Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.com I was furious with President Biden in the weeks leading up to the debt ceiling near-fiasco--for saying he'd never negotiate on this made-up issue and then doing just that; for letting McCarthy get all the press coverage without trying to take charge; for even mentioning changes in the requirements of nutrition … Continue reading What the Debt Ceiling Deal Tells Us About a Biden Second Term
Category: current events
Have You Heard Where Joe Biden’s 2020 Sexual Accuser Is Now?
Photo by Ekaterina Astakhova on Pexels.com She’s defected to Russia, where she feels so much safer! That’s what Tara Reade told Sputnik, the Russian government media organization, in a broadcast she shared with convicted Russian agent Maria Butina, who was deported to Russia in 2019 after serving thirteen months in a US federal prison. Reade … Continue reading Have You Heard Where Joe Biden’s 2020 Sexual Accuser Is Now?
“Journalistic Malpractice” by The New York Times?
My status as a determined optimist—albeit a worrying optimist—is being sorely tested by that deceitful gang at No Labels who call themselves “centrist/moderates.” They are, in my opinion, as much a threat to democracy as Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, or both. And, not for the first time, the media is not doing its job. I … Continue reading “Journalistic Malpractice” by The New York Times?
Are You Feeling Lonely? Join the Crowd
Photo by Inzmam Khan on Pexels.com The above title may sound flippant, but it points to a huge problem—and hints at a possible solution. On May 1, the US government released a publication entitled “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation, 2023: The US Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community.” … Continue reading Are You Feeling Lonely? Join the Crowd
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com Well, now. Mr. ChatGPT and others appeared before Congress this week and pretty much told us that if we don't hurry up and do some things, chatbots could soon be the bosses. When a company asks for government regulation, ya gotta sit up and take notice. OpenAI CEO Sam … Continue reading Something’s Phishy…
Yeah, I Hoped Not to Cover the Guy Again So Soon, But Comparisons Are Not Always Odious…
I thought these were important insights. Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a history professor and a scholar on fascism and authoritarian leaders. Sherrilyn Ifill is a law professor and former president and director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. https://twitter.com/ruthbenghiat/status/1656478470216511488?s=51&t=nVuexwyjz5lAYgTHGa2APw And here we are reminded of the choice we're probably facing in 2024--and of the mainstream media's … Continue reading Yeah, I Hoped Not to Cover the Guy Again So Soon, But Comparisons Are Not Always Odious…
About This Uniquely American Horror…
https://twitter.com/mollyploofkins/status/1655287955940859906?s=51&t=nVuexwyjz5lAYgTHGa2APw "I'm a gun lover; I have guns," he added. "I'm a former police officer. I'm a former army officer. But these M4s, MAR15s, they've got to get off the streets, or this is going to keep happening." https://twitter.com/shannonrwatts/status/1654978652680114176?s=51&t=nVuexwyjz5lAYgTHGa2APw Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action, a nationwide organization that is working state-by-state … Continue reading About This Uniquely American Horror…
That Pesky First Amendment Scores Again!
I am often critical of the mainstream media, whom I find too insensitive to the fragility of our democracy in their determination to present “both sides” of issues that often don’t have two sides. For example, I’m more than frustrated with much of the coverage of the House Republicans’ willingness to throw our economy over … Continue reading That Pesky First Amendment Scores Again!
Catching Up With Jamie Raskin
While the Supreme Court dithers about whether the US Postal Service can insist that an employee work on Sunday--a decision that may even further corrode our constitutional separation of church and state--Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md) weighed in with appropriate snark on yet another grievous example of this unconstitutional trend--this one in the "great state of … Continue reading Catching Up With Jamie Raskin
“No Labels” Is Up to No Good!
Photo by Leeloo Thefirst on Pexels.com NOTE: I have determined to focus my blog posts on positive developments whenever possible. But frankly, the story I’m writing about here worries me a great deal. It also infuriates me. There may be many folks with good intentions involved, but at the heart of this effort appear to … Continue reading “No Labels” Is Up to No Good!
Good Government News: The IRS Just Became Less Hateable (Seriously)
Bad timing, Annie, you're probably thinking. I understand. Once you've filed your taxes, you really don't like to think about the IRS at all. Neither do I. But this year--this tax season--I believe it's especially important that we spend a little time thinking about what's just happened...and what didn't happen...and what may happen to upend … Continue reading Good Government News: The IRS Just Became Less Hateable (Seriously)
Aha! The Apology Fox DOES NOT Want Us to See…
https://twitter.com/colbertlateshow/status/1648854379061968896?s=51&t=nVuexwyjz5lAYgTHGa2APw Thank you, Stephen Colbert and The Late Show staff! Annie
Here’s One of America’s Biggest Problems…
This full-page ad greeted me when I paged through The New York Times yesterday morning. I gasped--and immediately thought of the oft-repeated angry rhetorical question that attorney Joseph Welch hurled at Senator Joseph McCarthy: "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" Actually, there's no evidence that Rupert Murdoch and the gang of … Continue reading Here’s One of America’s Biggest Problems…
Good News From Four States–and Some Fun From a “Veep-to-Veep” Meeting
We’ll begin with our “Veep-to-Veep” Fun. https://twitter.com/aweissmann_/status/1639240977297670144?s=51&t=nVuexwyjz5lAYgTHGa2APw Please click to see how the delightful Julia Louis Dreyfus, star of the Veep TV series, reacted when President Biden presented her with a National Medal of Arts. With “woe are we” the sentiment too often felt and expressed in the US these days, I’m pleased to provide … Continue reading Good News From Four States–and Some Fun From a “Veep-to-Veep” Meeting
We Interrupt Our Usual Blogging to Bring You Some Wise Observations About “The Week Ahead”
https://twitter.com/AnneMuntean/status/1642773415470813187?s=20 I had other plans for my post today. But the robust response to Friday's piece showed me how eager readers are--all over the world--for information about this lamentable but essential US "first": the former president's indictment. So the other items that have been on my mind seemed unsuitable for today, when Trump's arraignment will … Continue reading We Interrupt Our Usual Blogging to Bring You Some Wise Observations About “The Week Ahead”
Oh, the Irony: Trump’s Indictments Begin in New York!
Photo by Mark Youso on Pexels.com Less than a week before the 2016 election, my husband and I attended a lecture at the New York Public Library. The speaker was journalist and author Calvin Trillin, a wry humorist who began his talk with a question for the audience that he answered himself: “Want to know … Continue reading Oh, the Irony: Trump’s Indictments Begin in New York!
Countering the NRA’s Reign of Terror
https://twitter.com/BarnwellSmith/status/1640770359430357005?s=20 Two instances in the coverage of yesterday's horrific shooting in a small Christian elementary school in an affluent section of Nashville, Tennessee, seem instructive. First, a local reporter covering the Nashville story said on air that she, herself, was a survivor of a school shooting when she was in middle school. Then, a woman … Continue reading Countering the NRA’s Reign of Terror
We Must Stop the Putin-Worshipping Republicans From Undermining US Support for Ukraine!
