artbycassiday

Friday, April 21, 2017

"Mrs. Martini's Pancakes" and other Poems for National Poetry Month Week 3

Poem 21, Friday April 21

Mrs. Martini’s Pancakes

It was probably in 1958 or 59
when Mrs. Martini babysat
the four of us kids in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Mom and Dad went somewhere for several days
and hired her to watch over us.
I was 8 or 9 and each sibling was about 18 months
younger in steps down to Susie, the youngest.
Don’t call her Susie now, by the way.
Brother David would not arrive for a few more years
yet in Friend, Nebraska.
Mrs. Martini was short and stout,
like that little tea pot in the song,
and a bit darker skinned like the
native Americans we used to see in town
once in a while.
She made pancakes for us one of those mornings.
They were different than mother’s.
They were somehow much darker, almost
black, and larger, and we all liked them – a lot.
Pancakes were never the same after that.
I tried some Walmart brand frozen pancakes
this morning I cooked in the toaster.
Not much taste to them, but they were nicely round.
I used to make squirrel, spider, and rabbit-shaped pancakes
for my son when he was young, and he always liked that.
It’s quite possible the memory of Mrs. Martini’s pancakes
is better than the pancakes themselves were,
but that’s probably true of a lot of things.


Poem 15 Saturday April 15

I opened the blinds of my
living room windows this morning
to see the day.
A thick, dark gray sky lay low west.
Sunshine spilled over my
apartment rooftop into the
empty blue swimming pool
filling it with promise of summer.
The chatternews spoke of the Koreas,
the mother of all bombs, a fire in
Las Vegas, a captured fugitive,
lost health insurance, drought, Russia,
China, a president on vacation
at his golf resort.
I ate a cinnamon-raisin bagel,
a slice of cheddar cheese,
and thought of the rest of the day.



Poem #16 Sunday April 16

Bad Metaphors

I like to write bad metaphors such as
metaphors are spice for word meat.
Or similes such as
she had eyes like big round hub caps from an old Buick.
Or her lips were like pieces of cow liver stacked one on the other.
There’s something about contorting language
into a semantic train wreck
for my amusement on a resurrected Sunday.
It’s a Coney Island of the mind,
on black petals, eating a peach, while a fly buzzed.
It’s a Howl on a path less taken,
riding a Zen motorcycle on the blue highways.
It’s like Huckleberry Finn in Paris
with Zelda drinking Amontillado.
Without you I am a dog barking in the back yard
of a Bleak House at the neighbor's cat
as I thought of lost loves.
It’s the dead guys on the crosses that bother me.
Someone wrote that eternity begins today.
Damn, I thought it began last year.
The sliver of the moon was like a sliver of a piece of moon shaped silver paper
pasted upon the sky if the sky were something you could
paste a moon shaped sliver of silver paper upon.
Images swirled in left side of my head in the same way that
water goes down a toilet when you flush it in the northern hemisphere -- clockwise.
I complained like Portnoy but the clockwork was orange
and Atlas shrugged on the western front.
Bad metaphors are the irritating screech
of chalk on a blackboard
and then you have to get the chalk dust off your fingers.
It’s like being Lolita from K-Pax on a Tuesday.





Poem #17 Monday April 17, 2017

The Day After Easter

Easter is not like something new;
there was one last year and the year before that.
And the year before that.
We Christians get dressed up each year,
on the first Sunday,
after the first full moon,
after the vernal equinox,
some in new clothes, some in old,
attend church services,
say the same words,
do the same actions,
and repeat the same rituals,
year after year,
decade after decade,
and pretend like it’s big news,
celebrating the impossible.
Still, it’s nice to get all
dressed up and have dinner
with family, and wonder.





