Category Archives: Fashion

Sunday Sadness … and Chef Joey’s soup recipes + FYI

Sunday Sadness

By Rosalie Tirella

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Jett in the country. pics: Rose T.

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I went out to the country with my mutts yesterday … I had to get away from my building. A terrible place to live – window broken in first floor apartment in dead of winter. Landlord has done nothing – I called the City of Worcester. They sent him a letter. The old man who lives there, on the first floor – I found him on the ground a few days ago, in the very cold, his ol’ gal pal by his side. Bitter cold and dusk. He was white as iced anow. Dead drunk. We couldn’t lift him to bring him indoors to get warm. The guy downstairs got home and just walked by us. A young guy who could have done the job. The other guy tenant next door was home (landlord owns that property, too) – He did nothing.

I called 911. The ambulance took the old man – scrawny and in his 70s – away. Then I reported the incident to Worcester Elder Services.

The new Worcester: gentrified and a vicious, uncivilized under class. The culture has grown crass … no true community anymore in Woo’s old neighborhoods. Just raw fear.

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

SOUP’S ON!

By Chef Joey

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Chef Joey😊

It is January and it is cold out, and the New Year has begun. So have the credit card bills and the post-holiday money crunch and belt tightening. But it doesn’t mean you cannot eat healthy! Simple healthy grains and canned summer veggies make great soups!

We know the old lady in the shoe story … broth was a protein based dinner that kept everyone going. You can do the same and make a pot of soup for under $10 – it will feed a crowd! This soup base is the start to just about every soup out there – you just add good stuff! There really is no such thing as a bad soup!

You need …

onions, garlic and celery to get the ball rolling, or the boil rolling!

Chop up 2 or 3 onions nice and fine – they are your anti-oxidant friends and flavor boosters, 2 or 3 cloves garlic and of course 4 or 5 stalks of celery chopped small.

Toss all of these into a nice size pot and add a tablespoon of oil – and a ¼ cup water so it does not burn.

Mix well and cover – check on it every few minutes and keep stirring.

When soft add … (1) 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes and cook for 20 mins. Add 1 quart of heavy cream and you have CREAMY TOMATO SOUP!

(2) a bag of lentils 4 cups of water and 1 8 oz package of frozen chopped spinach and cook 40 mins and you have spinach and lentil soup!

(3) add a bag of frozen mixed veggies and a can of kidney beans, one 1 can diced tomatoes and one liter of the stock of your choice and you have minestrone!

It is that easy!! Enjoy and look for my easy recipes with the basics in the next issue of CECELIA!

💮💮💮💮💮💮💮💮

FYI:

Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty’s Inaugural speech … and … City Councilor Gary Rosen showboats tonight re: free WRTA bus fare

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Mayor Joe Petty this summer at Main South’s National Night Out event. file photo: Ron O’Clair

Thank you, reverend clergy, Judge Bibaud, Senator Markey, Congressman Kennedy, elected officials, City Manager Augustus, Superintendent Binienda, the Worcester community, honored guests on stage and of course my wife Gayle and my children and family, for being here today.

This year’s campaign featured some of the most diverse and vibrant policy discussions and debates. I want to thank everyone who participated in this highest form of civic engagement. I want to recognize someone who is not here, the longest serving School Committee member – Brian O’Connell – who passed away a few months ago. His service to our city will always be remembered.

I also want to recognize our second ever Poet Laureate Juan Matos and the first ever Youth Poet Laureate Amina Mohammed.

Tonight is the time when we put behind us the differences that defined our campaigns and our candidacies. Politics is built on competition but governing is about consensus. Politics is about a promise, a promise of change and of betterment, but governing is about progress and it is a process.

As we stand on the edge of a new decade, I know that our city is stronger than ever. We did not get here by doing less, but doing more. Streets are safer due to the work of the Worcester police, health services are provided to those who need it, and programs are in place to help those who are hungry and homeless.

