Friday, February 26, 2021

November 4, 2020

 Thank God for spell check.

Unfortunately Marjorie Taylor Greene's solicitations do not have a date check. 

A recent email to "Impeach Beijing Biden" with its hyperventilated rhetoric and immediate call for donations of green for Greene, states the following:  "Before the November 4 election".

I can well understand not remembering your parent's anniversary, or maybe the birthday of your spouse. Maybe even difficulty in recalling the year you graduated from college (you did Marge, right?).

But MTG (ok if I call you that, or better still, how about OMG)  how often are you elected for the first time to Congress (if your answer is anything other than "once" I am really going to be worried about you)? I mean, didn't you have November 3, 2020 tattooed on your brain (or maybe elsewhere on your body) leading up to the most important day of your life (well maybe next to the day you got your first gun)?

I am quite certain all the very mean statements you made about Beijing Joe and his ne'er-do-well offspring Hunter are as accurate as your recall on the exact date of your ascension as the leader of the bottom feeders (a crown you wear with distinction).

I know you do not personally review every post under your name as you are far too busy planning your next picnic with the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. But try your best to place your trust in someone who at least knows 30 days has September, April, June and November.

Your humble servant 

And, by the way, my check to you is in the mail.


Friday, February 19, 2021

A Cruz to Nowhere

 ("Ted Cruz's  Cancun Trip: Family Texts Detail His Political Blunder")

A Cruz to nowhere. Ok, it was actually a flight to Cancun, but you get the picture.

Politics is optics (not coincidentally, all the letters in the latter word are contained in the former). And could anything look worse than Mr. Cruz wheeling his suitcase through the airport while Texas was under a freezing siege? 

Mr. Cruz will undoubtedly, unfortunately, recover from this debacle (treating it like an optical illusion). But for a politician who prides himself on his show and tell (who could forget his Green Eggs and Ham Obamacare filibuster on the Senate floor, well actually most of us can) this error in his projected image was almost as large as his ego. A definite malfunction of Cruz control.

Mr. Cruz might be able to see all the way from his cold bedroom window, over the big beautiful wall built by Mr. Trump, and into a five star resort in Mexico but it would have served him far better if, in the midst of his state's unfolding tragedy, he had merely stayed home, wrapped another blanket around himself and read some more Dr. Seuss.

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Side Eye

She had just finished several tiring magic carpet runs. Demonstrating her considerable skills in the endeavor known as catch and release. Where, in conjunction with her parents, she performed an intricate three person ballet on the snow. Gravity propelling her down the hill, her mother or father all that was standing between this very small missile and a lesson in supersonic acceleration.

It had been a complete success, but enough was enough. And a most important aspect of this undertaking was next on the agenda.

She trudged, with her almost equally little friend, a few yards to a spot where they seated themselves on a wooden railing, their legs dangling a couple of feet (in several senses) above the snow. These two young women looking as any other skier who was taking a well deserved break, only in miniature version.

And when her mom handed her the snack she patiently awaited, she happily sat, surely contemplating how well she had finished her turns on the mountain. The contents of this small bag just reward for a job well done. Her eyes staring straight ahead, that slightly blank look a certain sign that she was at rest and at peace.

"Do you think you could share your Goldfish with E?"  In an instant, without the smallest change of expression, without turning her head even one degree in the direction of her buddy, she shifted her gaze from directly forward to as far left as humanly possible, both eyes darting towards their intended target but not truly mathematically able to reach that far around. It seemed a silent question/declaration of "you mean, give some of my hard earned trinkets to another sentient being." 

Haven't we all been the unwanted subject of similar demands at various junctures along the way? Where we have internally been vigorously shaking our heads in silent rejection of some mandate to which we really, really would rather not accede? 

This was not the first, and would surely not be the last time something such as this will happen to her. But maybe there would never be another occasion where, without a sound or even a shoulder shrug, she so fully expressed her dismay at the inequity of the request.

In but a blink of an eye, the Goldfish left her tiny hand and entered the palm of her neighbor. Assuredly the recipient of this beneficence was not even aware of the fleeting thought that had filtered through her friend's mind. 

Two young girls, just chillin' together, sharing the wonders of skiing, some Goldfish and a side eye for the ages..

