Today’s Sunday section features the following:

Keen Political Analysis: What Is Really Going On in Washington Anywaze?

Sitting On Top of the World: a song to listen to so you don’t get too bored while you’re reading the keen political analysis.

As I Sat On The Hill and A Childhood Memory: a wayward departure from the As I Sat On The Bus formula that serves double duty as an AISOTB and also as a folksy piece of nostalgic fluff.

A Sports Section: a tribute to a fine basketball player and a Los Angeles Clippers Playoff Update. What? You didn’t know Bumba was a Clippers fan?

Another Art Review: Alexander Calder at the LACMA museum

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The Obama Presidency, the Republican party’s secret strategy: the role of Big Money in Politics etc, etc.”

Although the media markets and sells their coverage of politics as entertainment with good guys and bad guys, the actual forces moving the players in Washington are larger than life: Government institutions, cartels, “interest groups” and lobbies that take on lives of their own (What a life!): Bureaucracies, fueled by petty, personal concerns carry great inertial force, like glaciers: and then the corporations, flooding the floors of Congress with dollar bills. Currently, moneyed interests are in control. It’s the age of banana republics. The forces, the players, are monolithic conglomerates. A guy like Obama, the politician on whom so many pinned their hopes, is just a guy like everybody else – an ambitious fellow who instinctively knows to go with the flow. He is just one of the players. The moneyed interests (who remain nameless because we usually don’t have a clue who they are aside from names like Dupont and Rockefeller) currently trump Obama and the U.S. Congress. It’s time for some simple constitutional amendments.images

1. Direct election of President. After the Florida election debacles you’d think this one would have happened already. Nope. Everything’s a struggle. The people will have to organize and fight like dogs for even the simplest of reforms.

2. Publicly-financed elections. The politicians currently spend half their time fund-raising. They are indebted to their donors.

3. Shorter election campaigns and primaries.

4. Removal of corporations’ individual rights

5. A graduated income tax where the rich pay higher taxes. Oh, that’s right. They already have that amendment. Oops.

6. Repeal of the 2nd amendment, or at least abolition of assault weapons. At least we can stop killing ourselves.

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Sitting On Top of the World

imagesThis is a plain blues that is sung a number of different ways as it is rooted in a number of different traditions. But, no matter who, when, or where it’s being sung, it’s still Sitting on Top of the World. I like the image of sitting on top of the world – feet hangin’ down. However on this version I forgot to sing the verse about top of the world feet hanging down. Mostly it’s harmonica.

 

As I Sat on the…..(AISOTB#34) and a Childhood Memory

Announcing an expansion, an extension, a widening of the rules for the Bumbastories As I Sat On The Bus Invitational!

Entries will now be accepted for anything that begins (or includes somewhere in the text) the phrase As I Sat On.

Under these new rules, you can be sitting anywhere, albeit the bus and other modes of public transportation are still preferred.

This week ………

I sat on top of an grassy incline, an artificial hill at the public park, and gazed out at the setting sun. IMG_1491 On the field below a nine-year-old boy with a plastic baseball bat was whacking a wiffle ball senseless. And then chasing after it, tossing it up fungo-style, and smashing at it again. Then walking after it, picking it up again, taking another swing…Etc, etc. The boy tired after four or five of these wearisome maneuvers, tossed the bat in the air, and layed down on the grass.

I was reminded of a boyhhod friend, Bill M, who would play stickball by himself for hours at a time early in the AM’s during the summer months.

Bill just loved to play, and he played viciously – which is how Bill did just about everything. Bill was fundamentally violent, solitary, almost disdainful of others, and competitive. Not many of the kids ever liked him. And Bill didn’t care about that either. Bill was a great ballplayer, and as such, qualified as our leader.

When Bill tried out for the high school baseball team, it was immediately clear that he had made the team. The coach asked him to pitch some batting practice to some of the team members. Bill was striking them all out. Blowing it past them. What a fastball. And Bill had a curve too. Then Bill messed it all up for himself. He beaned two batters. Intentionally. I guess he thought he had to brush them back from crowding the plate. Or maybe Bill just got mad. That’s just how he was. Bill never played for the high school team. And, as I say, nobody ever liked Bill very much. But he was some hell of a ballplayer.

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Here’s to Jamal Crawford

What follows is the ¤Bumbastories¤

¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤Clippers Report¤¤¤¤¤¤¤

This article was sent in by one of our readers (OK, it was me) …

¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤Here’s to Jamal Crawford¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤

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OK. The Clippers had a nice season. They’ve blossomed. DeAndre and Blake, together with a sterling (no pun intended) backcourt of Chris Paul, JJ Reddick, Darrell Collison….. and the wonderful Jamal Crawford – surely one of the most enjoyable players to watch in the NBA, nay, in the history of the NBA – have a chance to be NBA champions.

Here’s to Jamal Crawford! What a pleasure for the Clippers – and what a treat for us fans – to have this beautiful player who is capable of scoring at all times.

Now, if Jamal and JJ Reddick are both strong and healthy… Well then maybe ….just maybe… we Clipper fans may have us a championship this year. Could that be? After all these long years (like 30!) of second division finishes? It’s a long shot, but it’s possible folks.

Ah, but can they overcome San Antonio and Oklahoma City? Or Miami, Indiana. Or Memphis, Portland? Or nearly any of the Western division playoff teams? Can they overcome their first-round oppponent, the Golden State Warriors?

It’s bound to be a great NBA playoffs this year. A lot of teams could win it.
To quote the great Ralph Lawler: “Clipper fans, fasten your seat belts!”

 

                 ………………..CLIPPERS UPDATE

 

OK, the Clips lost the first game. Maybe I put a curse on Jamal. He had a terrible game. Couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

Looks like a great series between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, who are a terrific team too.

Still, and looking forward to more playoff action, I’m glad we have Jamal Crawford on our side.

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Art Review: Alexander Calder at the LACMA museum

Another heads up to those readers in the Los Angeles area. The Alexander Calder exhibition at LACMA is still running. It’s a treat. Our official Bumbastories art critic visited again and wrote the following.

This Calder exhibit, so lovingly displayed and presented at the Resnick Hall at LACMA reminds us of the joy of art for its own sake. Calder celebrates beauty and balance. He entertains us with his craftsmanship. He brings joy. What a pleasure. Again, Bumbastories gives this exhibit two thumbs up.

Seen below, an outdoor Calder mobile at LACMA. (Photographs of the special exhibit are forbidden)

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