Time passes and takes with it those who can bear witness, reality becomes history, but in the deep well of national memory, the past holds lessons for the future.
On this day 67 years ago, I was in a sleeping bag on a German farmhouse floor when someone shook me awake to whisper, ?Roosevelt is dead.?
At 21, I was part of a generation that could remember no other president. FDR had been sworn into office on my ninth birthday.
That day will be recalled mostly in nursing homes by people who were kids in 1945 and remember a grief so universal it would be unimaginable today. New generations will be surprised to learn the nation was once so united in trusting?-and loving--a man in the White House.
History may find FDR flawed, but naive as Americans were back then, we did not expect perfection, only an honest attempt to save us from the Depression.
Bill Moyers recalls his father, an East Texas laborer, who voted for Roosevelt because ?the President?s my best friend? and he ?knew FDR was talking for him when he said life was no longer free, liberty no longer real, men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness--against economic tyranny."
In his first Inaugural, Roosevelt railed against "the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish" and charted a return to "ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit."
Such words may sound na´ve in our wised-up era, but they held the country together, rebuilt an economy ravaged by greed and made us powerful enough to win a war that had to be fought to preserve our freedom?-literally, not in the selfish sense the word is used today by haters of government ?intrusion? into their lives.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for most Americans, is an historical figure, but those who lived in his time can testify that he left the U.S. prosperous and united for more than half a century to come until the descendants of those he called ?self-seekers? took over again.
Now, another election is ahead to offer a choice between a leader standing with ?patriotic millionaires? who want their taxes raised and a ?vulture capitalist? bent on defending and expanding the economic tyranny Roosevelt fought.
He belongs to the ages now but, to keep FDR?s legacy alive, Barack Obama will have to fight that same battle all over again.
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President Bush has said that he does not need
approval from the UN to wage war, and I'm thinking,
well, hell, he didn't need the approval of the
American voters to become president, either.
Born April 12, 1947
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Visual source: Newseum
A majority of Republicans say for the first time that the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll that comes as the continuing U.S. presence in that country is emerging as a key point of contention in the presidential race.It isn't whether to get out, it's when and how.
More than six weeks after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old with no criminal record, George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch coordinator at a small gated community in Sanford, Fla., was charged by a special prosecutor on Wednesday evening with second-degree murder and taken into custody.NY Times:
Mitt Romney moved Wednesday to confront one of his most vexing general election problems ? how to narrow the gender gap he faces against President Obama ? but his campaign immediately found itself squeezed between its intensifying efforts to appeal to women and its need to avoid alienating conservatives.Gee whiz, Mr. Wizard. No one saw that coming!
Rick Santorum?s departure from the presidential race could not come soon enough for Mitt Romney. In proving himself more tenacious than anyone predicted, Santorum dramatized one of Romney?s major problems, created another and forced the now-inevitable Republican nominee into a strategic dilemma.Does he lose by alienating his base or does he lose by alienating everyone else? it must be astoundingly painful to be Republican these days.
Charles Blow on Santorum's wingnuttery:
I could go on, but it?s all just too exhausting and depressing.No free pass just because he's out of the race. Journalism does the country a disservice by not recognizing that Santorum's political positions were to the right of Attila the Hun. EJ and Blow dosn't make that error, but plenty of others do.
At the same time, Santorum continuously chipped away at Romney as a dishonest man and a weak conservative, as well as the worst candidate to run against President Obama.
The shift in the debate, which Santorum helped create, and his withering attacks on the front-runner forced Romney to move further right than was politically prudent.
As a result, Romney is now weaker than any post-primary party nominee in recent political history. According to an analysis of CNN polling data stretching back to 1996, complied by Zeke Miller of BuzzFeed, Romney is the only presidential nominee to emerge from the primaries with a net negative favorability rating.
Chris Christie has improved numbers in NJ, but that doesn't help him secure the state for Romney. The Garden State is quite polarized:
There is a large gender gap with or without Gov. Christie on the ticket. Men would vote for a Romney-Christie ticket 50 - 42 percent, while women would vote for President Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden 55 - 35 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Independent voters split 42 - 42 percent.NY Times:
But the whole-hearted support of evangelicals, who accounted for nearly one fourth of all ballots cast in recent presidential elections, will not come without conditions, some leaders warned. During the bitterly fought primary campaign, many conservatives questioned the depth of Mr. Romney?s opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage and government spending. They say that to win the presidency, Mr. Romney may need a fired-up base to produce a large evangelical turnout in swing states like Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.Missouri is up for grabs? Who knew?
I love that Atrios has Mark Halperin as WANKER OF THE DECADE - Runner Up #4. So did Tom Friedman make the list? Did David Brooks?
Good Reads: Why Americans Don't Walk (And Why They Should)
A Slate series of articles that unpacks walking ? its health benefits, its decline in the United States, and whether we can ever get back to putting one leg in front of another ? is well worth your time this week.
Quick, what did you eat yesterday? And how much did it cost? Did you spend more than $5? I bet you did. I knew I was going to write this post today, so I kept track yesterday, and I spent more than $5. I admit that I eat somewhat expensively, although I don't eat that much. But I have a fancy pod coffee maker, so 4 cups of coffee (more than usual, but I was up late putting the final touches on my taxes) cost about $2.40. Plus there was the salad, the almonds, an apple, a kiwi, a banana, and the big bowl of popcorn. Everything homemade, everything organic. Total price about $9.