We have much to be proud of in our city. It’s not just about a new ballpark or the development in Kelley Square. These accomplishments are something to be quite proud of but don’t define us. There are other changes that are just as important: we’re creating a vibrant downtown with new housing and restaurants. The City Square development is almost finished. The South Worcester Industrial Park is filled. Flights from Worcester Airport happen every day. After languishing for decades, the old courthouse is under construction and we’re seeing the northern end of Main Street slowly coming to life.

At moments like this, when things are going well, it’s important that we focus on the building blocks of the future. Long before the idea of a ball park became a reality, we started looking at our three-decker housing stock, investing and developing more affordable housing, stabilizing our neighborhoods, and investing in our parks and school facilities. This is the work that is before us. Though it may be the large scale developments that generate news and excitement, it is the SLOW work of improving our neighborhoods, our schools and our city which moves our city forward.

This is about a generational promise to the future of our city; setting in place the building blocks of the next generation. That is why we are building new schools, why we have the highest bond rating and the largest unused tax levy in our city’s history. The work we do is a process and we move forward together.

For all the work that we do as a city it is imperative that we move forward in a data-informed manner, measuring results and adjusting policies over-time if we are not meeting our goals.

With the new Office of Urban Innovation we should begin with a data audit for our internal systems and analyze current digitalized information to create a better understanding of the state of our city. Every call to customer service, every building permit, every suspension of a student should be quantified and shown – transparency is essential.

To assist in this endeavor, I will ask the City Manager to implement a 24-hour Customer Service Center to be more responsive to residents and businesses.

We must demonstrate our work to the larger community, to researchers and to the residents of Worcester so we can provide a better understanding of the tactics and strategies that are implemented. We must be held accountable.

I hear the rising chorus of gentrification, of rising rents that come with rising home prices, and we should address them. As part of the Housing Now Initiative that we announced a month ago, we called for the formation of the Advisory Committee on Housing. We will examine housing options for all of our residents, renters, and home owners in neighborhoods.

We will examine our housing stock for patterns of neglect, foreclosures and code violations, and focus our city’s resources on those neighborhoods and properties most in need. We will work together to address issues and work with our State Legislature to develop tools and secure resources that currently do not exist.

Moving forward, we need to create a city that will embrace the challenges of the 21st century.

We will continue to review our public health policies within the community to address issues such as the opioid crisis, mental health issues, sexual education deficiencies and homelessness.

When we talk about a cleaner city and cleaner neighborhoods, a more eco-friendly city, this extends into many areas. We have seen the success our City has experienced through investments in green technologies and renewable energies. We have one of the largest municipal solar arrays of any city in Massachusetts. These investments bring successes and I want the City Manager to bring to the council a sustainability program that makes Worcester the greenest city in America. I have created a new city council subcommittee to deal with the concerns of environmental issues. For example, at the last City Council session, we banned single use plastic bags which are a good starting point for this coming decade.

Sustainability and environmental resilience relates to the way our population moves around the city and the state of the WRTA. We must better utilize the WRTA system to determine how we will encourage more public transportation use in our city and safer bike and pedestrian travel. This will help reduce our carbon footprint.

We also need to address and enforce issues like code violation and illegal dumping. We are investing in our city, our parks and our street-scapes so we must also invest in improving our trash and recycling programs to keep our neighborhoods clean. I will be asking the City Manager to reintroduce his plan to clean up our city and increase the monitoring and enforcement of illegal dumping.

As Worcester has become a cultural destination for many, we still need to do more. The city has embarked on ambitious programs to create urban art. The most notable of these is the murals created by Pow Wow.

What our city has in murals, we lack in public sculpture. Art in the Park at Elm Park is a great addition to the cityscape, but we need something more permanent such as an ART PARK and public sculptures and I’d like to see that project move forward in one of our parks or open spaces.

When we reexamine our city facilities as part of a larger community use, we need to examine how we are utilizing them at the city, state, and federal level. Even as we are building two new high schools, we need to examine other public facilities and spaces to see if they are being utilized to the highest and best levels.

Parks like Foley Stadium and Duffy Field need to be renovated and improved not just for the use of our schools but for outside organizations like the Worcester World Cup or the Worcester Rugby Club. These events build community and enrich our entire city.

