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    She Shouts

    Bob Woodward was on Morning Joe today talking about Hillary Clinton, and in the course of the conversation he said, "I think a lot of it with Hillary Clinton has to do with style and delivery, oddly enough,. She shouts. There is something unrelaxed about the way she is communicating."

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    The Donald Dilemma: Loves The Crowds, Hates The Presidency

    I've been watching Donald Trump pretty closely (How to avoid it? Dear God in Heaven, how to avoid it?) and I have a theory.  Bear with me now, because at first you're going to laugh.  I know I did.  But here it is:  The billionaire Trump would rather die than be president of the United States.  But then he'd rather die than give up the attention, the fabulous, almost surreal attention.  From the people, from the press, from the Big Guys in Washington, from the world!  It's all his!  Donald Trump's!  He can't give it up!  He just can't!  But, damn, he does not want to be president.

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    Dear Free Press: That Water Situation in Flint is Partly Your Doing

    Dear Freep: I'll get right to it. I used to be such a fan. Remember how you used to be the blue-collar paper in Detroit and the News--that rag!--was the paper of the Republicans?  Good times.

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    There's a Poison In Michigan And It's Not Just In The Water

    You've probably heard that the water supply in Flint, Michigan is loaded with lead and has been poisoning the city's children, along with everyone else.  So far, there are 200 confirmed cases of lead poisoning among children under six, with some 9000 more believed to be at risk.  That's just the kids.

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    The Oregon Stand-Off That Wasn't. Isn't. Ain't.

    You should know I'm writing today not to inform or enlighten but simply to make fun.  Those militia guys in Oregon holding the Malheur Wildlife Refuge building hostage are like big-footed rodeo clowns in cowboy hats and their pratfalls are just too good to pass up. 

    (Don't judge me, okay? I'm from Michigan.  It's hell there, where it's not the citizens taking over the government, it's the government taking over the citizens--and not in a good way.  I need a laugh.)

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    Resolved: To Make 2016 A Year I Manage To Get Through

     

      Here it is, 2016, a fresh new start.  Things will be different this year, and not just different but better.  Way better!  So much better, next year at this time we won't even have to do a New Year's resolution.  Everything we resolved will have come true.  

    Perfect!  Can't wait!
     
    I'm lying! Not true!  
     
    But you knew that. 
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    Peace Is A Wish Our Hearts Make

    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:

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    The Murders at Planned Parenthood And The Unbelievable GOP Response

    Yesterday on Morning Joe, Joseph McQuaid, the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, was asked why his newspaper was endorsing Chris Christie for president.  Mika Brzezinski asked what successes in Christie's record would stand out as something he could accomplish on a grand scale. Without even blinking, McQuaid rattled off three things.  The first two, apparently in order of importance, were these: Christie is pro-life and has vetoed several pro-abortion bills.  He has defunded a block funding for Planned Parenthood.  (The third one--because there were three--was about Christie keeping taxes in check.)

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    Curtain Down On The Trump Show Already. Please.

    I've got that thing again where my heart races and my belly hurts and I don't know whether those tears are from laughing or crying.  I'm craving chocolate, any kind will do, and I can't stop thinking the end of civilization as we know it is right around the corner or up the street or somewhere in Iowa.

    I go to sleep stressing and I wake up stressing.  Terrible things are going on in the world.  I should be stressing over them, and it could be that that's what's going on, but it feels like it's Donald Trump.
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    Ramona's picture

    It's Been Fun. But Seriously, Folks, It's The Presidency.

    Since at least the turn of the 21st Century it's been a time-honored tradition to bring in the clowns and have some fun with the quest for the highest job in the nation.  You would think the duties and obligations of the presidency of the United States would cause most people to turn and run and keep on running, but every four years the most unlikely characters come out of the woodwork, shouting, "Hey, I could be president!  Why not?  How hard could it be?"

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    Ramona's picture

    How The Benghazi Committee Led Me To Hillary

    Hi Dagbloggers:  If some of this looks familiar it's because I built this blog around a comment I made  a few days ago.  My blogs won't be all Hillary all the time, I promise!

     
    Last week, on the morning of the latest in a long line of House Select Committee hearings on Benghazi, I was finishing up a blog post in which I hoped during the next few months Progressives/Liberals would all just get along.  At that point, on that morning, I thought I was still neutral about the two front-runners.  (Joe Biden has announced he's not running and Martin O'Malley, the only other viable candidate, is so far behind he's almost invisible. It's early yet, but unless someone else shows up, it  going to be either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.)
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    So it's Clinton vs. Sanders. Can't We Just Be Frenemies?

    Yesterday Joe Biden stood in the Rose Garden with his wife Jill and President Obama and announced he wouldn't be running for president. (Thank you, Joe, you did the right thing. I love you.) It's still early in the election season (WAY early.  Did you know Canadians can only campaign for 78 days? Must seem like a damned eternity, right?) but unless a dark horse comes up from behind, it looks like it'll be a run between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

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    Ramona's picture

    What If The Second Amendment Didn't Exist?

    Once upon a time, long before The National Rifle Association stopped being a reasonable, responsible hunter's association and became the NRA, the Second Amendment was looked on, if at all, as a remnant of the olden days, when the writers of the Constitution saw fit to assuage the fears of the states by assuring them they could form their own state militias in case the federal government got too bossy, thinking they owned the place.

    These days, even though nothing about it has changed, the Second Amendment is the one and only part of the Constitution actually seen as constitutional by the Right Wing. (Causing certain politicians who don't know what's going on to keep repeating the magic words, "Second Amendment". It gets them votes, so what the hell?)

    Read more at Crooks & Liars.

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    Obama Says He'll Politicize Guns. NRA, Fox, GOP Say No Way, That's Our Job.

    . . .And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue.  Well, this is something we should politicize.  It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.
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    The Pope's Parting Gift to Bigotry

    While much of the country was still coming off of the Papal Visit high last week (it was a trip, wasn't it?), that parade was not only rained on yesterday, it was deluged.

    Less than a week after Pope Francis the Terrific thrilled the country with a visit that filled our very souls with joy (Right?), the Papal love-fest is threatening to become a veritable wash-out. How did this happen? How could it happen?

    (Posting at Crooks and Liars.  Read more here.)

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    Okay Meanies, You Can Come Out Now. The Pope Is Gone.

    Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how quiet the resident meanies were while the Pope was here? Even Donald Trump gave it a rest for a few days.  Or am I wrong?  Did I just not notice because, to their credit (and my relief), the press took to covering the Pope every day in every way and kept it nice?
     

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    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?").

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    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:

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    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. 

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    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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