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Sunday, June 11, 2017 ISSUE #908

While Washington investigates, Americans want action

Did you watch the Comey Show on Thursday? If so, you probably got a fair idea of the main issues. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, Jim Comey’s comments gave you something to feel good about, and probably some serious concerns.

Watching commentators discuss the Comey testimony on multiple news channels after that hearing reminds me of the descriptions by two blind men who approached an elephant from opposite ends.

As the former FBI Director replied to a question about news stories based on anonymous sources, “The people talking about it don’t know what’s going on. And the ones who know what’s going on aren’t talking.”

Surprisingly, Comey revealed that President Trump was not being investigated, and that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch ought to be.

Next up, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be testifying.

Then Robert Mueller, named as a Special Counsel, is supposed to investigate interference by Russia in the 2016 election and ways to eliminate it in the future. Let’s hope he sticks with that assignment and not spend months and millions of dollars going on wild goose chases.

These various investigations are dominating Washington and the news media. But the rest of the country has a different idea of what’s important: a solution to the health insurance mess; changes to regulations and tax policy to (hopefully) improve the economy for working folks; and commitments to speed up construction and maintenance of highways, bridges, pipelines, and locks and dams on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

A perfect example of regulatory delay is a highway to connect central West Virginia with northern Virginia. Corridor H, also known as US 48, is 150 miles, under construction since 1970, and still only 90% done. That’s less than 3 miles per year. The cost is obscene because of environmental delays and demands. If the same nutty environmentalists had been around a hundred or two hundred years ago, that part of the state would have never got beyond the horse and buggy. Log cabins would have been outlawed because cutting a tree might endanger a flying squirrel. Catching a trout would deprive a bear of its next lunch.

Air travel also needs improvement because our air traffic control system is outdated. We need a system based on satellites for communication. Our technology today is a little better than in the early days of aviation when Will Rogers suggested that towns paint their name on the largest roof available to help pilots navigate. (Will even agreed to pay for the paint, but got so many requests he had to end the offer.) New satellite technology would improve efficiency and allow global tracking of airplanes over the vast ocean areas where no tracking systems currently exist.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

          “All we got to do in this country to find out something is wrong is just to investigate it.”  DT #1577, Aug. 12, 1931

          “There is two places where what a person says should not be held against ‘em in a court of law. One is at a dinner, and the other is on the witness stand of a Washington investigation.” DT #2405, Apr. 18, 1934

          “From the record of all our previous investigations it just looks like nobody can emerge with their nose entirely clean. I don’t care who you are, you just can’t reach middle life without having done and said a whole lot of foolish things.” DT #2620, Dec. 28, 1934

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