Poem #18 Tuesday April 18

Coats

We are having some weather today, we say,
as though we don’t have some weather every day.
Hot, cold, rain, shine, it’s all weather, isn’t it?
In my closet, I have fifteen coats.
Some are leather, some cloth, some synthetic,
to accommodate that range of weather.
Some are better for the extreme cold,
others for just a bit on the chilly side.
Is it a cold rain? a warm rain?
A wet snow? A dry snow?
Is it above freezing? or below?
How long will I be outdoors?
Will I be moving or still?
All are important questions.
I have a light green rain parka somewhere
that folds up into
its own pouch to be worn upon a belt.
I like the efficient elegance of that.
For the others, I need that closet
by the front door.



Poem #19 Wednesday April 19

More Rain Fell Last Night

More rain fell last night
as I was sleeping.
In fact, a lot went on
As I was sleeping.
People went to work or came home after.
People died, babies were born,
Couples engaged in, well, coupling,
People enjoyed sunshine
In their worlds
As I was sleeping in mine.
Crimes were committed;
Criminals were apprehended.
Waves pounded on distant shores.
Rivers flowed; dust blew.
Trees swayed in the breeze.
Trumpets sounded.
Jets roared. Prisoners wept.
Children went hungry.
Children were fed.
Parents got them ready for school,
Or picked them up after.
People composed music, painted pictures,
Sculpted figures, wrote poems, danced in the moonlight.
They felt pain, love, sadness, loneliness, joy,
Prayed, and cursed.
Rejoiced and lamented.
A lot went on
As I was sleeping.



Poem #20 Thursday Apr. 20

Still Processing Good Friday

On Good Friday I stopped by the Burger King
on Dodge about 30th after a round of golf
at Shoreline golf course in
Carter Lake, Iowa, inside the
western edge of the oxbow lake
up by the airport,
and before the Seven Last Words
service at my church. I was to speak
about “Truly, I say to you, today you
shall be with me in paradise.” I had about
two hours in between and I was hungry.
It was too far to go back home
and then drive all the way back to church.
I ordered a Whopper, some fries,
and a vanilla shake. It cost $8.86.
That seemed pretty high to me,
for a Whopper, some fries,
and a vanilla shake,
but apparently that’s the going rate these days.
Compared to the price of paradise,
however, that’s nothing. That one guy
to whom Jesus said those words
had to die.
I had seen a small fish lying in the grass,
maybe six inches long, on fairway #2 -
I think it was a crappie - and wondered how it got there.
Dropped by a hawk perhaps?
But why hadn’t the hawk just landed
and then eaten its prey?
Why leave it there on the grass to die?
Seemed like a meaningless death to me.
There’s a mystery to things like that
even though it was just a fish.





Friday, April 14, 2017

Two Tickets to Paradise on Good Friday



Poem #14 April 14
Two Tickets to Paradise

Two tickets to Paradise
Jesus offered that fellow
on the cross on that day
we now call Good Friday.
"Truly, I say to you,
today you shall be with me
in Paradise."
Strange name for the day.
Some say it means “God Friday.”
Some say it means “Holy Friday,”
and some, “Pious Friday.”
Whatever.
It’s the day Jesus was crucified.
By the way, I read this morning that “up to 36”
ISIS fighters were killed by
the mother of all bombs, a 21 ton,
$20 million bomb, the MOAB,
aka, MFOAB.
The cost of death keeps going up.


Poem #8 April 8
Saturday

Some Saturday mornings are like
a highway stretching out in front of you
mile after mile and you have no particular destination.

Today is one of those Saturdays for me.
I woke up earlier than I really wanted, but I made some coffee,
considered what to prepare for breakfast, and checked the news.

I need to write a poem today I remembered just before the above
six lines were written. I am enjoying these poem a day April poems,
and never know quite what they will be until they tell me.

I wrote a few sarcastic facebooks posts
about our president. I still can’t get myself to say his name.
I continue to hope he doesn’t get us all killed.

I might get my motorcycle out and go for a ride on that
highway I mentioned. I might work on a painting of favorite
books for an old friend of mine from grad school.

I did sit on my deck drinking a cup of coffee
enjoying the sounds of spring out there:
kids playing in the park, birds chirping,
motorcycles revving by on 84th street.

Now I’m watching the Masters golf tournament thinking
I could have been on the pro tour if only I had been
a lot, lot, lot, lot, lot, lot, lot better.

