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Curated by Kenneth Weene
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American Poets, Refusing to Go Gentle, Rage Against the Right

American Poets, Refusing to Go Gentle, Rage Against the Right | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Like virtually everything else in the Trump era, poetry has gotten sharply political these days.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As a poet, I, too, occasionally write politically charged material. However, my goal is still to stay within the universal human condition and not rile against specific policies or politicians. If you'd like to sample one of those poems, here's In Concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgl0ubWc_jM 
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As Democrats ponder their future, Joe Biden makes a plea for a focus on the middle class

As Democrats ponder their future, Joe Biden makes a plea for a focus on the middle class | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Over a career in elected public office lasting more than 46 years, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has seen campaigns from the rudimentary, family-run effort that first launched him unexpectedly to the U.S. Senate as a 29-year-old to the sophisticated, data-driven juggernaut that helped elect hi
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I think Joe Biden a national treasure. I would have gladly supported his run for the presidency, even more than I supported Bernie because Joe has a broader understanding of the entire role of the government and of the US in the world. I have always agreed with his approach to Iraq, that once we invaded we should divide it into separate ethnic/religious countries before it imploded, which is of course what it has been doing. I certainly would have supported him more strongly than I did Clinton, for whom  held my nose and little more. If the point of view shown in this article had been the starting point for his campaign, if he had articulated a concern for a more fair and secure future for the average American, that campaign would have spoken to the deepest wellspring of the American people. Sadly, his son, who was also an outstanding person, died—fate can be so cruel—leaving us with Hillary, who—let's face it—might have beaten Bernie on her own but seriously looked not at all like a winner especially after the DNC machinations came to light. 

So here we are days away from the Trump inauguration. All the moaning and wishing in the world cannot take us back in time. In my deepest heart I hope that Mr. Trump can do for the great middle class of America what he has promised. I hope he can revitalize our industries, rebuild our infrastructure and our inner cities, and lead us to a sense of national unity (but one that is inclusive). I guess we'll see. In the meantime, Trump does have one thing in common with our out-going VP; they both speak from the hip. 

And for Joe Biden, I wish him well, too. I hope that if Mr. Trump is not successful in creating a better America that Joe will be ready to take up the flag for the Democratic Party next time around. Meanwhile, for my part, I am much more interested than ever in watching a new party come forth, one build on the value of humanity over corporations, on sustainability over greed, and on reason over bluster. A new party dedicated to using science and technology to improve the world by leading to new industries and new ways of living rather than seeing science and technology as being for the creation of power and wealth. A party that believes in American involvement in the world as a partner and, yes, a super power, but also one that does not see America as the only power or the policeman for the world. 

Hey, Santa, are you listening? That's what I want for Christmas, a new party. I wouldn't mind if Uncle Joe Biden were to help found it. He's the guy of guy we all want on our side. 
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7 Bizarro Congressional Races You Should Know About Before Election Day

7 Bizarro Congressional Races You Should Know About Before Election Day | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The presidential election takes the prize for the strangest thing happening on the ballot this cycle, but below the radar are don't-miss House races across the country.

There's a Republican congressman running in a competitive race without a campaign manager, former GOP Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa is sending out mailers touting legislation he worked on with President Barack Obama and Republican turned independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist is actually running in a newly drawn district against a Republican congressman who literally brought live mosquitos to the House floor this year to highlight Zika.

Flipping the House is a tall, tall order for Democrats this cycle, even as the party has tried to capitalize on Trump's propensity for gaffes and bombastic statements.

But these down ballot races are worth watching.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Just a reminder that we have every seat in the House of Representatives up in this election and a third of the senate. These are races that are really important. Here are 7 races that involve some interesting issue and personalities, but I think that in every district voters should be doing their homework. 
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Some of our worst presidents had the best political résumés

Some of our worst presidents had the best political résumés | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Clinton’s experience wouldn’t predict success.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As a lover of history, I enjoyed this piece. It also reminded me of a simple truth, that experience doesn't always mean competence, especially when it comes to politics. I may not necessarily agree with the entire ranking of presidents; for one thing I don't see Ford as that bad especially since he didn't seek the job and had to deal with the issues of Nixon and the young men who had fled the foolish war in Vietnam and I certainly don't see Andrew Jackson, who was a cruel racist and destructive of many of the engines of economic growth or Ronald Reagan whom I consider the father of modern voodoo economics to say nothing of some terribly wrong war making as deserving their high ranks. Anyway, the point is worth pondering this year when we have two candidates, one of whom having extensive government experience and the other having none. 
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House To Allow Vote On Flint Aid In Water Bill Amid Funding Fight

House To Allow Vote On Flint Aid In Water Bill Amid Funding Fight | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Republican leaders on Tuesday night agreed to allow a vote on aid for the Flint, Michigan, water crisis in a water resources bill, potentially setting up Congressional leaders to agree on a temporary funding bill to keep the government open until December.

