Saturday, January 22, 2011

Elements of Discomfort

The campaign to close mouseholes
in our cellars is never-ending.
For years we've puzzled
over how they get in;
Traps set every season.
Many bagged.

Last year neighboring citizens
united to bring in some fat cats.
Turns out the vermin tunneled in
through a mousehole in the earth
outside, beneath our foundation,
undermining the wellspring.

Capping mouseholes, and high cost
of financing the means of attack
being a common cause, a patch is
under scrutiny to close the matter for good.
Whoa --- look at those Cheshire smiles---
Impressive cache of varmints ---

NPR News, January 21, 2011

There is a great Campaign Finance timeline on the NPR website spanning the years 1907 through 2010. It is well worth taking a look. Below are a few quotes from their article, which inspired the above stepping stone. Mice in our cellar have been a big issue for the past few years so when I heard the news item on the radio yesterday, the loophole/mousehole connection came to mind.

Timeline Introduction

“From soft money to attack ads, the U.S. campaign finance landscape has been littered with loopholes, controversy – and efforts toward reform. Here, a look at key players and events in the evolution of campaign finance law.”
Source: CQ Guide To Congress, Kurt Hohenstein's Coining Corruption: The Making of the American Campaign Finance System, Center for Responsive Politics. Credit: Reported by Peter Overby; edited by Maria Godoy; produced by Rose Raymond / NPR

Quote by Ellen Weintraub:
"Promoting transparency in American elections is central to the commission's mission, and this transparency in turn is essential to the success of this, the world's oldest democracy," said Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub.


  1. Love the title and the way you've used the form to reflect on the political from the personal - these are such important issues that threaten to undermine us all and I think as writers we should not shy away form them

  2. Yes. The older I get the more I see bits of what I took for granted being chipped off a pedestal. The process seems to be speeding up. I am reminded of something E. B. White said: “I awake each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savour the world. This makes it hard to plan my day.”