blarney |ˈblärnē| (New Oxford Edition Dictionary)
• talk that aims to charm, pleasantly flatter, or persuade : he had the “street charm” of an Irish politician, but this blarney concealed his inner self.
• amusing and harmless nonsense : this story is perhaps just a bit of blarney.
Verb ( -neys, -neyed) [ trans. ]
• influence or persuade (someone) using charm and pleasant flattery.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: named after Blarney, a castle near Cork in Ireland, where there is a stone said to give the gift of persuasive speech to anyone who kisses it.
Whether you call it “Blarney”, nonsense, the gift of gab, hooey, or simple misleading talk, John Kline sure has it.
The question is whether he realizes that some citizens are catching on to it
— Peter Teravskis (@PTerav) March 15, 2014
Let’s face it, John Kline is a classic politician — concealing his inner self (and his need to appease his Washington corporate sponsors) — while presenting himself as the “gregarious Grandpa”.
Last week, there was the photo-op and press release after a meeting at the Eagan Fire Safety Center
“As our local communities are trying to cope with the slowest economic recovery since WWII, our career and volunteer firefighters need to be provided with the resources necessary to be equipped and trained so they can respond to all hazards,” said Kline. “I am pleased to continue working with local firefighters, and aid and assist them in their critical mission of keeping our communities safe.”
Great to know … fire, just like other natural (and man-made) disasters can have devastating effects — like when 50 acres burned in the Boundary Waters near Cummings Lake in 2012 or the more than 150 acres that burned in the BWCA in 2011.
Yet, this little speech had a little blarney in it … as it was just June 6, 2013 when the House voted overwhelmingly to approve an additional $10 million for State and local grant programs to ensure local towns and communities can be prepared for catastrophic wildfires before they occur … except, John Kline voted against that funding. BTW, the proposal was cost neutral … it would have not added one dime to the debt.
In February, the “gregarious Grandpa” invited 400 people to celebrate his “Stars of the North” presenting Congressional Certificates of Special Recognition
“One of my greatest honors is the chance to recognize the generosity by many of Minnesota’s selfless individuals who are willing to step up to address the needs they see in our communities,” Kline said. “These ‘Stars of the North’ stepped forward to make life better for someone beyond themselves – volunteering, offering a helping hand, reaching out to a neighbor to ask, ‘what can I do for you?’ ”
These programs are definitely worthy … great assets to their communities and to the causes they support. Many of the recipients were honored for their work in support of “food assistance” (don’t know how many of these recipients realized that Representative Kline voted to gut the food stamp program by $40 billion) and donated medical services (wonder how many of these recipients realize Representative Kline’s repeated votes against SCHIP (children’s health) and opposition to the Affordable Care Act).
While these events deserve recognition, don’t you just sense that the motivation is political ?
But, heck, the good news is that John Kline has not done what Aaron Schock (R-IL) does. For years, Representative Schock used taxpayer dollars to mail congratulatory letters — and suitable-for-framing certificates of “special congressional recognition” — to every high school graduate in his district. Representative Schock explained why he honors graduates with certificates. “I think that graduating high school is an educational milestone for a young student that deserves recognition and encouragement. There are many families whose son or daughter’s graduation is the first time a family member has graduated.”
Since the teens are new or soon-to-be-voters, Representative Schock sends them voter registration forms too.
Just like the $41,305.52 spent on Franked Mail and $47,202.36 spent on Tele-Town Hall meetings last year, John Kline is not afraid to make sure his constituents know what he is doing … after all, it is an election year … so expect a lot more “blarney” from John Kline … and maybe a Congressional Certificates of Special Recognition for every new high school graduate.
There’s an old Capitol Hill saying : “When communicating with constituents, every politician is thinking strategically; if he says he’s not, he is lying”
Well, never say that about John “Blarney” Kline …
“When communicating with constituents, John Kline is thinking strategically; if he says he’s not, well, it is just a bit of blarney.”