Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Category: Humor and Weird Wilson-isms Page 1 of 22

In the spirit of her full-length book “Laughing through Life” that featured humorous stories of child-rearing and general life, Connie has written humor columns for a variety of newspapers, which Erma Bombeck’s widower described as being very much like her columns when presented with a book at an Ohio writing festival.

List of Sitting Lawmakers in IL, TX, TN, Who Betrayed Our Democracy

As the January 6th Commission convenes in Prime Time on Thursday evening (7/21), it is good to remember those representatives and Senators who betrayed our democratic values on January 6th. I have listed the states where I live and where my son and daughter live, as the names on the lists below do not deserve our future votes for office.

Here is an opinion reprint from “Daily Kos” that names the traitors in office.

by Brandi Buchmann

Now that the January 6th committee has spent more than a year investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, they have unearthed evidence, in physical records and eyewitness testimony, that overwhelmingly suggests former President Donald Trump desperately schemed to retain power after losing the 2020 election and saw this plot aided or advanced by an increasingly craven series of lawmakers, lackeys, lawyers,  aides, and right-wing extremists.

Many of those lawmakers who parroted Trump’s meritless claims of voter fraud did so at relatively the same clip he did, using their sizeable platforms, power, and influence to promote conspiracy theories about the results of the election that were disproven by the nation’s Justice Department and intelligence apparatuses and dismissed by court after court and judge after judge—including those judges Trump appointed.

When Congress finally met for the joint session on Jan. 6 to count certified elector slates and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gaveled in, throngs of protesters would breach Capitol police barriers just minutes later. Trump, live from the Ellipse, was finishing a speech where he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol. One line encouraging this in his draft speech, according to White House records provided to the committee by the National Archives, shows Trump ad-libbed this call to action four times on Jan. 6.

Testimony and other evidence collected by the committee indicate too that Trump initially tried to conceal a plan to march on the Capitol even as he, members of his campaign staff, and rally organizers moved full steam ahead. This detail drastically undercuts claims by Trump and his allies currently in Congress that say January 6 was a peaceful protest that spontaneously went awry.

The committee has also shown evidence of at least six Republican lawmakers seeking preemptive pardons from Trump in the wake of the insurrection. In a request spearheaded by Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, he went so far as to ask for a preemptive pardon for all 147 members of Congress who lodged an objection to Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Brooks also requested pardons for 126 Republicans who joined an amicus brief filed in Texas that sought to challenge election results in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

Brooks has since defended his ask while simultaneously trying to distance himself from his own inflammatory remarks delivered at the Ellipse on Jan. 6.

It was Trump who told Brooks to make the pardon request, he wrote, in a Jan. 11, 2021 email.

Notably, Brooks said he was making his inquiry “pursuant to a request” from Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. More than six weeks after Trump finally left office, it was reported for the first time by The New York Times that Gaetz was under investigation for alleged sex trafficking and sex with a minor.

In addition to Brooks and Gaetz, Hutchinson specifically named House Republicans Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. All have issued various denials about the pardons but remain vocal, staunch supporters of Trump and have continued, until now, to cast doubts or aspersions on the Jan. 6 committee’s work and standing.

Trump never issued the pardons and Brooks fell out of favor with him after he urged prospective voters during his failed campaign for a Senate seat to put the 2020 election “behind them.” Trump said Brooks went “woke” and endorsed his opponent.

The Senators who voted to overturn the 2020 election after the insurrection are:

House members in Texas, Illinois and Tennessee who voted to overturn the 2020 election results after the insurrection:

One additional Texas legislator on the list has subsequently died.

 

 

Did Chuck Grassley Collude with the January 6th Trump Insurrection?

Since we are on the border with Iowa, it is important to present this Mark Karlin article that ran on “Daily Kos.” Karlin’s point that the Secret Service should know enough not to delete phone text messages sent on one of the most momentous days in our country’s history, January 6, 2021 is common sense. The possible involvement of 88-year-old Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley in Trump’s plot is something to consider if you are an Iowa voter going to the polls at mid-terms. This year, Admiral Franken (Grassley’s probable opponent) is a charismatic alternative to the 88-year-old Chuck Grassley and—if Grassley’s slip of the tongue is legitimately a sign of Grassley’s allegiance to DJT, do you want to support a candidate willing to overthrow democratic elections who may not support the democratic principle of  the peaceful transition of power?

***

By Mark Karlin

The bombshell that the pro-Trump Secret Service deleted crucial text messages from January 5 and January 6, 2021, may be a “connect the dots” moment. It’s not just that this excised communication could have corroborated Cassidy Hutchinson’s second-hand account of Trump lunging for the steering wheel and grabbing a Secret Service member to try and compel them to drive him to the Capitol after the January 6 rally.

There might be something much more profoundly concerning: there might be Secret Service collaborators in Trump’s coup plot.

Let’s begin with a July 16, 2021, article from the Independent that is entitled, “Mike Pence refused to get in car in the midst of the January 6th riots, fearing Secret Service ‘conspiracy’, reports claim”:
Former Vice President Mike Pence purportedly refused to get into a vehicle with Secret Service agents amid the 6 January riots out of fear there was a “conspiracy” to “vindicate the insurrection”….
Mr Pence refused to evacuate the Capitol a number of additional times on January 6th as pro-Trump rioters stormed the building in a bid to prevent the certification of the 2020 election results.
In the midst of the riots, Mr. Pence was evacuated from the Senate chamber to his ceremonial office, where he remained protected by Secret Service agents alongside members of his family present that day. He was also the only elected executive branch member calling for help for the besieged Capitol, as President Trump did nothing for hours. (This will be the subject of the next January 6th Commission hearing in prime time this week.)

