Monday, December 30, 2019

Additional Charges of High Crimes and Misdemeanors Being Sent to the Senate For Their Consideration

Robbery - of our good name

Assault - on our Constitution

Intentional infliction of emotional distress - of women, minorities, immigrants, allies

Destruction of our most valuable collective personal property - our environment

Attempted murder - of truth, dignity, morality, compassion  

Cheating at golf

Sources advise that Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and several other Republicans in the Senate are seriously considering voting guilty on some, if not all, of these additional counts. The last charge listed above is the one that is reportedly causing the White House the most concern

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Lisa Murkowski is Not a Hero

("A Stirring of Conscience in the Senate")

Must we laud as heroic a voice that cries out not of the myriad misdeeds of Donald Trump, but rather one that is "disturbed" by the actions of  Mitch McConnell? 

Where is the outrage at the President's behavior, his clear and intended denigration and destruction of his office? Where is the angst from Lisa Murkowski that she and her party have allowed, have fostered, the autocratic actions of our leader?  Where is the mea culpa that where we now find ourselves is a direct and inevitable consequence of her party's total capitulation to the whims and fancies of one man who has done so much damage to the very fabric of this nation?

Lisa Murkowski has not broken ranks. She has merely provided a tepid response to the announcement by the master of ceremonies in the Senate of his hand in hand walk with the White House to the preordained acquittal of Mr. Trump. Her discomfort is only that Mr.McConnell has pulled back the curtain.

Do we want to applaud bravery, self sacrifice? Tell Ms. Murkowski to break the actual silence. Tell her to come forward and state, with no equivocation, that enough is too much, that Donald Trump is, without hint of doubt, guilty of the charges leveled against him in the House. That Mitch McConnell should not stand in the way of allowing the whole, unvarnished truth to see the light of day. That this time deserves nothing less, democracy requires nothing less and history demands nothing less.

Until then, words like those we now hear from Ms. Murkowski are but empty vessels.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Best Way to Best Mr. Trump

Don't discuss climate change, health care, economic inequality, voting rights, immigration, dictators, autocrats, tariffs, guns, bigotry, misogyny, vulgarity, mendacity, cruelty, pomposity, volatility, Robert Mueller, Stormy Daniels, exploding debt, the Supreme Court, subpoenas, obstruction of justice, July 25th, quid pro quo. 

Don't speak in derogatory terms about Mr.Trump. Don't hint that "they" have blinders on, or worse, that "they" agree with everything our President has done.. Don't do anything to make"them" angry or make "them" hate "us" anymore then "they" already do. And don't ever mention impeachment again.

I think it would be ok to reference infrastructure. In fact, I think that is about the only thing that can be freely discussed.

And, if the Democratic candidate follows all these rules perfectly, there is a reasonable chance that at least six Republicans and 11 independents, spread among Ohio, Michigan, Texas and Pennsylvania will either vote Democratic, or at least stay home next November.

Thank you, Mr. Stephens, for your advice but we will take it from here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A Brief Engagement

Babies and dogs love me, although both tend to pee on me occasionally.


She walked into the room and came over to me. "I have something I want to give you" she said.

I replied "You know I am already married."

With that she took a small box out of her pocket, its purpose unmistakable. From it she pulled an engagement ring, made of paper, a blue piece, as if it were a diamond, taped in the center.

"Will you marry me?" She said.

I turned to my wife who far too eagerly responded, "I will gladly give him to you."

She is but 7, and as I learned yesterday, turning a year older later this week. We have only met one of two times a year, at her grandma's house. But a couple of years back, sitting around their kitchen table, I made her (and her brother) laugh at something stupid for almost ten minutes. And that was all it took for us to become the best of friends forever.

Now, given my wife's wholehearted blessing, my intended began posing questions about the specifics of the wedding. I asked if she was going to camp next summer as we would have to plan around her other activities. 

Eventually, it was decided that the ceremony would be by a lake, and everyone would jump in after the vows were exchanged.

When I asked my old friend, her grandma, who was now scheduled to become my new grandmother-in-law, if she was paying for the nuptials, she advised in no uncertain terms that this was a responsibility that her daughter, my future mother in law, would have to undertake. 

After a few minutes of imagining, the conversation turned to more immediate and concrete concerns, like my still married spouse and me walking home before it got dark. And thus ended consideration of a most unique topic.
Or so I thought.

