Hot Air

Moore No More

So, now both citywide candidates for public office have announced they’re turning in their lunchboxes.

City Clerk Regina Moore yesterday sent out an announcement to all her supporters and pals that she won’t seek reelection  next November. She joins Mayor Mark Kruzan in planning for a life without headaches, handshakes, and harping constituents.

Regina Moore

Moore (David Snodgress/Herald Times Photo)

I’ve got to imagine Moore must have grown a cauliflower ear from listening to so many friends and acquaintances try to weasel their way out of parking tickets over the phone. I can honestly say I never put the touch on her to spring me from the $20 fine — but I thought about it every single time I found that green envelope on my windshield.

Truth is, I’ll bet she’d have told me to take a hike. She was — hey, wait a minute: is — one of the finest public servants imaginable. What a couple, she and Don Moore, no?

I hope to see the two of them browsing in the Book Corner even more than they already do once she surrenders her keys to the City Hall office supply closet.

What Barack Has To Look Forward To

The US presidential impeachment process really is simple:

  • 1) The House Judiciary Committee concludes that the President must be impeached
  • 2) The Chair of the Judiciary Committee sends Article(s) of Impeachment to the full House

Goodlatte

House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte

  • 3) The full House approves one or more Articles of Impeachment by simple majority; this means the President has been impeached
  • 4) Now the Senate puts the President on trial; all 100 Senators will serve as the jury
  • 5) If 67 of the Senators (two-thirds of that chamber) vote to convict the President, another vote is held to either remove him from office or levy another form of punishment or censure on him

That’s it, kids. Oh sure, there are a gazillion little details interspersed: hearings to determine charges, votes to determine the rules of the trial, and so on. But these five steps are the process in a nutshell.

It’s so hard to get 67 Senators to vote one way on anything that doesn’t either enrich them or their campaign coffers that impeachment probably is — and will always be — used only to harass the President.

Certainly that’s what happened in 1998 when Bill Clinton was impeached. The Republican House couldn’t possibly have figured to get a Senate conviction on his fellatial (I just coined a word) crimes and misdemeanors but they loved — I repeat loved — dragging him through a four-year-long ordeal. (The first special prosecutor was appointed in January, 1994 to investigate the Whitewater financial affair and the death of Clinton lawyer Vince Foster; the Senate acquitted Clinton on unrelated charges in February, 1998.)

WaPo

I don’t know if Bob Goodlatte‘s (R-VA) Judiciary Committee will decide to consider Articles of Impeachment as its first act when the 114th Congress convenes in January, but I just know it’ll do so eventually. Goodlatte seems a tad, well, more sane than some of the more virulent Me Party-ists of the new, total GOP Congress. But the pressure’s going to be on him from the madman wing of the party to make Barack Obama’s last two years in office a living hell.

As if the first six years haven’t been already.

Really Reading

Speaking of the Washington Post (look up), the paper has released its list of 2014’s 50 Notable Works of Nonfiction.

I plan, over the next few years, to read nine of the books. Wait a minute — over the next few years? Yeah.

See, because I peddle books, people think I read everything that comes in. I don’t. I can’t. No one can. And if, in some distance bookstore, another peddler says she or he does; know that s/he’s toying with the truth. Reading entails submerging one’s self in a book, savoring it, understanding it, being in it. Speed reading and other tricks of the hyper-caffeinated set do not, in my unhumble view, constitute reading.

Books

My Nightstand’s Under Here Somewhere

At least once a week, a customer’ll pull a title off the New York Times Bestseller list shelf and ask, “Have you read this yet?” Invariably I say no. And the cust. usually responds with a a look of pained shock. I wanna say, “Look, you want me to read one of Bill O’Reilly’s Killing… fetish books? Or Heaven Is for Real? Hell, I haven’t even gotten to Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist yet. Whaddya want from me?”

Anyway, throwing the list of nine in with the several dozen other books already waiting for me to devour, I’m being almost overly-ambitious by saying I’ll get to them in a mere few years.

That said, here are the latest nonfiction books that have gone into my reading queue:

  • The Bill of the Century by Clay Risen — about the passage of the 1965 Civil Rights Act
  • The Birth of the Pill by Jonathan Eig — the simple daily contraceptive pill was perhaps the most important development in the women’s rights story in the second half of the 20th Century
  • Countdown to Zero Day by Kim Zetter — about Stuxnet, the first burst in the 21st Century’s cyberwar
  • The Divide by Matt Taibbi — I’ll read anything by Taibbi; here, he lays out in his trademark rational rage style how money buys justice in this holy land

Book Cover

  • The Invisible Bridge by Rick Perlstein — a confession: I’ve already read it. Perlstein covers the years 1974 through 1976 in his series on the history of the conservative movement in the US
  • My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossell — the author has scads of phobias (and so do I); here. he tackles them with candor and humor
  • The Nixon Defense by John W. Dean — the disgraced ex-president’s White House counsel gives the ultimate insider’s view of the tragi-comic scandal
  • The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs — Peace grew up in the Newark slums and went on to study molecular biology at Yale; he also was a nails-tough street thug who ran a profitable dope trade
  • A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre — Brit spook Kim Philby bamboozled pretty much everybody in the intelligence community, apparently not a difficult trick

If you phone me and I don’t answer, it’s because I’m reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: