Category Archives: Politics

Still on the Nickel?

Still on the Nickel?

Four hundred thousand for a pension, a million for his travel.
More for his security, McConnell, pound your gavel.

Give him not a penny. Not a nickel nor a dime.

He deserves no further payment for his life of crime.

May the senate use its Trump card to deal out his comeuppance.
When it comes to a pension, he should get nary a tuppence.

We’re tired of his finagling, the lies and all the trouble.
It’s time we drew the needle out to burst his four-year bubble.

If I may be pauciloquent, I’ll simply say, “IMPEACH!!!”
Finally do the right thing. Kick out the sonnofabeach!!!!!!

Prompt words today are comeuppance, trouble, pauciloquent (terse, using few words) and finagle.
“On the Nickel” in this context means “On the dole.” The Nickel is a street in San Francisco where a lot of homeless hang out. That Trump should have his hand out for further entitlements after his term is over just seems unconscionable to me. Let him earn his own nickels from now on. Impeachment will insure this. Here is one of my favorite Tom Waits songs that I drew my title from.


If F.D.R. was our 32nd president and Trump our 45th, what is the difference between? Good old unlucky #13.  Is it any coincidence that 13 presidents later, after one of our best presidents was elected, one who is definitely our worst was elected? Our culture needs to smarten up and start putting people first, money somewhere down the line. What good is a good economy if only the richest profit from it???? With our economy, our health and our morale at an all-time low, too many have gone “on the nickel” under Trump’s administration. Whereas FDR led us out of a depression, Trump has determinedly led us into the threat of one.

“On the Nickel” refers to 5th street in downtown Los Angeles, which is a location where many of the homeless hang out.  A mission on 5th street is known as “The Nickel,” taken from both the name of the street and the phrase “on the nickel” which describes someone homeless and perhaps begging for nickels.

In the song “On the Nickel” (Heart Attack and Vine) Tom Waits sings: “And what becomes of all the little boys who never comb their hair? They’re lined up all around the block on the nickel over there.” This is one of my favorite Tom Waits songs. Listen to it here:


America’s Burning

IMG_0970 (1)

America’s Burning

Count the faces. Take a tally
of the peaceful protest rally.
Their routine is most well-planned,
masks in place, placards in hand.

Enter police. Down on belly!!!
Enter newscasters for telly.
Teargas in the people’s park.
Truckloads arrive after dark.

Rioting and smashing glass.
Other dark deeds come to pass.
Using protest for excuse
to bring discord and spread abuse.

Violence becomes routine.
Authority a cruel machine.
A whole nation comes to grieve
the loss of what most folks believe.

An orange bigot, Bible raised,
pontificates, posturing, crazed.
A landmark of our country’s pride,
struck by a flash as freedom died.

Has our nation come to this?
This puffed-up, prideful bag of piss?
Shame on a country who listens to
a fool who’s rotten through and through.

Let sane men take the lead  and bring
some sanity to everything.
Equality and fairness reign
under a government more sane.

People stand up. Demand the best.
Do not give up. We cannot rest.
Seize back the country we have sold
to men who only care for gold.

Give succor to the halt and lame.
Do not play the money game
subsidizing rich man’s greed
instead of helping those in need.

Color is just an outer skin
and not a mark of shame or sin.
Use these sad times to make a start
to start to recognize the heart

that unites men from every nation,
every interest, every station.
Save our earth and save mankind.
Restore justice, and make her blind!!

Prompt words today are belly, landmark, grieve, rally and routine. I swore I’d write about something other than the rallies and violence that are tearing at the flesh of the whole world, but impossible to follow these prompt words anywhere except back to the current matters at hand.



He’s up there on the platform acting crass and disagreeable.
That he will bring the whole world down around him is foreseeable.
Every single day I hope and pray for his quiescence,
but, alas, refraining from brash speech is not his essence.
He opens mouth and words fall out—disjointed, vague and dense.
He’d make a great orator if only he made sense.
Good that his mother cannot see the travesty she bore—
narcissistic, senseless, and rotten to the core.
His attempts at humor only render him more silly.
His stench sickening and cloying—like an Easter lily.
He’s like a wild animal: vicious, cunning, feral.
What more can he do to put our whole wide world in peril?
No good can be said of him. He’s rotten through and through.
Daily, the world waits for him to drop the other shoe.

