The Worst Laid Schemes of Mice and Men

If a genuine Buddhist, I should have compassion for fellow sentient being Trey Gowdy, who had risen so high so quickly, but who last Thursday splatted back to earth with all of the grandeur of plugged duck.

CR9zWPkVEAAZEH4The contrasting looks on his and Hillary’s faces as he left the hearings declared winner and loser, she, hanging around, flashing smiles; his face, shellacked with sweat, wore the expression of a highway patrolman on his way to ring the doorbell of the next of kin.

Virtually no one to the left of Jennifer Rubin, including Genghis Khan Charles Krauthammer, thinks anything positive came out of last Thursday’s inquisition as far as the Republican Cause goes. In between classes during the hearing, I checked my Twitter feed to find this well-crafted 126-character tweet (complete with a dash) from former Reagan speechwriter Jon Podhoretz: “Why doesn’t Pomero just go over and swear her in as president now – if he goes on like this he’ll practically get her elected.”

In hectoring tones, Pomero demanded to know why Hillary hadn’t fired anyone in light of Benghazi attack.

“I followed the law, Congressman,”  Clinton answered. “That was my responsibility.”

“You’re telling me you had no authority to take anyone’s paycheck . . .”

“It is my position that in absence of finding dereliction or breach of duty, there could be no action taken . . . “

[Shouting]: “[The ultimate] decision was to put them back [with] full back-pay and keep them on as employees! [. . .] The folks in Kansas don’t think that is accountability.”

No, in Kansas, even if no underling is ultimately to blame, someone needs to have her paycheck taken anyway. Even if no one is really ultimately accountable, a scapegoat must be found.

How could this process of allowing intemperate, showboating backbenchers like Pomero to take turns asking questions lead anywhere but to a disjointed free-for-all contradiction of Gowdy’s claim that the hearing was not about Hillary?

roby3marytoddlincolnRepresentative Martha Roby of Alabama, the most un-Republican-looking Republican woman since Mary Todd Lincoln, asked Hillary if she’d gone home that night of the attacks and if she’d spent the night alone, which elicited laughter from both Hillary and some spectators.

“I don’t know why that’s funny [. . .] I don’t think that’s funny at all.”

If this strategy of giving everyone a chance to ask questions could have been avoided, if, say, representatives could have submitted their questions to Gowdy and he synthesized them into some kind of coherent avenue of inquiry, maybe the hearing could have been a success politically for the Republicans. I don’t know how much autonomy a select committee chairman has in piloting an investigation, but if Gowdy could have organized it differently, he is ultimately to blame for the fiasco.

But actually, the real culprit is that fan-of-the-Pope John Boehner who sanctioned the creation of the vengeful panel in the first place. After all, a bi-partisan but Republican-led committee had already conducted and completed a thorough investigation. The entire premise that the committee’s existence was based on “finding out the truth” instead of politically wounding the presumptive Democratic nominee is a lie — bad karma — and if “the best laid schemes o’ mice and men/Gang aft agley,” certainly that must be true of the worst laid schemes.

Despite Gowdy’s insistence that it “was not about” Madame Secretary, he’s the one who initiated the questions concerning the Blumenthal emails – what a few commentators have referred to as “a rabbit hole” as in [cue the Jefferson Airplane] Alice. It seemed as if the committee was ignorant of the fact that people in very high places have other more sophisticated ways of communication than email. As they kept hectoring Hillary about emails, my apolitical wife asked, “Well, what do the emails have to do with what happened in Benghazi?”

Good question, Judy Birdsong.

Does Gowdy actually truly believe that he is impartial? Does the author of this blog really consider himself a genuine Buddhist?

If so, trips to Delphi are warranted — Know thyself!

Roman-mosaic-know-thyself

Alms for Oblivion: The Lighter Side of 2014

As the last few grains of sand from 2014’s proverbial hourglass slide through oblivion’s passageway, I thought preserve some moments — a least for a moment – for memory’s sake — lest we forget.

Domestically, it’s been an uneventful year with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the legalization of cannabis and gay marriage, and the mid-term elections topping the charts as far as significant occurrences that will ultimately matter in the future — unlike say, the Ebola pandemic panic or the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Internationally, it’s been a different story with ISIS taking over parts of Iraq and Syria, the Soviet Union Russia annexing Crimea and marching its jack boot into the Ukraine, and our establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.

However, we’re going to look at the lighter side of 2014 month by month unleavened somewhat by mentioning of a few significant passings, as the squeamish say.

So, let’s roll the newsreel!

January

Note: click all-caps for links to original posts.

