Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
I’ve been sending out Christmas cards since I was around 16 years old, when my mom told me I was old enough to start sending out my own cards. The cards I chose over the course of many,many, many years depended on a lot of things, but it never occurred to me—ever–to wonder if my choice of card would offend anyone.
Until Martin Bashir either resigned or was let go by MSNBC this week, I was a loyal fan. One of the reasons I watched Bashir is because the things that engaged him usually did the same for me. At my house, in the Eastern Time Zone, he was on at 4 PM, which meant whatever had happened that day had largely been dissected to death by the daytime pundits. But he had the ability to find something fresh and insightful and, yes, funny, about what was going on out there. Maybe it's his accent, his enunciation, his eyebrows--I don't know. He is a devilishly clever wordsmith--smarmy, but in a good way. I have been known to hurry things up just so I can get home in time to watch him.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Over the river and through the woods to grandson's house we go. I wrote this last night, so if there's confusion about the time line, that's why. Any Vegetarians in the crowd might want to skip this one.
On that day I was up in my sewing room, away from the TV. My four-year-old son was napping, and my 7-year-old daughter was in school. My husband was at work. It was early afternoon.
I heard the back door open and before I could start to the stairs, I could hear my neighbor, Gwen, shouting something, sobbing. I thought something must have happened to her mother, who had been ailing. By the time I got to her she could barely speak. "They shot the president! They shot Kennedy!"
Everybody knows the Walton family, the people who put the "Wal" in "Walmart", is the richest family in America. They're so rich you would have to pile up more than 40% of the wealth in the entire United States to even be on the same level. If each member of the family lived to be a thousand years old, they couldn't even begin to spend all of their fortune. So asking them to pay their employees a living wage and a few measly benefits is like asking them to give up, say, 1/10,000th of their fortune. (Don't quote me on that; I don't know that for absolute sure.)
But I'm ever the optimist, so I put these questions to them:
Yesterday I wrote about Opening Day for Michigan’s deer hunting season. But yesterday was also opening day for a hunting season not seen in Michigan for almost 50 years. Despite pushback from many different organizations, and petitions set up on a whole lot of petition sites, our grand Poobahs in Pure Michigan caved once again to special interests and instituted a hunting season for wolves.
Today marks the opening of hunting season here in Michigan’s north woods. The schools are closed in most upper state communities, including ours.
Opening Day is an annual holiday for the kids, even though only a small percentage of them will be out in the woods with guns. For many of them, today will be their initiation in deer camp, and it’s a day they’ve been waiting for all year. I don’t quite know when it started but I do know that up here it’s one of those holidays that is so sacrosanct nobody questions it.
They’ve elected a new mayor in Detroit, which, in other circumstances, might be a big deal, but since Detroit is under the thumb of a state-appointed emergency manager (who promptly–and probably unconstitutionally–took away all authority from every elected city official), the new mayor, Mike Duggan, will likely be mayor in name only. He’ll be invited to be in the first car in Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and, as the city’s Goodwill Embassador, he’ll be entrusted with handing out city souvenirs [Read more]
We're an odd bunch, we Americans. We've had a hate-hate relationship with the very rich for as long as we've existed as a country, but, damn their black hides, we can't stop taking care of them.
After all these years we've become used to sparring with the super-rich over how much they get to keep and how much they should share. They want to keep it all, and we know that. We want them to behave like responsible citizens, and they don't think they should have to.
Ted Cruz, that notorious commie-hunting senator from Texas channeling a certain notorious mid-20th century commie-hunting senator from Wisconsin, is just one in a long line of rock star politicians who think they've latched onto the best way to get their cockamamie ideas across: Get out there and make shocking accusations against either individuals or authority with such astounding stagecraft, the press, the media--indeed, a sizable section of the population--will become such slathering groupies they wo [Read more]
Note: Thanks to Alan Colmes, I am now a regular contributor on his website, Liberaland. He posted this piece this morning, so if you're interested in reading the complete piece it continues over there. Thanks.
In the next town over from us the recycling station is in a huge semi-trailer. You have to climb six narrow metal steps to get up into it, but there is an aisle you can walk down and there are huge open boxes in which to throw your stuff.  [Read more]
Leaving aside the usual suspects--the terrorist factions round the world, the seething Middle East mountain and desert folk--who are President Obama's worst enemies? The Republicans who saw it as their mission to keep him from winning a second term but failed? Those 30 members of the House and the Tea Party now holding the country hostage over an already approved health care plan nicknamed after this president? The Religious Righteous? The far Left disillusioned? The whites-only-as-long-as-they're-not-women crowd?
When 19-year-old Andrew Anderson started working at the Goodwill store in East Naples, Florida, he thought his job was pretty cool. He was working in a place where poor and low-income people came to buy the things they couldn't afford anywhere else.
"It makes you feel amazing," he said, "makes you feel you can actually be the person to help them."
Yesterday the Republicans in the House voted to slash 40 billion dollars in annual food stamp (SNAP) coverage over 10 years, putting some 3.8 million poor people in jeopardy of losing their pitiful but essential pennies-a-day government food support. (There are some 47 million people at the poverty level here in the United States. A shameful fact that should point out the absolute need to keep the SNAP program alive rather than killing it. But apparently in the People's House in Washington facts are sticky things to be ignored or stretched or blasted to smithereens.)
WHEN asked to explain why he was running for a seat in the Australian Senate while holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Julian Assange quoted Plato: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”Plato was “a bit of a fascist,” he said, but had a point.Imagine the chagrin Mr. Assange must feel now, given that not only did he fail to win a place in the Senate in the recent election, but he was less successful than Ricky Muir from the Motoring Enthusiasts Party. Mr. Muir, who won just 0.5 percent of the vote, is most famous for having posted a video on YouTube of himself having a kangaroo feces fight with friends.
Today marks the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. [Read more]