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By Tom Cushing

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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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The Night Before Christmas, II

Uploaded: Dec 27, 2013
T'was the night before Christmas, in the Senate and House,
But no deals would be struck ? they rate lower than 'louse.'
Stocks soared up the chimney ? the Pope pleaded to share,
And for once, no one groused about 'sparing the air.'

Poor children went hungry, together in bed,
No food stamps ? plum visions were all they'd be fed.
Ninety-nine in the cold; one in a fur cap,
The country is stuck in a wealth/income gap.
A few see free markets as all that should matter,
And fight hard, holding on to the riches they gather.
So far they've succeeded, but way down the ladder,
Too many are idled, lives tattered, dreams shattered.
With the nation divided 'twixt the many and few,
Big changes are needed ? Teddy Roos', where are you?

Meanwhile, secrets purloined by low-level spook 'Snow,'
Cast a glare on the NSA's creepy spy show.
Mr. Clapper, with all you now know about me,
Would you kindly reveal where I've put my car key?

And, what to my wand'ring eye should appear,
But white skivvies adorned with a turgid ? oh, dear.
'Danger's' marriage survived, his good wife gave him backage.
But some guys are just too darn proud of their package.

In Congress, new TeaPers were loud and sought cred,
Led by the unguided Cruz missile, Boy Ted.
They fancied they drove the whole nation's state sleigh,
And shut down the feds to force an ACA stay.
Their bluff was soon called, and they lost the blame game ?
Thus proving the folly of 'Ready, Fire, Aim.'
Still, they won't have to forfeit seats safe by a mile,
They can sit back, and sip: have a Koch ... and a smile.

But the President failed in his turn as St. Nick,
Bearing his gift of relief for the sick.
His ACA found all its own ways to founder,
Its website exchange sank it deeper than flounder.
It has started to surface, and though foes will still whine --
Where were their ideas in two-thousand?and-nine?

Elsewhere, the quest for full marriage rights civil,
Proceeded apace, both by ballot and gavel.
Coast-to-coast and between them this matter's in play,
And all about love at the end of the day.
Though private objections are all right, per se,
In American law, equal treatment holds sway.

The Vatican has a new sheriff in town,
One who rejects the high hat and red gown.
This glad servant pontiff is widely adored,
As he seems to be taking The Christ at his Word.
His message is simple, its reasoning sound.
"Give to get' is his carol, a meaning profound.

The world lost Mandela, the great liberator,
Activist, prisoner, nation creator.
An iron fist kept in a soft velvet glove,
His life was a triumph of freedom and love.
Resolute enemy, compassionate friend,
His example I hope we will all see again.

The Mideast could keep busy someone of his mettle,
As the Syrians die and the Israelis settle.
Iran tries quite hard to become nuclear-able,
But may trade-in its bomb for the world adult table.
Meanwhile North Korea, that global carbuncle,
Just never knows when it is time to say 'Uncle.'
Attempts to discern all its motives are vain,
Can Ambassador Rodman please kindly explain?

Terror continued its ghastly world span,
From Boston, to Kenya, to poor Pakistan.
The world must respond to this scourge we deplore,
But never surrender what we're fighting for.

So we squeeze with our fingers, both sides of our nose,
And happily bring 2-13 to a close.
Next year will be better, we just have to believe,
Friendships will be made, many blessings received.
And now that my annual doggerel's done,
The Peace of the Season I wish All, and One.

Merry Christmas.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by BT, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm

...Yeah Tom, those Iranians really want peace.

President Obama faced mounting bipartisan pressure on Friday to drop his resistance to an Iran sanctions bill after Tehran announced a new generation of equipment to enrich uranium -- a move the Israelis claimed was further proof the regime seeks nuclear weapons. 

Wow, a new generation of equipment to enrich uranium. Looks like Israelis were right after all... Hmm? I am sure that you will find some excuse, any excuse to reinforce your stance on dealing with the Iranians. Like I said before, you are weak.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 27, 2013 at 11:20 pm

C'mon BT, read what I actually wrote. I didn't say they wanted peace -- a place at the adult table means they want respect, and may be willing to trade their nuclear ambitions to get it. We'll see.

That's neither weak nor strong -- it's just an observation that doesn't feel the need to beat its own chest.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of another community,
on Dec 28, 2013 at 10:54 am

I don't understand and I never have understood what Iran wants? It's a complete puzzle to me?

Having known Iranians as a student, I found them as friendly as anyone I've ever known. They have all remained loyal Americans and they are as loyal to our country as any native born American.

Many worry about the possibility of a war with the US and/or Israel.

No sane individuals wants a war.

I don't know what you mean by "weak" BT?

If you haven't fought for our country in a war, it's horrific. It's a nightmare that remains in the psyche forever. It never goes away.

Posted by Pololo Mololo, a resident of Livermore,
on Dec 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

War/combat impacts the brain: Web Link

War impacts seriously impacts the brain and harms all human beings.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Dec 28, 2013 at 11:03 am

The military is made up of many good women and men.