Pete_Seeger2_-_6-16-07_Photo_by_Anthony_PepitoneBoo hoo, the BREW PUB closed on Folly, but Woo Hoo, we had a SNOW DAY; plus the Ravenel Bridge turned into a 3-D VIDEO GAME featuring ice javelins. Let’s call it Arctic Cleft Auto.

Pete Seeger died, but who wouldn’t trade his or her potential fruitful longevity for his?

Well I got a hammer,

And I got a bell,

And I got a song to sing, all over this land.

Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, “If I Had a Hammer”

February

140206_dx_wellesleynudestatue-crop-promo-mediumlarge-2Not much going down, except an artist named Tony Matelli traumatized the delicate damsels of Wellesley with this terrifying statue of SCANTILY CLAD SOMNAMBULIST.

Yeah, and bummer, Philip Seymour Hoffman died and so did Maximillian Schnell, another great Oscar-winning actor — but the right way as a newlywed in his 83rd year.

 

March

prespaulThe big news for the blog was that NPR wrote a story on one of our posts and provided a LINK; however, even bigher news was the debut of Bravo’s reality series Southern Charm, providing the nation a peek of people-from-off moving to Charleston and getting drunk and high with a not-very-interesting native scion.

You can read Sparknotes’ invaluable summary, analyses, and character sketches here: SOUTHERN CHARM.

The Jack of Cups opened in the Brew Pub’s former space in tribute to the season of rebirth.

Slow death month with all-but-forgotten David Brenner and Shelia McCrae leading the way.

April

imagesSenator Larry Grooms tried to defund the College of Charleston’s Summer Reading Program because the small government Republican didn’t like last summer’s book Fun Home – providing at least one English teacher a current-events example of irony in his subversive mission to convert his well-heeled students into Democrats.

Of course, the highlight of every April for us on Folly Island is the return of the KRUSHTONES.

Alas, the great GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ left us, but once again, he’s up there in the Pete Seeger range in the fruitful longevity category.

Oh, yeah, Mickey Rooney also made his earthly exit.

May

I started hanging out at CHICO FEO, which led inevitably to my second, very unsuccessful career as DUB POET FILMMAKER.

TREY GOWDY the chameleon, allegedly heterosexual South Carolina Congressman, chaired yet another Congressional investigation into Benghazi.

Celebrity deaths: Maya Angelou.

June

set-listExcept that a FRIEND DIED and my house caught on fire (details, details), June was an okay month in which we spent an “intimate evening” (no one took clothes off) with ART GARFUNKEL and got to watch a rehearsal for ROMEO AND JULIET.

A smorgasbord of celebrity deaths: Former Tennessee Senator Howard Baker, former San Diego Padre Tony Gwynn, former DJ Casey Kassam, and Ruby Dee, who wasn’t a former anything at the time of her death on June 11.

 

July

Despite a rather off-putting diagnosis of T-Cell Lymphoma, we had our share of fun in July watching the up-lifting TV series TRUE DETECTIVE and catching JOHN HIATT AND ROBERT CRAY at the Performing Arts Center.

And we bid adieu to James Garner, Johnny Winter, and Nadine Gordimer.

August

School started back up so once again for the 29th straight year I got to stand mutely while everyone else PLEDGED ALLEGIANCE to a flag.

No way to make this funny: ROBIN WILLIAMS OFFED HIMSELF.

Other deaths: Richard Attenborough, Lauren Bacall, Don Prado.

September

South Carolina small government Republican Senator Mike Fair tilted his lance at the teaching of NATURAL SELECTION in the second decade of the 21st Century CE.

Notables bound for that undiscovered country from whom no traveler returns included Ian Paisley and Joan Rivers, two insult-slingers extraordinaire.

October

images-2
We rediscovered at BOYHOOD HERO and started a highly unsuccessful on-line STUDY GUIDE SERVICE while simultaneously dealing with the deaths of bassist Jack Bruce and rock musician Raul Revere. Say what you like, but that song “Kicks” is cool.

November

BIGGEST FOLLY BEACH NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR: WOMAN PUNCHES BABY IN ITS CUTE, ADORABLE, MODELING-WORTHY FACE!!!

That and PD James won’t be writing any more mysteries nor will Tom Magliozzi solve any more car problems, but more significantly, Mike Nichols died, another Pete Seeger, Garcia-Marquez super-productive human being.

December

Not quite over yet as I type this, but it did mark the debut of what undoubtedly will be a Holiday Classic: BUBBA, THE REDNECK SNOWMAN.

Even though Joe Cocker and Mary Anne Mobley won’t be enjoying a happy new year, I certainly, sincerely wish you one!  And I especially thank my few, consistent readers.  Best wishes!

wesely tech guru