Vintage Santa Claus with sleigh and toys. This is about the size of a traditional holiday card.
This is a wonderful list, 10 Things Progressive Americans Can be Thankful For
Following a long presidential campaign full of policy battles and disagreements, progressives have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Here are 10 things we can all celebrate:
We are thankful for the millions of Americans serving our country at home and abroad. This includes 1.4 million Armed Services members, 80,000 AmeriCorps members, and 8,073 Peace Corps volunteers and trainees, 6 million teachers and public school employees, 1.1 million professional and volunteer firefighters, and 22 million total public employees.
We’re thankful for Obamacare. After surviving dozens of repeal votes in Congress, the Supreme Court, and a presidential election, the Affordable Care Act is on track to extending insurance coverage to 30 million Americans and lowering health care spending. Millions of seniors and young people have benefited from the law and inefficient insurers are distributing rebates to consumers.
We’re thankful for the social safety net. Nutrition assistance, welfare, unemployment compensation, Social Security, and other social programs keep millions of Americans out of poverty each year. Though the programs aren’t as robust as they could be, they help provide food, health care, and educational opportunity to America’s neediest families.
We’re thankful for historic progress against the War on Drugs. In passing laws to legalize and regulate marijuana in Washington and Colorado, supporters joined many local jurisdictions that have decriminalized some drug offenses in signaling their willingness to better tailor drug policy to public health and safety goals. Timed to the year when the film The House I Live In is opening new eyes to the War’s decimation of minority communities, the time is ripe to end the War that, since its declaration 40 years ago by President Richard Nixon, has cost the U.S. both money and lives while failing to curb drug use.
We’re thankful for the advocates who protected our right to vote. The past few years saw a raft of new voter suppression laws and tactics, but most of the worst laws were blocked at least temporarily by the courts or repealed by lawmakers. The challenge going forward will be to maintain these victories as litigation in several of these cases continues and the U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge to the Voting Rights Act.
We’re thankful for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB, created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, has been working on new rules to protect Americans from predatory lenders, bogus credit card deals, and shady mortgage peddlers. It has also won American consumers hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds for credit card scams.
We’re thankful for Occupy Wall Street. Since its street protests last year, Occupy Wall Street has kept busy with several important projects. Occupy Our Homes saved many Americans from unfair foreclosures, while Occupy Hurricane Sandy provided aid to victims of the superstorm that battered the northeast. Occupy’s latest project, the Rolling Jubilee, raised millions of dollars in order to buy and then abolish debt.
We’re thankful for the most diverse Congress in history. On Election Day, Americans ensured that the 113th Congress will contain the widest range yet of ethnicities, religious affiliations, and sexual orientations. The incoming freshman class contains 4 African Americans, 5 Asian Americans, 10 Latinos, 24 women, the first openly bisexual congresswoman, as well as the country’s first Buddhist senator and two Hindu representatives.
We’re thankful for religious freedom. The U.S. is a nation of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians, non-believers, and religious and spiritual sects of all stripes. Unlike some other countries, the U.S. protects Americans’ freedom to practice the religion of their choice without fear of repercussion, suppression, or forced religious adherence.
We’re thankful for growing LGBT equality. The sweeping victories for LGBT equality and out candidates in this election demonstrated that this country is on track to providing full benefits and protections to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. While there is still work to be done, schools are becoming safer, families are becoming more secure, and visibility and awareness are helping to lower discrimination rates.
Knowing that there are that segment of progressives who can find fault in every step forward or clamor about how much more there is to achieve, try to relax once in a while and relish even the smallest of victories.
On the eve of Thanksgiving, Fox News pundit Andrea Tantaros mockingly dismissed the plight of hungry Americans, claiming that she would “look fabulous” if she were forced to live on a food stamp diet.
Tantaros’ vapid commentary came in response to Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker’s pledge to accept the food-stamp challenge and try to subsist on $133 for food per month for an extended period of time, just as food stamp recipients in New Jersey do.
The insensitivity from Fox News is their normal, it is the decided conviction to be a news organization, yet clueless about the country you live in and how millions of your fellow citizens struggle. And they struggle not just with trying to keep their head above water, but with the societal stigma that goes hand in hand with low-income. Tantaros would never stop to ponder the fact that so many Americans can work a forty to fifty hour week, and after they pay rent, utilities and phone bills, they cannot afford enough food because the company they work for has a business model they does not pay a living wage.