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Mitch's faux mea culpa

 My enmity for Mr. McConnell is boundless. His fingerprints all over the worst the Republican party has offered for well over a decade. 

As minority leader he was mastermind behind the plan to make Barack Obama a one term President, in the process watering down a desperately needed stimulus package and forcing a Rube Goldberg formula to health care reform.

He oversaw the stealing of a Supreme Court seat from Merrick Garland and the blink of an eye confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.

And while he sometimes may have privately railed against the mania of Mr. Trump, he provided more than ample coverage for all the destruction.

Even in the weeks after November 3 he held firm to the party line, offering no resistance to the escalating cries of rage.

And now, even after he hinted at Mr. Trump's guilt, he voted to acquit, undoubtedly pulling with him many who were waiting for Mr. McConnell to signal it was time to cut the cord with the former President.

If one were looking for the definition of too little too late, the search would end with Mr. McConnell's semi mea culpa immediately after the die was cast.

With so much to choose from, maybe no action of this small being is more shameful, more odious than allowing Donald Trump to live, politically, another day. And then suggesting we should feel sympathy for the minority leader because he was powerless to stop it. 

It was, sir, not that you couldn't. It was only that you wouldn't.

Saturday, February 13, 2021


The Republicans voting to acquit Donald Trump will be casting ballots to absolve themselves of their own sins of closing their eyes, holding their noses, shutting their ears and silencing their voices as their leader went on a four year tirade unimpeded by those who well understood the grave implications of doing nothing to stop, or at least slow down, the madness.

How else could this hearing have come to a different conclusion? This entire party is on trial here, McConnell, Cruz, Rubio all with the sworn duty to judge their own conduct. The mob that gathered on January 6th the result of the failings of the 50 Republicans on the jury as much as on the one person on trial.

We are no longer a two party system in this nation. We are as different species now, dressed in similar cloth but without even a hint of any connections to one reality.

And when this ends this morning Donald Trump will be the continuing beneficiary of those who have long since abandoned any pretense of leadership, of morality, of pledge to welfare of nation over self. Guilty of abandoning their post. 

Guilty as not charged.

Thursday, February 11, 2021


 I understand that we are watching the History Channel.

I understand that what is being presented is not done with even the slimmest belief that 17 Republican Senators will walk on water and cast their lot and vote with 50 Democrats.

I understand that future generations must be fully informed as to what transpired on January 6, 2021 and as to the events leading to a day that will, as few others in this nation, live in infamy.

I understand that the grievous, relentless manic attacks by Donald John Trump that served as sound for all the fury must be set forth in detail, the gruesome reality of a President of the United States acting as accelerant for the attempted physical and psychological repudiation of an election shown in all its horrific chapter and verse.

I understand that if this is not  established as a matter of record that the passage of time will allow for the possibility of a reconstitution of facts in a manner suggesting Mr. Trump was unfairly accused, unceremoniously pursued, unjustly tried and ultimately able to emerge whole, intact and manifestly correctly acquitted.

I understand that in the moment this can seem a futile, useless exercise leading to a preordained conclusion. But this, ultimately, is not a trial taking place today, but a recitation intended to be heard, considered and determined tomorrow and in all the tomorrow's to come.

I understand.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


 The hyperbole defense.

Donald Trump speaks and writes in all capital letters and exclamation points. His life but an exaggeration, a caricature of reality rather than reality itself.

So, it would be suggested, as a candidate, he did not fully intend for his supporters to punch out those in the crowd who did not approve of him, did not really perceive he would reach into his pocket to fund their defense. He was just making a point, his words merely there to amplify, not a catalyst to action. But, wink, wink, it wouldn't be the worst outcome if push actually came to a shove or two.

Mr.Trump would contend that he does not, cannot control how others respond, cannot be found accountable for those who would do exactly what he would suggest in Capitol letters. His bold and aggressive language only for show.

But when each day of your existence is spent in incendiary rhetoric, when every exclamation point stokes internal fires in those who don't perceive your wild abuses of language to mean less than they portray, then one day there could well be a sky high explosion, a culmination of all that has come before.

Even considered in the most favorable light, the proclamations of Mr. Trump exhibited a depraved indifference to the resulting probabilities. And when his histrionics are reviewed with a critical eye they reveal something far more sinister.

