Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Random Recent Thoughts of a Restless Mind

("Welcome to the Resistance, Omarosa")

Please. Omarosa versus Donald. What have we become?

It is ok for page 6 of another, unnamed, tabloid but the New York Times should not waste a moment of thought or space on its Op ed page to an examination of this cat fight.

Is this really news that Mr. Trump is as venal a character as he appears? Do we applaud Omarosa for foregoing a continuing paycheck in this administration? 

Two wrongs don't make a right, Or a column,


("Stephen Miller's Uncle Calls Him a Hypocrite in an Online Essay")

The story that Dr. Glosser relates resonates with the vast majority of those who read his words. Tales of escape from harsh, often brutal realities blanket this nation from sea to shining sea.

Mr. Miller is not the architect of the immigration policy that defines us as a cruel and unfeeling nation. But he is its willing advocate and a spokesman for an administration whose central theme is do unto others before they have a chance to do unto you.

There is no historical perspective, no memory, no thought that there but for serendipity, or the grace of God, go I. No recollection that in a time not so long past, it was your parent or grandparent, your aunt or uncle, who was seeking shelter from the storm.

Dr. Glosser has a right to be gravely disappointed in his nephew. He has fallen in with a bad lot who have forgotten their history lessons.

See evil, hear evil, speak evil. That is what happens when compassion, understanding and recognition that we are all not so different from one another, are sacrificed at the altar of power.


("F.B.I. Agent Peter Strzok, Who Criticized Trump in Tweets, Is Fired")

Mr. Trump was right after all. The Mueller investigation has turned out to be a witch hunt, only not the one he has been whining about.

Mr. Trump's constant harangue has been for the focus of our ire to be turned on those who have spent the last two years painstakingly uncovering a series of annotated wrongdoings by many in the king's inner circle. For today, his wish has become our command.

And so, Peter Strzok is now beheaded, a sacrifice to the altar. Executed for the unforgivable sin of expressing his opinion in private of the lunacy of the thought of an orange faced presidency. Connecting dots to a guilt that doesn't exist.

Meanwhile, the crumbs that lead to the front door of the White House remain achingly incomplete, as the probe of Mr. Mueller lurches ever onward, step by step and inch by inch. Instead the FBI is, in this moment, perp walked before us as the bad guy.

In this President's universe, it often feels like up is down. And the sky has now fallen on Mr. Strzok.


("A Baseball Player Needed a Haircut. His Barber Flew 7000 Miles to Give Him One")

When I first heard of baseball and haircuts, it involved a fastball aimed just under the chin or cranium of the batter. I seem to recall Bob Gibson throwing that "message" pitch about every other delivery.

Haircut took on a very different meaning soon thereafter, as the late 60's moved us into an era where memorable heads like that of Oscar Gamble made the helmet an almost useless ornament. 

And through the years, haircut has been the centerpiece of many a Yankee conversation, as Mr. Steinbrenner imposed his will on the look, if not the mouth, of those under his command. No mustaches, no hair below the collar. 

In recent times, the Met pitching staff has dominated, if not on the field, then in the competition for best flowing locks of a starting rotation. 

But now we have reached a new statement moment in the haircut evolution. Personal barbers travelling halfway around the world to make sure every hair follicle is in its place, every day an opportunity to take off your cap in a moment of celebration to reveal the masterpiece that is you.

I am sure if Bob Gibson were still on the mound and witnessed a player showing off his coiff, he would be more than willing to offer him a haircut. Free of charge.


("Does Sacha Baron Cohen Understand Israel?")

I lasted one episode with Mr. Cohen's latest effort. It is crude, vulgar, definitely over the top and entirely unwatchable. Except that it has gathered seemingly enormous attention.

And it has little to do with his characters, and everything to do with the response to them. Morad is memorable not as an Israeli caricature but an American one. The ridiculous Republican, willing to believe in everything and anything in an unfettered attachment to his prejudices. Unthinking, unmoored and unrepentant. It is a window into how a Donald Trump can gain, and retain, such fervent  worship.

Morad is but a prop and to make him the central character is to miss the crucial point of Mr. Cohen's statement.


("Let's Not Throw the Word Treason Around")

When I read OpEds such as this, that strike such a discordant note with me, I immediately review the credentials of the author.

