Its December 18th, do you know where your podcast is? Ok so it’s not December 18th. Due to the wonderfully automated customer service at AT&T our material has been held hostage by Internet issues. Listen to episode 39 for a full drubbing of AT&Taint. Thankfully we are back on line, tired, frustrated, and weary of our culture’s reliance on technology. On this date (you know what we mean) back in 1620 the Mayflower made its final stop at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. After originally reaching Cape Cod on November 11th and exploring the coast for over month for a place to “settle”, the Puritans were finally ready to begin the process of making their new home. Their choice seemed to be an inhospitable one as 50 of the original 102 members of the colony were dead by spring of the next year. The only saving grace was Massasoit - the tribal chief of the Wampanoag tribe that had survived in the region since the glaciers receded at the end of the ice age (roughly 10,000 years) - who helped the Puritans learn to grow what grew there and kept them alive. Certainly, if given the chance, he would take a mulligan on that one! Read more
Merry Christmas Congress- you failed again. Unable to come up with a deal to avoid a possible fiscal cliff, or the enactment of a toxic compromise, you go home to your families and constituents empty-handed. Again, Speaker Boehner has been unable to pull together his caucus and participate in negotiations with the White House as an adult.
After a remarkably difficult year with a horrifying ending, Americans are exhausted and battle weary. We want our leaders to do their jobs and legislate. That’s what they were elected to do- make laws that keep our country moving forward. But Republicans continue to obstruct progress towards economic fairness by protecting the privileged. I thought we were done with this.
The truth hurts, as the Ghost of Christmas Present demonstrates to Francis in this holiday classic “Scrooged.” Metaphorically speaking, Congressional Republicans need a toaster-whack to sober them up to the reality of how everyone else in America is feeling. We want a fair deal- NOW! Read more
I know a police officer who is very socially conservative. He’s a Baptist who believes that homosexuality is wrong, as most evangelical do, if not all. We had the usual discussion about gay people and he expressed his disapproval as a Christian. One day I asked him a question, and knowing how he believed, I was surprised by his answer.
He and his wife had a newborn son and I asked him what he would do if his son turned out gay. He told me that he would still love him and accept him for whatever he was — not the answer I expected.
When a child, at whatever age, tells a parent they’re gay, the parent will deal with it in either a positive way or a negative way. When I told my mother, she chose to deny it by telling me it was just a phase I was going through. When she finally could no longer deny it, she reacted negatively by telling me “you need to get right with God”.
On the other hand, a friend of mine who was gay, told his mother he was gay, and though she cried, she told him that she wanted him to be proud of who he was and never be ashamed, she loved him just the same. It affected him in such a positive way and it showed in his life. Read more
Nothing since 9/11 has affected so many Americans with so much grief and heartache. The horrific mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut reaches most of us — Democrats and Republicans — deep down and on a personal level; we can only imagine what the families of the victims are going through. Our hearts go out to them, through much sorrow and the shedding of many tears.
Personally, the tragedy has made me feel so helpless and I have cried my eyes out too many times to count. Children should never have to face such an awful ordeal.
The mass killing at Sandy Hook elementary school — unlike other tragedies of this type — revealed a common ground between all of us: it is our children — do not hurt our children. Read more
What a great day!!
First of all we watched the spectacle of the GOP openly revolting against Speaker Boehner’s ludicrous "Plan B" stunt.
As one Republican put it - "Voting for a tax increase on millionaires is the most difficult vote of their careers for many Republican House members".
Also not voted on was chief weasal Eric Cantor’s proposal to change the "fiscal cliff" cuts to military spending and instead cut food stamps, services for the disabled, school lunches etc.
Is there still any doubt that these House members are intent on strangling government rather than governing?
Better we should all hold hands and jump over the mythical cliff. Democrats can then immediately introduce legislation to restore the tax cuts for those making less than $250K a year and dare the GOP House to vote against it.
Subsequent to this fiasco, we watch the Fuehrer of the NRA making his "meaningful" contribution to the gun debate.
All schools should be armed.
Just frikking brilliant.
No discussion of banning weapons of war or high capacity magazines. No discussion of closing gun show loopholes. No. No. No.
Nope. Read more
As many might remember in July of this year we released the results of our presidential electoral model to predict the results of the 2012 election. As opposed to many predictive models out there (Nate Silver’s 538 blog being the best known) that rely on publicly available data up to the day of the election, our model is based mainly on past results and demographic changes in the country. We do not use any polling or factor in who the candidates are.
The model not only performed exceptionally well at predicting the national support Obama would receive, but we also predicted the state that would put Obama over the 270 threshold (Colorado). Read more
While the season calls for Peace on Earth, we mourn victims in Newtown and everywhere. Instead of focusing on Goodwill for All, conservatives resist sensible Newtown, defend assault weapons and call to arm teachers.
We cheer George Bailey and Bedford Falls, yet our President offers a deal to put seniors in a new generation of Pottersvilles.
