Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Who's that tapping at your window?

By Tom Walker 

In our neighborhood we have heard many strange sounds over the years – profanity laden monologues, leaf blowers running full tilt at midnight, moon-howling wackoids of various kinds. But one of the strangest sounds is one that started a few days ago: a quiet tapping at our living room windows as though someone were politely asking to come in.
What on earth could it be? A lizard begging to come in from an unseasonably warm November day? Another of our frequent packrat visitors who’d forgotten his usual way of sneaking into our house? No answers out there – just the persistent tap, tap, tap at our living room windows.
Finally, peeking through the window drapes, I caught a glimpse of the culprit. A bird, hopping about on the window sill, pecking at the triple-pane glass. I have no idea what kind; just a small grey character with a perky black tail. And a fascination with our living room windows, which are in themselves completely lacking in fascination as far as I can tell.
But not to this bird. A picture of misguided determination, he would look this way and that with quick motions like some real-bird version of Jeff Sessions, then take a quick peck at the window. At first, I thought he might be hunting for bugs on the windows. But of course, that was ridiculous; there are no bugs on our windows
Then it came to me. He was pecking at his reflection. Our west-facing living room windows have a mirror tinting to protect us from the hot Arizona afternoon sun. The windows aren’t big picture-window things, just standard 36- by 48-inch sizes. But apparently, they were anything but standard to our bird friend. They were the most fascinating thing he’d ever seen.
Because of the tinting, I was able to watch the bird in secret, as through a two-way mirror. It was fun, seeing him hop from one leg to another, tail and wings twitching in excitement, as he contemplated the creature before him. He studies it with first one beady eye and then the other, and then he tops it off with a peck as if to say “Gotcha!”
“Gotcha, Little Rocket Man! Gotcha, Little Marco! Gotcha, Crooked Hillary!”
You may have noticed that our bird in the window has suddenly morphed into someone resembling a president we know. In fact, I’ve given the bird a name: “Little Donnie.”
Little Donnie has had a rousing good time lately with a barrage of insults, tweets and off-the-wall comments. Earlier this week he used a racial slur to entertain some Native American war heroes – Navajo Code Talkers. It seemed like a perfect time for Little Donnie to bring up his own code for Sen. Elizabeth Warren – or Pocahontas, as he likes to call her.
And then Little Donnie kept pecking away, retweeting graphic (and completely debunked) anti-Muslim videos by an extreme far right British hate group. This caused outrage and fears of violent reprisals against Americans overseas, and a rebuke from British Prime Minister Theresa May. Too bad, Little Donnie; you probably won’t be pecking at the windows of Parliament anytime soon.
Now he’s suggesting that an “Access Hollywood” video where he boasted about sexually assaulting women – something he apologized for last year – was doctored.
Of course, we’re onto his game now. Little Donnie is pecking away, trying to distract us from the HUGE thing he has going on: a Senate tax cut bill that will steal from the poor and give to the rich on a scale unmatched in U.S. history. If this monster passes later this week, Little Donnie’s Republican Party will steal itemized deductions such as medical expenses, mortgage interests and property taxes from middle-income Americans. There are also losses in personal exemptions for parents and children, college students, and just about anybody else with pockets worth picking.
They’ll also leave an estimated 13 million Americans without health insurance coverage because of cuts to Obamacare, and they'll take a big chunk out of Medicaid.
Meanwhile, Little Donnie and his GOP chums are holding out a tasty carrot to the middle class – a doubling of the standard income tax exemption to $12,000 for single persons, and to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.  But there’s a time limit on those gifts. See, they run out after ten years, unless some other Congress votes to renew them.
According to Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, many families making less than $30,000 a year would face tax increases starting in 2021 under the Senate bill. And by 2027, families earning less than $75,000 would see their tax bills rise.
At the same time, the ultra-wealthy – especially those with dynastic businesses like Little Donnie and his family – will do very well under the bill. Slashing the inheritance tax, cutting corporate taxes and eliminating the alternative minimum tax are all major windfalls for the wealthy. And most of all to big-ticket GOP donors who’ve been waiting for years for their payback.
There's no time limit on those gifts to the wealthy -- they just keep giving and giving.
“‘This is it! This is it!” Little Donnie sings as he pecks away at the windows of our democracy. He isn't pecking at his reflection; he's pecking at us.

No comments: