Dear Mr. President

July 8, 2017

Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

We’ve never met. Still, I despise you more passionately than I ever thought possible. You are arrogant, dishonest, greedy, ill-informed, pompous, selfish, short-sighted, stupid, and untrustworthy. Truly, you are a despicable man.

Alas, you are also the man who, by virtue of a quirky electoral system, sits at the head of our government. (Save that load of horse-hooey about millions of people voting illegally for your opponent for the alt-facts crowd.) You’ve been our servant, now, for 169 terrible days, and you had 72 to prepare yourself for the job we gave you. (You had a lifetime, before Election Day 2016, but I don’t get a sense from you that you place much stock in being prepared.)

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More Thoughts on the Health Care Debacle

June 29, 2017

More Thoughts on the Health Care Debacle

“A really big shew,” said Ed Sullivan, back in the day. Like the Watergate hearings, the Comey testimony, and that white Ford Bronco, traipsing along on Los Angeles freeways, this health care mess transfixes me. For sure, the outcome worries me. More though, the stupidity captures and hold my attention.

Take Donald Trump: please. He covers a big chunk of the stupid straightaway. A situation years ago comes to mind, to describe just how little he contributes here. Late in a drawn out mess, I sat with several lawyers and consultants, trying to find a resolution. Hours along, a principal—young and pampered—piped up sternly to let us know we needed to focus

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Trouble Ahead: Thoughts on Health Care

June 26, 2017

Trouble Ahead: Thoughts on Health Care

Ugh!!! Here’s the Congressional Budget Office’s Cost Estimate for H.R. 1628, the Senate version of the so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Dense, but I read it. Characterization? “Despicable,” but only because I must be civil.

Some random thoughts:

Process. When you design a plan secretly, you’ll get a bad plan. Always, but especially when you are dealing with health care, which involves almost 20% of the American economy. The Affordable Care Act process involved 100+ hearings. Tons of input from stakeholders. The Senate Finance Committee’s bipartisan Gang of Six worked for months, as well. That process helped, even though the three Rs voted no on the bill in the end. And—in

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Climate Change and Externalities: We’re so Effed!

June 25, 2017

Climate Change and Externalities: We’re so Effed!

What if they’re right? What if the Prius drivers—the very same people who hug trees, hate money, despise G-d, loath progress, bash the good old U.S. of A., avoid taxes, eat granola, detest freedom, and drink white wine—are right? What if we’ve created a giant oven and are baking ourselves to a crisp? Does anyone want to wait around for the finished product? To learn in 30 or 40 years that increasing temperatures and rising sea levels weren’t just another climate cycle?

I wrote these words 10 years ago. I share them now in the midst of record-breaking Southwestern heat. And because, despite all of the piety about not leaving debt for the

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Happy Father’s Day 2017

June 17, 2017

Happy Father’s Day 2017

Well, Father’s Day 2017 is upon us (or here or gone, depending on when you read this post.) This is my 24th as a father, and I shared a total of 44 with my dad.

I like Father’s Day. Lots. I have my two-part ritual, developed over the past 15 years or so and have missed it only twice. In 2009 I attended an old friend’s memorial service back East in 2009. (RIP, SH; we miss you!) And last year I skipped half of my ritual, opting for Raider of the Lost Ark at the Loft Cinema. Details here.

Part one involves watching the last day of the U.S. Open. I don’t

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Pardon!

June 16, 2017

Pardon!

Mr. President

Lots and lots of words, written and spoken about Mueller, Rosenstein, Russia, and Trump. Most of what we read and hear focuses on who can fire whom, and whether when the firings will happen. In and amongst the noise, though, we get plenty of “there’s no evidence” and “firing Mueller will destroy Trump.”

Bad frames. People, the Watergate break-in happened on June 17, 1972, 45 years ago, to the day. We live in a different world. To the “no evidence” crowd, evidence exists—or not—and we find out about it through investigations. They take time! Reading tweets, watching the news, and knowing the basics does not qualify you to say evidence does or does not exist to support a …

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The Stupidest Public Man … Ever? Donald Trump!

June 1, 2017

The Stupidest Public Man … Ever? Donald Trump!

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Many words came to mind this afternoon, as President Donald Trump excised the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. Stupid is the only one I came up with, to describe our POTUS, which gets me past Facebook censors.

I’m taking a pass on the merits of staying in or getting out. Frankly, there’s no intelligent discussion to be had. All of the credible evidence demonstrates the existence of a problem, a problem created by humankind, and a problem for which our country bears a grossly disproportionate share of the responsibility. And a problem whcih threatens the existence we know! (Don’t believe me? Comment below, or send me a

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Kathy Griffin and President Donald J. Trump

May 31, 2017

Kathy Griffin and President Donald J. Trump

Whither Kathy Griffin and the head! Don’t look for the head here. Or for any references to stories about it, for reasons which will become evident in short order.

President Donald J. Trump told us two weeks ago that “[n]o politician in history—and I say this with great surety—has been treated worse or more unfairly.” Uh, OK. If we ignore your bullsh*t claims about where your predecessor was born. If we ignore the decision by the Republican Congress to fight President Obama at every turn, in an attempt to make him a one-term president and, after he was re-elected, to interfere with his legislative agenda in unprecedented ways. And—because we all work

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London—Saturday and Sunday

May 19, 2017

London—Saturday and Sunday

London Saturday

40,802 steps, on Saturday.* Yep, you read that right! Everybody approaches a new city differently. I got many “Do the bus tour” commands. Old friends FF and GF brought their Rick Steves guidebooks, along with leftover money and Oyster cards, and a strong recommendation for ear buds and the Steves’ app on my phone. (I read the books before I left. Very helpful! I wish I could figure out how to use the wireless headphones I bought, so I would be prepared for a virtual tour.) From others I got “see this” and “you must see that.” Spoiler alert, and I do feel like a failure, really: never got to Harrods.

Alas,

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Roger Ailes, Dead – Some Thoughts!

May 18, 2017

Roger Ailes, Dead – Some Thoughts!

roger ailes

Roger Ailes

For those of us who communicate in the public sphere about this and that, the passing of a person of less than sterling character presents many challenges. Deeply held beliefs about basic decency bump up against the need to be candid about a life lived poorly, especially when the decedent harmed many among us.

The passing of Justice Antonin Scalia brought those challenges into focus. On February 14, 2016, less than a day after Justice Scalia died, I posted Scalia – Thoughts about First Reactions!, in which I focused on the very issue mentioned in the preceding paragraph. (I found some comments about Justice Scalia truly offensive.) Four days later,

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