Not a Photo-OP

We are here at the San Juan airport, and await the landing of Air Force One with the President, and the first lady, Melanie. My first reporting assignment, and I can’t tell you how excited I am. This is the first visit of the President to our island. Porto Rico is devastated, and we are looking forward to the President’s visit. Our hope that his stay is not just a photo opportunity, and just another opportunity to gain personal favor with his base. The advance notice suggested that we would all be surprised by the President’s visit.

The plane is just landing. I am trying to get close to the tarmac, but the Black Water security personnel are refusing to allow us to move any closer.  I must tell you, those men look serious, and somewhat mean. I just heard one of them speak to a colleague, and they spoke in German. Another guard was holding a AK 14, and softly singing in Hebrew. Interesting international group of personnel.

The doors of the plane have just opened. Several assistants have exited, and now the President is standing in the doorway, and climbing down the stairs. It is hard to see him clearly, since several aides and guards are standing in my sight line. It appears that the President is wearing what looks like a hard hat. Yes, it is a hard hat. His typical baseball cap seems to be underneath the hard hat.

I am about 30 feet from the President, and I now can clearly see him. He appears to be wearing combat fatigues, and black boots. Around his waist is what looks to be the typical carpenters belt – full of tools. I can see a claw hammer, several chisels and a large tape measure hanging on the right side. He just turned around to answer a MSNBC reporter, and he is carrying a back pack. I can see at the top of the pack what looks like a reciprocal saw, or at least some type of saw. The sight of the President is remarkable. He looks like a walking Tractor Supply. Draped over his right shoulder is a coil of heavy duty rope, with large hooks on each end.  Just beside the rope is a holster with a hatchet. In his left hand he is holding a crow bar that looks to be at least 4 foot long.

I just noticed that the first lady, Melanie Trump has exited the plane and she is also wearing a hard hat. It seems to have a decal of the football Patriots on the side. Holy cow, she too is dressed in a workman suit, but in black with gold trim. She is carrying… I can’t believe it, but I was just told that she is carrying the Jaws of Death machine. The machine that helps cut through steel, or concrete. It is clearly heavy, and a guard with a very heavy Italian accent offered to help her with the equipment, but she has refused.

The President and the First Lady are entering an armored personnel carrier. They have just sped away. No questions have been asked of the President. Clearly, this was not the typical photo op. It appears that the President is here to do something. What, who knows, but hopefully he and his wife will not hurt themselves.

Childrens Health Insurance Program – CHIPS

Comes January 1, 2018, the federal CHIPS program will no longer be funded. 8.9 million children will be without health coverage. Children whose families do not meet Medicaid eligibility. And then we will spend, 13 billion on the newest nuclear aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford. Should you want another nuclear submarine, the cost is just 8 billion. The President would like 12. What do you think? No, better yet, how do you feel?

Beat the Clock

Five, four, three, two, one…We have a winner, oh, one moment, we don’t have a winner, we have a loser! I am so sorry, but you missed the deadline by one/half second. What a shame.

Shirley had so hoped that she would win the Samsung Washer/Dryer. She knew the capitol of Jamaica. Of course she knew the capital – she was born in Kingston. How could she possible lose? No way that she could lose. Oh well, the consolation prize was 6 months of free diaper service. Fortunately, Shirley still had an infant little girl.

But Michael, poor Michael, his tale of woe was much more tragic. Michael rarely played the lotto, but last week he decided to take a chance. The total power ball jackpot was 130,000,000 dollars. Unbelievable. Why not try. Michael decided to choose his numbers from the days and years of the birthdates of his wife and four children. He chose 7, 14, 32, 44, 56 and 64. For the power ball number he chose the date of his mother’s death, 16.

After work on Monday evening he went to the grocery store near his home. Unfamiliar with the deadline for buying the ticket, the grocery store lotto machine had closed just 5 minutes prior to Mike’s arrival. Somewhat dismayed, but one dollar richer, Michael went home. Later that evening while watching the late news, the winner numbers were announced. The spunky announcer shouted: 7, 14, 32, 44, 56, 64 and power ball number 16.

For a millisecond, Michael’s entire system went on off. Michael did not believe the numbers, but the numbers were in bold print on the t.v. screen. He immediately told himself that his numbers were different. He wished with all his heart that his numbers were not the same. Michael looked for the piece of paper that he had written his numbers. He couldn’t find the paper. Perhaps he was wrong. No he knew he was not wrong. He lost, but what a terrible loss.

For need of several more seconds, Shirley would be washing diapers in brand new machines. A few more minutes and Michael would be consulting with financial advisors, bankers, and long lost relatives. Deadline! Time’s UP! Pencils Down! And plain old STOP!!!

In Vienna, in the year our Lord, November, 2015, an international clock was ticking. For the first time, the Russians, Americans, Saudis, and Iranians were meeting to solve the Syrian devastation. The deadline came and went and bombs away.