Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Too soon :(

There aren't many advantages to being a super-small synagogue--it's a great way to go broke--but at least it's easy to contact all the "regulars" when there are only about 18 of them.

So when Governor Cuomo authorized gatherings of not more than 10 people, the president got on the phone.

A number of our congregants--mostly those over 80--refused to come to Shabbat (Sabbath) morning services because they didn't feel safe.

They were the smart ones.

Those who managed to make the cut--we had a few too many volunteers, so some had to be asked to stay home--followed all the rules, which were established with considerable guidance from the Orthodox Union that was forwarded by a synagogue member.

We were instructed to pray from the earliest blessings--Birkot HaTorah through P'sukei D'Zimrah-- at home.

Everyone wore a facemask.  And we were socially-distanced up to here--or rather, out to there--sitting in assigned seats that were two rows apart, and sitting at opposite ends of the rows.

No one except the cantor was allowed on the bima (prayer platform).

The service was shortened as much as possible.   We started at the Shochen Ad prayer and did a heicha k'dushah for both Shacharit (Morning) and Musaf ("Additional") services. 

My husband, who's the acting rabbi, overruled the president and insisted on having only a Triennial-Cycle Torah reading for the first time in our synagogue's history, not only to shorten the service, but also to spare the cantor--it's no picnic leading an hour-and-a-half service through a facemask.  Everyone took their aliyot from their seats, and, when it came time for the Mi Sheh-berach prayer for the sick, we recited their names to ourselves, silently.  And yours truly read less than half of the haftarah.  My husband gave what was probably his shortest-ever d'var Torah (sermon, more or less), mostly to give the cantor a chance to sit down for a few minutes.

We thought that service went pretty well.

Until we got home, where we were greeted by a very upset son.

He pointed out that he hadn't known that we were going to shul until we were practically halfway out the door.

That's not surprising--when had we ever had to tell him in advance before?

But this pandemic has changed all the rules.

Our son pointed out that, by not discussing with him our decision to go back to synagogue, we had endangered his health without his knowledge or consent.


Fortunately, the president was also having second thoughts--when my husband called him on Sunday, he readily agreed to shut the shul again, mostly on the grounds that almost all of our "regulars" are over the age of 50, and, therefore, at higher risk.  By the end of the day, he'd called almost all of them to tell them the bad news.

Heaven, and/or the Centers for Disease Control, knows when we'll open again.

Congratulate us--we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of our synagogue in the middle of a global pandemic.  :(


Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day: In memory of patriotism (?)

The Greatest Generation was willing to put their lives on the line for freedom.

My family had three branches of the U.S Armed Forces "covered" during World War II:  After being rejected for pilot training by the Air Force (Army Air Corps?) due to flat feet, my father ended up serving as an Army ambulance driver in the Philippines; my uncle served in the Navy on a ship in the Pacific; my mother volunteered for the Women Marines and served in Washington, D.C.

Thousands died defending the freedom of folks overseas and protecting the U.S.

For what?!

So that a vocal contingent of U.S. citizens can walk around with signs that say, "We won't give up our freedom for your safety"?

So that some people can consider themselves *better* Americans if they *won't* wear facemasks?

So that a lunatic fringe can show up in places of government carrying weapons and threatening lawmakers if they dare try to save lives?

During World War II, Americans (and others worldwide) endured thousands of deaths in combat, years of separation, and the rationing of food and just about everything else.

Now, people complain that they can't get haircuts or buy lawn fertilizer.

Do Americans no longer understand the concept of self-sacrifice for the greater good?

Do we even understand what patriotism is anymore?


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A minor milestone :)

I finally finished the small bottle of sea salt that I used to keep in a desk drawer in my office--I brought it home during my last week of work at the end of December 2019.  I guess I'm now officially retired.  :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

I gave us a Lag B'Omer treat

I finally figured out how to support Jewish music without breaking the bank--I used my retirement gift card to buy some Jewish music on Lag B'Omer.  The singers below are listed in the order in which I first encountered them in recordings and/or online.

~Deborah Sacks Mintz:  The Narrow and the Expanse.  We first met Deborah here, after having heard her in many recordings by Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble.

~Chava Mirel:  Source of Love. We met Chava here after I first "met" her here.

~Elana Arian:  A Spark of Light.  We met Elana here after I first "met" her here.