"I don't think I want to get married." Less than 24 hours after she had proposed, the idea of spending her life with me had obviously become too much to take. "I think we should just be very good friends." Even at 7 years old, she was perceptive enough to realize that I was not worth the effort. And I don't think she had even received a briefing from my wife as to what it was like to be married to me.

I soon broke the bad news to my long suffering spouse. I could tell how disappointed she was, instantly recognizing that she would thus be saddled with me for the indefinite future. She had seen the light at the tunnel's end. But now it had been extinguished.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Answer to Their Prayers

 It is a tale of prayer and prejudice. These white evangelicals believing in nothing so much as their hatreds, and finding a President who welcomes and nurtures the worst instincts in them.

It is not his morality that draws him to them, for by any measure that is sorely lacking in him, his abuses of immigrants pervasive.. It is not his good deeds, for his proven mantra is that charity begins and ends at home, the Donald J. Trump Foundation and the $2,000,000 settlement for getting caught with both hands in the cookie jar a neon flashing Exhibit 1.. It is not his sanctity for this is a man of both impure thoughts and deeds, the Stormy Daniels fiasco and the Access Hollywood tape serving as vivid reminders..

He is someone who combines do not as I say with do not as I do.

He is not, by any calculation, performing God's work, but he is doing theirs. And any recitation of his failures does not deter them. For these white evangelicals, Donald Trump can do no wrong, no matter how much wrong he does.

Deaf, dumb and blind to his shortcomings, they hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil.

For he is the answer to their prayers.

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to a man who divides the state of America
And to the Republicans with whom I stand
One party under Trump, truth invisible 
With liberty and justice forestalled

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Not one

Not one.

Can I be residing in the same universe as they? Have they not heard the damning, undisputed testimony? Did they not read the "perfect" transcript? Did they not recoil in horror at the unambiguous mandate from above to ignore the request to appear, to produce evidence?

Not one.

Our system of government is torn apart for we know there were without doubt many in their midst who found the conduct of this man wholly unacceptable, fully outside prescribed boundaries and totally in violation of the law and Constitutional dictates. Yet neither conscience nor courage prevailed. Political expediency was the air they breathed and the ground upon which they strode.

Not one.

It was impossible for me to view this charade without anger. To listen to their raised voices, their shouts of indignation and outrage. Their pledge of allegiance not to country, not to justice, not to morality. Not to anything but him. 

Not one.

Monday, December 16, 2019


We thought the last of this species had perished 66 million years ago. But, to our horror, we now learn one was hatched less than 75 years past. And here is what we know of it:

Most notable physical features:
Tiny brain, small hands, enormous ass, swollen head 

Most notable qualities:
Inveterate liar, insatiable ego 

Anywhere there are sycophants, any place constructed in over the top bad taste

Attracted to:
Autocrats, dictators and other assholes

Repulsed by:
Facts, immigrants

Mating habits:
Anyone but Nancy Pelosi

Favorite activity:
Tweeting (It is the shrill sound an idiot makes when spouting off)

Favorite foods:
Anything as long as it is smothered in ketchup, and starts with the letter hamburger

What it will be remembered for:

    How it is terminated:
    Still undetermined
So lock your doors, turn off the lights and hide under the bed until this menace is extinct. There are reports that its demise may be imminent but the Vegas betting line is that it will survive until 2024. May we only hope it is more than 66 million years until another T-Rump appears to wreak havoc.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Angels, Devils and My Dad

Good morning dad,

It may be a year since I've written but that doesn't mean I don't think of you often. If you want to catch up on virtually every thought I have thought over the past 365 days just go to my blog: tooea..., oh Hell you know what it is. Am I actually soliciting readership from my dead dad?

Speaking of Hell, I hope to God (is there a God by the way?), I pray to God (well I don't really pray, but you get the idea), I trust in God (like it says on our currency) that there is a special place reserved (your table is right this way) for one individual who has caused more pain and heartache than I would think the Devil (is there a Devil by the way?) could conjure up on his best (worst) day. Maybe his orange face is flush because, wait, did you happen to hear of the Devil sneaking out about 3 years ago, that face always appears to be standing too close to a fire, that hair that seems to be hiding something underneath, could it be horns?

