Let’s Talk Poltics: Reconnecting With Those With Whom You Disagree

It’s hard to talk to people who are angry or full of hatred. After this election, you might’ve flipped the table when your Aunt Shelby mentioned how great certain politicians will be for America. Or she might’ve flipped the table when you talked about the questions Elizabeth Warren posed to Betsy DeVos during her hearing, or, in the same hearing, that satisfying thud when Senator Murray dropped all the precedence down on the table.[Read more]

How Low Can Congress’ Approval Rating Get? We’ll Know After the Elections

With the midterm elections just a few days away, politicos across the country are on the edge of their seats waiting to see whether the Republicans will take back control of the Senate. It seems as though the GOP has a stranglehold on retaining a majority presence in the House of Representatives, and now the polls indicate that they might in fact edge out the Democrats in the other chamber of Congress as well.… [Read more]

Are Young Black Men Broken?

Have we been brainwashed into believing there is a “black male problem” that needs to be fixed? What kind of message is this sending to young black men? Are they broken and in need of repair?

I’ve been asking myself these questions lately. For years we have been exposed to “plight of the black man” messaging.… [Read more]

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL‘s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights on ending all tar sands exploitation.

The Obama administration’s latest election year delay on Keystone North is not a victory, but the dominoes continue to fall.… [Read more]

Love Him or Leave Him

I saw a poll among voters who consider President Obama to be the worst president in post-FDR history. They ranked President Reagan as the greatest.  It isn’t hard to dismiss this sort of faux-information as shallow, given the fact that Duck Dynasty and the Bachelorette continue to get high ratings, but I must admit that a wave of dark energy coursed through my veins.… [Read more]

Pinocchio’s Nose

This morning I heard 3 commercials for 3 different Republican candidates and they all said a variation of the same thing:  “I will protect your freedoms from the encroachment of growing government.”

Great line. Who wouldn’t want that? It resonates and there is a lot of evidence of that “growing government” by which to give the statement credibility.… [Read more]

Ain’t No Love

Is there really more racism? Or has it always been here but just on the DL? Are more racists emboldened because of their anger at our first African-American president? Or was it there and nobody said anything?

I don’t know the reason but suddenly you can hardly read the news without somebody getting caught on tape, an open mic or writing something racist and hateful.… [Read more]

All By Myself

It’s a challenge to feel ‘musical’ when surrounded by so much negativity. The “Say It In Song” space has always been used to connect songs of any era and genre to current political events but, given that songs often evoke powerful emotions, it has been difficult to post songs when political tensions are already running so high (or low, if one is taking the disgust factor into consideration).… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Kindest Regards, Emeril J. Lagasse, Fall River, MA

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Cameron Wolf

Dear Emeril,

Love your Yukon Gold potato nest recipe, the one filled with tiny creamed onions.  That dish could be scaled up to provide crispy housing for the homeless and starving, and any tiny onion babies they have still clinging to life in those red “right-to-starve” states.… [Read more]

Collateral Damage

As a result of their attempt to block the Affordable Care Act, the American people have become collateral damage in the latest Republican assault on the Presidency of Barack Obama. They have shutdown the federal government with smiles and glee in their heart — knowing, but not caring about the ramifications of such actions. Just as Robert E.… [Read more]

Right now, the POTUS is not blinking

“We are not going to pay a ransom for America paying its bills.” ~ President Obama

The 8-day old U.S. government shutdown has been described as ‘a game of chicken‘. Today at a press conference, President Obama announced that he spoke with House Speaker John Boehner and told him that “Hanging the threat of economic chaos over the heads of the American people should not be part of any discussion about the government shutdown.”  That certainly set the stage for what is now clear: the president is not blinking as of right now on the issue of the debt ceiling and defaulting on the nation’s debt.… [Read more]

On this day in 1963: 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

It has been 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. All of the preparation leading up to the march for jobs and freedom, and Dr. King’s speech, mark a pivotal period in time that changed the nation’s course.

Today, at 11:00 am ET, a ceremony begins honouring the day.… [Read more]

Laws Cool: Shorten the Paper Chase?

The nice part of being a second-term President is you never have to worry about being elected again. The tired, lame refrains of the birthers and impeachers aside, a bulletproof President Obama is using part of his second term to lead in reducing the staggering cost of a law school education. Enter the bully pulpit.

We’re not talking about Texas Gov.… [Read more]

Conservative ‘Idiocracy’

The other day, a guy I know was complaining about the Obamas going on yet another vacation. When I told him that both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush spent much more time on holiday during the comparable  5-year period in office than President Obama, he told me I must be wrong. I proceeded to show him a graphic indicating the actual number of days George W.… [Read more]

Higher Education Bus Tour

Today is a big day in the world of higher education; during a bus tour through New York and Pennsylvania, President Obama will be revealing a broad plan for rating colleges based, among other factors, on the affordability of the institution. After seeing the cost of a college education far outpace inflation — and costs more than triple over the past three decades, the President’s goal is to link the affordability rating to federal financial aid awards.… [Read more]

Wrangling the Crazy: The “Clowns” Within Our Political System

Last Saturday at the Missouri State Fair—a state funded, family-oriented, purportedly non-political event—an unexpected guest was invited into the rodeo rink. Once the grounds had been cleared, the announcer, then-Cowboy Association President Mark Ficken, introduced “President Obama:” a rodeo clown wearing a mask of his likeness, parading around like a living parody.

Mr. Ficken went on to taunt the city slicker “President” with these words:

“We’re gonna stomp Obama now…as soon as their bull comes out, Obama don’t you move.… [Read more]

Positively 4th Street Revisited

I wish that for just one time You could stand inside my shoes And just for that one moment I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time You could stand inside my shoes You’d know what a drag it is To see you.

A friend of mine told me that when she was on a dating website, conservative Republican men would contact her despite the note in her profile that she was a liberal thinker who isn’t interested in a Mary Matlin, James Carville type of relationship.… [Read more]

Another stop on the state of the economy road trip

“How about a ‘grand bargain’ for middle-class jobs?” Indeed, that is the question. While Congress spends its time on the time-wasting activity of yet another ‘down with Obamacare‘ vote (does this latest vote make 40 attempts to snatch healthcare coverage from the country’s previously uninsured citizens?), President Obama spoke at a another stop on his ‘state of the economy’ road trip.… [Read more]

“Washington has taken its eye off the ball…”

Speaking at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, President Obama delivered a speech yesterday on the state of the US economy. Providing context he discussed how far the nation has come, fiscally speaking, since the beginning of his first term. For those short on memory, lest we forget, the nation has fought its way back from a financial meltdown and a housing bubble; Wall Street had run amok, the financial services sector was in danger, homeowners saw their housing values decline and, with it, the net worth of many Americans experienced a sharp devaluation.… [Read more]

Obama at the Brandenburg Gate…

Fifty years after President John F. Kennedy’s iconic speech in Germany, President Obama is speaking to Germans, in a unified Germany, at Brandenburg Gate.

He noted that he’s proud to return to Berlin as president and that “Angela [Merkel] and I don’t look like previous German and American leaders…”

Times have changed; Reagan and JFK, due to the previous divided status of the city, would not have been able to speak at this same location.… [Read more]