Chuck Todd asked Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) on Meet the Press if he plans to forge a relationship with Mr. Trump. The congressional icon said Mr. Trump makes that difficult. “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”

I don’t see Rep. John Lewis as a legitimate voting rights icon.

Don’t get me wrong. Rep. Lewis was as good a guy as any politician gets. Oh, sure, he’s traded on race and civil rights leadership all of his life but we’ve come to accept that from our pols. More than the Nashville sit-ins, more than SNCC, even more than the Freedom rides, Mr. Lewis has associated himself with the Voting Rights Act.

Rep. John Lewis wants to delegitimize 46% of the American electorate and 57% of the Electoral College.

Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law on August 6, 1965 to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented black Americans from voting but the landmark legislation does more than prohibiting racial discrimination in voting. It assures that citizens can vote no matter their race, color, or language minority status. Mr. Lewis was not a lawmaker at that time although he was present when the VRA was signed.

And now Mr. Lewis wants trade on his reputation as a standard bearer of voting rights to delegitimize 46% of the American electorate and 57% of the Electoral College.

“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”

I analyzed that sentence. Legitimate (and illegitimate) has a precise meaning and John Lewis knows it — he writes laws for a living. Legitimate means “according to law; lawful; valid”; illegitimate means “not authorized by the law.”

Donald Trump and John Lewis

In speaking of whether Mr. Trump can be president, the facts are very simple. The president must be a natural born citizen. The president must be at least thirty-five years old. The president must have been fourteen years a resident within the United States. The Electors must meet in their own States; a majority of them must vote by ballot for one person to be president. Mr. Trump satisfied the law. He is legitimate.

It doesn’t matter what you (or I) think of Mr. Trump’s behavior or his ability or his class. He traded on his own history, followed the rules, and won the election. Mr. Lewis traded on the Civil Rights movement history, broke the rules, and lost his own validity.

Accept the Results

And now President Trump is about as legitimized as it gets.

The Legacy

Today is Barack Obama’s final day as President.

Politicians like Mr. Obama have get out front to talk about their legacy because they fear more than anything else that even their True Believers might hear the truth. On his last full day as President, here’s the truth. It is a Legacy of Failure.

The Legacy of Shame
• Aleppo. Benghazi. China. Iran. Iraq. Israel. NATO. Russia …
• Mr. Obama drew the line in the sand to Bashar al-Assad over his use of chemical weapons, then ran away. He spoke forcefully to Vladimir Putin, then ran away. He spoke harshly to Iraq in 2011, then ran away (that precipitated the rise of ISIS).
• Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis said Mr. Obama will someday look back on his Syria policy “with deep sorrow and some shame.”

The Legacy of Broken Dreams
• “We [don’t have] an energy policy in this country that makes sense,” Mr. Obama said in remarks on the American Jobs Act in 2011. There is still no coherent energy policy. FAIL.
• The cost of college has increased faster than the rate of inflation. FAIL.
• China devalued their currency to make their goods cheaper and our goods more expensive. The Obama China policy was never to challenge them. FAIL.
• Health care policies have failed to lower health costs. FAIL.
• In 2008, Mr. Obama claimed his investments in green energy would create 5 million new jobs. FAIL.

The Legacy of Bankruptcy
• In 2008, Mr. Obama said that adding $4 trillion to the national debt was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.”
• On Jan. 20, 2009, the debt held by the public was roughly $6.307 trillion. Intragovernmental Holdings added 4.32 trillion bringing the total national debt to $10.63 trillion on the day of Mr. Obama’s own inauguration. The national debt stands today at 19,961,179,000,000 (>||< close to TWENTY TRILLION DOLLARS) and counting.

The Legacy of Ill Health
• About 9.1% of people in the U.S., or around 28.6 million, were uninsured in 2015.
• “If you’ve got health insurance, we’re going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2500 per family per year.” The average family premium increased by $3,065 from $12,680 in 2008 to $18,142 this year, a 43% increase.
• U.S. health care spending grew 5.8% in 2015 alone, reaching $9,990 per person. Health spending accounted for 17.8% of the Gross Domestic Product. It is now $10,384 per person.

The Legacy of Joblessness
• 86,591,000 men and women, young and old, either don’t have, don’t want, or can’t do a job. The Obama administration does not count them as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the BLS survey.