Until a few days ago, the small, whiny Presidency-seeking autocrat who has repeatedly shown his contempt for democracy and for nearly all of his Florida constituents had suddenly joined other far-right Republicans in spouting newly convicted war criminal Vladimir Putin's talking points on Ukraine. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last week called Russia's genocidal assault against … Continue reading We Must Stop the Putin-Worshipping Republicans From Undermining US Support for Ukraine!
Reblogging a Very Witty and Timely Mock Paper Scissors Post
Rorschach Test or Garbage? Posted on March 16, 2023 by tengrain Or both? Anyway, I have no idea of the provenance of this, but I cannot stop laughing. ___________________________________ Thanks to tengrain for this superb example of a rare artistic achievement I'm calling collage de garbage. May it be a harbinger of things to come--very soon--from … Continue reading Reblogging a Very Witty and Timely Mock Paper Scissors Post
“If Every Person in America Knew What We Knew, This Country Would Not Be Divided As It Is Now”
I’m grateful that renowned legal scholar Laurence Tribe linked on Twitter to the article I discuss below--though now that I've completed this post, I see it's all over the news! The piece is fascinating; its account of the jurors is also a shot in the arm for democracy and the rule of law at a … Continue reading “If Every Person in America Knew What We Knew, This Country Would Not Be Divided As It Is Now”
“Poking Holes in the Potatoes…”
I have written about Marc Elias several times. He and his legal associates are some of our country's most diligent, consistent, and successful defenders of voting rights and democracy in the courts. They were largely responsible for Trump's legal defeats after the election, and they continue tirelessly today. Please read the very moving story Elias … Continue reading “Poking Holes in the Potatoes…”
A Good News Reposting From Jessica Craven’s
Chop Wood, Carry Water Extra! Extra! 3/5 🎉 Jessica Craven [Note from Annie: I came across this roundup of good news via Robert Hubbell's Today's Edition newsletter yesterday. I'm pleased to pass it on. If you make it through the last item--the Bad Lip Reading--the final few minutes may seem familiar; I included them in … Continue reading A Good News Reposting From Jessica Craven’s
Channeling FDR, Rep. Jamie Raskin Corrects Those Across the Aisle: “Just Call Us the Democracy”
In these two brief clips, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), in his inimitable way, is trying to get his colleagues across the aisle on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee to refrain from an oft-used slur against Democrats: referring to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Party." (This slur has a time-dishonored history; see the PS* … Continue reading Channeling FDR, Rep. Jamie Raskin Corrects Those Across the Aisle: “Just Call Us the Democracy”
Why We Gotta Talk About Court Reform–Now!
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com Something is really out of kilter in the land of the free and the home of the brave. You’ve probably heard about an imminent decision on abortion. The reason I’m writing about it now is that no matter what I’ve read or heard, I still haven’t come across a … Continue reading Why We Gotta Talk About Court Reform–Now!
“Greed Is Good” Revisited: An Irate Acrostic on Our National Life
G ood grief! Gordon Gecko’s stark 1987 credo,*R everberating through Murdoch’s venalE mpire, has successfully, seriouslyE ndangered our democracy via grifterD Trump, backed by merry Fox Malevolents. I t’s hard to fathom the destruction wrought byS uch simple evil: deliberate lies delivered as “news”— G enerated by fear of falling stock prices and/O r viewers … Continue reading “Greed Is Good” Revisited: An Irate Acrostic on Our National Life
How Do We Commemorate One Year of Ukraine’s Defense Against the Russian Onslaught?
Friday, February 24th, marks one year since the horrific Russian attack against Ukraine began. Most observers gave Ukraine a week before the Russians would take over. (The Ukrainians don't even think of this one-year marker: they point out that they've been battling for their sovereignty for nine years--since the Russians stole Crimea.) Yet here we … Continue reading How Do We Commemorate One Year of Ukraine’s Defense Against the Russian Onslaught?
The Kids Are Telling the Polluters: “We’ll See You in Court!”
Photo of the sixteen plaintiffs in Held v. State of Montana, Youth v. Gov website. We’re not hearing a whole lot about them yet, but we will. These young people don’t see their elders doing what’s necessary to remove the blight on their future. So they are stepping up with action—legal action. In beautiful, wide … Continue reading The Kids Are Telling the Polluters: “We’ll See You in Court!”
Books and Censorship–Reblog From Abigail Johnston’s No Half Measures Blog
Fellow blogger Abigail Johnston, who lives in Central Florida with her husband and two young boys, has written this fine essay that I found all the more powerful due to its quiet restraint. Abigail draws an arc from her own love of books and reading, to her education of her sons, to the facts-on-the-ground classroom … Continue reading Books and Censorship–Reblog From Abigail Johnston’s No Half Measures Blog
Wherein I Learn a Thing or Two About Lemmings…
Photo by u041fu0430u0432u0435u043b u0413u0430u0432u0440u0438u043au043eu0432 on Pexels.com One of my favorite things about blogging is the way we learn from one another. This story began, I thought, with a bit of political humor. A high point of President Biden’s state of the union address was his masterful orchestration of the angry Republicans’ raucous denials that they’d … Continue reading Wherein I Learn a Thing or Two About Lemmings…
Can Biden Cut Through the Noise in His State of the Union Address?
Image courtesy of hsb wikimedia.org. When the President addresses the nation tonight, let’s assume the Insurrectionist Caucus’s demand that metal detectors be removed from the Capitol will somehow be circumvented to ensure his safety, that of the Vice President, the members of Congress, and visitors. Good grief! What appalling decisions are being made in the … Continue reading Can Biden Cut Through the Noise in His State of the Union Address?
Congress Has a New “Dads Caucus”: What’s That All About?
In my previous post, I described efforts to magnify stories that fight the negative narratives swirling around us, which are drowning out evidence of progress and the good that government does. I am grateful to historian Heather Cox Richardson for relating two relevant examples I would otherwise have missed. She calls them “relatively small things…that … Continue reading Congress Has a New “Dads Caucus”: What’s That All About?