The House Rules Committee had initially blocked an amendment on Flint aide to the Water Resources Development Act, but GOP leaders agreed to add the amendment providing $170 million in aid for Flint, according to The Hill.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If there has to be a threat of a government shutdown to get Congress to help the victims of government mismanagement in Flint, then we have to ask ourselves what is wrong with Congress. We also have to ask ourselves what is wrong with a political party that is willing to ignore the plight of almost one hundred thousand of our citizens. 
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Trump reverts to his xenophobic self

Trump reverts to his xenophobic self | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
So much for trying to appear diplomatic.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I listened to Mr. Trump's speech and realized something that I think needs saying. If you raise the treble on your speakers and lower the bass and then close your eyes so his voice sounds more feminine and is disconnected from his apparently male person, this is the kind crap we would condemn condemn as shrill, emotional, irrational speech were it to come from a woman's mouth. And we would be right to label it such.

With that insight, I would suggest to you that this election is not about policies and judgement, it is about anger, the anger of white men about their declining influence in a society that is becoming more diverse and more feminized. The problem is that for many angry people, it's just fine if it is a man doing the ranting but it is not okay if it is a woman. Sorry, but that tells me something sad about us as a nation. Actually two things. First, the people who are so angry have little reason to be. Second, sexism is very much a part of the rancor towards Hillary. 

If you listen to It Matters Radio this Sunday, we're going to be touching on the subject of how women are changing the way America works. We're also going to be discussing race from a different perspective, from the jury room.
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5 dumbest right-wing moments this week: Eric Trump’s ridiculous assertion

5 dumbest right-wing moments this week: Eric Trump’s ridiculous assertion | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Just so Trump's son knows: the White House Christmas Tree is still, in fact, the White House Christmas Tree
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Let's be honest, much of this stuff is just funny.—or it would be if they weren't talking about their real world political agendas and views. Meanwhile, for those of us who write books about human quirkiness, what great characters. Want more stories at which you might laugh and cry simultaneously? Might I suggest my books "Tales From the Dew Drop Inne," and "Sweet and Sour." 
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GOP senator Susan Collins: Why I cannot support Trump

GOP senator Susan Collins: Why I cannot support Trump | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Three incidents in particular have led me to conclude he is unsuitable for the office.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While I have never been a voter in the State of Maine, it is in many ways the state with which I most identify, hence referring to myself as a "Broody New Englander". Susan Collins is an outstanding senator for whom I have the greatest respect and I am delighted to see her taking a stand on strong principle. 
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"Donald Trump’s Deals Rely on Being Creative With the Truth" - The Side Show of Politics

"Donald Trump’s Deals Rely on Being Creative With the Truth" - The Side Show of Politics | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Over the span of his career, project after project has produced allegations of bad faith, broken promises, blatant lies or outright fraud.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If you don't get it that the Donald is a theatre piece and not a leader, I suggest you read this article. Be sure you get to the end, because I honestly can't remember meeting Mr. Trump, but I do remember a guy with orange hair at the sideshow. 
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The Trump effect: Could Arizona go blue for the first time in 20 years?