The Legacy of Lies
• “We will pursue the housing plan I’m outlining today. And through this plan, we will help between 7 and 9 million families restructure or refinance their mortgages so they can afford-avoid foreclosure.” Uh huh.
• “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.” Okey dokey. (Obamacare alone is a legacy of deception unlike any previous government program.)
• “I cut spending by over a trillion dollars in 2011,” Mr. Obama said in 2012 on Meet the Press. Right. (Spending actually increased by $147 billion in that period.)
• “As president, I will work to solve this energy crisis once and for all.” How’d that work out for us?

The Legacy of Overreach
• The Environmental Protection Agency is the poster child for Administration overreach. The Supreme Court had to smack down the EPA over and over again including the EPA’s first limits on coal-fired power plant emissions, Sackett v. EPA, and more.
• EPA head Gina McCarthy was not concerned about the power plant emissions ruling. The regs went into effect “three years ago,” she said. “Most of [the plants] are already in compliance, investments have been made.”
• The EPA would send armed agents to incarcerate landowners for a spill similar to the Animas River in Colorado but now won’t pay $1.2 billion for the damages it itself caused.
• Now, the EPA has madly pushed through new regulations, not because they think they will work, but to create a mass that Mr. Trump’s EPA will have to correct, allowing the Far Green to decry a “rollback.”
• The EPA is not alone. In 2011, after Boeing had hired 1,000 new employees to work at its new factory in South Carolina, the Obama administration ordered the company to shut down the factory, because the factory was non-union.
• Armed SWAT agents raid the Gibson guitar factory, ordered the employees to leave, and seized guitars and other property from the factory, all without warrants or charges filed. It was later revealed that Gibson had not broken any laws.

The Legacy of Poverty
• In 2009, 42.9 million people had income below the poverty line. That was 14.3% of the U.S. population. The official poverty rate is now 14.5%. That means 45.3 million people in poverty, up by over 8 million since 2008.

The Legacy of Theft
• Mr. Obama stole General Motors from its stockholders — the government took a 60.8% ownership of the company and fired its CEO — then delivered ownership of the company to reward his voting block.

The Legacy of Wimps
• Even NBC’s Meet the Press questioned his manhood.

The Wrap Up
Mr. Obama brought a legacy of inadequacy to America but he didn’t do it alone. There are still about 2,700,000 Executive branch civilians, 535 Congress critters, and about 65,000 people working for Congress in place and ready to keep on keeping on.

Mr. Trump has promised a clean sweep would start tomorrow but he has a lot to overcome.


Pardon Me

Mr. Obama issued 273 pardons and commutations yesterday. He cut Bradley/Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence to time served. The now-transgender soldier was convicted of Espionage Act violations and other charges for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. The White House announced that Mr. Obama “has now granted more commutations than any president in this nation’s history.” In fact, they proudly noted that is more than “the total number of commutations issued by the past 12 presidents combined.”

Julian Assange said “Manning should never have been convicted in the first place…” Manning “is a hero, whose bravery should be applauded.” Mr. Assange said he would not fight extradition if Manning was freed.

“It was the right thing to do,” my friend Fanny Guay said. “The Right’s claim that Manning’s leaks cost lives was false.”

Yeah, OK.

Looks like the only secrets the Left care about are the Sony memos and salary worksheets.

“No, that’s not it,” Liz Arden replied, double teaming me. “Only people who do it for the right reasons.”

So it would be OK for the Russians to release the RNC emails but not Hillary’s?

“That’s it!”

It’s required that I release my tax return but illegal to publish a teacher’s salary?

“Exactly!” Ms. Guay said. Ms. Arden did the happy dance that I was finally getting it.

But, wait. I taught at Vermont colleges.

“Oh, then you’re protected,” Ms. Guay said.

Now I do get it. I notice that Mr. Assange is still in the Ecuadorian embassy. He’s still a protected good guy. Except for the little matter of the DNC emails.


Road Trip XVI-10

In our prior episode, I took some days off in Paradise Valley, then fired up the (new)(white) truck for the trip back up to 6,500 feet elevation.

It takes a lot longer to head over the mountain than I remembered. I went around the Mogollon Rim (elev 7,500) in northeastern Arizona on the way.

Mogollon Rim

It’s 331 miles and should take 5 hours 25 minutes but I stopped to pee and to take a picture or two and then lost an hour to the time zone difference.