“We Have to Fight the Narrative”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHJgD-TJZvY&t=229s What Narrative? The one(s) that jeopardize our country from within, which are not just blared daily by the likes of Fox News, but are lazily amplified by what are familiarly and collectively called the “mainstream media.” The Narrative that is now spewing non-stop from Congress, where McCarthy’s Traitors in the People’s House are in … Continue reading “We Have to Fight the Narrative”
Another Triumph Over Fundamentalism Run Amok
Indian-born novelist Salman Rushdie's newest novel has just been published, and so far the reviews have been very positive. A New York Times article printed in advance of that publication’s review quotes a critic from The Times of London who described this novel, Victory City, as “one of Rushdie’s most joyful” books, in which “the … Continue reading Another Triumph Over Fundamentalism Run Amok
Amid the Awfulness: A Bit of Fun…
There's a great deal that's concerning about the 118th Congress. For example, --I heard a discussion about the national security implications of the world's seeing the Republicans' fiasco in choosing a Speaker as a sign of our weakness. Foes have been emboldened; friends have been jolted. President Biden's reminder that when he first met with … Continue reading Amid the Awfulness: A Bit of Fun…
I Have a Few Questions…
https://twitter.com/ronbrownstein/status/1610743054184624128?s=51&t=7oTuJX8QEcMZko1kYRp6aw Let's start with the question raised above by journalist Ronald Brownstein. What the hell are we seeing in the People's House? OK. We know twenty Insurrectionists and/or Big Liars are holding the Republican caucus hostage. The world is watching the House of Representatives at a standstill. The not-so-merry band of do-badders who've promised to … Continue reading I Have a Few Questions…
Nancy Pelosi’s Final Press Conference–Imbued With History As She Makes Her Own
https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1606019529972322326?s=20&t=cSj4h5Nzb4D8PzU_n4k1Gw From Churchill to Zelensky…from JFK to Biden. Nancy Pelosi’s multiple attributes include both a strong sense of history and the ability to envelop the day’s events with an appropriate, memorable antecedent. I had the pleasure of watching her final weekly press conference as Speaker last Thursday morning. (The complete transcript is here.) The reporters … Continue reading Nancy Pelosi’s Final Press Conference–Imbued With History As She Makes Her Own
The Jan. 6 Committee Referrals: A Belt-and-Suspenders Case* for the DOJ (Acrostic)
A nd now we wait… B ecause nine thoughtful, careful, patrioticE lected officials have sent the DOJ aL ayered litany of criminal chargesT hat exceeded expectations… A ssembled support for statutes—N otably Inciting an Insurrection—soD amning to Donald and cronies that S everal experts point out the U nusual diversity of options.S ummoning armed zealotsP … Continue reading The Jan. 6 Committee Referrals: A Belt-and-Suspenders Case* for the DOJ (Acrostic)
“Are We in the West Weaker Than the Ukrainians?”
Dec. 14, 2022 (An Urgent Message for Americans reprinted from THE NEW YORK TIMES) Credit...Emile Ducke for The New York Times By Nicholas Kristof Opinion Columnist “We will beat the Ukrainian out of you so that you love Russia,” a Russian interrogator told one torture survivor I spoke to in Ukraine, before he whipped her … Continue reading “Are We in the West Weaker Than the Ukrainians?”
The Giving Season In–and For–Ukraine
https://twitter.com/zelenskyyua/status/1599162627908722688?s=51&t=cTYFiiJPa9YsGqGR8dbAZQ Tweet From President ZelenskyPresident Zelensky's message evoked an emotional reaction from me. Despite the appearance of normality in his tweet, the harsh winter has begun. Its impact has been worsened by the brutal Russian attacks not only on civilians, but also on the sources of heat and electricity. Nevertheless, the Ukrainian freedom fighters are … Continue reading The Giving Season In–and For–Ukraine
About That Special Counsel…(whose first action knocked down Donald Trump)
JACK SMITH* A staccato-short name, at once ordinary and reminiscent of dozens of spy novels. A photo suggesting pugnacity and determination. The photo seems to mesh with the opinions expressed by those who know him and have worked with him. Former Mueller investigation prosecutor Andrew Weissmann has said that he has himself been described as … Continue reading About That Special Counsel…(whose first action knocked down Donald Trump)
Gun Violence vs Democracy
“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” are incompatible with a craven Supreme Court majority’s opening the doors to madness in 2008 by ruling in the Heller decision that the Second Amendment applies to individual gun ownership—in people’s homes. Many legal scholars question that interpretation of the Second Amendment, which ignores the reference to a … Continue reading Gun Violence vs Democracy
GEORGIA SENATE VOTE ALERT!
If you live in Georgia or know anyone who does, including students who are registered to vote there but go to school elsewhere, please note that early voting is already under way in some counties, including DeKalb, and voting will occur THIS SATURDAY! https://twitter.com/victorshi2020/status/1595460409720721408?s=51&t=GlVeuLYVo1kzKoU8kLc-Jw https://twitter.com/linacantalupa/status/1595468585006399489?s=51&t=GlVeuLYVo1kzKoU8kLc-Jw Marc Elias, whose law firm is responsible for these election … Continue reading GEORGIA SENATE VOTE ALERT!
“The High Cost of Underestimating Joe Biden”
By David Rothkopf November 13, 2022 In 2020, @JoeBiden was second guessed by many (me included). He wasn’t exciting. Too old school. Talked about healing. Talked about a clear agenda when the other side had little to offer but hate and good TV ratings. And he won decisively despite the skepticism of the “smart money.” For two … Continue reading “The High Cost of Underestimating Joe Biden”
The Most Important Senator…
https://twitter.com/EarlOfEnough/status/1591635895400136704?s=20&t=V3RWtStXYgEEsHZ0y96qjg In a recent post about a potential Republican majority House of Representatives, I’d written: “Before I delve into the potential horror that may await us, I’m going out on a twig-thin limb with a prediction: the Democrats will retain their majorities and possibly pick up a Senate seat or two.” It’s getting a bit … Continue reading The Most Important Senator…
Post-Election Day Musings…The Sun Begins to Shine
Photo by Darwis Alwan on Pexels.com I watched an ebullient President Biden, with spring in his steps, mount the podium Wednesday night to face the press that’s been dismissing him for so long. For an hour, he cheerily responded to questions. One commentator fondly called it an hour-long “humble-brag.” The President said he feels confident … Continue reading Post-Election Day Musings…The Sun Begins to Shine
Want Reason for Hope? Please Take the Time to Watch This…
https://twitter.com/meidastouch/status/1589313632781103104?s=51&t=79MTgMfYjWRR-vjbmhu31Q ...And if you can spare two hours to call young voters, go to bit.ly/callyoungvoters. Doing so can help turn hope into reality. Annie
AN EVEN BIGGER REASON TO IGNORE THE DAMN POLLS!
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com When I first heard the expression “flooding the zone," I thought it sounded somewhat conspiratorial. And it seems to be. It refers to just another Big Lie from the folks who are the experts on fabrications. Views of the elections' likely outcomes are being manipulated by a slew of … Continue reading AN EVEN BIGGER REASON TO IGNORE THE DAMN POLLS!
Please Join Me…
Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com President Biden said last night: “We the people must decide whether we will have fair and free elections and every vote counts. We the people must decide whether we’re going to sustain a republic, where reality’s accepted, the law is obeyed, and your vote is truly sacred. We the … Continue reading Please Join Me…
The Republican House’s Key “Strategic Thinker” If They (Shudder) Win
Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com Hope you’ll all bear with me for a few more obsessive blog posts between now and next Tuesday. In what are my clearer moments, I realize I’ve adopted an “I Alone Can Save Democracy” grandiosity. After November 8, I’ll return to covering a wider variety of topics—some of them, … Continue reading The Republican House’s Key “Strategic Thinker” If They (Shudder) Win
Be Prepared, But Don’t Be Scared, Ignore the Polls…and Vote!
BE PREPARED I found this helpful guide on Twitter, posted by our valuable fellow blogger Tokyo Sand, who blogs at politicalcharge.org. The FBI also offers assistance via its 56 local field offices: https://www.fbi.gov/contact as well as tips.fbi.gov. https://twitter.com/dhstokyo/status/1584411737755111424?s=51&t=sY9YsroB87uwcfYBAtmofA NOTE: THE HOTLINE NUMBERS IN THE GRAPHIC ARE FOR COUNTY/STATE AND NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY OFFICES--NOT GOVERNMENTAL SERVICES--UNLIKE … Continue reading Be Prepared, But Don’t Be Scared, Ignore the Polls…and Vote!