The Republicans’ new focus of attack in the faux “Benghazi-gate” scandal is Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, claiming that he lied about the source of changes to talking points on the Benghazi attack given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Yesterday, a DNI spokesperson debunked accusations made by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and other Republicans that the White House changed Rice’s Benghazi talking points, saying that it was the intelligence community that made the “substantive” changes to the talking points. Moreover, former CIA head David Petraeus and other top intelligence officials have said there was no politicization of the process and that the talking points were not altered to minimize the role of extremists but to reflect the best intelligence at the time.
McCain appeared to accept the new information but wondered why Clapper and other DNI officials did not provide this information during closed door hearings last week. And now that all their earlier attacks on Rice have fell apart, Republicans and conservative media figures are directing their attacks at Clapper, a George W. Bush appointee:
– BILL O’REILLY: Now it’s James Clapper, President Obama’s national security guy who is saying, “Oh, it’s me. I sent Rice out there and I took out all the al Qaeda stuff.” I’m not buying it. None of this adds up. … All right so there’s a lot of lying going on here.
What would have been shocking is if the conservative conspiracy nutbars has said we were wrong for exploiting those deaths and apologize.
President Obama and Secretary of Sate Clinton continue their successful foreign policy accomplishments. So of course conservatives are bitter. At no other time will you see them lavish praise on a Muslim – they do know that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is a Muslim and a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, right? When it suddenly dawns on them, conservatives will find a way of walking back their praise. The zombies are simultaneously claiming the ceasefire was too weighted in the favor of Hamas. So they have all their angles of attack covered.
What or how will John McCain(R-AZ) go down in history, as a footnote, as the strange little man ( I mean that is the sense of integrity, not physical stature, that picked a mindless ideologue as his presidential running mate) John McCain Rewrites His Epitaph. So some level, even from someone at the bottom of his class, McCain realizes that he is just another Dan Qualye. So he is going to fling pooh at whatever he can, McCain Officially Admits He Was Wrong on Benghazi Without Admitting It.
As unrepentantly arrogant as ever, Televangelist Pat Robertson Admits he Blew Election Prediction he Received from God
Intellectual conservatives? Isn’t that an oxymoron. Anyway Commentary editor John Podhoretz offers up a great example of conservative thought projection in this piece by Jonathan Chait, John Podhoretz Has Awkward Postelection Epiphany
This may be a jarring message for Podhoretz’s devoted readers, whom Podhoretz spent months assuring that Obama was flailing about and headed for near-certain defeat. Obama was politically incompetent (“what we’ve seen so far is a reminder that the skills required to mount an insurgent campaign with a charismatic unknown aren’t those needed to mount a re-election effort featuring an incumbent with a problematic record”). On top of this he was weighed down by a terrible economy. Romney was in much better condition than the polls showed, Obama in deep, deep trouble. “Without a stark turnaround in his fortunes,” observed Podhoretz, he might lose [North Carolina] by 10 points this November.”
Romney was the candidate running a brilliant campaign. To the preelection Podhoretz, it was obvious that the ads attacking Romney’s biography would fail. (“Obama team must know that they can’t prevail solely with a negative assault on Mitt Romney.”) Obama’s campaign was in the midst of a “smoke screen of self-delusion,” pathetically unaware of their own coming demise:
Because they don’t only sell the snake oil, they drink it themselves. They buy their own propaganda; they believe the hype.
The astonishing turnabout in the evaluation of Obama’s campaign, from delusional nincompoops to the most terrifyingly efficient campaign apparatus in history, helps Podhoretz reach his desired conclusion, that Obama’s victory owed nothing at all to his policy platform. Obama’s campaign, he tells us now, was “bereft of ideas” and offered “no second-term governing agenda whatsoever.”
The mass of propaganda that constitutes the conservative movement is so large you wouldn’t need a surgeon to remove it, a hammer and chisel would be required. Even this conservative is shocked by the lies other conservatives tell just about taxes alone. They’ve spun enough myths about Bengahzi to fill a book and that is not over yet. The books about the lies they told about Iraq and the war on terror would fill a small library. Podhoretz and his minions can call him an intellectual if they like, but it was my impression they truly enlightened thinkers do not live in a hermetically sealed bubble of delusions.