Tag Archives: Senate

a recognition of rebirth,holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations

The winter solstice

It is the time at which the Sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon. [2] In the Northern Hemisphere this is the Southern solstice, the time at which the Sun is at its southernmost point in the sky, which usually occurs on December 21 to 22 each year

Honestly, In the two terms Obama had; I did not hear enough negative media comments …not much in the way of so-called facts or rumor that would make me sign a petition stating he, the POTUS is wrong, loony, and or illegitimate. That President Barack Obama just does not know what he is doing,because while he was held back he governed for the people. I cannot say that about our current administration.  There are strong feelings, passions and possible misunderstandings by  rwnj’s in this era of trump, but this new “panic button” they say we lefties are hitting is not only a desperate fear mongering move, but one …especially after this so-called #taxhealthplan for the middle class we should be calling it game over,  uh no …  we must tell trump supporters that the game of politics is clearly  just beginning and at some point voters on both sides of the aisle will need to see the actions being made accept the truth of where this admin thinks it wants America to go and make some serious decisions in 2018 to change the faces of Congress, led by republicans to those who will NOT spend $$ on hearings based on revenge, shutdown the government just because =tantrums or hold America hostage for no quantifying reason.

So, for this coming New Year, I pledge to continue to have strong opinions, continue to post opinions and views by others, but I won’t always side with all of them which is a good thing.  The point to my blog; is to blow off steam … offer up some info from those who know, maybe question, challenge some who think they know, ask plead or yell for a call to action with signatures that can create change …and

Words do Matter contrary to how most conservatives seem to feel.

I thank everyone who even takes the time to visit my blog let alone read and respond to the articles and even some actually sign petitions … I thank you … much gratitude.

In this era of trump one might be thinking the end of days, what with republicans trying to legislate more guns in stadiums, schools, allowing concealed weapons least we think about what life will look like for the poor lower and middle class after the New Year. We must stand our ground and have the Audacity for Hope and Change.

Have a Merry Christmas  &

Happy New Years


On this Day … Moby Dick Published

On this day in 1851, Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, is published by Harper & Brothers in New York. Moby-Dick is now considered a great classic of American literature and contains one of the most famous opening lines in fiction: “Call me Ishmael.” Initially, though, the book about Captain Ahab and his quest for a giant white whale was a flop.

Herman Melville was born in New York City in 1819 and as a young man spent time in the merchant marines, the U.S. Navy and on a whaling ship in the South Seas. In 1846, he published his first novel, Typee, a romantic adventure based on his experiences in Polynesia. The book was a success and a sequel, Omoo, was published in 1847. Three more novels followed, with mixed critical and commercial results. Melville’s sixth book, Moby-Dick, was first published in October 1851 in London, in three volumes titled The Whale, and then in the U.S. a month later. Melville had promised his publisher an adventure story similar to his popular earlier works, but instead, Moby-Dick was a tragic epic, influenced in part by Melville’s friend and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, neighbor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose novels include The Scarlet Letter.

After Moby-Dick‘s disappointing reception, Melville continued to produce novels, short stories (Bartleby) and poetry, but writing wasn’t paying the bills so in 1865 he returned to New York to work as a customs inspector, a job he held for 20 years.

Melville died in 1891, largely forgotten by the literary world. By the 1920s, scholars had rediscovered his work, particularly Moby-Dick, which would eventually become a staple of high school reading lists across the United States. Billy Budd, Melville’s final novel, was published in 1924, 33 years after his death.


Harvard students attempt to take 1964 Louisiana Literacy test, fail

9 Things You May Not know about the Declaration of Independence

By Elizabeth Harrison
Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, celebrates the adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. On the 236th birthday of the United States, explore nine surprising facts about one of America’s most important founding documents.

1. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776.
On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the following day 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. The delegates then spent the next two days debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by Thomas Jefferson. On July 4, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a result the date is celebrated as Independence Day. Nearly a month would go by, however, before the actual signing of the document took place. First, New York’s delegates didn’t officially give their support until July 9 because their home assembly hadn’t yet authorized them to vote in favor of independence. Next, it took two weeks for the Declaration to be “engrossed”—written on parchment in a clear hand. Most of the delegates signed on August 2, but several—Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton—signed on a later date. (Two others, John Dickinson and Robert R. Livingston, never signed at all.) The signed parchment copy now resides at the National Archives in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, alongside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

2. More than one copy exists.
After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the “Committee of Five”—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston—was charged with overseeing the reproduction of the approved text. This was completed at the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap. On July 5, Dunlap’s copies were dispatched across the 13 colonies to newspapers, local officials and the commanders of the Continental troops. These rare documents, known as “Dunlap broadsides,” predate the engrossed version signed by the delegates. Of the hundreds thought to have been printed on the night of July 4, only 26 copies survive. Most are held in museum and library collections, but three are privately owned.

3. When news of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, it started a riot.
By July 9, 1776, a copy of the Declaration of Independence had reached New York City. With hundreds of British naval ships occupying New York Harbor, revolutionary spirit and military tensions were running high. George Washington, commander of the Continental forces in New York, read the document aloud in front of City Hall. A raucous crowd cheered the inspiring words, and later that day tore down a nearby statue of George III. The statue was subsequently melted down and shaped into more than 42,000 musket balls for the fledgling American army.

4. Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.
While the majority of the members of the Second Continental Congress were native-born Americans, eight of the men voting for independence from Britain were born there. Gwinnett Button and Robert Morris were born in England, Francis Lewis was born in Wales, James Wilson and John Witherspoon were born in Scotland, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton were born in Ireland and James Smith hailed from Northern Ireland.

5. One signer later recanted.
Richard Stockton, a lawyer from Princeton, New Jersey, became the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to recant his support of the revolution. On November 30, 1776, the hapless delegate was captured by the British and thrown in jail. After months of harsh treatment and meager rations, Stockton repudiated his signature on the Declaration of Independence and swore his allegiance to King George III. A broken man when he regained his freedom, he took a new oath of loyalty to the state of New Jersey in December 1777.

6. There was a 44-year age difference between the youngest and oldest signers.
The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin, 70 years old when he scrawled his name on the parchment. The youngest was Edward Rutledge, a lawyer from South Carolina who was only 26 at the time. Rutledge narrowly beat out fellow South Carolinian Thomas Lynch Jr., just four months his senior, for the title.

7. Two additional copies have been found in the last 25 years.
In 1989, a Philadelphia man found an original Dunlap Broadside hidden in the back of a picture frame he bought at a flea market for $4. One of the few surviving copies from the official first printing of the Declaration, it was in excellent condition and sold for $8.1 million in 2000. A 26th known Dunlap broadside emerged at the British National Archives in 2009, hidden for centuries in a box of papers captured from American colonists during the Revolutionary War. One of three Dunlap broadsides at the National Archives, the copy remains there to this day.

8. The Declaration of Independence spent World War II in Fort Knox.
On December 23, 1941, just over two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the signed Declaration, together with the Constitution, was removed from public display and prepared for evacuation out of Washington, D.C. Under the supervision of armed guards, the founding document was packed in a specially designed container, latched with padlocks, sealed with lead and placed in a larger box. All told, 150 pounds of protective gear surrounded the parchment. On December 26 and 27, accompanied by Secret Service agents, it traveled by train to Louisville, Kentucky, where a cavalry troop of the 13th Armored Division escorted it to Fort Knox. The Declaration was returned to Washington, D.C., in 1944.

9. There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence.
In the movie “National Treasure,” Nicholas Cage’s character claims that the back of the Declaration contains a treasure map with encrypted instructions from the founding fathers, written in invisible ink. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is, however, a simpler message, written upside-down across the bottom of the signed document: “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.” No one knows who exactly wrote this or when, but during the Revolutionary War years the parchment was frequently rolled up for transport. It’s thought that the text was added as a label.

New York Democrats land top-tier challenger to GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard.Daily Kos's profile photo


NY-22: On Tuesday, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi became the second Democrat to join the race against first-term Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney in this upstate New York seat, which contains Utica and Binghamton. Brindisi has represented Utica in New York’s Assembly since a 2011 special election victory, and he is reportedly the strong preference of both state and national Democrats.

The assemblyman is known as a moderate, which could prove to be a key asset with swing voters in this historically Republican region. However, his “A” rating from the NRA is unlikely to please progressive Democratic primary voters, but so far Brindisi only faces little-known SUNY Binghamton computer science professor Patrick Madden in the primary, whose campaign has yet to gain traction.

