The news alert crawled across the bottom of the television screen. First thought: This is not good. Second thought: Can’t be right, either.

Instincts would tell anyone who follows politics there was something wrong when the smartest member of Congress was accused of ethics violations…misusing tax dollars for political gain. No, the story was not about Matt Gaetz, Maxine Waters or Lauren Boebert.

Rep. Katie Porter? THAT congressperson? Misuse public funds for political gain?


The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) is accusing U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, a leading contender for retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat in California, of violating congressional ethics.

FACT is a group founded less than 10 years ago; it has been described as “a conservative counterweight” to the established watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. (”Conservative counterweight”’ means a group established to divert attention from any reported “scandal” involving Republicans.)

FACT describes itself as “dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas by hanging a lantern over public officials who put their own interests over the interests of the public good, and its mission as strengthing “our republic by demanding the truth.”

Background: In 2014, FACT’s funding came entirely from DonorsTrust. The group was led by Matthew Whitaker — who served as Trump’s acting United States Attorney General for almost three years —2014 to 2017. According to news reports, FACT reports on what it sees “as ethical lapses by prominent Democrats and requested that government agencies and law enforcement investigate them — especially if they were Hillary Clinton.”

“…by prominent Democrats” tells all one needs to know about this partisan “witch hunt” group. If FACT were really interested in facts to help the American public, political party would not be mentioned.

Now, that we’ve cleared that up… Katie Porter looks like a school marm who wandered into Congress by accident. But (and this BUT is the undoing of those who believe they are smarter than the understated California politician), her attackers are regularly slapped slobberjaws as she turns her ability to research and and her natural intellect into a verbal weed whacker when her beliefs are attacked. Her lectures to politicians who bring their own brand of alternative truth, filled with damning facts and highlighted by graphics, are legendary in Washington-on-the-Deficit for listening to gas-bloated political drones and then exploding them with obvious glee.

She looks like a mother of a bunch of kids — she has four — but is a hard-nosed graduate of both Harvard and Yale. The committees or sub-committees on which she is a member include Oversight and Reform, Natural Resources, Federal lands, Health Care and Financial Services, National Security, as well as being active in high-profile caucuses — College Affordability, End Corruption, Sustainability Energy and Environment, Gun violence prevention, Medicare for all… you get it, right? Porter is an active member of Congress.

For opponents who try to disguise the truth in or disparage her character, she goes full-on Godzilla, with mouth-flames, penetrating verbal counterpunches; she readily utilizes her destroy-and-mangle attitude. As a public servant, Porter is the real deal, the whole schmeal.*

Anyone who decides to take on Porter in any confrontational situation is Gene Hackman to Porter’s Sharon Stone in “The Quick and the Dead”: No one — no one — has a faster tongue or slashing verbal Gotcha! moves than Porter.

Those who make the decision to take on Porter, thinking of her as liberal fodder to harvest for personal political gain, can fit into the “shlimazel”* category of debaters.

She is the real-life political version of John Crawford, who famously played the part of a Porter-like businesswoman in the movie “Mommie Dearest”: “Don’t (mess) with me, fellas.”

They’ve been warned. (Smiles.)

*(Yiddish schmeal, to network effectively. shlimazel… consistently unlucky person, bad luck, misfortune.)

When doctors lie…

Nov. 3, 2020 right before the 2020 election, the White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, gave President Trump a clean bill of health.

Trump used that physical exam to declare himself a “perfect physical specimen.”

This past week Dr. Kevin O’Connor, according to a news site headline, “Claims Biden ‘Fit To Serve’ As President Despite No Cognitive Test.”

Biden (at least not yet) has not declared himself the perfect physical specimen.

The main criterion for getting the official “White House doctor” designation appears to be have no problem applying the FUDGE factor — Falsify Underlying Deficiencies to Get Elected.

Could we please-and-thank-you require any White House physician to, at the very minimum, list medical deficiencies that could adversely affect the president’s physical and mental abilities to be a key leader of the free world?

Trump was/is a physical train wreck; he is a scatter-shot thinker, is irrational, and by his actions, proves daily to be mentally unbalanced; Biden’s age and decline in mental acuity is apparent and needs to be apprised and addressed by a physician not on the patient’s payroll.

As it stands, a White House physician’s pronounced “bill of health” for a president is as useful as a Proud Boy rally promoting racial equality. Both scenarios are laughable.

— George S. Smith is a former publisher of the Marshall News Messenger.