I may practice some of my tenor sax music and
transpose a few more parts from alto to tenor.
So far, I’ve scored Tequila, Wooly Bully, and Rebel Rouser.

Later, I’ll probably head to the grocery store and make
something nice for dinner, sip some bourbon afterwards,
and watch a favorite show on TV.


Poem #9 April 9

The Last Time I Shot Somebody

The last time I ever shot anybody
was many years ago in Friend, Ne.
It may have been the year President Kennedy
was assassinated, 1963. Or maybe it was in 1962.
We lived then on the southeast edge of town,
the town on one side and fields of milo and corn on the other.
We lived in the old Blanchard house so named
for its former residents, church members who were renting
the house as a temporary parsonage. There was an orchard
with a few apple and pear trees, a chicken coop with no chickens,
and an empty building where it was said
someone used to make cheese.
The two-story house stood large on that corner lot,
and we lived there while the congregation was building
a modern ranch style house closer to the town center and the church.
The Webbs lived on the lot north of the orchard
and there was a red barn and maybe ten Webb kids,
including Cathy, tawny-haired and freckled and about my age,
whom I loved for several weeks. They moved away though.
She never knew of this secret love,
but I watched her kill and pluck a
chicken for dinner one time and was smitten.
I chased one of their pigs with her one time
when it got out of its pen, a high-point of that summer.
It probably met a similar fate as the chicken
but I don’t remember that part.
One nice spring or summer day, I was hunting
birds and squirrels and rabbits
with my Daisy pump-action BB gun in the Webb’s yard
when Steve drove by on his bicycle.
Steve was, I think, ten or so at the time,
and I took aim from the cover of a tree,
took a shot, and got him right in the bum.
I had to apologize later after his dad, the Postmaster in town
told my dad, the Congregational minister, about that shot.
I think Steve and I were in Boy Scouts together.
I lost touch with Steve for many years but have since
made connection again on social media, where I apologized again,
and where he occasionally reminds me of that fateful day.
He served in the Navy for many years on a submarine
and now lives in Florida. We trade facebook postings these days,
and comment on the politics of the day.
As for Cathy, her family moved away,
and a few years later my family moved away,
leaving only the small-town memories.



Poem #10 April 10

A Crack in the Clouds

Moments ago, I stepped out my cubicle and
looked out the north-facing window-wall of
the Metro south campus where I work
and saw about thirty flowering fruit trees struck
by a beam of sunshine under a dull cloudy sky.
They shone for a few moments with a white burst of brilliance
against the still drab brown-green grass below them,
like a supernova from a distant star.
The long silver-painted outside wall of a nearby packing plant
reflected that same sunbeam back at me, too, like a mirror.
How lucky for me to be standing there when the sun
appeared through that crack in the clouds on an
otherwise average Monday.


Poem #11 April 11

Tuesdays

I like Tuesdays right now.
I have classes on Mondays and Wednesdays,
so I can fill Tuesdays with what I want: today was
painting chickens wearing sunglasses in the morning
(in looking at 'painting chickens wearing sunglasses
in the morning', I think I need to clarify:
first -they are not live chickens wearing sunglasses in the morning, it's a painting;
second, the 'in the morning' part pertains to when
the painting happened not the wearing of the sunglasses;
third, I was not wearing the sunglasses.
It's a picture of chickens wearing sunglasses that I painted in the morning.
Uh oh, it's not that I simply painted the sunglasses in the morning.........
the relative pronoun 'that' applies to the entire noun phrase
not just the terminal noun of the phrase.....
oh crap,never mind, I'll add the picture below),
golf in the afternoon, and usually, band practice in the evening.
Hard to beat that with a stick.
Add that I golfed well, shot a 78 at Johnny Goodman
municipal golf course, named after Johnny
who won the 1933 US Open as an amateur,
and it’s an even better day.
Alas, though, no band tonight - one guitar player was busy.
Guess I’ll just have to sit here in my leather Barcalounger,
write this poem, tilt the chair back a bit,
watch some favorite shows on the tv,
and sip on some bourbon on the rocks.write this poem,
tilt the chair back a bit,
watch some favorite shows on the tv,
and sip on some bourbon on the rocks.




