Blog Catalog

Monday, November 28, 2016

Missouri, Coal and Pollution HIstory

On this day, November 28, 1939, in our own St. Louis, Missouri.

This is how soon, how quickly we forget how dirty, how black and foul our air was here in the US, let alone Missouri before government stepped in, by necessity.

A bit from the article:

ST. LOUIS • City dwellers woke up on Nov. 28, 1939, in a thick fog of acrid coal smoke. Suburbanites heading to work saw a low dome of darkness covering neighborhoods east of Kingshighway.

In a streetcar downtown at 8 a.m., a commuter told the driver, "Let me off at 13th and Washington - if you can find it." Motorists drove slowly with headlights on. Streetlights, still on, made ghostly glows.

The day became infamous as Black Tuesday, the worst of many smoke-choked days in what was to be St. Louis' smokiest cold-weather season. The city already was known for the nation's filthiest air, worse even than Pittsburgh's.

The reason was the area's reliance on cheap, dirty, high-sulfur "soft" coal dug from the hills and hollows across the Mississippi River in Illinois. St. Louis' first anti-smoke ordinance dated to 1867. But as the city grew in population and industry, the smoke kept getting worse.

In 1936, after years of civic debate, city aldermen required homes and businesses to install mechanical stokers in furnaces or burn "washed" local coal.

Let's learn from the past.

And move forward. Not backward.

Links:  1939 St. Louis smog - Wikipedia

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Entertainment Overnight -- Happy Birthday, Tina

You truly are simply the best.

And this was always a favorite.

Have a great weekend, y'all.

We Join Less, Get On Technology More

The future holds very little socializing, I think. At least in person. I believe we will be a nation, if not most of the industrialized world, of people looking down, into our phones, mostly, and laptops, secondarily.

First, what we're doing.

How parents fight back against their kids’ obsession with smartphones and social media.

Doesn't seem like it portends good things for us, as a people, as a society, as a nation. A not very united states.

Speaking Truth To Power

From the US House of Representatives, Rep. Ruben Gallego on the person that is Donald J. Trump, who he is, what he stands for, what he's said and what he supports.

Let's not forget all that he is and more than that, let's not forget who we are and who and what we have always said what we are about and/or to what we aspire--the "better angels of our nature", I would hope and always thought.

Then there's this from Jon Stewart.

Finally, there's this, from some time ago and David Letterman.

Let's be and stay better than Donald Trump.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A twist on "A Christmas Carol"

Holidays With the Chiefs!

Our own Kansas City Chiefs made a "top ten" list yesterday and in none other than the New York Times.

It seems not only is it one of the top ten most important games left in the season but it's also going to be a big Christmas gift for all us fans. What they had to say:

There are six weeks remaining in the N.F.L. season, and more than 90 games to come. Some will be crucial, and some will be 60 minutes of garbage time. But which are which?

Thanks to The Upshot’s Playoff Simulator at, The New York Times can quantify that.

Every game counts in the standings, but some are much more likely to affect the playoffs than others. A game like the Jets at the Patriots on Christmas Eve does not look too important: The Patriots are a lock to make the postseason, and the Jets are a huge long shot. The Browns at the Steelers on Jan. 1 might turn out to matter a lot to Pittsburgh, but it will not affect Cleveland’s playoff chances, which are zero.

But a handful of games are likely to be crucial for the playoff hopes of both teams. These are the biggest games left this year, according to The Upshot’s simulator.


9. Broncos at Chiefs, Dec. 25

The Raiders, the Chiefs and the Broncos are in a dogfight for the A.F.C. West, as well as wild-card consolation prizes. Of all the games left on their schedules, this ranks as the most important, although the Chiefs at the Broncos on Dec. 4 is 11th on the list.


In the meantime, happy Thanksgiving to all. Here's hoping for more great wins this season.

In Thanksgiving

We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Fibonacci Day!!

