect the lowest, specifically among African-Americans and other minority groups.  While the numbers are real and give great justification to those who support Trump, it must be noted he is a master manipulator of the spoken-word and you really have to ponder how serious he is about the claim?  Or, is he appeasing to the conscious of those who have very little knowledge of the historic perspective of employment gaps between whites and minority groups?  Oftentimes they view any news spouted from Trump as near-gospel, certainly not worthy of understanding the overall context of such statements. 

 

Understanding media, Trump has woven unemployment data into his rallies and other talking-points.  The issue for some regarding this sentiment is whether Trump is genuine, as his tone appears to mock the point which is a very serious issue for African-American’s who have been systemically unemployed at a rate at least twice that of whites.  This has been lingering problem presidents have been dealing with ever since the notion of race entered the American nomenclature.  It was created to divide people and groups.  While the numbers in fact have declined, the real gap is a constant historical fact; a key metric providing evidence to the wealth gap that highlights the polarization of our nation. 

In attempting to proclaim his support for the African-American community, who can forget this quote Trump made while on the campaign trail?

“Oh look at my African-American over here,” Mr. Trump said. “Are you the greatest? Do you know what I’m talking about?”

 

 

OMAHA, NE – MAY 4:
Isaiah Hall, 21, responds to a question from Crystal Sauser, a public relations manager, during a job interview at AirLite Plastics in North Omaha on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Omaha, NE. “We’re going to offer you the position,” Sauser said, and the stoic face Isaiah began to melt into a smile. Isaiah finally had a job.
Only seven of the overall 13 students (one student started a day after the initial 12 students) would make it through the training and to this morning of job interviews.
Over the past decade, concentrated efforts by various organizations in Omaha have helped drastically drive down the unemployment rate among African Americans, particularly in North Omaha, which is majority Black. While Donald Trump brags about how he has helped lower the national unemployment rate among Blacks, the city of Omaha has shown how a small group doing targeted employment bootcamps and workshops can help boost statistics with minimal help from the local, state, or federal government.
(Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Indeed, unemployment numbers are down but a nagging question remains which is why is there a disparity with white workers versus other ethnic groups?

 

“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for Whites
(3.3 percent) declined in September.  Blacks (6.0 percent), Asians (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent)stagnation”  Bureau of Labor Statistics (October 2018)


The jobs report will continue to boast consumer confidence.  However, the issue for many is keeping pace with rising consumer cost.  The Fed’s recent rate hike is the reality of a cyclical economy.  Some things go up and others go down.  As an example, housing prices continues to soar resulting in many who are employed to delay buying a home, simply because the percentage needed from their paycheck to handle the monthly payment has increased year over year.

Here is an example of 1969:2018 –   Wages & percentage of income needed for monthly payment.

Monthly Income Home Price Int. Rate P & I Pct. Of Income needed
1969 $492 $24,400 8.42% $186 38%
2018 $4,326 $539,000 4.75% $2,811 65%
Averages based on California

Cuba President headed to the United Nations this Friday


HAVANA, CUBA – APRIL 19: Former Cuban President Raul Castro raises the arm of newly elected Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel during the National Assembly at Convention Palace on April 19, 2018 in Havana, Cuba Diaz-Canel will be the first non-Castro Cuban president since 1976. Raul Castro steps down after 12 years in power. (AFP Adalberto Roque/Pool/Getty Images)

This Friday, September 28th will mark a special day in the international community as Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel will make his first appearance at the United Nations Cuban Mission, in New York.

Prior to his historic appearance at the U.N., on Wednesday, September 26th he is the invited speaker at the iconic Riverside Church.  The event is organized by Pastors for Peace.

During his trip it is expected Diaz-Canel will make an appeal for the half-century old embargo against his country imposed by the United States to be lifted.  Also, on his schedule are meetings with U.S. business leaders.

Following a successful transition this past April, Diaz-Canel became president.  This followed years of leadership by Raul Castro and his older brother Fidel Castro.

George Papadopoulos’ Apprentice audition nets him 14 days in federal prison


cover photo courtesy of Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images


Foreign policy advisor to US President Donald Trump’s election campaign, George Papadopoulos and his wife Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos arrive at US District Court for his sentencing in Washington, DC on September 7, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

[Washington, DC]  Federal District Judith Randolph D. Moss admonished George Papadopoulos for lying to the F.B.I. in his sentence hearing this afternoon.  Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team had suggested a sentence of up to six months.  Some thought a thirty-day sentence was more likely but Moss spared Papadopoulos with his 14-day sentence.  He also made the point in his sentencing that “the gravity of the investigation and the need to send a message to the public as the reason for the imprisonment.”

