The Attorney General for the Person of the US Receives Scrutiny

The Attorney General for the People Person of the US Receives Scrutiny

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Bill Barr Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Once again I must turn to Bill-Barr
To examine behavior bizarre;
This is not the first time
That things seem to skirt crime
And his antics sink less than subpar.

Barr’s descent has made some feel quite sad
For the straight-shooter rep that he’d had;
But the gloss is long gone
And the battles he’s won
Have been awfully, terribly bad.

You recall when the Mueller Report
Raised questions of quite grave import?
Barr’s goal was persuasion
Of exoneration;
No Russians? Of course nyet, he’d retort.

He’s the President’s guy, that’s quite clear
In every last case that we hear;
According to his lights,
The Executive’s rights
Are absolute (I quiver in fear!).

He’s helped various convicted men
Such as Roger Stone and Mike Flynn
Although Flynn confessed twice,
His lies didn’t suffice–
Barr found “hinky stuff” made the case thin.

It was Bill-Barr who served as the source
Of that outside White House show of force–
When those marching in peace
Were peppered by police
While generals in haste reversed course.

And then came a Friday night surprise:
The US attorney’s job demise;
Though Barr said Berman quit,
Berman had none of it–
So was pushed out the door by sunrise.

Berman said that ongoing cases
Will move along on the same basis;
That appears an alert
He was nearing pay dirt,
Leading to some powerful places.

Expect Barr to go on the offense
With “findings” purportedly immense
The purpose: to confuse
It will all be a ruse
And may well be at Biden’s expense.

So what should happen now to Bill-Barr,
Who’s done damage that’s been wide and far?
Will the Dems try impeach
For his gross overreach?
Or at least, let us hope he’s disbarred!

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Note: It is unclear at this point whether Barr will appear before the House Judiciary Committee, which he has agreed to do on July 28, to explain his sudden firing of Geoffrey Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his handling of other cases.

Two existing Department of Justice employees appeared before the Committee this week to express their dismay at the politicization of the department under Barr, including pressure to get a lighter sentence for the President’s convicted friend Roger Stone and interference in antitrust decisions based on his personal preferences–not the legalities.

But the most damning comment came from Donald B. Ayer, deputy attorney general under President George Bush, seen here on video explaining why Barr’s actions are setting the US “on the way to something far worse than Watergate.”

Previously, in an article in The Atlantic,  Ayer had gone into considerable and specific detail about the damage that Barr is doing to our Justice Department and the rule of law.

His conclusion:

“Bill Barr’s America is not a place that anyone, including Trump voters, should want to go. It is a banana republic where all are subject to the whims of a dictatorial president and his henchmen. To prevent that, we need a public uprising demanding that Bill Barr resign immediately, or failing that, be impeached.”

Annie

Continue reading “The Attorney General for the Person of the US Receives Scrutiny”

Mindfulness and Trumpiness–plus a little something extra…

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Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

In the world of the lovingly kind
I’ve found myself caught in a bind:
Consumed by my hate
It made my gut ache
’Twas a matter far over my mind.

Of course I can always deep breathe
Whenever I’m starting to seethe
But hate’s the wrong path;
There’s just too much wrath,
So my ideals I tried to retrieve.

This effort is surely ongoing
The seeds of contempt could keep growing
As malevolent eyes
Ignore COVID’s new highs
And the pain in the streets’ overflowing.

But one thing I’ve learned is that thoughts
If dwelt on can leave one distraught;
Accept that they’re there,
Make space for more air,
And allow them to flutter aloft.

Thus I’ve moved beyond being whiny
And reduced trump so he’s quite tiny
He’s gone from my head,
I don’t hear what he’s said…
My plan, on Day Two’s, working finely!

_______________

And, because my inner critic suggests this reflection is self-indulgent when there’s so much grief in the world, I’m adding a delightful, gently philosophical video that I hope you haven’t seen before and I think is guaranteed to make you smile.

Its title: “Amazingly simple theory for a happy life.”

Namaste!

Annie

Continue reading “Mindfulness and Trumpiness–plus a little something extra…”

What’s On My Menu? Annie Needs You…

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Image courtesy of Pixhere.com

I’m not about to write of food
Or remembrance of repasts

My blog is clogging up right now
And I need your help real fast.

I used to have a sub-menu
That offered all my oeuvre

But a WP Engineer warned
Its growth was a SNAFUer.