Poem #12 April 12

The Swiss Army Watch

I had a Swiss Army watch
several years ago.
Actually it was my son’s,
but he let me wear it.
And I think I still have it.
It needed a new battery,
so I headed to the nearby Super Target.
The young lady at the watch station
said they couldn’t replace the battery
unless I had purchased it there.
“Liability issues,” she said.
“Liability issues,” I thought
as I walked to the parking lot.
“It’s just a watch.”
The gal at Walmart said pretty much
the same thing only she mentioned
her boyfriend had a similar watch
and it was a very nice watch.
She referred me to Enrique’s Jeweler’s
in Ralston where I was able to get the
right battery installed. It wasn’t too much
later after that when the watch band broke.
I haven’t worn it since.


Poem #13 April 13

Living Life at the Speed of Time

I'm living life at the speed of time,
while listening to some old John Prine.
I'm painting a nice cool ocean breeze,
and doing just what I damn well please.
Music on the turntable turns;
the toast in the toaster burns.
But I’m living life at the speed of time,
while listening to some old John Prine.
Tides ebb and flow at the speed of time,
and make the grunion run.
My earth moves in a long curved line,
orbiting an average yellow star, the sun.
I'm sipping coffee, pondering the muse,
and doing what I damn well choose.
But I'm living life at the speed of time
while listening to some old John Prine.





Friday, April 07, 2017

National Poetry Month - A Poem a Day

I have been writing a poem a day for the National Poetry Month of April. So here are my efforts.

Poems of the Day

April 1 Write Like a Poet

If I could write like a poet, I would.
If I could sing like a diva, I would.
If I could fly like a bird, I would.
If birds could write like divas,
that would be weird.
If birds could fly like poets,
that would be nice.
If divas could swim like fish -
wait that didn't work.


April 2 - Worms

I step around worms on the sidewalk after a rain.
Let them enjoy themselves I think
like some god looking down,
avoiding stepping on me after a rain.
Oh no, sunshine.
Worms make their worm mad-dash back to the grass.
Some make it; others don't.
I, though, enjoy the moment.


April 3 - We Murder to Dissect

The poem ate its own tale in ouroboros fashion.
A poem can mean everything but itself.
Or it can mean nothing but itself.
Figure that out I thought as I gazed into my
reflected image in the bathroom mirror
deciding whether to shave the stubble on my cheeks
or just have some coffee and go
to work.


April 4 A Poem a Day

A poem a day is
like an apple a day
only it's not an apple.
It's a poem.
A pome a day is
like an apple a day,
or a pair of pomes,
only it's not a poem.
It's a pome.
Some say an apple day
keeps the doctor away.
Not sure what a poem a day
keeps away........ennui perhaps.
So on we go.
Chew on or eschew that
for a day--
if you so choose.


April 5 The Walk to the Post Office

I was getting ready to walk across
the street to mail a letter at the post office
the other day.
"I'd better take my wallet," I thought,
"in case I get hit by a car."
I really did think that.
It seems a strange
thing to think for a short walk
to the post office.
Somehow it was troubling
that no one would know who I was
injured or perhaps dead in the street
and the least I could do was
have my ID in my pocket.
It's not like I would blindly walk
without looking, letting random chance
determine my fate,
but it was comforting
that my wallet would reveal who I was.
A driver's license, pictures of my son
and other family,
a couple credit cards, and a few other things
I haven't cleared out yet
like receipts I saved
for no apparent reason
and a business card from someone
I don't remember.
I made it safely across the street,
returned home,
picked up where I left off,
a bit amused at my brush with death.


