Growing Old(er)

julesrenard

Robert Reich published a column today on age. He titled it, “Joe, please don’t run again,” but he didn’t just focus on Biden.

Reich himself is 76 and all throughout the piece, he shared several of his experiences as examples of the things we encounter as we age.

Myself being a bit past the age of Robert, I can personally attest to many of the verbal blips and physical stumbles he pointed out and … maybe some of you readers can as well?

Although Biden seems physically fit and, for the most part, mentally sharp, there have been (and are) indications of future concerns. On more than one occasion, reporters have pointed out his “speech blips.” Although not a major worry, such incidents will most likely become more frequent as time passes.

The press has also reported on Biden’s several trips and meetings with world leaders, and this too could become a concern. Although he presents as physically fit for his age, this doesn’t take away from the fact such long journeys do take their toll on the mind as well as the body.

Obviously, none of us have direct control on Biden’s decision. All we can do is hope that he recognizes his own age-related predilections and will be cognizant of this as he makes his final decision.

(Unfortunately, as has been demonstrated by other “senior citizens” in Congress: the pull of politics is difficult to resist.)

This Made My Day!

dislike-gf0a37beb3_640

Just finished reading an article in Business Insider and this first line jumped out at me:

  • A Christian organization has started a petition protesting Trump’s 2024 campaign.

OH YES!!

At press time, 14,904 people had signed the petition — just shy of the organization’s goal of 15,000 signatures!

In the petition, Christians are asked to “speak out” and “make it clear that Donald Trump does not share our values and will never have our votes” … and “another Trump presidency would be a disaster for our country.”

The executive director of Faithful America, who is behind the petition, said this: “Neither the country nor the church can afford another four years of this charlatan’s fascism, racism, misinformation, or ego.”

FINALLY! A group of believers that have seen through the Great Façade! 👏👏

Highly Misplaced Honor

KR

Just read the following in Heather’s latest newsletter:

The far-right, pro-gun “Second Amendment Caucus” today hosted Kyle Rittenhouse, the 19-year-old who shot three men, killing two of them, in summer 2020 during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and who was later acquitted of homicide. 

Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) made the following comment about Rittenhouse’s appearance:  

“It was an honor to have Kyle join the Second Amendment Caucus. He is a powerful example of why we must never give an inch on our Second Amendment rights, and his perseverance and love for our country was an inspiration to the caucus.”

Is it just me or do others find it not only disgusting, but sickening as well, that a person who needlessly SHOT AND KILLED two individuals and walked away scot-free is given accolades such as this?

How can ANY individual who respects human life and all it stands for declare that Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions were a “powerful example” of the “rights” declared in the Second Amendment?

Perhaps it was the way I was raised, but it is so completely beyond my understanding that ANYONE would heap praise and verbal trophies of approval on an individual who KILLED two people (and injured a third) using a gun that he should never have had in the first place!

I’m sorry, but I simply cannot agree that allowing an individual to buy, own, and use a gun to shoot and kill others and then walk away scot-free was the goal behind those who wrote the Second Amendment.

The personal ego already has a strong element of dysfunction, but the collective ego is, frequently, even more dysfunctional, to the point of absolute insanity.
–Eckhart Tolle

Tuesday’s Elections

The following was included in an email edition I receive of the NY Times “The Morning.” The reporter, Claire Moses, was interviewing Astead Herndon, a political reporter who has been covering this election cycle. Following are (a portion of) his comments in response to Claire’s questions.

I live in Europe, where many people are only now starting to tune into the midterms. How would you explain to them, and others who need a refresher, why this election matters?

If the Republicans take back the House, it would change the scope of U.S. policy. We know they’d try to stop President Biden’s agenda. A Republican House would hurt Biden’s ability to respond to domestic challenges on his terms, like inflation, and to global crises — Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House leader, has signaled that Republicans might stop approving aid for Ukraine.

We’ve also seen a global rise in fears of democratic collapse. If the U.S. elects lawmakers who spread conspiracy theories about elections and who promise to tear down tenets of democracy, that will embolden autocratic leaders in other countries and weaken the United States’ standing in the world.

These midterms also matter because they could signal the start of an even more divisive era of politics. We should not assume we are at the floor of division — we’re going to get lower.

When you say Republicans would try to block Biden, what could that look like?

If Republicans take over Congress, some members will push their new House speaker to start impeachment proceedings of the president and members of his cabinet like Merrick Garland, the attorney general. Some Republicans have been ready to impeach Biden since he took office. Their complaints are about policy and politics, not accusations of the kinds of abuses of power that have historically been grounds for impeachment. McCarthy has tried to minimize talk of impeachment lately, seeing it as polarizing, but the hard right rank-and-file will almost certainly press for it.

You’ve been covering politics for years. What do you think we should be paying more attention to?

Democrats are asking their base to rally behind the idea of protecting democracy — that’s what Biden has said. But that base is mostly working-class Americans and people of color. And many of those people feel like the system has not provided tangible and meaningful change on issues that most affect their day-to-day life — like housing, wages or public safety. (Emphasis mine.)

A woman on last week’s episode of “The Run-Up” told us that democracy has never worked for her. She’s borne the brunt of poverty. Her top issue was housing. That’s not what the Democratic Party is talking about. While Biden and Democrats did pass funding related to housing, that money was drastically cut from the levels that most people who focus on the issue say was necessary to effect lasting change.

And one of his closing remarks pretty much zeros in on what’s happening today:

I also think that the media has done too little to explain Republicans’ built-in advantages. Their control of legislatures in some battleground states is backed by gerrymandering.

Of course, many of us who stay abreast of the current political climate are already aware of all of this. However, for those who tend to pay little attention to “politics,” hopefully they will read this and see why this election is so VERY, VERY important!