Have I got your attention?

As we enter a new year, I am granting myself the opportunity to mention a number of things that I have been thinking about, a kind of a New Year’s potpourri.

Bonfire of the Masks. Enough already! We are bombarded by allegedly scientific blah about a disease, or a congeries of medical symptoms, that no one really fully understands. Here today, gone tomorrow.

While I like Anthony Fauci, M.D., mostly because of his superb New Yawk accent and his many years of distinguished service, he has been slammed by being an “authority” on Covid while announcing dicta that change weekly. No mask-mask. Conquer-live with. You get the idea.

He is at his best when jousting with Senator Ophtamologist Rand Paul.  If Dr. Mehmet Oz gets to the Senate, there will be at least two physicians of dubious distinction there. (My lawyer tells me that I can’t call them quacks.)

West Side Story. While showing the superb technical skills of Steven Spielberg, the new movie version of the 1958 Broadway musical is a mess. Why this over-produced mistake even got made is easy to explain: Steven Spielberg.

The film shows no respect for Bernstein and Sondheim’s songs. Not everyone is a singer but that did not stop the ruination of classic songs by actors who can’t sing. The attractive Ansel Elgort manages to warble through a number of them but his untrained voice does them a disservice.

The desecration of “Somwhere” is very sad. Rita Moreno, for whom a role was created that is not in the original, sits at a table and is made to partially perform it in a hum with lyrics. If you want to hear the song performed, go to You Tube and listen to Richard Tucker sing it.

The elaborate dance numbers show skill but do not appeal to young audiences who do not appreciate second position. That kind of dance is cholera at today’s box office.

This turkey will gobble for some time.

Attorney General Merrick Garland. This gifted judge hasn’t done much lately. While he worked on the Oklahoma bombing case as a young lawyer years ago,  that experience is no preparation for the prosecution  of  the people who financed and planned the January 6 attack. He has nothing to show for the year since January 6, 2021 other than prosecuting the mob whose leaders and financiers remain uncharged.

It is true that the Attorney General cannot publicly discuss what he is working on and that there may be more than we know. His recent speech. announcing that all the guilty will be charged was nice but unconvincing. What about the “war room” at the Willard Hotel before and on January 6?

There has to be action soon. I have a suspicion that A.G. Garland was selected during the let’s-get-together phase of the Biden transition and that he was chosen because he would go easy on prosecuting Republican malfeasance leading to January 6. That phase is over. Garland should now catch the torch thrown by Biden in his excellent January 6 speech this week.

The New Manhattan D.A. Bombs on His First Day. Alvin Bragg, just sworn in as the Manhattan District Attorney, sent a seven-page letter to the employees on his staff outlining policies to avoid charging defendants for anything but the most heinous crimes and even then considering relatively light sentences with the possibility of parole.

Bragg would avoid arresting those charged with “broken windows” crimes and “quality-of-life” offenses thus denying communities the neighborhood safety and comfort they seek and creating a sharp break with the police.

Bragg is an experienced prosecutor with a fine reputation. I hope that he withdraws his ill-conceived letter