~Yonina (Yoni and Nina Tokayer):  Simple Truth (Emet P'shutah).  I "met" them on YouTube.

~Galeet Dardashi:  Shalhevet.  She was my teacher at the Rising Song Intensive.

~Noah Aronson:  Am I Awake. 

~Eliana Light:  s*ngs ab-ut g?d

I "met" both Noah and Eliana here.

~Yonatan Miller:  Jewish Soul.  We've known him since he was a kid in our former synagogue.

Welcome me to the twenty-first century--this 71-year-old has never done a music download before.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Yale epidemiologist: Trump's response to COVID-19 'close to genocide by default'

My CPA husband is of the opinion that Trump is playing to his base by trying to re-open the economy while letting the pandemic kill off "minorities" who would be more likely to vote against him, and I think he's right. I've already commented to him and our son that what Trump is doing certainly seems like criminally negligent homicide to me, but this epidemiologist goes even further😠


Thursday, May 07, 2020

This is as close to Manhattan as we're going to get . . .

. . . for probably at least another month.  :(

I shot this on the thoroughfare on which we try to take a walk when the weather is good--since it's zoned commercial, it has wider sidewalks than the local residential streets, making social distancing easier.


Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Something-splaining "Sheltering in Place" in an apartment

My husband, our son, and I share a two-bedroom apartment with exactly one bathroom (no "powder room").  Years ago, when some relatives of ours lived in a large house in a New York City suburb, I used to joke that we could fit our entire apartment in one third of their main floor. 

And one of my relatives had to move to temporary housing due to construction--they are currently *sharing* a studio apartment.

Yes, I'm happy that some of you have room to store a month's worth of food.  Would that I could say the same.  We store non-perishable food for Pesach (Passover) on garbage bags laid out on part of our bedroom floor, which creates a safety hazard when we get out of bed.  Where could we possibly store an entire month's worth of food? 

Yes, I'm happy to read that someone's spouse, a doctor, is isolating themselves in their den to prevent themselves from spreading COVID-19 to their family, or that others are self-quarantining in separate bedrooms with separate bathrooms.  Either option would be a great idea, if we had either option.

If one of us gets the coronavirus, it's likely that all three of us will get it, because quarantining oneself for 14 days in a bedroom that one can cross in eight steps (or less, with no street view, in the case of our son's bedroom), and texting a warning every time we have to use the bathroom will be difficult, if not impossible.

So yes, we go for a walk every day when the weather is decent.  We wear face masks, of course, and try to stick to nearby streets that have wider sidewalks than our own street has.  Our daily walk will get more difficult as the weather gets better, since social distancing will become more challenging as more people come out to enjoy some time in the sun--we (and probably half the neighborhood) will have to try to go out at about 7 AM in the hope of avoiding the crowds.  But apartment-dwellers, especially city-dwellers, particularly those with young children, just don't have a lot of choices.

My family is doing the best we can to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy.  Please don't hold it against us if you meet us--at a six-foot distance--outdoors.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Instant fruit cocktail, pandemic-style

We stocked up on some canned fruit in case we couldn't get fresh fruit.  Unfortunately, I may like pineapple, but pineapple doesn't like me--it's too acidic for a person with acid reflux.  And I also forgot how sweet even peaches packed in unsweetened fruit juice are--I might as well be eating candy.  So I combined a chunk or two of canned pineapple with a few slices of canned peaches, and added some golden raisins, some black raisins, and a date to tone down both the acidity and the sweetness.  And voila:  Homemade fruit cocktail, on the spot.  It's not exactly gourmet, but it'll do.  :)


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Good songs for bad times

Here are a few tunes that might help you feel better.

In the humor department:

~See and hear here.  ["Don’t know who wrote this or who is singing it but it’s excellent!!"]

~ "A Spoonful of Clorox"--A Randy Rainbow Song Parody--DO NOT SHOW THIS TO YOUNG CHILDREN!!!

In the heartfelt department:

~Rabbi Josh Warshawsky sings his "Six Feet Apart


Monday, April 27, 2020

Trump is another Jim Jones

Why people stick with Trump and Fox News

"Why are Trump supporters so devoted? The simple answer is that they are members of a death cult. Call it the #TrumpDeathCult. Beyond that simple answer, there’s this: When your identity rests on Trump and his party being right, to admit that they are wrong—or worse, that they don't even give a rat's ass about you and yours—requires rethinking everything you are. I guess for some people, dying is easier."

