On and Off The Mountain-Stephanie Grubert

The Philadelphia Eagles outplayed the New England Patriots to decisively win their first Super Bowl 41-33 Sunday night. The Eagles 16-3 record was better than the Patriots 15-4 and the proof was on the field, outscoring the Patriots in three out of four quarters. The Eagles were the first to score and led by MVP Eagles quarterback Nick Foles held their dominance to the end. Eagles fans have waited 57 years for their championship season, which happened in the dead of winter with outside temperatures in the single digits in the cozy warm indoor US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Don’t tell the winners it is “only a game”. It is a rich man’s game at bowl time. Tickets were sold for thousands of dollars, a big profit margin for the teams.

Last week’s column needs a correction. The Eagle received three calls from Eagles fans noting that their team played the Patriots in the 2005 Super Bowl, which was only 13 years ago. I had written “The Eagles have not played in the Super Bowl for 37 years, since 1981.” I apologize for the inaccurate research by me. I am very happy to see the Philadelphia Eagles on top against a team that has won the Super Bowl 5 times. The Eagles won the NFL Championship in 1960, before the first “Super Bowl” was played January 15, 1967.

The fans were rabid with excitement of course. There was a lot of extra security in Minneapolis before, during and after one of the largest sporting events in the world. Thanks to television we could all watch from our homes, favorite bars and restaurants, and with friends. Back in Philadelphia fans took to the streets to celebrate and some escalated their excitement to looting and other destructive behavior. It was shameful in the moment of celebration.

Then there are game time commercials. With prices of $5 million for a 30 second pitch there were still plenty of businesses jumping into the fray. Snack foods, cars, beer and alcohol, and household products were some of the categories hawking their products.

Charlie Grubert got an Amazon Echo for Christmas and he enjoys asking “Alexa” to play music and report on the current temperature. One of the commercials touting the Amazon gadget features Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and a number of actors filling in for “Alexa”, when she “loses her voice”. Smart technology? Pretty funny.

I liked the one about Budweiser switching their factory production to canned water to support relief efforts for hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico and wildfires in California. We may love our beer but we’ll love Budweiser even more for their water contribution.

Then there were several really weird commercials from Doritos, Lexus, and Groupon. Tugging at heartstrings, crashing and burning, or making us laugh—all of the high priced commercials are out to promote their products. Which ones did you enjoy the most?

Russian Connection? NO

The big news last week was the release of an Unclassified Memo by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Ongoing is Former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s independent investigation probing the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia. That exercise has been ongoing for nearly nine months and has yet to file a report.

The Memo implicates the top leadership at the FBI and the Department of Justice in securing top secret warrants to spy on a Trump volunteer with a supposedly Russian connection. This person has not had a paid job in years, according to information released last week. This drama is a “B” 1950’s Cold War tale. And it is fiction, The Russia connection to Trump was always a stretch and now that the bad actors in the FBI and the DOJ have been exposed, it is time for Muller to wrap up his activity and file a report.

Donald Trump was elected President and surreptitious activities to diminish that achievement are wrong. So far the President has put forth a positive message for the future of our country. I have always enjoyed watching and participating in the poliical process from the time my father and two other men lobbied for a second bridge over Lake Washington to the East side of King County. I was 11 years old when I carried my first (and probably last) picket sign. That bridge was built and opened five years later with the support of Washington Governor Albert Rossellini.

“Trumpland” according to voting maps included 70 percent of the counties nationwide. New York, California and their neighbors with high population concentrations want to speak for all. That’s not how it happens. Trump took 30 states to win the presidency while Hillary Clinton sealed 20. His 304 Electoral votes to Clinton’s 227 sealed the win. Trump’s ability to win over voters in crucial states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all formerly Democratic states, put him over the top.

Beginning this month workers will see more cash in their paychecks from tax rate cuts and employer raises. The stock market will soar and it will retreat. Deregulation and trade law changes will make it easier for companies to do business. Unemployment is at its lowest level of 4.1%, a 17 year low since 2001.

The politicians in our country have been running amuck for years. Some are good and some follow only their own self-serving agendas. We have a president who already has more money than he needs and whose only goal is to “Make America Great Again”. But we know that here in Mountaintop and Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and parts of New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Trump spoke to communities that lost manufacturing and suffered from the decline in the US steel and coal industries.

Trump is an advocate of job creation and tightening up immigration laws. He has initiated more changes in government and the economy than any president since Ronald Reagan. The swamp is draining.