LET’S ALL MAKE SURE WE PROTECT DEMOCRACY ON NOVEMBER 8TH (My attempt to create a helpful candidates guide)–A Reblog/Update
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com With Two Weeks to Go: There's reason for concern, but not despair! If we all do our parts, we can still prevent the takeover of our government by a party that has stated outright its plans--plans that will assault our freedoms, the economy, and our government's stability. Using the … Continue reading LET’S ALL MAKE SURE WE PROTECT DEMOCRACY ON NOVEMBER 8TH (My attempt to create a helpful candidates guide)–A Reblog/Update
“Anything You Care About Depends Upon Democracy”
NOTE: If you click on the Deadline White House video below and the Katie Porter video farther down--and I hope you will--you'll remain on Twitter (I'm not sure why.) On my computer, I can just click out of Twitter to return to this post, but on my iPhone, I had to leave and click on … Continue reading “Anything You Care About Depends Upon Democracy”
WE NEED TO “FIGHT HARDER”…
Though the only polls that count are those on Election Day, the media are blaring poll results that show increasing support for the Republicans based on the economy. Concerns about the loss of reproductive and potentially other freedoms--and about democracy itself--appear to be receding, engulfed by voters' erroneous beliefs that the Republicans are better stewards … Continue reading WE NEED TO “FIGHT HARDER”…
OH, NO, DONALD…!?!??!
YOU DID ALL OF THIS... The FBI is seeking information about other Insurrectionists not yet apprehended. Capitol Violence Images are found at http://www.fbi.gov. ...AND THIS: BECAUSE OF THIS?!!?!!? Trump made the above comment, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the January 6 Committee, in December, 2020, when the Supreme Court Justices [he was sure … Continue reading OH, NO, DONALD…!?!??!
Part 2: Civic Goodness
Peggy Bernardy with her clipboard, ready to register Nevada voters When Scott Steward told me about Peggy Bernardy, who is working tirelessly to turn out voters for the midterms just a few weeks away, I was eager to contact her. She responded immediately, telling me she'd get back to me later as she was on … Continue reading Part 2: Civic Goodness
Part 1: Civic Goodness
Indivisible Yolo (CA) members Scott Steward and Peggy Bernardy in Reno, Nevada Note from Annie: I am devoting my blog posts this week to honoring two of the tens of thousands of Americans who have been doing the hard work for us all prior to these crucial midterm elections. Scott Steward and Peggy Bernardy are … Continue reading Part 1: Civic Goodness
A WORRIED OPTIMIST MAKES HER PLEA: WHY THESE MIDTERM ELECTIONS ARE DIFFERENT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvJSvBYcd_s As an optimist who worries a lot (a self-description I borrowed from the late, great Madeleine Albright), I am not happy about a few things occurring in this countdown to the critically important—likely democracy-at-stake—midterms. I am writing this post now because I believe that even if you’re apolitical and would rather be reading about … Continue reading A WORRIED OPTIMIST MAKES HER PLEA: WHY THESE MIDTERM ELECTIONS ARE DIFFERENT
Lizzo and the Magic Flute: Why This Story Matters…
Photo from the Library of Congress If you’re one of the handful of pop culture luddites like me who were unfamiliar with Lizzo, I offer a brief introduction. She’s a 34-year-old internationally renowned singer, songwriter, rapper, Grammy winner, and oh-by-the-way, classically trained flutist. She might also be called, and I don’t think she’d mind, a … Continue reading Lizzo and the Magic Flute: Why This Story Matters…
Joe Biden As Visionary: A Fairer, More Prosperous, Healthier America IS INDEED ON THE BALLOT!
Image courtesy of hsb wikimedia.org. I’ve been saying for some time that I believe history will be kinder to our maligned President than the voters seem to be. While Biden’s poll numbers are rising, they’re nowhere near where they should be based on his accomplishments to date. And those accomplishments are just a down payment … Continue reading Joe Biden As Visionary: A Fairer, More Prosperous, Healthier America IS INDEED ON THE BALLOT!
A WISE AND IMPORTANT TWITTER THREAD…
I, too, believe it is urgent that we who are the majority participate as never before—we must not be discouraged by reports suggesting our votes won't count! In Italy, the new prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, is an admirer of Mussolini who heads a neo-fascist party. Her ascent is the result of an election with an … Continue reading A WISE AND IMPORTANT TWITTER THREAD…
SOME GOOD NEWS…
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com Some very positive events are occurring. I'm posting below the intro and conclusion from Robert Hubbell's Today's Edition newsletter, published September 22--an issue he titled: "A Good Day." ___________________ A half-dozen major stories broke on Wednesday. Together, they reinforce the rule of law and confirm the renewed strength … Continue reading SOME GOOD NEWS…
Why Do Voters Trust Republicans on the Economy More Than Democrats?
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com “For all of the ‘pain at the pump’ stories, the answer is that wages and salaries have kept pace with inflation since Biden took office—and by this measure, most Americans are much better off than before the pandemic hit in 2020, and before he took office in 2021.” —Robert … Continue reading Why Do Voters Trust Republicans on the Economy More Than Democrats?
LET’S ALL MAKE SURE WE PROTECT DEMOCRACY ON NOVEMBER 8TH (My attempt to create a helpful candidates guide)
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com With the completion of the primaries on September 13 and the midterm elections less than two months away, it’s time to zero in on particular candidates who have been targeted by the Republicans, and/or those I feel are especially worthy of your votes, active support, and any dollars you … Continue reading LET’S ALL MAKE SURE WE PROTECT DEMOCRACY ON NOVEMBER 8TH (My attempt to create a helpful candidates guide)
From Obama to Trump: Dr. Jill Biden’s Remarks Got Me Thinking…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8oJ_-xvnDs Barack and Michelle Obama's return to the White House for the unveiling of their portraits was a joyous occasion. It was also evocative in any number of ways—most notably, a reminder of the importance of peaceful rituals involving the transfer of power. If you haven’t seen any of the coverage, I’ve included above the … Continue reading From Obama to Trump: Dr. Jill Biden’s Remarks Got Me Thinking…
Looking Toward “Roevember”
Photo [of Alaska] by Andrew Hanson on Pexels.com I’m trying not to get too giddy. We have a lot of hard work ahead to pull off democracy-saving Democratic wins in November—just a little over two months from now. When I wrote my post “Abortion Is Actually Going to Save Democracy,” I cited the work of … Continue reading Looking Toward “Roevember”
Why Did the Main Stream Media Tune Out the President’s Warning About Democracy?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wygovCnX8Uw President Biden made a bold and powerful speech in Philadelphia about the dangers our democracy faces due to Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it above (speech begins around 6.25, after music) and/or read it here. I think it must have taken a lot to get … Continue reading Why Did the Main Stream Media Tune Out the President’s Warning About Democracy?
