7 years ago tonight....on the Jewish calendar, I wrote the first episode of The WP Speaks. Right now, right at this moment, when the sun it just setting and people are gathering to usher in the most solemn and sad day, I am not there. I am facing west, can just about see the shul from my study window, but I am not going over. I will read Eicha, the Book of Lamentations by myself tonight, but I will hear it tomorrow morning at minyan because I do still go. If my presence helps to ensure someone else will be able to say kaddish, blah, blah blah...it doesn't matter. I do it as much for me because that little, daily island of time helps to center me and frame my day.
None of it does squat to relieve my concerns regarding Jerusalem, and, by extension, Israel. I am more conflicted than ever, and I see no easy path to resolve my own conflict, let alone the one raging there. So I will go to Israel in the fall. I did the tourist thing a long time ago; this time, I'm going to do the hanging out thing. I'll be visiting a dear friend and her family, drinking a lot of coffee, and, G-d willing, walking on a beach. The whole point is to just be there. To breathe the air, smell the sea, savor some halvah. Oh. And eat falafel.
Just so you all know...Midweek, I had a meeting with Angie Craig, the recipient of that open letter from two weeks ago. It was a blunt and productive meeting. And I would like to see her in Congress. Now, We, the People of MN2, need to work on getting her to Washington.
Right now, however, the news of the day is sucking the air outta my lungs. Between the Scout Jamboree and Reince Priebus getting canned, I was having trouble not throwing up in my mouth. But then, Mooch comes along and suddenly we're in a whole new alternative universe. Then Mooch's wife leaves him and gives birth to his son....and then Mooch is canned by the new Chief of Staff, General Kelly.
Now, I understand we're supposed to think the installation of a growed-up in the White House is supposed to be calming. Sorta, kinda...mebbe not at all. In more than one location, the number of generals now in place in the White House is troubling. More than one non-conspiracy theorist has pointed out this is how coups are arranged. And then there's that blip about some right wing political action group trying to set forth a constitutional amendment that would give governors/state legislatures the right to appoint senators, in place of electing them. Really.
And now, General Kelly kicks Mooch's butt right back into the swamp from whence he came.
And if you believe this is your run o'the mill tohu v'vohu chaos, guess again. This couldn't be better choreographed if it had been done on Broadway...and golly gee! It already was! Dare I post this yet again? Absolutely! It's life imitating art!
Nothing beats Charles Durning doin' the Sidestep. Frickin' brilliant.
But that's what happened. While Mooch was blowing his own whatever, we were diverted momentarily from the real show....and it went on without much fanfare. Thank G-d for the Brits. They didn't fall for it. Nope. They caught it and got the word out while We, the People were acting like headless chickens.
Bill Browder, a well-wired financier, was testifying before the Judiciary Committee about
the Foreign Agents Registration Act enforcement; in other words, how Russian operatives actually work. This is his area of expertise. If you have not yet read his remarks, The Atlantic has published them in full. It is long, difficult to read, but crucial if you want to understand why the White House is doing everything possible to stop this investigation. Once you understand, at least a little bit, about the milieu in which these guys are moving, you will develop a deeper appreciation of the difficulty the various committees are facing. What they don't need is a little Sidestep from the White House. And neither do We, the People.
|Bill Browder in Moscow|
Do I think there is a coup in the offing? Well, it's like this: maybe.
This is not scientific; this is purely subjective but it comes from a whole lotta training as a director, so hear me out.
|Waiting for Godot |
at theMark Taper Forum.
Photo by Craig Schwartz.
There is a great deal of stagecraft in politics. Since Nixon debated Kennedy on TV, we are a visual nation. We vote no according to what we hear or know, we vote according to what we see. Perception is EVERYTHING. And it's not just the people, it's the setting.
Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, my professor, a guy named Wesley Balk, drilled it into my head that less is more. The less complicated something is, the more riveting. If you want an audience to concentrate on what's happened on the stage ONLY, the best set you can have is nothing with a single light on a pole and maybe a chair or two. The eyes of the audience will never wander, never leave whatever is happening under that single light. But if you want to fool your audience, give 'em the ol' razzle-dazzle, and they'll never catch on.
And the production crew at the White House is using this to the max.
While the toddler-in-chief doing the shitter-twitter thing, no one is paying attention to what's going on outside the bathroom. It's much easier to pay attention to the crazies than it is to watch a chess match. And that is exactly what this is.
Through the use of misdirection and misinformation, no one was paying much attention to the maneuvering of the chess pieces around the board. There's a method to the madness, although I'm not convinced we all know what it is. Putting amateurs into place, then firing them one by one, only to replace them with people with evermore bizarre credentials is not chaos; this is well thought and purposefully executed. I am convinced Scaramucci knew he was only temporary and would be, in effect, some kind of sacrifice. He runs on stage, bloviates all over the place, then disappears....but while he's on stage, no one notices the stage hands moving props and set pieces in and out. Moving General Kelly to Chief-of-Staff was not arbitrary nor sudden; it was well planned just as the timing of the tweet of the announcement regarding transgender status in the military was a not a whim at all, but intentionally done with General Mattis was on vacation.
Moscow throwing out half of the US diplomatic corp is a show. This is orchestrated between oh, Bannon, maybe, and his counterpart at the Kremlin. This is designed to make it look like Putin is displeased. Bull-oney. Stagecraft.
North Korea's expedited testing of new ICBMs, however, is literally a warning shot. This is where the real danger lies. However, if they launch one and it hits ...oh, Chicago... well, there's your excuse for a hot war. How convenient that is!
The changes are not magic. They are calculated and designed to move their end game forward. There are lots of ifs in the strategy, but every one of them is a well calculated risk with redundancy. I believe that the primary end goal is to call a Constitutional Convention to replace what we have now. I believe there will be an attempt made to end the system of checks and balances. I believe there is a two-pronged attack being formed, the first inside the executive wing, the second in the Justice Department and Supreme Court.
Right now, there is so much happening on the stage it's impossible to sort it, much less separate the parts. But we must do exactly that.
If you are unwilling to allow a coup d'etat to be attempted, now is the time to begin watching who does what to whom. Get them all center stage. Light the single light. Keep 'em all where you can see 'em
Knowledge is light...and light is the enemy of this White House. Keep those lights turned toward Washington.
The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
August 1st is the day of Tisha B'Av.
Fast, don't fast. Think about how you want the world to be...
and how you're going to make it happen.