For myself, I see the DPW yard in the heart of Shrewsbury Street as a key opportunity to continue the economic development in that commercial corridor in the coming years. I will be convening a committee of business and neighborhood leaders to work with the city administration to identify a new location for our Public Works offices and facilities. This will give our city a chance to modernize operations, serve our constituents and free up the Albany Street garage space and East Worcester Street DPW buildings for future development.

One of my goals since I started public office was to invest in the Worcester school system, infrastructure, and public education of our children. Much of the future of our city’s successes begins in the classroom. Currently, we are in the process of building two new high schools and I expect that they will come in on-time and under-budget just as Nelson Place Elementary School did. This is not a process where we can stand still. With forty-four school facilities we must always be investing and looking towards the future needs of our children, our city and our economy as a whole. Going forward I will continue to advocate for a new Burncoat High School and Worcester East Middle School in the coming years.

As we start this new term, I am particularly proud of the part Worcester played in getting the new Student Opportunity Act passed and signed into law. As the Worcester School Committee begins work on next year’s budget, the additional funding planned by the Act will allow us to do more to meet the needs of all of Worcester’s students. This additional funding will be instrumental in addressing all our students’ diverse backgrounds and educate the whole child.

Whatever their needs are, whatever language they speak at home, whatever race or ethnicity or gender or identity our students are, they are OUR students. As the mayor of the city and the chair of the Worcester School Committee, I commit to the Worcester Public Schools being fair and equitable in supporting every one of our students. It is critical that the spending of new funding reflect all the needs of our students, our schools, and our community.

I call upon the elected officials, School administrators, Community Leaders and Worcester residents to work together to set strategic goals, and provide clear metrics for our schools. As chair of the Worcester School Committee, I will be working with our state association to organize a retreat with the School Committee to identify strategies and approaches for handling the continuous changing social economic environment of the urban cities and public education. I will also be appointing a School Committee task force to assist in the review of the School Committee rules and agenda format. Prior to the Worcester Public Schools’ administration proposing a budget this spring, the Finance and Operations subcommittee will hold multiple budget hearings across the city to ensure that all of Worcester’s voices are heard. We will incorporate tools and resources to closely track and monitor progress and use of these funds to ensure positive and effective outcomes in our educational process.

Another important part of education is health awareness. In this term we will enact a comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education curriculum. I will also propose that we use the additional funding to create additional health educators in the Worcester public schools.

In closing, I have stood on this stage every two years since 1998 and sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and to serve the people of Worcester. Just as in 1998 the work before us is great and it remains an honor to serve.

I am proud to be the Mayor of the City of Worcester and I would be remiss, if I did not mention those who make my job easier and our city better. These are the fine men and women who work for our city. Our city workers have experienced great highs and great sorrow this year. From the DPW workers who saved a child’s life, Peter Lamoureaux and Daniel Patenaude are here tonight, to Fire Lieutenant Jason Menard who lost his life.

Fire Chief Michael Lavoie is here tonight. He has persevered and has shown great leadership. RECOGNIZE CHIEF LAVOIE. I also want to recognize the countless unnamed police officers who keep us safe, the DPW workers who keep our city clean and the teachers and principals in the schools who educate our children and the city employees.

We honor and thank you, though your talents many sometime go unrecognized. We need to study the City’s human capital, focus on retaining talented staff and review our work culture and benefits so we do not lose you to our private counterparts.

Though our city has changed, I still feel the same way I did the first time I took the oath of office: a lucky kid from Worcester.

I am still that same kid from Webster Square, the fry cook from Big Boy’s restaurant, your kid’s little league coach, your city councilor, your mayor, and most importantly the husband to an amazing woman and the father to three beautiful children.

I am still ready to do the work of the people that I have been honored to do for twenty-two years and I am humbled to have you stand this council and school committee, and with me.

