Quid pro quo

I recently exchanged a riding mower for $500. There was nothing wrong with the transaction, except maybe I let it go for a bit less than it was worth. I didn’t need the mower any more so I had something to trade for something. Something for something. This for that. If I were into Latin I could say ‘quid pro quo.’  It is the simplest three word description for a transaction. You have something I want and I’ll give you something you want for it.

There is no question that a businessman become U.S. President does not understand that concept. If perhaps, you do not agree that any businessman would know the meaning of the phrase and the process it describes, can you possibly doubt that a U.S. President who understands all negotiations as transactions could not know what he is doing in a ‘something for something’ conversation.

President A: It is my hope and expectation that we can obtain more of your military equipment.

President B: Uhum, and I have a favor to ask. Could you expedite an investigation in your country of one of my political opponents?

What could possibly be simpler to understand? Something for something. This for that.

On July 26, 1920, H. L. Mencken wrote in the Baltimore Evening Sun: “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents more and more closely the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, an the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”

That ‘great and glorious day’ has arrived! Mencken’s wit has been appreciated for a long time but it has taken nearly a hundred years for his clairvoyance to be proved. Can a ‘complete narcissistic moron’ be impeached? I hope so.


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Shift Happens!

No, I have not erred in titling this post. I have not misspelled the first word. Yes, that other phrase is often appropriate, but what I want to say is a kind of counter response to that other phrase.

It is now 4PM on August 26, 2019. Fifty-seven years ago, within the past thirty minutes, Jane’s pastor asked us to plight our troth and spoke the words that announced us husband and wife. Nineteen thousand eight hundred and five days, plus the leap days in the leap years, we have been married. That is nearly five hundred thousand, nearly half a million, hours!

I am not the boy, nor is she the girl who answered those questions and spoke those promises. We have changed. She no longer appears to be the wasp-waisted nymph, nor do I appear the trim, flat-topped lad of 1962.

We have changed. Who can identify the metamorphoses? Neither of us can. We have each noticed the differences. We have even welcomed most of those new selves our partner has become. And those we’d rather not have had to greet, we have accepted or just ignored.

Perhaps that is a part of the secret to a long and happy marriage. We have both, with little more than a nod, pledged that troth over and over again in a kind of serial monogamy.

I am glad to have experienced what the Buddha identified. Nothing remains the same. Shift happens.


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World’s Newest Cartographer

New countries are usually created by their inhabitants or by some political process involving treaties and boundaries. This week though, the lines on international maps have been re-aligned by a Tweet. The Tweetie-Bird who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia has designated three new political boundaries.

The city of Cincinnati, once the main hog slaughtering and beer brewing municipality in the State of Ohio, is now The Principality of Cincinnati. The W.H.O. (White House Occupant) by his own royal declaration has identified this shit-hole of a country as the place to which Rep. Amanda Pressley should return.

Now I have lived in Cincinnati, across the way from the Over-the-Rhine, in the Northside, on Chase Avenue. Two of our sons, Steven and Sean, were born in Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati before it became the more recently designated shit-hole Principality. Granted Cincinnati has had its flirtations with odd politicians (Jerry Springer was once mayor and while in that office wrote a check to a prostitute to cover her services; yes that Jerry Springer), but by and large, run-of-the-mill Republicans have dominated politics to bring it to its shitty state. When I last drove through on I-71, we passed through no border point; it was still a city on the north bank of a river. I did not have to show my Passport to cross the Ohio River into Kentucky. Hmmm, Kentucky the home ground of the jowly visage that could one day face you on, say, a Two-Dollar Bill.

I’ve never lived in Detroit, but everyone knows that it has seen better days, as has Flint. But a shit-hole “Le Etat du Nord-Detroit,” I don’t think so. I don’t even think Canada would take it on as one of its Provinces. It remains in the State of Michigan and needs all the help it can get. Perhaps Rep. Tlaib might want, someday to go home, but it will not be back to another country.

