It's almost Thanksgiving. The fireplace inside crackles while the snow outside falls, painting an exceptionally-Alaskan scene as I write. It's also a reminder this is the time of year I receive correspondence from thoughtful people asking how a particular American hero, a man who gave up his youth to serve this great nation under four presidents, is doing. He's home this year, so I'll be sure to mention your regards to him as we gather around the Thanksgiving table.
November 26, 2015|
Susan Stamper Brown
You don't need to be a genius to recognize that John Oliver is doing some remarkably effective journalism on his weekly HBO series, laced with humor yet addressing with surprising insight many pressing social and political issues. And you need not be a prude to dislike the way Oliver continually degrades his own efforts with unnecessary foul language.
In her memoir published this summer, Claire McCaskill recounts how she confounded political observers who assumed she would lose reelection to the U.S. Senate in right-of-center-leaning Missouri. In order to do that, she poured nearly $2 million of her campaign war chest into an ad blitz designed to elevate the most extreme, right wing candidate among the Republicans seeking to challenge her in the general election.
Across America, the prospect of resettling as many as 10,000 Syrians has put citizens on edge. The Paris massacre and related events-ISIS' bombing of a Russian commercial airliner, the Beirut suicide bombers who killed 43, Germany's emergency evacuation of a soccer stadium prior to a game that Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to attend, and diverted Paris-bound flights-has made the nation skeptical about President Obama's terrorism strategy.
What a surprise. In the aftermath of Paris, Republicans have rediscovered one of their favorite illnesses, Islamophobia. Painting with a predictably broad brush, Marco Rubio compares Muslims to Nazis. Donald Trump talks about shuttering mosques. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush want to ban all Syrian refugees who are Muslim, and admit only those who are Christian.
This week's column will be a short one. I'm just too tired to write very much. You see, last weekend was the Dominican Sisters of Peace bazaar. I was there. Twice. We had a plan that we thought was carefully orchestrated. My entourage was going to arrive at the convent at 7:30 and beat the losers who drive from Ellinwood, Hoisington and Stafford. We expected the crowd to be thin. After all this wasn't just any Saturday morning. It was the start of Pheasant season, which means every grown man and most of their kids were ...
Hypothetical situation: A father uses a stolen credit card to make a big FanDuel football bet. He's taking a risk because he wants to have the best Feliz Navidad ever for his family. But to his shock and dismay he finds out there's a big difference between futbol and football and his entire "investment" is wiped out.
Prepare for earth-shattering news - immigration has become a key issue in the race for the Republican nomination. Yes. Again. It's what folks in the garden industry call a perennial. Or rather, biennial, as it happens like clockwork every year ending in an even number. It's as predictable as fruit flies in the dumpster behind a produce store on garbage day.
I spent a good part of one afternoon last week making a parody of the whole "Little Red Cup" controversy. The most recent iteration of our annual "War on Christmas" outrage involved Starbucks and their holiday cups. Usually in the lead up to Thanksgiving, the company issued its festive cups adorned with wreaths and whatever else reminded you of the totally nonessential yet delightful parts of Christmas. There was no nativity motif, nothing religious. It was the secular part that makes you warm and fuzzy and coaxes you to pay exorbitant sums for, let's face it, not so good ...
Today, more Americans than ever receive some sort of government assistance, much of which can genuinely be described as "handouts." Welfare-to-work standards, a bipartisan gem from the Clinton Era, have been relaxed. Ostensibly unemployed individuals now receive benefits for years on end.