The Vortex Kept Me Writing

Today I looked out my window at blue skies and a sunny winter day. And as I took in that peaceful snow-blanketed scene, I noticed that polar vortex winds were viciously whipping my neighbors’ chimney smoke horizontally across the rooftops. This reminded me that if I stood outside in that sunshine for more than several minutes it could cost me the tip of my nose.

The reality of today’s weather makes me especially content to sit cozily at my keyboard to tap out the few random thoughts that follow: 

— Last week I enjoyed watching Nancy Pelosi handle Trump like the experienced mom she is. She has said that after raising five kids she isn’t intimidated by temper tantrums. So that’s pretty much how she handled President Trump’s demand that he appear before Congress to deliver his state of the union address during his government shutdown.

Speaker Pelosi first sent the president a respectful personal message with the wise — you could almost say “motherly” — advice that having the address in Congress during the shutdown was a bad idea. But the president continued to insist the he wanted his way. So, she responded by politely, but firmly, telling him, “No Donald, I will not let you have your way. It is the wrong thing to do.” 

Basically House Speaker Pelosi gave President Trump “a time out.” More or less saying, “Your tantrum will not influence me, Donald. When you have calmed down and the shutdown is behind us, I will invite you to speak in our House of Representatives.” I wonder if this is what the child inside Donald Trump has been yearning for all these years, some positive parental discipline. 

— Another page in the ongoing “Trump wall” saga was written a few days ago when the president gave one more impassioned warning to the nation that a “crisis” at our southern border is imminent. A caravan of Central Americans, some quite dangerous, is traveling toward our border and will soon present a super threat to our nation’s security. Only money for a wall can stop them. 

But when President Trump delivered this ludicrous alarm it struck me that unless the caravan is traveling at the speed of a snail, their arrival at our border is just weeks away. That means “The Wall” to stop them will need to be built really, really fast! Maybe Donald Trump has some trick up his sleeve like spending his $5.7 billion on some sort of “magic wall-beans.” Just plant them along the border and the next morning a big tall wall will have grown there. – Just in time!

 I’ve noticed that the latest “lost opportunity” to turn back those troubling refugee hordes with wall funding has Fox News progeny Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter up in arms.

Hannity has said, “Now, if the president’s plan had been implemented so far, for a massive border wall, that had been completed with the big door in it, as he has said, the situation would be mitigated. It would be controlled. As a matter of fact, there would not even be a possibility of some type of confrontation at our border.”

Ms. Coulter however has become disenchanted with our president, headlining a recent column in Breitbart, “Gutless President in Wall-Less Country,”

Mind you, these are two intelligent (and scarily crafty) celebrity pundits who have become millionaires with their pugnacious and at times wildly absurd statements. Surely they know that their present wall-to-stop-the-crisis language is ridiculous. But at this point in their careers they have become more concerned with their personal branding than with what is true or false, right or wrong for our country.

Their highest priority is keeping their fan base happy. And as Ann Coulter showed recently when she called President Trump “gutless,” if the wind is no longer in Donald Trump’s sails, Coulter, Hannity and even Fox will start tacking in a new direction.

 I want to briefly mention last Sunday’s rescheduled NTDO “Volunteer Thank You” Pizza Party sponsored by Committeeman Dean Maragos. Although the cold weather kept the attendance numbers down, the folks who showed up enjoyed a warm and inspiring gathering.

The elected officials attending included our new State Senator Laura Fine, our new State Rep. Jennifer Gong Gershowitz, Country Commissioner Larry Suffredin, State Central Committeeman Mike Cabonargi, MWRD board members Debra Shore and Cam Davis, Township Trustee Gail Schnitzer Eisenberg and our NT Committeeman, Dean Maragos. (I apologize if I left out a few names.)

The reason I have mentioned the office holders by name is because the priorities and legislation they discussed over several hours of conversation reassured us all that we New Trier voters have some exceptional people representing us. – And if you’ve been keeping up with recent news stories about a number of well known politicians, we are very fortunate indeed.

Nels Howard NTDO Member since 1973