But enough about that. This is neither the time nor the place for me to dwell on negatives. Let me tell you about the most important news of the day: your great-granddaughter. 

If there is one particular sadness to your having left us 40 years ago today, it is that this world never really got to fully see you in your glory as a grandfather. Because I have learned there is a feeling that comes over you when looking at a child of your child that is unlike anything else you have experienced before. And in my mind I can picture you, in full health and pure joy, taking on a role for which you were so perfectly suited. Oh, I wander a bit off topic: your great-granddaughter.

Wait a second for that, if you can forgive me. They are just about to impeach that imbecile for committing a tip of his own massive iceberg sin or two. He has violated as many laws of man and beast as he is capable (and he is eminently capable) and, oh dear God, please stop me now.

So, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, your great-granddaughter. She is doing everything everyone else her age is doing, only better. At least in my rose colored glasses. And if God created the Devil, he must certainly have allowed room for Angels, even here on earth (there are some up top, aren't there?). And where there is bad to be found in this universe there is also a good that is almost hard to capture in mere words.

And if there is a Heaven (and God help us if there isn't, or more precisely, maybe God should not have rested on the seventh day) then you and Mom must be residing there together.  I still imagine you as you were before you became ill and the Mom I see is the same vibrant, generous soul she was pre her decade long slide (by the way, tell Mom we checked the 1920 census and she was almost 3 months older than you, not four years younger as she announced to me throughout my childhood). 

Anyway, I have rambled on in non-sequitur for long enough. Just wanted to let you know you are forever embedded in my heart and my head. For as long as I remain within this mortal coil you will always be with me.

All my love.

PS - Dad, if you like this post, I would really appreciate it if you took a moment to write a positive comment on my blog. I don't get enough response. And if there is anyone else up there who may be interested, just pass along my address: tooearlytocall.com (oh, I am so very deeply flawed)

"You're NOT Fired. You're Exonerated"

("McConnell, Coordinating With White House, Lays Plan For Impeachment Trial")

Mr. McConnell has a statement to make:

Mitch McConnell: "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. After consultation with the White House it has been determined that the trial of President Trump will be aired in three broadcasts, each of one hour duration. Mark Burnett will be executive producer of this mini-series, the working title being "An Apprentice No More", a/k/a "You're NOT Fired, You're Exonerated."

"Donald Trump will play himself, for which he will be awarded an Emmy for best actor in a wholly fictional drama about a President who does not commit any act which is less than perfect but nevertheless faces totally unfounded charges of wrongdoing."

"The finale will air on every channel and will be playing simultaneously in Russia over state owned airwaves. It will have the largest audience ever known to man and, yes, Mr. Trump did win the 2016 election by unanimous vote."

"I will take no questions, for there can be no questions."

"God Bless America and God Bless Donald Trump. Or is Donald Trump now God so is he merely blessing himself?"

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"

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Fall

This may be the hardest piece I have ever typed.

It started out like any other day, in fact better than most. The sky was an untarnished slate of blue, the wind was in momentary hibernation and the air was as clean and pure as Marie Yovanovitch.

As my son and I began our hike, we contemplated several miles of mostly gentle, wholly uncomplicated terrain. The last of the leaves had left their former residence and now formed a blanket of protection for Mother Earth. But winter had sent notice that it was anxious to flex its muscles and thus a small, almost imperceptible coat of white acted as overcoat for the ground. Beneath our feet on each step was a double layer of potential trouble. And underneath, not visible to the eye, were those intermittent rocks announcing their presence.

But really I protest too much for these combined forces were of little note as we began our trek, reaching our ultimate goal and gazing out on a landscape that stretched out for miles below us. We had been here before, but each time was as the first. It was the image of New England on a mid-November day, with the snow revealing itself on the distant trails of a mountain as if it were ready to accept its first paying customers, and the town below seemingly frozen as if it were merely a picture of itself.

Then we commenced the trek back from where we began (this being an "in and out" hike). Soon into our descent my son noticed that the leaves were now sticking to the sole of his shoes, forming a shield against traction. And so I saw a similar issue emanating from the bottom of my feet. But, we would shortly be back to the car and thus I paid scant notice.

And then I fell, for the first time.

I had clearly seen this rock, flat and unencumbered. But as my feet slipped out from under me and I went airborne, I heard myself let out a small shriek, for I am nothing if not a wimp. While pride did not go before this fall, my son's camera, in its case on my back, did. And so, it acted as bumper and I landed with but the gentlest of thuds. Luckily, it appeared the camera had also survived.

We have been hiking for many years as a family, hundreds, maybe thousands of miles between today and that first step into the wilderness. And I could recall not once when I had ended up in an unintended position. So, as my son's concern turned into laughter as he saw that only my ego was bruised, we continued our march, clear in the mutual understanding that this had been but a fluke, the equivalent of someone like Donald Trump being semi-elected President of the United States.

And then I fell for the second time. (God, I hope this not an omen for his re-election)

This rock I did not see as it lay camouflaged beneath the leaves and snow. And I stepped on it at such an angle that my right ankle twisted and I was once more performing a gravity defying act in the air. I must have landed on my left arm and shoulder though my airborne cry related to the momentary discomfort I was experiencing in my foot.

My son stared at me, once more with concern in his eyes, coupled with more than a hint of bewilderment. I took a few short hops on my ankle, limped for several steps and then pronounced myself embarrassed but otherwise fit.

And that was the end of the story. Almost.

We finished our journey, got in the car and returned home. I counted myself fortunate to have escaped harm and looked forward to the balance of the day, unencumbered by any physical reminders of my mishaps.

Until about an hour later. We were sitting in the kitchen and I happened to press my right hand on my left forearm. It was tender, and more than that, it appeared to be slightly misshapen. I took off the top layer of clothing and indeed the angle from shoulder to fingers seemed not quite right.

After short consultation with those gathered around, I put a winter coat on, walked out the door and headed to the hospital emergency room, but a few blocks away. My family gathered there with me in short order.

It is actually a great experience going to your local, small hospital in the middle of a work day. My information was taken within seconds and within minutes I was being attended to by several people. X- rays followed and the attending announced that, yes, I had a small non-displaced fracture in my forearm. One of those soft casts was soon encasing my arm and I was advised to see my local orthopedist in the days to follow.

One more wrinkle.

As I was about to leave the hospital, the attending said the radiology department had looked at the pictures and did not believe that dark line was a fracture. So, at the moment there is a split decision, the report I received noting the two disparate determinations.

I now await the deciding vote early next week. In the meantime, I am weighed down by this cast, making life a little more complicated.

And making this possibly the hardest piece I have ever typed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Let THOSE People Go

It is not a statement of virtue, of strength, of moral courage. Rather, "Let THOSE people go" is the sound of a likely majority on the Supreme Court abandoning the core principle of American greatness, turning dreams into nightmares and exposing the ugly underbelly of bigotry and hatred that is far, far too prevalent and persistent a poison coursing through this nation's veins.

It is a solution in search of a problem. The Dreamers have not been a scourge on our society, have not drained our resources, have not threatened our present nor our future. This is not cutting out of a disease but rather casting out those whose crime is not one of commission but merely of circumstance of birth. 

For those who would find reason and basis to further President Trump's obsessive quest to "purify" our land, there is only shame. If I had a vote, mine would be to direct "Let THOSE people go" at those justices who would do injustice under pretenses they well know to be manipulated and false.

We are better than this. Or at least we should be.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Defamation of Characters

Twitter filed suit today on behalf of its 280 characters against the President of the United States. The suit seeks unspecified damages together with an immediate injunction against Donald Trump from using their platform to further what they describe as "an endless stream of misdirection flowing into a river of lies and emptying into an ocean of misinformation."

There was immediate reaction from many of Mr. Trump's most fervent supporters:

"Twitter is controlled by immigrants, James Comey, Robert Mueller, Hillary Clinton, Pocahontas and Joe Biden's son."( IT, DT Jr. and ET, who wish to remain anonymous to protect the guilty- hint as to their identity, oh hell you don't need one)

 "Is Twitter really spelled with three T's and only one R?" (Rick Perry)

"This is an unconstitutional infringement on the right of our leader to act without thinking, to respond to crisis after crisis in ways most surely to deflect attention from his myriad criminal enterprises, to inflict the most damage in the most ways imaginable with the least effort possible" (the Justice Department)

While most of the 280 characters refused comment, some were willing to reveal their thoughts (in 280 characters or less, of course):

"He gives a bad name to all characters, but maybe mine the most. I can't count the times I have landed directly in the middle of "FAKE NEWS!" (Character 5)

"I have spent my career in public service, but now I feel like I am nothing more than a character out of a bad Godfather movie" (Character 37)

"I am in agreement with my brothers and sisters, but quite honestly he has hardly ever called on me to speak on his behalf" (Character 280)

This comes on the heels of the lawsuit initiated by DC Studios against Mr. Trump to cease and desist in his attempt to physically impersonate The Joker. The studio contends that ticket sales are being damaged because the President is giving The Joker a bad name.