Then, let’s move to an eye-raising detail involving the oldest member of the Senate, Charles Grassley (R-IA), about a January 5, 2021, comment he quickly backtracked on. Heather Cox Richardson recalled the short-lived claim in her July 13 column:
On January 5, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who was the president pro tempore of the Senate, the second highest-ranking person in the Senate after the vice president, talking to reporters about the next day, said: “Well, first of all, I will be—if the Vice President isn’t there and we don’t expect him to be there— I will be presiding over the Senate.”

Grassley’s office immediately clarified that Grassley meant only that he would preside over counting of the Electoral Votes only if Vice President Mike Pence “had to step away during Wednesday’s proceedings,” and that “‘[e]very indication we have is that the vice president will be there.”

Richardson writes that the largely forgotten “we don’t expect him [Pence] to be there” statement combined with Grassley’s claim that he would then preside over the electoral count “continues to bother” her, as it should. Grassley’s statement appears, given that democracy was at stake, as something more than casual. It seems to reflect the possibility of someone who knew of Trump-world plans, but was quickly told to retract his “prediction.”

Official portrait, 2017

Charles “Chuck” Grassley (age 88)

Who knows if Grassley would have accepted the Biden electors in the swing states, given the strenuous pressure from team Trump, if he had been presiding over the electoral count? His eye-popping statement of January 5 certainly raises that question. Why would Pence need “to step away”? Why would Grassley even consider such a possibility the day before the count and insurrection unless he knew more than he was saying? Why was Pence fearful of the Secret Service driving him from the Capitol, with the result being, amidst the mob activity still in full swing at the time, that the electoral count would be delayed indefinitely or Grassley would preside over it when it resumed if Pence had complied?

This leads to the erasure of Secret Service texts from January 5 and 6 in 2021. According to a July 15 article in The Washington Post:
A government watchdog accused the U.S. Secret Service of erasing texts from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, after his office requested them as part of an inquiry into the U.S. Capitol attack, according to a letter sent to lawmakers this week.

Joseph V. Cuffari, head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, wrote to the leaders of the House and Senate Homeland Security committees indicating that the text messages have vanished and that efforts to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, attack were being hindered….
Cuffari emphasized that the erasures came “after” the Office of Inspector General requested copies of the text messages for its own investigation..

Weird Wilsonisms for Today

Two-year-old Barrett Golden grabbed his mom’s phone and—-hungry for a cheeseburger—used DoorDash to order 31 McDonald’s cheeseburgers. DoorDash delivered and Barrett ate only half of one, so, for $91.70, Barrett’s mother, Kelsey Golden, offered the neighbors free lunch on social media.

In Texarkana, Texas, fish fell from the sky. A meteorologist at NWS in Shreveport said, “We’re kind of confused as to how it happened as well, to be honest.” First, the theory was that a waterspout had picked up the fish from a nearby water source, but the National Weather Service reported no such weather activity near Texarkana, according to the “Dallas Morning News” at the time of the January event. Flooding was mentioned, but the fish were on rooftops and truck beds.  Evidence ultimately pointed to birds, specifically cormorants, which must have regurgitated the fish or dropped them while flying over the town with the shad in their beaks. The entire episode made me think of Tom Cruise’s film “Magnolia.”

 

A California court has ruled that bees are fish. Bumblebees are “invertebrates,” that lack spines and Endangered Species Act environmental lawyers argued that, because the law defines “fish” as “invertebrate,” bees should be included. A state appeals court agreed, allowing the bumblebees to be protected by the Environmental Species Act.

10 Presidential Quotes That Changed History: Do You Recognize Them?

These 10 presidential quotes were gathered and explained by folklorist and free lance writer Ben Gazur. He went into some detail about the background of each quote, which I am not going to do. Let it simply be a test of your knowledge of each of these presidents that you recognize the quotes. Mr. Gazur gave the background of each quotation, and its significance in history. Since I tend to write about politics a lot, they seem apropos. I’d need some time and some access to political books read to compile my own Top Ten Presidential quotes, but these are all good.

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant… I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.
George Washington

A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.
Abraham Lincoln

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln

It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us.
Woodrow Wilson

Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

The United States pledges before you — and therefore before the world, its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma — to devote its entire heart and mind to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.
Dwight Eisenhower

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
John F. Kennedy

We cannot, we must not, refuse to protect the right of every American to vote in every election that he may desire to participate in… It is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.
Lyndon Johnson

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
— Ronald Reagan

For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we’ve been told we’re not ready or that we shouldn’t try or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.
Barack Obama

 

July 12th Commission Hearing for the January 6th Coup D’Etat


I’m watching the taped committee hearings and am astounded at the description of the December 18th “Crazies” versus “White House Counsel” that apparently took place within the White House Oval Office (and, later, within what is known as the Yellow Oval Office in the presidential quarters.)

Herschmann, Cipollone and other members of the White House Counsel used the term “unhinged” and it is quite apparent that everything Hillary Clinton warned us about regarding Donald J. Trump’ temperament and how it made him unfit to hold high office was correct. The man didn’t want to admit defeat, so he was prepared to listen only to the crazies in the room and unwilling to listen to lawyers who had been loyal to him throughout his time in office and were—to put it mildly—sane by comparison with Rudy Giuilianni and the female lawyer Sidney Powell.

