NEW SERIES ALERT! Rekindle, Renew, Inspire

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​Every fall, I spend some time on self-reflection. Part of that is my annual fall religious observances, part of that is the back to school mindset that I still have with kids in school, but also probably my slight obsession (I don’t have a problem, I can quit anytime) with school and office supplies. And in that self-reflection comes changes to my website. I let things go for months to see what works, what doesn’t, what I personally like regardless of response, and what evinces reader response.

Beginning later today, and running every month during the first full week will be two (so far) new posts as part of this year long series. One (probably posting on Mondays) will include a photograph that speaks to me, a quotation, and perhaps a personal goal. The personal goal is not necessarily to end at the conclusion of the month, and it’s not particularly a mantra, but it is something to think about in a meditative way, and I hope that others will join in and reflect on their own in relation to these personal prompts. The second post (on Fridays) will be about food. We all love food, and many of us have complicated relationships with several aspects of food. It may be a recipe, a memory, a recommendation. We’ll see how it evolves.

Join me on this new adventure, and please let me know what you think about the idea of this type of post as well as any of your own adventurous reflections.

Not Quite Everything You Wanted to Know About Impeachment, But It’s Something

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​Whether you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat, Independent or any other political designation, I hope that you believe, as I do that the impeachment of a President (or Cabinet member or judge) should be considered as a last resort, taken with the seriousness and gravitas that it deserves.Unfortunately, with this President and his Administration flouting the rule of law, ignoring subpoenas, and its blatant public acts of corruption and solicitation of foreign election interference, he, Mr. Trump has given Congress no choice.

And all of that was before this quid pro quo with Ukraine and giving the green light for Turkey to invade the Kurdish territory in Syria.

The G7 at the Doral Resort was just another cherry on the top of the ever growing Trump Corruption Sundae.

It may be hard to wade through the Republican lies and disinformation campaign. Personally, I am disappointed in Republicans who in the past at least pretended to be pro-America. They’ve truly shown their true colors and loyalties especially McConnell, Graham, and Meadows. I’m less surprised by Pompeo, Mulvaney, Jordan, and Nunes. This couldn’t have been proved any better than their deliberate and illegal interruption of impeachment testimony in a secure room in the House just yesterday. The President’s involvement in their stunt is another impeachable offense.

However, my opinion doesn’t mean anything without the facts to back it up.

This post offers sources to read, follow, and listen to as they lay out the impeachment case and continue to offer reasoned perspectives. As new information comes out or readers suggest other sources, I will update this post. I will also add it to my Home page.

Please comment with any of your own recs.

Podcasts (I provide links through Player.FM which is where I listen to my podcasts, but you can listen anywhere you already listen to podcasts.)

Rubicon: The Impeachment of Donald Trump from Crooked Media

Impeachment Primer – Amicus 

Article II: Inside Impeachment from NBC hosted by Steve Kornacki 

Impeachment, Explained from Vox hosted by Ezra Klein 

Rachel Maddow Presents: Bag Man A series on the corruption of Vice President Spiro Agnew 

Twitter

Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi 

Preet Bharara 

Neal Katyal 

Richard Engel – on the ground in Syria 

or On Assignment with Richard Engel

Your own Senators and Representatives

Books and Other Publications

Neal Katyal is an attorney who served in the Justice Department, was the Acting Solicitor General during the Obama Administration from May 2010 until June 2011, taking over the position after Elena Kagan became Supreme Court Justice. He was born in Chicago, and has argued more Supreme Court cases than any other minority lawyer. He seems to always have cases before the Supreme Court. He drafted the Special Cousel regulations in 1999, and those are in continued use, and used to assign the parameters of the Mueller Investigation. He was one of Al Gore’s co-counsels before the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore and teaches at Georgetown.

He has written his first book, Impeach: The Case Against President Trump, which is coming out on November 26th, just in time for those family dinner conversations, explaining impeachment to those of us asking the questions. It can be pre-ordered

It is also helpful to read the following:

Mueller Report (this link will automatically download to your device)

The opening statements of the testimony of Marie Yovanivitch, former Ukraine Ambassador (this link will also automatically download to your device)

The opening statement of testimony by Bill Taylor (this link brings you to google docs)

Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, MD

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​Every morning, I turn on my Kindle and check the news, the headlines to see what I need to look deeper into. This morning, Mike gave a little gasp and blurted out that Elijah Cummings died. I was stunned. Saddened. Shocked. I did not turn on my KIndle. I did not want to see it on my own; wanting to keep it not true for a little longer. I’ll leave it to better writers than I at the New York Times and The Washington Post or his hometown, Baltimore Sun to offer his obituary, but I had a few feels to share.

Elijah Cummings died this morning.

His loss will be felt by the entire country. His quiet, tireless work for us all is silenced and will be noticeable for some time.

There will not be another like him for a very long time.

Whether you agreed with his political opinions and beliefs, he was always kind. He worked FOR the American people his entire career.
He was honest and thoughtful.