Prompt words today are disagreeable, platform, mother, quiescent and Easter lily. And action!

Frank Bruni’s Opinion Column in the NYT


Continue reading the main story
April 8, 2020

If you missed the previous newsletter, you can read it here.

Al Drago for The New York Times
Author Headshot
Opinion Columnist

I didn’t expect Donald Trump to turn eloquent overnight, nor is that necessary. Strong leadership doesn’t require it.

I didn’t expect him to stop complimenting himself. Bragging is as central to his existence as swimming is to a whale’s. It’s what propels him. It’s what sustains him. At this point it’s not merely reflexive. It’s autonomic.

I didn’t expect him to start telling the truth. I’m an optimist, not a fantasist.

But what I did expect, or at least hope for, was that this once-in-a-generation pandemic would tamp down his pettiness and meanness. How could it not? How cold he behold the scale of the suffering and the dimensions of the challenge before him and not realize that he finally had to be bigger and dig deeper?

There is no such bigness in Trump, no such digging. There is just the usual martyr complex, the familiar tirades and the same old passing of the buck. I’m forced to conclude that he’s not just a man ill equipped for this moment. He’s a man whose soul went missing.

I said as much in a column published a few days ago, and I winced when I wrote it and cringed when I sent it to my editor, because I don’t want to feel this cynical about an American president, certainly not now. I want to be pleasantly surprised. I want to be forced to reassess all prior misgivings and to apologize for selling him short, because that would mean that he was ably and nobly guiding us through this nightmare. Get something this important right and you’re forgiven all wrongs.

But as I explained in the column, which assesses Trump’s behavior over the past month, he isn’t finding the grace in crisis that other presidents did. He doesn’t even seem to be trying. I can’t fathom that. And I definitely can’t swallow it.

Laments like mine won’t change him. His rot is too fundamental for that. But they do, I think, serve a purpose: They nudge us past any lingering illusions that the direst of circumstances will transform the false prophet into a benevolent god.

No, this prophet just demands an even greater magnitude of worship. And he grows all the more furious when he doesn’t get it.

Continue reading the main story

Forward this newsletter to friends …

… and they can sign up for themselves here. It’s free and it’s published every Wednesday.

Our POTUS in a Time of Plague

Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash, Used with permission.

Our POTUS in a Time of Plague

As scientists studied and scholars debated,
the course of our nation has been confiscated
by someone elected to counsel and guide us
who instead has chosen to confuse and chide us.

His grasp of the matter is less than meticulous,
therefore his statements are rather ridiculous.
His words contradictory, coming together
unfettered by wisdom, with nary a tether.

The palm-reader’s advice and crystal ball’s scry,
and what the astrologer sees in the sky
might deliver more guidance than this crazy guy
with one hand on his club, the other in the pie.

He surveys the landscape, concocting more lore
as he swings back his five iron, calling out “Fore!”
A reality star, but alas, little more—
at the next election, let’s show him the door!

hayden-dunsel-aQeLVaGZuiA-unsplashImage by Hayden Dunsel on Unsplash, used with permission.



Prompt words today are scry, meticulous, together, confiscate and landscape.

Good Riddance?

Good Riddance

They’re trying to railroad us, set us adrift
so we’ll never close this incredible rift.
They’ll write our obituaries, every one
It started the day that reason was done .
We surrendered control to the men who let cash
prompt their decisions most foolish and rash.

The delicate balance of nature upended,
they pillaged the earth until it grew offended
and began to fight back through hurricanes, fire,
droughts, floods, marine deaths and then acts more dire.
When all these disasters failed to inspire us,
her weapon became the coronavirus.

Now they flounder on, our greedy politicians,
less leaders than they are our nation’s morticians.
They stew about markets, fuss over the Dow.
As ever, cash profits are their sacred cow.
While those who must vote to try to defeat them
are all prisoners of home with no way to unseat them.

Can you not see the end with wildlife in the streets,
stampeding down pavement, their hollow hoof beats
like drums that announce humanity’s end?
What messages might they possibly send?
The earth isn’t dependent on mankind to thrive.
When we are long gone, nature will survive.  

Words for the day are delicate, dependent, obituary, adrift and railroad.

Animals Invade Cities As People Quarantine Themselves At Home.
Read the Story Here: