Sunday, December 22, 2019


The  kids are home.  The tree is up,  The stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

And the last check I wrote cleared the bank.

Time to take a break from blogging and concentrate on what is important this holiday season.

Mainly that the temperatures next week are going to be in the sixties.  Which means I can play golf at least 2-3 times.  I’m not likely to hear “The Little Drummer Boy” a single time while looking for my tee shot in the rough.  And that’s important to me.

Have a good one yourself however you choose to endure Christmas and I will see you next year.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

My Sunday Feeling

It will be up to history to judge the present moment.  

The House Judiciary Committee has referred two Articles of Impeachment to the full House.  The Committee vote was strictly upon party lines.  The vote by the full House of Representatives on whether to refer the Articles to the Senate for trial will likewise be along party lines.  It is expected to pass.  

Then what?  

Then Trump will skate.  Period.  Unless he shoots RBG between now and the Senate trial there is no other conceivable outcome.  And I'm not sure even that would be enough for the Rs to turn on him. 

The last thing that I read on the issue had the head "juror", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that he is working with the White House on how the "trial" in the Senate should unfold.  There is a good chance that there won't even be a trial.  He may just call for a vote of acquittal and let it go at that.

Many people are outraged by this.  I'm not.  I lost the capacity for that long ago.  The outcome was never in doubt even as the House began work on these issues shortly after the whistleblower made his or her report concerning Trump conditioning foreign aid to the Ukraine upon a "favor."  Said favor being the announcement of an investigation by them into  Joe and Hunter Biden, the former being a political rival.  The latter being a millstone around the rival's neck.

So why go through the time and expense of the opposite of a show trial in which the Republicans fail to present any exculpatory evidence and acquit anyway?  

Don't get me wrong.  I don't blame the Democrats for getting the ball rolling.  What else were they to do?  A good friend of mine was arguing for this over a year ago.  His position was even though the Republicans would never convict, much less remove, the President it was the duty of the House under the Constitution to refer Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.  He felt that the Republicans would own the judgment of history.

Well my buddy's position is about to get tested.  Big time.  

That must explain all of the telephone calls I've been getting lately.  I never pick up a call if I don't recognize the number.  I've had a dozen or so calls, some back-to-back, in the past week or so.  They never left a voice mail.  

A couple of folks at school have had the same experience.  They told me that the callers were all pollsters.  And sure enough one of them texted me in order to let me know they had been trying to call me and would I answer some questions by text?


Fingers are being thrust up into the wind.  There's money being spent because there's money to be made.  God bless.  Leave me out of it.

But back to the circus that is about to occur next Wednesday.  It occurs to me that the House has another option, even after the Senate springs the Dear Leader.  The House can still censure him.  And there's not a damn thing the Senate could do about it.  Granted censure doesn’t mean much legally. And a later House can reverse it.  But, assuming that Trump is again the standard bearer of the GOP and Fox News, which is a good assumption, their candidate  for the Oval Office would be only the second President in history to have been censured by a House of Congress.  

The Dear Leader talks and tweets tough but he has skin of rice paper.  I mean, c’mon. He can't stand the notion that Time Magazine put a climate activist that happens to be a 16 year old girl on its cover as "Person of the Year."  Imagine how much he is going to like having to carry the brand of the "scarlet C" on his undying resume?

But this would merely be a "fact."  And if we have learned anything since 2016 it's that facts don't much matter anymore at this point in time. That and some people are incapable of shame.  Maybe that will change but I do not hold out much hope of that.  At least not in the short term.

That's why it is up to history to judge this present moment.  Because maybe someday facts will matter once again.  

Sunday, December 08, 2019

My Sunday Feeling

It happens this time of year every year.  

I was walking across the parking lot of my local grocery store when I was approached by street person.  Or a woman impersonating one.  

Her fists were balled up in front of her face.  

"I need help!" she yelled. "I've been turned down by the VA!"

Pretty aggressive.  And most likely untrue.  It is my privilege to render legal assistance to veterans at the VA legal clinic every month.  Not many veterans are flat out "turned down." Whatever that means.

I muttered an apology and moved on.

Did I feel badly for her?  Of course I did.  But as I have said before I don't give money to panhandlers.  The majority of them will take your donation and drink it up or smoke it up.  Besides, it is inefficient.  Any charitable organization dedicated to the homeless that you can think of can make wiser use of a dollar then a guy on the street.  

The Deacon and I differ in this regard.  Then again, she is a better person than I am.  And she has dedicated her ministry to homeless people.  Every Wednesday and Sunday she goes downtown to a converted storefront where CANVAS, a United Methodist outreach to the homeless, holds church services.  They also feed folks, provide clothes and other services. And every time I go over there I give them money.  I have no doubt that it is used wisely and efficiently.

The Deacon is more apt to give a panhandler money.  That's OK.  As one of her fellow Methodist preachers who does the same told me that what the panhandler does with the money he is given is between him and God.   Which I guess is the right way to think of these matters.

But I won't do it.  

It's not that my heart is made of stone.  I contribute my fair share to charity.  I do a lot of pro bono work for Legal Aid type organizations. I am a sucker for a hard luck story.  Once I check it out and find out that it is a true story.  And I do check them out.  Every one. Sometimes I get lied to.  You would be surprised.  In any event, that seems like a better use of my time and resources.  

The Deacon sees my point.  She doesn't agree with it but she sees it.  And she is the sort of person that, if she at least sees a point to a particular position that she disagrees with, is liable to let it rest. This is part of the lubrication for the finely tuned engine that is our marriage. 

But while tis the season for holiday cheer and all of that, it is also the season for porch thieves and con artists.  During the first week of the Advent season I have gotten 2 voice mails warning of my imminent arrest "by the magistrate" based on my "fraudulent activity."  I have gotten one Nigerian email.  And yesterday a panhandler got in my face.  

I don't have an answer to the problem of genuine want and poverty. Neither do you. And neither do the good folks at CANVAS, Catholic Social Services or Our House, just to name a few organizations off the top of my head that are knee deep in these issues.

But may God bless and keep all of  these organizations comprised of people like the Deacon that are truly doing the Work of the Lord against overwhelming odds.     

They say you can't throw money at a problem.  I say go ahead throw money at these or another favorite charity.  Trust me.  They will spend it wisely.  

And you will know where your money is going.  Unlike if you give your credit card number over the phone to the guy that says that "the magistrate" is after your ass this Holiday season.