Politics: The Tricky Mouse Club

A New Cat Means The Mice Must Find A New Strategy For Stealing the Cheese.

“Why did ya call this meeting?” Gordy Mouse asked Morty Mouse.

“Yeah, why did ya?” said Shorty Mouse from behind bleary eyes. “I was in the middle of a wonderful nap.”

“Screw your nap! This is more important! I called you guys together to inform you of the big news I just heard. And this is big,” said Morty. “The hotel management adopted a new cat.”

“WHAT?!” blurted his rodent pals.

“But what happened to the one they had? Kathy was her name, right?”

“That was just the interim house cat. They’re bringing in a permanent one and his name’s Jimmy,” announced Morty.

“What do ya know about this Jimmy?”

“Don’t know anything yet. Too early to say.”

“This ain’t good,” sniveled Shorty. “I’ve never transitioned from one permanent cat to another.”

“None of us have. Jorge the cat was here before any of us.”

“Jorge was around for 12 long years,” Gordy reminded them. “But after a while, we got familiar with his routine so well we had our run of the hotel when he wasn’t looking. We were able to sneak into all the cupboards, pantries, and storage bins. Who knows how this new cat’s gonna be?”

“Listen, guys. It doesn’t matter what cat they bring in,” said Morty. “They can bring in a pack of leopards for all I care. We still have the run of the place. This hotel belongs to us. The hotel caretakers? They’re the ones that come and go. We’re the ones who stay put.”

Morty continued:

“So we get a new cat. Big deal! We may have to tone down the pantry pilfering for a while until we get a feel for what his routine is. But eventually things will swing our way – they always do – and we’ll be back in business, as they say, stealing however much food we want – and whenever.”

“What about ol’ lady Bower?” asked Shorty.

“What about her? She’s leaving this year. Her associates, Mike and Jerry, are fighting to see who will take over as general manager. Still, it makes no difference, I tell ya. They come and go. We remain.”

“I liked it when Jorge was her lap cat,” added Gordy. “That sure made things a lot easier. We knew when the cat was away, we mice could play!”

“Yeah,” agreed Morty. “And when he was a-sleepin’, we’d be a-creepin’.”

The three mice chuckled and slapped their knees.

“Now with this new one, who knows if he’s going to be anyone’s lap cat?” said Morty. “He might turn out to be always on the prowl, which could spell trouble for us. Big trouble.”

“Yikes!” squealed Shorty. “I still get nightmares about what befell the seven we lost last year. Seven snared in the mousetraps – all at once!”

“They got careless, that’s all,” declared Morty. “And greedy. Just play it safe, keep it under the radar, I tell ya, and nobody gets their tails in the trap. In the end, we always win. Don’t we now?”

“They can take out seven of us, but they can’t take out all of us,” said Gordy to his comrades. “Right?”

“RIGHT!” answered the others.

“Bu-bu-but Morty,” stammered Shorty, “they know we’ve been into things. They take inventory. They might really mean business this time by bringing in this new cat to flush us out. I’m scared.”

“Shorty, I’m a little scared myself. I only wish I was sure of what kind of cat this Jimmy’s gonna turn out to be.”

Just then, a fourth mouse scurried into the crevice, a wedge of cheese between his cheeks.

“LORDY, GALORDY, JORDY! Where’d ya snag that big chunk of Brie?”

The loot dropped from Jordy’s mouth. “From off the kitchen counter, wise guy, that’s where!”

“Care to share with your pals?”




 Typifying the low ethical standards of their breed, Gordy, Shorty, and Jordy tore into one another in a mad tussle over the cheese as Morty watched in disgust.

“Enjoy it while it lasts, you fools!” he chided the others as they tussled. “It might be the last morsel we’re able to pilfer for some time to come.”


“MY OPPONENT, WHO SHALL GO NAMELESS…” Calling the move to legalize alcohol sales on the beach an “ill-conceived” one, Michael Gongora, in his latest constituent newsletter, refers to the complaints commissioners received from residents, prompting “the presenter of the item” to ask for its withdrawal from the March 13 Commission agenda.

That unnamed “presenter” would be none other than Gongora’s mayoral opponent, Jerry Libbin, even though the proposal came out of the Neighborhood and Community Affairs Committee, of which committee vice-chair Libbin is but one member.

This is but one issue among many on which the two commishes can be expected to cross swords in this campaign – and not be the slightest bit bashful, either, about pointing out to voters where the other stands.

CONGRATULATIONS, Jimmy Morales, and best wishes. Let’s just see if that big wide smile across his face is still there on his last day as Miami Beach city manager.

MORALES EARNED MY VOTE for county mayor in 2004. Voters instead decided to elect his opponent, a fellow named Carlos Alvarez. We know how that went.