Yes sir! And ma'am!  Happy Fibonacci Day!
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What is Fibonacci Day you ask?

And no, it's not an Italian noodle.

Here you are, ladies and gentlemen---

Fibonacci Day - 23rd Nov, 2016

November 23 is celebrated as Fibonacci day because when the date is written in the mm/dd format (11/23), the digits in the date form a Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3. AFibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where a number is the sum of the two numbers before it. For example: 1, 1, 2, a Fibonacci sequence.

So git on out there and have a great fibonacci day!

And you're welcome!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

(Another) Open Letter To Trump Supporters

Dear Trump Supporters,

Understand, for the next four years, minimum, you will get no respect from the rest of America. You'll get respect as a human being and you should be treated decently otherwise, of course, sure, certainly, but as a voter? As a citizen of our/these United States?

You voted for and probably do still support Donald "The Man-Child" Trump. You got us in this mess.

Your candidate, your President is going to be lampooned nearly or virtually, if not actually, mercilessly and he will deserve every jab. Like him, you shouldn't be all fragile about it. In fact, you should be prepared for it. If this reaches even one of you and you get it and understand and accept it, it will have done some good.

Horrible as this man will be for the nation, the political satire is going to be easy but magnificent.

Thanks for nothing,

The Rest of Thinking, Educated, Responsible America.


Steve Bannon: 'Darkness is good' for political power

President Trump --- Shudder

At least, if we're going to have four years of President Donald Trump--and it looks as though we are--at least give us four years, also, of Alec Baldwin playing him, mocking him for all those 4 years, also. 

Please, if there's a God and Heaven, at least give us that.

Quote of the Day -- Sunday Edition

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“Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different road, so long as we reach the same goal. Wherein is the cause for quarreling?”

―Mahatma Gandhi

An Open Letter To Those Who Voted For Trump (Guest Post)

From the Los Angeles Times.

Dear Person Whose Voice Was Heard:

Well, you got your way. The people have spoken. And your guy won. I mean, he won by attracting support from well below half of those who actually voted — long live the electoral college — but still. A win is a win. No shutting down of a freeway in protest is gonna change that. So congratulations.

I have never been more wrong in my life than I was in predicting this election. I didn't think there was a chance in holy heck that Donald Trump could actually become president of the United States. Life will surprise you, though rarely like this.

It will probably come as little shock that I'm pretty upset about this whole thing. Actually, crushingly depressed is a better way to describe it. You know, I'm one of those arrogant liberal elites blinded inside my blue bubble who likes my presidents classy and competent. Crazy, right?

But I digress.

My purpose of this letter is merely to give you a heads up as to what exactly you have voted for here in going with your gut rather than your rational mind. To my mind, you have sided with unvarnished stupidity and hatred.

You've chosen a man who applied for a demanding job he knew nothing about and had never served in political office. Go back to when you were 16 working your first gig at Carl's Jr. and recall all of the mistakes you made. Now magnify that times 50 million in terms of pressure and difficulty and with the entire world watching. It's on-the-job training with the country serving as your shake machine.

Another thing you did is vote into office a person who flaunts without an ounce of self-awareness or irony the most buffoonish, disgusting trappings of American consumption and conspicuous wealth, a man who believes everything can be made exquisite if encrusted in solid gold. The world's enduring image of America is now Richie Rich.

While you can feel secure in the knowledge that you voted in lock-step with the evangelical community, it seems the purportedly devout have profoundly lowered their standards in backing a xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, racist, fear-mongering, hate-spewing serial violator of women. But hey, nobody's perfect, right?

The thing is, you too knew all of this stuff and voted for Trump anyway. You rationalized it with every fiber of your being. You figured the media had it out for him and did everything it could to make him look bad. Plus, all of those women who accused him of sexual harassment and worse were making it up, weren't they?

Your guy may have said he could grab females by the you-know-where, but come on, can't a guy joke around? Anyone who objected was just being politically correct, which in this case meant overly supportive of diplomacy and decency.

