Archive for August, 2015


It is the media.  It is not the mainstream media, and it is not some post-hip sobriquet like the lamestream media which, face it, along with Repugnican, wingnut, Freeper, Faux News, and a host of other tired old terms has passed its hour to be purged from the language.  It is the media’s job to report.  As citizens, our job is to communicate among ourselves on what and how they report, which is another reason to avoid slangy terms.  There is nothing hip or particularly communicative about acting like teens speaking in adult-proof code.

Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.”  All of the media, these days, seem to be sending one message which, so far, only theSkimm has actually articulated.

theSkimm makes it easier to be smarter.

We’re the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We do the reading…

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Dreamers are young people who were raised here as Americans. They pledge allegiance, study hard, want to go to college,  serve in the military for the country they perceive as theirs, and seek the American dream.  Their only problem, and it is a big one, is that they were not born here, are not citizens and can be deported at any time to countries in which they have never lived and know little to nothing about.

They were brought here.  They did not come on their own and had no power or say over their immigration.  Many do not remember arriving.

Certain Republican candidates would round them up and ship them off wholesale to their countries of origin.

Today, a panda cub was born here.  Pandas generally give birth around mid to late August, so any pandas in the whole world who were about to have cubs have either done…

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This blog originated as a defense of Hillary Clinton when her fellow Dems turned on her for campaigning for Barack Obama, as she had promised to, after she suspended  her 2008 campaign.


Later, its mission expanded to defend all women, children, and other marginalized humans threatened in many ways by tyrannical forces.   Until now, the mission was to protect and defend humans.  Until now.

The 2016 campaign becomes a serious concern when candidates attack the Constitution of the United States.  Republicans have, for weeks, been dancing around a campfire where the 14th amendment goes up in flames.   The 13th through 15th amendments, ratified between 1865 and 1869, were the post-Civil War amendments considered central to full citizenship in our participatory democracy in the wake of the abolition of slavery.

Obviously, we can amend the Constitution, and we can repeal amendments.  The 14th amendment has stood as sacred in this country to millions following the wave of immigration from the late 1800s into the early 20th century.  Most Americans can claim an ancestor who arrived during those years, became a citizen, and provided us our American birthright.  Closing that door to the future is a risky venture indeed to be visited with great caution, foresight, and more than a little serious and lengthy reflection.  Amendments travel a long, tortured road to ratification.  No alteration of the Constitution should be approached in a cavalier fashion.  Ever.

Our participatory democracy differs from parliamentary democracies.  Our Constitution does not provide for a dissolution of the government and sudden call for new elections.  We have Constitutional provisions for establishing election rules and dates.  If there are reasons why a president cannot continue to serve, we have provisions and an order of succession within the Constitution to ensure the preservation of the elected government.

It is disconcerting to see and hear this.

Trump tells Alabama crowd he can’t wait for the election

Donald Trump commanded an fervent crowd Friday night in Mobile, Ala., as the Republican presidential front-runner said he wished voting for the 2016 election was already underway.

“You know, if this were another country, we could maybe call for an expedited election, right? I would love that,” the businessman told a crowd estimated at 20,000 people gathered at Ladd Peebles Stadium.

“Can we do that? I’d like to have the election tomorrow, I don’t want to wait,” Trump said.

The real estate tycoon, who entered the stage to “Sweet Home Alabama,” told the crowd that the Bible was his favorite book, ahead of his own “The Art of the Deal,” ….

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The short answer, Mr. Trump, is “No.  We cannot do that.”  Your campaign ceases to be serious and, in fact, no longer qualifies as suitable entertainment (rating at least a PG 13 at best) when you suggest sacking our most sacred secular document.  The Bible binds many people across the globe, that is true, and perhaps it is admirable that you say you like it so much.  What binds all Americans together is our Constitution.  It is our central document from which all of our rights derive.  It is what incorporates us as a people.  WE the people.

All over the public spectrum in this country, especially since the late 20th century, there has been growing speculation that the public sector might run more smoothly if taken over by successful members of the private sector.  There is one thing of which those in the public sector and service remain ever mindful, and that is the oath that many of us must take in order to fulfill our duties.  Many Americans have taken an oath of allegiance more than once in our careers, and it remains primary to our duties.

