Thursday, December 12, 2019

An Early Christmas in the Bronx

Christmas came early this year in New York. For the good little girls and boys who love a Bronx tale, Santa filled our stockings with Cole. And it made us smile.

Forget the 12 days of escalating gifts from our true love, one big one from the son of the Boss more than sufficed. We don't require five golden rings, for soon enough we will have our 28th. We just saw the ghost of Christmas future and he was watching the ticker tape parade down Broadway. And it made us smile.

Come Gerrit, Luis and Masahiro too. Add a few more reindeer like J.A., Domingo and, for good measure, Deivi. Rudolph can stay home this Christmas. No emergency backup needed.

This is the 2020 version of Star Wars and the Evil Empire is kicking butt.

With an everyday lineup that makes Murderer's Row seem more like they committed simple assault and battery and a relief corps that can put out the worst conflagration with a rising four seamer, a nasty slider, or a sinker that disappears faster than a hamburger in front of Donald Trump, our cup runneth over.

So what is $324 million among friends?

We have suffered far too long. A decade without lording over all others feels like an eternity. The world is beset with woes and the impeachment of the liar in chief is on full view, non-stop. We were in desperate need of the jolly old man with the funny red suit and the flowing white beard. And he didn't disappoint.

OK, we understand the games still have to be played. And anything can happen. But today there is but one truth. We are back.

Merry Christmas to all. Except the Red Sox (and maybe the Astros). And to all Yankee fans, a very good night.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Rip Off the Band Aid

("Two Articles of Impeachment Are Nowhere Near Enough")

How many will even read the two Articles of Impeachment? The nation, whether Mr. Bouie recognizes it or not, is already suffering impeachment fatigue. And if he thinks more months of investigation and more charges will keep America's attention and change the destiny of Mr. Trump, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to discuss with him.

For the sake of historical perspective it would theoretically be significant for Congress to chronicle the War and Peace length myriad misdeeds of the liar in chief. But that is better left to Doris Kearns Goodwin or Michael Beschloss. As a political strategy, the Dems beating a dead horse would seem a grave miscalculation.

Let us move on to the Senate and watch Mr. McConnell run his dog and pony show. The die has already been cast. There are no John McCain's or even Jeff Flake's to show a hint of courage. Mitt Romney refuses to take his dog off the roof of the car. Justin Amash is not in this house (and not even in the party anymore). Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski? MIA.

We have already made our peace with where this is headed. Don't make us watch the coming train wreck in slow motion. Rip off the band aid. It will only hurt for a second.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when there in the House
The battle was raging to impeach a louse
The charges were leveled, each one quite alarming
On how to unseat a not so prince charming

The atmosphere heated though outside was cold
No place for the timid, the rhetoric bold
"We're tired of him, we have suffered this fool
He's petty, vindictive and mercilessly cruel"

When one voice arose above all the chatter
"He's lost his way, he knows not what matters"
And all eyes then turned from where the words came
With red suit and white beard, they all knew his name

The room did go quiet, there came forth no sound
And then from the silence came one voice profound
He said "come to me", they all gathered near
"Now take this to heart, these truths please hold dear"

He nodded to all, and over they came
He pointed and shouted and called some by name
"Now Nancy and Adam and yes Devon too
Come Jerrold and Zoe and Hakeem, please do"

"I've places to go and children to see
Tonight of all nights other places to be
I've stockings to fill, my reindeer await
I can't linger long, I cannot be late"

"Donald's been naughty, he's never been nice
And so many stockings, he's just stuffed with ICE
He deserves nothing, take back his toys
And pass them all out to good girls and boys"

"But all of this hatred you show towards each other
Is not what I want, you are sisters and brothers,
Good will toward one, good will toward all
On Christmas eve, please, please heed my call"

And then he was gone, right in front of their eyes
And if I had not seen it, I'd say it's a lie
But jolly St Nick he was saddened by discord
He knew that this did not sit well with his Lord

While Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen
Took to the sky with old Santa and sled
Those gathered around took to heart what he said

And at least for one evening they put down their swords
Replaced them with soft words and good wishes towards
All that had gathered on this hallowed ground
And throughout the chamber did these words resound

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night"
For one night this House a most beautiful sight

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Republican Response To Donald Trump Shooting Someone in Broad Daylight in Times Square

If there is one lesson to be learned from these impeachment proceedings it is that Donald Trump could do virtually anything and still be defended by the Republicans in Congress.

Just imagine the rhetoric if, as Mr. Trump once suggested, he shot someone in broad daylight in Times Square. Here are some of the responses one could expect from those within his party who swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

"This is a clear case of protected free speech. A first amendment right to express his displeasure in any manner he deems appropriate. It is not like he shouted "Fire" in a theater."

"Look at it like a slip of the tongue, except with a gun. He thought he was shooting off his mouth but it was his finger."