In response, Mr. Trump has, quite naturally tweeted a response.

"I won the election by the largest margin in the history of the world. Even Putin called me the other day to congratulate me, once again, for my great victory. These 280 characters won't even give you their names, they just go by numbers, as if they can hide from the FBI, which is either the best agency in the world or a corrupt arm of the Democratic party depending almost solely on what I ate for breakfast, or whether Sean Hannity is on vacation. These lawsuits are a joke, and if anyone is to blame it is that stooge Cohen, or maybe Guiliani, depending on whether I decide to throw him under the bus. And, did I tell you how big the crowd was at my inauguration?" (Donald J Trump, in what turned out to be a multiple tweet).

Character 280 just amended his statement as follows: "That lunatic has to be stopped."

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Charity Begins at Home

("No Charitable Thought for Donald Trump")

So what if he has to pay $2 million to rectify his wrongdoing. That is mere Trump change as the President convinces us that his only fault was taking too literally that charity begins (and ends) at home.

This is but the smallest ripple in an ocean of transgressions. We can hardly recall the kerfuffle with Stormy Daniels, the Trump University imbroglio now mere error of hyperbole and even the Mueller report, which was to reveal what Mr. Trump was hiding under the covers (oh wait, that was also the Daniels affair), largely a historical (and some would argue, hysterical) footnote. 

So this latest boo boo might have a hard time ranking among the top ten atrocities and could well be considered yesterday's news yesterday.  

The bar for this man has now been set so low that many will look favorably upon our cheater in chief for "happily" agreeing to pony up to actual charities the money he stole from the cookie jar. 

And you doubted this was the person who could make America great again. Or at least spin your dough into his gold.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Sharing Clothes, And A Heart


("Who Will Wear My Dead Husband's Clothes?")

This is sad and beautiful tale and it serves as stark reminder of our connections.

While her world has been deeply shaken by her husband's sudden death, there is a larger universe battered each day by man's inhumanity to man, lives upended due to the cruelties needlessly inflicted.

And so, where better place to find a home for these clothes? 

These garments worn in the tomorrow's to come as a reminder of what has been lost and as statement of what we gain when we understand we all wear the same clothes whoever we are and wherever we may be. And that all our hearts are broken as one.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Tweetin' The Night Away

 ("How Trump Reshaped the Presidency in 11,000 Tweets")

In Mr. Trump's hands, actually fingers, it is the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, casting aside alliances, treaties and lives as if they were all wholly without value. All accomplished in but a few characters from a man lacking any.

An alternate universe, filled with the thoughts of someone consumed solely with the state of his own being, not dissuaded by facts or logic from his hatreds, his biases, his proclamations announcing a rage without predicate or boundary.

It is Mr. Trump's playground as he Twitter's dumb and dumber while this planet burns. It is not governing but ranting, not weighing but spewing, not discussing but disgusting.

It deserves not our review but our rebuke. But it is all we get from Mr. President. And it brings shame upon the man and a stain upon our nation.

Friday, November 1, 2019

A Note to Standard Time

I do not like thee standard time
No I do not like thee at all

You are a common criminal 
Robbing me of color and light

I do not wish to fall back on you
For you are not a soft landing

    So unless turning back the clock
Means I now have hair again

If you don't mind
And even if you do

I would ask that you just move on
To some other place that finds you appealing

And give me back what you have pilfered
Including some of that Halloween candy

Thursday, October 31, 2019

In Conversation With A One Year Old

I nod in affirmation for I am certain she is telling me something important

I just don't know what that might be

And she may gesticulate for emphasis

Which only means I should nod more furiously

Language is what you say it is

Even if what you say it is isn't language

But to her it makes perfect sense

So while she has spent an entire lifetime trying to understand me

Now her shoes are on my feet

And though they may be a little tight

I will do my best to fit round pegs into square holes

And just nod and smile some more

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The 18 Minute Gap

It turns out the reconstructed transcript of the President's "perfect"conversation of July 25 with the Ukrainian leader, Mr. Zelensky, had an 18 minute Nixonian gap. However, the missing piece has now been located in Mr. Trump's underwear drawer and, thankfully for the people of this country, the full tale is before us. Here it is:

Mafia Don:  "Oh where was I? Oh yes, it is true that they kiss my ring."