And finally AOC’s home country, the newly designated Trumphate of Bronx-Queens. If the WHO (no, not the World Health Organization, Bronx and Queens probably have their own Health Departments as Burroughs) could borrow enough from Deutsche Bank to buy up all the real estate and put in a couple of successful casinos he does not bankrupt, they might function independently as Sovereign. But Amazon isn’t so far allowed to create a sovereign currency, so I doubt the Trumphate can either. Meanwhile AOC is back where she came from.


Filed under impeachment, phony, politics, Republican, Resistance, Trump, Uncategorized

The Wheels on the Bus Go . . .

Dear Madam Secretary Devos,

Bless your Dutch Capitalist heart, the President has thrown you under the bus, countering your intention to defund Special Olympics. He is going to fund it because he cares for … no, he cares not a whit for developmentally disabled kids and adults. He cares only and always for his name and his BRAND. Your thoughtless decision to leave the Special Olympics out of your budget was very bad optics for Trump and his BRAND. So under the bus you go!

I cannot imagine that you were, in any way, surprised. He is simply following the business model of your pyramid sales scheme AmWay, that cared not a whit for all those franchise buyers. You readily threw them under the bus and came out of it criminally wealthy. Few have succeeded like you and your family since the days of Charlie Ponzi. You should have known to glance up to see what the guy at the next level above you was up to. As our Liar-in-Chief said, “My people” are going to fund Special Olympics. Guess you are no longer one of ‘my people.’

I’d say I’m sorry that you got flim-flammed but I cannot find it in me to have any pity for you and your kind. Whatever happens to diminish your reputation, all I can imagine is that ‘it couldn’t have happened to a better person.’


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Nixon Was A Petty Criminal

Yes, Tricky Dick was personally involved in a break-in to the opposition political party’s office. His Republican contemporaries persuaded him to resign as President of the USA, because his Petty Criminal involvement really amounted to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” bar of impeachment language.

Compared to Trump’s self-interested actions,  Trump’s daily lies, Trump’s continued alignment with Putin, Nixon was someone whose crime was the equivalent of spitting on the sidewalk or urinating in an alley.

Is it really a a violation of national security to have oral sex with an intern? OK, the cigar thing was more than an embarrassment, but no one really thought Clinton had violated the Nation by his sexual addictions and crude behavior.

But Trump?? Who can even begin to imagine that Trump is not guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors? ” Of course, Trump’s base does not think so. That surprises no one. Trump’s base is as base as is humanly possible.


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Only the most deluded believe this!

Both sides of Republican and Democratic legislators agree on an agreement that will keep the government open, and both have compromised to reach this agreement. Still though, our President, OK, your President, does not find such compromise acceptable.

What can one discern from this? Only that Trump is interested ONLY in his self-serving proposition. Of course, the Freedom Caucus does not agree with the compromise, that merely means that the compromise is what is in the best interest of the country. Mitch and Nancy KNOW what works in our country!

Only the most deluded agree with our Liar in Chief, Donald J. Trump!!


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Executive Time

Let’s not criticize POTUS 45 for spending 60% of his time in “executive time,” ie, watching TV and tweeting. Think of the problems he could create if he tried to actually govern! TV and Tweets six days a week, and 18 holes four times a week are exactly the best we can hope for. Incompetence in the Oval Office could not be better restrained. Mr. President, you deserve all the executive time you want! We deserve it Too!


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Is A Vampire Abroad in the Land?

I do not know anything really about vampires. I think I remember that if one bites you, then you become one.

Well, it seems that someone or something bit Lindsay Graham.  Right before our eyes, we saw him transformed from one of the most rational of our Senators, best friend of the late Senator McCain, into a raging, vicious persona that could startle a person awake as in a nightmare. That face dripping with venom was, well it was like the Honorable Mr. Kavanaugh.

We’ve seen this face before; POTUS 45 in a rage.

Hmmm, the Honorable Mr. Kavanaugh is said to have spent several days huddled in the White House in preparation for his hearing. Senator Graham spends lots of time close to the President too, of late. Could they both have been exposed and infected?