When they are injured, they must be taken care of: Web Link

Protect and care for injured soldiers.

It is not "weak" to care for other human beings.

Posted by BT, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 28, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Tom, oh Tom, you are side stepping and back tracking now. So, now you say Iran wants respect? That they are willing to trade their nuclear ambitions to get... Respect? LOL!!! They want the bomb to get respect. What part of your thinking took a left turn into the dust bin?

When the former Soviet Union exploded the Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, the United States took notice. And yes, the U.S. was very concerned that the Soviet Union could one day construct the device to be used against it's foes. Having said that, do you really want to give the Iranians the slightest chance to build a nuclear device?

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

1 -- If you continue to mis-characterize my opinion, so that when I correct it, you can call it "backtracking," we won\'t get anywhere. It\'s a dishonest approach to discussion, and a game for which I have little time.

2 -- So, the US 'took notice' of USSR's nuclear capability after a test explosion ... in 1961? I'd have thought the US might have paid attention starting (at the latest) with the USSR's First nuclear explosion -- in 1949 -- or any of the more than a hundred other Soviet test shots that preceded the Tsar Bomba. Web Link

The point being that The Bomb as Bargaining Chip does not require a successful test (Israel is widely believed to have its own, untested nuclear capability, for instance), but only a serious attempt to develop it, with a significant probability of success. Iran has achieved that chip, but might bargain it away for something else it wants more -- and that would be a good thing. The current multi-lateral process is a first halting step down that road -- a route worth taking in my view.

3 -- the US does not have the unilateral power to prevent Iran's weapon program -- at least not at a cost this country is willing to bear to achieve that benefit. So, we bargain. It may not feed anybody's inner John Wayne, but the world is a bit more nuanced than a standard-issue western movie.

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 30, 2013 at 8:17 am

Well at least you can rhyme a tad better than you verbosely write. Any improvement is a welcome relief.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 30, 2013 at 8:32 am

I'll take it -- Happy New Year to you.

Posted by BT, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I never talked about going to war, did I? You, Mr. Cushing, continue the persistent drumroll with your BS about this whole thing becoming a John Wayne movie. Man please, Iran isn't about to bargain away the nuclear option for ANYTHING. Are you really that blind? Never mind, I already know the answer.

Let's see now... What country that has nuclear weapons wants to give 'em up? Huh? You think Iran is going to give them up once they get one? You want them to have the opportunity to develop one? Damn Sam, even your favorite Democrat, Kennedy, had the balls to stop the Soviets from delivering nuclear weapons to Cuba. What do you think would have happened if Kennedy had allowed those missiles to be placed on Cuban soil? Hmm? I'm sure this would have made you very happy, Mr. Cushing.

The world is a dark cold place, unlike the fuzzy warm one you live in. Ever served on the front lines, son? Ever dealt with a domestic threat here at home? I seriously doubt it. Hell, boy, the Russians have established a security perimeter around Sochi that is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide! The Russians are not taking chances. Having sad that, why should we take chances with Iran?

Why would you trust a country that not only supports state sponsored terrorism, but also wants a nuclear weapon to wipe Israel off the face of the earth?

Cushing, you remind me of the kind of guy who gets punched in the face, and then tries to reason with the assailant as to why he hit you in the first place. LOL, not me bro. Someone hits me, I hit back. And then, we negotiate. Gee, sounds kinda like Israel, doesn't it?

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 31, 2013 at 7:03 am

You know, you're right. You're not John Wayne. I apologize, because deep down in places I don't talk about at parties, I want you on that wall, I Need you on that wall ...

You are Colonel Jessup.

For 2014, I resolve not to feed the posts whose free-floating hostility far outweighs their substantive value -- wrong on the facts, wrong on the policy, wrong on the personal assumptions and attackage -- but oh, so righteous in their indignation.

I trust you will test my resolution. Please don't be disappointed if I keep it.

Posted by Anony, a resident of Beratlis Place,
on Jan 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm

BLT...I'm scared of you...are you a tough guy or what? NOT!

You're most likely a slip into your pantyhose and turn down the lights...

Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville,
on Jan 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Dear Tom,

You've not been confronted by Colonel Jessup. Rather, I believe that one of your newly minted critics has just been exposed to that time tested 'documentary' by Kubrick and has taken to heart the indelible ramblings of General Ripper on the Soviet threat. Let's all recall "I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids"? The rest of the quote may not quite be fit to print but sure is memorable.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Jan 2, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Thanks, guys -- does this mean I can "stop worrying ... ?"

Posted by BT, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Ignore the facts Cushing, it's what you do best.

Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jan 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm

"What do you think would have happened if Kennedy had allowed those missiles to be placed on Cuban soil? "

The missiles had already been placed on Cuban soil. As part of the agreement, the missiles were removed, just as the US missiles that had been deployed to Turkey were removed.

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