We sing Let It Snow and of Winter Wonderland, but as the obvious devastation of climate change goes unchecked, unchallenged & unchanged, fewer of us will experience a White Christmas.
A few ghosts taught Ebeneezer Scrooge to change. How many will it take to convince America?
This isn't how our Christmas Carol's supposed to go. Let's find the courage to share different stories in the true spirit of this holiday season.
Come all ye faithful to join the chorus of like-minded lefties hoisting liberal libations at your local progressive social club.
Find - or start - a chapter near you.
In late November, during a closely watched public debate, the Senate voted by a wide, bi-partisan margin to ban indefinite detention of American citizens. But now that the legislative process has moved behind closed doors, it’s a completely different story.
The vote in November took place on an amendment from Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D, CA] to the 2013 National Defense Authorization bill (2013 NDAA). It was designed to overturn Sec. 1021 of last year’s Defense bill, which provided congressional support and formal codification for the military’s presumed authority to detain American citizens who they suspect of being terrorists without charge or trial.
“An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States,” the amendment stated. Read more
Little children at Sandy Hook Elementary were told by police to "hold hands and shut your eyes" as they exited the building following Friday’s mass shooting in Connecticut, according to witnesses. Wanting to spare students from further trauma, officials tried to protect them from the grisly scene. What these kids endured was already so far outside the boundaries of normal, so excruciatingly traumatic, perhaps they will never be the same; I don’t believe any of us will be.
America is one large community- a family of 315 million souls, and it seems every one of us felt this tragedy as if it’d happened one town over. We watched every news update, called our loved ones, and cried at our televisions and laptops. The folks in Newtown are in countless thoughts and prayers. We send so much love to this community, the force of it should measure on the Richter scale; yet no amount of concern can alleviate the pain this town is feeling, especially the 26 families who lost a loved one. Read more
I posted this after Aurora. Unfortunately it fits again.
And so we have another "massacre", this time in Aurora, Colorado, maybe 20 miles from Columbine. Pretty soon we can just start characterizing these barbarities as "incidents".
This one is life imitating art. Apparently the young man colored his hair red and called himself "The Joker"; Batman’s arch nemesis was going to spoil the midnight showing.
Our young man had no trouble at all buying four guns at local gun stores, and chemical weapons, full body armor, a gas mask and some six thousand rounds of ammunition over the internet. He had it all shipped directly to his school dorm and to his apartment - over 60 deliveries by UPS alone. Fifteen thousand dollar’s worth of shit.
Did anyone ever ask why this kid, who wasn’t a cop or in the military needed full body armor?
Naah. This is a free country.
As it turns out our brilliant neuro-scientist was a loner and totally forgettable if you passed him on a street or saw him on a bar stool. No criminal record. No Face Book page; no girl friend; no close buddies apparently.
Forgettable. Read more
Tuning in to the local news a couple days ago, I was startled to see live coverage of SWAT teams overtaking Clackamas Town Center. A lone gunman had opened fire in the food court, next to Macy’s. Instantly, I began to cry; and thumbed through my memory to figure out if anyone I knew would be at the mall that afternoon. Checking in with Facebook, I saw no upsetting updates, only condolences from my friends to victims and their families. The most recent occurrence of what I now call Traumatic Culture Syndrome had spared my loved ones, but others were not so lucky.
The young man who shot and killed three people (including himself), and injured a fifteen year old girl, could have been any volatile individual with access to an assault rifle. It happens with stunning regularity in America. Though the weapon he used had been stolen, it could have just as easily not been- and the person he took it from probably purchased the deadly weapon with incredible ease. Welcome to Trauma Culture. Read more
The GOP say the only way to address the debt is to weaken Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security, but we know that healthy, secure Americans make a healthier, more secure America.
Deficit hawks want to stop investing in our country and privatize our resources and public works, though we know a strong national infrastructure is key to a strong, national economy.
Tea Partiers obstruct needed disaster relief and laugh off spending on disaster preparation, yet we know a robust defense of our country will make a more profitable, predictable country.
They talk about being fiscally responsible, but doing it by physically irresponsible -- weakening our citizens, society & nation.
We need strong Americans & a strong America. Getting physically stronger is fiscally smarter. Let's get fiscal -- and get physical.
And let's get together for a liberal libation with like-minded lefties ready to chat at your local progressive social club.
Find - or start - a chapter near you.
I spend a fair amount of time on the Twitter micropublishing service, sharing links & ideas – to follow along, just click “subscribe” in the left-hand sidebar: Read more
The Mormon Church took an unprecedented step toward accepting gay people recently and though it is a positive move, it does not go far enough.
The church opened a website: mormonsandgays.org , which seems to be an attempt to reach out to Mormon gays and the gay community at large. The website’s official statement states:
“The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.”
I am glad that the Mormon Church has accepted the fact that gay people are born the way they are, which is a step in the right direction. What they do not seem to grasp, the same as Evangelicals and even Catholics do not grasp, is that gay people are not going to choose to live a life of celibacy because of whom they are. Read more