The meeting took place on December 18th and was so loud that people outside could hear the disturbance. Female attorney Sidney Powell—a major loon—-quoted Trump as saying something like, “You see what I’ve been dealing with” in reference to the sane lawyers advising DJT that none of the schemes to seize voting machines and declare martial law were going to fly.

Pat Cipollone, Chief White House Counsel, repeatedly told the crazies that they had no evidence for their claims of widespread voter fraud and even used the phrase, “put up or shut up.” The crazies couldn’t put up any evidence of voter fraud, because it did not occur in instances large enough to affect the outcome of Biden beating Trump in 2020. More evidence was presented that everyone in Trump’s “inner circle” had been telling him for some time that it was time to move on and admit that he had been defeated. Even his favorite child, daughter Ivanka, tried to get The Donald to think about conceding, but DJT’s narcissism knows no bounds and he was unwilling to admit defeat. (I couldn’t help but think how graciously Al Gore conceded in 2000 after the hanging chad controversy.)

Instead, on the heels of the unhinged December 18th meeting in the Oval Office, Trump released a tweet on Twitter on December 19th calling for all of the militant militia groups to come to the Capitol on January 6th. A woman’s group that had already applied for a permit to hold a rally asked to move its date up by two weeks in order to be present on January 6th, and two former militant Trump fanatical supporters testified about the influence of DJT on bringing them and their groups to the Capitol that day.

Testimony was heard from Dr. Donell Harvin, former Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence, who said, “All the red flags went up at that point” referencing DJT’s December 19th tweet about coming to D.C. because it’s “gonna’ be wild.” He pointed to the coordinating of the random groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys and cited operational intelligence that was gleaned from watching the Internet and was “clearly alarming.”

The Proud Boys represent White Supremacy and promote violence. Many of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have been charged with seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States on January 6th. Dec 19, 10:22 am. Kelly Meggs: “I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Forida 3% and Proud Boys” to “shut this shit down” (meaning the Big Lie of Stop the Steal.)

Ministry of Self Defense encrypted communications were shared that showed maps, plans and other work coordinating with Trump allies, including Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn had connections with Roberto Minuto, Stewart Rhodes, and Roger Stone. (He is actually pictured giving the Proud Boys salute during an initiation of some sort in a photo.)

The tweet sent on Dec. 19th served as a rallying cry for these differing groups to join together. FOS: Friends of Stone focused on various pro-Trump events and followed Roger Stone. Nov. 14th encrypted e-mail was shown telling followers to go to their state capitols and cause problems with the voter count(s), which caused the Georgia Capitol to be invaded.

“If he doesn’t do it now, as Commander in Chief, we are going to have to do it alone, on our own, in a much bloodier way.” (Stewart Rhodes) Alex Jones is shown issuing threats: “We will be back in January!”

Encrypted chats showed that Kelly Meggs spoke directly with Roger Stone to make plans for January 6th. Stone used Oath Keepers as his security force. Stone admitted that the Oath Keepers were willing and ready to use violent force against anyone, including the National Guard, who might try to remove Donald J. Trump from the presidency. Lawyer for the Oath Keepers Kelley SoRelle, explained Roger Stone’s connection to the Oath Keepers.

Ali Alexander, Roger Stone and Alex Jones: an unholy trio represented the worst of the worst. Katrina Pierson testified that Trump liked the “crazies” who defended him violently in person. “Things have gotten crazy and I definitely need some guidance” she wrote to Mark Meadows, asking him for advice about allowing the radical speakers scheduled for Trump’s January 6th rally to appear; Mark Meadows returned her call 8 minutes later. She was raising the red flag because of the very suspect nature of some of the speakers.

“I will be making a Big Speech at 10 a.m. on January 6th at the Ellipse. Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the steal!!” (A tweet not sent, but seen by the POTUS.) “Potus is going to call for it (the march) unexpectedly,” said Ali Alexander.  Ali Alexander’ twitter clearly shows that DJT was expected to urge his followers to march on the Capitol and that it was a deliberate strategy settled upon by the President. Many lines pointing out Mike Pence’s failure to do Trump’s bidding were taken from his January 6th speech and then re-inserted after Pence refused to do DJT’s bidding.

Dec. 21st White House meeting:

Mo Brooks (R, Alabama) was involved, as were Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuiliani, Andy Biggs, Louis Gohmer, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Brian Babbitt, Matt Gaetz, Paul Goser, Andy Harris, and Jody Heiss. All were involved in discussing the role of the VP in certifying the electoral votes (“the Eastman Theory”).

There was a January 4th meeting between the President, the VP and John Eastman; Pat Cipollone (Chief White House Counsel and sane legal mind) was not allowed to attend. He subsequently scoffed at the idea of the VP being able to simply announce that he was not going to do his official job of determining the winner of the presidential election.

Sarah Matthews expressed that she was part of a group of aides in the Oval Office hearing “Ideas of how we can make the RINOs do the right thing.” Trump asked that the windows of the Oval Office be left open so that the Freedom Plaza rally (of crazies) could be heard. Ali Alexander: “1776 is always an option. These degenerates in the Deep State are going to give us what we want or we are going to shut this country down.”

