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New And Fresh Restart

Welcome to the Coffeehouse, where I hope this is a hub of energetic and intelligent discussion. I have 3 blogs for more diverse discussion, but if all you are interested is how I’m doing and general info, stop here before going to the rest. God only knows why I have 3 blogs, but I do, and hopefully I will have enough material for all four of these doorstops of blogs. I can say that, since I’m happy when I get even one visitor at all. (You mean you actually know where this is?) (I haven’t moved up to caring whether you like them yet.)

Also, I hope I don’t have to move anymore for hosting. This place has worked like a smoothly running Rolex, no hiccups, plenty of space and good support. (his.com). The old place-and I’m grateful for all the help-was basically a legacy of a legacy, and probably had issues due to that. When I had difficulty loading my blogs when I barely had traffic, I had to move.) Here is like moving to a server farm with enormous space.

Unlike previous iterations, I finally have the time and energy to actually devote to this thing. Retirement is great, isn’t it? Sure, there’s the money issue-hit the donation button if you want to help. But at least now the money is consistent and isn’t reliant on whether or not I’m willing to get out of bed, stand at a cold bus stop in 12 inch snow and hope that the bus(es) I need to take isn’t stuck in a snowdrift, broken down, or just having to make a long detour. When I was in the process of retiring last year, this was one of the things I was looking forward to, January mornings indoors drinking coffee, watching tv, and watching the snow fall. Unfortunately last year was sinus infection where I spent a week practically in bed. But I could actually spend that week without worrying about my job.

Back From the Holiday

This is one Christmas that wasn’t really a Christmas for thousands of Federal Employees, and pretty much everyone else. Not having a job to go to does that to people who rely on them.

Remember when the Holiday was a much needed break from politics? Nothing happened especially on the Presidential level. Only emergencies that were large enough for Presidential intervention broke through the news on a national level. We mostly heard about local tragedies such as fires, floods, and such that could be easily ignored if you didn’t live there.

Congress was also out for the holidays, both winners and losers alike, winners celebrating, losers consoling themselves with Christmas brandy. So there was little Congressional news or actions after December 7th or so. And if there were differences between the House and the Senate, or between the parties about items in the Federal Budget, so that it ran out of money and time, Congress would pass a routine CR (Continuing Resolution) early in December so that everybody could go home .As soon as that vote was taken, (and passage was never in doubt), everyone wished each other “Happy Holidays”, drank the spiked egg-nog and cookies passed around the hall, and promptly adjourned for about 3 weeks until New Years passed and it was time to go back to work on January 3rd.

The losers were left free to quietly slink out of town, clearing their office and packing (and swiping) extra office supplies. Soon to be unemployed staff munching leftover turkey, updating resumes and slipping away afterward home for the holidays as soon as possible. No reason to stay in town. Winners quietly moved in their offices, while munching over leftover turkey, emptying boxes of new office supplies that replaced the previous swiped ones, putting name plates on doors, and getting new business cards.

Presidents left town to relax-usually somewhere warm and expensive. Country estates, beachfront properties, back to the old homestead to golf, ski, and swim. With recent Presidents: Obama went to Hawaii, Shrub to his ranch, Clinton to wherever he went to (I wasn’t following up that much with Big Bill in those days). Generally speaking, the Presidents left town regardless of issues otherwise. Since there was really rarely a need for Congress to be in session, Presidents mostly felt that being in Washington for the holidays was the Presidential equivalent of twiddling one’s thumbs.

Next time you saw them, they were in tropical shirts, ski wear, or sitting around the old family fireplace.

Another tradition spoiled. Narcissists must narcissist, and Trump was no exception, whining about being alone at the Whitehouse, his enemies, and everything else. That nobody wanted to spend the holiday with his whining ass, not even Melania who probably spent her holiday in another Wing, eating Christmas cookies, drinking Everclear eggnog and wondering if inheriting billions was worth all of this. Hoping for a Jackie Kennedy ending to this, where she has another life with perhaps another billionaire with more manners and heart.

So there was no downtime to relax for the nation. Christmas was another occasion where the attention was taken off him and his neediness. So all must suffer in revenge.

Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving-this is no big Thanksgiving dinner in my family this year. My older sister has stopped cooking, my niece stopped cooking because it reminds her of my late mother (she passed away 2 years ago). But I’m thankful anyway. I won’t have to make plans for Costa Rica for at least 2 years, don’t have to worry about Social Security or even my Medicaid expansion either. And I have a picture that expresses what I feel about America:

Post Midterms

Am I the only person who actually feels more rested now that the Midterms are over, and the Blue Wave has washed over the land? Yes, Cheeto is still President. And there’s at least another 2 years of that, but at least his antics will have a check and balance on them through investigations and funding. Here’s hoping the “power of the purse” means no money for anything crazy he comes up with and a deep dig into what he has been funding already.

But this coming January, I know that my Social Security and Medicaid will be safe for at least 2 years. Not only that, but there won’t be any crazy laws passed either.

