This and That

A transition at another time

In December 1975, Jimmy Carter was President-Elect and Walter Mondale was Vice President-Elect. It was a different time. There was no argument about who had won. Jerry Ford conceded, and the transition went forward in an orderly fashion.

Mondale selected Dick Moe to be his Chief of Staff, Jim Johnson as his Executive Assistant, and I was to be Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff.

Up until that time, the Vice President and his staff were officed in the
Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) across the driveway from the White House but within the WH premises.

President–Elect Carter invited Mondale to use an office in the West Wing of the White House just down the hall from the President’s office. Mondale readily accepted. The office previously used regularly by Vice Presidents in the EEOB became the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office.

Outgoing Vice-President Rockefeller and his staff were very helpful and as a result I was offered the opportunity move into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on January 3, 1977.

When I arrived, I was offered a staff person from Vice-President Rockefeller’s staff to help me. That person was Kathleen Ambrose. I always believed her real job was to keep an eye on me to make sure I didn’t go anywhere I shouldn’t go on the complex.

I quickly learned that there was much to learn about operating in the greater complex and I offered Kathleen a job as my assistant. Happily, she accepted and became a very important part of the Mondale team. (We became fast friends and remain that way to this day.)

When the administration started, and we were all ensconced in our offices
in the EEOB (Jim Johnson officed with Mondale in the White House), I did a little research into who had previously used my office (actually, Kathleen did most of the work).

In a previous era, the building had housed the State, War, and Navy Departments. I learned that my office had previously been used by President Theodore Roosevelt and by President Franklin Roosevelt when each of them was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The building’s archivist was able to come up with pictures of the two men using the office when they were in the Navy.

38% of U.S. adults say they are comfortable going out to eat, returning to levels from late October and early November following a dip before Thanksgiving. [Morning Consult 12/1/20]

As of November 27, the Federal Register for 2020 already totaled 76,418 pages. At this time in 2019, the Register totaled 65,906 and in 2018 – 62,240 pages. [Ballotpedia news 11/28/20]

As of December 5, 2020, 60% of Americans said they plan to get vaccinated, up from 51% in September. [PEW 12/5/20]

Minnesota is the top turkey producer in the nation. In that state, the seventh congressional district tops the field. [Minnesota Post 12/3/20]

64% say marijuana should be legal at the federal level and 25% say it should not. [Politico/Morning Consult Poll 12/7/20]

A 2020 government survey found that 80% of Mexican women don’t feel safe in their own country. The WHO has reported that about half of all women in Mexico will experience sexual or intimate-partner violence during their lifetime. [WP 11/27/20]

Odds and Ends

“The curve is flattening so we can start lifting restrictions now” is like saying “The parachute has slowed our rate of descent, so we can take it off now.”

This morning saw a neighbor talking to her dog. It was obvious she thought her dog understood her. I came into my house and told my cat. We laughed a lot.

I need to practice social distancing from the refrigerator.

“Paraprosdokians” are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous. Here are a half dozen examples.

  • I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.
  • He taught me housekeeping; when I divorce, I keep the house.
  • I haven’t slept for 10 days, because that would be too long.
  • Standing in the park today, I was wondering why a frisbee looks larger the closer it gets…then it hit me.
  • When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.