– Joe Petty

Demo at City Hall 7-7-16
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ATTEND WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL meetings (every Tues, City Hall, 7 p.m.)- ALL PUBLIC MEETINGS – AT Worcester CITY HALL, Main Street, downtown Worcester. And to peacefully protest – express your ideals, hopes and more – before City Hall. The people’s building! ICT file photo

🌇🌇🌇🌇🌇🌇🌄☀️🌞

GET ON THE BUS FOR REAL, GARY!

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WRTA buses: expensive to ride for working poor/special needs folks, and the buses come ’round once an hour! Often late – as much as 40 minutes! pic: Rose T.

It is ironic: the Worcester city councilor who called the WRTA BUS SERVICE obsolete, intimating the city should put the kibosh on the whole thing – GARY ROSEN (a guy who hasn’t ridden city buses for more than half a century) has ASKED AND RECEIVED THIS City Council SUBCOMMITTEE wish: CHAIRING City of Woo Public Transportation Services subcommittee:

WOW

Sensing the political winds have shifted, Gary has not only embraced WRTA buses but wants to make them free for all riders.

Why HAVE THE FATE OF OUR WORKING POOR, IMMIGRANTS AND SPECIAL NEEDS PEOPLE wrapped up in Gary Rosen’s desperate ploy to stay current – and not get his butt voted off the Worcester City Council next election cycle?

Gary has decided to ANNOUNCE TO THE WORLD AT TONIGHT’S Worc city council meeting THAT HE ALONE CAN SAVE US…that he will hold and chair public hearings on free WRTA bus rides for all and making the WRTA work for its riders!

Like we – or the city council – disagree. But, hey, it got Gary some mentions in the press – FREE PUBLICITY, which is something the 70-something Woo pol thrives on.

A Question:
Gary promised, when he “retired” from City Council years ago, that he would not run for public office ever again – and do media, TV shows etc instead. New ventures. CC Gary Rosen said once out, he would stay out – that there should be NO REVOLVING DOOR between punditry and being in public office. Well, here it is, years later AND GARY ROSEN DOES BOTH!

PATHETIC.

Don’t screw up the WRTA bus public hearings for your fat ego, Gary. And list dates and times of hearings at THE HUB, CITY HALL BUS SHELTER AND OTHER BUS SHELTERS. The old fashioned way. On flyers. TAPE THE ANNOUNCEMENT FLYERS to walls where WRTA riders are! The bus stops. And meet and talk with the people!

– pic/text: Rosalie Tirella

This just in from Steve: IS TRUMP WAGGING THE DOG, OR IS TRUMP A MAD DOG? … + JFK 🎥

By Steven R. Maher

Is Donald Trump a “Mad Dog,” or is he just trying to appeal to votes, as the fictional President did in the celebrated movie “Wage the Dog” by bombing another country? In the American political lexicon, this “Wag the Dog” movie reference means that the President was trying to divert attention from a domestic scandal.

Along with America, this writer woke up on Friday January 3, 2020, to find out that we are a big step closer to being at war with Iran after President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military to kill Iranian Quds force commander Qassim Soleimani. The Quds force is a unit of the Iranian military that conducts terror attacks abroad against foreign states, usually in conjunction with terrorist groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Shiite militias in Iraq. I think Trump had no idea about the outrageousness of his actions. Qassim Soleimani was an evil man who deserted to die for his crimes. But Trump was not going after some terrorist leader hiding in a cave. He was going after one of the most powerful men in the Iranian hierarchy. I don’t think he understood how this would look to the rest of his countrymen, never mind the rest of the world.

I lean to the theory that this was a “Wag the Dog” motivation compounded by Trump’s incompetence.

This was a situation of Trump trying to solidify his base and not comprehending the enormity of what he was doing.

I’m also starting to wonder how much more Trump has to do to solidify his base. If the people supporting him are not satisfied with Trump now, nothing Trump does will change their minds. If they won’t vote for him now, they never will.

If Trump was trying to provoke Iran, he couldn’t have done anything more provocative then killing the second highest leader in the Iranian state. This would be equivalent to a foreign state killing on American (or Canadian or Mexican) soil the U.S. Secretary of Defense. It was an act of war against a country the United States has not declared war on.

Do you feel safer?

