Category: Barack Obama

Connecting the Dots, Part 8…

Connecting the Dots, Part 8…

When you were a kid, did you ever read Dr. Seuss’ book The Sneetches and Other Stories? You know the one I’m talking about. Continue reading “Connecting the Dots, Part 8…”

It’s the little things…

It’s the little things…

So I managed to tune in to the big game at the exact moment that commercial came on. You know the one. There’s not enough eye bleach in the world to get that image out of my mind.

Who was it for? I’ve forgotten, because ICK!

I was going to watch the rest of the game, even had an invite to go to a party for the purpose, but by the time I got my dinner together and actually sat down, the Broncos had already scored the first 10 of their points against the Panthers. I’m just not invested in football, unless I have someone to share the commercials with, and my heart wasn’t into the blogging aspect of game watching this year.

I opted to watch last week’s Downton Abbey episode, followed by the new one that aired on Sunday at 9. Ironically, it’s about a very rich family coming to terms with reality in the decline of a major empire, in the lull between wars.

So I missed Lady Gaga’s performance, and Beyonce’s, but I caught the very worst commercial of what everyone seems to agree was the very worst game in the 50 year history of the Superbowl. (Nope. Won’t post links. I couldn’t find a reliable source for the official videos and the sources I did find are questionable. Sorry.)

Meh.

Meanwhile, there’s this. I suggest swallowing, because you’ll regret it later.

Addicting Info: President Makes Surprise Appearance After Super Bowl – And He Has Jokes (VIDEO)

It’s good that the President is relaxed enough to make these jokes, and I appreciate his sense of humor, but it feels just the teensiest bit like Nero fiddling while Rome burns. Not, you know, like this guy, by a long shot, but still.

In other news, I just finished my taxes, and I managed to make it just enough that I didn’t owe anything to either the feds or state, even though I sucked more money out of my IRA so I could buy my fixer upper and get out from under the ridiculous rental market. And it’s a good thing I did it when I did, because today’s little stock market dip is outrageous.

At a point where we ought to be able to celebrate paying less than half of what we were for fuel when President Obama took office, nobody’s happy. Banks are engaging in risky investments again, and every time they play that game, folks who’ve trusted the system and put their money in IRAs suffer the consequences.

If you think you’re immune, consider:

  • Most traditional pension plans are gone. Even the government has largely divested of pension plans, except for certain sectors like the US Postal Service.
  • Unemployment numbers fail to include folks over 50 who are increasingly forced to admit they won’t get a job to replace the one they lost in the recession
  • The permanently disabled who can no longer qualify for full-time and can’t collect unemployment don’t count either.
  • Neither do the kids who’ve never had a job before and who never qualified in the first place.
  • Cost of food hasn’t dropped. Neither has the cost of other goods, except when discounts apply at special sales, and even then we know some places intentionally inflate the cost of goods so the “sale” really isn’t one. And it’s a long time till Christmas again.

It’s enough to induce heartburn in anyone who’s paying attention.

Small wonder I wasn’t in the mood last night to party. And when it gets right down to it, why I’m not all excited just because I’m presently paying about $1.67 for gas.

I don’t believe it’s going to last.

I think it’s a temporary dip in prices, and that dip is going to go away again the moment we let the GOP win. Because their interests, in every way, lie in oil prices.

They’re punishing the rest of the world right now, on Wall Street, because oil prices have slipped so far. If they manage to leverage themselves into position to take the White House, to ensure a permanent majority in the House and Senate, to rewrite the Constitution, you’d better believe the only ones who’ll win already count their annual salaries in 10 digits or higher.

New Hampshire’s Primary is tomorrow. Who’ll come out on top: A Democrat and at least three Republicans. After tomorrow, there’ll certainly be fewer choices on the Red side of the aisle. We’ll be one state closer to November. And one more step closer to the end game for American Democracy.

What did you do last night?

