The Universal Notebook: Greetings, comrades!

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Happy New Year! Bonne Annee! Shana tova! S novym godom!

Putintrump won, so I guess he really showed ’em.

Come hell or high water, come 1-20-17

The U.S. will have a leader like it’s never seen.

From his tower of gold in midtown Manhattan

The Donald will reign and his wallet will fatten

As he wheels, deals and tweets with no sign of fatigue

Rebranding America and democracy big league.

The White House will become Trump Tower D.C.

And there’ll be condos where the West Wing used to be,

Camp David a time-share, the veep’s house a casino

Like nothing ever seen so far east of Reno.

And when presiding gets tiresome, stressful & noisy

45 can hide out in Bedminster, New Joisey.

Turns out the most anti-establishment populist of all

Won’t drain the swamp or build a Great Wall.

Instead he’ll play the billionaire game

By appointing oligarchs and more-of-the-same.

Amway for Education, Exxon for State,

Hardee’s for Labor. Just can’t wait

To hear Puzder explain how a wage increase

Will kill jobs and bring the economy to its knees.

Andy makes more in day, so we hear,

Than his fast food employees make in a year!

Consumers and workers say they’re flat on their backs,

So Trump gives the treasury to Goldman Sachs?

The only way Obama really failed

Was not making sure some bankers were jailed

Before he bailed us out of the Bush recession,

At least that’s my humble if biased impression.

What we see in Trump’s cabinet is, strictly speaking, perverse,

People who hope their departments do worse.

An EPA head who is anti-EPA,

An energy czar who’d just do away

With his department. His stated goal?

Burn more oil and mine more coal.

Climate change is a Chinese hoax,

Clean water, clean air are just dirty jokes.

And then there’s Jeff Sessions, our new A-G,

An ironic choice in the Land of the Free,

But maybe not so much in the Land of the Whites.

For a man who has long opposed civil rights.

Seasons Greetings, James Comey, Steve Bannon, Vlad Putin,

You swung the election, sure as shootin’.

If your man doesn’t make it as a Soviet puppet,

He might have a future as a wild-haired Muppet.

Best wishes, Paul LePage and Ms. Mary Mayhew.

Two more years and your reign of error is through.

Back in August we thought you might actually resign,

But in the new order obscene rants are just fine.

We just wished you’d stop being so darn mean

To good people like Mark Eves and Drew Gattine.

In Falmouth and Scarborough, a fella named Moon

Put up enough Trump signs to make drivers swoon.

So folks removed a few of the offending signs,

A public service, if you ask me, let’s help pay their fines.

But the news wasn’t all bad. Despite the election,

The country is headed in a liberal direction.

Here in Maine, for example, if you happen to wanna,

You can now roll a joint and smoke marijuana.

And we wonder if the right wing will still be gloating

When we switch over to ranked choice voting.

If NO had been a choice, when all’s said done,

None-of-the-Above might actually have won.

So what can we say about 2016,

The most divisive year we’ve ever seen?

We had to argue over whether Black Lives Matter,

Transgender bathrooms and national anthem chatter,

Dakota Access and Standing Rock,

Universal background checks and Trump’s dirty talk,

I must admit I’m blue and I’m bummin’

And confess I did not see this disaster comin’.

Oh, well, make the best of it, I suppose.

(Is this rant starting sound like a rap by Spose?)

Here let me propose a fitting toast

To some of the folks I’ll miss the most.

Blessings of peace to those who passed on,

No longer with us but not really gone!

Artists Fred Lynch and Father Paul Plante,

Art lover Dean Velentgas and, of course, I can’t

Forget Phyllis Austin, who made nature sing,

Photographers Willman and Smith, dear friend Ellen Wing.

All the best in the New Year, whether living or dead,

Republican, Democrat, black, brown, blue or red!

This old world just keeps spinning despite what we do,

What we think, what we are and who’s who.

Round and round we go in this show of shows

And where the wheel stops nobody knows.

Welcome aboard, American Journal, Lakes Region Weekly,

Sun Media publications are positioned uniquely

To cover the lives of the good folks of Maine.

I may even write for the Journal again.

That’s where my career started in high school, you know.

And though I may still have a few years to go,

Funny to think that as my days here diminish

Where I started out writing may be where I finish.

Speaking of which, I’ve gone on long enough.

Just one final toast, enough of my guff.

To your health! Bonne sante! Best wishes! Prosit!

On we go into Trumpland! Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet!

Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Brunswick. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.

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