 

The March 31st Apprentice Try-Out

Papadopoulos may very well have been remorseful but it was his antics as he admitted of “trying to impress Donald Trump” which led to today’s decision.  In was that March 31st meeting that had the trappings of an Apprentice try-out that Papadopoulos has come to regret.


Papadopoulos has already served what could be defined as house-arrest or supervision for the past year as he awaited the decision from the Mueller team to move the case to the sentencing phase.   In addition to 14 days, Papadopoulos was fined $9.500, ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and one-year probation, following serving his sentence.

George was loyal to the Trump campaign and his political candidate which is the reason we are here today, Thomas Breen, Attorney for George Papadopoulos

 

Papadopoulos claims Session was not truthful

 

After the hearing Papadopoulos and his wife hurried away in a black SUV.  His attorney, Thomas Breen took time to take questions.  One comment that caught some by surprise was the intimation that Papadopoulos was confident Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not truthful regarding Russian contacts in his testimony during his confirmation hearings.

 

President Trump has done more to impede the Russian investigation than my client George Papadopoulos.  If he doesn’t know it by now, there should be no mystery that Russia interfered in our 2016 elections, Thomas Breen, Attorney for George Papadopoulos.

EastCoast Trek v2018 – Foodie Excursion


food·ie

noun -informal -a person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet.


Any trip takes lots of preparation and planning.  An added bonus of going to different places is experiencing foods each region has to offer.    Here is a summary of some of the places visited during our 2018 trek.


Ethel’s

Ethel’s is a quaint restaurant located in the Mount Washington Village of Baltimore.  Their speciality is creole cuisine and pricing is moderate.

 


Dempsey’s

Dempsey’s is located in the Camden Yards complex or home of the Baltimore Orioles.  Their speciality is bar-type food.  Pricing is moderate.


Busboy’s & Poet (K Street)

Busboy’s & Poet’s are well-known throughout the DMV (DC, Maryland & Virginia) area.  One of their newest locations is on 5th Street, NW & K in the District of Columbia.  They are known as a cultural enclave which combines bookstore with great food and inspiring art showing social consciousness.


Oohh’s & Aahh’s

Oohh’s & Aahh’s is located in the District of Columbia and part of the “U” street corridor directly across the street from the African-American Civil War monument.  Their specialty is soul food.  The venue is tight but there is limited seating upstairs, however be prepared to wait for seating.  The other option is take-out but be patient as the line can be long.  Pricing is affordable.

Lunch special – Fried Shrimp – Mac & Cheese and Greens

 


Sweet Home Café

Sweet Home Cafe is part of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture located in the national mall at the District of Columbia.  They give you a glimpse of African-American cuisine based on regions.  It is a remarkable presentation.  The food is fresh and there is a nice variety.  Pricing may appear on the high side but it is worth it based on the venue and convenience.

 


Ben’s Chili Bowl

Ben’s Chili Bowl is a DC institution located in the “U” corridor.  Food is tasty and affordable.

Half-Smoke special includes Half-Smoke, Fries & drinks (refills are provided)

 

EastCoast Trek v2018 – Ben’s Chili Bowl Celebrates 60


[Washington, D.C.]      On Wednesday, August 22nd Ben’s Chili Bowl celebrated its 60th anniversary.  Starting by selling half-smokes, Ben’s has morphed into an institution.  Locals understand the lore and many who visit the District of Columbia always make room in their schedule to stop by the iconic restaurant, if nothing more than to pay respect.

On Friday we were treated to be in the company of Ben’s grand dame and family matriarch Mrs. Virginia Ali.  She was her usual radiant self and took time to chat with my dear friend Renie Hale (Laurel, MD) and myself.  As an added treat she invited me outside to showcase the new murals.  In between she expressed views of how Ben’s must continue to meet the needs of a changing community to insure it remains a mainstay on U and the broader DC business community.

Another unexpected surprise was meeting Ben’s historian, Dr. Bernie Demczuk.  We were presented with one of his great compilations.

(please accept our apologies for the soiled document)


 

Random photos featuring great murals