Ya know, I’ve got a lot of experience reading between the lines…

Ya know, I’ve got a lot of experience reading between the lines…

Unless you’re living under a rock (and you’re probably not if you’re reading my stuff), you already know about the blowback from the trade of former POW Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five former residents of Gitmo, Afghan detainees we were preparing to keep indefinitely. As in forever. As in we never ever intend to close Gitmo, so long as That Black Man is President.

That’s precisely what I read right here:

In a tweet Monday morning, Johnson noted that Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) had said “if Obama’s trying to liquidate and close Gitmo through deals to release detainees, that’s illegal too.”

Illegal. Say whut?

You read that right. The GOP think it’s illegal because of this law it appears they passed.

That’s hilarious, considering we’re already in violation of the Geneva Convention. So what law are they talking about? Why, it’s our old friend, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

That’s right, friends. Almost one year ago to the day, by a 59-2 vote, the GOP secured Gitmo and are in a position to keep us from closing this facility because it would look good for the President to bring this chapter to a close.

These same disingenuous bastards will hold up the continued operation of the prison as a failing step in the President’s agenda of change. It must be HIS fault the base is still in operation. It CAN’T be us! We had NOTHING to do with it!

I call BULLSHIT.

Not only did the President talk about this with the GOP in advance of the swap, but three years of negotiations have gone by since the process began. The only ones with egg on their faces here are the GOP who worked to ensure the language got included in the NDAA, which authorizes payment to our troops on the ground.

I can’t do justice to the justifiable indignation, the gut wrenching prose and points Jim Wright has written in his latest Stonekettle Station post, but I can sure boost the signal.

We have just five months left before the 2014 elections and you have an OBLIGATION to do something about these sanctimonious, lying, manipulative bastards.

Show these obstructionist GOP bastards the door.

 

 

Spineless? I don’t think so…

Spineless? I don’t think so…

How Democrats Got a Spine: The Republican Party taught them how to be uncompromising

Why do they stick with Majority Leader Harry Reid—why, when three of them could cast “safe” no votes and Reid could still beat the House bills? Democratic aides say that the red-staters are “scared straight” by the House GOP. They’re not getting the calls from home to defund Obamacare. Their home-state papers aren’t dogging them, either. They’re in no fear of losing an “optics” battle to John Boehner and company.

And this, friends, is why after all this time, I’m proud to say I’m a Democrat. It took a while to get here, but now, here we are. We should have done this with the Fiscal Cliff, but we pulled back, gave concessions, which gave us nothing.

No more playing games with the government. The GOP has to own its own mess, or we’re never going to get past the crap. The people need to understand how we got here and who’s responsible.

While I’m on the topic, before any of my Friends posts this myth to their feeds, best check out non-partisan PolitiFact on the ACA. Have you seen this image in your feed yet? It’s only a matter of time before you do.

Our ruling

The Facebook post tells the story of a man who says he opted out of Obamacare soon after the marketplace was launched on Oct. 1, 2013, and was informed that he owed a fine of more than $4,000.

The post includes many elements that make no sense or are flat-out wrong — and can be easily debunked by reading the law or reliable summaries of it. We rate it Pants on Fire.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/oct/04/facebook-posts/closer-look-facebook-post-mans-struggle-obamacare-/

Trouble is, the post is a series of lies, designed to frighten people away from checking out the new program, because the ACA stands to help millions of Americans who are poor and facing life-threatening illness every day and the GOP are scared to death that it’s going to cost them their cushy jobs.

And why? WHY is this happening at all? Because people bought the load of feces that the “Job Creators” have to be left alone to generate jobs, went to the polls repeatedly over the last 30 years and elected these “public servants” to put the Rich before everyone else in the US.

Anyone with a middle school education knows about the concept of Supply and Demand. Jobs come when people can afford to buy goods. The more goods they want and can buy, the greater the need to supply those goods. Without the need, the supply dwindles. So what do we do? Subsidize the suppliers instead of looking at ways to make the supply lines work again.

But wait. That’s not what actually happens. Why? Because once the rich have your money, they can do whatever they want with it. Up to and including finding cozy tax shelters off US soil. This is what Free Enterprise actually does for our country:

And in the meantime, with all those subsidies, the rich grow richer, stash their cash offshore and retire fat and happy somewhere safe where the poor can’t touch them.