Mr. Zelensky: "What a wonderful tradition. If I ever get the chance to meet you in the White House, oh great and powerful Don, it would be my greatest honor to kiss your ring on my bended knee."

Mafia Don: "Did I ever tell you how big the crowd was at my inauguration? Hey, weren't you a tv star before you won your election? Do you know my show was the highest rated ever? I saved NBC. In fact, I saved television. And what was my thanks? Those liberal bastards never gave me an Emmy. I only ran for President because they didn't appreciate me. And also because Obama made a bad joke about me at that stupid Correspondent's dinner. And I had to sit there and take it. Nobody does that to Mafia Don and gets away with it."

Mr. Zelensky: "I fully understand. They don't recognize your greatness, oh all powerful one."

Mafia Don: "And besides Obama there was Hillary with those 30,000 emails that the Russians are still looking for, God bless them. They are true friends. So, where was I? Oh, Joe Biden. I was talking with my buddies at Fox News the other night, I am thinking of entering an executive order making them the official station of the White House and blocking out all other channels 23 hours a day. And they told me you should look into something he and his no good son did over where you are. My sons can be no good some times also. But that is our little secret. Understood?"

Mr. Zelensky: "Yes sir, Mafia Don, absolutely."

Mafia Don: "Do you play golf? When you come over I will take you to the best course you have ever seen. Do they have golf courses near you? If not, I may want to build one over there as soon as I finish here. And, by the way, I may have to declare myself President for life one of these days. I have Guiliani looking into that now. But that is another of our little secrets. Understood?"

Mr. Zelensky: "Absolutely, Mafia Don, sir."

Mafia Don: "So do I have your support on this Biden thing? Because I know you are looking for a little help these days and I wouldn't want to have to say no. But don't tell anyone there is a quid pro quo. Pretty impressed with my Latin, huh. I learned that in that military academy my parents sent me to. You know I would have served in the army if I didn't have that damn bunion removed. But all of this is our little secret. Do you understand me?"

Mr. Zelensky: "Yes, absolutely Mafia Don. It would be my honor to serve you in any way I can. Do they show your TV program on reruns? I would love to watch every episode."

Mafia Don: " This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship my friend."

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Damned If They Do and Damned If They Do

("Impeachment Does Not 'Overturn' An Election")

In the logic of the Republican universe, the effort of the Democrats to appoint a Supreme Court justice to an open seat in the last year of President Obama's term was an attempt to subvert a FUTURE election.

And the impeachment inquiry launched in response to a present action of President Trump is an attempt to undermine a PAST election.

Thus it appears the Democrats are damned if they do and damned if they do.

Under this premise, I am not certain when Democrats are actually free to take part in governing this nation. There appears to be no window of time when action by Democrats is in fact justified.

Which, I think, is exactly the point the Republicans are making.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Donald Trump Quotes Made Famous by Groucho Marx

("Extra! Extra! Prez Won't Read All About It")

Mr. Trump leaving the NY Times and the Washington Post reminded me of a Groucho Marx quote: "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." Except, Mr. Trump fictionalizes he is TOO GOOD instead of not good enough.

However, Mr. Marx has in fact often spoken in the past as Mr. Trump's surrogate. Here are but a few of the gems:

1. "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."

2. "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well I have others."

3. "The secret to life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

4. "Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife."

5. "If you've heard this story before don't stop me because I'd like to hear it again."

6. "Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you."

7. "Why a four year old child could understand this report. Run out and find me a four year old child. I can't make head nor tail out of it."

8. "Women should be obscene and not heard."

9. "A man's only as old as the woman he feels."

10. "Be open minded but not so open minded that your brains fall out."

11. "If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you."

12, "He may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot."

13. "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

14. "While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery."

15. "What have future generations ever done for us?"

16. "When you're in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, "Damn, that was fun."

