Saturday, June 29, 2019

Open Mic Night and Kamala Harris

It was open Mic night, peppered with discordant sounds, waiting to hear that one voice, find that one moment when a star is born.

It is unfair that political futures can be won or lost in a turn of a phrase, a lifetime of work synthesized in the blink an eye, a politician's future crystallized by our one thought. Kirsten Gillebrand, overbearing. Joe Biden, defensive. 

But in the midst of this 10 car fender bender, one singer did sound the right notes. On this night Kamala Harris played the part of Lady Gaga, her pitch seemingly near perfect.

As they say, this race is a marathon not a sprint and maybe the impact of the performance of Ms. Harris will prove ephemeral. And maybe the audience was only half paying attention or was out ordering a beer when she sang her tune.

But, at least on this evening, the possibilities for Kamala Harris seemed endless.

A Child's Cry and the Heart of Darkness


When they study the history of this nation, this moment, this place, will mark a nadir, a staggering descent into darkness.

A time when this nation's heart hardened, when decency and humanity were nowhere evident, when kindness and compassion neared extinction.

As we stare in near disbelief that this country, this country, could treat children, babies, with such disdain and disregard, their lives considered of so little worth, we wonder who and what we have become.

We should be ashamed that on our watch this nation has fallen into such grave disrepair. History will not easily forgive our transgressions. And neither should we.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

150 Lives Saved in Act of Valor


Per his latest tweet, Mr. Trump now says he called off an impending strike on Iranian targets because of a last minute concern for the kill count (estimated at 150) Really?

This man with grave humanitarian concern? Have we not witnessed, by word and deed, his repeated disregard for the welfare of others around the globe, his depraved indifference no more stark than at our southern borders. The child separation policy, the Muslim ban, the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia to facilitate the terrible loss of life in Yemen. His a compassionate heart? Never.

No, the truth is that Mr. Trump faces a dilemma of his own making. Withdrawing from the seven nation nuclear weapons agreement, without breach by Iran, placing ever greater economic sanctions on this country, attempting to impose our will on other signatories to the accord. Pushing Iran into a corner, hoping they would break. But when they did not, being forced to deal with a possibility he has long argued vociferously against: putting this nation into yet another middle East conflict.

Want to see the measure of this President? Stay tuned. But restraint motivated by concern for innocent Iranians. Give me a break.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Yankee Doodle Donny


Donald Trump is the Grinch who stole the 4th of July.

He has made the very image of our flag an emblem of our internal strife. No longer a statement of unbridled support for the lofty ideals upon which this country was founded, now mere declaration of unthinking allegiance to the ideas of a President upon which we fail and flounder.

The red, white and blue not imbued with the elevated spirit of our best selves but a portrait of fevered nationalism in all its negatives, not a tribute to our pride but a reminder of our hubris and hatreds, not a reflection of cherished freedoms but a stars and stripes declaration of repression and our efforts to diminish the lives of so many in our midst.

Donald Trump has changed the definition of July 4th, eviscerating the heart of what has long made this country great. He has reshaped this nation and this day in his image. No longer a tribute to Uncle Sam but to Mafia Don.

So, the fact that, with his speech in the nation's capital, he intends to pilfer some of this holiday's bandwith is sadly fitting.The flag now flying wounded and tattered. Splattered with red, draped in unflattering white and, far too often, feeling blue.

On the Precipice

("Iran Threatens to Exceed Nuclear Deal's Limits; Trump To Deploy New Troops")

This is what we really feared about Mr. Trump. That his belligerence, his ignorance, his propensity to break things would one day lead us to where we now find ourselves: the brink of war.

Mr. Trump, Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo have been of a single mind and a single purpose with Iran. Notwithstanding the recognition by the other nations to the  agreement that Iran has abided by its promises, our country, our President found justification for withdrawing from its pledges. If it smells like WMD, tastes like WMD, then it must be another Republican administration bending facts to fit their intention.

Donald Trump has been the boy who cried wolf since the first moment he stepped into office, manufacturing a crisis at our southern border that has exploded into an ongoing horrific humanitarian disaster. 

And now, if Mr. Trump's worst instincts are unchecked, we can well envision the terrible consequences. More than all the other damage this President has done to the fabric of our country, this is why he poses such a grave danger every day, not merely to this nation but to the nations around the globe. 

If it is 3 AM can the world survive his picking up the phone?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

My Dad's Son

This Sunday will mark 40 years since the last Father's Day my dad was alive. I don't remember how we spent that day together but I am sure I fooled myself into believing there would be at least one more to come despite the growing evidence of the progress of his cancer.

Four decades later I remain my father's son. Despite the chasm of time, I am still self defined by the feeling of being his boy. Not first a husband, not a dad or a granddad, but his child. Whatever else in life I have become, I have never stopped being that. 

I think it is that perception, despite the passage of over 14,000 days, which makes his existence almost palpable. Still makes me try to envision him standing in the next room. Still waiting for death to write a letter of apology and return my dad to me. But the truth is he has never left.

I am now 67 years old. Yet on this Sunday, I will be as I was on that Father's Day in 1979. Just the son of my dad. Past, present and forever. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

President Trump Announces a Series of New Tariffs

("Trump Says U.S. Will Hit Mexico with Tariffs to Stop Flow of Immigrants")

President Trump today announced he would enact a 10% tariff on all Democrats until they become Republicans, a 15% tariff on all blacks until they become white, a 20% tariff on all poor people until they become rich, a 25% tariff on global warming until Hell freezes over, a 30% tariff on Roe v Wade until it rows and wades no more, a 35% tariff on the New York Times until it endorses him for a second term, a 40% tariff on Robert Mueller until he says no obstruction, no collusion, a 45% tariff on Hillary Clinton until she admits she lost the popular vote in 2016, a 50% tariff on Ruth Bader Ginsburg until she dies, a 55% tariff on Nancy Pelosi until she stops that phony clapping during the State of the Union, a 60% tariff on Colin Kaepernick until he stands up, a 65% tariff on Michael Cohen until he admits he was the one with Stormy Daniels, a 70% tariff on New York and California until they fall in the ocean, a 75% tariff on Barack Obama until he produces his actual birth certificate, an 80% tariff on John McCain until he changes his vote on Obamacare, an 85% tariff on China until it makes a really good egg roll, a 90% tariff on the Constitution until everything but the Second Amendment is erased, a 95% tariff on Russia until it pays him commensurate with the services he is providing for them and a 100% tariff on America until it changes its name to Trumpworld.