I'd find it difficult to live on $5/day, but that's what people on food stamps live on in Philadelphia. They do not have the luxury of a salad which includes portabella mushrooms, red and yellow peppers, jicima, Chinese pea pods, broccoli and cauliflower.
Here are some facts about food stamp use in the Philadelphia area:
Nearly one-third of SNAP households are working families.
Only 1 in 10 SNAP participants receive cash welfare.
After 12 May, to receive food stamps, you'd need to have less than $5,500 in assets (excluding your house) and fall in the following income ranges:
Monthly Income (Before Taxes)
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger have set up a challenge to help those not on food stamps to understand what it's like to live on food stamps. It will run from 23 April to 29 April. The idea is that you live on the amount of money your household would receive in food stamps. If you're willing to take up the challenge, you can sign up here.
You can also sign the change.org petition to work (here) to repeal the asset test. You may think that $5,500 in assets is a lot to ask for aid, but consider the unemployed. If you're a couple with two beater cars that are paid for, and worth $6,000, you and your kids are out of luck.
There is an old expression "walk a mile in my shoes." Find out for a week what it means to eat on $5/day, and you likely will be hungry. Many people who receive food stamps end up not eating for days within the month, often parents who forgo food so their kids can eat. When we talk about politics, elections, candidates, THIS is what we're talking about. The people who are elected make the decisions that affect those least able to care for themselves. The GOP says that taxes are too high. As an employed American, I'm certainly willing to pay more every week so that the hungry can eat. I know I'm not alone in this. But maybe you're the type who thinks that being hungry isn't a problem if one is poor. Maybe you know people who think that way. If so, take the challenge, get "them" to do it...and then you'll know. And perhaps it will help spur you to action to change things so that in the richest country in the world NO ONE goes to bed hungry. People are hungry NOT because there's not enough food in this country, NOT because they're lazy or undeserving: they're hungry because they don't have enough money to eat. And until all the jobs come back, SNAP is what we've got available to help them.
The epitome of corporate arrogance is not refusing to pay taxes, not breaking the law with impunity, not purchasing state and national legislatures wholesale. It's suing state governments for trying to protect their citizens' health.
Monsanto, that sickening institution behind Agent Orange and strawberries made out of fish and sugar made out of Axe Body Spray,* has claimed and will probably claim until the end of time that you don't really need to know that your "all-natural" cereal is actually created in a lab. DON'T YOU LIKE IT? Don't you feel yourself turning into a Transformer? But the state of Vermont is particularly not thrilled about Monsanto's coquettish behavior, and is trying to pass H. 722, which would require food labels to tell you whether a product is genetically modified, and would prevent that "all-natural" designation from appearing on the packaging of a GMO food, BECAUSE IT ISN'T. The corporation has so much disgusting dirty cash on hand, however, that it has decided to intimidate the people of Vermont - not a timid bunch, mind you - out of proceeding with the bill. The sad thing? It looks like it's working. Fish strawberries WILL RISE AGAIN.
Alternet writes that Vermont lawmakers are actually "dragging their feet" over the bill because Monsanto is proving, once again, to be a bunch of bullies with enough money to put multiple entire law firms on its cases. One theory is that Vermont will have to "go it alone" in court if it passes the bill, because it will make the state the first in the nation with such a law. Instead of seeing this as HEROIC, certain lawmakers appear to be having second thoughts and are holding public hearings over the bill in what appears to be an effort to stall all the way until the end of the current legislative session in May. In other words, some Monsanto employee has handed over stacks of cash to some influential Vermonters, and it appears to be hushing them up nicely?
Perhaps if California passes its similar Right to Know Act, which is currently in the process of gathering signatures for the November ballot, Vermont would have the courage to be second in the nation? But the website of the bill, Vermont Right to Know GMOs, points out:50 countries including the European Union, Japan and China already label genetically engineered foods. Vermont should be the leader on this important issue here in the United States.
Also, do not wait for California to do things! You may be waiting a long time, e.g. until the Second Coming of the Dinosaurs!
Because of our peerless legal system, if the bill goes forward, Monsanto will likely succeed in suing the entire state of Vermont and thus exercising its Right to Not Tell, just like it did with the rBGH milk fiasco, in which Monsanto's lawyers were enticed by wads into arguing that milk producers should not have to declare whether their products contained that particular bovine growth hormone or not (AND WON).
Now, to what degree does this matter? Let this pretty chart from the USDA itself explain.
Source: Advanced Currency Markets | G10 Advancers and Decliners vs USD CHF 0.24 EUR 0.20 GBP 0.13 JPY -0.22 For a second day in a row, FX risk appetite was firmer in the Asian session, as solid Australian employment data helped boost confidence. Asia?s regional indices also supported the general risk rally, with the Nikkei up +0.64%, the Hang Sang +0.63%, and Shanghai climbing +1.38%. EURUSD rose in jagged moves to 1.3151 with decent bids building below the 1.3100 level. BoJ Governor Shirakawa stated…
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FoxNews is dispensing it's top-notch "Fox Security" on the trail of the alleged insider that Gawker has retained. So far, this has been done as successfully as Roger Ailes did on the South Beach Diet.[...]
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Sleep tight, Suz!
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Get your rest, nice thread.
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