He looked ahead at how his decisions affected all people, not just in the immediate future, but years and decades down the line when he wouldn’t be around to personally reap the reward.

I admired him. I trusted him as the chairman of Oversight. I knew he would listen to all sides and judge fairly. I knew he would be fair because one thing he was known for was his fairness to everyone.

He was a friend to everyone, and lived his life simply, showing what he believed in through his actions.

May he rest in power and peace. His work is finished, ours is just beginning.

Democratic Primary Debate

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​Tonight is the next Democratic Primary Debate. It begins at 8pm EST on CNN. I think it’s important to watch these debates and see the distinctions between the candidates. Even if your position is that you’re voting for whomever the Democratic nominee is, it still behooves you to know about each of them.

This is merely my three second opinions on each candidate in tonight’s debate.

The views expressed here are my own. I have not endorsed a candidate nor have I been paid by any candidate for a good review.

Biden DE

experienced, a little too old imo, I wouldn’t mind him as Secy of State or AG (I’d like Kamala to stay as Sen)

Booker NJ

I like him a lot, but I want him to stay as Senator. I could say that about almost all of the Senators running for President

Buttigeig  IN

I like him a lot. I like his thoughtfulness, I like his ability to step back and change his view when confronted with other opinions that he can then think about. I like that he’s smart. I think in eight years I’d want him as President, but he’s still on my short list for 2020

Castro TX

I like him, but I’d like him in the Admin, maybe VP.

Gabbard  HI

Not even a little. If she were the nominee, I would not vote for her.

Harris CA

She’s in my top 3. I’d like her to stay as Senator or possibly AG. I like that she doesn’t back down, she doesn’t mince words.

Klobuchar  MN

I like her style, her intelligence, and her experience. That said, I’d like her to remain as Senator.

O’Rourke  TX

I like that he speaks out on things that others are somewhat afraid to. I like that on occasion he uses the F word. He shows his humanity. I like his stance on guns and immigration. That said, I’m thinking vice president.

Sanders VT

Not as much a fan anymore. I will vote for him if he’s the nominee, but I definitely think his recent heart attack is disqualifying unless he has an extraordinary vice president.

Steyer

I don’t know enough about him to offer a cogent opinion. If he’s the nominee, I’ll vote for him.

Warren MA

She’s in my top three. And she keeps going up. I like everything about her. I like that she doesn’t back down. I like that she has a plan for everything. I like that she’s intelligent, and willing to talk to everyone and listen.

Yang

I like his UBI (universal basic income). I like his forward thinking about jobs that won’t be coming back. I like his tech background. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in an administration, in Commerce or Treasury, but I’d have to see more of his qualifications, maybe Labor.

A Yom Kippur Repentance

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I spent all Tuesday mornng trying to find the right prayer to share here today when finally this came up, and it was perfect. It spoke to me in a way that the temple prayer didn’t, and so I’m sharing it with you here, and I will be reciting this sometime this morning along with my other prayer time.

I hope it gives you comfort as well, and for those observing, an easy fast.


Ashamnu: My Alphabet of Failings

For the sin of anger against those who challenge me
And for the sin of belittling those I don’t understand
For the sin of criticizing without caring
And for the sin of doubting the strength of love
For the sin of enjoying what I shouldn’t have
And for the sin of purposefully finding fault
For the sin of greed when I have so much
And for the sin of harboring resentment
For the sin of needlessly imagining problems
And for the sin of joking to avoid a truth

For all these sins, oh God of forgiveness,
Forgive me, pardon me, grant me atonement.


For the sin of kindness too often withheld
And for the sin of loving in measured touches
For the sin of malice toward those who are richer
And for the sin of nourishing my worst intentions
For the sin of observing when I could be helping
And for the sin of pretending I am less than I am
For the sin of quitting when I still have fight
And for the sin of not resting when I am exhausted
For the sin of saying it doesn’t matter
And for the sin of thinking they can read my mind.

For all these sins, oh God of forgiveness,
Forgive me, pardon me, grant me atonement.


For the sin of not cutting the umbilical cord
And for the sin of not visiting my parents enough
For the sin of not weeping, to prove my strength
And for the sin of never forgiving my ex
For the sin of yearning to alter time
And for the sin of repenting at the zero hour.

For all these sins, oh God of forgiveness,
Forgive me, pardon me, grant me atonement.

Written and shared on the blog of Reform Judaism dot org by:

Jan Sokoloff Harness is an active volunteer at Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park, KS. She is an award-winning writer, the Chief Creative Instigator for Sokoloff Harness Communications LLC and the author of the ebook Creative Chai.

Mental Health Monday – A First Person Account of Depression

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This is Zach Beauchamp’s first person account of his suicidal depression He wrote it for Vox in June of 2018. A lo of what he sys is familiar to me, but we still walked different paths as each of us with depression does. There are so many similarities, but there are also so many differences. This is how we help each other, learn from each other, and keep moving forward.

I Had Suicidal Depression – Zach Beauchamp