The Trump effect: Could Arizona go blue for the first time in 20 years? | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Democrats see an opportunity thanks to Latinos galvanized to defeat Trump.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As an Arizona voter who will choose Hillary over the paranoia guy, this article excites me, but it also scares me. I don't want the rest of us Euro-American, light-skinned Democrats to feel complacent. We may not have the votes to dump McCain and Arpaio or to turn the electoral votes blue without the help of our Latino and Native American neighbors, but that doesn't mean we should shrug our shoulders and become complacent.. We, too, have a real investment in turning the state a good solid blue, just like our incredible sky. 
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Trump’s candidacy sparking ‘a surge’ in citizenship, voter applications

Trump’s candidacy sparking ‘a surge’ in citizenship, voter applications | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Amid talk of deportations and travel bans “there’s something new going on,” officials say.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This may be Mr. Trump's greatest contribution to America, the political awakening of the Hispanic population. And with a thunderous Ole! they will support the Democratic party not just in this election but most likely for years. If that happens, he will truly have changed our country for the better; it is long since time for non-Cuban Hispanics to become political and to help not only build and defend this country but also to run it. 
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'A good villain': Trump aids Latino activists in trying to turn Arizona blue

'A good villain': Trump aids Latino activists in trying to turn Arizona blue | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Richard Estrada, born in the United States, experienced his share of bigotry as a teen. He felt pressure not to speak Spanish. His white high school classmates in Tucson taunted him as "Rico Suave," the name of a 1990 Spanglish hit by an Ecuadorean singer. But that was mild compared to wha
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is one of the stranger facts of American politics that Hispanics seldom go to the polls. It is one of the important facts of Arizona politics that the Hispanic community holds the power to change the state. If Trump brings Hispanics to the polls, will the Democratic party be able to win their hearts? 
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I’m with Hillary in November: Listen up, fellow Bernie supporters — you must get behind Clinton to stop Donald Trump

I’m with Hillary in November: Listen up, fellow Bernie supporters — you must get behind Clinton to stop Donald Trump | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The future of America is at stake — and it's on all of us if we allow Trump to win the White House
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I totally agree with this assessment, and while I will continue to push for Bernie, I will in the end vote for Hillary if she is the nominee—unless of course there is a miracle across the aisle and the Republicans find a real leader and caring nominee. (Yeah, right that will happen.)
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Meet the man who may end gerrymandering: A retired Wisconsin law professor’s Supreme Court case could save democracy

Meet the man who may end gerrymandering: A retired Wisconsin law professor’s Supreme Court case could save democracy | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Bill Whitford and his friends met in a Madison tea room to talk politics. Now his case could shape history
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If you are really interested in American politics, you should read this article.

Nothing is more antithetical to democracy than gerrymandering. This is an interview with one of the plaintiffs in Whitford v Gill, a major challenge to that practice. Just today, the Trump Department of Justice asked SCOTUS to overturn the finding of a panel of judges that in effect would stop the gerrymandering in Wisconsin. If the Supremes support the panel's finding, it will be a major blow to the current methods used to pack voting districts so that the opposition's votes are wasted. The interview explains how this new criterion for redistricting will save democracy or at least make it a lot more likely to occur in all fifty states. 
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London braces for Million Mask March

London braces for Million Mask March | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The annual Million Mask March organized by activist collective Anonymous UK is set to begin Saturday night with some 20,000 people expected to take to the streets.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
How close are we coming to a new age of revolutions? Sure Guy Fawkes Night is a good old tradition, but there is a growing sense in Britain that the system needs changing, a sense that is surely shared here on our side of the pond. 
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Libertarian VP candidate: 'I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton'

Libertarian VP candidate: 'I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton' | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Bill Weld on Rachel Maddow Show “I’m here vouching for Mrs. Clinton."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
For this highly respected Republican and ex-governor who is running on the Libertarian line to say what he did is rather impressive. He eluded to his personal knowledge of Mrs. Clinton which in effect means he is saying that he considers her honorable. I don't know that many people will change their vote because of Gov. Weld's statement, but I think it impressive. 
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USA TODAY's Editorial Board: Trump is 'unfit for the presidency'

USA TODAY's Editorial Board: Trump is 'unfit for the presidency' | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. We're doing it now.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So another major journalist voice speaks clearly. They don't necessarily say vote for Hillary, but they are unequivocal in saying don't vote for Trump. They at great lengths spell out all the reasons. I strongly suggest you read this. 
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Trump and Clinton Diverge Wildly on Questions of Science Policy

Trump and Clinton Diverge Wildly on Questions of Science Policy | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Donald Trump expressed skepticism at the need for the federal government to weigh in on a wide range of scientific issues
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If there is one topic that is under-explored in most elections it is the candidates' attitudes towards science. With climate changing, the oceans getting less healthy, natural environments shrinking, and potential health hazards growing, protection of privacy in an age of electronics, science is one of my major concerns. So I was delighted that there has been a survey of their views—or at least three of them, the Libertarian has not responded. This is a brief summary from Time, but the link to all the answers is at the top of that page. My view, Hillary and Jill win in a walk on this issue. If it doesn't make money for him, Mr. T. doesn't seem interested.