A former Twitter employer who wanted Trump’s messaging to his followers shut down testified:
‘When people are shooting at each other tomorrow I will try to rest in the knowledge that we tried.’ (former Twitter employee who warned of Trump’s use of Twitter to stir up insurrection.)

Debbie Lesko (R, AZ) – “We have Antifa, we also have, quite honestly, Trump supporters who actually believe that we are going to be able to overturn the election and when we don’t, they are going to go nuts!”

Gratitude Quotes: Try ‘Em; You’ll Like ‘Em

Museum of Science & Industry

I’m going to be “in transit” today (and probably tomorrow) but here are some Gratitude Quotes to entertain, They say that writing down 3 things you are grateful for nightly can “re-set” your expectations. Here are some starters from some famous folk:

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
— Cicero

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
— Melody Beattie, author

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.
— Maya Angelou

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.
— Eckhart Tolle

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
— Dale Dauten, business coach

Your bounty is beyond my speaking. But though my mouth be dumb, my heart shall thank you.
— Nicholas Rowe, writer

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
— Karl Barth, theologian

O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
— William Shakespeare

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
— Willie Nelson

I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.
— Oprah Winfrey

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.
— Henry David Thoreau

Armie Hammer Is Now A Time-Share Salesman

Armie Hammer and wife (2018 SXSW Festival, photo by Connie Wilson)

I never thought I’d type the words “Armie Hammer is now working as a time-share salesman.” I’m guessing that Armie Hammer never thought he’d become one, either.

I met the actor at SXSW (with  his then-wife) hyping a film directed by Stanley Tucci. The film, released in 2017, was “Final Portrait.” It was “the story of Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti.” The movie starred Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer and Tony Shalhoub. It was written and directed by Stanley Tucci. Tucci—who is, also, coincidentally, the brother-in-law of “A Quiet Place” star Emily Blunt (married to her sister)—was not there in person, but he sent Armie Hammer and it was shown in the theater right next door to the Paramount, the Stateside (formerly the State Theater) on Opening Night, a theater where I had previously seen a troupe of trained cats entertain my granddaughters. [Some of the cats escaped during the show and we were cautioned about opening the door to the lobby.]

“Final Portrait” Red Carpet at SXSW.

This theater was built in 1935 and, after renovations through the years, what remains looks every one of those 86 years of age. It comfortably seats 305 today. In 1950 it was announced that it seated 997; I cannot imagine how that was possible, unless the patrons were stacked like cordwood. The theater itself fell on hard times in the 70s and suffered a water main break in June of 2006 that  delayed its 70-year anniversary celebration.

“A Quiet Place” was going to be opening the festival next door at the Paramount.  I had secured a ticket to “A Quiet Place” because the writers of that film were Bettendorf (IA) natives Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. I decided to see if I could hit both at once, leaving “Final Portrait” early because, honestly, I had little interest in this obscure Italian painter and sculptor, but was intensely interested in how “A Quiet Place” would do as Paramount’s Opening Night Film at SXSW. It was a wise decision.

Armie Hammer at the Red Carpet at the Stateside Theater in Austin (Tx) for Final Portrait, Stanley Tucci’s directorial debut. (Photo by Connie Wilson).

Troubles began immediately. We were all crowded into a tiny lobby of the Stateside Theater, but the projector wasn’t operative or the film was flawed or some other technical problem was causing those in charge to attempt to carry a laptop computer to the control booth. The plan, as I overheard it, was to show us the film from the computer stream. That didn’t sound like the Opening Night experience I had in mind, so, after meeting and greeting the extremely handsome Armie Hammer, I split for “A Quiet Place” next door at the Paramount—but not before taking the pictures you see here.

Then came news of Armie’s infidelities and his texts about cannibalism and other such revelations. Still, he was the “star” of “Death on the Nile” and was in too many scenes to remove him, so Armie had another day in the sun. And Armie’s family is extremely wealthy, as profiled in a “Vanity Fair” article.

Now, according to the “Daily Globe,” Armie’s days in the sun are spent in the Cayman Islands selling time shares for $2,000 a week or $21,000 for 10 years at Morritt’s Resort. At least, he was spotted there in June pricing a unit with potential buyers, although his agent denied  this when asked.

In another weird story, Elon Musk is not going to spend $44 billion buying Twitter and will probably be sued for backing out of the deal.

I was tempted to entitle this story “Death in the Caymans” (but you’d have to be aware that Armie Hammer was in that 2022 movie).

After all, Armie’s family is still filthy rich and he’s still extremely handsome, so it’s hard to feel too sorry for him, even now. His downfall was caused by inappropriate texting, a fascination with cannibalism, and infidelity; hard to blame anyone but Armie for his demise.

 

 

July 6th: Post Family Fest

Today is July 6th, Wednesday.

The Texas heat is still here (it will feel like 105 tomorrow), but at least we don’t have the storms that seem to be hitting the Midwest.

The last of the Family Fest revelers will be leaving tomorrow at 9 a.m.

We are here through July 11th and I have a desire to dine at the Roaring Fork at least once before we go back to the Midwest.

Beyond that, our euchre club meets on Wednesdays and that might beckon tomorrow.

The last 5 days have been very hot, but very event-filled. Kudos to the son and daughter-in-law, who put it all together.

I began doing some research on the driver’s license renewal laws for Illinois versus Iowa versus Texas. There is no real reason for this, other than I will have to renew mine in 2024 (I renewed it last year) and I was curious. Perhaps you will find this as interesting as I did.