S/he led me to the solution
That’s inspired this short chat

To see if what works for WP
Isn’t a bothersome gnat.

I’ve passed my one-hundredth post,
To me, that’s really cookin’

Computerwise, it’s not too bad
A widget* helps those lookin’

So to the right of the full texts
Linked titles are there to see.

I like to keep them all in view
And many seem to agree.

My stats tell me that lots of folks
Read posts going quite far back

But on your phone to reach that list,
You must scroll, scroll, scroll—alack!

Our Happy WP Engineers
Have told me what to do:

You must change your design, they say–
Or else we just can’t help you.

But I like the look I have now
I really hope to keep it.

So I turn to you, dear readers
It’s time you interceded.

Must I choose between my fond wish
You see all posts, come what may—

And my perhaps stronger hope this
Menu won’t drive you away?

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

______________________

Ok—enough with the rhyme. I know I should be archiving older posts, but if I do,  I’m not at all sure that as many people would read them. 

Often after five or six older posts have each received a single view, the next day I’m pleased to welcome a new subscriber. The ease of perusing those lists is clearly helpful in exploring my work.

And I realize that most of you are probably reading my most recent one or two posts as they appear, so this may not be an issue for you at all. I would still welcome your observations.

Is a tradeoff necessary? Please let me know your thoughts about my current setup and any possible ideas for helping me accomplish my dual goals. 

If scrolling through all those posts on your phone to get to the linked titles is a drag, please tell me. All suggestions are welcome, as long as you’re kind.

*Explanatory note for my email subscribers: “In WordPress, widgets are blocks of content that you can add to your site’s sidebars, footers, and other areas…” 

If you’re viewing this on your computer, the sidebar widget facilitates the index. But since on the side of the phone there’s no room for it, the linked list appears at the very bottom of those now many posts.

Annie

Continue reading “What’s On My Menu? Annie Needs You…”

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS RELIEF PACKAGE(S): A Questioning Acrostic

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Image courtesy of health.mil.

Catastrophic delays
Of equipment for patients and carers
Reveal huge flaws in America’s design.
One thing I do
Not hear discussed
Applies to the “have nots’”
Vying for their tiny share of
Income from the supposed stimulus:
Registering their presence without
Use of computers and Internet?
Shadowy reminders of those we forget.

Small businesses
Tethered lightly to viability
In line for loans
Must wait months to see $$
Urgently needed, as
Life savings go out padlocked doors
Unless some Cuomo-esque souls
Snip through the bureaucracy…

Relying on small amounts,
Each home health aide, waiter,
Likely most in gig economy, live
In fear of dislocation,
Eviction, illness, as the
Fat big business cats purr in delight.

Phase 4 bill? The Dems want more $$ to
Aid states/locals still fighting virus,
Care via family/medical leave,
Keep first responders safe,
Add to Fed food aid,
Gird pensions for stability,
Extend more checks to meet great need.
(See below…)

_________________

The three bills were bipartisan, a remarkable accomplishment at this time that meant both sides compromised. To date, the Republicans say no more stimulus is needed–except Lisa Murkowski, who wisely notes that serious mental health needs arising from the pandemic will have to be addressed.

The Democrats improved the Republicans’ bill, but said they’d be back for more. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the first two bills were for emergency relief; the third for mitigation. The fourth will be for recovery.

In this fourth bill, the Democrats will plead for all in Phase 4 above, plus virus-revealed issues: money for Internet services, now a necessity; money for states and the Post Office for vote-by-mail to ensure our democratic processes can continue despite the pandemic.

(Will the President sign this bill? Speaking of the previous bill’s funding request for vote-by-mail, which is expected to enable more Americans to vote, he stated:
“The things they had in there were crazy…that if you ever agreed to, you would never have a Republican elected in this country again.”)

Two parties; two different wish lists.

For Phase 4 to pass, We, the People, must loudly say we agree. Do you? Will you?

Annie

Continue reading “CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS RELIEF PACKAGE(S): A Questioning Acrostic”

Building Sand Castles: Then and Now

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Photo courtesy of pxhere.com

Growing up near a beach, I led a child-dylic life of sun/sand/surf

The ocean was my backyard pool; the sand my playground

Near the water’s edge, the consistency of that granular play-doh

Encouraged childhood architectural whimsy.

 

We built our castles, carrying water to the construction site in Baby Bear-sized buckets

Not too small to hold too little, not too big to burden our slender frames

The structure, once assembled, cried out for ornamentation.

