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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Myth of the Dissident Republican





("I Take Back My Praise of Jeff Flake's Book")

What we want is a Republican in full out mutiny. Sticking his or her head out the window, sreaming in semi-lunatic manner, "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" and then voting against absolutely each and every item proposed by the full out lunatic in the Oval Office. Such a creature does not exist. Not Susan Collins, not Lisa Murkowski, not Jeff Flake, and truth be told, not even the dearly departed and nearly sainted John McCain.

The recent Supreme Court appointment of Justice Kavanaugh is a perfect case in point. Ms. Collins protested and then dissolved, Ms. Murkowski threatened and then vacillated, Mr. Flake demanded and then disappeared. It is the mantra of the mostly unhappy, the dissidents who promise revolt and then, revoltingly, don't live up to their promise.

And if Mr. Flake's book snookered you, shame on you. For we have, time and again, been witness to the embodiment of the mantra, "actions speak louder than words." And Mr. Flake's many words in his book are no match for the actions that betray them.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out Jeff Flake.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Don't Let the Rain Fall Down on Me

I can't stand what it does to my hair
All the moisture leaves it matted down
Can't go out, don't give a damn, I don't care
Screw the French I won't look like a clown

I work too hard to keep this nest from falling
Sitting high atop my orange face
I'll stay here, my friends from Fox are calling
Get some fool and send him in my place

Don't let the rain fall down on me
Don't get me wet,
There's too much chance that all of you will see
Can't allow a photograph like that
To wander free
Cause messing up my hair
Is like the sun going down on me

Tell them I'm sick, just make up a stupid lie
Do it now, I need them off my back
If the sun should shine let them know I'm fine
But for now just keep them off  track

What's the forecast - is it sun this afternoon
I'll show them all how good my hair looks then
Keep them guessing, say I'll update very soon
Never tell them how or why, where or when

Don't let the rain fall down on me
Don't get me wet,
There's too much chance that all of you will see
Can't allow a photograph like that
To wander free
Cause messing up my hair
Is like the sun going down on me




Saturday, November 10, 2018

At Journey's End

She is consumed with fear that her young boy, still a month from his fifth birthday, might be suffering from dysentery. For five days, he had been in increasing discomfort, now screaming at times with the pain. There is no doctor here, no medical assistance. No answers. Except maybe one..

She must think only of him now. She is with her two other children, girls aged six and nine. Her husband is dead, gunned down last year in the cross fire of gun violence in the only town she had called home her entire life.

She was now more than six hundred miles from the terrible memory of finding his blood stained body less than 50 feet from where the family lived. She had spent the last three days carrying her little boy on her back, trying desperately to keep up with the rest, praying that tomorrow by some small miracle he would be cured, would be able to take his own steps forward.

She wept quietly, trying to shield her face from the prying eyes of those she protected. Her feet were blistered and swollen, the dried blood caked in the one remaining pair of shoes she owned. She had lost 15 pounds in the month since this all began. Her two girls also looked so thin, so terribly thin. They did not complain, but she knew how impossibly difficult this had been for them. They were all past the point of exhaustion to a territory even she could barely comprehend.

She reconstructed how she had gotten here. She thought of the family and friends she left behind uncertain if they might ever meet again, trying before this trek began to sear every memory of them into her brain. Holding onto her mother and father, her older brother, her niece's and nephews in one final aching embrace, having failed in her pleas to convince them to join her and her children in attempted escape.

Armed for this journey with virtually no possessions, almost no money, little reason to believe that this would end well, but with the immutable knowledge that this would end badly should she not try to gain freedom from the fear, the omnipresent sense of impending violence, the suffocating poverty, the hopelessness that she had carried with her every moment of every day. This was the only option.

She recalled the searing heat for days on end, relentless even for one who knew no other universe. The heavy weight of understanding that tomorrow and for many tomorrow's to come, there would be nothing but this endless march. The universal kindness of those along the way, who helped sustain their souls as much as they provided nourishment for their bodies. The incredible resilience of her young ones, following without question, surely comprehending little of why this was happening.

She wondered when they matured, what scars her children would carry with them. She knew nothing of the concept of post traumatic stress disorder, her education having ended far too early, the demands of life taking her far away from the classroom.

She had dreams of one day going back to school, of earning a degree, of becoming a teacher. And she pictured her children, each one so bright, having the opportunities that had eluded her. But right now she was consumed with the worry of the cost of this endless odyssey. The hope of tomorrow replaced by the pounding reality of today.

As she looked at her young boy, at the one she called her precious child, she fell to her knees.. She remained there, in silent prayer, for several minutes. She gave thanks to God for allowing her family to come this far, and told Him she believed, she had to believe, that all of this was happening for a good reason. 

She motioned to her children to come close to her and gathered them as one in her arms. "We have reached our destination. For us there is now only making your brother better, stronger. And when he is better, we will start again, on our own, in this place, our new home. I love you with all my heart and promise you we will make a good life here." 

Thus their journey ended.

And so, the caravan that menaced the border of the United States grew smaller by four invaders, their desperate attempt to overthrow our way of life thwarted.



THIS IS BUT AN IMAGINED TALE (OR IS IT?)


Friday, November 9, 2018

In Contemplation of the Loss of RBG




Weekend at RBG's. Hearing of the broken ribs of our most beloved Justice caused more than half of this nation (yes, Mr. President you did lose the popular vote) to wince in pain. It was the imagined agony of a Supreme Court tilting even further right, our star pitcher no more. It is the stuff of nightmares.

But this octogenarian and a half will not be going anywhere as long as the orange faced monster and his party control the appointment of her successor. No matter her infirmity she will remain. Neither wind, rain, snow nor gloom of night will keep our anointed heroine from her appointed rounds.

And even should death take her from us, she will still sit Supreme. For like Weekend at Bernie's, we will make certain that RBG takes her place. We have not heard an utterance out of Clarence Thomas for decades, for all we know he may have passed away sometime before the end of the millennium. So what would be the difference if our dearly departed RBG took up another chair in silent contemplation. I wish RBG a speedy recovery and know she will soon be her feisty self. But, if tragedy should befall her, we are ready.

The Good Old Days of Beauregard

Mr. President had no regard for Beauregard so this Sessions has now been ended.

Jefferson Beauregard the third. Going to miss the name if not the man. Somehow went from sinner to saint just by refusing to offer Mr. Mueller as a sacrifice to the gods. Truth: a saint he ain't.

And now, playing the lead role of "acting" attorney general is someone with a much less interesting name. Whittaker doesn't even rhyme with anything.

And if he intends to be nominated for an Oscar for his performance Matthew will have to convince us that he alone is the driving force in the imminent slicing and dicing of the investigation into how well Mr. Trump speaks Russian.

Surely his appointment is in direct contravention of the Constitution, his installation a not very clever ruse to obstruct justice. But this President does not major in subtlety and his stated wish to be "softer" lasted about as long as it took for him to accost Acosta.

And so now we begin Chapter Two in the book of Donald. Second verse same as the first. Only maybe a little worse. 

Oh for the good old days of Beauregard.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Now What? Make Us Proud

AN EDITED VERSION OF THIS POST APPEARS IN LETTERS TO THE EDITOR IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

("The Democrats Won the House. Now What?")

The mandate given to the House Democrats was definitely not to spend the next two years obsessing about bringing down Donald Trump. Don't focus on those damn tax returns. Don't get tunnel vision on impeachment. Instead, concentrate on the job that Congress was elected to perform, governing. Leave the rest to Mr. Mueller.

Make it hard for Mr. Trump in ways that change lives for the better. On protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. On improving the health care system. On rebuilding this nation, literally as well as figuratively. On tearing down the imaginary immigration wall. On making it uncomfortable for the Republicans in the Senate and the President to just say no.

We are so desperate in this country to feel encouraged by our political system, not buffeted by it. Even those who are saddened by tonight's results in the House are sick and tired of our internal wars.

Show us what this nation is capable of accomplishing. Make us proud.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Great Caravan

Mr. Trump was right to fear the great caravan, marching inexorably in ever increasing numbers toward a destination it has long dreamed of reaching.

It is the millions of Democrats standing in line, waiting for their opportunity to cast their vote today.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Make America Great Again



Mr. Trump is right. What makes America great is protection. Protection of:

Our vote
Our environment 
Our speech
Our education
Our infrastructure
Our poor
Our health
Our minorities
Our beleaguered
Our equality
Our integrity
Our morality
Our commitments
Our dreams

Make America great again on Tuesday. Vote Democrat.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Taking Stock

In the swirl of insanity that has swallowed us whole in recent days, there is one not uninteresting story that has gathered but scant notice. The stock market appears to be in near free fall.

In a matter of a blink of an eye, 10 per cent of its entire value has vanished. It is, one would think, a defining statement of the unease we feel as a nation under constant siege, not being steered to safety but directed into the path of the storm. A leader who creates nothing so much as frictions, destroying bonds and causing uncertainty to burgeon.

As the mid terms near, should we not be wondering if this nose dive is in contemplation of the possibility that this man will not be stopped, but rather emboldened by its results. That as horrid a two years as we have endured, the next two will make this seem child's play by comparison.

Maybe I am overreacting to but a momentary hiccup, a plunge symptomatic of nothing more than a long overdue correction. But it's timing certainly feels like much more than mere serendipity, pure coincidence.

Maybe this is a true barometer of our fear of the pain this President is capable of inflicting on us all.

And maybe it is why when we now take stock of the looming possibilities, we take our stock and head for the hills. 

The Conflagration

("Hate is on the Ballot Next Week)

He created this conflagration, his venom relentless, his message undeniable. The dead in Pittsburgh, the pipe bombs scattered across this nation, these are his children, these are the progeny that he has birthed. He invites evil, he incites evil. 

I am sickened by these acts, but dare not for one second blame the actors without also blaming this President. He stands as unindicted co-conspirator, clear in his participation. As certain in the damage he was unleashing as we are certain of his indifference to the resulting pain. 

Donald Trump knows no other way. He has no other avenues, no other answers. He is as pathetic as he is dangerous. We suffer his shortcomings. We are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the calamities that follow in his wake. We pray that we survive his intended destruction.