If you study history, the aristocracy gets taken out every time the rest of the workers figure out who’s reaping the benefits of their work. The American Aristocracy (or Plutocracy) knows this. They’re doing their level best to make you believe that their particular brand of crap is chocolate, and that you need to eat Chocolate to survive. And if you don’t do it their way, it’s your fault for not liking the taste.

Guess what? The emperor has no clothes! The chocolate isn’t chocolate. They are LYING to you! And they’re joking about it while they do, or they’re showing themselves for the greedy asshats they truly are.

And while they’re keeping you busy fending off the repo man, the auctioneer, or simple bankruptcy because your medical bills have gone through the roof, they’re walking away with YOUR American Dream.

You should be mad as hell at the GOP. I just hope you didn’t elect them, because if you did, you, my friend, are part of the problem.

Yeah, I’m a Democrat. Proud of it.

I just hope that I can enjoy what’s left of my life, in health, and in a society that actually does care for its citizens. After all, we’re supposed to protect the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone, not just the rich.

I think the GOP just forgot who everyone really is.

Peter Finch as Howard Beale,
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
And here we are…

And here we are…

At 11:58 pm on Monday, September 30, 2013.

Lest there be any question or confusion in anyone’s mind over who is directly responsible for the closure of our national parks, the sudden and explicable shutting down of services far and wide throughout the country, and the eternal brinkmanship of the Tea Party, this article sums it up for you:

Boehner Refuses To Allow Vote on Popular Democratic Bill That Would Avoid Government Shutdown

That’s right, kids. The Hydra is just about ready to eat itself, and all because political theatre is more important than running the country.

But why? Why?

Here’s what’s been brewing in my head the last two weeks, thanks to yet another mass shooting, in my neck of the woods. Better buckle your seatbelts and hang on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis driven by delusions

On September 16, 2013, something remarkable happened. Again.

13 people died, including a mentally ill man, aged 34. Those are the details you can gather from the article above. Additional details have surfaced about how Alexis’ behavior was cause for concern, but not sufficiently off to justify actual medical treatment. He was, as far as anyone knew, fit enough to hold a security clearance and to purchase guns and ammunition. And as soon as the act was over, and it was clear the shooter was dead, all we had left was a series of clues that added up to a head-scratchingly vague image of what drove this man to commit random murders that morning.

This time, the discussion of gun control ended before it even had a chance to start, because the timing was so close to the end of the government’s fiscal year, even this tremendous loss of life, just a short mile or so away from Capitol Hill, was insufficient to jumpstart the discussion of sane guidelines for owning and operating a firearm.

Stunning, really, because one short week later, all the news reports could talk about was whether there would be compromise.

I could have told them then that there wouldn’t be. There’s no reason for compromise. You can’t compromise with terrorists.

These senselessness acts of violence and mayhem are no less vile than the one perpetrated by the members of our House of Representatives against this country and our people. Republicants, Thuglicans, Tea Publicans – call them what you want, but whatever, you need to wake up and realize that the whole group is suffering from a case of paranoid schizophrenia, and we have left the disease untreated because we can’t seem to figure out what to do with the mentally ill.

These citizens, armed with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars are telling the rest of us that we’re to blame for the mess our country is in.

A ‘post-democracy’ phase

Really?

Why are we in this mess today?

Because people in Ohio (a state bought and sold by ALEC) elected John Boehner again in 2012.

Boehner has zero interest in working the differences out. It’s not why he was elected.

The extreme Right elected him and his ilk because they don’t WANT the rest of the country to know that the way to fix the problem is to reverse 30 years of Trickle Down Damage, brought on by people who believed the horse hockey Saint Reagan fed them when he said all we needed to do was make it easier for the rich to spend their money and everyone would win.

It took 30 years for us to get where we are today, and the plutocracy like what they have just fine. Keep the scum down and they can’t rise up like they did in France because they’re too busy chasing turban-wrapped shadows and uppity black Presidents. 

