Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Referring to the 154th mass shooting in 2017, the Los Angeles Times noted:

“Even though members of Congress were attacked Wednesday by a gunman on a ball field just outside the capital, nothing is likely to change in the Washington debate over gun control, save the addition of Alexandria to the list of blood-soaked postmarks.

“The two sides of the debate are simply too dug in, the political forces too firmly entrenched, the worldview of opposing sides so vastly different it is impossible to see how the gulf narrows even slightly, however close to home the latest attack.

“Underscoring that notion, the one thing both sides shared after the latest mass shooting was the capacity to look at precisely the same event and see it in a way that buttressed diametrically opposing views.”

All that wonderful unity at the charity baseball game, yet:

A GOP Congressman Thinks It’s Obama’s Fault. Some Republicans on the far right point to “vitriolic rhetoric on the left,” which could be to blame for the gunfire that hit a GOP leader and others at a congressional baseball practice. GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa says that “the violence is incited by the leading cultural voices of the Left.”

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi responds, “How dare they?”, noting the dramatic escalation in hate crimes from the “alt right” and white supremacists, and GOPUSA scolds Pelosi for breaking the “unity”.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed by an assassin, called for sympathy and understanding, which was met with hate.

There’s a reasonable observation in the right wing Legal Insurrection about getting off the rhetorical merry-go-round: “The collective desire to be ‘right’ and to prove wrongness is hindering our ability to find even the smallest shred of consensus” is counterproductive, and other sensible points. But as Red State, another rightist publication noted, the comments section of the LI article is riddled with condemnation for the writer.

Arthur wrote: “”Claiming that only ‘the other side’ is responsible for the current disgusting nature of US politics—as always happens when there’s something like this shooting—is merely part of that same sick politics, boiled in its broth of seething resentment and baked within its self-righteous shell.”

As is often the case, the Onion gets the last word: “In the wake of [the] mass shooting in Alexandria, VA, every single American from across the political spectrum was reportedly able to cite the tragedy as irrefutable proof that they had been right about everything all along.”

There has been an annual Tulip Festival in Albany on Mother’s Day weekend for decades in Washington Park in Albany. If I go these days, it’s always been on Saturday, because Sunday involved us driving to somewhere south of here to have dinner with my various in-laws.

But THIS year, my parents-in-law were in Florida that weekend, and since the Saturday weather was pretty rotten, we went after church. We listened to some music; Radio Disney’s version of White Room was OK instrumentally, but not so much with the teenage female vocalist. We ate some food, went to some vendors.

How the city gardener gets the various plants to usually come up at just the right time is impressive. My buddy Chuck Miller took some nifty photos of the flowers here and subsequently.

My favorite part is going to the activist ghetto, where the school district, some religious organizations, environmentalists, and more are set up. In November, New York State is going to vote on whether there shall be a constitutional convention. The NY Civil Liberties Union and others, such as the ad hoc No New York Convention.org against it, noting that the LAST time this was held, about 50 years ago, most of the people selected as delegates were sitting politicians. Plus the ideas they came up with were voted down by the voters.


We saw this scene after the Tulip Festival on the way back to the car, in a window on State Street in Albany, the photo taken by the Daughter. It made us wonder about the back story. Who put up the sign first, and was the second sign in response? Are these adjoining apartments, or posters in the same one?

Which reminded me: My friend Sarah and her husband Darin were recently interviewed as part of series on married couples with divergent political views. The producer was particularly interested in the incident in which she unfriended him on Facebook. “Better that way,” she says, and that is certainly true. Oddly, I’m still FB friends with him, but I usually stick with comments about minor league baseball player Tim Tebow.


