A LITTLE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today;
Oh, how I wish he’d go away…
–Wm. Hughes Mearns

I was reminded of the above (from the 1899 poem ANTIGONISH) by this opening paragraph of a column by Susan Page in USA TODAY:

“At the [9/1/18] memorial service he had carefully planned, John McCain managed to deliver a final and defiant rebuke to the man who wasn’t there, whose name was never uttered.” In that spirit, I too will honor John McCain by not mentioning the name of the man who wasn’t there. We all (who follow the news) know the name of the man who wasn’t there, and we all know why he wasn’t there.

Susan Page goes on to quote the following words spoken so eloquently at the service by Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Arizona Senator:

“We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”

The little man who wasn’t there once said that John McCain was no hero. The little man who wasn’t there isn’t fit to say ANYONE is no hero, because a narcissistic, bullying, amoral coward has no standing to judge the worth of anything, much less heroism.

“Oh, how I wish he’d go away”….but it will take more than wishes. It will take our votes. Nothing less than a resounding vote against political enablers of the President will convince Republicans that it’s in their self-interest to ‘flip.’ And make no mistake — to them, political self-interest (and living to fight another day) is everything.

 

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WE’RE ALL HUMAN (EVEN REPUBLICANS)

For those who pay little attention to American politics, the name of attorney Michael Avenatti may be unfamiliar, but most of you have no doubt heard of his famous client, the porn star and ex-Trump hookup, Stormy Daniels. I bring Avenatti up because I have often wondered why Democrats don’t more vehemently challenge GOP complicity when President Bully Boy acts as if the country were his own personal fiefdom to ru(i)n as he damn well pleases. On August 10, Avenatti addressed that very question:

Now, I fully recognize that the Republican faithful (at least, a fair number of them) are human and, as such, susceptible to being sold a bill of goods and/or being evangelized by a vainglorious pied piper. As an ex-Catholic, I know what it’s like to be vulnerable to vested interests in positions of authority. They seem to have all the answers at a time answers are hard to come by, but you haven’t yet grown to realize that, to those who claim to have the answers, you are part of their agenda, another recruit to their cause/beliefs. Easy pickings.

So, while I can empathize with being gullible (because I’ve been there, done that), there is a bigger issue at stake here, and that is what kind of country are we becoming? When will it prove too late to undo the divisiveness, to blue pencil the Orange Man who debases the dark place that was once The White House? What in the name of civility and integrity has become of our standards of leadership?

America has never been “a perfect union”–far from it–but in a world where almost everything is relative, we are at a new low in my lifetime. For all the faults and failings of past Presidents, has there ever been one so self-obsessed, so megalomaniacal, so utterly incapable of reflection and putting himself in the place of those who come from a different place (both literally and figuratively)?

I started this post intending to intersperse some humor into a sober matter, but despite all the Trump satire and jokes that serve as a sort of laugh-to-keep-from-crying palliative (I plead guilty to occasionally getting in on the relief act), there’s really nothing funny about this President in the long run. At the end of the day, the joke is on us….and we brought it on ourselves. Now it’s up to us–we, the voters–to get serious about an act of contrition.

November 6, 2018 would be a good time to start.

I BE NOMINATED FOR THE KIESTER AWARD!

Friends, I am proud, humbled and honored to tell you that I (will) be nominated for the Kiester Award for blogging (over, above and beyond the call of duty, no less). Yes, friends, I foresee that you will see fit, after reading this, not only to get off (or on) your kiester, as the case-ster may be, to nominate me….but also to kick yourself in the kiester for not doing so before. So, though your awakening may be in arrears, it is appreciated.

But I’m conflicted, friends. It’s not that I’m ungrateful for the Kiester that you are aching to bestow upon me; however, there are others much more deserving. I would therefore caution you to control yourselves, because worthy as I may be, it’s only right (wing) that you should nominate someone with far superior qualities, such as:

THE DONALD — aka The Orange (T)error. America’s bully boy and wall nut who is able to leap (t)all Republicans in a single bound and make them kiss his ass in a single tweet. Drains swamps by filling them in with b.s. Loves everyone (who loves him), but retains Godfather complex (for those who don’t).