When Mitt Romney made those ill-timed comments and the nice guy waiting tables caught him on camera, he wasn’t talking to the general voters. He was talking to his infernal brotherhood. And now, his puppet masters are mad because they didn’t get their way last November, so here we are, 45 minutes after midnight and not a budget in sight. 

The only way this has to do with the Democrats is that they are not the Tea Party. Ergo, they are W.R.O.N.G.

And the worst thing is, every last one of the Tea Party’s supporters has swallowed the crap the Koch brothers have fed them through the last 30 years. Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves.

The only difference between what Aaron Alexis did and what the House Republicans are doing now is that he was shot for his crimes. Instant retribution. The House of Representatives is still getting a big, fat paycheck (more in a year than I’ve made in the last 10 years, combined). They’re not going to see anything happen – at least until November 2014. (See that countdown ticker to the right? That’s how long we have before we can fix this mess.)

The last time the government shut down, Newt Gingrich was in the driver seat. Even Newt has figured out this is wrong-headed.

Newt Gingrich: ‘No Grand Strategy’ Around Possible Government Shutdown

Maybe the Affordable Care Act will do what we haven’t been able to accomplish since the GOP sucked the life out of the House in the 1990s – finally win the government back so that we can rise back up to our former glory as a compassionate country that takes care of its own. Instead of throwing our most vulnerable citizens under the bus, perhaps we can find a way to make it possible for us to enjoy life again. But first, the Tea Party has to go.

Someone needs to stop the insanity.

And the sooner, the better.

Two days to armage…Government Shutdown…Again…

Two days to armage…Government Shutdown…Again…

Ya know, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t going to matter one bit, once the rest of the polar ice melts and all the fresh water gets mixed up with ocean water, but in the short-term, I’ve had about enough of the Tea Party’s brinkmanship and Ted Cruz’s 21-hour hot air festival. The Grand Obstructionist Party wants the Affordable Care Act to fall and they think what they do now to shut the government down will matter. The miscalculation (and it’s huge), is that President Obama already signed the act into law, and no matter how many times they vote to repeal it (42 at last count, including the current Budget fiasco in process this weekend), it’s still the law and they don’t have enough votes in either the House or Senate to override it.

Their fantasy land will cost the country big time in the next few weeks, but if the ACA has the effect I suspect it will, come 2014 (just a little over a year from now), we’re going to see a sea change in the House, because the little people who put these Tea Party bullies in office are going to begin to understand the real ramifications of the fight to keep the American People from the benefits of the law.

Frankly, nothing would please me more than to see a clean sweep of the House and Senate, though we have a solid four years before we can really clean house, thanks to the Class of 2010, but there’s a bunch of folks rooting for the government shut-down to happen so the GOP can finally get their comeuppance, and I’m right there with them.

And you know why I’m certain this is going to happen? Because President Obama has nothing to lose.

Nothing.

He’s already gone through the second term election. No matter what, he’s good till he steps down in 2016. And by then? That’s three years of education, along with more time spent bolstering the economy. (You have noticed how it’s improved, right? I mean, I had to take money out of my IRA, which will serve to affect my tax situation almost not at all, thanks to my current miserable financial situation, and lo, it’s back at the same level it was before I pulled the cash out.

So when you get right down to it, there’s a lot the government shut-down will do, but I’m okay with it, if the long-term benefits are that we can finally eject the insanity and start doing something about our current crazy situation.

What do I want?

I want an end to both Citizens United and the Patriot Act.

I want the Voting Rights Act restored or at least fixed so that it addresses our current reality, because otherwise a whole bunch of brown people and poor people and old people and young people are going to find it difficult to vote in the Tea Party states come next year.

I want women’s rights respected.

I want Marriage Equality throughout the country, in all 50 states, so my friends who want to be married don’t have to worry about which state they’re in.

I want the poor to have their protections restored and the safety nets fixed so that people can stop worrying about how to feed their kids and they can concentrate on getting jobs.

I want the jobs to come back from China and India, and all the loopholes closed so that we stop bleeding our good jobs overseas and rewarding companies for reducing their overhead at the cost of our own people.

