Each year it is a White House tradition to pardon a turkey from the butcher’s chopping block. That turkey gets to live out its life with all of its feathers intact.
Unfortunately, in our nation’s capital and right here in Worcester, we have a number of turkeys, large and small, that did not qualify for a presidential pardon. In fact, we have a rafter of them.
The more turkeys that appear below the name, the bigger turkey they are – at least in my opinion.
Judge Roy Moore, et al.
The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama has been accused of inappropriate and illegal behavior with teenage girls as young as 14 years old – when he was in his 30s. This accused child molester was so brazen in scouting out young women that he was reportedly banned from the local shopping mall.
Then there was a host of other elected officials both Democrats and Republicans, Hollywood celebrities, news personalities and business executives who have all been accused of or admitted to incredibly abhorrent behavior. Turkeys for all of them!
Traffic swerver defenders
Worcester has recently been plagued with youngsters and teenagers who ride their bikes in the middle of the street, swerving in and out of traffic. Some of these riders dare motorists by riding head-on toward the car before turning away at the last second. Someone is going to get seriously injured or worse.
But at a rally in support of these kids at Worcester City Hall, organizers worried that involving police would criminalize this behavior and that it would disproportionately affect children of color. So I guess we should just let the kids ride until one of them gets run over, and then we can all watch in shock as the ambulance pulls up.
Republican tax plan
This is one of the biggest swindles of all time. Independent analysis has called this the greatest redistribution of wealth to the rich in the history of our country. And just to add insult to injury, the tax plan has maintained or added tax breaks for anyone who owns a golf course, for real estate developers and for the filthy rich who own their own private jets. Gee, I wonder who these might apply to?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
When President Trump was humiliating him in public, I felt sorry for the old guy. That kind of public shaming is tough for anyone to take. But as I started to look at what he was doing with the authority of his office, I stopped feeling sorry for him and started getting angry.
On top of his repeated memory failures (lying) before Congress, AG Sessions has removed protections prohibiting discrimination against transgender persons. He has instructed prosecutors to throw the book at nonviolent drug offenders, seeming to attempt a resurrection of the failed 1980s war on drugs.
Worcester election 2017
OK, this one was a real turkey. We had almost no candidates for the School Committee, for councilor at-large, and for mayor. Those few candidates who were on the ballot were silent. Barely 15 percent of registered voters even took the time to go to the polls. When you consider all adults of voting age, only about one in ten eligible residents voted. Except for a couple of solid district council races, this election was a major turkey.
Putin and the Russians
I believe that ultimately the issues now being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller will either end or severely cripple the Trump presidency.
There is no question here. Every security agency in our country has acknowledged that the Russians did their best to influence the last election. Even most Republican officials see Russian involvement in our elections as an attack on our country. And still President Trump demurs.
Recently British Prime Minister Theresa May called out Putin and the Russians for their attempts to disrupt U.K. elections. Putin and his government should be treated like the thugs they are. The fact that our president is still treating Putin like an international VIP is a national disgrace.
First Facebook officials lied to federal investigators and then repeatedly changed their story about Russian involvement in the election. Then Zuckerberg refused to testify before Congress but found enough time to talk about the subject with Wall Street analysts.
Zuckerberg has whined that curbing Russian disinformation would be expensive. This turkey is a multibillionaire, and he is putting profits above his country. Shame on him.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Recently, when asked, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said former President Bill Clinton should have resigned from office because of the Lewinsky affair. That is a fair position to take.
However, for more than 20 years, Gillibrand took Clinton endorsements and money. Now that the Clintons are out of power, Gillibrand has found the courage to speak up. Twenty years ago, even 10 years ago, taking that position would be OK. But today, those comments make her a hypocrite.
The former acting head of the Democratic National Committee was upset that Hillary Clinton did not call her after the election to thank her for her work. To get even, she wrote a book that says, among other things, that the Democratic primary election was rigged for Clinton.
As she defended herself on various news programs, Brazile came across as vindictive. Who cares what she has to say? Go away.
City leaf collection
Let’s see, the city starts collecting fallen leaves from our trees before they actually start to fall. That way, when the snow comes all the leaves that fell after they left can make our streets a horrible mess. Nice.
I know the city has been doing it this way for years. And I have heard all of the explanations for why. It did not make sense 20 years ago, and it does not make any sense now.
His son, LiAngelo Ball, gets arrested for shoplifting, along with two other UCLA basketball players, while in China. The U.S. government intercedes, and rather than go to prison, his son and the other players get released. Then, this blowhard suggests that President Trump had little to do with helping his son.
How about “thank you,” or if that was too hard for you, just say nothing. Your kid got arrested and, because he can play basketball, he gets a walk. Be thankful.
This turkey is in a class all by himself. His list of offenses is too long and I am too tired from eating all of the Thanksgiving Day delicacies to cite all of his transgressions here.
So, I will just say a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Editor’s note: We hope you’ve enjoyed this free preview of Ray’s unique perspective and unmistakable candor. Be sure to check back in coming weeks to find out how you can keep on reading Worcester’s best commentary without becoming a Sun member when the preview ends. Ray can be reached via email at Mariano@worcester.ma.
Raymond V. Mariano is a Worcester Sun columnist. He comments on his hometown and global issues that impact it every Sunday in Worcester Sun. His column will appear every week in the Sun’s print edition, on newsstands Dec. 9.