Friday Five December 1 2017

In this edition of the Friday Five, we focus on stories about sexual harassment, lobbying and other topics of interest.

In this surging wave of sexual harassment reveals, Nevada Democrat Ruben Kihuen is accused of repeatedly propositioning and touching a former campaign aide in 2016. Pelosi wants him to resign. The number of men accused of sexual harassment is growing (here, here and here too). It appears the accusation itself is enough to bring down any man. The New York Times is wondering if there are limits to the “Believe all Women” movement that is sweeping this nation: “In a climate in which sexual mores are transforming so rapidly, many men are asking: If I were wrongly accused, who would believe me?” Power has definitely shifted to the accuser. This is a good thing for the thousands of women who have been assaulted. But it does put the regular guy in an awkward position. Best practices moving forward: No touching, no hugging, no looking, no joking, no comments about appearance at all for any reason at any time. These are good rules to have in the workplace anyways, so perhaps we’re getting to a point of sanity.

Lobbying on Capital Hill is a big business. The top 50 lobbying firms spent over $700M in their lobbying efforts, which is just part of the roughly $3B of all monies spent on lobbying in Washington. Opinions abound as to the need, efficacy and appropriateness of all this lobbying.

Our national debt is at 20,590,391,942,312.26. Hypocrisy abounds on this issue as the Democrats rail about a $1T increase in the deficit because of the impending tax reform Republicans are pushing through. We didn’t hear them cry once when Obama added $10T to our debt. It’s also disheartening to see the Republicans ignore the debt when they were so vocal about it when Obama was president. Regardless, this debt *IS* a national problem and will likely weaken us over time to the point where we can’t fight a war or respond to a crisis. I wonder how long it will take the markets and foreign governments to realize that they will never be paid back and thus, stop lending to the Federal Government.

Judge Roy Moore is an embarrassment to common sense and the Republican party. His claim that sexual harassment is the work of lesbians, gays and others is not only downright stupid, it is not accurate. The race is tied up – it will be a close election.

In case you missed it, Yosemite National Park expanded by 400 acres. The park now has over 750,000 acres.


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