APRIL 2016

4.30 Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents Association dinner: “The republican establishment is incredulous that he is their most likely nominee. Incredulous. Shocking. They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan. And there is one area where Donald’s experience could be invaluable and that’s closing Guantanamo because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground. Alright, that is probably enough. I mean I’ve got more material. No, no, no. I don’t want to spend too much time on The Donald. Following your lead, I want to show some restraint. Because I think we can all agree that from the start he’s gotten the appropriate amount of coverage befitting the seriousness of his candidacy. Ha. I hope you all are proud of yourselves. The guy wanted to give his hotel business a boost and now we are praying that Cleveland makes it through July.”
4.30 George Will in the Washington Post: “Donald Trump’s damage to the Republican Party, although already extensive, has barely begun. Republican quislingswill multiply, slinking into support of the most anti-conservative presidential aspirant in their party’s history. These collaborationists will render themselves ineligible to participate in the party’s reconstruction. . . .Trump would be the most unpopular nominee ever, unable to even come close to Mitt Romney’s insufficient support among women, minorities and young people. In losing disastrously, Trump probably would create down-ballot carnage sufficient to end even Republican control of the House. . . .Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One would be to help him lose 50 states — condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow as many senators,representatives, governors and state legislators as possible.”
4.27 Ted Cruz selected Carly Fiorina as his running mate. I wondered why the media doesn’t ask our dog Wendy who her running mate is going to be, because she and Cruz have exactly the same chance of winning
4.27 John Boehner called Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.” He added: “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” Boehner said he would not vote for Cruz, even if he somehow wins the nomination, but would back frontrunner Donald Trump, a frequent golf partner and tanning “texting buddy.” Boehner called Bernie Sanders “the most honest politician in the race.” He mocked Hillary Clinton—saying “Oh I’m a woman, vote for me”—echoing Trump’s recent “woman card” comments, while saying he finds her to be “very accomplished and smart.” Boehner also summed up his record in Congress: “I think my proudest accomplishment is walking out of there the same jackass I was 25 years before.”
4.26 Trump says “If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she would get 5 percent of the vote.” Replies Clinton, “Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in.”
4.21 Prince dies at 57.
4.19 Trump romps in New York and four other states; Hillary takes four of five.
SCAN00494.16 HBO TV movie “Conformation” about the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill confrontation was pretty good, but it didn’t beat “Gag Rule”, the article by Lynda Thomas that we ran in Spy.
4.15 Timothy Egan in the Times on “the latest institution-shifting document from Pope Francis, “Amoris Laetitia” — the Joy of Love. The title sets the tone for the continuation of a quiet revolution. Note that it’s not called the Job of Love, the Duty of Love or the Unbearable Burden of Love. Instead, the pope implies that there’s considerable fun to be had in human relationships. You can even find in its 256 pages a mention of the “erotic dimension” of love and “the stirring of desire.” Yes, sex. The pope approves of it, in many forms. . . .[T]he document signals the end for one particular kind of medieval millstone — Catholic guilt, especially in regard to sex. . . .The new teachings, from a self-professed less-judgmental church, go to the everyday lives of people who don’t believe that they should be constantly reminded of their inadequacies. By emphasizing the inclusive and the positive, the church under Francis strives to be more “modern family” than “monastic denial,” and will even let some things go. “No one can be condemned forever,” says the pope, which seems to rule out that burn-in-hell-for-eternity thing. He offers tips, as well, for how to keep “the passion” alive. It wasn’t so long ago that hearing the word “erotic” from a man who’s taken a vow of chastity was blush-worthy. Catholic doctrine, as laid out in spiritual statutes governing human conduct, featured an exhaustive list of enumerated offenses. Sex was dirty. Sex was shameful. Sex was unnatural. Thinking about it was wrong. Premeditation itself was a sin, and so was flirting. Sex had one purpose: procreation, the joyless act of breeding. “The sixth commandment forbids all impurity and immodesty in words, looks and actions,” was admonition No. 256 in the Baltimore Catechism, the standard text used to teach the faith from 1885 to the late 1960s. No. 257 then warned about the dangers of “sinful curiosity, bad companions, drinking, immodest dress and indecent books, plays and motion pictures.” If that sounds now like the dynamics of a good dinner party, you can also see this pope joining the fun at the table. I can’t tell you how many
IMG_2023IMG_2026IMG_2028Catholics I know who are trying to work through the consequences of those sexual strictures. They wonder if there are still people doing time in purgatory because of the misdemeanor sins of masturbation or premarital sex. Life was all don’ts and dark thoughts. As Jack Donaghy, the character played by Alec Baldwin in “30 Rock,” explained: “Whether things are good or bad, or you’re simply eating tacos in the park, there is always the crushing guilt.” The old message was: If you break the rules, you’re condemned. Shame, shame, shame. The new message is: Welcome, for forgiveness is at the heart of this faith. Sex “is a marvelous gift from God,” Francis wrote. “The stirring of desire or repugnance is neither sinful nor blameworthy.” Those living less than ideal marital unions are no longer vilified as sinners to be scorned. “Irregular unions” is the term coined by Pope Francis. “Hence it can no longer be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situations are living in a state of mortal sin,” he wrote. You can read that as a papal pardon of sorts.”
Cfcio8-</a><strong>4.13</strong> Above photos<br />
<strong>4.9 </strong>Cushing presentation at the New York Military Museum in Saratoga Springs<br />
<strong>4.8</strong> Cushing presentation at the Capital District Civil War Roundtable<br />
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<strong>4.5</strong> Loose Lips workshop at the Triad</p>

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12931083_10209063990375840_4760696616342455653_nWith co-producers Rick Newman and Peter Martin, and director Greg Mosher, Kurt Andersen and Lisa Birnbach and I are aiming to bring back Loose Lips, our Off-Broadway reality play. We had a reading last week, and another coming Tuesday. Let’s hope for the best. Above, our sharp cast, with Bill McCuddy at the center..