Maybe #MeToo has set loose a virulence of WMP [yes, sounds like ‘wimp,’ [White Male Privilege]?

One can hope that the gall spewing from the Judge and the Senator are the death rattles of elite privilege!


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Civility Is Not A Smiley Face

We do not now, and we never did live in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Though he tried very hard and we parents of the late 60s and early 70s give our kids over to his tutelage for hours each week, the world of Brockett’s Bakery is in the World of Make Believe and Mr. Trolley can no longer transport us there.

There is no zip-up cardigan for us to slip into as we don our blue sneakers to leave our work-a-day world to create a world safe for children. We live in a world where children are forcibly taken from parents and kept in chain-link enclosures. We live in a world where the bakery down the street can refuse to bake a wedding cake with two men or two women atop it because the marital status of the customers offends the religious sensibility of the baker. We live in a world where parents need to explain to their children what the President means when he says on TV that he has grabbed them by their ‘pussy.’ We live in a world where it would take Mr. Rogers several episodes to help the audience understand that when the President tells things that have no basis in fact, that he is telling a lie. No, we do not have to pretend that Prince Tuesday is having scary dreams. The nightmare a substantial number of us are having is not pretend.

And no, Donny, we do not “like you, just the way you are!” One of Fred Rogers quotes is simply not true when it comes to you; “One of the greatest gifts you can give is the gift of your honest self…” Your honest self, Mr. President is an embarrassment, and an offense to decency and civility. I am not talking about conservative policies with which many of us disagree, I am speaking about you, you as a person.

It is true that we did once have a President elected from Ohio who had a private nom de guerre for his penis, I think he called it ‘Jerry,’ and it is true that one of our assassinated leaders is reported to have had affairs aplenty, but you sir, ‘take the cake.’ A minority of us in this country elected you, Donald, to the highest office in the land, but now all of us are stuck with a moral low-life.

But to stop the ad hominem nature of this piece and get back to the nightmare, your policies are as immoral as your character. Your tax bill feeds the bloated wealthy. Your foreign trade ideas undermine American industry in the short and long run. Your flirtation with foreign oligarchs and despots is egomania disguised as foreign policy. Your immigration policies are counter-productive to the future of our society, contrary to our national principles and inhumane.

Come mid-terms, Mr. McFeely and many of us, I hope this time a majority, will not be singing to you and yours, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.”


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Recurring Parasite Infections

My local newspaper carried an interesting account this morning. Guinea Worm, almost obliterated by the Carter Foundation’s eradication program, except in a couple of countries, is back and dangerous. In an African country or two, apparently dogs are being infested, perhaps from drinking water infested with Guinea Worm eggs or eating entrails cast aside from fish taken from infested waters. The worry is that it is nearly impossible to eradicate such a parasite from an animal vector as it can readily spread to other animals and then back again to humans.

As I read the article, the implications took on a metaphoric meaning.

What the Trump Cult reveals, I think, is that an ugly Fascist, racist, nationalist ideology we had hoped had been eliminated, like an almost eradicated parasite, has reappeared and is infesting or has lain dormant in a significant number of the populace.

This ugly ideology that we hoped had been severely curtailed in our American society in recent years, seems to have a public outbreak again. It would seem that its incidence had been lowered, at least in polite society, until the Big Dog in a kennel on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. has given evidence of being infected. The feces tweeted by the Great Golden Canine has infected a tribe in our society, apparently genetically prone to such outbreak.

Ninety percent of the Republican Party applauds and supports the Top Dog. Yes, they admit, he is unruly, does not heel readily and is not quite house-trained, but they love him anyhow. He is after all, their Best-of-Show breed and he does perform as they expect in the show arena to the roar of crowds. It seems that they really expect there to be a Red Wave of parasitic infestation to follow in the months ahead.

Apparently total eradication of painful parasites is nearly impossible. It is too bad there is not a political analogy to The Carter Foundation that can focus on ridding our country of this plague.



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