Monday, March 19, 2018

An Irish Blessing on Saint Patrick's Day, the $130,000 Deal, a Letter to the Post, "Taking him Down," a "Tweet" Battle and a Discarded Newspaper

              The "Mascot" for today's posting is the State Butterfly of Florida, the Broadwing Zebra  (Helconius)

The Art of the Deal

Just how do you arrive at writing a check for $130,000 to close a deal?  It is an unusual figure, an odd number, unlike $100,000 or $150,000.  Imagine a scenario like this:

A:  My client wants a quarter of a million dollars, $250,000, that’s what we want.
B:  You’re crazy.  We’ll settle for $50,000.  Take it or leave it.

A:  Look, we’re reasonable.  Make it $200,000 and it’s a deal.
B:  $100,000, not a penny more.

A:  Now you’re talking more sense.  We’ll settle for $150,000.  Bottom line!
B:  Look, let’s cut the difference in half.  We’ll up it to $125,000

A:  Maybe, but look, we’ve come down way more than you’ve come up!
B:  You’ve got a point.  So we’ll sweeten it a bit.   $130,000?

A:  You’re getting away cheap but it's getting late, so okay, we'll go with that number. 

Does this sound like a believable discussion between two lawyers?  And of course, the deal would never have been made without there being something of substance at issue.  That is the important thing, not the money.

In previous blog postings, I’ve made it clear that the President eventually will be “going down.”  Obviously, the Republican majorities in both Houses are for the present incapable of carrying out this duty for a variety of reasons such as fear of far right-wing challenges in primaries, a loss of campaign donations and inept leadership on the part of Messrs. McConnell and Ryan. 

So, it looks like that task will fall upon an aging porn star who claims she had an affair with the President a dozen years ago, just about the time the President’s wife, one of the most beautiful women in the world, was giving birth to his son. Sooner or later, someone will take down that unfaithful, lyin’ sonofabitch and since Mitch and Paul won't do it, it might as well be Stormy.

   Us?  Hell no!!

And speaking of "sonsofbitches," I recall that as a kid back in the Forties (gee, that makes be seem ancient), I heard a story about a man who bought a newspaper every day, looked at the front page, and then threw it in a nearby trash can.  Finally, one day, the guy who ran the newsstand leaned over and asked the man, “How come, sir, you buy a paper every day, glance at the front page and then throw it in the garbage?”  The man quickly answered, “Oh, I’m just looking for an obituary.”  The newsstand operator replied, “But sir, the obituaries are way back in the second section of the paper.”  Before he could say more, the man interjected, “When this sonofabitch dies, it’ll be all over page one!”  

Yes, such anti-Franklin Roosevelt jokes were prevalent during his four terms in office.  Oddly though, I can appreciate the man’s attitude. Each morning when I wake up, I turn on the bedroom TV (usually set at MSNBC for “Morning Joe”) for exactly the same reason.  And then, somewhat disappointed, go on about my day’s routine.
Jack Lippman

Saint Patrick's Day

Saturday was Saint Patrick'sDay, and while the day indeed celebrates a Roman Catholic Saint, it has a broader meaning in our American culture.  The Irish represnt a group which emigrated to theis country in the mid-nineteenth century to excape both famine and poitical oppression.  Other groups have come here for similar reasons.

The progeny of Irish immigrants have contributed much to our country particularly in the areas of public service, literature and entertainment. But when a green stripe is painted up the center of Fifth Avenue in New York City, it is not for religious reasons.  It celebrates the Irish contribution which along with the contributions of groups such as the Italians, Jews, Greeks, Africans, Latinos and many others have served to make America great. 

In the future, the contributions of newer immigrants from Asia, the Middle East and Africa will be increasingly celebrated, that is so long as our government does not forget and ignore what brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock and successive waves of immigrants through our "golden door" beside which that lady "lifts her lamp."



Battle of the Tweets

The Friday evening firing of Deputy FBI Director McCabe, probably by order of the President, was followed by his tweeting that the firing was “a great day for Democracy” and also that McCabe knew “all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!”

Well, it didn’t take long for former CIA Director John Brennan to tweet the following message, replying to the words of the President: “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.  You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America … America will triumph over you.” 

(Incidentally, it has already been reported on “Breitbart” that Brennan’s comments should be investigated as to whether they constitute a threat on the life of the President. Apparently they hit home.)


Letter to the Post

And here’s a low key letter I submitted to the Palm Beach Post last week which points up the need for additional resources for law enforcement agencies as well as for mental health programs as part of an effort to deter violent acts, including those carried out with weapons.   I'll let you know if they print it.

"It seems that law enforcement agencies on several levels were aware of the potential for violence posed by the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as well as by the teenager who stabbed several people, killing one, at a recent Palm Beach Gardens sleepover.  It’s good news that local police and Federal agencies have the tools to get this information, but I wonder if they have the resources to keep tabs on all such individuals, which there may be many more of in our area.  Knowing who they are does not necessarily mean they are under surveillance.  Even though the new “School Safety” legislation allows police to get court orders to take away weapons from such individuals, predicting which ones are about to explode, as these two recently did, seems almost impossible.  And there are weapons other than guns."

Okay, although that's what the letter isn't about, a logical solution would be to ban the kind of weapons these sad cases usually use, assault rifles.  Knives are dangerous too, but they cannot be used to perpitrate mass killings.  Assault weapons can.

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Jack Lippman 

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