Do Not Lose Heart; We Were Made for These Times

On earth as it is in heaven: Why Jesus didn’t call his followers to be safe

The Gaslight Zone, Part 1 and Part 2

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Gerrymandering and Marijuana

Can We Get Real About Opioids? and Opioids, My Mom’s Death, and Why People Trust Science Less

How my daughter died from a simple case of flu

The Perception of Liberal Bias in the Newsroom Has Nothing Whatsoever to Do With Reality

Facebook use is a predictor of depression

The Internet Isn’t the Wild Wild West Anymore, It’s Westworld

Killing the Church with Sunday School

Girl, 2, defends her choice of doll to cashier

Carolyn Kelly, R.I.P.
Mark Evanier’s getting by, with the help of Henry Fonda

Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Everyone looked at me like I was a ghost’

Letterman’s mom was everyone’s mom: Dorothy Mengering dead at 95

A Tribute to Carrie Fisher

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter to Humanity’s Greatest Sanctuary of Knowledge, Freedom, and Democracy

Dianne Bentley saved receipts, helped take down her cheating governor husband

Arts in the Parks

Not me: Two longtime artists offer stunning works in ‘Traces’ exhibition

“Let me help” (Thoughts on “The City on the Edge of Forever”)

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the 1960s

Ken Levine interview: Voiceover artist Randy Thomas

I wrote about helicopter parenting four and a half years ago, and someone wanted to know if I wanted to read Abandon Helicopter Parenting, Embrace Negotiation Parenting; xooloo has developed an app for that.

7 Tips for Donating Old Books Without Being A Jerk

Now I Know: The Slave Who Spied on the Traitor and The Campaign for the Other Gary and Taking “One Person, One Vote” Literally — and Accidentally

Queen Elizabeth has someone break in her shoes before she wears them

Dawn Wells: Forever Mary Ann

I keep seeing references to crushed Doritos in recipes, e.g. replacing bread crumbs on fried chicken, or as the crust for mac and cheese. Have YOU used them?

Chopped liver

Music

Just a clown singing Pinball Wizard to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues

The Beatles – Home Recordings, May 1968 (white album)

Coverville: Elton John cover story

Back in June 1980, the legendary Chuck Berry performed in the little village of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

K-Chuck Radio: Music to help pretty plants grow

5 truly explosive performances of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

Appreciating an Unusual Beach Boys Album

Who has opened for the J. Geils Band?

Linda Hopkins; blues singer won Tony for best actress

The Neuroscience of Singing

There is a reason to have a B# and an E#

John Coltrane Draws a Picture Illustrating the Mathematics of Music

Monkees Star Mike Nesmith Reveals All on Drugs, a Near-Crippling Illness, and Jack Nicholson ‘Bromance’ in New Memoir

Where Have All The Bob Seger Albums Gone?

Genesis Tour Manager Recalls His Role in One of Rock’s Most Embarrassing Moments

Rock’n’roll shrimp named after Pink Floyd because of its deafening vocal ability

There was a Vanity Fair article about Mitt Romney back in February 2012. Michael Kranish and Scott Helman’s piece was “an adaptation from their new book, The Real Romney, to find that the contradictions, question marks, and ambivalence go deeper than his politics.” It couldn’t have helped that Willard Mitt Romney’s real first name is the same as a movie rat.

The real trouble with the 2012 Republican Presidential campaign is that most of the pundits assumed the same thing would happen in 2016. Mitt Romney was losing to, at different points, Michele Bachmann, Herman “9-9-9” Cain, and Newt Gingrich, among others, before the party let one of grownups become the nominee. The supposition was that the same thing would happen again in 2016, that the bellicose businessman might be the flavor of the month, but surely fade, leaving someone such as Jeb Bush or John Kasich with the nomination.

Surely, Mitt Romney wasn’t as bad as some of his GOP counterparts, faint praise, I suppose. He did enact a predecessor to the Affordable Care Act when he was governor of Massachusetts. Yet he was perceived as the out of touch millionaire businessman, largely because of the 47% quote. Yet his successor as the Republican nominee, whom Romney rightly criticized as a phony, had a broader appeal as “genuine.”

It’s peculiar, politics in this century. When I was growing up in the 1960s, there were plenty of Republicans that fair-minded citizens could consider. Both of the US Senators from New York, Jacob Javits and Ken Keating, were Republicans, as was governor Nelson Rockefeller. William Scranton was governor of Pennsylvania, and George Romney, father of Mitt, was governor of Michigan.

There was a time in my voting lifetime when the vast majority of Republicans were people I would at least consider casting a ballot for. And I do know that if Mitt Romney had won in 2012, I would not be having the sleepless nights I’ve had since November 8, 2016.

