Eric Trump was one who sneered at the pandemic in late Spring, and said media attention to it was no more than a Democratic Party campaign ploy. As reported in Forbes(a respected, business-oriented journal):
During an interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” Eric Trump, the son of President Donald Trump said, “And guess what, after November 3 coronavirus will magically all of a sudden go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen.”
The following tweet includes a video of this segment: [ text: “Biden loves this,” @EricTrump says, talking about agonizing shutdowns during the pandemic… “They’ll milk it every single day between now and Nov. 3, and guess what. . .”
He repeated the talking point in a TIME report:“They think they’re taking away Donald Trump’s greatest tool, which is being able to go into an arena and fill it with 50,000 people every single time…,”Trump said. “And you watch, they’ll milk it every single day between now and Nov. 3. And guess what, after Nov. 3 coronavirus will magically, all of a sudden, go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen.”
Trump added in the TIME report that that Vice President Biden “loves this” because [Biden] is not able to draw comparable crowds to his campaign events. He said that Democrats are trying to take away the President’s “greatest asset”— his ability to connect with the American people, and appear at campaign rallies.
News reports since Election Tuesday indicate that a growing number of White House staffers are reviewing their resumes, riffling through address/networking lists and beginning to think about a post-West Wing job search.
This possibility was evidently not on their radar when they were watching the Boss’s rallies last week, hearing the crowds roar their belief in an impending red wave and screaming for four more years (at least).
But it seems that Fate, or the Deep State, had other ideas.
The post-election reports also whisper that for some, maybe many who have labored inside the fence around Lafayette Park since January 2017, employment prospects might not be as plentiful as they would have expected. After all, there’s been a pandemic-driven crash. Plus something about 20,000-plus lies, threats of violence, and 500-plus families broken up at the border, the technical term for which is, stinking up the place.Continue reading Job-Hunting Leads for Departing White House Staffers→
Diane Di Prima was an anarchist feminist Beatnik poet, who died this past weekend at 86, in San Francisco.
I didn’t really follow her work or career. But I was an early long-distance fan of the Beats, and one of her poems, part of a series of “Revolutionary Letters,” caught my attention. For my second book, Uncertain Resurrection, about the failure of Dr. King’s 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign, I included it as an epigraph and opening lament. I can still feel its sting half a century later.
Here it is, along with an excerpt from her obituary in the Washington Post:
Revolutionary Letters #19
if what you want is jobs for everyone, you are still the enemy, you have not thought thru, clearly what it means
if what you want is housing, industry (G. E. on the Navaho reservation) a car for everyone, garage, refrigerator, TV, more plumbing, scientific freeways, you are still the enemy, you have chosen to sacrifice the planet for a few years of some science fiction utopia, if what you want
still is, or can be, schools where all our kids are pushed into one shape, are taught it’s better to be “American” than black or Indian, or Jap, or PR, where Dick and Jane become and are the dream, do you look like Dick’s father, don’t you think your kid secretly wishes you did
if what you want is clinics where the AMA can feed you pills to keep you weak, or sterile, shoot germs into your kids, while Merck & Co. grows richer
if you want free psychiatric help for everyone so that the shrinks, pimps for this decadence, can make it flower for us, if you want
if you still want a piece a small piece of suburbia, green lawn laid down by the square foot color TV, whose radiant energy kills brain cells, whose subliminal ads brainwash your children, have taken over your dreams
degrees from universities which are nothing more than slum landlords, festering sinks of lies, so you too can go forth and lie to others on some greeny campus
THEN YOU ARE STILL THE ENEMY, you are selling yourself short, remember you can have what you ask for, ask for
Not Making This Up Dept. (But hat-tip to “Nina” for her made-up contribution. See below.)
A dozen or so heavily armed white men walked through downtown Raleigh NC on a balmy re-opening Saturday.
to add spice to the incursion, they went into a Subway and ordered up foot-longs, which looked tiny compared to the hardware they were toting.
News photographers and police officers followed them, tho there were no arrests. But there were a couple of incidents:
One was that a marcher bearing a heavy lug wrench paused to intimidate a black couple who passed by, “armed” with only a pair of twins in a stroller.
The other came a bit later. The Raleigh News & Observer posted photos of the event, which immediately went viral.
But soon the photos drew the sardonic ire of “Nina” on Twitter, who reposted the photos, having replaced the long guns with equally long, sensual-looking subs . . .
In just a few strokes, her handiwork turned the incursion into something like an out-take from a Cold Opening on Saturday Night Live that didn’t quite work out. (That lug wrench bit has to go.)
“Nina” explained her work as meant to be funny, but added:
“We can’t shoot the virus and make it go away.”
And I cant unsee the images of grown men hugging five feet of Cold cuts & cheese slices, their First & Second Amendments just good enough to eat.
Today, April 30, 2020, is Annie Dillard’s birthday.
Among the many authors who interest me, she might be the one I would most like to be email & text message-buddies with, so I could have a chance to keep up with her laser sharp thoughts and squibs on, whatever.
I can no longer travel, can’t meet with strangers, can’t sign books but will sign labels with SASE, can’t write by request, and can’t answer letters. I’ve got to read and concentrate. Why? Beats me. . . . (I’ve posted this web-page in defense; a crook bought the name and printed dirty pictures, then offered to sell it to me. I bit. In the course of that I learned the web is full of misinformation. This is a corrective.)
Doug Gwyn has been a frequent contributor to Quaker Theology. Our readers have known him as a theological historian, who has written in depth about early Friends, as well as recent American Quakers.