And so we get January 6th. And so it is, beyond all doubt, obvious that what you say, what you write has consequences. Exclamation points come to life. Inciting insurrection. Inviting a riot. Not hyperbole. Reality. In all CAPITAL LETTERS.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021



I'm gonna lie forever

Now 'til the day that I die
You can never convict me
Why the Hell do you even try

I'm a crook you see
Learned at daddy's knee
I am just the best at it yet
Walked away from all of my debts
Your trial it is really a sham
Tried for being a ham
You're the loser in this charade
I deserve a parade

I'm gonna lie forever
Now 'til the day that I die
You can never convict me 
Why the Hell do you even try

So go and play your games
So go and call me names
You don't have a chance to succeed
You don't have the votes that you need
Your loss it will be my gain
You'll be the one in pain
Yes, it is a Capitol idea
I will laugh at your tears

I'm gonna lie forever
Now 'til the day that I die
You can never convict me
Why the Hell do you even try

Mitch and all his friends
Know how this all ends
You can call it insurrection
Over some trumped up election
So throw your sticks and stones
And throw the left wing bones
But at the end of the day
You'll be the one who'll pay

I'm gonna lie forever
Now 'til the day that I die
You can never convict me
Why the Hell do you even try

And you know that it is no lie

They'll just remember my name

Sunday, February 7, 2021


 This place has definitely grown weary of my presence. My pillow treating me with disdain, bordering on contempt. I can feel the animosity as I lay my head against it, ready for another marathon session in bed watching countless hours of yet another series recommended to me by, Hell I actually have no clue.

The living room shuddering as I meander through, asking me if I don't have something more productive to do then throw myself on the couch and check my phone every three seconds. 

After nearly a year, I am clearly not at one with my immediate surroundings. Yesterday the cabinet where my favorite snacks are housed refused to open for me. "You are looking decidedly flabby. Do a push up or two. Or, at least, take a brisk walk out of the kitchen."

I am bored with myself so I am painfully aware that this apartment has more than ample reason to hold me in such grave disregard.

I go to the bathroom, to the one point of refuge where I am to certain to feel welcome. Today there is a "Do Not Enter" sign on the door.  The worst is the P.S. "It is not you, it's me.  Do not try to call or text. We're over."

Where can I go to seek solace when my home is no more a home? When my shelter from the storm raging outside my door wants nothing more than shelter from me? 

I find myself conscious of my every move, fearful of each gesture. I head into my closet and reach for my jeans. They have disappeared without a trace. And as I look further, most of my clothes have abandoned me. No note left behind. No hint of where they may have gone or if they have any intention of ever returning, even for a brief visit. Reconciliation vanished from the vocabulary.

I have overstayed my welcome here. The pandemic doing collateral damage, robbing me of the comfort of my own abode. 

When this apartment agreed to take me on it was with the implicit understanding that I would not be underfoot day, after week, after month, hour after minute, after second, my presence a relentless water drip. 

Recently, the bathroom advised that I left little pieces of toilet paper on it, without fail, when I cleaned after a poo (its word, not mine). And that my singing in the shower was like fingers scratching across a chalkboard. 

The kitchen sink informed me that it was really not ok to leave dirty breakfast dishes in its care for hours on end, as it prided itself on its cleanliness.

Even the floors told me not to shuffle my feet across them and to please remember to use the entrance mat well enough so I didn't drag remnants of winter across it.

Worse still, the television in the living room refused to turn to the highlights of last week's World Cup ski race. "You already know what happened, Shiffrin finished sixth." Actually, I didn't know that.

I had tried to distance myself from all the criticism, rationalizing that we were all merely feeling the strain of being forever together. But I dearly underestimated the level of unhappiness. This was far more than irritation. I had now been transformed into the enemy.

I saw a cartoon in the New Yorker of a man swallowed up by a stuffed lion on his wall. I now know how he feels.

I put on what small sliver of attire remains. A summer shirt, even as the icicles outside seem to have formed an imposing barrier to the universe. A pair of shorts, khaki in color. And mismatched ski socks.

In the hall closet my heaviest jacket has seen reason to stay. I thank it for its allegiance and then slip it on gently. The only footwear I now locate are my old sneakers, the tread long but distant memory. 

Poorly armed, I turn the knob to the front door, and head into the frigid air that greets me with a very harsh reality.

Yet it is far warmer than what I leave behind.

Constructively removed from my own apartment on the grounds of massively excessive overuse. Irreconcilable differences.

I hear the sound of the door double locking itself as I descend the stairs. 


Friday, February 5, 2021

Daniel Tiger and the Ski Slope in the Front Yard

 As I was finishing up the second run I thought "this might not be such a great idea after all." My back was suggesting, quite strongly, that I call it a day.

So I picked up my shovel, trudged up the hill from where this journey began, and headed inside. My moment on these slopes having come to a rather abrupt and inglorious conclusion.

I fell in love with this sport when my children were little. My young son, able to turn in but one direction,dutifully carried by me fully across the hill  to press the repeat button when he ran out of terrain to make his signature move to the left. My daughter at three fearlessly conquering the best the mountain could offer.

Thus, I may have projected a wee bit onto the tiny shoulders of my first grandchild. Maybe even a teensy bit more than that.

More than a decade ago I had relatively minor back surgery. Years of studiously doing nothing to improve my situation left me in a permanently vulnerable position. Thus my decision yesterday was, in this context, let me put this diplomatically, compellingly idiotic.

This week's snowstorm blanketed the region with skier fervor. It created a white out in my mind as I imagined the possibilities. My granddaughter's front yard the obvious answer to my prayers.

And so there I was, with shovel in hand, manufacturing slopes for a two year old whose thoughts were consumed not with Mikaela Shiffrin but Daniel Tiger. More interested in having another snack than peering out the window to see what Papa was doing for her. Waiting not to impress anyone with her athletic feats but wondering if she could go to school in her pajamas again tomorrow.

The pitch of the yard would allow, so I imagined, for green, blue and black trails. Maybe a snaking run with left hand turns (an homage to my son) and a steep straight slope (to prepare her for the speed events, the downhill and Super G). So what if each run was only 50 feet or so from stem to stern. My back was ever grateful it was not more.

I envisioned the third trail, the green one, coming from a different angle, from the straightaway portion of the driveway before it moved up the incline and turned. As I entered the house, where my wife sat cuddled with this perfect little being mesmerized by the very human exploits of a family of cartoon tigers, I explained my plans for future cutting of this trail.

My granddaughter barely noticed my presence. I thought about asking the Olympic champion of tomorrow if she wanted to turn off the TV to begin her training. Then I reconsidered. Today was all about Daniel Tiger.


Thursday, February 4, 2021

Parking Lot M

 My family had nearly disowned me. My children forced to endure my silent, and not so silent accusations of their failures in this undertaking. My wife constantly reminding me that I had to calm down. Insufferable my new middle name.

As I took my seat to register, the standard questions were posed. I wondered how many responded in a way that would remove them from consideration. 

I had travelled the route to this locale hundreds of times over the past decades. My football team of choice resided in the stadium here and for two decades I repeatedly made this journey to yell, scream and mostly wave my arms in disgust at what had just transpired. A venue where tensions were released. Where life was good and joyous.

Technically, this was a slightly different place. Today I parked my vehicle in a back corner of the enormous lot. In Lot M. Next to where the racetrack stood.

I only recall one instance of having tried to gain entrance to this particular building. It had been nearly forty years before. My wife and I drove here with our son, then less than a year old. We approached the ticket window, our tiny child soundly asleep on my chest, in a snuggly. We were turned away by the agent, informed this was a betting establishment and no one under 18 was permitted. The logic of how we might corrupt our child escaped me, but we dutifully retreated to our car and left the premises.

Today I would not repeat that mistake. There was no chance I would mess up. No, no, no, no. A thousand times no to anything you could ask.This was a pass fail test and failure was not an option. I would not, could not, be denied.

I thanked everyone who assisted me along the snaking corridor as I moved to my ultimate destination. The person who greeted me and asked me to show identification. The one who inquired as to my appointed hour. The one who forgave me being ever so slightly earlier than the earliest time for me to gain admission. The one pointing me down the hall this way and then bending that way. The one giving me instructions as to where to go to sit. And then, finally the two people who would, in the words of Clint Eastwood, make my day.