"After all the wrongs he has committed, you decide that THIS is worthy of prosecution. He has done many worse things before, so leave the poor guy alone."

"People don't kill, guns do. And Donald Trump is not a gun. He is a loose cannon."

"If you had to deal with Mike Pence every day you would need to blow off some steam too."

"The guy ran in front of the bullet. I would charge him, if he survives with assault on the President's reputation."

"Ukraine was behind this vicious attack on our democracy."

"This was nothing but a blatant ploy by the Democrats to undo the 2016 election."

"It was Michael Cohen who pulled the trigger."

"It was Rudy Guiliani who pulled the trigger."

"This is less than a year from the election. The President can't commit murder now. The people cannot be deprived of their right to re-elect Donald Trump.The Democrats are the ones to blame here."

"It was Trudeau, with his wisecracks about the President, who is the real culprit."

"It was Hillary. Lock her up."

"The victim was an illegal immigrant. Case closed."

"If global warming is a hoax, just imagine what this is."

"If the President can kill our reputation that we have built over 250 years, what is the harm in shooting just one person? The President should be applauded for being able to scale down the damage he is capable of doing."

"Mr. Trump may be a weapon of mass destruction but he is not a killer."

"It was Dick Cheney who pulled the trigger."

As for Mr. Trump, he promised to provide his sworn deposition to Congress on this incident in the immediate future. Right after he releases his tax returns. And puts all his holdings in a blind trust. And announces that he lost the popular vote, fair and square, to Hillary. And admits that he is a covert agent working for the Russians.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Pizza Pies and French Fries

Having now conquered the art of walking, well maybe a more apt description would be wobbling followed quickly by stumbling, our intrepid hero is this morning shown on video with golf club in hand, a laser like focus on her target. That is until she tumbles forward on her face, uninjured but surely the living embodiment of unsteady. I fear she is in need of slightly more seasoning before the dance she performs can be officially labeled with a period rather than a question mark.

But she has little time to master this craft for ski season is nigh. And when that moment arrives she will be required to throw herself full force down a hill with little to turn gravity from mortal enemy to dear friend except for those now decidedly uncertain underpinnings.

Forget that she is still incorporating head, shoulders, knees and toes into her vocabulary. And that she is sometimes not clear of the distinction between mouth and teeth. The forecast for tomorrow is for a really big snowstorm. There is no time to waste.

So what if cold weather and wet diapers are a decidedly unhappy pairing. What import that nap time arrives right after the first chairlift opens. There are trails to be conquered, mountains to be tamed.

Since she would, by all measure, still be defined as a baby, the most logical starting place would be the baby hill. And yes, being just on the other side of one's first birthday might normally seem an impediment. But when someone can say moo, neigh, ruff ruff, oink oink, no more, all done and, with a little coaxing, something that sounds remarkably like alligator, how hard can it be to turn left and right on command with some foreign objects strapped to feet that have never really worn shoes, at least for their most basic undertaking? What kind of question is that even to ask?
OK, I admit I may be a little overzealous. Alright, more than a little. More like idiotic. If you insist, I will calm down. Yes, I promise.

And if I must, I will allow this young person to be what she actually is, an adorable bundle that I love without condition. And I will wait, patiently if so required, for the day when my fantasy becomes her reality. Until then I will just have to work on her putting, for the video showed she was lifting her head far too early.

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Slade Gorton will be 92 years old in a little more than a month and last held public office almost 20 years ago. And thus, while I applaud his call to fellow Republicans to judge the President on facts not fantasies, where is the Congressperson or Senator who would now be in the direct line of fire, willing to risk political life and limb to tell those assembled that what looks like a duck and quacks like a duck is in fact an aquatic bird, mostly smaller than a swan or goose found in both fresh and sea water?

I am sick and tired of only the sick or (re)tired Republican politician exhibiting (figuratively, not literally) the balls to confront the King. Where are those  bastions of hope of righteous indignation: Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, Lisa Murkowski, Mike Lee, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, Mike Simpson, Will Hurd? You have always known the clear and present danger of Mr. Trump, from the first day of his presidency to the last disaster witnessed. Where has your voice gone? Where is your belief in something greater than party? I know where it certainly appears to be: vanished into thin air, as likely to be found as Elvis is to return to the building.

To the New York Times: come back to me when someone on the right with a political pulse writes as has Mr. Gorton. Until then this is not news, just the sound of one hand clapping.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Fox Tales

("Why Fox News Slimed a Purple Heart")

And now comes the inevitable "washed up, bitter, has been, never was" response to this op-ed from everyone at Fox News maybe all the way to the small hands of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Smith unlocks no new(s) secrets. If we didn't already comprehend the catalyst behind Fox Tales we were not paying attention (for the record,  I am not and even I get it).

"Fox Tales" would actually be a more accurate nom re plume for this enterprise. It does not report but rather creates: propoganda its vocabulary, misdirection its genius.

