It seems this 15 year old from St. Louis has been writing away about national politics now for years. From his website:
Gabe Fleisher is an eighth grader from University City, Missouri, with a passion for politics and history, as well as for informing and engaging people in the news.
What he does, according to that same site:
"At Wake Up to Politics, the daily goal for the past five years has been the same - to inform readers with the most non-partisan and comprehensive yet understandable version of the news that really matters."
"That goal is put into a daily political newsletter, sent out around 8:00 AM every weekday morning. Every day, Wake Up To Politics strives to give you a look at the day's news that matters - and a glimpse into what our leaders are doing. That includes news on the President, Congress, the courts, elections, history, a daily trivia question, and more."
He's been writing since he was 8 years old and has some huge names in the nation and media, following him and his output. People like:
Gene B. Sperling, contributing editor at The Atlantic; the MSNBC anchor Steve Kornacki; Major Garrett, chief White House correspondent for CBS News; the “Daily Show” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. (who on Twitter called Wake Up “one of the best political newsletters to hit my inbox”); the author Mark Halperin; and Jim VandeHei, the founder of Axios and a founder of Politico — as well as reporters for The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today, many of whom are among Gabe’s nearly 5,000 Twitter followers. (Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, is also a follower.)
Incredible kid, it seems.
Could be a great link to have and keep up with for you, on politics.
"Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. 'Patriotism' is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism" I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one's own nation, which is the concern with the nation's spiritual as much as with its material welfare — never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship."
--Erich Fromm, in "The Sane Society" (1955)
"We Americans claim to be a peace-loving people. We hate bloodshed; we are opposed to violence. Yet we go into spasms of joy over the possibility of projecting dynamite bombs from flying machines upon helpless citizens. We are ready to hang, electrocute, or lynch anyone, who, from economic necessity, will risk his own life in the attempt upon that of some industrial magnate. Yet our hearts swell with pride at the thought that America is becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and that she will eventually plant her iron foot on the necks of all other nations.
Such is the logic of patriotism."
--Emma Goldman, "What is Patriotism?" (1908)
"True patriotism isn't cheap. It's about taking on a fair share of the burdens of keeping America going.
Those who earn tens of millions of dollars a year but pay less than 14 percent of their incomes in taxes, and argue the rich should pay even less, are not true patriots.
Those who defend indefensible tax loopholes, such as the "carried interest" loophole that allows private-equity managers to treat their incomes as capital gains even if they risk no income of their own, are not true patriots.
Those who avoid taxes by putting huge amounts of their earnings into IRAs via foreign tax shelters are not true patriots.
Those who want to cut programs that benefit the poor -- Food stamps, child nutrition, Pell grants, Medicaid -- so that they can get a tax cut for themselves and their affluent friends-- are not true patriots."
--Robert Reich, economist, writer, author, professor and former Labor Secretary of President Bill Clinton's Cabinet
"The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered."
There are a lot of good to great things about and in Kansas City, as we know, and the world seems to be learning of them and that's great, of course. One of the best ways our city is getting promoted, though, from within and without is the fairly new, annual "Big Slick" fund raiser. Here's some about this year's event from our own Kansas City Star.
Want to play a game of softball with the Big Slick celebs at the K?
Here’s your chance.
Big Slick KC is kicking off this year’s fundraising campaign with an online raffle for the chance to participate in the softball game June 23 at Kauffman Stadium with hosts Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet David Koechner and their celeb friends.
The winner will also take in the Royals game afterward from the swanky Hall of Fame suite and get VIP tickets for two to the next day’s events: watching the bowling tournament in Prairiefire and attending the sold-out evening party and auction at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.
Big Slick partnered with the website Omaze (omaze.com/bigslick) for the raffle, which, like all Big Slick events, will benefit Children’s Mercy hospital.
Donations can range from $10 (good for 100 raffle entries) to $2,500 (25,000 entries) and, depending on the amount, also can include an iron-on “Slick” decal, a custom Charlie Hustle Big Slick tee and autographed poster.
Prizes include airfare and hotel in case the winner lives outside Kansas City.
Over the years the event has generated more than $4.5 million to help Children’s Mercy cancer center expand research, provide new hospital amenities and purchase medical equipment.
From none other than the extreme Right Winger himself, Erick Erickson, yesterday in the Washington Post.
"The president exudes incompetence and instability. Divulging classified information to the Russians through bragging; undermining his staff’s defense of his conduct through inane tweets; even reportedly asking the FBI director to suspend an investigation of a former adviser — all these strike me not so much as malicious but as the ignorant actions of an overwhelmed man. Republicans excuse this behavior as Trump being Trump, but that will only embolden voters who seek greater accountability to choose further change over stability. The sad reality is that the greatest defense of the president available at this point is one his team could never give on the record: He is an idiot who does not know any better."
This is apparently National Orange Popsicle Week, according to my trip across Kansas City today, to Mill Creek Park and the JC Nichols fountain on the Plaza.
And our buddy Slugger, of the Kansas City Royals showed, too.
I've no idea what it's about or why Slugger, of all people (people?), would be there, along with a table for KU Med Center but the fountain was flowing orange, as you can see. It was fun, if not nearly completely unexplained.
We warned about this guy, this Trump. We said he didn't have the temperament or experience for the job and he's already proven he wasn't up for it. He even said it was harder than he thought. So now, today? What's happening? What do we get?
How long are we going to put up with this boob of a President? You deserve better than this, America. We all deserve better than this. Much better than this. We need better than this. We need logic and calm and thoughtfulness and deliberation and all the things that go with maturity and experience and familiarity with national and international politics and history and all the rest.
It's getting so it's tough to keep up with all that's happening, all that's unraveling from and out of this White House and administration. It's nearly dizzying. Check out this brief analysis of the last 18 hours or so:
"So last night a story breaks that Trump gave classified information to the Russians. Trump sends all his top staff people out to deny it, say it's a dirty lie. Then this morning Trump sends out tweets saying that he did give classified information to the Russians and explains why. No information yet on whether his staff will continue to deny it."
I first started writing this blog as reaction to the George W Bush administration and what I saw as the horrible path and paths they were taking us all, as a nation, on. Since that time, there have been other deplorable things done, certainly, and by others as well as Republicans, individually, and the by the Republican Party, collectively. But this presidency, this Trump Presidency and his Republican cohorts in Congress are doing the most damage and on tge most issues, I can ever remember. Herewith is just a sampling in the last few days.
First, they had to vote to take money away from the working and middle and lower classes, by voting for corporations, instead, taking away overtime pay for us, their constituents. They did this two days ago.
They’re voting to repeal Obamacare which will have the results of kicking millions of Americans off health insurance plans, as well as putting back into place the possibility and capability of health insurance companies to deny coverage to us out here on the basis of pre-existing conditions.
Their bill is so bad, they didn’t even want to let the Congressional Budget Office, the CBO, to look at, evaluate and report on it. They just voted on it and pushed it through. It’s that bad.
And what's really crazy?
The House Republicans voted on their replacement for Obamacare BUT THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S IN IT. It was reported last evening on PBS.
Next up, as though that alone isn’t bad enough, is this, also yesterday.
Church and state? Not a problem for this President. He actually WANTS religions mixing their beliefs with their---our—politics. Well, unless, of course, that religion is, oh, I don’t know, something like Muslim? Fortunately, even some in the religious community realize this is a mistake and far from a good idea.
Not done there, they figure that pesky 2008 near complete financial collapse corporations caused shouldn’t be guarded against so they want to repeal the banking regulations that grew out of it. This came out also yesterday--they were busy.
If it’s closing unused and/or empty facilities, sure, I am, we are all for it. If that’s the case. Reportedly, there are 430 vacant buildings and 735 that VA Secretary David Shulkin describes as “underutilized.” If that’s the case, God bless ‘em. If it has to do with closing working, important facilities, even one, there should be problems.
So that’s it. For now. For today. Once again, the Republicans and Republican Party show they are all about and working for the already-wealthy and corporations and not for the American middle- and/or lower-class, the working class.