 

And so the Dribble Castle began to take shape.

Small fingers drip-drip-dripping the moist sand into fabulous pillars, turrets, bridges,

Water scooped into moats suggesting a royal tableau.

We lay in the sand beside these marvels, reveling in the glory of our creations.

 

Then, as the afternoon wore on and the tide shifted,

We watched the waves break closer and closer, wishing the waters away

But knowing well the fate of our hours of work.

A hard lesson to learn young: the inevitability of impermanence.

 

Now, my aging self relearns that lesson every day.

Sometimes it saddens me, sometimes it strengthens me.

Trying to keep my footage, standing firm through ebb and flow,

My mental dribble castle reminds me to reach for the richness, seek out the beauty, hold tight the wonder

The impermanence is part of living, but the pillars, turrets, and bridges may always be rebuilt.

Annie

[Note: I wrote this poem weeks before the pandemic changed everything, so I kept putting it aside to discuss the more pressing issues. But as I reread it, I feel its relevance to me right now–at this time.]

Continue reading “Building Sand Castles: Then and Now”

Chaos in America…BUT… We Can End It! (A Near- Acrostic Poem for Our Times)

Candidates flailing arms in the air, bent
on talking, one over another
Hapless moderators—too many, too
weak to control the mayhem
Another Democratic debate,
Offering less light than heat
Seemingly not laser-focused on our
closeness to the abyss.

In the far too-White House, a lawless
President—unrebuked by his
tarnished party—
No-nothingly claims the gathering
pandemic will soon be gone

And helter-skelterly seeks funding only
after a ka-chinging Stock
Market dives into waters darkened
by viral uncertainty…
Even as he tears away our protective
Intel and
Rebukes/replaces experts and judicious
judges,
Instead producing pattern-setting
pardons of those justly
Convicted of crimes against the State…
As back in Russia, Vladimir does his
happy dance with wanton abandon.

BUT…

When an aroused people stands together
Elevating our shared goal beyond our
individual predilections,

Change of the most positive nature can
unfold
As we become Citizen Activists as never
before:
Noting the work ahead, and
enthusiastically signing on

Exercising our right to vote for whoever
we think best—but
Not turning away if the nominee is other
than our choice,
Determined to banish the unclothed
emperor above all.

In this nation of great promise and
hard history
This is our time, finally, to get
things right!

__________________________
Note:

In my previous post, I cited the free newsletter by RB Hubbell of California (rbhubbell@gmail.com). His February 26, 2020, issue (No. 380) is a treasure trove of action steps we can take, with links to organizations focused on the important issues of voter registration, turnout, and voter protection, among others.

They include several I’d never heard of, such as Changing the Conversation Together (in which volunteers have issue-oriented discussions with people in their homes), Vote Forward (you sign your name to letters on a template sent to under-represented voters), and one I found particularly interesting:  Payback Project, dedicated to defeating ten Republican Senators (including Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, and Mitch McConnell), and thereby taking back the Senate.

And in today’s newsletter (February 27, 2020, No. 831), Hubbell adds another compelling possibility: Sister District Project, which tries to turn states blue by winning state legislatures, thereby helping to end gerrymandering. The organization says it has teams “across the country.” With the 2020 Census under way, leading to redistricting in 2021, it is vital that we have Democratic Governors and state legislators involved in this effort to ensure that representation is accurately apportioned.

Annie

Continue reading “Chaos in America…BUT… We Can End It! (A Near- Acrostic Poem for Our Times)”

Outside My Window…

Our Goldfinches

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Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

A portent of spring,
Still garbed in winter’s drab gray
They crowd the feeder—
Six at a time, reserving each perch.

Not vertically challenged,
They cling firmly by strong claws
On the feeder specially designed
For their idiosyncratic lifestyle

Hanging there, heads downward,
They sate themselves while
Performing an avian gymnast’s feat.

And then they’re gone
Back to the bushes
Back to anonymity
Their dining interrupted by forces
Invisible to us.

We can nourish them,
We can admire them,
But we cannot keep them safe.
For that, they rely on their instincts…
And on each other.

 

Our Squirrels

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Image courtesy of flickr.com

What do you do with half an egg?
Unable to digest the yolk
I place it, boiled, on the window sill.

One squirrel, small and thin,
Has caught our eye
He races to it,
Beating out a larger interloper.

Then, quite full of egg and self
He chases the interloper to the yard,
Where he boasts his conquest
By mounting her,
Oblivious to the male cliche
Evoked by his ardor.