Of the books, I’d pick as his masterwork, Personality and Place (our review is here), which he calls a theological history of Pendle hill, the Pennsylvania study center and Quaker cultural crossroads. It’s that and much more: a probing reexamination of the liberal Quakerism for which Pendle Hill was for so long the unofficial headwater and seedbed. You can find it here.
But behind this diligently productive scholar-thinker persona, Doug has long been leading another life, as “The Brothers Doug,” a singer/songwriter, producing and performing, as way opened, dozens of original songs. Many (but not all) have Quaker topics, and many of those have an amusing, satirical, and occasionally trenchant edge. Most, either explicitly or implicitly, reflect Doug’s lifelong theological concerns.
This expansive musical oeuvre has been largely shared with very small audiences; Doug has never excelled at self-promotion. He’s retired now (and of course has a jaunty tune, “Baby, I’m Retired” to show for it).
[UPDATE: Big Hat Tip to Hank Fay, who passed along the news that Doug’s 2008 double album Chronicles of Babylon, a compilation of 31songs, including those from his early cassette, Songs of Faith & Frenzy, with its memorably clever cover (below), is in fact available on Google Play. In Chronicles are some of his sharpest Quaker satires, such as “Pendle Hill Revisited,” “A Process In the Wind,” and “Making Quakers from Scratch.” He’s also unafraid to aim at his own vanity, in “Hair Envy,” which laments the erosion of his own coiffure (“Why Do I Love Your Hair? Because . . . It’s There.”) Alongside these, are others which carry serious, if unconventionally expressed Christian religious messages.]
The Duke Gardens near us were locked up tight yesterday. But The Man — err, the Virus — can’t stop the redbuds just outside from doing their glorious thing.
This is a developing story: watch for updates.
One day in 1980, I was at my desk on an upper floor of a way-past-its-prime hotel that had become a staff office annex for the U. S. House of Representatives.
My boss — Congressman Pete McCloskey of California, wanted some information about an obscure part of a not-so-well-known energy bill: say, Section 227D of the 1979 Energy Act Amendments, something like that, and the request had been bounced down the office status ladder to me.
I knew nothing about the Energy Act or the amendments, and Google hadn’t been invented yet.
But I knew who did know: Rep. John Dingell, of Michigan; or someone in his office. I think maybe Dingell even wrote the amendments. So I picked up the phone and dialed his office number.
By 1980, Dingell had been in Congress for 25 years; he would stay in Congress for almost 35 more.
Dingell was a tough, tenacious Democrat, who was already high up in the House hierarchy. That meant he had lots of staff assistants like me, only likely better-informed, with more political hustle, who could set me straight, if they bothered to take the call from a Republican nobody. (My boss, McCloskey was a Republican, and this was the time when Ronald Reagan was eating Jimmy Carter’s lunch.)
The phone rang once, maybe twice, then was scooped up with a pre-cellphone rattle that meant the receiver was grabbed with alacrity, not reluctance.
“John Dingell.” said a voice.
“What?? Err, uh, I, uh–”
If I was a coffee drinker, this was a java-spewing-from-my-nostrils moment. It wasn’t a receptionist. Nor an intern. Not even the assistant chief of staff.
The Boss. Himself.
When I recovered, I identified myself and my office and stumbled through my query.
“Sure,” Dingell said, and then reeled off the answer, clearly and concisely, as if I was calling from the White House, or maybe the New York Times (or the Detroit Free Press?)
I scribbled a couple of notes, and asked for clarification of one point, which he patiently offered. I thanked him, he said I was welcome and then it was done.
The call only lasted about three minutes. It took me awhile longer to recover my balance. Thirty-nine years later, I still have questions.
Why was Dingell picking up cold calls to his office phone? And why was he taking time to answer a rookie question from a minor league staffer from across the aisle?
And how, with hundreds of bills and laws and amendments streaming across his desk, day after day, week after week, was he up to the minute even on Section 227D?
(Would he have known Section 227C as well?? Probably.)
After much pondering, I’ve come to a simple answer: Dingell was a mensch, and a natural. He also didn’t have an inflated view of himself; he could, and did, speak to me as one colleague to another, from out of the blue.
It’s no wonder he was re-elected to Congress more times than anyone else in that body’s history.
Now my boss, McCloskey was a fine guy. But if there’s a special gallery in heaven reserved for the best of Congress, I bet John Dingell has a seat in it.
I know that’s an iffy notion; Mark Twain concluded long ago that “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress,” and we have recently heard much corroboration for that view, especially from one side of the aisle.
For that matter, my boss McCloskey argued, even before he left Washington three years later, that “Congressmen are like diapers. You need to change them often, and for the same reason.”
But still; I say IF.
I gather that some fatuous pretender recently spoke of John Dingell as being in hell.
It only took me about two minutes to learn, but I’m pretty sure I know otherwise.
For seventeen years, I lived in the Washington DC area; in fact, inside the Beltway by a few miles.
Some misinformed persons think this area is glamorous. I didn’t much care for it. Congress and all that didn’t impress me: they were necessary, but burdensome, pretentious, and viewed up close, mostly boring. Likewise for the weather: winters were cold. And summers were particularly tough: long, hot, heavy, humid.
In the early years, my access to air conditioning was spotty; many nights were sweaty and oppressive, with box fans rattling ineffectually by open windows.
Worse, in 1985 I delivered mail from my car on a long rural route, from winter to fall. I don’t recall much of those bookend seasons. But in between, there were six-day work weeks, pushing through the midday highs, as waves of engine heat radiated punishingly across the front seat of my weathered Chevy wagon. Open windows were part of the deal, neutralizing an already tepid a/c.
That seemingly endless summer deepened the dread of those months, and cemented my hatred of the most visible harbinger of their arrival: stands of orange daylilies.