Fortunately, even some on the Right Wing, some Conservatives, are pointing out what we warned of before Donald Trump ever became President. Well known columnist George Will states what no Democrat or person on the Left could point out.
Perhaps the Senate will stop this assault; we will see.
Meanwhile the congressional GOP, and its fundamentalists, are full of real bastards, replete with the hubris and conceits that blind white people of privilege.
It’s the stuff of fiction.
All of them are the pious and stunted Babbits who have shown up time after time in American history. In the 19th century, these ignoramus moralists used to tar and feather the wicked and clutch their skirts and get the vapors, when their real motive was fleecing someone.
Snake Oil comes in Red, White, and Blue with a GOP pin.
Once again, the officiously comfortable afflict the poor, elderly and vulnerable, and proclaim their righteous glory and salvation while killing them, Alleluiah. No dunking chairs, stocks or nooses are being used here, and no one is quite being run out of town, but it's a bonfire of hubris.
And of course, a rancid lecher like Trump and his administration target women and the poor.
He is enabled in so many ways by those who obsess over the organ Trump is so fond of and yet horrified by, the organ which does all those things he and his coterie are so terribly, demonstrably, shamed by. Misogyny, racism and an orgy of white class privilege define today; NOT American ideals.
This is ancient, orgiastic Rome on the Potomac.
Or, leap ahead to the 17th century: You don't have to endorse everything HRC did in her campaign to be appalled by her burning at the stake by Comey and the rest with casual, partial, deadly “reveals". (Comey tosssed letter bombs.)
So, friends, what comes next?
Demonstrations, protests, and 2018.
The Democrats may have been less than elegant today -- but really, who can blame a visceral reaction in the face of an Orwellian overload of cant? We're watching democracy be trampled, and decent people be trampled, and our way of life -- I don't think I'm exaggerating here -- be peeled off to appease and enrich the exalted triumphalists.
They should start wearing togas.
Staid, pleasant rhetoric doesn't cut it for me in these times. And unless we're really willing to do the hard work of connecting people, this ugliness dominates. I think we're on the cusp of a radical act: Democracy, and yanking it back in 2018 from the worst, most venal characters since the days of Vigilantes, boss rule and segregation and other nativist elements.
Can we provide the cure for the diseased heart of the American power structure?
For the heartlessness and greed which lie at the heart of Trumpism and the GOP?
That's my definition of palliative care: vote them into oblivion. Whatever it takes, wherever we are, but link arms, and do not be silent.
Yes sir and ma'am, yet one more lily white, bleached white, exclusive, exclusionist "Ruckus" news weekly last evening on our PBS station KCPT. Not one--not even one--person of color on the show. One woman but that, as usual, is as close to a minority as they got.
They go out of their way, every week, to include a middle-aged, middle-class, irrelevant white guy who calls himself a "Libertarian" but again---not one person of a minority. And then there's always the really old, white guy with silver hair and moustache because, you know, old white guys' opinions just aren't "out there" enough already, right? (Other than the moustache, isn't that what Mike Shanin is already there for?).
The only question now is, will they do the same thing, yet again, with their other news weekly show, Nick Haines' "Week in Review"? It's usually what they do, of course.
Many people say we don't need to raise the minimum wage in America. I see it repeatedly.
It made me think.
I remember, distinctly, how I was proud of making $21,000 per year as assistant manager of a men's retail store I worked at in 1979. It didn't make me rich, no way, but I very clearly remember that wage landmark at that time.
So I took that amount and time and put it in a inflation calculator online. The results were stunning.
It showed that that amount, $21,000 per year in 1979 would be the equivalent of earning over $74,000 today. In fact, it would be nearly $75,000 in today's money.
Mind you, a great, great deal has changed since, what with retail stores continually being hit and hit hard by "big box" and now online stores, these wages, at least from retail positions, are no longer possible. That said, other industries could, in fact, pay far more reasonable, fair and living wages.
We need to fight. We need to fight back. We need to end the Citizens United ruling and end campaign contributions entirely. It's the only way we'll get it back where the government and nation work for the people again, for all the people and not just for the already-wealthy and corporations.