You voted for a guy who promised to build walls rather than bridges and launch immigration squads to cleanse the United States of imaginary Muslim terrorists. Because there are already too many foreigners here anyhow, right? And they're taking our jobs, dammit!

So let's again just be clear about what you've elected: A middle-school bully with no respect for humanity or tolerance for anyone who isn't white. You chose to conveniently, willfully ignore — or perhaps applaud — Trump's belief that it's virtuous to use loopholes to avoid paying taxes and even more righteous to entirely shield your returns from public view.

Your choice for president was transparent in his embrace of a fascist dictator named Vladimir Putin and supportive of Putin's influence on the election through hacking and leaks. And here is another news flash: If you're working class, your hero has no use for you. In fact, he thinks you're a sucker.

You know what you've done? You've rolled the dice and endangered all of the social progress we've made in this country over the past 50 years. Congratulations.

Sore loser? Oh you bet I'm a sore loser. The sorest loser ever. So let's get a few things straight:

I'm not interested in unifying for the good of the country any more than you were for President Obama.

I don't want to hear your complaints when your revolution flops on arrival, given how you've chosen the worst imaginable man to lead it.

Don't ask me to heal, accept, embrace, reassess or chill. It's you who screwed up. It isn't my responsibility to cushion the blow.

Good luck. We're all going to need it.



RAY RICHMOND has covered Hollywood and the entertainment business since 1984. He can be reached via email at and Twitter at @MeGoodWriter.

Copyright © 2016, Glendale News-Press


Enjoy your Sunday, y'all.

Happy National Absurdity Day

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Entertainment Overnight -- When the Doves Cry

I'm liking this group I found on YouTube, Choir! Choir! Choir!

Have a great weekend, y'all.

About That Election, America

The last time you did this?

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For a Little Window of Time There, America....

For a little window of time there, these past nearly full 8 years, we had intelligence and calm and lucidity and rationality and strength and a lot of things good and right in the country. Not perfect, no, not by a long shot. But we had it good and right.

The first of humanity to declare "Nothing lasts forever" had it so right.

It was great while it lasted.

KCPT: Minorities Don't Matter In Kansas City?


Once again, our local PBS TV station, KCPT had a full one half hour discussing local issues and once again, one more time, they chose to make it an entire half hour, an entire show, all participants, the whole panel full of white people.

Only white people.

The closest they got to a minority was having a white woman on the show.


All middle-aged or senior, white men.

Check it out.

The show began with an interview with one Wendell Cox, Principal of Demographia. Then it went to a panel discussion, mostly on the just-passed election with the following panel members:

--Jason Grill, media/public affairs consultant, 
--Mike Sanders, Attorney with Humphrey, Farrington and McClain
--Crosby Kemper III, Executive Director of the Kansas City Public Library and 
--Annie Presley, Author

All white.

Every. Single. One.

In the longest segment, they discussed the recently-executed 2016 presidential election. You would think that would include some input from, oh, I don't know, some Black Americans? Some Hispanic Americans? Mexican-Americans? Any other groups?


Just the white folks. Not so much as even one "token", to be crude.

You would think there weren't any Black or Hispanic or any other minority people in this entire city, watching this show, most weeks and that the election didn't effect them in any way whatever.

It apparently, really is a white man's world. At least in Kansas City.

Ironically and coincidentally (hypocritically?), the program was followed by two ads promoting inclusion and helping young minority youth in the city.   I nearly choked.

To be clear here, however, they will accept monetary contributions from minorities, rest assured.

Link: Ruckus | KCPT

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Walmart, Stiffing Chinese Workers, Too

From today's New York Times.

It seems Walmart's penchant for paying people low wages while demanding long hours is international.

Walmart employees in China, furious over low pay and exhausting schedules, have organized nationwide strikes and boycotts at some of the retail giant’s 400 stores.

