IN A NUTSHELL
Domestically we all know what to do — but Congressional Republicans won’t let us do it.
Overseas, with ISIL, no one knows what to do — and many Republicans demand we do it.
(Right? Domestically, we should shift the economy into high gear: by revitalizing our infrastructure . . . by raising the minimum wage . . . and by signing the bipartisan Senate immigration into law. Bang: the economy starts to really hum, unemployment and under-employment fall, safety-net payments fall, tax receipts rise, the deficit heads toward surplus, and, oh, by the way, tens of millions of American lives are made a little less difficult. With ISIL, the President is providing essential leadership, pulling the world together and making clear what we will and won’t do: it’s the region’s problem, and they are going to have to step up, even as we offer crucial support. But all the options suck.)
Here’s what it costs to vote in certain states — a deterrent, disproportionately, to those struggling to get by, who tend to vote Democrat. Not included are all the soft costs, like taking a day off from work — without somehow getting fired — and paying for the bus to go get the needed documentation.
One more way the Republican minority hopes to regain further control.
SMOKING – II
Celeste Myers: “About 20 years ago the National Smoke-out Day (remember that?) coincided with a conference I attended, the National Council of Teachers of English. I took a dozen or so copies of Kids Say Don’t Smoke, passed out a few to people I knew, and left the rest on the information table. At the next annual conference I got thanked by people who had been inspired to quit smoking by your book. I remember the overwhelming feeling of relief the first time I realized that I didn’t want a cigarette. Keep up your efforts to help people quit smoking.”
Gettin’ a little wobbly, have you noticed? I don’t know where it’s going, obviously. The stocks I like — most recently, Home Depot; most long-standingly, Borealis — I hope will make us happy over the years regardless of how well or poorly the broader market does. And I’m told that it’s open today (why? didn’t Christopher Columbus suffer enormous hardship in order to give us the day off?), so, as per contract, I have slaved over the foregoing.