  1.  Illinois:  In Illinois, if you are past 75, you have to drive with the driver’s license examiner in the car and you only get a license for 2 years. Naturally, vision tests and insurance proof are required. I also would mention that the minimum wage in Illinois is $12.00.
  2. Iowa:  In Iowa—where the minimum wage is $7.25, just what it was when I owned 2 busineses back in the 80s, 90s and through 2003—you get a 2-year license, but you have to show up in person and take a vision screening (and, sometimes, a written test). You do not have to drive with the examiner every time.
  3. Texas:  In Texas, between the ages of 79 and 85 you get a 6-year license. You can renew it online. There may be a vision screening/written test, but there is no driving with the examiner requirement. The minimum wage is $7.25. So now you know.

    Connie, Stacey, Craig and (nephew) Michael Wilson at the outdoor Armadillo Bar in Austin, Texas, on July 3, 2022.

Fourth of July Wilson Family Fest, 2022, One for the Books

Front row: Stacey Wilson, Ava Wilson, Elise Wilson ad Aaron Eddy (in glasses).
Rachel (girlfriend) and Michael Wilson (full beard).
Jessica Wilson in center, wearing hat. Owen Castelein (9 years old) next to his father Chris Castelein (my nephew on the Corcoran side). Scott Wilson with hand up (the host); Hannah Wilson Poffenbarger (glasses on head in center). Megan Wilson Eddy with baby Winnie; Matt Wilson and Mark Wilson; Regina Wilson Nelson; Samantha Liss Wilson (back right, mouth open, hat on head). Sophia Castelein, daughter of Chris (above Jess’s hat). Standing on steps to pool: Craig and Connie Wilson. Standing, clothed, by pool’s edge: Steve Nelson.

Celebrants traveled from Denver, St. Louis, Nashville, the IA/IL Quad Cities, and from the local neighborhood of Austin, Texas, to add up to, at times, a total of close to 30 Wilsons and friends, celebrating the Fourth of July with delicious home-cooked brisket, ribs, sausage and side dishes with an active slate of competitions, including bags tournaments, a new Skip-and-Toss in-pool game, pool volleyball, foosball, and (at a nearby Armadillo Garden bar night), a game involving hooking a metal loop onto a hook.

The temperatures were near 100 degrees and that sounds as though it stretched across the U.S., as friends I spoke with in Des Moines and Minneapolis were complaining about the excessive heat, as well.

Big debts of gratitude are owed the host and hostess of the event, Scott and Jessica Wilson, who had 13 people sleeping at their house at one point. My small ranch hosted two of the guests, and a For-Rent-By-Owner house with 3 bedrooms housed most of the 8 people from St. Louis who flew in.

Along with the back yard festivities a water park and a go-kart track have been scheduled into the mix and, in other years, we rented a traveling bar and peddled it around town, took the Austin bat cruise at night, and rented a pontoon boat for floating on a nearby lake. All-in-all, it sounds like a massive undertaking to bring all the elements to fruition at the right time and in the right sequence, and when you add in at least 6 school-age children of various ages and an 11-month old baby about to turn one on August 23rd, satisfying everyone’s expectations for the holiday is quite a chore.

In a previous pre-pandemic year the fireworks, visible from the house driveway, were spectacular, but the dry conditions existing in this area now brought many words of caution regarding the locals setting off fireworks. While we could hear fireworks, we really couldn’t see that many and ended up watching fireworks mostly on television.

Daughter Stacey; Granddaughters Elise (with baby Winnie) and Ava Wilson.

The news of the Highland Park Massacre of spectators at a Fourth of July parade in their downtown area was a constant background noise. We held this event—mostly outdoors—during the pandemic and barely left the house that year. With the violence in this country extending to malls, houses of worship, concerts, parades and other gatherings, one wonders if staying away from crowds at all times is going to become de rigeur The first thing I said to my husband after the Highland Park massacre was that my literary agent lives in nearby Deerfield and that the towns, like Skokie, Illinois, have a sizable Jewish population. I wondered if this kind of hate crime was a factor?

Just a moment ago, on CNN, a local rabbi appeared, supposedly to share an encounter he had had with the shooter in the months before the cowardly attack, but the rabbi, Rabbi Yosef Schanowitz had been told not to talk about his April encounter with the accused shooter. It’s a sad commentary that this rabbi sketched how his religious group has to have armed guards (off duty policemen) and other synagogue members who are legally armed to protect worshipers in America from violence.

Those who know the history of the Holocaust know that Hitler made the Jews and gypsies the whipping boys and girls for his subsequent crimes and it is tragic to think that people who merely want to pray have to be protected against acts of random violence.

Cousins Chris Castelein (Hiawatha, IA), and host Scott Wilson (Brodie Springs, Austin, Tx). Chris and Scott were college roomnates and Chris was Best Man in Scott’s wedding 20 years ago.

Although this event injected a note of extreme sadness into the otherwise joyous weekend, this event in the very community where the films “Risky Business,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” and “Home Alone” were filmed will remain linked with this year’s Family Fest.

This one is in the books and hats off to the Chief Organizers (Scott & Jessica) who put up with the presence of 21 family members, plus others, for periods of up to a week. Most began drifting out on the actual Fourth of July and the remnants of the party group, with the exception of Yours Truly, who will be here until July 11th have now properly celebrated our nation’s birthday. Since we’re in Texas and one never knows what the Texans will want to do about remaining in the United States (of America), this is one for the books and here is an Emily Dickinson quote that seems appropriate.

 

Democrats: Turn Out Tomorrow (June 28) to Save Cheri Bustos’ Former Seat for the Party

These are the Democratic candidates running tomorrow to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional district. This district was formerly represented by Cheri Bustos, who is not running for re-election and faced a tough battle against Esther Joy King last time out. This district is considered a Battleground District, with no incumbents running. You may find the $ spent by each, listed near the end, interesting. (I did). Or the redistricting information about the district, itself. to know which candidate to vote for, you may find the information below, from Ballotpedia helpful.

There are 6 Democratic candidates to select amongst in tomorrow’s primary. One of them seems to be running on a very pro-marijuana cannabis platform, [which is somewhat novel.] (McGowan). One of them was the weatherman and is running a lot of TV ads; he also said he was afraid of storms in his candidate statement. [Interesting job choice.] (Sorensen). One of them, from Rockford, was on the Moline School Board (Normoyle). One of them was a member of the Rockford City Council (Logemann), One of them (Williams) keeps talking about running for the 16th District. Confused me plenty, because I’m not Ballotpedia. The Black candidate from Chicago, Litesa Wallace, is on the right side of Roe v. Wade and many other issues and was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2020. There was a lot of information about how redistricting changed the lines of the districts, so perhaps that is an explanation as to why Williams says she is running in District #16, when I thought it was #17. Williams statement has a heavy trade school emphasis.

One thing is clear: keeping the district in Democratic hands is paramount in a year that has seen a packed Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade and the January 6th Commission hearings are uncovering more ties to the top levels of the GOP and attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Esther Joy King (GOP candidate) is a threat. Whomever you select from the list of 6 Democratic candidates, make sure they can go the distance to stand up for our democracy in the face of the corrupt GOP attempts to take over the levers of power at the local level(s) by turning poll watchers into poll workers.

Candidates
Jonathan Logemann
Jacqueline McGowan
Angie Normoyle
Eric Sorensen
Litesa Wallace
Marsha Williams

 

Litesa E. Wallace (born 1978) is an American politician who served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 67th district from August 2014 to January 2019.

Early life and education

Wallace was born in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University, followed by a Master of Arts in marriage and family counseling and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Northern Illinois University. She was appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives in August, 2014, by the Winnebago County Democratic Party, succeeding Charles E. Jefferson, whose Chief of Staff she had been. Litesa’s mother was a postal worker. Her father was a policeman who helped integrate the San Diego Police Department.

2018 Illinois Gubernatorial Campaign and Aftermath

Wallace ran for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in the 2018 Democratic primary alongside State Senator Daniel Biss, replacing Biss’s initial pick, Chicago alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. In a video announcing the joint ticket, Wallace commented that she and Biss had both “fought for childcare assistance, a $15 minimum wage, to expand healthcare, and to make millionaires pay their fair share.” Biss and Wallace lost the Democratic primary to J. B. Pritzker (coincidentally, a millionaire) and his running mate Julianna Stratton.

In the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Wallace was a supporter of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign

From Twitter: My thoughts are with @RepKinzinger. The Big Lie is a terrible cancer on this nation. It makes the work of the @January6thCmte even more urgent. We must reject political violence, restore sanity to the public sphere and raise our voices against extremism. twitter.com/thehill/status…

Adam Kinzinger was gerrymandered out of existence in Ottawa; his district will probably be ceded to GOP candidate Darren LaHood (who used to be my next-door neighbor and is the son of Ray LaHood, former Secretary of Transportation under Barack Obama).

Latesa is a big supporter of a woman’s right to choose and features a Ruth Bader-Ginsburg quote on her official site as a candidate for the 17th Congressional District.

Our Revolution, the Illinois Federation of TeachersDemocracy for America, and the Illinois chapter of the SEIU have endorsed Wallace.[13][14]

The lines of the 17th district changed after re-districting. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district had a partisan lean of R+5, while the new district has a partisan lean of D+4. One election forecaster rates the general election Tilt Democratic, while two rate it a Toss-up, suggesting it will be competitive.[15]

Jacqueline McGowan and Marsha Williams are also running in the primary.

Jacqueline McGowan (D), Angie Normoyle (D), Eric Sorensen (D), and Marsha Williams (D) completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Click their names to view their responses.

This page focuses on Illinois’ 17th Congressional District Democratic primary. For more in-depth information on the district’s Republican primary and the general election, see the following pages:

  • https://ballotpedia.org/Illinois%27_17th_Congressional_District_election,_2022_(June_28_Republican_primary)

 

 

Candidate comparison

Candidate profiles

This section includes candidate profiles created in one of two ways: either the candidate completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, or Ballotpedia staff compiled a profile based on campaign websites, advertisements, and public statements after identifying the candidate as noteworthy. For more on how we select candidates to include, click here.

Jonathan Logemann

Party: Democratic Party

Incumbent: No

Political Office:

Rockford, City Council – 2nd Ward (Assumed office: 2017)

Biography:  Logemann earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009, an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a master of public policy & administration from Northwestern University. Logemann joined the Army National Guard in 2012 and led advising missions in Afghanistan. He worked as an educator in the Rockford public schools system and was elected Rockford’s 2nd Ward alderman in 2017.

KEY MESSAGES

The following key messages were curated by Ballotpedia staff. For more on how we identify key messages, click here.