Much of the discontent stems from a new scheduling system that Walmart put in place this summer as a way, the company said, of giving workers more flexibility. Workers have argued that it has resulted in cuts to overtime pay and excessively long shifts, and some say they were coerced into signing new contracts agreeing to the system....

When Walmart opened its first store in China in 1996, workers rushed to snap up jobs that paid more than those at Chinese competitors.

Now, some employees say, a Walmart job does not pay enough to comfortably support a family, with wages hovering around minimum wage, or about $300 a month. While Walmart has led a high-profile campaign in the United States to raise pay, salaries in China have remained largely stagnant, workers said, barely keeping pace with inflation.

These folks down in Bentonville must love being able to pay employees $300 per month rather than, say, that amount per week as they would in the states, huh?

It seems union organizing is on the rise in China.


They are getting what they deserve, Walmart. Just not quickly enough.

Dipping My Feet Into Our New National Reality

Since Tuesday last week, I've been too shocked and surprised and disappointed and even scared for our country and depressed to listen to the news, understandably. An emotional, racist, misogynist and science- and climate change-denier, among other things, being elected to the highest office in the nation and most powerful position in the world.

This helped. A bit.  (Warning: expletives. If you really don't care for them, don't watch to the end. You'll see what I mean).

Good luck to us all. God help us.

American "Health Care"

American health care.

It is the most expensive---and by expensive, I mean outrageously so--and least effective health care system in the world. And by a lot. We have the worst medical outcomes of the top 17 industrialized nations.

U.S. Healthcare: Most Expensive and 

Worst Performing

We have the worst, lowest mortality rates of those top 17 industrialized nations meaning we die sooner than the other 16.

It's insane.

And all because we tie health care to profit and profits. 

No other nation in the world does this. Just us. And this is what it's giving us.

I saw the following comparison on Facebook today, posted by a friend. I post it here, in hopes people will open their minds. From Tom Degan.

"As an American who has been living in Europe for most of the last 20 years, one who has visited doctors numerous times in four different countries, whose two children were brought into this world in European hospitals (France and England), who has himself spent a week in a public British hospital, and who underwent an operation in a private British clinic, I think I can say a thing or two about health care in Europe.

"Our out of pocket expenses for the births? Zero. Even though in France my wife spent 5 days in the hospital after the birth of our first daughter, which is standard by the way.

"During the three years we lived in England, we never once paid for medicine for our children. Children get drugs for free in the UK. Visits to the GP are free for everybody.

"My expenses for the week in the NHS hospital? Zero.

"The cost of the operation in the private clinic? Zero, it was covered by my work insurance, as was the post-op physical therapy I needed.

"In Western Europe you would never be forced to sell your home in order to pay for your medical bills, as happens all too often in America when catastrophic illness strikes and the insurance company decides that your condition was 'pre-existing'.

"The quality of the care? Mostly good. French hospitals are excellent, even the food is decent. The food at the NHS hospital was beyond awful, but then again most English food is pretty bad (though they do have great Indian food). At night, they were understaffed, but I am guessing that, apart from that place where Dr. House works, most American hospitals ar
e understaffed at night, too.

"In short, in the US, you pay more, get less, and die younger than we do in Europe. What part of that don't you understand?

"My fellow Americans, you have nothing to fear except those who would use fear to keep you enslaved to the myth of the might of the American health care system."

--Jeff Degan, from Tom Degan's blog, posted 8/19/09

Monday, November 14, 2016

On Donald Trump, Guest Post III

From Bill Moyers, from his own site: Moyers & Company.

This is part of his article.

Farewell, America

America died on Nov. 8, 2016, not with a bang or a whimper, but at its own hand via electoral suicide. We the people chose a man who has shredded our values, our morals, our compassion, our tolerance, our decency, our sense of common purpose, our very identity — all the things that, however tenuously, made a nation out of a country.

Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country. And we are lost for it...

This generally has been called the “hate election” because everyone professed to hate both candidates. It turned out to be the hate election because, and let’s not mince words, of the hatefulness of the electorate. In the years to come, we will brace for the violence, the anger, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the nativism, the white sense of grievance that will undoubtedly be unleashed now that we have destroyed the values that have bound us.

We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone. In its absence, we may realize just how imperative that politesse was. It is the way we managed to coexist.

If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: “He says the things I’m thinking.” That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool’s paradise. Now we aren’t.

This country has survived a civil war, two world wars, and a great depression. There are many who say we will survive this, too. Maybe we will, but we won’t survive unscathed. We know too much about each other to heal. No more can we pretend that we are exceptional or good or progressive or united. We are none of those things. Nor can we pretend that democracy works and that elections have more or less happy endings. Democracy only functions when its participants abide by certain conventions, certain codes of conduct and a respect for the process....

...Trump was absolutely correct when he bragged that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t care. It was a dictator’s ugly vaunt, but one that recognized this election never was about policy or economics or the “right path/wrong path,” or even values. It was about venting. So long as Trump vented their grievances, his all-white supporters didn’t care about anything else. He is smart enough to know that won’t change in the presidency. In fact, it is only likely to intensify. White America, Trump’s America, just wants to hear its anger bellowed. This is one time when the Bully Pulpit will be literal.

The media can’t be let off the hook for enabling an authoritarian to get to the White House. Long before he considered a presidential run, he was a media creation — a regular in the gossip pages, a photo on magazine covers, the bankrupt (morally and otherwise) mogul who hired and fired on The Apprentice. When he ran, the media treated him not as a candidate, but as a celebrity, and so treated him differently from ordinary pols. The media gave him free publicity, trumpeted his shenanigans, blasted out his tweets, allowed him to phone in his interviews, fell into his traps and generally kowtowed until they suddenly discovered that this joke could actually become president.

Just as Trump has shredded our values, our nation and our democracy, he has shredded the media. In this, as in his politics, he is only the latest avatar of a process that began long before his candidacy. Just as the sainted Ronald Reagan created an unbridgeable chasm between rich and poor that the Republicans would later exploit against Democrats, conservatives delegitimized mainstream journalism so that they could fill the vacuum....


On Donald Trump, Guest Post II

From Garrison Keillor in the Washington Post

“So he won. The nation takes a deep breath. Raw ego and proud illiteracy have won out, and a severely learning-disabled man with a real character problem will be president. We are so exhausted from thinking about this election, millions of people will take up leaf-raking and garage cleaning with intense pleasure. We liberal elitists are wrecks. The Trumpers had a whale of a good time, waving their signs, jeering at the media, beating up protesters, chanting 'Lock her up'..."

Additional links:

On Donald Trump, Guest Post I

Just a bit from David Remnick in The New Yorker:

The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.

There are, inevitably, miseries to come: an increasingly reactionary Supreme Court; an emboldened right-wing Congress; a President whose disdain for women and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact, to say nothing of simple decency, has been repeatedly demonstrated. Trump is vulgarity unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted. The African-American Other. The Hispanic Other. The female Other. The Jewish and Muslim Other. The most hopeful way to look at this grievous event—and it’s a stretch—is that this election and the years to follow will be a test of the strength, or the fragility, of American institutions. It will be a test of our seriousness and resolve.

Again, God and heaven(s) help us.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Entertainment Overnight -- In Memory

Rest in peace, sir.

The Wrong Part of America Will Listen

The people who already understand what this man, Sam Harris, has to say will listen to and/or get this.

The wrong parts of America, those who voted for the buffoon, will neither listen to nor understand what Mr. Harris has to say nor understand the dangers of Donald Trump as our nation's president and leader. And more's the pity. Its what got us where we are now, with the man.