And, of course, it was good to get back on the Mother Road. Remember to slow down for the Notel Motel.

Slow Down for the Notel Motel

The truck ate up the elevation change again and I avoided staying in the Notel. Still, I took a couple more days off to visit once I got back in New Mexico, of course.

The radar showed serious, heavy rain over Texas from Amarillo down to the Alamo and east all the way to Louisiana, all following a Front that had bowed and stopped from Roswell to southeastern KS where it turned and headed for Buffalo. The slow moving low pressure system riding that Front will brought increasing chances for rain over much of NM and TX for my entire tour there.

I reloaded the truck in the rain in Grants but I figured out a way to prop the bumbershoot up over the back window of the cap. Unfortunately, I thought of that after I had filled the coolers with rainwater. I got everything in and battened down and left about on schedule. It rained hard enough along I40 that I slowed down to 55 in a couple of spots when I started hydroplaning just a little.

The Albuquerque motel that was holding my driver’s license hostage wasn’t where their address says it was but I found it by asking at all the other motels along the strip. Finally recognized it. They hadn’t “refound” my license so I continued on my way on to Roswell to find the little green men. I had high hopes they would accept my latest colonoscopy results.

I drove through the mysterious, desolate village of Encino, pop 94, the city of dusty oaks on US 60 where I took some photos of Encino Motel Management. I’m thinking Encino doesn’t need a whole lot of motel management.

Encino Motel Management

The highway going into Roswell has a lot of irrigation running and a number of green fields that stand out from the surrounding scrub.

I read here in Roswell that they’re going to launch some weasels up in a rocket.
“So where are they headed?” I asked.
Otter space, of course!

UFO Museum

In 1947, something happened during a severe thunderstorm northwest of Roswell, New Mexico. Was it a flying saucer? Was it a weather balloon? What happened? The Roswell UFO Museum has a lot of documentation and a lot of detail but I couldn’t get past the humanoid appearance. It’s just too easy and too science fictiony. The 1990 sighting in Doylestown, PA, did catch my eye, though. And my colonoscopy results did get me a reduced admission price.

I Saw These U.F.O.s As I Was Looking Out My Bedroom Window...

The Budget Motel had my reservation and was ready for me. The desk clerk told me I could plug my truck into my room, but the door seal was too tight for the cord. She gave me another parking space right next to the office and let me plug in there. And if I had had a mini-port-to-HDMI cable, I could have used their 32″ wall mounted Samsung for a computer monitor. The room a/c-heater fan was too loud, though.

The motel backed onto the Emergency Room landing pad for the local hospital. Two deliveries came in while I was jockeying the truck around.

I went to the Roswell Museum and Art Center the next morning. It’s home to the largest public collection of works by Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth, painters whom I knew of but had never met. I found both have become synonymous with the landscape and culture of southeastern New Mexico. Hurd was raised in Roswell where his father worked a small ranch southwest of town. His father hoped he would pursue a military career, but after NMMI and two years at West Point, Hurd dropped out of West Point to study with N. C. Wyeth in Chadds Ford in the 1920s. During the summers at Wyeth’s home, Hurd met Henriette, Andy’s sister and the eldest of the Wyeth kids. They were married in 1929 and moved permanently to their Sentinel Ranch in San Patricio, New Mexico a few years later.

I had thought of him as one of the multitude of Brandywine artists and never twigged that he might be from somewhere else. I really enjoyed that collection.

The New Mexico Military Institute is the only state-supported military high school and two-year college in the western United States. NMMI also has a “notable” collection of art and historical objects in the Roswell Museum. Their Duty, Honor, Art was a mix of portraits of officers and more traditional landscapes. Art of the Book was fascinating as was Artists by Artists (portraits of artists by others) but I didn’t think much of the Bravo/Grande project. That “interdisciplinary project that examines the relationship between regional communities and the river” but it was all pretty two-faced to me.

An Interdisciplinary Project That Examines the Relationship Between Regional Communities and the River

I didn’t visit the Goddard Planetarium because their shows are on Wednesdays and one Saturday each month and, unfortunately, I missed the Robert H. Goddard Collection of scientific equipment and rocket parts.

Next stop Midland, TX, for race cars and oil wells with maybe the rain coming right along with me.