After the Soleimani killing, Trump said Americans should feel safer.

Former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta on Friday warned the U.S. is now closer to entering a conflict with Iran than it has been for decades following the President Donald Trump-authorized airstrike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani, among other activities, was the commander in chief of the Quds force.

Panetta, who headed the Pentagon from 2011 to 2013, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer “the real question” about the killing was not about if he agreed with the strike but “whether or not this action has given us less of a chance of going to war or increases the chances of war” according to the Huffington Post website. “And I think right now we are closer to war with Iran than we’ve been in the last 40 years. “And that is a danger that we have to pay attention to that was not dealt with with one act.”

**********
JFK – so superior to Trump, our moron in chief!

New! Podcasts from Michael Moore🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 !

Friends,

Happy New Year — and an even happier, Trump-free new decade!

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Trump – Michael wants him out!

I have something for you. It’s my latest project, and it isn’t a movie, a book or a new line of swimwear.

I have launched my first-ever podcast — “RUMBLE with Michael Moore.”

I started posting it online two weeks ago and, unexpectedly, it shot to #1 on the News podcast charts, ahead of the New York Times, NPR and others.

There have already been nearly one million downloads — and as we begin the Year 2020 today, I am enclosing in this email my first dozen episodes of RUMBLE so you can give them a listen and see what all the fuss is about.

If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, I’d be honored to be your first foray into this very engaging medium. Podcasts are essentially the very best of what radio once was — a creative, intimate way to use audio, to tell stories without pictures, to complete whole thoughts and express fresh ideas without having to speak in sound bites and without being interrupted by the need to sell you things you don’t want every five minutes.

Podcasts are a place where you can go to escape the noise and the bloviating pundits, to relax and settle in to a brilliant conversation or follow a deep dive into a fascinating story or a captivating documentary where YOU create the images in your head. It’s as old as sitting around the fire telling stories and as new as the technology that now allows us to talk to each other without the wealthy gatekeepers and filtering overseers of corporate-owned media. You listen at YOUR convenience — on your commute to work, on your daily walk or workout, in the comfort of your home — whether on your phone, your laptop, or your tablet.

And the best part — it’s all free! You just go to a site where you get music — iTunes, Spotify, Google Music — or to a podcast platform like Anchor or Stitcher — and then you simply go to “podcasts” or type in and search “RUMBLE with Michael Moore,” and within seconds you can be listening to my latest episode, free of charge.

Or you can sign up for email letter – which will now be weekly – and I’ll send the podcasts to you, all for free.

For your convenience, I am posting right here the direct links to my first 12 podcasts from the past two weeks, including my report of how I got a front row seat inside the US House of Representatives on the night Trump was impeached; my searing, controversial interview and afternoon with fellow citizen and ruckus-raiser Robert De Niro; an intense conversation with the director of “Joker”, Todd Phillips; my Christmas caroling with lyrics I wrote to sing in front of Trump Tower, Rudy Giuliani’s office and the headquarters of Fox News; and a discussion of Medicare for All with my own dentist as he drills away, with me in the chair.

Check them out, give them a listen today — a great day to binge! — and subscribe for free so you can get all future episodes:

Episode #1: “Let’s Rumble!”

An introduction to the RUMBLE podcast and why I’ve chosen to communicate using this nonfiction medium.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #2: “We ARE The Wrong Side (featuring Daniel Ellsberg)”

My Impeachment Eve conversation with American hero, Dan Ellsberg, and how Nixon’s crimes against him led to that president’s articles of impeachment.