When the “Green Revolution” Smacks Up Against the Green of Dollars…
Photo by Leonardo Lamas on Pexels.com A front-page story in The New York Times: “Secret Data, Tiny Islands and a Quest for Treasures on the Ocean Floor.” (Diligent Times readers are excused from finishing this post, though I’ve condensed a story that was more than twenty printed pages with photos into a much shorter piece!) … Continue reading When the “Green Revolution” Smacks Up Against the Green of Dollars…
“Abortion Is Actually Going to Save Democracy”
Photo by Emma Guliani on Pexels.com "Abortion is actually going to save Democracy." Those were the words of Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, announcing that her organization is donating more than $50 million to help elect pro-choice candidates in November. How far-fetched is Johnson’s assessment? Not nearly as far as it was before … Continue reading “Abortion Is Actually Going to Save Democracy”
Who Could Take Down the Felon-in-Waiting? Librarians!
From an Occupied Democrats Facebook posting Stephen Colbert's wise and witty observation warms my heart. If the National Archives and Records Administration's informing the Justice Department about all those missing super-secret documents leads to the indictment and conviction of the former guy for violating the Espionage Act, among others, we'll be seeing Karma raised to … Continue reading Who Could Take Down the Felon-in-Waiting? Librarians!
Moms, Kids, and the Makeup of Congress
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com In this intolerable heat, I’ve been thinking a lot about poor single moms and their children. Lacking air conditioning, where do they go for relief? How do they manage? Last year, the Federal government gave tangible help to these families and others. One of the most enlightened, potentially most important … Continue reading Moms, Kids, and the Makeup of Congress
Some Happy Governmental Stuff…(and not about that guy)
In place of "Dems in Disarray," I'm looking for the mainstream media stories reporting "Dems in Array!"
A Russia Expert on Ukraine: WE MUST NOT BUY INTO PUTIN’S NARRATIVE
Photo by Mathias Reding on Pexels.com The horrors that Putin is wreaking on the Ukrainian people are increasing, but this news is no longer at the forefront. Though the fading attention is understandable and probably inevitable, it’s just what Putin is counting on. He is playing the long game, figuring that once the forbidding winter … Continue reading A Russia Expert on Ukraine: WE MUST NOT BUY INTO PUTIN’S NARRATIVE
HE MADE IT ALL HAPPEN! A Post-(Eighth)January 6th Hearing Acrostic
H ere, for the world to see, is theE vidence that removes all doubt: The M AGA-LOW-man-baby satA nd watched his worst-laid plan againstD emocracy sputter and wither while heE njoyed chaos by the cruel/clueless. I t’s not enough to say “He did nothingT o stop them”—he did A ll he could to pump them … Continue reading HE MADE IT ALL HAPPEN! A Post-(Eighth)January 6th Hearing Acrostic
What’s the Matter in Kansas? Abortion Law Trickery Likely to Spread
Photo by Kelly on Pexels.com I noted in my post “How to Be a Part of the Solution” that an organization I work with, PostCardsToVoters, is seeking to inform Kansas voters about the intricacies of a proposed state constitutional amendment on abortion. Significantly, this amendment would reverse the state Supreme Court’s 2019 ruling that the … Continue reading What’s the Matter in Kansas? Abortion Law Trickery Likely to Spread
“Bright April” and the Librarian of Congress–and All We Must Protect
This is a story about a young girl who saw herself in a picture book for the first time—and went on to great prominence in our nation. It’s a story of the power of books, libraries, and librarians—and, by extension, the perverse acknowledgment of that power in the attempts to block it by a growing … Continue reading “Bright April” and the Librarian of Congress–and All We Must Protect
How to Be a Part of the Solution
If you're feeling upset and frustrated about events you feel you can't control, consider how you might volunteer to effect change. And please don't tell me "I voted in 2020 and nothing's perfect." Democracy is worth the sustained effort to move it forward. This is a critically important election.
“I No Longer Recognize My Country…”
I have increasingly come across the sad expression: “I no longer recognize my country.” I not only understand that expression; I also share it. We are being buffeted by a series of events that are searing to live through. We used to be so proud to be Americans. How did things go so terribly wrong?
“Something Is Not Right Around the Court…”: Reblogging a 2020 Post
At the hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's ultra-conservative nominee to replace the late liberal giant Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Dem, RI) gave a remarkably clear and extremely important tutorial on the forces that are really moving the Supreme Court's decision-making in ways large and small...I hope you will view this video, which succinctly captures so much about why our government is failing to meet the needs of the American people.
Gun Safety: Small Step Forward; Big Step Back, But We Made a Difference!
The Supreme Court majority has just struck down a very sensible gun safety law--just as the often calcified Senate toddled toward a modest, though significant, breakthrough. Undeterred by my lack of legal credentials, I'm gonna venture that the American people had a say in both developments. Please bear with me...
This Stalwart Republican’s Words, “Chiseled in Stone,” May Help Save Our Democracy
When retired Appellate Court Judge J. Michael Luttig began his slow, laborious statement as a witness at the January 6 Committee hearings, I worried he’d lose half the viewing/listening audience. I could picture the outwardly composed committee members passing frantic messages back and forth, trying to figure out how to handle this important witness. Judge … Continue reading This Stalwart Republican’s Words, “Chiseled in Stone,” May Help Save Our Democracy
The January 6th Committee Hearings Are Must-See TV!
Here's a veryvery brief summary of the Second Hearing.
The Capitol Police Gave Their All
In Honor of Caroline Edwards, Witness at the January 6th Committee's First Public Hearing, and Her Colleagues
We Will Hear About “The Unthinkable” in Just Two Days
If anyone reading this post has not been planning to watch the January 6 Committee hearings--or listen to them--I urge you to do so. If you’re not available, tape the sessions for later viewing. Even if you’ve turned off politics, it’s imperative that you inform yourself now—for the good of us all.
Some Wisdom About Gun Policy–and Everything Else
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com “All healthy societies are ready to sacrifice the existential moment for their children’s future and for children after those. The sense of the future is behind all good policies. Unless we have it, we can give nothing either wise or decent to the world.” —quotation attributed to CP Snow … Continue reading Some Wisdom About Gun Policy–and Everything Else
How Can a Politician Campaign to Win Your Vote?
In this critically important November election, some very extreme candidates who spout the Big Lie are running against some very reasonable ones. How do the reasonable ones appeal to voters, who are the vast majority?
An Alternative Replacement Theory…
From a 2019 series of tweets Did you know that "they" are paying their life savings to smugglers, traveling long distances under dangerous and horrific conditions, risking deportation when they reach the US—all because they are so desperate to cast a fraudulent vote? This is the newest Republican 100% false scare tactic to persuade Americans … Continue reading An Alternative Replacement Theory…
Spreading the Lie “for Power, Political Gain and for Profit”
In President Biden's significant speech to the Buffalo community in anguish following the rampage by a white supremacist, he was forthright about the "poison...running through our body politic" and called out those who profit from it.
Whoa! What’s Going On Here?
Remember the notorious Access Hollywood video that surfaced in 2016, in which the former President and current Republican party cult leader joked about grabbing women inappropriately? Many of us naively thought that would automatically disqualify him. Alas! We’ve learned of any number of alleged sexual improprieties by the former guy. As of 2020, 26 women … Continue reading Whoa! What’s Going On Here?
What a “Weird Moment” We’re In…
Photo by Duanu00e9 Viljoen on Pexels.com (Excerpts below from historian Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American newsletter, May 2, 2022) “Tonight, news broke of a leaked draft of what appears to be Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s majority decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision establishing access to abortion as a … Continue reading What a “Weird Moment” We’re In…
A Great American’s Final Warning to Us
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtDgkjdJpuI Madeleine Korbel Albright, our nation’s first woman Secretary of State, knew authoritarianism up close and so very personal. Born in Czechoslovakia, she arrived in the US—on the ship SS America—with her diplomat father and family when she was eleven years old. At that young age, she’d already survived the Nazis' blitz of London and … Continue reading A Great American’s Final Warning to Us
Should the US Provide Frozen Russian Assets to Ukraine?
https://twitter.com/tribelaw/status/1515134737421119493 Experts' views of the Russians' horrific war against Ukraine have changed over the weeks of battle--and the once-impossible scenario depicting the Ukrainians actually stopping the Russians has gained favor. Now, with the Russians claiming they plan to push on to overtake Moldova, the threat of a widening war that the US has tried to … Continue reading Should the US Provide Frozen Russian Assets to Ukraine?
That Elon Musk/Twitter Brouhaha: Why Should We Care?
NOTE: I wrote this piece on Friday, planning to post in on Wednesday. My original title was "Twitter, Twitter, What Have You Done?" But this morning's news changes all that in what may be a more ominous way.
“Free Speech Under Attack”: The House Spotlights Book Banning and Academic Censorship
Tomorrow (April 7), my favorite legislator will swing into action to breathe new life into the First Amendment. Former Constitutional Law Professor and Constitution devotee Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, will begin hearings to expose and investigate the nationwide attempts to throttle free speech in schools and public libraries.
A Teaching Justice: Why America Needs Judge Jackson Now!
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com In the midst of the loud, dreadful—and grossly distorted—attacks on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, one of her many admirable qualities impressed me the most. Judge Jackson, the daughter of educators, is a superb educator as well. I found myself fascinated by her explanations … Continue reading A Teaching Justice: Why America Needs Judge Jackson Now!
The Senate Astonishes: Votes Unanimously…and Gets Things Exquisitely Wrong…
You’ve no doubt heard about the Senate’s vote last week on the “Sunshine Protection Act.” This extraordinary bit of bipartisanship would make daylight savings time (DST) permanent beginning in 2023. After that, we’d no longer “fall back.” One more “spring forward”—and there we’ll stay. Forever sprung. And that’s a good thing? Maybe not.
The Heroic Zelensky in Happier Times
https://twitter.com/VeraMBergen/status/1498814410911006723?s=20&t=Dk0uqy0THzs3KICGmMekuw The Ukraine President when he was just playing one on TV. This is a clip from "Servant of the People," the TV show starring Volodymyr Zelensky in which he portrayed a teacher who was elected President of Ukraine after a video of him as a corruption fighter in the show went viral. His performance … Continue reading The Heroic Zelensky in Happier Times
Bearing Witness, Asking for More…
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com I am sitting in my comfortable warm home, a sliver of sunlight illuminating the papers on my desk, the sounds outside confined to the occasional passing car and disparate birdsongs. I am writing one day before the US Congress will hear an impassioned speech delivered by the individual who has … Continue reading Bearing Witness, Asking for More…
AG Garland and That Pesky Matter…
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com This post was originally a rather formal "Open Letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland." I began by praising him for the extraordinary courage and skill he showed in prosecuting the horrific 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and said I'd heard a number of his former colleagues attest to his intellect, … Continue reading AG Garland and That Pesky Matter…
“Legitimate Political Discourse”?? –A Befuddled Acrostic
Listen: The RNC’s shockingEvaluation of the 1/6 Insurrection as aGarden-variety political discussionIs—in two words—nutty scary. IThink we need a collective gut checkIn which we figure out why soMany Americans would again willinglyAssign the Ship of State to actors who’llTitanically steer toward (melting) icebergsEven as its keel has just been stabilized. Please explain the “enthusiasm gap”Observed … Continue reading “Legitimate Political Discourse”?? –A Befuddled Acrostic
“We the Students” Want to Read Banned Books!
Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com In one of my previous lives as a freelance writer, I was active in the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). One of ASJA’s yearly efforts was a celebration of the freedom to read through commemorating Banned Books Week, which you can read about here. One year, I … Continue reading “We the Students” Want to Read Banned Books!
A Film’s Backward Look Evokes a Brutal Post-Roe v Wade Future
A powerful new documentary about courageous women in the 1960s has messages for us today.
“The Enemy Is Within” (An Acrostic for Nancy Pelosi–Revisited With Hope)
Commemorating the January 6, 2021 insurrection, I reprint my acrostic for Nancy Pelosi and colleagues--and exhort us all to overcome our fatigue to actively protect our fragile democracy.
“We Heed This Old Spirit In A New Day’s Lyric”
Pondering how to approach the New Year with the shadow of January 6th lingering, I derive inspiration from the young poet we met at President Biden's inauguration: Amanda Gorman.
Thankfulness/Gratitude–and a More Optimistic “…Way to Think About What’s Going On” in America
How developing and expressing a sense of gratitude can help us physically, psychologically--perhaps even politically!
President Biden as Dynamo (!)
He’s the guy with falling poll numbers. Pundits have laid Virginia’s gubernatorial loss at his feet and have depicted his Presidency as a growing disaster. The right wing claims he’s senile and bumbling (unlike their purported hero, who sounds increasingly unhinged with every public appearance). But the person I saw on the news this morning was an ebullient leader who faced the press in a winning lap after the bipartisan passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. He was cogent, calm, and humorous as he described the contents of this bill that will become law as soon as he signs it.
“Dems in Disarray” or the New American Zeitgeist?
We're at the brink of what could be transformative change that vastly improves American lives--and may even reduce polarization. Why then, are we simply hearing about timelines and bottom lines--and not the significance of this legislation and what it would accomplish?
A “Reality Check” on Afghanistan
Journalist Eugene Robinson has written what I believe is one of the wisest opinion pieces about events in Afghanistan.
Some Valuable Insights re: Afghanistan
The surprising and deeply disturbing events in Afghanistan deserve in-depth examination. Historian Heather Cox Richardson provides some background and insights.
The Demagogues Are Having a Field Day
With screeds to "defund the military" coming from extremists, we need to hear from voices of reason to counter these politically motivated attacks.
Is One Michigan County an Important Electoral Bellwether?
I just read a 62-page article (big type, lots of pictures!) in POLITICO Magazine that provides an interesting perspective—especially after the Republican Senators’ predictable but still distressing refusal to even allow discussion of S.1, the voting rights bill. The article, written by Zack Stanton, is titled: “As Long as the Party Embraces Trump, It’s Going to Have Trouble.”
“The Worst Billionaires Are the Good Billionaires”
Have billionaires received a public relations coup from "The Giving Pledge" that averts attention from their failure to pay their fair share in taxes--and the urgent need for tax reform to fund priorities most Americans agree we need?
What We Can Do About the Sustained Attack on Voting Rights (Reblog from TokyoSand)
I am reblogging this post by TokyoSand at politicalcharge.org: it includes valuable links for action to counter the anti-democratic efforts by Republicans nationwide to suppress the vote.
OOPS–The Dark Money Folks Learn Conservatives Hate Dark Money Too!
“Unfortunately, we’ve found that [inhibiting billionaires from buying elections] is a winning message, for both the general public and also conservatives. It was most persuasive, convincing, riled them up the most.” New Yorker writer Jane Mayer acquired a leaked tape about a meeting of right-wing groups intent on killing HR.1.
This Time, Some Better News About Guns: A Reblog in Appreciation of the Biden-Harris Plans to Treat Our Public Health Epidemic
As the outlook for sensible gun safety legislation isn't positive right now, we are fortunate that the Biden-Harris administration has created a significant six-part program to reduce gun violence. Parts of it mesh well with information I came across in 2019 about evidence-based programs that were working, but lost their funding. Both the relevant aspects of the new administration plan and my earlier blog appear here.
“Impending Doom” or Expanding Our Vaccinated Herd?
Dr. Rochelle Walensky said we're so close to reining in the pandemic, but she feels impending gloom if we return to our pre-COVID ways too soon. Here are resources to help us encourage those who may be reluctant to be vaccinated.--including ourselves.
Georgia’s Voter Suppression Law Is Only the Beginning
When President Biden stressed in his first formal press conference that our times are being marked by the battle between autocracy and democracy, he wasn't just speaking about other countries. He was stressing what's happening right here, in the US. Right now! I am reblogging this post from TokyoSand at politicalcharge.org because it contains both the sense of urgency and some valuable resources for anyone who wants to learn more and/or donate to the pro-democracy Georgia organizations who are at the forefront of the battle.
WOULD YOU–WILL YOU–SUPPORT “THE DEMOCRACY PLEDGE”?
“Voters’ voices are loud, but for corporate America, consumers’ voices are louder. So, folks, let’s let them hear our voice.” The speaker is Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor and cofounder of a new effort called “The Democracy Pledge.” He's describing this campaign on a podcast.
“This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things…”
The extraordinary Heather McGhee, author of a new book, The Sum of Us, describes how racism hurts white people as well as Black Americans, and how we can work to change the dynamic for the good of us all.
SAVING OUR DEMOCRACY, PART 4 (and the last on this subject for now)
In truth, I hadn’t planned a fourth segment. But when I turned to Friday’s New York Times editorial page, this headline called to me: “Save Democracy: Kill the Filibuster.” So even though the filibuster has been discussed in the first three parts of this series, how could I ignore this piece? It sorta felt this was the right place to rest the series—at least for now. (And a four-part series has a kind of nice symmetry to me.)
SAVING OUR DEMOCRACY, PART 3
Marc Elias was instrumental in defeating the stream of litigation filed in behalf of Donald Trump in his efforts to overturn the election. Elias has warnings for us now, and he's both litigating and educating Americans about the urgency in protecting our democracy.
SAVING OUR DEMOCRACY, PART 2
A friend who’s not all that interested in politics asked me the other day why, if President Biden ran on bipartisanship, everything he’s proposing is now being rejected by the Republicans. I responded that the American Rescue Plan, which will soon pass the Senate and be signed into law, has nationwide bipartisan support: 75% of the public support it, including 60% of Republicans. But the Republicans in both chambers have not been willing to legislate for some time. Thomas L. Friedman, a New York Times opinion columnist who I find generally hews toward the middle politically, minced no words in a recent essay titled: ”What Trump, San Francisco and the Deer in My Backyard Have in Common.” The subtitle was “Democracy depends on understanding the connection.” (emphases mine throughout)
SAVING OUR DEMOCRACY, PART 1
NOTE: While we are becoming accustomed to the idea of a "normal" president doing presidential work, we must not be complacent. The battle to return the Trumpian Republican Party to power is in full swing--in both the national and state legislatures. As historian Heather Cox Richardson points out below, this is not--must not be--a partisan issue. I am printing Richardson's recent column below. I began to emphasize the passages I felt were most important by using the bold font--but found I was bolding just about every paragraph.
As we near the end of this year’s commemoration of Black History Month, it seems appropriate to pay tribute to a woman whose life story is that of a Black American girl who rose from humble beginnings in the segregated South to a place of honor and influence in our country. I hope you’ll spend 10 minutes watching this TedTalk video of Linda Thomas-Greenfield, our newly appointed ambassador to the United Nations, as she describes overcoming adversity and being strengthened by it--with compassion, kindness, and a smile.
Winning Over White Supremacists–One Hater at a Time
I am writing this piece with images of the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol still very fresh in my mind. It is a huge stretch to think of those brutal, sadistic, remorseless thugs and imagine summoning an iota of compassion for them. But others of their ilk--and many psychologists and researchers--say that’s precisely what’s needed. They call themselves the “formers”: former Klansman, neo-Nazis, or generic white supremacists or other racial extremists who are now devoted to guiding those who’d followed similar paths to come to a better life.
PRESIDENT BIDEN IS KEEPING HIS PROMISES
I don’t think it’s too early to give a shoutout to our new President for seizing the initiative on important issues that he stressed in his campaign. He started off with a dizzying flourish of Executive Orders, which are cited here. He’s working tirelessly and smartly to demonstrate to the Republicans in Congress how popular his $1.9 trillion Covid assistance package is by going directly to the people. He’s met with mayors and governors who are desperate for help from the federal government. Tuesday night, he went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for his first town hall as President, answering questions from the public in great detail. Some polls are now showing that 75% of the public support this bill.
This haiku carries with it my gratitude to the House impeachment managers, all superb, but especially lead manager Congressman Jamie Raskin, whose brilliance, dedication, and patriotism shone despite his grieving the death of his son.
Keeping Our Eyes Where We Don’t Want Them To Be…
When I saw my gastro Monday morning, I told him how much better I was feeling. And the light bulb had gone off. My GI system almost instantaneously expressed its enormous gratitude and relief when Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the Oval Office “You’re not the only one of my patients who’ve said that,” the good doctor informed me. All this prelude is to tell you how much I want to forget about Donald Trump. I embrace his absence with my head, heart, and gut. Good riddance and all that! But I strongly suspect that we must keep that weather eye open.
“The Enemy Is Within” (An Acrostic for Nancy Pelosi)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, reacting to elected members who are threatening their fellow Representatives, said that "The Enemy Is Within." This acrostic is an homage to Pelosi, her colleagues and staffers--some across the aisle--who are laboring under the terrible circumstances her comment laments.
