A little of this, a little of that in this column
It’s the busy season, life is hectic and there’s a lot of stuff to get through this week. Let’s do this.
• Sen. Ted Cruz, a pretty-far-right Senator from Texas, Tweeted late last month that he agreed with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a far-left Congresswoman from New York, regarding her opinion that members of Congress should be banned from using their connections after leaving office to become lobbyists, per Politico.
“Let’s make a deal,” Ocasio-Cortez Tweeted back at Cruz. “If we can agree on a bill with no partisan snuck-in clauses, no poison pills, etc. — just a straight, clean ban on members of Congress being paid lobbyists — then I’ll co-lead the bill with you.”
Cruz promptly retweeted her, adding, “You’re on.”
The two have subsequently been addressing several issues, including birth control and the aforementioned ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists.
“We have an ongoing working relationship and I’m extraordinarily excited in seeing what we can accomplish,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
“Our staff is working together collaboratively to try to reach agreement,” said Cruz. “I substantively agree with the positions that she had Tweeted and where we agree on policy we should work together across party lines.”
It stinks that I even have to suggest that this is what a functioning government is supposed to look like, but here we are. For the record, I’ve never really been a huge fan of either of these legislators, but if they keep focusing on our commonalities and working on actually getting things accomplished, they will hopefully lead the way for future progress.
• That middle lane on Route 26? It’s for turning. Not passing. Not merging. Turning.
• With the NBA and NHL playoffs over, the NFL on summer vacation for the next month-plus and my beloved Baltimore Orioles looking like they’re playing dress-up in their daddies’ uniforms, the sports scene is pretty down right now in Casa McCann. Watching the United States women’s national soccer team play in the World Cup is a help, as their talent and enthusiasm is something special to behold, but the tournament won’t last forever and I’ll soon be back to heckling the birds on our feeder for not hustling enough.
• It’s great seeing so many people working again with all the new developments going up around us, and I’m not one to hate on new people coming to enjoy an area that I have come to love and call home. But I worry that our growth, again, is rapidly exceeding our infrastructure. To be fair, I think we outgrew our current infrastructure quite some time ago, and we’re now at the point where our basic quality-of-life is being impacted.
Again, there’s no need to shut the proverbial door, but there needs to be more long-term planning, and definitive links between infrastructure and approved growth. Remember when “smart growth” was the trendy phrase? Let’s make that trend again.
• The makers of Reynolds Wrap recently announced that they are seeking a “Chief Grilling Officer” to spend two weeks traveling the country, eating barbecue and getting paid $10,000, along with travel and lodging costs, according to a UPI story.
Confession time: When I first read this story, I closed my browser and went to sleep for the night. The next morning, after I had a full two cups of coffee in my system, I opened it again to make sure I wasn’t just dreaming the first time I read it. Then I searched for other sources to confirm that it wasn’t “fake news.”
It’s real. And it is even more definitive proof of a higher power for all you non-believers.
• The Orioles lost to the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night. It was their seventh straight loss, and the final score of this gem was 16-2.
• Is it just me, or does it seem a little crazy that we’re only two weeks away from July 4th?
• I had the opportunity to take in a show at Freeman Stage a few weeks ago, and it reminded me once again how magical that venue really is, and how fortunate we are to have it in our community.
Sitting under the stars, listening to great music and enjoying a great vibe are fantastic, but maybe equally as remarkable is the lineup of volunteers the Stage has every year. They make you feel welcome, treat you with courtesy and a smile and always add something nice to the experience. The stars on stage are amazing, but so are the people giving their time and energy.