Logemann said he decided to run because he felt a call to serve. “My country is very important to me, and my community is very important to me,” Logemann said in October. “As a teacher, and with my service in the Illinois National Guard and as an alderman … none of these are glamorous jobs at all, but service to community is something that’s very important to me,” he wrote.

On the economy, Logemann’s website said, “What working families need most right now is more money in their pockets. That’s why I support a middle-class tax cut, while making the wealthy pay their fair share. We also need to extend the child tax credit and make child care more accessible and affordable.”

Logemann wrote, “Our country has a lot of work to do to get back on its feet from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of my service with the Illinois Army National Guard, I’m proud to have played a role in my unit’s mission to support vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing sites in Illinois. In Congress, I’ll be a champion for pandemic preparedness and planning for any future crises Illinoisans may face –– including preparation for the next threat, the next pandemic.”

Jacqueline McGowan

Party: Democratic Party

Incumbent: No

Political Office: None

Submitted Biography:  “I was born and raised in California and moved to Chicago after high school. This is when I began an 18 year career as a stock broker; 9 of those years in Illinois and another 9 in New York. After a very successful career in a fast paced and male dominated industry where I negotiated high stakes deals, I left to become a cannabis policy advisor. The proudest project I worked on was where my two career worlds collided, I helped facilitate the sale of an abandoned prison for a cannabis company due to both my negotiating skills, and my cannabis policy expertise, I helped ensure that this process was fully compliant with local, state, and federal laws. This facility is now growing cannabis where it used to grow food for inmates. I aspire to become the first openly proud cannabis consuming Congressperson in D.C. and feel that more of us need to be open about our use of this plant in order to help destigmatize this type of medical consumption. Congress is an exceptionally brutal field and I feel I am the most dominating and most qualified Democrat to represent this wonderful district of hard working people. ”

KEY MESSAGES

To read this candidate’s full survey responses, click here.

I am certain that I am the most qualified candidate to beat a Trump Republican in this District. I offer the greatest probability of retaining this a blue seat. I have a proven record of differentiating myself and thriving in challenging , competitive, and demanding situations.

Like the majority of my constituents, I know what it takes to be self made, and self driven. I understand how important and valuable the access to opportunity is and how Congress must continue to invest in our District to create opportunities.

We have several great candidates but I don’t believe they are as tough as I am. I am goal oriented and outcome driven. My goal is singularly focused and that is to keep this seat blue. I will not rest until I have exhausted every possible path to ensuring that Kevin McCarthy does not become the next Speaker of the House. There is no more ruthless environment than Wall Street, and there is no more convoluted political environment than in the cannabis policy space and I have exceptional experience and success in both of these arenas. It is my experience that makes me the most qualified to go into this political shark tank and succeed in fighting for the hard working people in District 17.

Angie Normoyle

Party: Democratic Party

Incumbent: No

Political Office: None

Submitted Biography:  “This district is my home; I was born in Rockford and grew up just north of the city. I’ve lived in the Quad Cities for 25 years, where I raised my family. I have family in the Peoria and Galesburg areas, and I pledge to reach every county multiple times throughout my bid for Congress. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Augustana College and my M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. I have served on both the Rock Island County Board and the Moline School Board and currently teach at Augustana College. We need more representatives in Washington who lead with a local approach – who meet with community leaders, hold open meetings, and listen to residents of the district, not special interests. Throughout my time serving my community here, I have done just that. I am running for Congress to keep the promise of the American dream—if you are willing to work hard, you should be able to get a great education, buy a home, raise a family, and retire with dignity in your own community.”

This district has been my home for the majority of my life, and I’m deeply committed to investing in a healthy community. We need more representatives who lead with a local approach – who meet with community leaders, hold open meetings, and listen to community members, not special interests.

I will be a representative for everyone, so we can work on strengthening our economy, investing in our schools, and improving our infrastructure. I want my kids and your kids to see a future here at home.

I will fight for economic policies that protect workers and small businesses. I will promote universal preschool and increased funding for public schools. I will help update our infrastructure by supporting clean water, local bridges, and broadband access for all.

Eric Sorensen

Party: Democratic Party

Incumbent: No

Political Office: None

Submitted Biography:  “Growing up, I was terrified of storms. But my local weatherman, “TV Eric,” explained what was happening, and helped me feel safe during them. From a young age I knew that I wanted to be “TV Eric,” and at age 27 that dream came true when I became the Chief Meteorologist at WREX in Rockford. For two decades, I was your weatherman. I spent 22 years keeping you safe by telling the truth, informing, and educating our communities daily. Because telling you how the weather impacted your jobs, schools, weekends, and yes, sometimes your lives, I earned your trust through thousands of broadcasts bringing you the daily weather and important updates about “once in a century” storms. To me, being a meteorologist has always been about protecting our neighbors and our communities, values I learned from my family at an early age. Today I live in Moline with my partner Shawn and our two dogs Oliver and Petey. We enjoy bike riding, kayaking, and exploring good food in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas.”

I was a TV news meteorologist for 22 years, earning community trust and keeping people safe by telling the truth. We need more trust between Congress and the people, and I’ll work to rebuild trust by looking out for people just like when I was the local weatherman.

I dedicated my career to discovering the truth and keeping people accurately informed. The pandemic, vaccine disinformation, and ongoing climate crises show that it’s more important than ever to elect scientists to Congress. We need more science leadership to keep people informed, not political partisanship.