I WAS disappointed when Romney suggested Betsy DeVos is a “smart choice for education secretary.” Still, I hope he finds ways to challenge this presidency; don’t know how much he’d be heard, but I’d love to see him use whatever clout he may still have.

WHY FACTS DON’T CHANGE OUR MINDS

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Obamacare and Putin

The Peril of Potemkin Democracy

The Shallow State celebrates its ignorance

Steve Bannon to media: We’re going to make it worse for you every day, then WH bars news outlets from briefing

Bannon Admits Cabinet Nominees Were Selected To Destroy Their Agencies

Private prison company hires former Jeff Sessions aides to lobby in D.C. (Oct 2016); Attorney General Jeff Sessions: U.S. to continue use of private prisons, reversing Obama directive (Feb 2017)

FCC Is Already Canceling Internet Services for Low-Income Customers

Eliminating arts funding programs will save just 0.0625% of budget

Have your papers ready’: Customs agents checking IDs on DOMESTIC flights

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s mom

While Orange scandals mount, Chaffetz decides to investigate … a cartoon character

Gabby Giffords to Louie Gohmert: ‘Have some courage. Face your constituents’

He could make things a little easier for preachers

Dear Evangelicals, I Don’t Think You Realize How You Sound To Everybody Else

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau affirms $50M for physics think-tank in Waterloo, Ont.

Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis

Human Rights Watch fights to end child marriage in New York

Meet the Math Professor Who’s Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry

The Only Thing, Historically, That’s Curbed Inequality: Catastrophe

How to Spot Manipulation

What a Silicon Valley liberal learned from supporters of 45

I Was a Muslim in This White House

The Atlantic: Michael K. Williams Asks: Am I Typecast?

The Color of Love: Kim Novak and Sammy Davis Jr.

City Fines Interracial Couple Who Found Racist Graffiti On Home

Breaking the silence: Jason Gough talks about being sexually abused as a child

When Things Go Missing

Understanding Alzheimers in three minutes

Why you should really start talking to old people more

The only library in the world that operates in two countries at once

The Darkest Town In America

Is Verizon’s new unlimited plan worth it?

TED Talk with Norman Lear

Arthur: Not blogging is exhausting

Oscars 2017: What It Was Like Onstage During the Best Picture Mistake; most misspelled nominee: Naomie Harris

Noted actor Bill Paxton dies at 61 – saw him in Apollo 13, Titanic, Spy Kids 2, Million Dollar Arm, and Twister, among other films, plus the video Fish Heads by Barnes & Barnes

Richard Schickel, Movie Critic, Author and Filmmaker, Dies at 84

Coverville’s Brian Ibbott: What happened to manners at movie theaters?

Bertram Forer, American psychologist who described the technique for self-deception familiar to psychics, astrologers and even popular business personality tests

Library Hand, the Fastidiously Neat Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs

Dictionary’s latest additions include ‘side-eye,’ ‘humblebrag,’ and ‘ghost’

VHS memories

Major League Baseball: Intentional walks will now be granted to hitters with a signal from the opposing dugout, rather than by having the pitcher throw four obvious balls; BOO! HISS!

On Why Serena Williams Is His Favorite

The NBA G-League? No. No no no no no no no…

Philosophy Jeopardy

Unputdownable: 17 books I read in 24 hours or less (because they were just that good)

Vanna White turns sixty

Twisted, sister

Now I Know: Georgia’s Version of Stonehenge and The Pink Light That Wipes Out Teenagers and How Cows Mooved Through Manhattan and Why Knowing is Half the Battle

Music

The K-Flow Show Episode 1, featuring Rebecca Jade (the niece!)

Pac-Man – Weird Al (to the tune of the Beatles’ Taxman)

Total Praise – Richard Smallwood and Vision

Sam Cooke with “Touch the Hem of His Garment”

Down to the River to Pray – Alison Krauss [Live]

Which Side Are You On? – Ani DiFranco

Simon & Garfunkel take to the stage to perform their iconic hit Sound Of Silence

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

David Bowie’s son shares emotional tribute after his five posthumous Grammy wins

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr Reunite to Record Together in Studio

Where Should Axl and Slash Go Now?

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