THE MIKESTER — aka Straightarrow Mike. Joined to The Donald at the hip while being the least hip VP in American hipstery. Even a dog couldn’t be more loyal. Leading contender for the Cardboard Poodle award.

THE MITCH-ELAINE MAN — aka Monotone Mitch. The Blue Grass State’s gift horse to the U.S. Senate. Was once caught smiling, and vowed never to smile again. Doesn’t parrot The Donald as much as The Mikester, but is nonetheless for the birds. Married to Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation in the horse’s ass administration.

THE HUCKABEE WASP — aka Sarah the married Spinstirrer. White House Press Secretary and daughter of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Christian Minister and former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee. Read her lips. She may not be a dummy, but The Donald’s got her back (or is it the other way around?).

DUMBO THE UGLY ELEPHANT — aka The GOP. It’s the body the Republican Party has become since The Donald took power, as Ronald Reagan turned over in his grave. Who knew Ronnie’s reign as President would one day turn out to be, not only The Good Old Days of fond memory, but the elephant in the room, the ghost of civility past?

In closing, friends, a few of you may think I misspelled Keister, but in my dictionary, Kiester is also acceptable. Spelling can be like pronunciation:

BELIEVE IT, BELOVED

If you’ve ever experienced watching something happen that you found hard to believe was happening — like the shock of seeing the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers burn and collapse as one plane, then another, exploded into them on 9/11 — you get the idea of what many felt watching voting results unfold on election night into the wee hours of 11/9.

True — heavily-favored Hillary was a flawed candidate whose baggage was picked apart and mega-magnified by Trumped-up claims….and we who aren’t blind Clinton partisans realized that (for all her political experience) she was not a ‘natural’ as a campaigner, nor was she judicious enough to avoid making “deplorable” mistakes that left us wondering how someone so seasoned could make them. But we thought those shortcomings and errors paled in comparison to the narcissistic, knowledge-challenged, scorched-earth shamelessness of P.T. Barnum the Second, aka Donald Trump. Wrong. Disaffected voters sought a savior, and voted their anger, emotions and perceptions…. and now we face four years of BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, beginning January 20, Inauguration Day. It should be interesting.

Meanwhile, back at the rant, I remember Republicans after the 2008 election vowing to do everything they could to make Obama a failed President. Contrast that with Obama at the White House yesterday saying he hopes Trump (who until recently claimed Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. & shouldn’t even be President) will be a success because “we’re Americans first,” not Republicans or Democrats. But enough about the election and wishful thinking. It’s over, and I’m looking at the bright side:
No more political robocalls ad infinitum.
No more political commercials on TV ad absurdum.
No more mailbox stuffed with political spin ad nauseam.
No more political campaign speeches which seem to go on ad vitam.
Need I ad etcetera?

BOOS IN THE NIGHT

To protect ourselves from hordes of trick-threatening little monsters demanding treats at mister & missus muse’s doorway tomorrow night, I’m considering leaving the lights off as darkness descends on our humble abode….sort of the ‘discretion-is-the-better-part-of-valor’ equivalent of playing dead if real life (threatening) monsters were to besiege us.

But I fear that the more worldly-wise of those juvenile mendicants will see through my hoary Halloween subterfuge — especially if they shine a flashlight through our garage window, see cobwebs stretching from my wife’s 1929 Duesenberg Model J Sports Sedan to my 1919 Locomobile Model 48 Town Car, and (putting two and to together) realize we senior citizens haven’t gone out in ages. We are home.

