Where’s Tishaura? Ask Donald Trump
St. Louisans haven’t heard much lately from Treasurer Tishaura Jones, possibly because she’s been so busy traveling outside the city to take care of extracurricular duties. She found herself at the center of controversy last week after a group she co-chairs, the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, gave an award to President Donald Trump. Sen. Kamala Harris, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, was so outraged she refused to attend a candidates’ forum co-sponsored by Jones’ group. Harris changed her mind after Jones’ group withdrew as co-sponsor.
The Justice Center describes itself as a bipartisan group of leading black Republicans and Democrats, primarily focused on criminal justice reform. Trump’s award came as he compared the current congressional impeachment proceedings against him to “a lynching.”
Local commentator Charles Jaco quoted Jones’ office as saying she didn’t know about the award. Trump also delivered a keynote address at the group’s meeting in South Carolina. Really? Jones didn’t know about an award being given by a group she leads?
Always save the beer
In “The Godfather,” the choice came down to this: The gun or the cannoli? For King Solomon, it was about deciding which of two women was the rightful mother of the baby they both claimed. For Washington Nationals fan Jeff Adams, a decision had to be made in a split second: Spill my beer, or risk giving up the priceless memento of a World Series home run ball?
No one should ever have to make such an agonizing choice. Adams’ seat was behind the left field wall, where he held two expensive tallboy cans of Bud Light, one in each hand, during Game 5 of the World Series. Houston Astros batter Yordan Alvarez smacked a homer that arced ominously toward Adams. If he dropped the cans to make the catch, well, goodbye beer. If he held onto the beer, the ball would go to one of the fans next to him.
Adams chose the beers. He allowed the ball to hit him directly in his chest, but he angled it downward into the wall in front of him so it would bounce dead on the floor. He trapped it with his foot, two cans still in hand. Didn’t spill a drop, didn’t lose the ball. A new T-shirt bears his image with the headline, “Always save the beers.” And Adams won himself a free trip to see Game 6 in Houston.
And in case there’s any question about that other issue: “Leave the gun — take the cannoli.”
Next stop: AuditThe St. Louis County Board’s call for a federal audit of the increasingly disastrous Loop Trolley project is not only fully justified, it’s a no-brainer. The trolley has cost about $51 million in largely public dollars since its inception almost 10 years ago — a decade that has been filled with false starts, delays and cost overruns. The operators recently asked for $700,000 more from the county while announcing further service cutbacks.
The county board has wisely decided against throwing good money after bad. And, as the Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Kohler reports, it unanimously voted recently to pass a resolution seeking a federal audit. As the resolution notes, the trolley “yet again finds itself in an unsustainable financial position” despite what the taxpayers have spent. It’s time to find out why.
When ads misinform, just say no
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey says his social media outlet will henceforth ban political advertising. It was a smart move to avoid immersing Twitter in the same controversy surrounding Facebook with its misguided decision to allow unfiltered political advertising, even ads that are unquestionable lies. President Donald Trump quickly criticized Dorsey’s decision, a hardly surprising reaction from the most prolific purveyor of lies in the history of the twitterverse.
Meanwhile, Campbell Brown, the head of Facebook’s news venture, declared she is astonished — astonished — that journalists would be among those urging Facebook to stop publishing blatantly false political ads. “Having spent most of my pre-Facebook career as a journalist covering politics, I have been astonished at the reaction by other journalists to Facebook’s decision not to police speech from political candidates,” Brown says.
As a former journalist, she should grasp the importance of providing the public with the truth, or a version that is as close as she and her company can get to the truth. When any public information platform allows itself to become a knowing platform for disinformation, it also undermines the very foundations upon which a free press is built. Brown needs to hand in her credentials.
rendition for fun
An “extreme” haunted house in Tennessee lives up to its claim. State officials were being urged to shut it down on grounds that it is essentially a torture chamber. As The Washington Post reported, McKamey Manor’s methods of invoking Halloween scares is so intense that just entering the place requires a physical exam, a drug test and a 40-page waiver.
Inside, staff duct tapes the heads of participants, waterboards them and forces them to eat things.
The petition alleges: “It’s literally just a kidnapping and torture house. Some people have had to seek professional psychiatric help and medical care for extensive injuries.”
The haunted house’s owner claims most of the events that go on within its walls are mental tricks designed to convince people they are experiencing things like waterboarding when, he said, they technically aren’t.
Whatever happened to hayrides and apple-bobbing?