My one solace after the George W Bush election debacle  in 2000 was reminding moiself that, if Shrub  somehow didn’t manage to bungle his way into impeachment, the country would likely survive for four years. It seemed obvious to me that GWB would be a one-term president.
Then, September 11, 2001.
Still reeling from the terrorist attacks themselves and their wider implications, I remember watching GWB’s deer-in-the-headlights expression and demeanor, as he stumbled his way through his first extemporaneous comments to the nation, and I thought, He is so out of his league.
I, of course, had no prescience as to just how badly Bush and Cheney et al would outright lie and deceive the country, our allies and themselves mismanage the investigation into the attacks and muck us up in the quagmires of Afghanistan and Iraq. Although I knew there was no way GWB was capable of handling the situation, I also knew that the horrific tragedy of the terrorist attacks and their impending political manipulation almost guaranteed that he would be elected to a second term.
Truthfully, that was one of my first, stomach-turning realizations. There is a mess; Shrub will get us in even deeper; he will be reelected – because there are enough people who, even if they don’t like the job he’s doing, will be swayed by that most bizarre of American adages.
Now, I understand the (intended) meaning of the proverb, when applied politically – that it is best not to change your leader or your basic position when you’re part-way through a project, be it a campaign or a war.
But, really, if you’re going to change horses for whatever reason(s) why not do it as soon as you realize it needs to be done? Why not do it in the middle of a stream?
Ahem – not in the road, in the stream. Yet again, I digress.
Why would you not change horses in the middle of a stream? I try to imagine the reasoning:
* If you’re in the middle of the stream, you’ve already got a wet horse.. Let’s keep as many horses dry as possible.
* Yeah, but what if you lead the horse to water but can’t make it drink or cross the stream?
* Or, what if you start to cross the stream and then the horse stops to piss in the stream – quick, move it along, get it out of the stream before it poops…oh great, now we have a horse pooping in the stream and our drinking water source is – of course! – downstream, so c’mon, get the fucking horse out of the stream, and at least then it won’t be a fish out of water…
* …and while you’re at it, remember that the old gray mare she ain’t what she used to be, or maybe just forget about the horses and find a bird because a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush but if the early bird refuses to catch the worm, perhaps you can kill two birds with one stone and get another horse….
* So you get another horse, maybe even a better horse, or just get out and cross the damn stream yourself, horse-less, especially if the new horse turns out to be a horses’ ass…
I’m all in favor of animal adages, but I really think we need to use less idiotic idioms to influence our political decision-making.
This digression brought to you by the dick fencing rabid rhetoric that has been exchanged the past couple of weeks, between two world leaders. How I pity Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s Presdient Enrique Peña Nieto, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the various European presidents and prime ministers, and Japan’s Shinzo Abe, India’s Narendra Modi and the other Asian leaders, even including China’s General Secretary Xi Jinping – how I pity all of Civilization ®, really. Not only do we have to contend with a mentally unstable world leader with borderline personality disorder and raging egomania, there’s that pesky Kim Jong-un.
North Korea’s poster child for the intellectual and cosmetic dangers of inbreeding, Kim Jong-un (a Korean idiom which translates as Little Debbie) and our own #45 act as if they are competing on a Family Feud-style reality show for title of Craziest Uncle.
Sure, the North Korean leadership and anyone with an IQ over Kim Jong-un’s hat size the West (and The East, for that matter) have been rhetorically butting heads for way too long, and the idea of that unstable, deranged regime having and using nuclear weapons is…a nightmare, to put it ever so mildly. As son K said the other night re NK’s dangerous and repressive regime (K had joined MH and I for dinner and the conversation turned to The Wacky World of Possible Nuclear Annihilation ® ), the world’s leaders have just been kicking the can down the road for a long, long time.
Yep, I agreed, someone should have pulled a Zero Dark Thirty on Kim’s ass a long time ago…  But, considering that there have been so many other instances of NK’s heightened belligerence and weapons posturing, why would the (alleged) leader of the USA ramp up the rhetoric at this particular time? What might it be that would cause him to put down his golf clubs  and start frantically waving his tiny hands, hoping that we will pay no attention to the man behind the curtain but, look, looky looky over there!
It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the FBI recently seized evidence from #45’s campaign manager as part of their investigation into the tRUMP’s campaign’s ties to Russia?
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Department Of Reasons You Don’t Want To Take A Weekend Getaway
Way, way up on the list would be to help your college age daughter, temporarily disabled after foot surgery, do a top-to-bottom cleaning and de-flea-ing of her house. Which is how MH spent his weekend.
I get itchy just thinking about it.
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Department Of Headlines That Make Life Worth Living
Monday morning, MH and I were gob-smacked by this breaking news item from the New Zealand-based Antarctic Heritage Trust: last week, their conservationists working in Antarctica found a fruitcake, wrapped in paper and in its original “tin-plated iron alloy tin” container, which (they believe) belonged to the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott. The fruitcake was part of his provisions on his ill-fated, early 20th century expedition to the South Pole.
Lizzie Meek, program manager for artifacts at the trust, said in a statement that the cake was surprisingly well preserved.
“There was a very, very slight rancid butter smell to it, but other than that, the cake looked and smelled edible.”
(Fruitcake From Robert Scott Expedition Is ‘Almost’ Edible at 106 Years Old,
New York Times, August 13, 2017)
Moiself: “But, isn’t ‘almost edible’ a description of any fruitcake, no matter its age?”
MH: “It’s telling that they discovered the entire fruitcake – it hadn’t been eaten.”
Sadly, Scott (and all of his party) died in 1912, on their return journey from the South Pole. His death was “Almost certainly…due to chronic and extreme emaciation.” 
The NY Times article included a picture of Scott with members of his British Antarctic Expedition, posing at the South Pole, with (my interpretation) forlorn, WTF did we risk our lives for when this herring eater got here first?!?!?! expressions as they stand around the tent left behind by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. 
The picture’s caption noted that “Scott died in 1912.”
I guess it was either that, or eat the fruitcake.
* * *
May you never have to choose between death or fruitcake;
May your weekend getaways never, ever, include either of the words flea or infestation ;
May your and your horse just stay out of the damn stream in the first place;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Yet another in-over-his-head amateur attaining Our Highest Elected Office without actually being legitimately elected.
 But then, you can’t just take him out and leave – what would fill the void? And who wants the almost unimaginable responsibility of rehabilitating a paranoid, repressed empire of 25 million people?
 As per expedition researcher Dr Lewis Halsey, (The Telegraph, “Captain Scott’s team were ‘killed by slimming diet’ scientists claim” ).
 who’d beaten Scott to the Pole by 33 days.