Poem #6 All in a Day
I took my mother to the outpatient clinic
today to get shot. Ha ha.
Not shot -- but a shot -- in her hip
to relieve the pain caused by 91
years of walking. And then she wanted to go
shopping for groceries.
We wandered the aisles
of the Hy-Vee on Center Street at about 52nd.
The aisles are a bit wider than the Baker's
where I usually shop, and the floors perhaps
a bit cleaner. And it's arranged differently.
Light bulbs were where breakfast cereal
usually is. The tomatoes were where I
usually find the ice cream, and they
didn't have broccoli salad
or pina colada strawberry yogurt like Baker's does.
I saw a friend from church there.
We had to make a separate trip to two drug stores
to find the iron supplement
my mother wants, and for these stops
she waited in the car.
When I took her home,
I helped her write an email
to a professor at the UNO Gerontology program
asking when their next senior poetry contest
would be. And then I came home to watch
the Masters' and take a nap,
and she got her hair done by a woman
who comes to the retirement apartments each week
to do the ladies' silver hair.


Poem #7 Shoreline Golf

I golfed today with my friend Jerry.
We've golfed together for 35 years now give or take.
He won $1.75 from me today.
Other days I win from him. Most times Bob
joins us, but not today.
We talked about our work.
We talked about fishing, and hawks, and found
a large feather on the first fairway.
Other days we've found leftover
bones from a hawk's meal, or perhaps an owl's,
seen coyotes and foxes.
One time I found a large carp carcass snatched
from Carter Lake on a fairway,
partly eaten and partly decomposed.
That must have been a tasty meal.
We noticed the eagle's nest on hole #9
has fallen into disrepair since its
last residents, three little white headed
eaglets we could see above the branched rim of
the aerie several years ago.
But they are long gone and may have started
their own aeries by now.
We talked about various great shots we had made
once upon a time hoping that we might recreate
some of those moments today.
We talked about our kids and his girlfriend's dog,
politics and religion, war and peace.
I made a long birdie putt on the first hole,
and went on to miss about a dozen really good putts
in the round.
Golf is like that sometimes. Well, more like most
of the time.
Contrails criss-crossed
overhead and they became long, narrow puffed clouds
joining the others
gradually moving across the sky,
carried on the wind high above.
It's nice walking out there on the green grass,
among the grey trees, under the blue
and white skies.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

So this week.............

So this week, J. Lord Dampnut addressed a Women's Empowerment gathering in DC. His opening remark, "Susan B. Anthony, what a babe. Nice rack, too," apparently did not go over well. ************* So this week, the House of Representatives voted to not require J. Lord to release his tax returns citing privacy issues and also voted to allow internet providers to sell my browsing history to the highest bidder. ****************So this week Exxon-Mobil urged the fake president to comply with the Paris Climate Accord. Yes, you saw that right, Exxon-Mobil wants our fake president to comply with the Paris Climate Accord. *************** So this week, Rep. Lamar Smith (R. - Texas), Chairman of the House Science Committee, accused Science magazine of being pro-science. "It is so clear that they are biased in favor of science," he said. ************* J. Lord Dampnut's new military strategy against ISIS, massive, indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets in heavily populated urban neighborhoods in Iraq and Syria, is off to a "great" start. "Despite huge civilian casualties, we're pretty sure, almost certain, that we might have gotten at least a couple of terrorists somewhere in there," a spokesperson said. "We'll be trying this in Somalia as well. **************** House Republicans accused Democrats of working together in the investigations of the administration's Russia connections. "They are sharing information, developing strategies, seeking documents, and asking questions almost everyday trying to get to the truth," one said. "That's not how we operate. It's just not fair." ******************* So this week, J. Lord has appointed his daughter Ivanka as a White House Advisor to the President for no pay. Ivanka, though, is said to be developing a new line of White House chic clothing to be marketed on-line. ******************So this week, Dampnut said he wanted to work with Democrats on health insurance reform. "It'll be easy," he said. Paul Ryan, Republican Speaker of the House said he most certainly did not want to work with Democrats. Maybe no so easy after all. Later in the day, a short transcript of the conversations going on between the Republican Freedom Caucus and more moderate Republican Congressmen to try get the health insurance bill back on track was leaked by Repub sources: "Moron." "Asshat." "Socialist." "Fascist." "Imbecile." "F*** you." "Idiot." "Ignoramus." "Stupidest f*** ever elected." "Oh, yeah?" "Yeah." "Stick it up your a**." "F*** off."*********************The White House press secretary said he's not going to go down the slippery slope of saying what reporting about the White House is true and what is not. ********************Guide to J. Lord Dampnut/Russia scandal: As far as I can piece together so far about what happened, the US was invaded by a thousand paid Russian hackers launching internet bots spreading fake anti-Hillary Clinton news for months, perhaps years, in collusion with Russia's human agents Manafort and Flynn and others in the Dampnut campaign, Wikileaks, and the FBI, to get J. Lord Dampnut elected, whom the Russians have blackmailed with the Russian prostitute pissing video, his associations with the Russian Mafia, and his international banking money-laundering connections, to get him installed as president so he would lift sanctions on Russia put in place after Russian invaded Crimea, after which Putin would make $$$ billions on a big oil deal with Exxon-Mobil. The various pieces are all falling into place now. Nunes, Spicer, and Dampnut are doing their best to cover it up, and Russia is murdering its agents all over the world. Flynn now says he will testify in exchange for immunity. It all sounds like the plot of an implausible spy thriller with hundreds of characters, but it appears more and more real as time goes by. ********************** More on Russian connections: Carl Bernstein, reporter of Watergate fame, says heed Deepthroat's advise, "Follow the money." Clint Watts, national security expert, advised the Senate Intelligence to "follow the trail of dead Russians." I'm guessing those two lines of evidence intersect in this instance.*******************Finally, what the heck happened to Kellyanne Conway? I haven't seen her for at least a week.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A few thoughts on satire and fake news and the miserable state of affairs these days.......