Listen via Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #3: “Last Train Out of DC… Reflections From The Front Row of An Impeachment, As Recorded on the Late Night Amtrak”

We went to D.C. on a whim and ended up sitting in the front row of the House gallery during the impeachment vote. Whoa.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #4: “Now Yous Can’t Leave (featuring Robert De Niro)”

An exclusive with Robert De Niro in his first-ever podcast interview. This one caused a ruckus because of its raw, explicit content and made news around the world.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #5: “Free Dental – A Conversation With My Dentist”

A great Medicare for All talk while I’m being drilled. See what happens when I bring up Trump in the dentist’s chair.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #6: “Everything Must Go (featuring filmmaker Todd Phillips)”

“Joker” may be the year’s most urgent film and I sit down with its director to discuss the film’s controversial implications and what it says about where we’re at and who we are.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #7: “A Very Rumble Christmas”

Some holiday fun with Christmas carols I wrote and sang for Trump, Rudy, Jared, Fox and the NFL.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #8: “Follow the Yellow Brick Road (featuring writer/editor Alex Press)”

A wonderful conversation with Jacobin magazine’s assistant editor where we discuss labor, Bernie and movement building.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #9: “Let Me Rob You, I’m Woke (featuring Anand Giridharadas)”

In a stirring conversation, the smartest and most eloquent journalist covering economic issues gives us the language and tools to fight the 1%, the GOP and the corporate Dems.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #10: “Reconsidering Ralph (featuring Ralph Nader)”

A one-on-one with the scourge of the 2000 election. 20 years later, I sit down with the man who’s saved millions of lives and with whom I’ve had a complicated relationship. Is it time for redemption? You decide.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #11: “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rumblin’ Eve”

My special New Years Eve podcast! Reconciling a good year and a lousy decade. Or is it the other way around?

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Episode #12: “RUMBLE 2020 Declarations”

I invite my podcast listeners to share their declarations for the new year — and what they intend to do about the mess we’re in. I have a few suggestions, too.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher

Let me know what you think. This is my election-year project, to speak to you directly, with my own voice (along with the voices of others) and to use RUMBLE as our way to organize a massive turnout at the polls and to help lead a movement to accomplish all that we desperately need. I have more things cooking around RUMBLE which I’ll share with you in the coming weeks, things that you can do to join with me in getting this country on a more just and loving and equitable track.

A few months ago I made the decision to put my next film on hold (movies take a year or longer to make and release). I did this so that I could place my full attention on creating this new piece of art and politics — “RUMBLE with Michael Moore” — a direct, immediate, intimate way to connect with you on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis so that you and I can create the literal pandemonium that’s needed to end the madness and lead us to create the America we’ve never had. That’s my New Year’s commitment and I hope you’ll sign up with me (and I with you) in this necessary and noble fight for the greater good.

See you in the Rumble!

Here’s to a joyful and a profoundly mischievous 2020!

Michael Moore
mike@michaelmoore.com

P. S. You can subscribe to the RUMBLE podcast here for free!

Apple.co/Rumble
RUMBLE with MICHAEL MOORE | Spotify
RUMBLE with Michael Moore on Google Podcasts
RUMBLE with MICHAEL MOORE on Stitcher

New recipe🥄/column👏 from Chef Joey👨‍🍳: Molasses for your Ginger-bread!♥️ … + 🎶

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Chef Joey makes ginger-bread – hold the sugar! ICT file photo: Rose T.

Text, recipe and photos by Chef Joey

The end of the year is approaching: people evaluate the past year, set goals for the New Year, reflect – and clean out their fridge! What many people may have back there is molasses, that great old-fashioned ingredient. It is indeed sugar – however, it is a better version of it!

Molasses is obtained by crushing and boiling sugar cane (or beets) and extracting the sugary result. The first boil is called cane syrup – the second boil is B grade molasses and the 3rd boil is black strap molasses – slightly more bitter and with a robust flavor. The British call this “Black Treacle” and it has quite the viscosity.

♥️The difference between molasses and sugar is nutrients.

♥️Unlike highly refined sugars, molasses contains significant amounts of vitamin B-6 and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese. One tablespoon provides you with up to 20% of the recommended daily value of each of those nutrients. Blackstrap is also a good source of potassium. Blackstrap molasses is even sold as a dietary supplement!

Why use sugar to bake a nice gingerbread?
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Gingerbread made by Joey.

Substitute this inexpensive product to bake with!

♥️Gingerbread is a timeless recipe that has French “pain d’epices” and German “Pfefferkuchen” origins.

Here is a quick recipe that I use constantly – it’s a perfect kid-snack and even tastier with a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top!

