“Away out here they got a name
For rain and wind and fire
The rain is Tess, the fire Joe,
And they call the wind Maria”
From Paint Your Wagon – Lerner & Loewe (1951)
Paint Your Wagon was a fabulously successful Broadway musical about a miner and his daughter in Gold Rush-era California. It could have been Fish Camp or North Fork. More likely Mariposa.
Last week away out here we also called the wind Harvey, Irma and Jose, all catastrophic hurricanes charging out of the Caribbean like a Kardashian on Rodeo Drive. “Yes, please. I’d like a Lamborghini to match my cat.”
At the same time, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico, Texas remained severely flooded, and dozens of wildfires burned throughout the West, including four or five pouring smoke into Oakhurst. It was like sleeping with a campfire in your tent.
Perhaps the one positive benefit of all these slights from Mother Nature is that it’s temporarily driven Trump and his troubles out the headlines. He’ll be back again soon, at least until those aliens hiding under the Talking Bear make a run for it. But away out here we have been missing interesting developments.
Surly Sarah Sanders has replaced Sean Spicer as White House spokesperson, adding a meaner, grimmer (if not slimmer) attack dog motif to daily press updates.
Junior now shocks a Senate Committee with yet another major revision to what happened at his meeting in Trump Tower in June of last year. Donny finally admitted that all along he was looking for dirt on Hillary from the Russians - the same folks he asked about securing a private line of confidential communication with pals at the Kremlin. You know, to keep important understandings safe from the FBI, CIA and other American intelligence agencies. A young 39-year-old barely out of the cradle can’t be too careful.
The wildest surprise to me and I’m sure to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan was the President’s awesome display of artful dealing in the Oval Office last Wednesday.
There was our Republican President. There were Republicans Mitch and Paul. There were the Democrats - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Leader Nancy Pelosi. They were all together at a customary “after summer recess” session to set the course for the next few months. It’s a tradition.
The Democrats went first. They read off their list of wants and needs. In a race to surrender, the President quickly agreed to virtually everything important, including the top priority item for Democrats of establishing a limited 3-month extension of the debt ceiling. Trump even interrupted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the middle of his presentation rejecting the Democratic positions to throw in the towel. Cool it, Steve. Go home to your $400 million dollar nest egg and that hot third wife. Meeting over. Who wants a Coke? What? Huh? D’oh.
A lot of old liberal hippies possibly thought they were having some sort of acid flashback. Many old conservative Goldwater backers might have wished they had dropped a tab or two back before drug testing.
I only hope that a few of my many old friends and acquaintances who keep bellowing his name in unison like a bullfrog in heat will finally allow that Donald Trump is, was, and forever will be utterly unworthy of trust. This also goes for those who might delude themselves into fantasizing that Trump has suddenly and transformatively undergone a miraculous epiphany. Or is playing “Multi-dimensional Chess.” This man is all foam - no beer.
Let's drink to that.