As an amateur satirist and a teacher of essay writing I've been more and more forced by our current political climate to consider the elements of Fake News. Metropolitan Community College has recently added resource material on Fake News to its library home page. Helping students determine which news is real and which is fake is part of my job as an instructor in the classroom. As a purveyor of satire on fb and in my own blog, I'm often asked if what I write is true. It is usually true in a Colbertian "truthiness" sort of way -- not always literally true, with the understanding that literally now is unfortunately also defined as figuratively. Even the distinction between literal and figurative is no longer distinct. Lying has moved from covering crimes and indiscretions (Nixon and Clinton) to strategic (George W. Bush and weapons of mass distractions) to lying about everything large or small all the time (J. Lord Dampnut). The change from the big lie to lie all the time about everything is a challenge. I only print the news I make up except when I print the actual news I did not make up and readers think it's satire because it can't possibly be true in which case it is both true and has truthiness. I believe my fake news in not fake in the pejorative sense of the word. Actual Fake News does not contain truth, truthiness, or literal or figurative truth. Actual Fake News is meant to deceive and undermine truth and has propaganda value in the Orwellian sense of the word. My fake news, satire, is meant to remove the layers of obfuscation and deception from our commercial/political media machines. Fake news distorts truth; satire illuminates truth. It is getting tougher and tougher to write satire. I used to take news and exaggerate, parody, and mock it. Now I often just report the what happens. One of my friends left this comment on a recent blog: "Bud, you'd be the greatest satirist in the history of comedy if this wasn't all true. The Don, Shame Spiker and Kellyanne Convict and Prince Rebus make it all too easy for you--all you have to do is transcribe the week's (or often, one day's) events. Sad." We are transitioning from one of the most honest politicians of our history to perhaps the most dishonest one ever promulgating fusillades of mendacity tweet after tweet, hour after hour, day after day. It's not easy keeping up.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Worms on the Sidewalk