MEMO TO WSVN’s Belkys Nerey: When reporting on the white smoke from the Sistine Chapel, it’s pronounced “chim-ney,” not “chim-in-y.” (I’ve corrected her before on her and other TV talking heads’ repeated pronunciation of “jew-ler-y,” to no avail.)

WAS THERE A JUSTIFIABLE reason for WSVN and WFOR to send Nerey and Michele Gillen to Rome? My gawd, you’ve got network correspondents already on the scene there. It was a fun kind of curiosity, I’ll admit, to tune in each night to see what fashion get-up (coat, scarves, and hats) Nerey was going to appear in next. I’m almost convinced that her being there was just an excuse to do some shopping for Italian threads.

I WISH THIS NEW POPE a long papacy, if only so that we can be spared another media gorge-fest over another papal conclave anytime soon, and the accompanying yada yada from the yakking yahoos in the media tribe who, like pigeons, stake out positions all around the Vatican walls to read tea leaves and report on any and every burp and fart sound that should dribble out of these conclaves.

I’M GRATEFUL that all that wall-to-wall blanket coverage from Rome is over. It was unsettling for this journo to witness respectable TV journos scraping and bowing to all that silliness, paying homage to the stage characters in this pageant in pomposity and preposterousness. I’ve grown sick of the cardinals, the pilgrims, the Swiss Guard, and the talking heads themselves. If I see another old fart draped in a red cassock on my TV set anytime soon, so help me…

But there was one character I didn’t mind…

WHILE HE WAS PERCHED up there on top of the Sistine’s smokestack, I sure hope that seagull got an opportunity to dump one heaping pile of gull poop on the fixture. What a fitting, symbolic answer that would have made to all the nonsense going on under the roof beneath him.

NOW THAT YOU CATHOLICS have had your day in the limelight and soaked up the world’s attention, it’s back to reality: your church is still a pedophile-coddling, contraception-condemning, hypocrisy-spewing, homophobic, women-subjugating, celibate male-dominated, medieval-minded, out-of-step secretive organization that makes the Sicilian mob look like choirboys in comparison. Rub your rosary beads and say your Hail Marys for your new holy father, but there’s no white smoke powerful enough to make that reality go poof!

BUT I WILL SAY THIS: Francis does seem, on first impression, a world of an improvement over the egregious Benedict. He’s got a mess on his plate whipping this church into some semblance of respectability and away from its lawlessness and disorder.

SLICKY RICKY delivered his State of the State address weeks ago…and barely any attention was paid to it.

Instead, it’s his former sidekick, Lt. Gov. Jennifer “God whips up a storm to let us know we are not in control” Carroll‘s sudden resignation that has grabbed the spotlight away from her boss. This is a woman who, speaking before a GOP event in Orlando two years ago, declared that what this country needed was a “righteous government” to “lead this country on a proper moral path.”

Though details are still scant of her questionable association with an internet gambling concern now at the center of a criminal investigation, it’s looking ever more suspiciously like Carroll’s own moral compass may not have been pointing north.

 In her Orlando remarks, she threw down Bible quotes and slammed evolution, scientists, and the media, sounding less like a government official and more like an evangelical in the pulpit. When I wrote about her then, I called her a “Neanderthalic idiot,” the state’s “astoundingly stupid Number Two, a knuckle dragger who has yet to evolve” who was embarrassingly becoming the Scott Administration’s clumsy-mouthed Dan Quayle:

“This young African-American woman proved one doesn’t have to be a stereotypical old, white, beer-gutted, ‘baccy-chewing, overalls-sporting, Southern good-ol-boy redneck to show the world merely by opening your pie hole just how much of an unenlightened and intellectually-challenged dips–t you really are.”

So, goodbye and good riddance, Jennifer. Maybe now you’ll have the time to be that hell-and-brimstone preacher you seemed bent on becoming.

“I CANNOT, IN GOOD CONSCIENCE,” said the guv in his SOTS, “deny the uninsured access to [health] care.” What a revelation. Who knew Chrome Dome possessed one? That is, a conscience.

PERHAPS IT MIGHT BE for the better if Carnival just sold off its boats and got out of the cruise business. Ya think?

 DID YOU HEAR? Carnival workers are painting over the names of vessels. The stricken “TRIUMPH” is now “FAILURE”; the “DREAM” is now “NIGHTMARE.” Other floats in the fleet may be next. Will the “VICTORY” become “DEFEAT”? Will “PARADISE” be renamed “HELL”? Will the soon-to-be launched “SUNSHINE” have to be re-christened “STORM CLOUD”?