So I put my thinking cap-tion on to come up with the title of this post and a plan that, while it may not fool the little devils into passing us by, should absolutely scare the bejesus out of them when they approach: a bigger than life-size cutout (revealed by motion-activated overhead light) of — who else — DONALD TRUMP on the stump and rigged with appropriate sound effects (such as “Get ’em outta here!“). If that doesn’t do the trick, I don’t know what wood. Here’s a sneak preview — BOO!

waynes-pic

Now, you might think: Surely some of those pre-pubescent scavengers are little Republicans who adore The Donald and will think his visage is such a treat that they will knock on my door just to thank me, and not even ask for goodies. To you I say airily:

As for those Donald-adorers and their thanks, I will say: You’re NOT welcome. Next Halloween, the specter of that mean-spirited blowhard will be replaced by a cutout of President (if she doesn’t blow it) Hillary warning you bad little beggars to get the GOP-hell outta here and never darken my door again. But as long as you’re here now, you might as well leave a donation to The Clinton Foundation — if you know what’s good for you.

WIT HUNT

Eight years ago, I said it was time to change the tone of politics; in hindsight, I should have been more specific. — Barack Obama (2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner)

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I am going to miss President Obama when he’s ‘gone’….if for no other virtue than his laid-back wit — a quality sadly lacking in the two major candidates to succeed him, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump  (not to mention his wit-less former GOP rivals):

One View: 2016 candidates lack wit of predecessors

At least Hillary managed a treasonable (to Trump apologists) facsimile of wit in a June 21 speech: “Trump has written a lot of books about business – they all seem to end at chapter 11” (a reference to his four corporate bankruptcies). Granted, that line was probably conceived by a speech writer, but she delivered it as if it were her baby, and to hold it against her is extraneous to witticisms delivered by past actual or would-be Presidents. Wit the help of assiduous research, here are a dozen of yore favorites (and I quote):

I do declare, if this be true, General Pinckney has kept them all for himself and cheated me out of my two. –John Adams (in response to rumors that he had dispatched the General to England to bring back four mistresses: two for Pinckney and two for Adams)

If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one? –Abraham Lincoln (when accused by Stephen Douglas of being two-faced)

Accuracy to a newspaper is what virtue is to a lady; but a newspaper can always print a retraction. –Adlai Stevenson

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. –Ronald Reagan

Being President is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening. –Bill Clinton

If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. –Adlai Stevenson

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. –Abraham Lincoln (Are you listening, Donald Trump?)

I hope you’re all Republicans. —Ronald Reagan (to surgeons upon entering the operating room following 1981 assassination attempt)

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. –John F. Kennedy (at a White House dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners)

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency — even if I’m in a cabinet meeting. –Ronald Reagan

A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation. –Adlai Stevenson

When they call the role in the Senate, the Senators don’t know whether to answer “present” or “not guilty.” –Teddy Roosevelt

And with that exhaustive compendium, I’m at wit’s end.

 

HOLD THAT NOSE!

When I remarked, in a comment to my last post, that some mugwump Republicans would “hold their noses” while voting for you-know-who, it brought to mind (who nose why?) the old college football exhortation, HOLD THAT LINE!….which, in turn, suggests a catchy campaign slogan for the GOP’s Offensive Lines Man: HOLD THAT NOSE! VOTE FOR TRUMP!

The nose, it seems, has long been a useful appendage when it comes to exhortations:

KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT OF MY BUSINESS
DON’T BE A HARD NOSE
KEEP YOUR NOSE CLEAN
DON’T CUT OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE
KEEP YOUR NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE
DON’T GET YOUR NOSE OUT OF JOINT
Etc.

I don’t nose about you, but I find people with noses fascinating — especially thoses with long noses….especially thoses whose noses made them famous.

On the other hand, I don’t think it’s fair that animals with big noses are often seen as having faces only a mother could love:

Animals with Big Noses

Did you notice that several humans managed to horn their way into that mix of pix, one of whom seems bent on cutting off his nose to spite his face?As Jimmy “Schnozzola” Durante used to say, “Everybody wants to get into the act,” but that guy is apparently trying to take a short cut. Oh, well, it’s no skin off of my nose.

Of course, not everyone is blessed with a big nose, otherwise mistermuse might be known as misternose. HAHAHA!  The point is that you don’t have to have a natural big nose to clown around and be a big hit with the young at heart: