Journalism: Where Do We Go From Here?

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​In recent days, as the Democratic field grows exponentially each day, we’ve seen a return to 2016 coverage by the media: Trump takes over every news cycle with new crazy, Bernie is in the lead, Buttigeig speaks eight languages, Elizabeth Warren’s unlikable, Kamala Harris is too hard, Amy Klobucher is too mean, ranch dressing, fried chicken, infer vs implied! Are the women ready? Too emotional? That’s almost sounds like a joke considering who we have in the Oval Office right now.

I saw a headline just this morning that Trump had a new nickname for Pete Buttigeig. How is that a headline for a news organization? Four reporters covered this story for the “news” organization! Have we learned nothing in the last two years?

Not to  mention that news anchors and pundits continue to drown us in whataboutism, false equivalency, and but both sides.

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UPDATE: Democratic Party Presidential Candidates for 2020

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Since the original post I made about the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates, two more have announced their intention to run for the Democratic nomination: Seth Moulton and Joe Biden, and three new Pod Save America interviews have come out: Moutlton, Kamala Harris, and Jay Inslee. Those interview links can be found on the original post.

Until the 2020 Election, the link for the candidate post will be on my Welcome page as well as on my We the People page.

People are donating and supporting their favorite candidate, kind of kicking the tires as it were, the eventual nominee is going to have some work to do in order to catch up to Trump who so far, isn’t going to be primaried.

At the end of the primaries, we will need to support the nominee no matter which candidate it is. All of their voices should be heard; they all have important messages on morals, decorum, policy and who we are as Americans. I have my favorites and I’m sure I will talk about them in future political posts.

Once the primaries are over and the general election campaigning begins, the Democratic Party candidate needs ALL OF OUR support and unity. They will also need a lot of money to compete with the Repuplican and Trump Propaganda machine, and the folks at Crooked Media have come up with a plan that you can participate in right now.
The Unify or Die fund.

All contributions  to this fund will be transferred to the candidate who is nominated at the Democratic National Convention for the general election. This can be done now.

I will also be adding this link to the original post, and adding it to my home page and my We The People page.

This is life and death. Literally. We must unify or die.

Where Are My Bootstraps?

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​Unless you live in Massachusetts where it’s Patriot Day, today is Tax Day. If you’re just filing your taxes now, you’ve realized just how much the Republican Tax Scam screwed you over. Sure they raised the standard deduction, but they’ve taken away most of your itemizations through limits. We somehow managed to do okay despite our taxes rising by over one thousand dollars. In fact, married filing joint is only $100 less tax due than a single person making nearly the same amount. I believe the only reason we didn’t owe was because we were already having too much withheld. Our motto is live on less, so we can repair our house and car in the spring.

We reached our health insurance’s maximum out of pocket in 2018, and we still couldn’t deduct our medical. Or our taxes, mortgage interest, or the little we give to charity. Good thing we don’t give to charity for the tax deduction; we give because it’s the right thing to do when you have more than someone else (even if it’s not that much more).

We have two kids at home and in school and one out on his own, and while he’s been pitching in with his own expenses for quite some time now, his moving out didn’t lower our expenses. He is still on our phone plan, our automatic toll payments, our AAA, our health insurance, and we don’t begrudge or judge him for any of those things. One, it’s cheaper for all of us, and two, it’s what a family does. One day I’m sure I’ll be on his phone plan.

The main point isn’t that I don’t want to pay taxes; I do. It’s my responsibility as an American citizen to pay my share. What I don’t understand is how we allow the wealthy to avoid paying their taxes. I don’t understand how teacher are not allowed to claim school supplies on their taxes, but if you have a private jet, the gas is deductible. It’s absurd that we continue to allow this to happen.

So that’s my rant. Despite it, my taxes were mailed last week, and with no savings, now we’ll struggle until our refund comes and I can pay back the private loan I took out, maybe I can get a pair of glasses that I’ve needed for over a year, pay for half of my hearing aids before they decide to send those to collection, but there will be no new roof (again, this is year 3 of waiting), no smooth driveway (which isn’t as luxurious as it seems – the more it sinks, the muddier it gets, the icier in the winter), no toilet in our upstairs bathroom (a necessity in a family of five), no oven for another six months to a year, no fridge which should have been replaced when we moved in and were lied to about its age.

We have it good, but it still hurts to say no to your kids for something as innocuous as a trip to McDonald’s or a candy bar for no special occasion. I don’t want to spoil them with European vacations, but it might be nice to take a long weekend to Niagara Falls or Washington, DC.

I truly am grateful for what we do have, and appreciate how lucky we are, but sometimes it’s important to let the people who don’t understand “real life” know what is going on in most of America – your neighbors, your friends, your kids’ classmates. I wish the Republicans in Congress would see this, but I’m not sure they’d care to be honest.