"The Republican nominee expressed skepticism at the need for the federal government to weigh in on a wide range of scientific issues, and dismissed outright certain policy concerns. In contrast, the Democratic candidate offered detailed responses on what role the government should play on even the least glamorous of issues."

The takeaway, if you care about science and the world, vote Hillary.`
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Rick Perry To Join Cast Of ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Rick Perry To Join Cast Of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Former Texas Governor and two-time Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry will soon throw on his dancing shoes to join the cast of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Everyone knows that politics is a lot like show business. But the lines keep getting blurrier. We have a failed "apprentice" reality show host running for POTUS and now a failed governor dancing with other B list celebs. Wowzer, woozer, anybody figure out Anthony Weiner? Five minutes of fame and you're a star.
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14 Unbelievable Political Signs From the 2016 Presidential Campaign - ODDEE

14 Unbelievable Political Signs From the 2016 Presidential Campaign - ODDEE | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The 2016 race to the White House brings out the good, the bad and the ugly in signage.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Want some humor in the middle of this nasty election campaign? Here are some signs that might give you a chuckle. Warning, political partisans may be offended. 
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My brother loves politics. But he thought his disability meant he couldn’t vote.

My brother loves politics. But he thought his disability meant he couldn’t vote. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Too many Americans are still left out at the ballot box because of accessibility issues.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
No, I'm not naive. I know that our votes usually have little to do with what happens in this country. I know that politicians have become a class unto themselves who are in bed with lobbyists and the rich. I know that for all the differences in platforms, the two major parties are more like one.Still, I consider voting a sacred act, one that I personally exercise every election, general or special, and primary. When I've changed residences, one of mu first acts has always been to register. I guess that's why I thought this heartwarming story something I should share. I hope it encourages everyone who reads it to vote. Maybe if we all raise our voices in this manner, it can make a difference. 
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Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, October 31, 2016 11:59 AM

Just because you  have a disabillity does not men you can not vote. If you qualify you can vote 

Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, October 31, 2016 12:03 PM

THOSE WITH DISABILITY SHOULD BE INFORMED OF AND/or About their RIGHT to VOTE also.

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The most thorough, profound and moving defense of Hillary Clinton I have ever seen.

The most thorough, profound and moving defense of Hillary Clinton I have ever seen. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
First of all — this is not my writing.  It's a Facebook post by someone I don’t even know, a man named Michael Arnovitz in Portland OR.  But as a Facebook post it passes the fair use test and I’m quite certain he would not object that I share i
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I will iterate, I don't much care for Hillary Clinton. I find her lacking in the quality I call grace and I don't think she is empathic towards others. I also question her health, that endless cough worries me as does her bloated appearance. Still, I think she deserves a fair hearing, and this piece is one of the best defenses of her that I have read. 
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The Daily 202: Trump’s attacks on the GOP’s most prominent Latina, Susana Martinez, should alarm Republicans

Seven reasons it’s a big problem
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Mr. Trump will hopefully bring out the Hispanic vote and with this kind of nastiness he will surely direct it towards the Democratic party. Along the way, he also seems determined to make women hate him. I guess the guy just lacks the sense god gave little geese. I can only hope that the rest of America has better judgment than this would-be POTUS.
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5 things you may not have known about Ben and Jerry before their protest arrest.

5 things you may not have known about Ben and Jerry before their protest arrest. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Beyond an incredible knack for inventing ice cream flavors you didn't even know you needed, Ben & Jerry's touts a long and proud history of social consciousness and responsibility.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not even that big on their ice cream, but these two guys are really outstanding examples of what American capitalists can be, decent, creative, willing to give back; and of course their from New England. 
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Looking for America: Longing for something lost

Looking for America: Longing for something lost | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
PART 2 | In New Hampshire, the feeling is widespread. But what it truly means varies across demographics.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We have lost something, something that was especially to be found in New England. What to learn more about what that was? Read "Broody New Englander." my stories of Maine. The pros and cons of small town living come to life. http://tinyurl.com/hmgtkmf ;
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