Yes, folks, some people are actually drinking disinfectants because our president said that these might be cures for COVID-19.  These so-called cures are even more likely than COVID to kill people.

I'm old enough to have seen this before--over 40 years ago, the cult created by Jim Jones ended in mass suicide.


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Free Zoom tutorials

See here:  https://jccmanhattan.org/search?keywords=zoom+tutorials


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Stereophonic sound, academic division :)

In one room, our son is tutoring physics via Zoom.

In another room, my husband is tutoring accounting via Zoom.  Unfortunately, something is malfunctioning--every time he plugs in his headphones, the student can't hear him.  So I get the honor of hearing both sides of his tutoring session.

And, to boot, it's thundering outside.

It's getting a bit noisy around here.



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Overwhelmed and underfunded :(

Closing our synagogue was strange enough.

What happened shortly before and since then has been most unexpected.

It seems as if every musician on earth is posting not only music, but even entire concerts, online.

As the French would say, it's an "embarras de richesses."  But it's also embarrassing, because we can't even afford to pay for multiple music downloads, much less these wonderful performances, and all of these fine folks still have to pay their rent, even though they can no longer give concerts with live audiences, teach music students in person, lead services and/or chant Torah at closed synagogues, etc.

What are a retired person and her husband, who's retiring at the end of this so-called semester (such as it is) to do?  *Everyone* needs help, including quite possibly us in the future.  Should we support musicians, soup kitchens and food pantries, broke college students who have lost their dormitory housing and/or their jobs, Federations that support Jewish Community Centers and Ys that have lost a huge chunk of their income and still have buildings to maintain, synagogues that have also lost income from simchas (happy occasions such as weddings) that can no longer take place in person, educational and/or cultural institutions (Jewish and/or general) that are currently providing hours of free programming, etc., online, even, heaven help us, Jewish free burial societies that are now burying Coronavirus victims . . .  The list is endless.  The funds are not.  :(

As my oldest friend once said, "At some point, you become your own tzedakah (charity)."  I'm not sure we're there yet, but we probably will be.  :(  In the meantime, who's on first?


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sakanat Nefashot vs. Kashrut l'Pesach

This is certainly not the way that I would have wanted to learn a new Hebrew word:  Sakanah = danger.

Sakanat nefashot:  Danger to human lives (rough translation).

Sakanat pikuach nefesh:  Danger to the saving of a life (rough translation).

Our son has been absolutely adamant--he insists that, since we're both over 70, we avoid shopping even locally, much less renting a car and driving out to a Jewish neighborhood to shop for kosher for Passover food, and rely entirely on what we already have in the apartment or can have delivered using his Amazon Prime account.

Good luck getting kosher for Passover food on Amazon.  :(

We sold all of our chametz online through the agency of the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel (the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue) in Manhattan, and stashed whatever chametz was left in a plastic bag in a separate section of the freezer, since we're literally afraid to throw anything out.

But we have literally almost no food in our home that's labelled kasher l'Pesach.

We had or were able to get a five-pound box of matzah; a one-pound box of gluten-free oat matzah for yours truly ('cause I have to be able to say motzi over *something,* however vile it tastes); four bottles of kosher grape juice; seven cans of macaroons; some Pesach crackers, strawberry preserves, and canned tuna left in our lobby by a kind couple from our congregation; and enough kosher meat, delivered by two kind members of a different local synagogue along with a ready-made Seder plate, to stuff our freezer and keep us going for about a month.

That's all, folks.

It was really strange to clean and kasher our kitchen and entire apartment, then turn around and put all the chametz things right back in their usual places, but we had no choice--with me now retired and my husband retiring at the end of this semester, we didn't know whether we could afford to replace all our Pesach dishes next year after using them for whatever food we have this Pesach.

We have only two rules:
~ We will neither buy nor eat anything that's identifiably chametz;
~ We will neither buy nor eat any snack or "auxiliary" foods that are not labelled kosher for Passover, because we don't need these foods to preserve our health--we can live for all of Pesach without chocolate squares, and we can use matzah instead of rice cakes or buckwheat flatbreads to make our sandwiches.

