Magdalen as in Mary

Last Friday Night’s entertainment—Lenten Catholic fish fry, with a sing-along performance of traditional Americana favorites by a friend with her dulcimer.

Yesterday, in just a little over an hour, my insurance claim went from claim denied to, we are cutting a check. I first got a call from the Toyota shop that they had received an email from my insurance company denying my claim for last week’s squirrel damage. They had not. I called the insurance company and they denied they had denied my claim. They claimed that my claim was under final review and a settlement would likely be issued by early next week. Actually, they seemed most concerned with getting the name and address of the Toyota dealer, so that they knew where to mail the check. Their representative explained that they wanted to put both the dealer’s name and mine on the check due to its large size. It seems that the confusion extended from a quibble that they had, they wanted to substitute an Other Equipment Manufacturer’s part for one of genuine Toyota parts that had been requested. Good news—check is in the mail. Bad news—since the check is made out to Toyota too, there will be no all-expenses paid trip to the riverboat casinos. 😉

Well, the dam has finally broken, and the first of many long-awaited indictments have fallen. Some pundits warn that this event is a solemn occasion for the country, others advise to drink responsibly. I cleave more towards the latter bit of advice than the former and have been reveling in the parade of memes that have since sprung forth, fully formed, from the brow of Twitter, after yesterday’s announcement. Even more delicious is that the perp (Too soon? I mean he is supposed to walk next week.), first indicated that he could not even spell indictment and then stayed up past three last night, desperately, Captain Caps Lock tweeting, “WHERE’S HUNTER?” Does he know what this behavior looks like? Does he care? Every good story needs a good villain, and this is all we got.

I’m so indicted,
And I just can’t hide it,
I’m about to go to jail,
And I don’t like it…
— Apologies to The Pointer Sisters

Lock Him Up!

New York County Courthouse

On Friday, the International Criminal Court indited and issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, for war crimes. Today, it was reported that the Manhattan DA is coordinating with other law enforcement agencies on the imminent arrest and indictment of Donald Trump, as early as next week. Never one to pass by a dumpster, without lighting it on fire, Trump poured gasoline on this story by crying foul that he should be held accountable for his crimes, “THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”

He has been leaning heavily on his caps lock for some time now. In both Putin’s and Trump’s cases, an indictment is a long way from a conviction. For Putin who is already a world pariah, the ICC arrest warrant little limits his freedom. For Trump, who has evaded accountability all his life, news alone of this impending indictment should not alarm him as much as it seems to be doing. Except that this indictment is not a singular event. It is simply the first among a raft of other legal woes that are now bearing down upon him. Already Trump’s lawyers are playing off one competing legal proceeding against another with the scheduling conflicts of their respective court dates. Still, NYC DA Alvin Bragg is the first one through this seemingly impenetrable barrier on the road to justice. As the first one through the wall, Bragg is likely to get bloodied. He may fail, but others will pick up his fallen standard and eventually Donald Trump will face justice for at least some of his many misdeeds.

The motto atop the lintel of the New York County Courthouse, where Bragg is slated to litigate the former president, states, “The True Administration of Justice is the Firmest Pillar of Good Government.” In the same message that he tips off his impending indictment, Trump challenges this motto with another call to protest that echoes the call he made before the Capitol riot that he fomented on 1/6. It is fitting that at least here in Missouri, Tuesday is also Election Day, because in this country all political power ultimately stems from the will of the people. Here the people being the majority, not some wingnut minority.

Choose Competence Over Crazy!

Red-tailed Hawk

“My dad had an expression,” Joe Biden is famously fond of saying “ ‘Joey, don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative.’ ’’ Today, Biden showed why he is the clear choice to be reelected our President next year. Last night, in a secret train trip to Ukraine, Biden arrived in Kyiv and amid the blaring sounds of an air raid siren, walked its streets with Ukranian President Zelensky. It was quite the diplomatic coup and it happened on President’s Day.

Meanwhile, the former guy is scheduled to visit this week the train wreak in Ohio that he helped to create with all of his deregulations. Causing all of his sycophants to chorus that Biden chose to go to Ukraine before going to Ohio. This is a weak comparison at best, but I guess that this is their best argument. Can you ever imagine Cadet Bone-Spur ever risking what Biden has?

As we near the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, I will leave you with some words from President Biden. Leadership has an innate beauty to behold. Please, let us never ever return to the craven cowardness that preceded it. 

Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. He thought he could outlast us. He was just plain wrong. One year later, here we stand together – united with the people of Ukraine.

Let’s Finish the Job!

Comparettia Macroplectron

We watched the State of the Union last night and were well rewarded for our civic participation. Biden really hit one out of the ballpark with his speech. While not normally considered to be an erudite public speaker, his folksy demeanor parried well the steady stream of Republican catcalls thrown at him during his speech. I am still giddy with how he first baited members of the Republican House caucus and then when they took the bait, he boxed them in, making them swear on live TV not to cut Social Security or Medicare. Add these two programs to defense spending, which no one wants to cut, and you are talking about the vast majority of the Federal budget. How are House Republicans going to have a debt ceiling impasse, hold the country hostage and demand budget cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, when most of the budget is now off limits? By all appearances Biden has successfully negotiated an end to the debt ceiling crisis, before it even got underway. In addition to heading off the debt ceiling impasse, Biden’s speech effectively kicked off his still unannounced 2024 reelection campaign. He tested twelve times what is sure to become his new campaign slogan, “Let’s Finish the Job!”