O-Bits: Pardons, Potters Field, and Puerto Rico Edition

You’d think that something as lighthearted as the traditional presidential “pardoning” of two Thanksgiving turkeys would be simple enough that even the current occupant of the Oval Office couldn’t make it uncomfortable, or about him. You’d be wrong. President Obama used the occasion to break out the dad humor, making bad puns with a broad grin on his face, but the current president performed was unable to perform that poultry act. He stood scowling in the Rose Garden, and had to add that although he has spent the first ten months of his presidency doing everything in his power to erase the Obama legacy, he will not be rescinding the pardons his predecessor gave last year’s birds,  “Tater” and “Tot,”  then going on to thank first responders and the people who voted for him in Pennsylvania. How soon before he tweets that Wishbone and Drumstick, the two fowl he saved from the chopping block, haven’t thanked him enough and perhaps he should have sent them to the slaughterhouse….

If, like us, you found the official death count of 55 in the wake of Hurricane Maria’s destruction in Puerto Rico, you’re not alone. CNN contacted about half of the island’s funeral homes and found  499 deaths attributable to the storm and the lack of response. We’ll let that sink in a moment—499 against 55. And again, that’s only half the mortuaries. Of course, you can’t expect the current White House to acknowledge this; it would show the response, which they rate as an A+ response, to be closer to a D.

Finally, now that he’s gone, the question becomes what will happen to Charles Manson’s remains. His family (real family, not the “Manson Family”) has ten days—or November 29th— to claim the body. If left unclaimed, he will be interred at the Union Cemetery in Bakersfield, with taxpayers picking up the tab. But Jason Freeman, Manson’s grandson,  told the New York Daily News that he wants to give the mass killer a proper burial. He says he will contact the “inner circle of those who love” his grandfather (a circle we like to imagine being really small) to find out his final wishes. We here a Obit think that even piled in a group vault along with the other unclaimed bodies might be too good for him.


Steven Mirkin

Steven Mirkin’s diverse career has taken him from politics to pop culture to high art, offering him a front row seat to some of the most fascinating events and personalities of our time: writing speeches, fundraising appeals and campaign materials for Ed Koch, John Heinz and independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson; chronicling the punk/new wave scenes in New York and London; interviewing musicians such as Elton John, John Lydon and Buck Owens; profiling modern masters Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader and Jonathan Safran Foer; and writing for TV shows including 21, The Chamber, Let's Make A Deal, and Rock Star: INXS.

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[…] to be the rightful owners  of Charles Manson’s personal effects. Jason Freedman, who we wrote about last month, is still responding to “yes” to the question “you really want to admit […]