Posts Tagged 'debt limit'

Prodding those in need

What we really need is Martin and Mendel.

No, that’s not the name of a Jewish law firm.  It’s two Orthodox Rabbis in New York who, for a hefty fee paid by an unhappy wife, will arrange for the thrashing of a recalcitrant Orthodox Jewish husband who refuses to comply with a religious divorce, known as a “get”.

According to the New York Times, for about $50,000 Rabbis Martin and Mendel would get two tough guys named Ariel and Yaakov to kidnap the unwilling hubby, apply a cattle prod to his unnamed body parts and then deliver the now willing husband to the mercies of the Orthodox Jewish court.  As the Rabbis proudly expounded to an undercover FBI agent, it was important that the instruments of torture did not leave any mark that might otherwise reveal their nefarious deed.

So, after due consideration, I think that applying this novel approach to the current government shutdown might be just the ticket to our own salvation.

“Hello, Rabbi Mendel, this is Barack Obama.  I’ve got a situation that I think you can help me with.  I’ve been reading about your ground-breaking approach to problem solving and I must admit that it may be exactly what I need.”

“Yes, Mr. President.  I’m happy to hear from you even though I didn’t vote for you, not even once.  You know, it’s that Israeli thing.  But anyway, what’s your problem?”

“Well, I’ve tried just about everything to get John Boehner to see it my way.  I’ve offered to kick people off food stamps, open up Yosemite to oil exploration, and even let him beat me at golf.  But he still won’t let me re-open the government.  The stubborn mule says he won’t budge until I kill ObamaCare and default on the national debt.”

“Yes, I understand your problem completely.  In fact, I’ve been following it religiously on Fox News and must admit that I’m a really big fan of that nice young man, Ted Cruz.  Even though he doesn’t  attend my shul.”

“But Rabbi, maybe you can put your politics aside and, for a fee, see it my way.”

“Well as a matter of fact you’re in luck.  We’ve just begun a big fund-raiser for our shul.  It’s called “Prod Them to See It Your Way”.  Our hope is that we can help people like you bring the opposition around to your way of thinking.  After all, it’s our specialty.”

“Sounds great.  What else do you need to know from me before we can get going?  I’m in a bit of a hurry to save the greatest nation on earth.”

“For you, Mr. President, I will set aside our differences and get Ariel and Yaakov on the job tonight.  And, please, consider it a freebie.”

“A freebie?  Why so cheap?”

“It will be great publicity for our fund-raiser.  Can you imagine?  After all, Boehner isn’t the only one who needs some prodding.

Shame on you

I’ve been somewhat delinquent in writing to you but things have been a bit difficult for us the last few months.  When I’d see something outrageous on TV or read it in print, I’d think that’s a subject I can get my teeth into.  I’d stare at the computer screen and, like Satchel Paige, I’d wait til the feeling had passed.

Yoram and I were talking the other day about how we both seemed to be weary of world events…wars without end, the dizzying economy and, in particular, the inability of our leaders to work together toward any common good.  My energy had been sapped.  My mind wandering.  My writing at a standstill.  Solitaire an ever-present friend on the glowing tube.

And then I read about Eric Cantor.

Names are important to me.  They tell me something about the person.  In particular, like most Jews,  I parse the name and mentally ask…Is he Jewish?  Boesky,  Milken, Blankfein, Spitzer, Madoff, Weiner.  Their names are a perpetual parade before me.  How can they do this to me?  After all we’ve been through.  When the name is Mazillo, Lay, Dahmer, Nixon, Edwards or Gingrich why don’t I say…look, a Christian…how shameful.  I think…thank God he’s not Jewish.

And now comes Cantor.  The only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, and the leader of the Republican majority.  Against stem cell research, a recipient of a perfect score from the National Right to Life Committee and a big zero from NARAL.  Voting against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, he also supports making flag burning illegal.  His failing grade from the NAACP accompanies his A rating from the NRA.

Today, putting an abrupt halt to budget negotiations that have so far only produced billions of dollars in expense reductions, Mr. Cantor said that he would not return to the table until Democrats crossed their hearts and promised to stop talking about taxing the rich.  He insists that they continue to focus on enfeebling the poor, dumbing down our kids, and supporting our troops.  Sort of a reverse Tikkun Olam.  His grandparents would be proud.

Compromise is uncompromisable.  My way or the highway.  Debt limit…who cares.  And, he’s probably going to get his way.  He learned from California Republicans.  A small minority that merely sat on their hands, closed their eyes and nyah, nyah, nyah’d their way to getting what they wanted.  If those bozos can do it, a yeshiva bocher should be able to do it without breaking a sweat.

Now if I really believed that Eric didn’t given a damn about the debt limit or the inability to pass even a Rube Goldberg budget, I’d be the one breaking out in a sweat.  No, he’s smarter than that.  He knows the Dems will cave even if it happens just before the carriage turns back into a pumpkin.  No guts no glory.  Sissies.  Pushovers.  Mama’s boys.

As Satchel would say…better to lay down and wait til the feeling passes.

 


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