At this point, a lot of people are saying, “nothing will get passed”. I know. That’s the reason why I voted Democratic in the first place. There are times when a traffic jam is the best solution, and I voted for a 5pm, going out of town before the holiday gridlock. Nothing will get done besides a Federal budget, and nothing is what I want.

What about the lame duck? Well, that ends 12/17, and I doubt that the lame duck wants anything too ambitious. Obama was able to get a lot done during his lame duck, but people actually wanted to work with him.  This crowd is probably secretly glad they lost if only because they get the Christmas gift of never having to see Trump or work with him again.

Things that the Resistance Has Done Right

After a couple of years, and a massive Blue Wave midterm, its a good time to assess the Resistance and its successes.. I remember a saying “history doesn’t repeat, it rhymes”. With so many people noticing parallels with the 1930’s, with an embrace of open Nazism and authoritarianism, its easy to over look its Resistance is pretty effective.

First of all, unlike the battling factions of the 1930’s, we’ve remained remarkably united, despite a more diverse coalition and all its different needs. Next, we’ve remained non-violent, depriving Trump and his sympathizers of a means to create both sympathy and a reason to use the iron fist. It was the battling factions that gave both the authoritarians of the 1930 and Nixon of the 1970’s an excuse of “law and order”. Without violence, we’ve stayed united -and effective. The result has been the ability to at least gain some real power and some real results, like the overturning of some bans, the release of some of the kidnapped children, and electoral reform. And now we have some real power and ability to at least blunt Trump’s insanity.

Its the women, smartie. This time its the visuals: Pink hats instead of leather berets, signs instead of guns slung over shoulders, Nurturing instead of swagger and boasting.

Lessons were learned from the 1960’s and the long drought of the 1970’s. Go for attainable goals instead of revolution in the streets. The groups that went for the latter, if not broken up, faded as there was no where to go after the war and after politics brought at least some positive changes. They left only memories. We can be in this for the long haul.

Songs of Triumph and Struggle On A Hard Day

This is My Country (Curtis Mayfield)






Aint Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around



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This is My Country (Curtis Mayfield)



Aint Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

 

President Grover Cleveland (1897) On Immigration

I have been working on a set of Civics Cards for weeks.  I have Presidents, States, am working on the Supreme Court, the Constitution, House and Senate,  The Supreme Court and even the 2 Major Parties.  These are flash cards with info on them, and the completed set will be about 400 Cards when finished.  But while I was doing research on Presidents I came on this gem on immigration by Democrat Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. He has two separate numbers because he served two terms separated by someone else.   In his second term a bill was introduced to limit immigration to those who were literate. He vetoed it.

Now the veto message:

A radical departure from our national policy relating to immigration is here presented. Heretofore we have welcomed all who came to us from other lands except those whose moral or physical conditions or history threatened danger to our national welfare and safety….we have encouraged those coming from foreign countries to cast their lot with us and join in the development of our vast domains, securing in return a share in the blessings of American citizenship.

A century’s stupendous growth, largely due to the assimilation and thrift of millions of sturdy and patriotic adopted citizens, attests the success of this generous and free-handed policy which, while guarding the people’s interests, exacts from our immigrants only physical and moral soundness and a willingness and ability to work.

… It is said, however, that the quality of recent immigration is undesirable. The time is quite within recent memory when the same thing was said of immigrants who, with their descendants, are now numbered among our best citizens.

The best reason that could be given for this radical restriction of immigration is the necessity of protecting our population against degeneration and saving our national peace and quiet from imported turbulence and disorder.

I cannot believe that we would be protected against these evils by limiting immigration to those who can read and write in any language twenty-five words of our Constitution.

This was a bill introduced by Henry Cabot Lodge (Yes, that Henry Cabot Lodge) Cleveland vetoed it.  If you ever wondered why so many immigrant groups became Democrats (Italians, Irish, et al, you need wonder no more.

Get To the Polls! Ways To Get A Ride and Time Off To Do So

My Two Forums

If opening up my site to comments wasn’t enough, I actually decided to have a couple of forums. One is Hillary Haven, a safe place to talk about Hillary free from trolls and Bernie Bros: hopefully it will be the Hillary Version of the Obama Diary. The other is Between Elections: Civics and Organizing and Voter Registrtion and the like. Both forums are going to be members only and topic based. Why did I do this????

Mad about Kavanaugh? Information You Can Use.

Lifehacker link for voter information

lifehacker.com/all-the-information-you-need-to-vote-in-the-2018-midter-1829328834

Rides to the Polls:

www.voteriders.org/news_item/how-to-get-a-free-ride-to-the-polls/

mashable.com/article/lyft-discout-rides-polls-voting/

carpoolvote.com/

A bit of information I did not know: You don’t need postage to send off your absentee ballot. The US Postal Service will deliver ballots even without postage.

www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/11/04/ymca_will_offer_free_childcare_services_on_election_day.html

Call first For YMCA and check and see if available for 2018.

Time off to Vote-Paid or Unpaid:

www.cedrsolutions.com/time-off-to-vote/

Voter ID information:

www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx