November was a rotten month. It was filled with disaster, disease, and tragedy on a scale not personally dealt with in a long time.
My wife's brother in law and a friend of mine, Kenny Quenzer celebrated his youngest daughter's wedding in early August. Virginia and I attended the ceremony and reception afterward. That night we drank far too much wine while watching he and his wife, VA's sister, Janet dance the evening away during the celebration.
In early September Kenny suddenly began having severe short term memory problems. By October he was diagnosed with a virulent form of brain cancer. On November 3rd we attended his funeral. He was 58 years old.
A few days later I found myself coming down with a monster sinus infection which quickly morphed into a case of strep throat so severe and persistent it caused not one, but two trips to a couple of different physicians. The truth is, after decades of smoking, when you get a searing sore throat that refuses to go away and it feels as if you have a knot the size of a raisin lodged firmly in the middle of it--which can't be hacked up, or swallowed--things tend to get a little edgy. Especially after you've just witnessed the swift demise of a guy who, only three months before, was gliding smoothly across a dance floor.
The terrible tragedy, personal grief, and angst of November was, of course, set against the back drop of the election. You know, the one where a narcissistic, lying, thug was chosen to be president of these United States of America.
And it didn't take long for El Donald to make sure we knew he is everything we thought him to be.
First, he managed to enrage his most ardent followers by deciding not to pursue the prosecution of Hillary Rodham Clinton. It seems all those promises and chants of, "Lock her up," were for naught. Yeah, the rubes bought the spiel, now screw 'em.
Then, proving he is a true populist, Trump chose, Steven Mnuchin to be his nominee for Secretary of the Treasury. A few years ago Mnuchin bought a failed home lender institution, IndyMac, from the FDIC. IndyMac was known for its predatory loan practices. Mnuchin renamed the outfit OneWest and turned it into what has been described as a foreclosure machine.
Under, Brother Mnuchin, OneWest became so ruthless they foreclosed on a 90 year old Lakeland, FL woman, Ossie Lofton because she owed them 27 cents. In addition the FDIC ended up paying the company $1.2 billion for properties OneWest's management deemed too worthless to try to unload.
Right--so much for small government and fewer regulations.
Now word comes that Trump is considering disgraced general David Petraeus for a cabinet position, possibly Secretary of State. Petraeus was briefly head of the CIA. His time on the job in Langley was limited because it was found he was fucking his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Both Broadwell and Petraeus were married to, let's say, other people, at the time of their affair.
The FBI discovered the sordid goings on after Broadwell sent a series of threatening emails to Florida socialite Jill Kelley, under a pseudonym, warning her to stay away from Petraeus.
While this is happening the big orange guy is getting on the phone with a wide variety of people, such as Rodrigo Duterte, the leader of the Philippines. Well, why not? It might be a good idea to schmooze with a dude who believes the answer to his country's drug problems are para military death squads and back street executions. After all, it's never too early to get a few good tips on how to pull off shit like that in say, Chicago and get away with it.
Yes, it was a rotten November and the prospects for a better 2017 are slim to none. No one around here is getting younger and Trump looks to have about as much negotiating talent as Hart Bochner's character, Harry Ellis in the movie, "Die Hard." In brief, it appears he is a cheap jack real estate salesman unaware he is chatting up prospective tenants who would--given the opportunity--burn down the property just because that is what they do.
sic vita est