Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Letter From Claverack, written on 3/29/17 Some things are harder than others…

March 30, 2017

There is sometimes nothing in the world quite like a vodka soaked olive and so when I made myself a martini tonight, I used olives instead of the traditional lemon twist.

To be truthful, I wasn’t sure I was going to put my fingers to the keyboard tonight.  It’s been a cranky day; out early in a chill drizzle doing unpleasant errands, I got home around ten this morning and determined I was not leaving the comfort of the cottage.  The fourth straight day of cold grey drizzle had me crying for mercy.

It’s been an emotional couple of days.  First, most importantly, young Nick, who helps me is going through a rough patch again and that weighs heavily on me.  Which is why I was up early today, to give him support in a rough moment.

As some of you know, I was one of the founders of Blue DOT Indivisible Hudson, a group intended to be politically active in this most distressing of political times.  On Monday evening, using a word much used in Washington these days, I “recused” myself from anything more to do with Blue DOT and that was hard, even harder than I had expected it to be.

It was difficult to discover that there was no room for me there and seeing no way there would be, I bowed out.  Of the original five, two of us are now gone, one wavering.  To say I wish them well is an understatement.  And I had to leave.

There are other things I can do, have been doing and will continue to do.

Thus, it has been an emotionally charged couple of days.

That all said, I am at the cottage, the day is closing, jazz is playing, it warm and hygge in the cottage.  Saturday will see another dinner party here and I am snuggling into figuring it out.

There were two good calls for the Miller Center for the Presidency today, both exciting in their own way.

The creek is very high because of the rain and it flows swiftly toward the pond now, abandoning for a moment its usual gentle course.

And like the creek today, nothing is gentle.

The Senate Intel Committee is about to launch hearings and is promising to be more aggressive than the House Intel Committee, led by Devin Nunes, who has found himself with his underwear wrapped in knots.

He has muddied the waters with his meeting with some source on the White House grounds that informed him that Trump and his team may have been incidentally listened in on by government agencies.  Which lead to Trump feeling “somewhat vindicated” about his, to date, unproven charge that Obama ordered “wiretapping” on Trump Tower.

Truthfully, I have trouble unwinding what the hell is going on.  And I’m not the only one.

So, the ball has been moved to the Senate where both the Republican and Democratic leaders of the committee want to know what went on.  Those Senators, Republican and Democratic, are talking about this as the biggest thing since Watergate.

And while all of this is going on, the world is facing the greatest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II.

Millions are starving and we are not paying attention because, basically, we don’t know.  The Trump Show is consuming the headlines.  South Sudan is a catastrophe.  Syria is a catastrophe. Yemen is more than a catastrophe.

Should I, a man who has no real obligations, go to one of those desperate places and offer help?  I am thinking about it.




Letter From The Train 08 26 15 Keeping vigil for the fallen…

August 26, 2015

Waking up shortly after 6:30, I was having my first cup of coffee at about 6:45 this morning, reading the New York Times, looking out the window at the pristine morning at the cottage. At the same time I was peacefully sipping my coffee, a man who called himself Bryce Williams, shot and killed a young reporter, Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, 27. Bryce Williams was the name used by Vester Flanagan when he worked as an on-air reporter for WBDJ7, the same station Parker and Ward were working for at the time of their deaths.

Flanagan/Williams sent a 23 page fax “manifesto” to ABC News. He described himself as a “powder keg.” An African-American, he felt outraged by what he saw as discrimination at work and over the deaths of the nine people earlier this year at a church in Charleston.

The shootings occurred during a live interview with Vicki Gardner, Executive Director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. She was talking about tourism in the region. She, too, was shot and is in stable condition.

This happened on live television, shocking viewers and control room crews.

Pursued by police, Flanagan crashed his car and when officers approached, discovered he had shot himself. He died later.

The train is moving north, the afternoon sun is glittering off the Hudson River, the world in front of me seems so peaceful, pure, simple and untarnished but two young people at the beginning of careers, are dead because a man, apparently unhinged by his anger, could take no more and killed people from his former workplace, knowing it would be live, on television.

Josh Earnest, the White House spokesperson, stated he hoped Congress would pass legislation that would have a “tangible impact on reducing gun violence in this country.”

Today I spent a fair amount of time in the Acela Club, Amtrak’s answer to United Airlines Red Carpet Club, where people hovered about the television monitor listening to the live reports on CNN about the shooting. There was a quality about them of individuals keeping vigil for the fallen.

As I move north, past the river and the luscious green of late summer, I, too, find myself feeling like I am keeping a kind of vigil, attempting to comprehend something that is not comprehensible, to me.