Press Talk: Space Alien mutterings: DDSS


photoLou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor.

What if a spaceship landed just north of Esther Short Park and aliens wandered over to the county building?

They would eventually eyeball Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke.

The aliens would peer into the M&M boys' eyes — they would have this amazing power to analyze all life forms by simply looking at them — but they'd come up empty in this case, for the obvious reasons.

So, they'd try learning the old-fashioned way and pick up a week's worth of The Columbian. And — I'm tellin' ya — they'd be shocked.

The latest craziness

Apparently, the M&M boys found some taxpayer money lying around, and they wanted to give it to yet another crony. I say "another" crony because, as we all know, they threw a pile of money at Boss Hogg State Sen. Don Benton to become the county's environmental services director. Boss Hogg thinks he's an environmental expert because he can peer into sewers and see things that are clogging up the works the rest of us can't see. It's a gift, he will tell ya! Sort of like space alien powers.

This latest crony is Tea Party dude Peter Silliman. Silliman's claim to fame is he's one of the few freeholders who voted against the proposed county charter that — if passed — would weaken the powers of the M&M boys.

Oh, guess who else doesn't like the proposed charter: the M&M boys.

Silliman also has a baker's dozen of dependents, and he probably likes the idea of getting on the county's health care plan. It is, by the way — like all governmental health care plans — the sweetest in the land. Mostly courtesy of us taxpayers.

So the M&M boys write up — more like invent — a job description that my bucket of office Red Vines could meet, and bingo-bango, another buddy on the payroll.

All of this Tea Party, anti-charter, pro-M&M boys is just coincidence, of course, and has nothing to do with Silliman getting this new county job. I swear on all their reputations, it's coincidence!

Now, I wanted to give Madore a chance to defend this action, so I shipped him a message:

"Seriously commissioner, does even a little part of you think that hiring your friend Peter Silliman smacks of cronyism, or do you just figure you've gone so far down the rabbit hole there's no coming back out?"

Sadly — but not unexpectedly — I received no response.

But back to those space aliens. They would likely look at this most recent stunt, mutter to themselves and pretty quickly conclude that our highest life forms here are still pretty dang low. Possibly lower than a bucket of Red Vines. They'd head back to their ship and hope for better luck on Mars.

They wouldn't even take the M&M boys with them for a little probing.

So we're stuck with these guys and their cronies. And that means (dramatic pause required here) more stupid stuff.

Muttering Event

Speaking of stupid stuff, I had a Facebook "event" this week. I called it the Muttering Event. Not much to it, really. I just asked folks — at precisely 11:10 a.m. Thursday — to simply mutter "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" wherever they might be at that very moment.

Hey, more than 70 people showed up! I specifically reached out to Madore and Mayor Tim Leavitt. To Leavitt's credit, he joined up. Madore was a no-show.

Several folks sent in videos of them muttering, and others just commented on it.

Sometimes, when folks do stupid stuff over and over and over again, we begin to feel we have few options to correct the evils of our world.

So my sense was, muttering a little made us feel better. I know I felt better. I'm looking forward to the Second Muttering Event down the road.