The world has indeed gone mad. We have religious zealots going all the way to the Supreme Court, claiming their religious freedom is being violated because they’re not allowed to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. We have political opponents of the president claiming he’s both a wimp/pussy/weak/feckless leader and a dictator at the same time. We have a country on the verge of descending into pure fascism, and people are either too busy, too broke or too uninformed to take the action necessary to turn things around.
Please vote in November. Please support progressive candidates, as they’re the ones who are really trying to fix this mess. And how about considering running for office? Something really has got to give.
Today’s show began with a conversation with one of those progressive representatives who is really trying to fix the mess, Congressman Alan Grayson.
Grayson’s office has never put any restrictions on what I could or couldn’t ask him. And although I think that personal matters are private, Alan Grayson’s personal life was dragged into the spotlight by the myriad of media reports about his estranged wife’s domestic abuse charges, that were later proven false and subsequently dropped.
But, as we all know, once those allegations are made, they tend to live forever, regardless of the facts (that in this case exonerated the congressman of any wrongdoing).
Thinking I was giving him the opportunity to clear the air once and for all, I now understand that it’s not quite that simple. Thankfully, I’ve never been through a divorce (one of the benefits of never marrying), but divorces are messy. And since the Grayon’s divorce is ongoing, his attorneys have been adamant that he not comment on it in public. So, his office put out the following statements:
When the petition was dropped:
“Ms. Carson-Grayson has apparently dropped the petition for injunction that she levied against the Congressman last week, and will no longer pursue a restraining order against him. Ms. Carson-Grayson’s complaint was voluntarily dismissed today.
“While this is certainly positive news, we want to emphasize that these baseless charges should never have been brought in the first place. Two eyewitness accounts, video evidence, a thorough police investigation, and Ms. Carson-Grayson’s own 911 call confirmed the Congressman’s innocence – and that Ms. Carson-Grayson was, in fact, the aggressor.
“For the sake of the all parties involved, we sincerely hope that this concludes Ms. Carson-Grayson’s efforts to misrepresent and exploit the family’s private affairs.
“As many Americans know, dealing with the intensely personal and emotional matter of divorce is challenging enough – the added pressure of trying to protect your family’s privacy, while being forced to defend yourself from false accusations as awful as these ones, has made for an emotional and stressful time for all members of the Grayson family.”
When the sheriff’s department said they would not pursue the case:
“Today the Orange County Sheriff’s Department confirmed what we have known all along: Congressman Grayson did nothing wrong. We are relieved that this ridiculous ordeal is over, and that the Congressman can continue to focus on taking care of his family and serving his constituents.”
“It has come to our attention that Ms. Grayson has filed a completely dishonest complaint against Congressman Alan Grayson regarding personal matters that took place last week. These allegations are absolutely false, completely unfounded, and clearly designed to vilify and harm Congressman Grayson.
“Congressman Grayson firmly denies Ms. Grayson’s frivolous accusations. Witnesses at the scene during the time in question also reject Ms. Grayson’s version of events as an outright lie. Sadly, it was Ms. Grayson who physically attacked the Congressman as he attempted to visit with his children. He did not respond to Ms. Grayson’s violent assault.
“Since filing for divorce, Ms. Grayson’s behavior has become increasingly erratic, and she has demonstrated an alarming disconnect from reality. Congressman Grayson is deeply concerned by her recent behavior and is profoundly pained by her accusations.
“Despite Ms. Grayson’s attempt to drag the family’s personal affairs into the public, Congressman Grayson would like to emphasize that this is a private family matter. His priority remains protecting the well-being of his five children during this painful process, and we kindly ask that you respect the privacy of all members of the Grayson family as they work through this difficult time.”
I should have understood that request and not pursued the questioning (as I do believe there’s no story there, that the congressman was exonerated and that his soon-to-be-ex-wife is, frankly, nuts), and have cut that part of our interview from the podcast and show archives.
We did talk about the media reports that name Grayson as one of six members of Congress who hold investments in Russian companies (perhaps I didn’t push hard enough on questions about potential conflicts of interest?), the challenge to the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act heard by the Supreme Court yesterday, and the potential for college athletes to be allowed to form a union in the wake of yesterday’s NLRB ruling. All of that is still available in today’s podcast.
I apologize for editing content, but agree that I should have left personal matters out of the interview.
Also on today’s show, listeners got to meet my significant other! David Sloane is an agent who represents professional baseball players. He explained what yesterday’s ruling by the National Labor Relations Board means, and how it may affect college athletes going forward.
And Rob Boston, director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church & State, and author of the new book, Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do weighed in on the ramifications of Tuesday’s SCOTUS hearing.
This week, we were plagued with streaming issues. I think I narrowed the problem down to AT&T’s Uverse internet service. I’m getting cable internet installed tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll be streaming smoothly by Monday. Keep your fingers crossed…