17. "Television is where you watch people in your living room that you would not want near your house."

18. "Whatever it is, I'm against it."

19. "Why don't you go home to your wife? Better yet, I'll go home to your wife, and outside of the improvement, she won't notice any difference."

20. (EDITOR'S NOTE - THIS WOULD BE APPLICABLE TO THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE WASHINGTON POST) "From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it."


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Elizabeth Warren's Reality

("Elizabeth Warren Wants to Lose Your Vote")

Dear Mr. Stephens:

This is a serious time requiring serious people addressing serious problems with the gravity they deserve.

I ask you to read in depth of the tireless effort of Ms. Warren over her years of service in the Senate. Spend the time to truly review her platform. Don't peruse and don't try to extrapolate an entire philosophy from one quote about how to respond to an environmental nightmare, a category 5 storm bearing down on all of us, being treated by Republicans as if it were a chance of sprinkles.

Elizabeth Warren is not a radical but she does want to shake this country out of its lethargy. She is a champion of causes for those in need, no matter how you would attempt to paint her Medicare for all proposal as mere hyperbolic fantasy. 

She intends to push back hard against forces that do harm to those in her care. She has always done so.

So, Mr. Stephens, Elizabeth Warren does not want to lose your vote. She wants America to regain its equilibrium and it's dedication to its essential proposition that all people are created equal and all are entitled to equal protection against the abuses of the system that Mr. Trump and his party would welcome and facilitate.

She doesn't want us to run from reality. She wants us to face it.

In Search of a Common Language

("Why Does Only One Party Play By the Rules?")

We hold this truth to be self evident for the Republicans: truth, like Elvis, has left the building. Or, at least, it is outside taking a cigarette break.

And thus how, the Democrats ask each day, do you prepare to argue against fiction, or at least the possibility of fiction, at every turn? 

Issues like climate change, immigration, trade wars, Russia, voter suppression, health care, taxation, even Supreme Court vacancies all become battles to establish a common language before substance can be debated.

Truth does no favor to Republican positions on virtually all matters of import and so Mr. Trump, in his singularly crude way, has provided his party with ready example and excuse to fabricate. Follow the leader because obfuscation and misdirection is a strategy that fits this party like a glove.

Campaigning has always been about framing, about pushing facts to their logical extremes in your direction. But when facts become fungible, framing becomes impossible.

And 2020 is likely to be as much a tug of war of what it is we are actually debating as it is about whose proposals are more worthy. For if we focus our debate on whether climate change is a reality, we may well never get to the question on what to do about it.

Which is just the answer the Republicans are looking for.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Living In the Dark

The streets were all quiet. All were safe in their beds. When the creature appeared who would live in their heads.

He talked in few words. And he made little sense. But the creature cared not that he sounded quite dense.

Listen, oh listen, I have something to say. Don't go outside, it's not safe out to play. They're coming to get you and take you away. Just stay close by me and I'll save the day.

He looked like a clown. With his big orange face. But they were all scared they'd be gone without trace.

He huffed and he puffed. And then puffed some more. And soon they all feared just to open the door.

Listen, oh listen, I have something to say. Don't go outside, it's not safe out to play. They're coming to get you and take you away. Just stay close by me and I'll save the day.

Reason left the building. Sanity left there too. And all that remained was to listen and do.

He said lock the doors. And turn the lights out. So they lived in the dark, dared not wander about.

Listen, oh listen, I have something to say. Don't go outside, it's not safe out to play. They're coming to get you and take you away. Just stay close by me and I'll save the day.

Morality went missing. Compassion soon lost. He said not to worry no matter the cost.

For he said he would save us. For he was the one. Our leader and king, the moon and the sun.

So they lived in the dark. Dared not wander about. For they trusted in him without shred of doubt.

'Til one day it happened. The door opened wide. And they soon found out there's no reason to hide.

The sun was still shining. The birds sang their tune. No one was lurking about to cause ruin.

They had feared their own shadows. No one there to cause harm. The orange faced clown just a huge false alarm.

Listen, oh listen, we have something to say. We can go outside for it's safe to play. No one's coming to get us or take us away. Just leave us alone and get lost, do not stay.

Thus, the creature departed. His orange face white. For he just turned pale when others saw light.

So don't let the creature get back in your head. For you're safe and warm when tucked in your bed.