Links---further truths:

Presidential Election 2016: An American Tragedy

Congratulations, America

SNL Was Powerful Last Night

If nothing else came out of the show but their "cold open" and the opening monologue, they outdid themselves.

Have a good week, y'all and heaven help us.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Things I Can Hardly Wait For With Trump

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Yes, things I can hardly wait for with Donald J. Trump next year.

I can hardly wait until he realizes he can't actually build a wall across the US' Southern border, between us and Mexico.

Trump's Impossible Wall

Trump's Wall: Impractical, Impolitic, 


I can hardly wait until he realizes there is no way for one man, one government, one nation, to force another to pay for a border wall.

I can hardly wait until his followers and supporters get word the US will never build this Southern wall.

This hit yesterday. I can hardly wait for his Right Wing and Republican friends to flip on this little announcement.

And this is just for starters.

I've said this before about other, again, Right Wingers and Republicans but it's especially true of Donald Trump.

What I don't hate, I love.

Quote of the Day -- On War and Peace

Buckminster Fuller's words still ring true.

'But would we still have billionaires?'

Friday, November 11, 2016

Entertainment Overnight -- Volunteers

Look what's happenin' out in the streets
Got a revolution...

Let's Be Clear On This Election

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This, ladies and gentlemen, is what happened this past Tuesday. This is what took place, the above. And it occurred because the Republicans and Republican Party has done four things to load the votes and elections their way.

First, they have loaded state after state and district after district with gerrymandered and heavily gerrymandered districts. They make those districts snake through areas in order to give themselves more votes. It's well-known and documented.

Second, they write, propose and get passed as many "voter ID" laws as they can, in their obvious and direct efforts to get fewer of the elderly, Blacks, Latinos, Hispanic, Mexican, minorities, poor and physically-challenged to vote. By doing this, they've made clear they get fewer Democrats in the voting booth.

Third, they helped tear down the Voting Rights Act in recent years so, again, they can get fewer minorities in general but Blacks, specifically, to vote.

Finally, all of this helps load the Electoral College their way so what happened Tuesday, what's shown above, happens. More vote for someone but the Electoral College snaps that vote away. Candidates like Al Gore, first, in 2000 and now, Hillary Clinton, this year, win the popular vote but don't officially win the election.

If you go to this link, it shows Hillary Clinton got nearly 6 hundred thousand more votes than Trump.

US elections 2016 live results

We cannot and we will not merely bemoan the system.  We must change it from within.

Veterans Day

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The 1918 truce that halted fighting in World War I went into effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Today, that is commemorated in the U.S. as Veterans Day.

Let's REALLY honor Veterans.

Demand an end to perpetual war.

Question for Republicans in 2017

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A question now, for Republicans in Washington, D.C., now that you're got the President-elect (I still shudder, thinking about that one) and both the Senate and House of Representatives.

You famously, publicly declared a policy of blocking and obstructing our twice-elected President from getting anything done, from getting any of his goals achieved while he was in office.

Fortunately, through hard work and time, we still got things done for the people, not least of which was the ACA, "Obamacare" and a list of others.

Now that you will have control of virtually all of Washington, are you going to make our government work, in general?

More specifically, are you finally, at long last, going to write, propose and pass a jobs/infrastructure bill in the coming year?

Our infrastructure needs the updating and improving and modernization and sorely, as we all know.

Additionally, the nation, we Americans, need the jobs and heaven knows the economy needs the boost.

Since it will now be on "your watch" and any success on your hands, are you going to work together and get this done?

Sure, we know you want to dismantle Obamacare and the EPA and other programs. (It would be nice if you'd dismantle the Republican boondoggle called Homeland Security you all created during the George W. Bush adminstration).

But could you, would you, will you now, at long, long last give us this jobs/infrastructure bill, please?

It's the least you can do, it's positive and it would and will help the nation in at least the 3 ways I described above.

Please. We're begging you. Do this one, big, great thing.