I’d like to close this with a link to a 2014 article that is still relevant today about how the realities of living inn bootstrap America and how most daily annoyances are catastrophic for many people living paycheck to paycheck.

Meet the Democratic 2020 Presidential Candidates

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Between exploratory committees and official Presidential candidates, as of this writing, there are 18 20 21 Democratic candidates*, and to be perfectly honest, almost all of them are better than the situation we have right now in the White House. Obviously, those running for President have their own policy priorities and while everything should not be seen only as a mirror to the Trump Administration, we cannot lose sight of what is at stake. The last two years have been frightening; horrifying at times, and undemocratic with our civil rights at risk.

With that in mind, I have compiled a list of the candidates’ official websites as well as their full interviews on Crooked Media‘s Pod Save America podcast. Most of them can be seen on several news shows offering their policies; I have found that PSA has a very good track record of tough questions while remaining fair.

I have a few of my favorites who I am supporting. I will probably express that in future posts. However, I have decided that I won’t include links for candidates who have not officially announced (VP Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams) nor will I include announced candidates that I feel are wholly unqualified. After 2016 I think it’s important to maintain a level of expectation of our candidates, and while we have a big tent, and all are welcome, I don’t think we should pretend that all candidates are equal. I think two years of inexperience and incompetence is enough. We need someone who knows what they’re doing. I will update this as more announce. A link will also be included on my We the People Page for updates as they happen.

Cory Booker WebsitePod Save America interview 

​Pete Buttigeig WebsitePod Save America interview

Julian Castro WebsitePod Save America interview

Kirsten Gillibrand WebsitePod Save America interview

Kamala Harris WebsitePod Save America interview 

John Hickenlooper WebsitePod Save America interview

Jay Inslee WebsitePod Save America interview

Seth Moulton WebsitePod Save America interview

Tim Ryan WebsitePod Save America interview

Eric SwalwellWebsitePod Save America interview

Elizabeth Warren WebsitePod Save America interview

Andrew Yang WebsiteLovett or Leave It interview

– – – – 

Websites/No Interviews Currently

Michael Bennet

Joe Biden

John Delaney 

Amy Klobuchar 

Wayne Messam 

Beto O’Rourke 

Bernie Sanders 

– – – –

* This number changed literally after I set this up to post. I will continue to change it if it needs changing.

Trump Used Her Slain Daughter to Rail Against illegal immigration. She Chose a Different Path.

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We all have choices that we make on a daily basis on what kind of life and world we are leaving for our children. One of my intentions this year is to be conscious of what I take in and share.

This is more than a feel good story.

Mainly, because there is nothing about any of this that feels good. A woman has lost her daughter. A boy has lost his parents (in a different way). And our country has lost its way.

I can only  hope that it’s not too late for any of us.

Link to article

Giving Tuesday

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In this time of holiday joy and generosity, please do what you can to support those organizations who help throughout the year.

ACLU

Planned Parenthood

RAICES

Random Acts

Where I Give My Support (list not inclusive)

Scroll down to the Stands links for a collection of worthy charities, all of whom do good works.

Add your own recommendations in the comments with how to reach them with donations and what their organization does. 

World Free Press Day

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​Today is World Free Press Day. Many of us know that included in the First Amendment is our sacred freedom of the press, but because this document is two hundred thirty-one years old we don’t always give it the respect and attention it deserves. In fact, a free press in the United States is something that i think many of us take for granted. We assume that if we need to know it, CNN or MSNBC or The Washington Post, etc. will let us know in big twenty point headlines and short, pithy, decible-breaking sound bites.

For Halloween in 2016, I dressed as a journalist with a notebook, 1940s hat, and press pass. I quoted Thomas Jefferson. I got a few nods and nice costumes, but it wasn’t just a cosplay or costume. I had been watching the 2016 election for more than a year, and what was happening from the Trump campaign was was distressing to me.

I can’t have been the only one to see what was happening in this country, but I felt as though I was screaming into the void.

After two years of this Administration’s trampling of journalists and the press, they’ve erased mention of a free press in the Department of Justice’s internal manual. This country was founded on basic tenets, none more basic than the First Amendment, and a free press to keep the government accountable.

Now, Trump’s Justice Department was chipping away at those basic tenets with a sledgehammer.

There are journalists around the world, trying to get the truth out, who are kidnapped, tortured, and killed. We need to shine a light on this epidemic, and the United States needs to go back to leading the way for the press to be free.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is one organization who shines the light and keeps the rest of us aware of what’s happening around the world.

Press Freedom is under threat – press release

Press Freedom is under threat – Mission Report. This includes a link to download the full report. I urge you to read it.

Free the Press: 2018 Campaign to Free Imprisoned Journalists: