Ramona's picture

    How Do You Shame The Shameless?

    Every now and then I get to thinking about shame; about its legitimacy as a teaching tool ("Kids are starving in China and you won't eat your peas?"), about its necessity in a civilized society ("Shut the door! Were you born in a barn?"), and about its mean-spirited use as a weapon ("What kind of #$&*% are you, anyway?").

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Trump, Evangelicals and Showbiz Politics

    The great thing about Donald Trump is how he totally freaks out The New York Times while making CNN salivate.  The day after the debate, we get Frank Bruni bemoaning the blurred lines between politics and entertainment, an objection that makes me wonder where Bruni has been since the 1980s, when Trump ascended into the popular culture, Yes, CNN salivates at the prospect of a president that it can probably cover through sitcom, but let's not give into Bruni's yearning for a serious politics of yore that never was.

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    A Shameful Attack

    BrockReaders have pushed back against my varied criticisms of Hillary Rodham Clinton over the past few months. Some accuse me of cherry-picking her worst moments, e.g., her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq. Others claim that I have misconstrued various statements and votes over the past twenty years or that I arrogantly believe that I know better than her supporters what's best for them.

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    William and I #feelthebern

    SandersCrowdYesterday evening, my 15-year old son William and I drove out to Manassas, VA, to see and hear Bernie Sanders. The rally began at 7:30 officially with Sanders due to appear at about 8. Here are my thoughts and experiences as they occurred.

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    Hillary Clinton and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

    emptyroomFor years I have criticized, frequently harshly, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  I think she is arrogant, aloof, and self-regarding.  Her political convictions are thin and yielding. More often than not she has shied away from tackling humankind's two most serious problems - economic injustice and global warming - perhaps because she seeks and accepts support from international business elites and the fossil fuel industry. 

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    Ramona's picture

    The Hopelessness of Homelessness - A Guest Post

    The post below was written by my internet friend and fellow writer, syrbal-labrys.  She posted it on her own blog, Experiential Pagan, about a month ago but I only just discovered it last week.  I asked her if I could re-post it here and she graciously agreed.  

    We talk about the homeless a lot, but most often as distant observers who can only imagine what it must be like.  This is a story of an encounter and a rescue, with an ending as elusive as the reasons why:

    Ramona's picture

    Labor Day, Brought to You By Unions Everywhere

    This year I joined the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981/AFL-CIO (NWU).  I advocate for unions all the time, and this just puts the icing on the cake for me, but more than that, more than how it makes me feel, union membership joins us, arms linked, as we struggle to give our labor force the respect it deserves.  (Yes, even those workers who rail against unions.  We fight for them, too.  Because who else will?)

    As I do every Labor Day, I went looking for Labor Day mentions, and the first thing I found was a list of Labor Day quotes to use on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  Hey!  Great!  But after reading a few of them I noticed a pattern:  They were all about the rewards of hard work, the joys of labor, the shame of idleness.  Nothing about unions AT ALL.  On Labor Day. 

    Ramona's picture

    Please, Joe, Don't Run

    For years now I've been pushing for a Joe Biden run for the presidency.  Whenever I say Joe would make a better president than any candidate running, even people I like a lot have laughed at the idea.  They scoffed.  I kept pushing. 

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    Obama's Arctic Hypocrisy

    icebreakerPresident Obama is receiving praise for his fine-sounding speech at the Glacier Conference in Alaska Monday on the urgency of combating global warming.  If the soaring rhetoric, reminiscent of Obama circa 2008, were married to concrete action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, I'd be happy to join the acclaim.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    In Praise of Fred Rogers

    A county clerk down in Kentucky, Kim Davis, is refusing to do her job, getting herself thrown in jail for contempt, and posing as a martyr. Once again, an extremist and divisive version of Christianity, obsessed with minor points of doctrine and followed by only a minority of Christians, is presented to the American public as "Christianity." This is nonsense, of course. Only a tiny, tiny minority of Christians believe that handing same-sex couples a wedding license is somehow sinful.