I confess to being envious of those more-fortunate souls who posted on Facebook listing their four-course Seder meals and waxing eloquent about seeing their grandmother's Pesach dishes again.

I miss our old family-heirloom cut-glass salt cellars and the tiny silver spoons that my sister bought for them a few years ago, the Kos Eliyahu (Elijah's Cup) that was a wedding present from the choir in which we used to sing in our former synagogue, and the gorgeous matzah cover that was handmade by our oldest friend.

Never mind "Next Year in Jerusalem"--we'll settle for the ability to *safely* get a six-hour Zipcar rental and go shopping in Jewish neighborhoods and clean out the kosher supermarkets (and our bank account), so that we can use our Pesach things again and have a *real* Pesach.

All of that said, I was quite sincere when I recited the Shechayanu--I am very grateful that my husband, our son, and I have been kept alive and sustained and were able to reach this season.

Moadim l'Simchah!


Tuesday, April 07, 2020

This is as close to Manhattan as we're likely to get

. . . for probably at least another month.  :(

Stay safe and be well!

Pesach Kasher v'Sameach--have a kosher and happy Passover (or as close to one as you can get).


Monday, March 30, 2020

Welcome to the current Coronavirus epicenter :(

We live in the Borough of Queens, New York City, within walking distance of Elmhurst Hospital, currently one of the hardest-hit hospitals in the United States, with 13 deaths in one day.  A local rabbi and family are currently recovering from COVID-19 after self-quarantining for the requisite 14 days (or perhaps longer--I think they waited until the last family member no longer had a fever).  Even going out for a walk is scary, but our Physician Assistant friend advised us that we need the "sunshine" vitamin D to help us stay healthy.  And grocery shopping online is becoming more and more difficult now that far more people than usual are relying on the internet for food deliveries.  We're literally afraid to rent a car to go shopping in a Jewish neighborhood for kosher-for-Passover food, and we don't know whether our online matzah order will arrive in time for Pesach.  If we have to make a seder with nothing but our current single bottle of kosher-for-Passover grade juice and whatever food we can buy in our own neighborhood, then that's the way it will have to be.  Under the current circumstances, and given our location, we consider ourselves fortunate that we're currently healthy.  Stay safe and be well!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 update:
We are happy to announce the arrival of three boxes of matzah and six cans of macaroons--three coconut, three chocolate chip--ordered online directly from Streits!  With this and our current single bottle of kosher grape juice, we can make some semblance of a seder!

Sunday, April 5, 2020 update:
The good news is that, upon checking, I discovered that we'd received five boxes of matzah from Streits, even though I thought I'd ordered only three.

The bad news is that I saw this notice on the Gluten Free Shoppe's website:  "Due to the circumstances we cannot guarantee that all orders will be shipped out on time. Thank you for understanding."  At this point, I don't expect to receive anything from them before the beginning of Pesach.  :(


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Ordering kosher for Passover food (including gluten-free!) online

It was our son who suggested that, rather than trying to buy everything on Amazon (to avoid renting a car to shop in a Jewish neighborhood), we check the original manufacturers/businesses for matzah, informing us that he'd already found Streits matzah on their own website.  Sure enough, we were able to order matzah (and way too many Streits macaroons) here.  Hmm, could I find gluten-free oat matzah by searching for the Kestenbaum brand that's usually the only gluten-free matzah available?  Yep, here's one website that sells gluten-free kosher-for-Passover matzah and other gluten-free kasher l'Pesach and other food--since we can't buy kosher meat locally, we also bought a few Meals on the Go because they don't need to be refrigerated. (We've never tried them, so we don't know how good they taste, but at least we'll have something to eat other than eggs.)  It's possible to buy gluten-free kasher L'Pesach food online, but you probably shouldn't wait too long.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Plugging the leak in the boat, by whatever means necessary

There's an old story about a couple of people who are riding in a small boat when it suddenly starts to leak.  One person tries to do something to keep the boat from sinking, but the other refuses, saying that the leak isn't their fault.  The fact that the boat is going to sink with them in it and that they're going to drown, no matter how the leak originated, doesn't seem to occur to them.

I'm reminded of that story by what's going on in Washington, DC now.  Call me a cynic and I'll plead guilty as charged, but I'm convinced that the only reason why Trump, Pence, and the Republican-majority Senate have finally gotten off their collective duffs and actually begun to do at least something about the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is that they were losing a fortune on the stock market.