If one is untethered to facts then the possibilities are endless: every history of a life becoming mere footnote fully subject to being reconstructed into whatever monster Dr. Frankenstein can manufacture. The more absurd the more intriguing. The more damaging, the better.

And so the "we hardly knew him" Mr. Smith does not go to Washington, does not pass go and collect $200, does not get a seat at any table except his own Last Supper. Minimized, ridiculed and discarded.

We know the playbook and yet we haven't created the perfect defense to stop it. For while truth has a decided liberal bias, deception is the unquestioned continued province of Fox Tales. Sly Fox indeed.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Cannibal

Donald Trump is now a cannibal, willing to eat his own in an act of self preservation.

Those who have come before the House did not abandon the administration. Rather they embraced the concept of how our government was intended to function and how a President was not. And for their fealty not to one man but to the most fundamental and critical concepts of democracy they have been subject to unrelenting attack by Mr. Trump and his henchmen. 

The men and women now thrust into the middle of this investigation have dedicated their working lives to preserving and protecting this nation, not as Democrats or Republicans but as patriots, in the best possible definition of that word. And yet those who would deny their truths have branded them as traitors and condemned them as mere stooges for an illegitimate cause.

The people who have testified did not seek this spotlight. Many have seemingly deliberately avoided it over the decades of service. But now that they have come forward, they have spoken with a dignity and clarity that is totally foreign to the man who would tweet their collective demise.

Mr. Trump, though you would willingly destroy the reputation of anyone who has the audacity to challenge your abuses, know that what you are looking at are those who truly make America great. And while you may emerge from this examination of your actions with your presidency intact you will never be anything more than you appear now: a man loyal to no one or nothing but your own survival.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A boo-boo

So what lesson did we learn here?
Doctors are fallible: perhaps. 
I am a hog for attention: now you're getting it.

I write this to you with two free arms, the cast having been relegated to yesterday's news as it turned out I had suffered but a mere boo-boo. My orthopedist releasing me from bondage and giving me the greatest of gifts: the opportunity to write a second piece focusing on my favorite topic. Kind of a double good break.

I sat around a dinner table last evening with several family members, all of whom have recently coped with health issues of varying degrees of significance, from troublesome to bordering on uh-oh. But none of them had received a sliver of the outpouring of support I had garnered over the past few days. Could anything be better than not actually being injured but gathering enough sympathy to fill the deepest ocean, with a few drops still left over?

So it turns out the attending physician misread the x-ray, believing a vein (in my case, maybe "vain") had been proof of great insult to my body. His boo-boo was in thinking my boo-boo was something more than mere line on a screen signifying next to nothing. But I am told this is not an unusual error, and I hold no animus towards the man who was responsible for my last blog post. In fact, I owe him a great debt.

You see, my readership has fallen off in recent weeks as people grow ever more fatigued by you know who and you know what. But my numbers spiked, like looking at a jumping heartbeat on a screen, when the topic of the moment turned to my personal failings. For those who follow my writing like nothing more than a look into the world of someone whose life is always seemingly one step away from the latest oops, virtual if not actual.

I should have asked the doctor to give me the soft cast for I could possibly have used it to my advantage in the 
future. But lacking the requisite quickness of mind, I left my prop on the cutting room floor, relegating it to imminent certain death. 

I miss my cast.

Yes, doctors are fallible, for life teaches us that none (well, maybe except for our Supreme Leader) are perfect. But for me, the greater life lesson is that people are willing, anxious really, to give you their support and there is absolutely nothing I need more than your undivided attention.

I think my boo-boo is starting to ache a little. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Stand up you're rockin' the boat

I dreamed last night I was in the halls of Congress
And by some chance I was called to testify
And there I stood and I swore to tell the whole truth
But Republicans they swore that I'd lie

For those people all said
"Get out, get out you're rockin' the boat"
Those people all said
"Get out, get out you're rockin' the boat"
And the Devil did tweet as I spoke
With his small vocab and his big ego
"Get out, get out, get  out, get out
Get out you're rockin' my boat"

I testified what I knew to be the whole truth
And some did clap when I told them what went down
But those who swore by the Devil were unhappy
And they swore I was only just a clown

For those people all said
"Beware, you're in the Devil's way"
Those people all said
"Beware, beware of the games you play
For the Devil will make you suffer
With your fancy words and your soulful tones
Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up
Shut up you're rockin' his boat"

And while I feared he would surely seek his revenge
I walked outside to catch a breath of air
And as I stood, someone hollered, "You have saved us"
That's the moment I sang out, "Thank the Lord"

And I said to those gathered there
"Stand up and rock the boat"
I said to those gathered there
"Stand up and rock the boat
For the Devil can't pull you under
With his checkered past and tv remote"

"Stand up stand up, stand up, stand up,
Stand up and rock the boat
Stand up, stand up, stand up, stand up
Stand up and rock the boat"

"Stand up"