MY INAUGU-AURAL EXPERIENCE
Awakened Inauguration Day Elation! Excitedly attuned in to pre-event chatter OH-N-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!! TV peculiarly, mercilessly image-free
Pre-Inauguration Messages of Hope
Apart from grieving for our nation, I feel a personal sadness for our President-elect. He is by so many accounts one of the most decent, compassionate, honorable individuals in politics today. His experience makes him uniquely qualified to address the nearly overwhelming problems our nation faces. He has wisely chosen extraordinary individuals to help him in his formidable task. He has reached the pinnacle of an ambition he's held for his entire adult life. Similarly, our Vice President-elect. This should be an unvarnished time of personal pride for Kamala Harris. The first woman, African-American, individual of Indian descent to ascend to this high office, she has demonstrated her brilliance, strength, accomplishments, and yes--compassion. Yet when Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr is sworn in as our 46th President tomorrow outside our nation's Capitol, and Kamala Harris becomes that multiple glass ceiling-breaker Vice President, the area will look like a war zone because of insurrection by extremists goaded by Biden's predecessor.
President Obama Places the Capitol Police Actions in Context
Former President Barack Obama’s denunciation of the Capitol riot and Trump’s incitement, aided by Republican elected officials, gained a great deal of press. You can read it here. But there was less coverage of one of his tweets that I felt was extremely important.
AMERICA: WHAT DO WE DO NOW? (Part 2)
An incredibly brave Not-Soon-Enough-President Biden boldly denounced both Trump-the-inciter and the “domestic terrorists” (good for him for using the term) who ransacked the Capitol last Wednesday. It’s worth noting that Biden has stated that he’d decided he had to run for President after Charlottesville, when Trump referred to the white supremacists as some of the “good people on both sides.” Even before he selected Kamala Harris as his running mate, they had both framed this election against Trump as the “battle for the soul of the nation.” And though the election is over, that battle is not.
AMERICA: WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
I thought I was done with Trump. I hoped never to write about the man again. But what he and his supporters are threatening to do to our democracy today is beyond the beyond. How do we respond? And, my thoughtful readers from other countries whose lives are intertwined with ours, I welcome your perspectives too. We clearly need all the help we can get.
IS IT TIME TO VIEW SOCIAL MEDIA AS FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER?
If you heard that more than 89 million households worldwide had watched a particular film on Netflix during the first week after its release, you’d think something monumental was occurring, wouldn’t you? The Social Dilemma, a documentary-drama about the role of technology in our lives, garnered all those viewers. ...“Nothing vast enters the world of mortals without a curse.”
Last night, I finished reading Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. The author, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., is a Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. ... Though Glaude speaks of Baldwin’s rage, and his own rage, the rage that came to mind when I started this piece is mine.
Wondering Why the Election Ran So Smoothly After All? Here’s One Big Reason…
Russian meddling…Chinese meddling…even Iranian meddling. Deliberate sabotage of the US Postal Service equipment and personnel practices. Announced plans that would suppress the vote in predominantly minority areas by diminishing the number of available voting locations.... “Congress really failed our election officials,” said Liz Howard of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
I thank blogger Judy Dykstra-Brown at lifelessons, who first posted this powerful, must-see video. Please keep in mind that the film was shown in 2016. So much devastation has occurred in the interim to heighten the urgency of its message.
Think Biden Might Become a Consequential President? He Already Has…
A Slightly Giddy Little Ditty--Dressed in White
In this Centennial Year of Women’s Suffrage
A guy named Joe gave the celebration a nudge
A Bunch of Reasons for Which I’m Thankful…
This is long, but if you really want to get a sense of where President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are in terms of their thinking about America's place in the world--and the interrelationship between foreign policy and our nation's families--it's well-worth watching. I'm thinking not only of American readers of my blog who may not have seen this presentation, but also our many friends around the world who have been fearful and flabbergasted as they've watched the current administration over the past four years.
Trying to Understand This Election: “What’s the Matter With Kansas?,” 2.0?
I began this post hoping to find some information to help me fathom these election results—and then present what I’ve learned to you in the hope that you’ll respond with your insights...But along the way, the picture got considerably murkier.
“Joe Biden’s Magic” -or- What Can We Expect From the New President?
With inspiration from writer Anand Giridharadas, here are thoughts about how President-elect Joe Biden may govern as President Joe Biden.
Post-Election Good News…
IT'S OFFICIAL: JOSEPH ROBINETTE BIDEN, JR., IS NOW THE 46TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. There will be much discussion about the meaning, trends, and implications of this election, and the results were not without disappointments. But it's too soon for all those debates. At this point, I'm simply offering my top-of-mind list of what I perceive to be the positives for our country.
A Non-pharmacologic Anti-Anxiety Election Day Presentation by the Biden Team
The presentation below should calm jangled nerves--whether or not you choose to watch the returns.
“The Joe Biden Most Americans Don’t Get To See”
[Note from Annie: I think the article below, which appeared in The Washington Post on October 24, provides a helpful addition to the public’s understanding of Joe Biden from the perspective of someone who worked closely with him--in this case, on foreign policy.
This Huge Issue Is Also On The Ballot…
There are tons of issues on the ballot when we cast our votes for either Donald Trump or Joe Biden. One of these issues has vast ramifications in our society. It’s complex, and I can’t do justice to it here. This isn't a new issue, but I think it’s just beginning to get the attention it deserves...It’s how we define masculinity in America. Specifically, it’s what’s called “toxic masculinity” or “hyper-masculinity.” (It has nothing to do with gender: it can be found among some gay men as well as heterosexual men.)
“Something Is Not Right Around the Court…”
At the hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's ultra-conservative nominee to replace the late liberal giant Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Dem, RI) gave a remarkably clear and extremely important tutorial on the forces that are really moving the Supreme Court's decision-making in ways large and small...I hope you will view this video, which succinctly captures so much about why our government is failing to meet the needs of the American people.
“BATTLE for the SOUL of the NATION”
I am including this video of the speech Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden delivered at Gettysburg in its entirety because I think it gives a good overview of the man and his values. I hope you’ll spend the full 22 minutes to watch it....I am as eager that it be seen and heard by folks outside the US as by American voters because I know the world needs reassurance that most of us in the US have not gone crazy.
Expanding the Definition of “Pro-Life”
I noticed it first when I watched Elizabeth Neumann speak about her reasons for resigning from her position as the Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary of Threat Prevention and Security Policy. She was tasked with following right-wing threats inside the United States, and she emphatically stated that President Trump had made her job harder.
THE TRUMPIAN AUDIT…WITH SOME POST-DEBATE COMMENTS
NOTE: I composed the acrostic below before last night’s debacle. I thought about not posting it because it seems almost quaint today. However, as I mull over Trump’s performance in the debate, I wonder whether the recent disclosures of his mounting financial problems—and the evidence many of us have long suspected that his alleged empire and fabulous wealth are in fact a house of cards—contributed to his unhinged performance.
A Tale of Two Calamities
Oh, the irony! This is the week that my husband and I were scheduled to be in Alaska. The purpose of the cruise on a small ship was to learn from expert lecturers and see firsthand the devastation of climate change on the animals and environment. We felt a sense of urgency to make this trip while the locale was still viable. Obviously, the trip was cancelled due to COVID-19. We were supposed to meet the tour guide and group in Seattle, where the air quality a few days ago was rated the third worst in the world. In the scheme of things, I’m certainly not complaining about our lost vacation. We are safe in our home. But in the larger sense…