At this point, I don't care.  Some government officials are devoid of compassion and think their job is to crush the competition, and if the only way to convince them to do something for their country is the loss of cold cash, I'll take it.


Friday, March 20, 2020

One "place" still has open borders: "headband nation" :)

A few days ago, someone on Facebook joked that, within about three weeks, we'll know everyone's real hair color.  But it didn't really register with me what that meant until the following day, when an old friend called and said that she'd been warned not to get a haircut.  Yep, it's literally impossible to practice social distancing when sitting in a hairdresser's or barber's chair.  And hairdressers and barbers will probably be closed :(   Guys may have some luck using home trimming kits, but if not, well, just think of that ponytail as the "retro hippy" look.  :)  Most of us women, though, won't have the "home-haircut" option.  I haven't had long hair in probably over thirty years, but, on the plus side, I don't think my husband will complain.  :)

"Headband nation, " here I come  :).


Sunday, March 15, 2020

My heart goes out to parents of young (& "young-ish") children during this pandemic

How do you tell a seven-year-old that they can't have a birthday party?  What happens if that Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration has to be held by livestream and even the grandparents can't attend?  If I could figure out how to help, I would, but I'm so tech-challenged that I can't even figure out how to set up a Zoom meeting and pay a video visit, and being probably as old as the grandparents (and therefore, in the high-risk category), I certainly can't pay a *real* visit.  So sad.  :(


To halachically-observant musicians, a word for these times

"Let me hear your voice."

There has been much recent livestreaming by non-Orthodox musicians, especially this past Shabbat, after the coronavirus pandemic closed so many synagogues.

No, I certainly don't expect you to violate halachah (Jewish religious law) by livestreaming or telecasting on Shabbat or Shalosh Regalim.

But you might wish to consider "broadcasting" Kabbalat Shabbat services, turning the camera off after L'cha Dodi--the (Orthodox) Hampton Synagogue does that.

Or, if that's not an option, livestreaming Havdalah and/or a Malavah Malkah would be delightful.  You could also include a link for donations at that hour.

From what I've read, many musicians are watching their livelihoods vanish as classes, religious services, concerts, music lessons, etc. are cancelled.  I hardly think that I'm the only one willing to pay for an online performance, as I would if attending in person.  I've already paid for one performance this morning by a non-Orthodox musician.  I hope you'll jump on the online bandwagon, because I'm looking forward to listening to your music.  In tough times like these, we need all the chizuk (strength, encouragement) that we can get.


Many thanks to Jewish musicians for strengthening us with song

We'd barely gotten through our synagogue's Megillah readings when the bad news reports began to pile up--Coronavirus, or COVID-19, was not only not going away anytime soon, it had become a worldwide pandemic.

My evening-after-Purim class at the Jewish Theological Seminary took place online.

I was comforted by Eliana Light's online Shacharit on Thursday morning.  Thank you so much for making my day!

My Thursday afternoon class at Hadar turned out to be the last in-person class for this semester--all other Hadar classes and events will be online.  But the bottom really fell out on Friday, when our synagogue was officially closed for all services and just about everything else.  :(

I spent a good chunk of Friday afternoon listening to the videos that Chava Mirel (with Josh Niehaus) posted on Facebook with a side order of Nava Tehila.  They were a great comfort.

With so many of our usual Friday-night-services favorite synagogues closed, my husband and I decided to cheat a bit on our usual practice of turning off all "screens" before Shabbat--we decided to catch a livestreamed Friday service.  We started with Central Synagogue's livestream on television, and I found, as I expected, that the "almost-a-performance" nature of their service that made me a bit uncomfortable in person worked quite well onscreen.  In fact, having sung alto in my former synagogue's choir for well over a decade, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Rabbi (/Cantor) Buchdahl and Cantor Cadrain weaving harmonies around one another.  Since Shabbat had not yet officially begun, we kept one eye and ear on the screen while running around making our final Shabbat preparations, then lit candles and sat down to watch and enjoy for a while.