    Ramona's picture

    The Nothingness of Donald Trump

    This will be short.  My eyes, dammit, are still bothering me, but not nearly as much as Donald Trump bothers me.  I HATE writing about Donald Trump, adding to the list of people who make him deliriously happy whenever we mention his name, but he hit a new low the other day, even for him, when he went after Hillary Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin, and then went after Hillary's aide's husband.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Guys, Hillary Clinton Is Going To Be A Great President

    I like Bernie, too.  I'm going to vote for him in the New York primary, unless he's out and has endorsed Hillary Clinton by then.  Call it my political Pascal's Wager.  If I vote for him and he wins, I'll be plenty happy.  But I'm also wagering in New York, where Hillary's popularity is intact. She's not likely to lose the New York primary.  So, there you go.  I like Bernie.

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    All that glitters is not Silver

    SandersNate Silver’s 538 deserves journalism’s worst timing award.  On August 11, 538’s Harry Enten all but crowned Hillary Democratic nominee claiming that the Bernie Sanders surge was “over“.  A few hours later, the first of two polls came out showing Sanders ahead by 7 in New Hampshire.

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    #berniesoblack

    Black Lives Matter organizers have launched Campaign Zero as part of their fight against police violence. At their website, they grade several of the Presidential candidates on a 10-point scale. Bernie Sanders rates highest with a score of 8. Hillary Clinton received a 2.

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    Is it time for Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the race for President?

    HillaryOver the past few days an awful lot of bad news about and for Hillary Clinton has come out. First the polls: In New Hampshire, she may well be behind Vermont's Senator Bernie Sanders. CNN and Fox polls of Democratic primary voters, released within the past few days show her support below 50% for the first time in this election cycle, including in must-win states Pennsylvania and Ohio. In two short weeks, Sanders halved her 36% lead nationally over him.

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    Ramona's picture

    Todd Courser: You're Sure That's Just Tea You're Drinking?

    Here's a question:  If you were a state lawmaker (male, married) known for sniffy, holier-than-thou, just awful Tea Party politics and you were having an affair with another sniffy holier-than-thou Tea Party lawmaker (female, married) and you realized you were about to get caught, how would you handle it?  Would you think, seriously, that the best way to deflect from the real affair was to invent a phony story about being accused of a liaison with a male prostitute and then get really pissed at the person spreading that story, even though that person was you?

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Fox News at the Crossroads: or, the Great GOP Divide

    Fox News got record-breaking ratings for its Republican debate in Cleveland. It got one of the top-ten highest cable TV ratings of all time; the other nine are sporting events, mostly big bowl games on ESPN. So Chris Christie and the boys got better ratings than Tony Soprano, and if you'd like to make your own Mad Men joke, here's the place for it. On the other hand, thousands of Fox viewers have denounced Fox's moderators as biased and unfair.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Black Lives Matter & It's Not The Economy, Egghead

    Over on another site, I instinctively defended the premise that the Black Lives Matter protesters were foolish, at best, for protesting at Bernie Sanders events. No real need to recap the arguments here, but I've since read some convincing explanations for why BLM should, in fact, target progressive events where they want to emphasize the importance of their message in the line-up of priorities being discussed.  Heck, while I immediately took the "don't shout him down, free speech doesn't work that way," stance, Sanders went back to the drawing board on his own policies and priorities.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Trumpamania

    Over at TPM, I wrote a piece about my enjoyment of Trump's using pro wrestling style rhetorical tactics against his fellow Republicans.  While I would, of course, like to see a steel chair, lead pipe or figure four leglock involved...

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    Mind the Gap!

    SandersClintonIn Wherefore the Gender Gap, I noted irony in the fact that women greatly prefer Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders given Hillary Clinton's initial reaction to deceptively edited video purporting to show Planned Parenthood conspiring to sell fetal parts. Clinton called the dishonest video “disturbing” and refused to rule out government hearings into Planned Parenthood's practices.

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