My wife asked me later how many stations there had been. I couldn't tell her, for I had been solely focused on my assignment. If I had to guess, I would say 20. But it was a blur. I only know I was at 15.

I wondered of the journey of the others who were here this morning. They knew nothing of me or my existence. Nothing of how hard I had been on those who were closest to me. Had their path been similar? Had they been kinder in getting to this moment?

I had actually offended someone even in this last hour. She was directly in front of me and had been moving too slowly at the first point of entry, typing furiously on her cell phone, lagging slightly behind the others in line. "Are you going in?" This was posed as one of those question/statements. "I am with those people." She pointed to an old couple moving ever so slowly up the ramp. I half sprinted past her. She was not happy.

Even in the midst of this undertaking I felt guilt. Twice in our collective movement forward I apologized and offered to exchange positions. She refused on each occasion, in that "it doesn't matter, you jerk" way that only made me feel worse. My mistreatment of others remained unabated, even here. I am a jerk, I thought.

"You will feel something in three." I actually think I felt it at two, but who could quibble at this instant.

And then it was done, a little round sticker placed on the back of my hand, advising as to the exact time this had transpired and reminding me to wait 15 minutes before departing.

I sat in a metal chair, in a room full of metal chairs, staring dutifully at the clock. I did not want to arise before the proper moment, for I wanted to be certain that I got every answer correct on this exam.

My 15 minutes having passed, I got up from my most recent posterior companion, thanked it for its service, and headed through the winding corridor, down the ramp and back to Lot M

This has been an extraordinarily hard year on all of us, each waiting for the tension to release. Each wanting it to be as it was when we could sit in the stands, our pleasures our only concerns. A place where life was good. For far too long those stands have remained empty, silent and cold.

Today, four decades later, the ticket agent had finally allowed me entrance. Today I could finally hear faint shouts of joy coming from the stadium. Today I could imagine the possibility of a better tomorrow. For me. For all of us.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Disappearing President - A Magic Trick

The Republican party has taught us about the concept of the disappearing President.

In 2016 we were instructed that the term in office of Barack Obama was merely three years, as Merrick Garland was denied an opportunity to take a seat on our highest court. The last year of Mr. Obama's putative presidency, in the oratory of his opposition, rendered moot, deemed null and void, as only the will of the people at the ballot box that November could determine the future course of our nation. The Oval Office imagined vacant.  

Fast forward to the waning moments of Mr. Trump's era. We are now advised he is not responsible for his actions taken with one foot out the door. The presidency disappearing, Houdini like, before our very eyes. You see, the will of the people had effectively removed Mr. Trump from office on that November day, and he ceased to exist thereafter. His words of instruction and their consequences on January 6th but a mirage.

Elections, so the saying goes, have consequences. In the Republican version of this tale, they render Democrats powerless before their time is up and make members of their own party blameless for stepping on democracy on their way out the door.

Time has an elasticity in this universe. Imbued with the power to punish or forgive. 

Now you see it. Now you don't.

A magic trick.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Should N.B.A. Players Jump the Vaccine Line?

 ("Should N.B.A. Players Jump the Vaccine Line?")

Free shot at a foul line?

This vaccine is a literal life saver, manna from heaven, our antidote to a disease that has now infected more than a 100 million people worldwide, invaded the homes of rich and poor alike and pressed the pause button on our lives.

We have all seen the images of people waiting in enormous lines desperate for their shot. We have watched in dismay as the Trump administration left us in disarray, our crying needs often met with nothing more than disillusion.

And while I stand firm with Mr. Jabbar in the desire for all who are given the opportunity to get the shot now, I am uncomfortable in the thought that there is ample reason for NBA stars to jump the line. 

The rollout should not play favorites. No one more entitled, no one because of status or privilege able to pick and roll to the basket for an easy two. No politician, no Fortune 500 CEO, no sports hero, black or white. No one better, or better able, than the ones in the most difficult circumstances. In this time of crisis we are all to be treated with equal regard. With equal respect.

Let these stars speak with one voice of loved ones lost, of the fervent hope that their moms and dads get vaccinated soon. Let them say they are as anxious for their own shot as they are for a championship ring. Let them say that the best thing they can do for themselves, their family, their friends and their fans is to step up to the line when their name is called to take a free shot.

Now that message would be a real game winner.