I want sane gun-responsible legislation in place, so we can finally start addressing the gun owners and stop blaming the objects for misuse, before another toddler shoots her cousin or another undiagnosed psychiatric thug goes off randomly and takes more innocent lives at random.

I want the War on Drugs to become a Discussion on Responsibility and I want the prison system to become a public responsibility again. No more work-camps.

I want sensible and practical Immigration laws that protect our workers and give them opportunities.

I want people to receive the pay that they need so they aren’t relying on public assistance because they don’t need it.

I want free and easy access to birth control and better education about, well, just about everything, including real world life skills (pregnancy, relationships, marriage, money, lifestyle and practical skills, not just math and reading). Without context the education is meaningless.

And more than anything else, I want the rich to stop being greedy assholes who are just as happy to count their money in their comfy second homes offshore as they are living apart from the squalor of everyday existence for the rest of us.

We need the Tea Party and their neo-fascist leadership (read: ALEC) out of power. We’ve got three years to do it, by my calculations. Here’s hoping this is the start to the end.

Government Closure?

Bring it.

 

So tired of the lies…

So tired of the lies…

How much time will we continue to waste on GOP-generated panic items before we understand that they’re acting collectively like the boy who cried wolf and we just ignore what they have to say?

Diverting our attention away from critical concerns like the rampant poverty, hunger, crime and corruption, Keystone XL and tar sands spills, our rape culture and misogynistic attitudes toward women, the continuing housing and job crisis and more? When will we hold these criminals accountable?

So very, very tired of all the lies, all the obstruction, and all the rest.

When will we learn?

NPR.org: 6 Surprising Things About The IRS Scandal

forwardprogressives.com: Darrell Issa Proven to be a Fraud: Full Transcripts Reveal No IRS White House Conspiracy

democrats.oversight.house.gov:  FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT: CUMMINGS RELEASES FULL TRANSCRIPT OF “CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN” IRS MANAGER EXPLAINING GENESIS OF TEA PARTY SCREENING: Manager Denies Republican Claims of White House Involvement or Political Motivation

Tired of listening to the blame masters…

Tired of listening to the blame masters…

This is a lovely and simple video right up until you realize that the GOP forced tax cuts to fall far, far short of what President Obama wanted in the first place, and because we’ve dicked around with spending for the last 30 years and not paying for it in taxes.

The Bush administration added a HUGE amount of debt to the deficit and didn’t pay for it. The GOP is blocking that payment now with obstruction and Sequestration, which hurts the 98% far, far more than anyone at the 2% level.

The lesson here is that if you want to go fight for the right to keep and bear oil, you’d damn well better figure out how to pay for it out of your big fat bank accounts and not force the rest of the people to bear the costs of protecting your interests. Too bad that didn’t happen, because that’s how we got where we are today.

Want to see what this really looks like?

From the Federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics (January 2012): Federal Government receipts and expenditures

Here’s the full article: The U.S. economy in 2020: recovery in uncertain times

From the article’s summary: “Real GDP is expected to grow 3.0 percent annually over the next decade, faster than the 1.6-percent-per-year growth experienced over the 2000–2010 period, but slower than the 3.4-percent growth from 1990 to 2000; recovery of the housing market, improved consumer confidence, strong business investment, rising medical expenses, and narrowing of the trade deficit also characterize the outlook.

To give the guy credit, Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) also recognizes that we shouldn’t pay congress for their failure to produce a budget, but I bet that doesn’t wash with the rest of the boys and girls up on Capitol Hill. And this is the same guy who sponsored this:

Young co-sponsors measure to repeal medical device tax

The Protect Medical Innovation Act would repeal the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), thereby reducing one of the payment methods for the ACA. Who are they protecting? The corporations providing the service, not the people who receive the benefits. Worse, this is an industry being encouraged by our activities in the Middle East, where improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are everywhere. The price we are paying for the war is too high by half. Cutting anything that helps protect our people when they return broken is wrong on so many levels I can’t even list them.

