Everything is on the table now, from resignation of the president on down. Discoveries that contact with the Russians took place far earlier than previously suspected throws a whole new layer of potential guilt on the administration.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Flynn wants immunity. If he gets it, he’ll sing like a bird. He might sing like a bird anyway. There is a credible rumor that himself has opened the resignation option. Apparently should Flynn give it up, the president’s future is not bright. But he will want immunity too. Lots of immunity hanging on the wires.

So many people, including Kushner, seem to have been involved with Sergey Kislyak. This is all about how many of SCROTUS’ cronies were “chatting” with Kislyak. When. What were they saying. In case you aren’t clear who’s who in this mess, Sergey Kislyak is likely Russia’s biggest spymaster. Not a nice guy.


This is about how much the Russians knew. How they knew it. And how much involvement did the Republican party have in the Russians knowing it. Was there collusion on the part of the president and his cohorts? Did it start as early as March 2016?

So it is Nixon-like. He didn’t have to spy on the Democratic party, but he did it anyway. As to SCROTUS, my guess is whatever he got from his Russian connections, he could have gotten the same results without Russian involvement. Just a guess.

Nixon was elected by a wave of Americans who didn’t like the negative talk about Vietnam. He got in kind of like SCROTUS. With a plurality in Congress and all that. But there was this thing hanging over him. The burglaries at Watergate and his collusion in its cover-up. Nixon wasn’t half as bad as SCROTUS, but it was bad enough. These days, he looks pretty good. That IS ironic.

Sessions was responding to a Washington Post report, published Wednesday night, in which Department of Justice officials confirmed that he had twice met the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, during the campaign. Sessions also appears to have misled the Senate about his contacts. At a January 10th confirmation hearing before the Judiciary Committee, Senator Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat, asked Sessions what he would do, as Attorney General, “if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign.” Sessions, under oath, replied, “I’m not aware of any of those activities.” He added, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

The New Yorker, By , March 2, 2017

That was the beginning.  One month later, so much is going on, it’s hard to keep track. This is very Richard Nixon. Faster, but the same pattern. This is how it went. Drip. Drip. Drip.

One down, one to go. Two down, another on the way. Three down, four down. Five down. Drip. Drip. Drip.

And finally, the president went down. His Vice-President had already gone down, replaced by a perfectly pleasant fellow who never really got much of an opportunity to do anything. Ultimately, the pall of Nixon lay over Washington like a layer of oil on a roadway. Traffic that hit the oily patch went spinning wildly off the road.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

We were watching NBC News and they were saying if the GOP does not deal with “the Russian issue,” it will take down this presidency. No one will get the opportunity to do anything — which would be fine with me. So, if you aren’t old enough to remember, this is how it went.

Nixon hated the press, but at least he didn’t go out of his way to make all of them hate him at the same time.

The taking down of Richard Nixon became a daily event. I bought myself a tiny radio which I listened to whenever I could. I came back from work and planted myself in front of the television. The story kept going. Drip. Drip. Drip.

Sergey Kislyak and Jeff Sessions - Photo: CNN

Sergey Kislyak and Jeff Sessions – Photo: CNN

Then, there was nowhere left for Nixon to turn. He resigned. He wasn’t half as bad as this guy. He just taunted the press with “you can’t get me.” They got him.

At this point, the entire press corps is on SCROTUS’ tail. Like hounds with a strong smell of game in their nostrils, they will track him wherever he goes. He literally asked for it. What an incredibly stupid thing to say to the press. They may not be as “up to strength” as they were in the 1970s, but being press is what they do. What they are. Reporters live for exactly this kind of thing. With all the awfulness of what’s happening, this is the blood of life to the press.

Drip. Drip. Drip.


A pause in the timeline? How much waiting is good for the soul and how much makes you crazy?

In “Stranger In A Strange Land,” Michael Valentine Smith typically said “Waiting is.” It was a zen-like inscrutable comment. Like Bill Belichick’s “It is what it is.” Both translate loosely to “The moment contains what it contains. Since we can’t do much about it, we might as well shut up and go with the flow.”

The long pause of waiting doesn’t get you anything but a seat on the bus or maybe an opportunity to explain something to a bureaucrat when your numbered slip of paper is finally called.

Nor, in my opinion, do the meek inherit the earth, unless you count a grave as an inheritance. Waiting — a lack of activity or withdrawal from events in progress — may keep you out of trouble, but it won’t get you noticed. The doctor won’t come out and see you on the bench. It won’t make anyone pick up your manuscript and decide to publish it. It won’t get your job done — any job, anywhere. It won’t get you a job.

Sounds good on paper, but what does it mean? If it means “the baby won’t come until it’s fully developed.” That’s good. When it means let the bread rise before you bake it? Okay. These are not anywhere like being on hold while someone on the other side of the world finally gets around to taking your call … then disconnects you.

