Four years ago, The Daily assigned me my last piece -- a look back at Obama's America from the vantage of 2016. The finished product is no longer online, but I do have a draft in my Google docs. In a broad sense, my predictions turned out pretty well.
"Let me go over that again: Reagan’s popularity was popular. When you went through the various traits of Reagan and what Reagan stood for and his policies and so on vast numbers of people disliked nearly all of them. What was popular was his popularity and I don’t think that Reagan’s alone in this."
Growing up, every time there was a close football game, I got to hear Frank Gifford or Dan Meredith exclaim how a tie is like kissing your cousin. (My initial reaction was "which one?" some of my cousins were pretty damn cute.)
At this stage in New Hampshire, it looks like Bernie's playing for a tie - roughly 2 point spread for the last 2 months, and within 5 points since August.
The sad news for Bernie fans is that's not good enough - at this point it's dialed into everyone's expectations that New Hampshire's Sanders' back yard, that he should win - it's no longer an "upset".
The Tamir Rice story, and the irresponsible decision not to prosecute his killers, is breaking my heart. And while the worst sufferers are Tamir's family, I have found myself thinking, ever since he died, about the poor soul who called 911. That person was just trying to do the right thing, but the positive, neighborly gesture led to disaster. Calling 911 brought the Cleveland Police, and because the police came a child died. Everything would have better if the police had not come.
It's Christmas, the second-most-important Christian holiday and the most important holiday for many Americans. Tonight is Christmas Eve. But for some families, every year, Christmas comes at a moment that seems dark and difficult. Many of my friends are in my thoughts tonight, and my own family is grieving.
This will be our last Christmas with Mom. My mother is in hospice. She spoke during the fall about wanting to make it to Christmas, and she has. I am immensely thankful. I am very sad. We have her; we will lose her. The two truths are not separate.
The idea has taken hold in some circles that a fair number of Bernie Sanders supporters are sexist. Fellow Dagblogger PeraclesPlease describes "leftist misogyny" as "waiting for the right woman [not Hillary]".
At Salon, the reliably misandrist Amanda Marcotte identifies a "Bernie bro phenomenon" consisting "of young men whose enthusiasm for socialism is goosed by an unacknowledged sexism". Slate's more credible Michelle Goldberg contends many male Bernie backers "certainly don’t care about female leadership."
As someone who wallows in politics, in opining, in making fun of those who, if I were the violent type, would be subject to ear pulls and nose-tweaking, I'm still surprised when, like clockwork, these are my thoughts at Christmas time:
What I would love, more than nearly any other possible thing, is for the Republican presidential to shut their mouths about how frightening Daesh is. That's exactly what Daesh wants, and it is shameful that Trump, Carson, Christie, Cruz, and the rest give Daesh that satisfaction. It is still more disgraceful still to give terrorists any advantage in the hopes of gaining political advantage oneself. But my biggest question is, where is their national pride? When did the Republican candidates forget they were Americans?
It all began in July, Donald Trump was on TV continuously, I had a dental appointment coming up. I slept very deeply the night before my appointment and I was dreaming, I mean having a nightmare. I sat straight up in bed scared to death, because I'd dreamt Donald Trump was my dentist. There he was standing over my face, dye job gone wrong red hair and his his skin was a light cheeto tint, it was disturbing and probably true, but I've never been that close to Donald Trump to say that is absolutely factual. His assistant was everything you would expect of a Trump assistant.
Bernie Sanders' Presidential bid received two significant boosts today. First, the 700,000 member Communications Workers of America (CWA) endorsed Sanders. Then, Howard Dean's Democracy for America (DFA) bucked its founder's call for members to support Clinton and instead overwhelmingly opted to back Dean's fellow Vermonter. Here are five takeaways:
Symbols play a very important role in our society, because uniforms, badges, robes and such help us to identify the various roles that people play to hold our society together. That's why it is so important that people who are given symbols of authority represent those symbols well, and it's also important for the public to always remain aware of the psychological impact that symbols have on our psyche.
I know that I'm supposed to fear that the political ascendancy of Donald Trump is just evidence of our society sliding, like Weimar Germany, into unrepentant fascism, but I still think his campaign is a lot of fun because he is a very powerful man bent on speaking truth to power.
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
This kind of radical imagery is necessary if we (religious and secular people of good faith and intentions) are ever going to shatter a cultural symbolic order that seeks to lessen the suffering of others. We ingest this symbolic order through benign daily conversations, and the ideas and images disseminated through television and other forms of media. We are being consciously and sometimes subconsciously conditioned to see some people as less than us.
What happened in San Bernardino represents an unwelcome threshold between the ideal behind Islamic-inspired international terrorism and homegrown violence. Obama made a mistake tonight by elevating a criminal event into an international incident.
Nearly 15 months after a Cleveland police officer fatally shot Tamir Rice, 12, while the boy was playing with a pellet gun near a recreation area, the city has sued to collect $500 for his “last dying expense” — the cost of his emergency medical treatment....Cleveland refrained from charging Tamir's family for the cost of the cop bullets that killed him.....his case is far from over, the family has received no settlement
The new Republican anointed Congressional Budget Office is going to work fast to cut SS. By changing Social Security math to label beneficiaries as undeserving loafers. Using a switch from traditional 'median worker wages/benefits' to use of 'statistical means' which makes benefits for cohorts look 50% too generous. "those waiting for an opportunity to show that Social Security is excessively generous have pounced on the new CBO replacement rate number and publicized it in op-eds from coast-to-coast."