The president of the United States takes such an oath upon assuming office. It is ironic indeed that any applicant for the position should take a jaded view of our Constitution.

It is compelling reading for the uninitiated.   Others may require a refresher course.  I strongly recommend it.


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


THIS is our document of incorporation.  Read it. Know it. Protect, preserve, and defend it or get off the podium.

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The very gifted David Chase will be 70 years old tomorrow.  Happy Birthday, David, from a huge fan!  David is the creator of HBO’s award-winning series, The Sopranos.   One recurring, signature feature of Sopranos scripts was the unexpected insertion of the malapropism: the incorrect use of a word that sounds similar to the one that should have been used in that slot.

Tony Soprano, the main character, early in the series begins seeing a psychiatrist in order to deal with panic attacks he is experiencing.   One character, a loyal member of Tony’s crew offers this:

There’s no stigmata connected with going to a shrink.

The term derives from a 1775 Sheridan play, The Rivals,  in which a character named Mrs. Malaprop never manages to find quite the right word.  Her lexical selections are always mal à propos.  Inappropriate.  A good word incorrectly inserted in the context.


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Just sayin’.


Hillary Clinton retweeted Kelly O’Donnell

Hillary Clinton added, How about “babies,” “children,” or “American citizens.”

I don’t know if my grandparents ever became citizens. I don’t think my grandmother lived long enough to.  So, though they came legally, in a way my mom and her three brothers were “anchor babies” who conceivably might have been sent to Austria-Hungary in the middle of a war when my grandmother died,  and my grandfather had to put the boys in foster care (i.e. public assistance).  Had that happened, three guys who fought fought in WW II on our side could…

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On CNN this afternoon, political director,  David Chalian blamed Hillary Clinton for making her server and emails political.  Apparently he missed the July 15 letter from Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi.

Select Committee Dems Call Out Republicans for Turning Political Turrets on Hillary Clinton

July 15, 2015

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As Hillary said at the Iowa Wing Ding dinner this past weekend, it is not she who has turned this issue into a political football.

Not only is Hillary not the one who turned tragedy into a political issue, the ones who have done so have changed  the focus of the investigation from physical security in regions at risk to communications security inside the government.   From the beginning, Hillary has promised to cooperate fully, to provide the documents requested, to testify publicly, and to answer all questions.  Proactively, she provided 55,000 pages of work-related email to the State Department…

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Since the early days of his administration in 2010, Chris Christie has been at odds with teachers in New Jersey.  Sunday he brought his opprobrium to a national level, and the teachers are up in arms.

Teachers Demand Chris Christie Apologize For Face-Punching Comment

Rebecca Klein

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Prior to last night’s failed GOP effort to defund Planned Parenthood,  Hillary posted this video.

Powerful legislators are focused on one aspect of Planned Parenthood‘s services, abortion, but that is only one of many services the organization provides as a quick look at their website makes clear.

We provide up-to-date, clear, medically accurate information that helps you better understand your sexual health.


Abortion is a safe and legal way to end a pregnancy. Learning more about abortion methods and options can help you decide if abortion is the right choice for you.

Birth Control

There are many ways to prevent pregnancy. Learn more about birth control, and find the method that’s best for you.

Body Image

We all have ideas and feelings about how we look. Learning more about body image can help you stay healthy — mentally and physically.

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In an editorial in the New York Times Saturday, Margaret Sullivan compared Clinton stories to a luggage carousel where the bags are never collected and hence perpetually pile up.  One might say the same for the way the NYT handled its response to the reprehensible,  damaging, and unfounded story of July 23.

Emblazoned on the front page, the original header delivered a false report.  Despite its relatively rapid revision, the original became “the shot heard ’round the world” as myriad other publications picked up the header and the story and ran with it.  There was a simple solution, but one which the NYT unfortunately did not employ: issue an equally prominent apology to the unjustly treated Hillary Clinton and place it on the front page.

Instead, the NYT chose to roll out a series of subtle revisions like so many suitcases “barreling down the chute,” as in Sullivan’s…

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