The pause is between times. A longer pause is stasis. Anyone been up for jury duty, sat in a big room with a lot of other people who don’t want to be there … and then get told you aren’t allowed to talk, read, or leave the room until someone says you can? That is waiting at it’s finest because 90% of the time, someone will come in to tell you to go home. You were paused. For nothing.

I wait only for things to bloom, develop, be delivered, cool, bake, dry, or land at the airport. Otherwise, there other things to do.

“Stranger in a Strange Lane” was a fine book in its day, but I will not grok at the motor vehicle bureau.


National Poetry Month, Rich Paschall

There seems to be a day, a week or even a month for just about everything.  It is quite interesting the types of things for which mayors, governors and even presidents are willing to present a proclamation.  Did you miss One Cent Day April 1st?  No joke, it is a day to commemorate the history of the penny.  I guess it is not worth much anymore.

Certainly you did not miss out on the fact that April 1 is also Sourdough Bread Day.  No Foolin’!  The stuff has been around a long time.  I guess it deserves an entire day, especially when you consider some of the other things that get a day.  Perhaps I should make a point to buy some, or not.

Poetry gets all of April.   That’s seems fair when you consider the vast amount of poetry in the world that most students try to avoid reading.  Maybe it is as good a month as any to push this literary format to the front of the classroom, library, den, coffee-house or wherever you might find verse lurking in the shadows.

The celebration of a poetry month was introduced in 1996 as a way to increase awareness of the genre in the United States.  President Clinton issued a Proclamation on April 1 of that year, declaring “National Poetry Month offers us a welcome opportunity to celebrate not only the unsurpassed body of literature produced by our poets in the past, but also the vitality and diversity of voices reflected in the works of today’s American poetry.”

As libraries, classrooms and bookstores put up posters of famous poets and feature collections of poetry, consider how much poetry you know?  You don’t think you know any?  How many song lyrics do you know by heart?  I guess you know a lot of poetry after all.

In the 1970’s I would turn over album covers (you know, the cardboard sleeve that records came in) in order to see if the lyrics were printed on the back.  There seemed to me to be a lot of thoughtful lyrics on a variety of social and emotional issues.  I loved reading the poetry as much as hearing the music.

When I was in graduate school, I took a class in Poetry Writing.  I thought I was good at it and wanted to see if I could learn some tricks to writing better poetry.  I learned there are no real tricks.  Either you are good at it and are willing to spend time working on it, or you are not so good and do not want to invest the time in a genre that is only pushed forward one month a year.

My professor of poetry writing did not like my first effort for the class.  I thought it was the kind of thing he wanted, apparently not.

Subtle Sounds

They hang softly in the distance.
They tell of something somewhere,
but not here.

They reveal that life goes on,
while deafening silence moves in to share my space.

Like seasons, they run in cycles.
Just as Spring moves to Summer and beyond,
sounds move to silence and beyond.

They have come to my life. 
I know they are there,
yet I can only see
and not hear.

Don’t bother to analyze it.  I am not sure what it means either, and I wrote it.  Of course that was 35 years ago, but I do recall the professor’s disdain. By the end of class I was able to write something he liked.  I believe he never realized the work was as much a commentary of his class and usual criticisms of poems, as it was the fulfillment of an assignment. Since April 2nd is Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Day, I suggest you go grab a PB&J sandwich and enjoy the following.

Word War

The mood is tense.
Words are fighting for meaning.
These stressed soldiers cry out
but are not understood.

General Vague evaluates the conflict.
The consonants are not alliterating,
the end words not rhyming,
and the images “not working.”

Major Disaster declares the stanzas hopeless.
The transitions are lost,
the punctuation missing,
and the verse running free.

Private Joke laughs to himself.
He sees the experts
with no answers.


Share Your World – March 27, 2017

Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?

I don’t have a middle name. I didn’t get one.

My brother and sister got middle names, but not me. I have spent a lifetime hoping I’d get at least a decent nickname, but alas. Nothing. In all these years, no one called me Chuck or Fishface or Supergirl.

You’d think someone would have done it by now. How many more years need I wait for that great moment of epiphany when someone looks at me and says: “I love you, Chuck.”

Music or silence while working?

It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m writing, less noise is better. Mostly, I ignore noise if I’m busy. I worked in a lot of offices with lots of people and worked at home too — with dogs and kids and telephones.

I can pretty much make sound disappear. And now that my hearing is getting worse, I don’t have to try nearly as hard.

I love music, but not as background. If there is music on, I want to listen to it. If it’s just on, it’s noise.

If you had a special place for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronics, people or animals), what would they be?

I have no idea what that might be. I keep my jewelry in jewelry boxes. My coffee in coffee canisters and tea in tea canister. I hang pictures on the wall. Have pottery on shelves. And put rugs on the floor. I’m not sure what else I might want to put in its own special place.

I think I’ve passed the “hiding my diary” thing. Pretty sure.

The Never List: What are things you know you never will do?

Wear high heels. I would fall over. Kerplunk.