In Congress, I will continue to stand up for vulnerable communities, and I will fight to protect the rights of all people against discriminatio

Marsha Williams

Party: Democratic Party

Incumbent: No

Political Office: None

Submitted Biography:  “Marsha is a mother of three, philanthropist and community advocate running for Congress in Illinois’ 16th congressional district. Through her work at a local trade school, Marsha has helped hundreds of people obtain job training to lift themselves out of poverty through good-paying, stable careers. Marsha’s compassion, candor, and love of people makes her THE candidate to represent Illinois District 16. And with her refusal to accept a dime of corporate PAC or lobbyist money, it’s going to take a lot of small-dollar contributions from folks like you to get her over the finish line.”

Income Based Repayment Programs for Trade Schools

Medicare for All

Reducing Maternal, fetal and infant mortality rates.

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey responses

Ballotpedia asks all federal, state, and local candidates to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Our survey allows voters to really access their candidates and get the information they need to feel confident they’re picking the best candidate for the role. The section below shows responses from candidates in this race who completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey.

Survey responses from candidates in this race

Click on a candidate’s name to visit their Ballotpedia page.

Campaign ads

This section includes a selection of up to three campaign advertisements per candidate released in this race, as well as links to candidates’ YouTube, Vimeo, and/or Facebook video pages. If you are aware of other links that should be included, please email us.

 Jonathan Logemann

June 13, 2022

View more ads here:

 Jacqueline McGowan

Ballotpedia did not come across any campaign ads for McGowan while conducting research on this election. If you are aware of any ads that should be included, please email us.

 Angie Normoyle

Ballotpedia did not come across any campaign ads for Normoyle while conducting research on this election. If you are aware of any ads that should be included, please email us.

 Eric Sorensen

May 12, 2022

View more ads here:

 Litesa Wallace

February 4, 2022

View more ads here:

 Marsha Williams

Ballotpedia did not come across any campaign ads for Williams while conducting research on this election. If you are aware of any ads that should be included, please email us.

Endorsements

Click the links below to see official endorsement lists published on candidate campaign websites for any candidates that make that information available. If you are aware of a website that should be included, please email us.

Election competitiveness

General election race ratings

See also: Race rating definitions and methods

Ballotpedia provides race ratings from three outlets: The Cook Political ReportInside Elections, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Each race rating indicates if one party is perceived to have an advantage in the race and, if so, the degree of advantage:

  • Safe and Solid ratings indicate that one party has a clear edge and the race is not competitive.
  • Likely ratings indicate that one party has a clear edge, but an upset is possible.
  • Lean ratings indicate that one party has a small edge, but the race is competitive.[16]
  • Toss-up ratings indicate that neither party has an advantage.

Race ratings are informed by a number of factors, including polling, candidate quality, and election result history in the race’s district or state.[17][18][19]

Race ratings: Illinois’ 17th Congressional District election, 2022Note: Ballotpedia updates external race ratings every week throughout the election season.

Race trackerRace ratings
June 21, 2022June 14, 2022June 7, 2022May 31, 2022
The Cook Political ReportToss-upToss-upToss-upToss-up
Inside Elections with Nathan L. GonzalesTilt DemocraticTilt DemocraticTilt DemocraticTilt Democratic
Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal BallToss-upToss-upToss-upToss-up

Election spending

Campaign finance

This section contains campaign finance figures from the Federal Election Commission covering all candidate fundraising and spending in this election.[20] It does not include information on fundraising before the current campaign cycle or on spending by satellite groups. The numbers in this section are updated as candidates file new campaign finance reports. Candidates for Congress are required to file financial reports on a quarterly basis, as well as two weeks before any primary, runoff, or general election in which they will be on the ballot and upon the termination of any campaign committees.[21] Click here to view the reporting schedule for candidates for U.S. Congress in 2022. The next campaign finance filing deadline is July 15, 2022.

U.S. Congress campaign reporting schedule, 2022ReportClose of booksFiling deadline

Year-end 202112/31/20211/31/2022
April quarterly3/31/20224/15/2022
July quarterly6/30/20227/15/2022
October quarterly9/30/202210/15/2022
Pre-general10/19/202210/27/2022
Post-general11/28/202212/08/2022
Year-end 202212/31/20221/31/2023

NamePartyReceipts*Disbursements**Cash on handDate

Eric SorensenDemocratic Party$450,665$311,032$139,633As of June 8, 2022
Jonathan LogemannDemocratic Party$375,563$274,256$101,306As of June 8, 2022
Angie NormoyleDemocratic Party$202,780$153,500$49,280As of June 8, 2022
Litesa WallaceDemocratic Party$179,172$153,961$25,211As of June 8, 2022
Marsha WilliamsDemocratic Party$62,320$26,272$55,127As of June 8, 2022
Jacqueline McGowanDemocratic Party$28,678$27,094$1,584As of June 8, 2022
Source: Federal Elections Commission, “Campaign finance data,” 2022.

According to the FEC, “Receipts are anything of value (money, goods, services or property) received by a political committee.”
** According to the FEC, a disbursement “is a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit or gift of money or anything of value to influence a federal election,” plus other kinds of payments not made to influence a federal election.

  • BEE GONE: A POLITICAL PARABLE

 

Republican primary for U.S. House Illinois District 17

Charlie Helmick and Esther Joy King are running in the Republican primary for U.S. House Illinois District 17 on June 28, 2022.

Candidate
Charlie Helmick
Esther Joy King

 

 

 

 

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