People need to stop listening to the GOP whining and realize that we have to pay for Bush’s wars somehow. Frankly, my tax dollars (if I had any, which I don’t because of MY employment situation) should be going to support our infrastructure, not to keep these businesses from paying taxes.

I’ll tell you what should change: Manufacturing costs need to drop so the items are less costly and easier to acquire. Oil prices should drop, so we can afford to spend our money in other ways and help support the rest of the country instead of the oil industry.

What the hell ever happened to Supply and Demand? We’re seeing corporate greed out of control and we wonder why we have no money to spend on paying down the debt. Control the greed and the deficit goes away.

Before you forward something that looks like it nails the whole problem, look again. Chances are, you’re only being told half the story and you should be especially suspicious if that story comes from the GOP.

There are words…

There are words…

In 2005, I lost eight people (either through direct relationships with them or indirectly through my friends). Children, parents, people with whom I was friends, and one I worked with weekly as a parent in a co-op nursery school. I found I couldn’t make sense of some of the things I heard during the funerals I attended.

In January, 2006, I began to attend the Unitarian Universalist congregation I now call home. I’ve begun to make some sense of my reactions, even though I can’t make sense of losses on days like yesterday.

I’ve dealt with loss all my life. Some days I handle it better than others.

Are you having trouble wrapping your mind around what happened yesterday? Feeling numb? Not sure why?

Not feeling anything?

You will.

People grieve differently. They process horror differently.

In 1969, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross published a book that described for the first time the five stages of grief. When I was in 7th grade, I took a class on death and dying, in part because of my mother’s long-term illness, but nothing prepared me for the reality of losing a close member of my family.

I learned a lot when my dad died in 2010, thanks to the hospice nurses in Colorado and the grief counselor I met with weekly near me at home. I understood on an intellectual level what I was seeing, knew the signs to watch for, and knew in my heart when my dad was truly gone for good.

I knew from the descriptions I heard that my mother in law was dying, that same year, because I had already experienced the steps with my dad. And I knew when I was going to lose two more friends in October and November of 2010.

I learned more when my friend Richard died at the end of that horrible year and took away Christmas for me. My greatest gift was the ability to talk with him before he died, and to be there with him and with friends the night before.

I will learn again as I watch one of my earliest friends in this area die from cancer over the next several months.

There are no words that provide as much comfort as a hug and a sharing of sorrow that comes from grief.

None of these deaths were brought about by someone else. None of them was the result of random violence, accidental association, or any other logical reason.

The deaths in Connecticut of twenty children and seven adults happened because someone took it on himself to play god, who had the means to accomplish this horrific act and who had no sense of the long-term, incomprehensible damage he would do, no thought to care about the ramifications of his act.

And more than anything else, he will never know the effect his senseless act of violence will have on our lives, on the lives of the people of Connecticut and most of all on the families of those he killed, because he killed himself, ending his mad spree of death.

As John Dickerson says in his article on Slate.com:

Today Is a Day for Tears, Not Politics The president’s job today is to comfort a nation, not score political points.

If you have trouble processing what happened yesterday, that might be one reason why you are numb. It’s too much to process all at once. You simply can’t do it.

There is no greater act of faith than waving goodbye to your kids on their way to school in the morning, thinking no matter how hard it was to get them to that point during the day, all the petty arguments or smiles you have with them might somehow disappear after they leave your sight.

Somehow, whether you are a parent or not, you can find a way to relate to the tragedy unfolding in Connecticut. Do what you can to come to terms with what you know, what you’re learning and what you will say to others, but take these things into consideration:

Dealing With Grief: Five Things NOT to Say and Five Things to Say In a Trauma Involving Children

This is unimaginable. Christmas lights are already everywhere. In many of these houses, trees are likely already up, decorated and waiting for laughter and footsteps that won’t ever come on Christmas eve or Christmas morning.

There is still one day left to Hanukkah, one last, bright day when all nine candles burn brightly and then burn out.

Yesterday was the Sabbath, the day some people recognize for giving thanks for what they have, and bless their children.

