’Twas the night before Fiscal Cliff, and throughout the land,
Democrats, Republicans were taking a stand.
Their positions unwavering, intractably firm,
With donkey-like stubbornness or entrenched pachyderm.
But the public were hopeful all snug in their beds,
With visions of compromise alive in their heads.
“Come on!” said the people in frustrated dismay.
“Abandon this meaningless partisan fray.”
When Obama and Boehner finally met,
Their first thoughts were not of a country in debt.
And Obama, the chief, said to Boehner “Oh crap!
I’d rather depart for a nice winter’s nap.”
“I know,” sighed Boehner “I’ve plenty to do,
Was planning to take a vacation or two.”
“Never mind,” said the Prez, “we’ll just keep delaying,
Who cares what the grumbling public are saying.”
But out in the blogosphere there arose such a clatter,
The people revolted, resolving this matter:
“There’s only one way to deal with such fools
Obama and Boehner must settle by duel.”
“No way!” said Obama, “I’m renowned for my peace.
“With a medal of proof on my lounge mantlepiece.”
“I agree” cried Boehner, not eager to battle,
And caught the first plane heading out to Seattle.
“Come back,” yelled the people, “we demand this by right,
You’ve had chances to talk, now you settle this fight.”
But the pair, reunited, were far from impressed,
As the thought of a duel made them rather depressed.
As he pondered alternative White House residents,
Obama now saw why we have the vice presidents.
Quick thinking, as always, to Biden he beckoned,
“Get over here Joe, and I’ll make you my second.”
“Now Joe I expect you’ll appear around dawn,
To face off with Boehner on the White House’s lawn.”
“Yeah right!” smiled old Joe, “Would love to assist,
I ain’t packing no pistol – what if I missed?”
And then, in a twinkling, Obama’s next step,
Was to call up more buddies, to be his next rep.
“Now Pelosi! Now Clinton! Now Durbin and Reid!
But all vanished from Washington with notable speed.
“Oh dear,” mused Obama, “now what shall I do?”
So he phoned up Boehner for a quick rendezvous.
“My friend, we are beaten, let’s abandon aggression.”
“Agreed,” said the Speaker, “it’s time for concession.”
So they sprang into action, both recommending,
Adding some taxes and cutting some spending.
Then I heard them exclaim, “We’ve reached a consensus!
Good-bye Fiscal Cliff, we’ve come to our senses.”
(Thomas’ features and columns have appeared in more than 250 magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Christian Science Monitor. He can be reached at email@example.com).
’Twas the night before Fiscal Cliff, and throughout the land,
Starting over at Head Start
All I ever wanted to be was a journalist. Having worked on my high school and college newspapers, I knew it was the career for me.
I love talking to people, listening to their stories, being creative every day and experiencing new things. But as you know, news happens outside the hours of 9 to 5, and my job here at the Register rarely stayed within that time frame.
They don’t make strawberries as they did back in the old days
I’m not inclined to go through my archives at the moment, but it almost feels like the column I’m about to write has almost become an annual thing over the years.
At least I know for sure that that this is not the first time that memories of picking strawberries there on Blair Branch on hot days in June has triggered this keyboard about this time of year.
I grew up on a little subsistence, hillside farm deep in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, among the coalfields near the Virginia line.
Baby boomers have let technology rob their grandchildren of the joys of youth
When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to see fathers and sons along creek banks fishing together or in the woods hunting squirrels or pitching horse shoes or even shooting marbles late in the afternoon in the cool hours before dark.
Dads were teaching kids to play the games they grew up with. Little girls, learned from mothers,how to skip rope, play with jacks or play hopscotch.
No Lincoln or Douglas in this debate
Remember the famous slap-down in the 1988 vice presidential debate when Republican Dan Quayle compared his youth and limited government experience to those of John Kennedy’s when Kennedy ran for president?
His Democratic opponent, Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, acidly replied: “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Senate campaign already in full bloom
Any hope for a respite in the U.S. Senate campaign following Tuesday’s primary disappeared immediately.
Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes came out swinging in victory speeches which sounded like campaign kickoffs.
McConnell commended Matt Bevin on “a tough (primary) race” and appealed to Bevin supporters to unite behind his re-election bid. That will be hard for Bevin and those who backed him.
‘Taxpayer-eaters’ meet ‘self-serving politician-eaters’
What some candidates could gain in this year’s election – beyond just winning office – is a stark reminder of how wrong political leaders were when declaring last year they had adequately addressed Kentucky’s public-pension crisis.
Instead, legislators with serious courage deficiencies failed to agree on reforms beyond what they believe are “politically feasible.”
Step Out, Step up for Diabetes Association
Six weeks ago when I wrote here announcing the 2014 Edition of Team TKO’s American Diabetes Association, Step Out Walk Team, several dozen of you readers sent generous donations to sponsor grandson Tyler Kane Ochs (TKO) and me in the walk that takes place, rain or shine, in the mud or not, at Keeneland on the morning of May 31.
Another several dozen of you either called, emailed or dropped a card in regular mail and asked that I remind you again “after the holidays” (Easter and Mother’s Day).
Hitting the campaign trail
The most watched race in the country ? the battle for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell ? has so far produced a bevy of charges and not much substance.
We haven’t seen that much of McConnell or his likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes out on the campaign trail.
McConnell’s primary opponent Matt Bevin has been much more active and visible, but his performance hasn’t enhanced his chances.
The case of the scary black cat
If Margie didn’t believe that black cats were the harbinger of bad luck, she certainly believed it when a black cat brushed against her leg while she was leaning over a large trash can burning garbage one late afternoon.
Startled by the sudden appearance of the feline, Margie opened her mouth wide and let out a blood-curdling scream that could have awakened Count Dracula himself.
Basking in the spring sunshine
If you had asked me, as recently as two weeks ago, to make a list of things I expected to see on the first Monday in May of 2014, two of the things that I actually did see would not have been on the list, even if you’d required that it contain at least 500 items.
I’d have been a bit skeptical about Ralph’s purple asparagus and his gorgeous snowball bush, both of which came through most admirably. And I would have had my doubts about the poppies that have been in our back yard for several generations and the bearded German Iris that Jeanette Todd gave us more than two decades ago. It faithfully stuns us there at the corner of the front porch every spring, but there they were, basking in absolute glory as the sun set Monday afternoon.
- More Viewpoints Headlines
- Starting over at Head Start