A little bit of this and that


By Gary Abernathy - gabernathy@aimmediamidwest.com



This and that…

Finally, a GOP win

So the Republicans in Congress did indeed manage to pass a major piece of legislation, with the tax reform bill squeaking through on a strictly party-line vote, and President Trump signing it into law on Friday. Finally. Perhaps it’s a sign of things to come.

I was struck by media criticism of Republican lawmakers who praised President Trump while gathered with him at a press conference celebrating passage of the tax plan. Would they have criticized similar praise of presidents Obama or Clinton, or even the Bushes? No. Their disdain for Trump is such that anyone who praises him lands in their crosshairs for ridicule.

Fire coverage, anyone?

I’m afraid I’m still confused about why Hillsboro City Council held the first reading of an ordinance to join the Paint Creek fire district, and then didn’t do anything else on it, leaving the whole issue in limbo with the current contract expiring in just a few days. I’m not sure anyone would have done anything on it without a phone call that was placed by a reporter Thursday asking about the status.

One thing that needs to improve drastically – drastically – in 2018 is more communication between the leaders of the legislative and executive branches of Hillsboro city government.

Grandma Brigade

Speaking of council, there’s talk of a “Grandma Brigade” within the new makeup of council, making sure their voices are heard. Excellent.

Different opinions

Thank you, Pat Haley, for the nice column about my adventures with The Washington Post. I do appreciate the kind words.

For balance, here’s my favorite email so far from a Post reader: “However it came to pass that you make a living as a writer, it is objectively bad for anyone who finds themselves conscious and reading the words you string together. Your piles of confused sentences reveal a mind barely capable of abstract thought. Please stop… go teach P.E. in your waning years of semi-senility. Coach football or something. You can show your young players how they might end up if they play long enough… Just stop writing.”

I replied, “That was hilarious. Made my day. Thank you. I hope you are able to make some sense of this brief note.”

Trump Country review

A lot of media people have been coming through Hillsboro, particularly now that we’re at the end of President Trump’s first year in office. Trump won Highland County with 76% of the vote, and, to their credit, members of the national media have been focusing on places around the nation where the president’s support is high.

Interestingly, Japanese media seems particularly interested in covering that angle. A reporter from one of Japan’s largest newspapers, The Nikkei, came through a few weeks ago. Last week, reporter Rei Hayashi and producer Shinya Demura from the Tokyo Broadcasting System TV network were here.

I asked them if, when the interview is broadcast in Japan, there would be subtitles translating my comments. They said most likely, although it is possible there might be an on-air translator interpreting the answers. I really would like to see that – Japanese words coming out as I spoke. If my “piles of confused sentences” are bad now, as the critic above said, wait until they’re translated into Japanese.

Henry S. Rosen, a blogger for Daily Kos, came by a couple of weeks ago. He’s very upfront about his disdain for Trump, but I enjoyed our conversation. I respect people who are passionate about politics and their country, even if we are polar opposites politically.

There are more visits on the horizon, one of which would be particularly fun for a lot of local folks if it comes to fruition. More to come…

Happy New Year

Finally, Happy New Year to all our readers. I hope 2018 is filled with many blessings. Here at The Times-Gazette, we’ll be celebrating 200 years since Moses Carothers started this newspaper in 1818, and we’ll do some fun things to celebrate the anniversary in the coming months.

Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitte @abernathygary.

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By Gary Abernathy

gabernathy@aimmediamidwest.com