At just about 7 PM, we changed "screens," moving from the TV to my computer to watch the "Quarantine Shabbat" service with Noah Aronson, Josh Nelson, Chava Mirel, Rabbi Josh Weinberg and Rabbi Leora Kaye.  I must confess that I always get a kick out of watching musicians playing "switcheroo"--first, Noah Aronson played guitar, then he kicked Josh Nelson off the keyboard and took over.  Josh took it in stride, disappearing off-camera for only a few seconds--and returning with a double-bass.  :)  Later, Noah brought a bongo into the mix.  As for Elana, she'd brought everything but the kitchen sink, and spent the entire service going from guitar to mandolin to violin and back.  At one point, with Josh and Noah both playing guitar and Elana playing mandolin, Rabbi Weinberg swiped Elana's guitar and joined the fun. Did I mention that the singing and the harmonies were wonderful?  Because they certainly were.  Noah, Elana, and Josh sang both music that they had written and other songwriters' music.  What an oneg (delight)!  I did decide at the last minute, though, during Kabbalat Shabbat when we were singing along without siddurim/prayerbooks, that I really shouldn't post any comments because I was already violating Shabbat enough by watching a livestream.  A bit later, during Maariv/Arvit/Evening Service, when my husband and I, in full "prayer mode" with siddurim in hand, were praying along, we appreciated the fact that the service was a smidge more traditional than those at Central--they actually recited the first two b'rachot/blessings of the Maariv/Evening service in their entirety.  The divrei Torah ("sermons," if you will) by Rabbis Kaye and Weinberg were meaningful.  I'll leave you with the amusing image of a former Central Synagogue musician showing up to co-lead a Shabbat service barefoot.  :)

Tonight, we watched Rabbi David Ingber, of the Romemu congregation, lead havdalah from his home with his family.  Then we had the pleasure of "attending" a Malaveh Malka led by Joey Weisenberg, Yosef Goldman, and Deborah Sacks Mintz, of Hadar's Rising Song Institute.  What beautiful music!  It was fun listening to them switching harmonies and even, at one point, completely switching parts, with Deborah and Joey taking turns singing lead.  My husband, having returned to his own computer, even spotted a little "after-party" video of Joey playing clarinet, which neither of us even knew that he could play--Joey is just full of pleasant surprises. 

Keep your eyes on your computers to see how we can support Jewish musicians as they support us.


Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Rabbi Emily Cohen: "I’m Done Passing as a Matrilineal Jew." But what about the rest of us?

You can read Rabbi Cohen's article here.

Then you can go back and read this post of mine, as well as the follow-up post.

How is a Conservative synagogue to grow and thrive in an era in which so many folks who walk in on a Shabbat or holiday are either "patrilineal" or not Jewish by anyone's definition (because neither of their parents is Jewish and they haven't converted to Judaism)?  It's a fine line, to try to be welcoming while maintaining Conservative standards.  This is all the more "fun" if one doesn't have a rabbi to consult.  Wish our synagogue luck.

The courts can no longer protect the U.S. from a dictatorship :(

Trump weaponizing DOJ is worst case scenario envisioned by Obama officials

Rachel Maddow shares that outgoing members of the Obama administration told her that their biggest concern was Donald Trump weaponizing the criminal justice system for his own personal and political advantage, and wonders who can stop that now that reporting suggests that even SDNY has been compromised by Bill Barr enacting Trump's bidding.Feb. 18, 2020

Keep going--this is from the same telecast:

DOJ memo shows Barr's lid on reported Giuliani investigation

Rachel Maddow looks at a newly released DOJ memo that shows all Ukraine-related investigations being consolidated in such a way that even investigations already in progress, like those the SDNY is reportedly conducting of Rudy Giuliani now have to be processed through Main Justice.Feb. 18, 2020

I had assumed, apparently too optimistically, that President Trump would eventually suffer the same fate as gangster Al Capone, who literally got away with murder but was convicted of tax evasion.  But it appears that Attorney General William Barr won't allow even a friend of Trump to be investigated for possible commission of a crime.  So laying the fate of the United States at the feet of the courts of the Southern District of New York, who might have been able to charge Trump with tax fraud if there's evidence that he committed any within the statute of limitations, no longer appears to be a realistic option.  If the Senate (part of the Legislative Branch of the United States Government) won't act, and the Department of Justice (Judicial Branch) is now under the thumb of someone who appears to be conforming to the President's wishes rather than following the law, is there any other branch of the U.S. government left that is both willing and able to hold Trump responsible for, essentially, anything?
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