Obama lost New York’s 22nd Congressional District by mere fractions of a percentage point in both 2012 and 2008, but this disproportionately white working-class seat veered rightward to a 55-39 Trump win. However, Tenney prevailed just 46-41 in a heavily contested three-way race last year that featured a self-funding independent who pledged to caucus with the GOP.

Brindisi sits in one of the reddest Assembly seats held by a Democrat, and his district moved further to the right last year, lunging from 51-47 Obama to 54-41 Trump in 2016. However, he’s nonetheless won re-election unopposed every year since 2012, suggesting his crossover appeal has helped deter strong GOP challengers. The 22nd will likely be a tough seat for Democrats to flip, but Tenney’s hard-right image and her support for Trumpcare could give Team Blue an opening.

One major wildcard for 2018, though, is wealthy former Rep. Richard Hanna. As one of the least-conservative House Republicans, Hanna nearly lost the 2014 to primary to Tenney and avoided what would have been a tough rematch by retiring last year. Hanna recently said he was considering challenging his successor as an independent next year, which could help Democrats by stealing away center-right voters from Tenney—something that appears to have happened in 2016 when Martin Babinec took 12 percent of the vote as an independent. However, after Hanna endorsed Hillary Clinton, he might just as easily take more from Democratic voters if he runs, but there’s no indication of how likely he is to get in.


AL-Sen: Appointed Republican Sen. Luther Strange’s latest ad on immigration continues to throw red meat to the base ahead of the Aug. 15Senate special election primary. The spot features a clip of Trump chanting “build that wall” before segueing to argue how “Big Luther” Strange supports Trump’s agenda. (Strange earned the creative nickname thanks to his 6’9” frame.) Strange says he wants to defund “liberal sanctuary cities” in order to pay for the Mexico border wall, boasts of how he “sued and stopped Obama’s illegal amnesty play,” and closes by urging the deportation of non-citizen immigrants involved in violent crimes.

But while Strange forges ahead, Politico’s Alex Isenstadt reports that all is not well in the land of the GOP national party organizations. He relays that both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Strange have requested that Trump approve RNC spending in Alabama’s primary, but have so far been frustrated with the lack of a response. Two McConnell-aligned super PACs have already devoted $2.4 million to the race, though, and Democrats certainly won’t be displeased that Senate Republicans are spending resources in a dark-red state that could have otherwise gone toward targeting Democratic incumbents in general elections elsewhere.

IN-Sen: Republican state Sen. Mike Delph previously hadn’t ruled out running against Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, and a recent Howey Politics newsletter finds Delph considering a campaign with piqued interest. Delph, who hails from the True Conservative™ wing of the GOP, previously deferred to other candidates in both the 2012 and 2016 Senate races, ostensibly to prevent a split in the hard-right vote. However, he says he’s already met with the NRSC and true-believer groups like the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund about a possible campaign next year. Delph stated that his decision “won’t be a long, drawn-out process. Going into the fall, we’ll know what we’re going to do.”

If he runs, Delph will likely compete in the primary with Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, who have both previously said they’re considering the race and both look very much like candidates in all but name. Meanwhile, state Rep. Mike Braun is also considering it, while a few lesser-known Republican candidates are already formally in the running.

MT-Sen: Yellowstone County District Judge Russell Fagg recently decided to retire from the bench this coming October to start his own law practice, but he had also said he was open to running for office. On Tuesday, Fagg confirmed that the particular office was the Senate, after he formed an exploratory committee for a bid against Democratic incumbent Jon Tester. Fagg stressed that he still won’t resign until the fall, which means we likely won’t get an official announcement of a Senate campaign until then, lest Fagg run afoul of state ethics laws that prevent a sitting judge from participating in a campaign.

Fagg has served as a judge for over two decades and was previously a Republican state legislator before that, so he could have some pull in a Republican primary. (Previously, he’d appeared interested in the GOP nomination in Montana’s May House special election, but ultimately didn’t run.) If Fagg does indeed join the Senate race, he would face businessman Troy Downing, state Sen. Albert Olszewski, and a few lesser-known candidates in the Republican primary. However, some top Montana and national Republicans have reportedly still been looking for a more prominent challenger against Tester, and it’s unclear if Fagg is whom they have in mind.

NV-Sen: Republican Sen. Dean Heller is likely the country’s most vulnerable GOP incumbent facing re-election in 2018 by virtue of being the only one whose state voted for Hillary Clinton, and a new PPP survey for Planned Parenthood finds Heller could indeed lose his seat next year. PPP’s poll, the first publicly released survey of the race, shows Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen beating Heller 42-41, while the incumbent sports an underwater approval rating of just 35 percent and a disapproval rating of 44 percent. Rosen has yet to formally launch her candidacy, but news outlets widely reported last week that she’s expected to do so soon with the support of key national Democrats.

As we always note, any lone poll must be interpreted with caution. However, given the historical tendency for the party in control of the White House to suffer downballot losses in midterm elections, no Republican incumbent wants to find himself already stuck in the low 40s and trailing his prospective opponent over a year ahead of the election in a state Clinton carried 48-46.

Heller could also be facing blowback from the congressional GOP’s healthcare repeal bill, which PPP says Nevada voters oppose 55-31. While Heller recently made waves when he came out against the bill—although with the hugely important caveat of “in this form”—that personal opposition might not be enough to overcome his party’s association with the unpopular measure, which could cost many Nevadans their health insurance.

Nevada’s unique ballot system could also put Heller between a rock and a hard place vis-a-vis swing voters and the hard right, since the Silver State lets voters choose “none of these candidates” as an option. If Heller’s opposition helps sink Trumpcare, angry Trump diehards might opt to vote none of the above in protest, allowing Democrats to prevail with a plurality. That would be a bitter twist of irony for Heller after he only won his initial election by 46-45 in 2012 against a Democrat who faced attacks over ethics troubles, with “none” taking 5 percent.


NY-Gov: GOP state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is the Senate’s deputy majority leader, had previously refused to rule out running for governor next year, and he now says he’s “seriously considering” it. Republicans face daunting obstacles in this dark-blue state next year with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo likely to seek a third term, but a few others have nonetheless also expressed interested in possible campaigns, including Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro; ex-hedge fund manager Harry Wilson, who narrowly lost the 2010 state comptroller’s race; and wealthy businessman Carl Paladino, whom Cuomo trounced in the 2010 gubernatorial race.


IL-12: Following a recent New York Times story that reported he was likely to run for Illinois’ 12th Congressional District next year, Democrat Brendan Kelly, the state’s attorney for St. Clair County, confirmed that he’s “strongly considering” a bid on Monday. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the DCCC itself has been recruiting Kelly to run. St. Clair is by far the largest county in this greater St. Louis-area district, making up roughly 38 percent of its population, which could give Kelly a solid base of support.

While Team Blue had drawn this longtime Democratic seat to favor themselves during 2011 redistricting, it lurched from 50-48 Obama to 55-40 Trump as Republican Rep. Mike Bost won his second term by a 54-40 margin against a decently funded Democratic foe last year. It’s unclear just how fruitful of a target this disproportionately white and working-class seat will be for Democrats in 2018, but a potential Kelly candidacy and Bost’s support for Trumpcare could give the party an opening with wayward Obama-Trump voters here.

VA-10: The Washington Post reports that two more candidates recently joined Team Blue’s crowded primary to take on Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock next year. The first candidate, Alison Kiehl Friedman, worked at the State Department from 2009 to 2015 to combat human trafficking and previously served as a staffer to ex-Rep. Jane Harman. The second Democrat, Deep Sran, is the son of Indian immigrants who holds a doctorate in educational psychology and is the founder of the local Loudoun School for the Gifted. Both appear to be first-time candidates.

Comstock won a fiercely contested race 53-47 last year even as her suburban D.C. seat swung from 50-49 Romney to 52-42 Clinton. However, as one of the country’s most highly college-educated districts, the 10th is fertile territory for resistance to Trump next year. In addition to Friedman and Sran, the Democratic field includes state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, who was reportedly recruited by the DCCC and EMILY’s List; former Veterans Administration official Lindsey Davis Stover; former Fairfax teachers union president Kimberly Adams; former Naval intelligence officer David Hanson; and Army veteran Daniel Helmer.

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