Today we are left wondering what pushed the shooter over the edge. We are left to wonder whether we are still right to guarantee access to weapons that can do this damage. We wonder how we could have stopped this from happening.

But we’ve been wondering this for years.

We wondered at the tragedies in Blacksburg (Virginia Tech).* In Aurora. And in other places and at other times throughout our history. And I wonder how much longer it will take us to recognize that the question isn’t so much about access to weapons but how we treat our mentally ill and what we do to ease the pain of those who most need the help before they take it out on other people.

This isn’t about the 2nd Amendment. It’s about our attitude regarding those whose brains work differently from ours.

Give yourself time. Hug your kids. Curl up with popcorn and watch a movie. Make it something innocuous. Or play a game with them today.

And let your brain do its work.

When the time comes, give in. You’ll get there. Everyone does.

And then, start to take some action.

David Gerrold, who I follow on Facebook, Jason Alexander, an actor I’ve come to respect for any number of reasons, Jim Wright (Stonekettle Station), and others have all had things to say about senseless violence.

When you’re done reading all these things, go sign yourself up for an account on whitehouse.gov and sign this petition:

Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress.
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/immediately-address-issue-gun-control-through-introduction-legislation-congress/2tgcXzQC

and this one, too:

Make Mental Health a National Emergency
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-mental-health-national-emergency/DLwvxxzJ

[note that the links are dead. Thanks, Trump!]

And after all that, restore your faith in humanity. Because you’re still here and you can.

*edited to fix an error gracefully pointed out by a reader…

One month to go…

One month to go…

The end of November is often too busy to step back and look at where we are. Between prep for Thanksgiving (which came disturbingly early this year) and all the Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday-Tuesday… and so forth, it’s hard to imagine anyone actually accomplishing anything before the Advent calendars start opening on the 1st.

In my life, today is a chance to step back and remember. Two years ago, I lost a true best friend to long-term health problems that might have been diagnosed differently if the ACA were already in place and functioning, and if medical insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industries cared more about the people they serve than they do about their own pockets.

It’s a time for me to reflect on changes in the last year, but most importantly, to review a week or so’s worth of news that could escape attention in all the craziness that leads up to the “Holiday Season” in general.

I’ve been paying attention, mostly on Facebook, so here are some of the highlights (if you can call them that) of November’s last gasp.

A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy by Warren E. Buffett

New York Times: SUPPOSE that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.”

Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist.

Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law

Palm Beach Post: Former GOP chair, governor – both on outs with party – say voter fraud wasn’t a concern, but reducing Democratic votes was.

Judge orders tobacco companies to admit deception

Reuters: Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

Senators Make Bid To End Indefinite Detention In NDAA

Huffington Post: A bipartisan group of senators made a bid Wednesday to end the indefinite military detention of Americans in the United States.

Declaring that a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 put the country on a path to repeat the shame of World War II’s internment camps, they argued the offending language should be stricken in this year’s defense bill.

Michigan Public School System being destroyed. RIGHT NOW.(UPDATE x11)

Daily KOS: If you or anyone you know and care about live in Michigan, or if you care whatsoever about the public school system in this country–or, for that matter, education of our children in general–I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to read up on Michigan State House Bills 6004 & 5923, and State Senate Bills 1358 & 620.

Robertson tells Christians: Radiocarbon dating proves no dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark

Raw Story: Televangelist Pat Robertson says that radiocarbon dating proves that the Earth is older than 6,000 years — and he’s telling Christians not to “cover it up.”

On Tuesday’s 700 Club, a viewer wrote Robertson that her “biggest fear is to not have my children and husband next to me in God’s Kingdom” because they question why the Bible could not explain the existence of dinosaurs.

And finally (because I can’t resist one last dig):

Romney’s final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent.

Washington Post: Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent.


Mitt Romney addresses the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) annual convention in Houston on July 11, 2012. (NICHOLAS KAMM – AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Romney’s campaign, of course, was doomed in large part by comments made on a hidden camera in which he suggested that 47 percent of the country was so reliant on government services that those people would never vote for him.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.