Continue reading “Outside My Window…”

Something There Is…

...That Doesn’t Love a Wall.
—-Robert Frost

Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 3.58.13 PM
Photo taken by KYMA.

The President’s beloved wall

Designed to keep our borders “pure”

Of those who seek refuge from harm

Or starvation

Could not withstand a high wind

That mercilessly forced it from its moorings

And onto the trees of Mexico,

Where it tottered, not a sentinel of boldness,

But an homage to failure.

The President who denies climate change

And the humanity of brown-skinned people from

Not so far away

Received an unmistakable jolt

From Mother Nature herself.

She is not happy.

Continue reading “Something There Is…”

A Substitute Rant–

The WordPress Happiness Engineers are cheery;
They respond as best they can.

But a SNAFU is making me weary;
What you’re reading is not what I’d planned…

The stats say Saturday, 11 AM
Is when most of you visit my site;

So I worked my little tail off, man oh man
And completed my post last night.

But the morning brought a fearsome view:
The text and images were gone–

First from computer they said adieu,
Then vanished from my phone.

The Happiness Engineers are on my case;
I should hear in the days ahead.

So please keep an eye out as they retrace
A post that I hope ain’t dead.

The title from the original piece
Is all that remains from it now.

A part of it applies to this ditty, at least:
Am I on a rant? And how!

Annie

PS: As the saying goes: “Watch this space!”…please.

 

OBFUS-GATE: An Exploration of Our National Crisis (Even Worse: It’s In Verse!)

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US Constitution image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org
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American flag image courtesy of needpix.com

In April I cited Barr’s antics
The AG was quietly frantic
The Mueller Report
Was a strong retort
To the “Trump did no wrong” semantics.

But Bill-Barr knew why he’d been hired
And sensing the public was tired:
“There’s nothing,” said he—
“No conspiracy”
So the Truth into muck became mired.

Yet ONE DAY after Mueller appeared
The President moved into high gear
With an unbowed head
To Ukraine’s Prez said:
If you want all that aid to be cleared…

…There’s a favor I’d like you to do
Some people you gotta look into
You’ll investigate
And all will be great—
Maybe a White House visit for you.

Zelensky had quite the dilemma
With Putin evoking some tremors
He’d sought to be straight
’Twas his winning mandate
But U.S. demands were bad karma.

So why should Ukraine cause our fussin’?
Our ally’s a bulwark v. Russians
We gave them our word
Worldwide it was heard
It’s their safety and ours we’re discussin’.

Just in time someone blows a whistle
And justice’s wheels start to sizzle
The hearings begin
The experts weigh in
And Light shone on lies makes them fizzle.

But here come the intractable foes
Who back Trump from his head to his toes
They can’t argue facts
So they take a worse tack
And pretend that the Emperor has clothes.

Now we’ve entered the land of impeach
With the Dems set to not overreach
Two articles cite
The President’s blight
And his large Constitutional breach.

The facts tell a quite simple story:
Abused power for his own glory
For Congress contempt
No defense will attempt
To challenge except with lies hoary…

…Or red herring complaints like this call:
“Why the rush when we’ve not heard from all?”
With subpoenas defied,
Delays far and wide,
These “bad processes” tales are quite tall.

There is reason to move with dispatch
The President’s acts must be watched
His lawyer’s abroad
To promote more fraud,
Our election’s integrity they’ll snatch.

But the country’s sadly divided
With false stories, hard truth’s derided
We’ve so much at stake
We must stay awake
And try to engage those misguided.

I shall now add a Bill-Barr return
He’s in mischief I can’t quite discern
He’ll make a report
Next spring—of some sort
That is likely to cause great concern.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for this move
‘Cause its purpose will clearly behoove
Us to promptly react
And to counter with facts
So the falsities don’t gain a groove.

It’s a time our decisions must fit
With the words of Ben Franklin—to wit:
When asked what we’ve got
Republic or Monarchy, he shot:
“A Republic—if you can keep it!”

Note: I leave my rhyme to turn to the prescient words of Alexander Hamilton, which my blogging colleague Brookingslib used to conclude a terrific post on the topic:

“When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”’

Finally, as stated by Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr. in his testimony before Congress, by Constitutional law experts Michael Gerhardt and Lawrence Tribe, and by others:

“If this [the Ukraine scandal] isn’t impeachable, nothing is.”

Annie