Years and years ago, my wife and I were debating about where to take a summer vacation. I advocated for a “staycation,” saying we could save money by avoiding travel and hotel fees, see the sights locals rarely visit like Mount Vernon and the Library of Congress, and take the kids to the community pool. My wife argued for week-long beach vacation. In the end, we compromised—and went to the beach.
Have you filled up your gas tank recently? I did this morning on my way to work, and after the pump clicked off, the tally caused me to remember nostalgically how I used to add, almost instinctively, the $15 car wash to the total. As I drove away, I thanked the stars that my children are grown, and I no longer have to fill an SUV or mini-van more than once a week.
Outside of each year’s sprint to the month-long August recess, in Washington, there’s nothing quite like the dash to the July 4th recess to focus legislators’, policymakers’, and staffers’ minds. It’s a second-to-last- chance to get something done before Labor Day, the end of the fiscal year, and, this year mid-term elections.
This past week, I attended the Conference Board’s Government Relations Executive Council meeting. Much of the discussion revolved around current social issues—abortion, equity, guns, January 6th, ESG—and their potential impact on corporate operations. For instance, Jen Stark, Co-Director of the Center for Business and Social Justice spoke on the need for businesses to prepare themselves for the fall of Roe vs. Wade. And Anna Palmer, the founder and CEO of Punchbowl News, led a discussion about the outlook in Congress heading into the midterms.
The rampage at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two adults was a horrific and devastating attack that defies belief. I have two children of my own, and I know I would be utterly lost if I ever had to endure such an inexplicable tragedy. Because of the helplessness so many feel, I understand the desire to reach simple, black and white explanations as to “why,” as well as the need to place blame on someone or something more tangible than the country’s mental health crisis or the breakdown in the nation’s social fabric.
I’m amazed at the number of questions I continue to receive about former President Trump. It’s been more than a year and a half since the November 2020 elections, and in 30 years in the Washington office, I’ve never received as many questions from friends, family, and colleagues about a former president.
One of my closest friends is a pilot for United Airlines…I’ve asked him multiple times, in all his years flying, whether he had ever come across an unidentified flying object (UFO) or some other unexplained phenomenon. His answer has always been, “No.” Still, the intrigue over UFOs has not dissipated in Washington, and next week, a House Intelligence subcommittee will hold open hearings on the subject.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion from Justice Samuel Alito, indicating that the Court’s conservative majority is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and end the constitutional right to abortion, shook Washington and the political world like an earthquake this week.