’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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
’Twas the night before Fiscal Cliff, and throughout the land,
The Case of the Unhappy Robber
Norton, a professional burglar, looked upon himself as a kind of Robin Hood. The difference was that he took from the rich and kept it for himself. As a result, he spent more time in the slammer than he did in Sherwood Forest.
The toughest blow he suffered, however, was inflicted by the commissioner of motor vehicles. Upon Norton’s release from jail for the umpteenth time, the hard-hearted commissioner revoked his driver’s license.
Dream becomes reality only when you persevere
A young boy grew up in Berea, in a family that was blessed with a variety of musical talents.
His mother was a member of a female group who performed onstage regularly at Renfro Valley, in Rockcastle County.
This young man would routinely attend shows to watch his mother, and other artists, perform on stage. He was eager to learn from them every chance he could. He knew from a young age he wanted to pursue a career in the music industry and was willing to seek advice and mentoring from those who were experienced in the industry.
SOAR-ing in eastern Kentucky
By the time many of you read this, I’ll be traveling to southeastern Kentucky, on my way to the SOAR Summit scheduled for Monday in Pikeville (at least if the weather cooperates).
I’ll be listening to WMMT radio out of Whitesburg, the world’s most eclectic radio station. I’ll be among those magic mountains and with the wonderful people who live in the region and others who don’t but still love it.
If you don’t know eastern Kentucky, get rid of your stereotypes right now. Yes, there are poor, ignorant people in eastern Kentucky — just as there are in New York City, San Francisco or London, England.
Farming Misunderstood and Under-appreciated
As you look at your (I hope) full plate this Thanksgiving, take a guess at what percentage of your annual income you spend on food.
Whatever you guessed, you probably guessed too high.
“We pay as low as 6 percent,” Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture, tells me at a conference table in his office. “In most other industrialized countries, it’s 20-25 percent.”
And if you were spending that much on food in America, Vilsack asks, “how big a house would you have? How nice a car?”
Recalling the day JKF died
This is written on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. A year ago I demonstrated my exquisite sense of timing: I wrote my personal remembrance of that dark day in Dallas last year on the 49th anniversary of the horrific events in Dealey Plaza.
Is the pipeline to career advancement broken?
“Honey, have you checked our financials this month?” An individual asks their spouse.
“Yes, and it’s not looking good. Our investments aren’t growing like we’d hoped, and the healthcare crisis is affecting the premiums and co-pays we’re paying every month,” replies the spouse.
The individual asks another question, “Do you think we’ll ever be able to retire?”
The spouse shakes their head and replies, “It doesn’t appear we’ll have that option anytime soon, especially if we want to maintain the lifestyle we have now.”
Life Lessons from lawyers, journalists and 10 years as a columnist
I have little in common with Walter White, the chemistry teacher turned drug lord in the TV series Breaking Bad, but the line about his motivation hit me.
In the decade that I wrote a weekly column, I touched a lot of lives.
At least one man stopped his planned suicide and got help after reading my column. (I still hear from him and he is doing fine.)
Register columnists share room for a day at Telford rehab center
So here we are, coming to you still alive from Telford Terrace Rehabilitation Center in Richmond where I am recovering from two strokes that kept me in St. Joseph’s Lexington Hospital for the better part of last week.
I was transferred to Telford where I intend to learn to walk again.
Memo to Merkel: Tell Obama to Take a Hike
Chutzpah. I believe that’s the word for it.
Just days after learning the Americans have been tapping her phones and taping her conversations, Angela Merkel has been publicly upbraided by the U.S. Treasury for being a bad global citizen.
What did she do to deserve this?
Congressionally Duped Americans
Last week’s column, “Is There a Way Out?”, generated quite a few responses, some a bit angry. Some people were offended by my reference to Social Security and Medicare as entitlements or handouts. They said that they worked for 45 years and paid into Social Security and Medicare and how dare I refer to the money they now receive as an entitlement. These people have been duped by Congress and shouldn’t be held totally accountable for such a belief. Let’s examine the plethora of congressional Social Security lies. I’ll leave the Medicare lies for another column.
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