In January of 2017, the New Yorker ran a piece entitled, "Intellectuals for Trump", with the sub heading "a group of conservative thinkers tries to build a governing ideology around a (then) President-elect who disdained ideology". In that article, Chris Buskirk was described as a "little known polemicist who wants (American Greatness) to become the leading voice of the next generation of conservatism."

If the New York Times is going to publish extreme right wingers, which it can and will certainly continue to do, it owes the public some context regarding the words which appear on the page. Not to do so creates at least the impression that voices such as Mr. Buskirk have no particular agenda in mind, and are non-biased, or at least not heavily biased, in their contemplation of the unfolding universe. It does your paper and your readers a disservice to allow that impression to float unchallenged in the air.

 "Warning to readers- Mr.Buskirk is a Trump apologist."  That would be a more honest way to introduce us to his thoughts.


("The Great Distractor")

The debate, if it is with Mr. Trump, will never be on your terms. For Mr. Trump does not debate, he antagonizes, does not focus on issues for he understands virtually nothing.

We smirked when, as a candidate, he failed to prepare for his skirmishes with his Republican opponents and thereafter Ms. Clinton. How could he not look the fool in such encounters?

And he did look ridiculous but only to those who were judging him on the content of his words and the deficiency of his character. We did not comprehend that he was not speaking to us at all, was not worried of our expectations and demands.

And so his presidency has proceeded in parallel universes. The problem for the Democrats is finding a language that will allow them to be heard by those who have turned a deaf ear to their words.

If a Democratic candidate talks to a roomful of Republicans does he make any noise?


("Young Rudy Giuliani Defends Himself")

There once was a man named Rudy
His actions were a little bit crudy
He huffed and puffed and bluffed his way home
Looking not like a giant but a gnome

He ranted and raved at Michael
It got him in every news cycle
I hate him that Cohen he damages the throne
So leave dear old Donny alone

He clutched at his head in wonder
And screamed at our terrible blunder
Don't question the king just kisseth his ring
And of his great virtue you must sing (sing)

Once he was but noun, verb and 911
That was surely his ticket to heaven
But now Donny's the man so Rudy 's does what he can (can)
To protect his golden goose's spray tan

Oh Rudy what a mess you have made
What a dreadful goose egg you've laid
You grow smaller each day with the nonsense you say
Your integrity's a terrible price to pay


("Trump Pushes for Interview With Mueller Against Lawyer's Advise")

Donald Trump is a pathological liar, willing to do or say anything at any moment to further his cause. The truth is but a disposable commodity in his relentless pursuit of self preservation and self aggrandizement. What lawyer would ever voluntarily put such a client in the cross hairs of interrogation by special counsel's office?

Donald Trump will never answer one single inquiry of Mr. Mueller or those who work under him. Not even so much as a "what is your full name." Nothing good, at least for the President, can come of it. His lawyers well know that. Heck, you and I know that.

So, we will continue to get this fiction that Mr. Trump welcomes the chance to speak and end this "witch hunt." And somewhere in the distant future the Supreme Court will sustain the objection of his representatives to quash the subpoena seeking to compel his responses to questions hanging in the air.

So Mr. Giuliani can do his pretend dance but we know better. The mouth that roared, the king of the never ending tweet, will remain forever mute in reply to investigator's demands. And, if nothing else, the thought of Donald Trump shutting up and shutting down, even for a brief moment, is most welcome. 

The sounds of silence in the Oval Office. Priceless.


("Waiting for Caesar")

The imperial phase might be arriving soon? Does not Mr.Douthat recall that, seemingly before the roar of the extraordinarily large crowds cheering the emperor's coronation had died down,  Mr. Trump's first unconstitutional fiat on immigration had issued. From the moment he took office, Mr. Trump viewed his powers as unlimited and unrestrained.

He has followed not the law, not historical predicate, not the advise or suggestion of Congress or those in his administration. He has railed against oversight and criticism. He has considered his election a mandate to take any and all action he wishes. He has been unbridled, uncouth, unrepentant from first tweet to last.

The imperial phase is all this President understands. There are no limits to his hubris, his intent to rule by executive order, his shredding of the most basic predicates of our democracy.

And to compare the actions of Mr. Obama to Mr. Trump merely provides unwarranted cover for this President's abuse of his office.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I’m out of breath. So much to digest.
But thanks,