AT LEAST ONE OF Micky Arison‘s investments remains a public pride and joy, not a colossal embarrassment of the high seas. That would be the home team Heat, on a double-digit winning streak. Way to go! (Not you, Micky. Get back to work fixing those damn boats and refunding disgruntled passengers.)

NEWS ITEM: Baltimore kid, 7, gets smacked with a two-day suspension from school. His crime: chewing his strawberry Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. Claims he was gnawing it into the shape of a mountain but that it “turned out to be a gun, kinda.” School dispatched a letter to parents later in the day – I’m not making this stuff up, folks – explaining the incident this way: “A student used food to make an inappropriate gesture.”

I’ve got an inappropriate gesture for the school’s administrators – and I don’t need a Pop Tart to make it.

WHICH GOES TO PROVE that sometimes it’s not kids toting guns – brown sugar cinnamon-flavored or the real variety – society need dread. It’s their overreactive, lame-brained school superiors. Fortunately, a Maryland state senator introduced legislation last week entitled the “Reasonable School Discipline Act” to prevent similar absurd suspensions.

AND WHERE WAS THE NRA’s cuckoo reich marshal Wayne LaPierre during all of this? I half expected the neuron-deficient nutcase to go on record with his organization’s unqualified support for the right of Americans to bear firearm-shaped breakfast pastries.

‘Cause – ya know – it’s right there in the Second Amendment.

HERE’S ONE ADMINISTRATOR who has my admiration. Alberto Carvalho has proven to be a damned good county schools superintendent – and not just because of his admirable budget-saving move last week turning down a pay raise heftier than the one he was willing to accept from his school board (“Read my lips: I want to be the most underpaid public servant in this community.”).

He wants to remain in charge of the nation’s fourth-largest school system until, he says, he can achieve a 100% graduation rate. You and I know that’s wildly impossible – but it’s nice to hear it anyway and to know that this super aims high with his goals without expecting taxpayers to pay him exorbitantly more to achieve them.

PRINCESS PHONES, shoulder pads, MySpace, and Lindsay Lohan‘s acting career have all gone out of style. So what’s with PBS? Retire the pledge breaks already and come up with a newer, better, less-annoying fund raising method. They’re superfluous and too frequent. I just hit the mute button or skip to another channel, which is essentially the same Pavlovian response I have when I an old coot draped in a red cassock appears on my screen.

TUESDAY marks Miami Beach’s 98th. Happy Birthday, golden oldie.

– FDOT outlines its Alton Road reconstruction plans at a public meeting tonight (March 21) at the Miami Beach Police Athletic League’s quarters (999 11th St.). Begins at 6 p.m.

 – The Sunny Isles Beach City Commission meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. (Government Center, 18070 Collins Ave.)

– The Bal Harbour Village Council meets tonight at 7 p.m. (Village Hall, 655 96th St.)

– State Sen. Gwen Margolis will be honored at the 5th Annual Miami Beach Women’s Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, Fri., March 22, at City Hall and the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

– Surfside’s annual Spring Egg Hunt will begin at 10 a.m., Sat., March 23, at the 96th Street Park and will include an egg hunt, arts and crafts, and bounce houses.

– Commissioners Jorge Exposito and Jerry Libbin will join community volunteers at the PAL’s orange tent at the easternmost end of South Pointe Dr. at noon, Sat., March 23, for a Spring Break Clean Up of the beach. Local bakeries will reward participants with pizza and cupcakes.

– Orchestra Miami presents “Beethoven on the Beach” from 5 to 7 p.m., Sun., March 24, at Heritage Park (19200 Collins Ave.) in Sunny Isles Beach.

– The next in a series of community hearings on the convention center master plan will take place at 7 p.m., Wed., March 27, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Hall C, Flamingo Ballroom.

– The West Avenue Corridor Neighborhood Association (WAVNA) will have its monthly meeting Thurs., March 28, at 6 p.m. at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

– The Miami Beach Convention Center (Hall D lobby) will be the rare site of a gun buy-back by the MBPD, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sat., March 30. Turn in firearms in return for rewards ranging from $25 to $300.

– Children can hunt for eggs and pose for pictures with the Easter Bunny at the North Shore Park & Youth Center’s Eggstravaganza, Sat., March 30, starting at 11 a.m. (501 72nd St.)

– The Surfside Community Center (9301 Collins Ave.) hosts “Women in the Holocaust,” a free visual presentation of survivors’ inspirational testimonies, 7 p.m., Wed., April 3.

– The South of Fifth Neighborhood Association (SOFNA) will meet Thurs., April 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Murano at Portofino (1000 South Pointe Dr.). Agenda topics will include South Pointe Park, streetscape and neighborhood construction, pedestrian safety, alcohol consumption on the beach, and noise issues.

About Charles Branham-Bailey

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