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By Tom Cushing

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.