Worms on the Sidewalk* ** * * * * * * * April showers bring May flowers, But March rain brings worms on the sidewalk. Several theories explain this, but I read it's not to avoid drowning. They breathe through their skin and can absorb oxygen from the water. It might be that worms see this as an opportunity for speedier above ground travel – a worm sightseeing tour facilitated by the moisture of rain. It’s a lot faster that digesting your way inch by inch from one dark place to another. It might be that worms are seeking to mate – worm speed-dating on concrete in their peculiar simultaneous hermaphrodite-ness. Worms have both worm sex organs which make that sidewalk romance, uh, unusual, in a, you know, worm coitus sort of way. Or they might mistake pounding rain as the vibrations of a predator --and move up and out into the great beyond where many meet their Maker – or an opportunistic Robin. I’m assuming that most worms complete that four or five foot journey across the sidewalk and burrow down again at the earliest opportunity. So it's not a mass suicide. The dawdlers, though, get caught in an object lesson on Darwinism. We don’t know for sure which theory is correct. And worms don’t why they do what they do either. A worm brain isn’t that big. Worms live life without being aware they are alive: no pleasure, no sense of worm fulfillment, no sense of posterity. Worms do not have existential crises. Or even worry much. By the way, while the upper reaches of the lifespan of a worm in the wild may be only a few months, a worm in a protected environment – like working worms in a composting industry may live as long as 8 years. It is widely accepted that none of the 6,000 worm species golf although the same rain that moves worms to sidewalks also moves them to golf greens where they are often caught by emerging sunshine midway on their journey and end up as shriveled twigs you have to move so they don’t deflect the ball when you putt. I’ve tossed partially shriveled worms from golf greens back to the longer grass thinking they might have a chance at survival, but probably not.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Another $3 Million Golf Weekend

In what is turning out to be a typical week for J. Lord Dampnut, he: said stupid stuff, lied about some other stuff, took stuff away from poor people, picked a pointless fight with an ally, tweeted about Snoop Dogg, broke a dozen campaign promises, possibly leaked his 2005 tax form to the press, sent troops to a war zone, and will take a long golfing weekend. * * * * * * * * * * * * * Speaker of the House Paul Ryan responded this week to the CBO projection that 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance under the Republican Health Care plan: "This is encouraging. If we can get that number up to 30 million or even higher, we will be able to give even larger tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. It's a win-win scenario; poor Americans will have the freedom to have no health insurance and rich people will receive huge tax cuts."* * * * * * * * * * In a short statement today in light of the CBO determining that 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance under the current Republican plan, and premiums for those still covered might rise as much as 750%, the White House and Congressional Republicans clarified their position on health insurance and health care reform: "We really don't give a shit whether poor people have health care or insurance or not. Get real."* * * * * * * * * * In other clarifying statements this week J. Lord Dampnut said: "When I said we WOULD NOT cut Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security, what I meant was WE WILL cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security." * * * * * * * * *"When I said everyone would have insurance and it would be great and cost less, what I meant was 24 million people would lose their health insurance, it would be crappy, and it would cost a lot more." * * * * * * * * *** * J. Lord Dampnut's press secretary Sean Spicer said today: "When the President said Barack Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower, he didn't actually mean Obama or tap or phones, he meant the microwaves ovens were taking pictures of him." * * * * * * * * * * * * * After avoiding the issue for decades, Congress is finally ready to make gun deaths quieter. "Nothing is quite as disturbing as hearing gunshots in the neighbor's house or on the street." The legislation would make it legal for anyone to purchase a silencer for their guns. * * * * * * * * * * Here is a quick summary of the President's statements about his executive order on immigration: J. Lord Dampnut - June - We must ban Muslims. July - We must ban Muslims. Aug. - We must ban Muslims. Sept. We must ban Muslims. Oct. - We must ban Muslims. Nov and Dec. - We must ban Muslims. Jan. to a Hawaiian judge - Our ban has nothing to do with religion. * * * * * * * * * In a flurry of activity before heading down to Mara Lago Golf Resort in Air Force One for a $3 million weekend of golf, Dampnut demanded to see the birth certificate of the Hawaiian Federal judge who put a hold on the Executive Order to ban Muslims. The President also proposed eliminating all money for the arts and for Meals on Wheels for the elderly: "We cannot make America great again until we stop feeding old people," he said.