Ingredients:

½ cup soft butter

½ cup of dark brown sugar

1 cup molasses

2 large eggs

1 teaspon vanilla

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinamon
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♥️

1 tsp ground (or fresh) ginger
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👏👏👏👏

½ tsp ground cloves

1 cup hot boiling water

Directions:

Oven temp should be 350 degrees F – grease, and preferably parchment paper, a 9×9 pan.

Then grab a bowl and mix the dry ingredients.

Add everything else in another bowl, except the water. It will be thick. Add the flour mixture little by little – then add your boiling water. Mix well.

Pour into the pan and bake about 40 minutes – test with a toothpick. Let the cake (bread) cool before slicing.
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Don’t forget the freshly whipped cream on top!!

Enjoy!!!

♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

For Chef Joey’s daughter, Gigi😉:

This just in from Steve – 🇺🇸THE PRESIDENTS: Noted Historians Rank America’s Best – and Worst

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Donald Trump at a G7 Summit

CECELIA BOOK REVIEW

THE PRESIDENTS: Noted Historians Rank America’s Best – and Worst – Chief Executives (PublicAffairs New York, 2019) 523 pages, large print

By Brian Lamb, Susan Swain, and C-Span

Reviewed By Steven R. Maher

In 2000, 2009 and 2017 C-Span surveyed presidential historians on the 44 American Presidents. Donald Trump was not analyzed formally because C-Span only includes those who have left office, though it did include a few sidebars on Trump. The results were analyzed, for each President, by a single historian, many of whom have written biographies of the Presidents they wrote about for this book.

There were two tools used for this survey: a ranking based on leadership qualities; and a comparison of the 2000, 2009, 2017 surveys to see which President has gone up or down in the historical rankings. For example, Dwight D. Eisenhower has gone up form ninth on the list to fifth, and is now ranked directly behind Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt. The shifting opinion of good and bad Presidents by historians is a recurrent theme in this book.

The following were the leadership qualities each President was examined on:

● Public persuasion;

● Crisis leadership;

● Economic management;

● Moral authority;

● International relations;

● Administrative skills;

● Relations with Congress;

● Vision/setting an agenda.

● Pursued equal justice for all.

● Performance within the context of the times.

The Top Ten Presidents

Based on these testing points, the following were judged America’s best Presidents:

FILE - In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)
FILE – In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)

🇺🇸1. Abraham Lincoln. The man who saved America and won a bloody civil war while talking of “malice for none” and “charity for all”. Wrote Richard Norton Smith in the introduction: “By the time he climbed into a carriage bound for Ford’s Theatre in 1865, Lincoln had outgrown the racist society which had produced him, as demonstrated in his public advocacy of at least some form of public advocacy of at least some form of black suffrage.” Lincoln placed first in all three C-Span surveys of presidencies.

🇺🇸2. George Washington. When the first President took office, the federal government consisted of Washington, Vice President John Adams, and the driver on Washington’s carriage. He led America to victory over England, provided the first stable, solvent, government, and kept the country at peace. He also owned slaves, the one big flaw in his character. Washington later said that he would have joined the north if civil war about slavery erupted.

🇺🇸3. Franklin Roosevelt. Faced with an economic catastrophe when he took office, Roosevelt promulgated the New Deal, creating public works jobs for millions of unemployed. He led America to victory in World War II. Records the summary: “He [Roosevelt] and Abraham Lincoln are the only two presidents to have been consistently ranked in the top ten in every leadership category.”

🇺🇸4. Theodore Roosevelt. America needs a Teddy Roosevelt today in Washington. A republican stalwart, “Roosevelt confronted the bitter struggle between management and labor head-on and became known as the great ‘trust buster’ for his strenuous efforts to break up industrial combinations under the Sherman Antitrust Act. He was also a dedicated conservationist, setting aside some 200 million acres for national forests, reserves and wildlife refuges during his presidency.” Sounds like the type of President who would stop global warning and break up the Internet monopolies.

🇺🇸5. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike’s ranking continues to rise: “Dwight Eisenhower has moved up four spots since C-Span’s since first survey in 2000, the largest upward movement of any president in the top ten.” Eisenhower made peace in Korea, balanced the budget, and eased a public panic over the Soviet Sputnik launching. Eisenhower seems destined only to rise, but with Lincoln, Washington, and the two Roosevelts ahead of him, Eisenhower has some tough competition.

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Racism in America – our Original Sin. … President Truman finally integrated our armed forces. … Also, Truman wanted Universal Health Care for all Americans. Photo: Worcester Art Museum

🇺🇸6. Harry S. Truman. “Give ‘em hell Harry” certainly lived up to his nickname with his astounding surprise defeat of Tom Dewey in 1948. Truman had already shown great decisiveness when he brought World War II to an end by nuking Japan. Truman went on to face the Soviet Union in the Cold War, fight Red China in a bloody war in Korea, and instituted the Marshall Plan to revive western Europe. It says something about the “Greatest Generation” period that three Presidents – Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower” – were in the top six ranked Presidents in American history during this generation.

🇺🇸7. Thomas Jefferson. The Louisiana purchase, in which Jefferson bought from Napoleon for $15 million 530 acres of land was Jefferson’s greatest presidential achievement. In one deal and without firing a shot, Jefferson doubled the country’s size. It is barely mentioned in this book. The authors gave a higher priority to the Sally Hemmings episode, where Jefferson fathered several children with one of his slaves. It also wanders off into Jefferson’s pre-presidential biography, writing at length about his authorship of the Declaration of Independence, his career as Vice President and Ambassador to France. There was less an emphasis on Jefferson’s Presidency because the book said Jefferson’s years practicing law “were terribly important” to his evolution.

🇺🇸8. John. F. Kennedy. I was surprised but not disappointed at JFK’s high ranking in the Presidential Survey. Surprised because Kennedy’s Presidency was a short three years because of his 1963 assassination. Not disappointed because, having grown up in an Irish Catholic home in Massachusetts, JFK was a hero to me. This is not to belabor Kennedy’s achievements: starting inter-planetary travel with his efforts to put a man on the moon; facing down Russia in the Cuban missile crisis; and aiding third world countries in transitioning from European colonies into independent countries.

🇺🇸9. Ronald Reagan. Reagan deserves a place on Mount Rushmore because he collapsed the Soviet Union. But his economic policies were disastrous: short term prosperity at the cost of trillions of dollars of debt. As the long-term damage of supply side economics ultimately impacts the United States, Reagan is sure to drop in the historical rankings.

🇺🇸10. Lyndon B. Johnson. Given his mismanagement of the Vietnam war, one would think Johnson would be listed among the top ten failures of American Presidents. One certainly does not expect to find LBJ among the top ten successful Presidents. Apparently, his civil rights accomplishments have outweighed his Vietnam debacle.

The Impeached

It takes a special character flaw for a President to be impeached. Because this is a hot topic as this article is being published (after the House impeached Donald Trump but before the Senate has tried him), a brief digression into impeached presidents feels timely.

1. Andrew Johnson. This President owned slaves while other Americans were dying on civil war battlefields to free African Americans. Johnson told Confederate sympathizers coming to pay him bribes for pardons, “If you’d only listened to me and stayed in the union, we’d still have slavery.” When Johnson tried to undo the north’s civil war victory, radical Republicans failed by one vote to impeach and remove Johnson from office.

2. Richard Nixon. When Nixon was elected President in 1968, he already had the nickname “Tricky Dick”. When Dickie got a little too tricky and tried to cover up the bugging of the Democratic national headquarters at the Watergate, he became the only President in American history to reign to avoid being removed from office.

3. William J. Clinton. A trail of scandals followed Bill “Slick Willie” Clinton into office, and, despite his many accomplishments, the scandals never quite let go. Like Trump, Clinton had enough Senatorial support to thwart the two-thirds 67 vote Senate super-majority necessary to remove him from office.

4. Donald Trump. We’ll await the judgment of future historians on Trump.

Animals🐕 are for life – not just for 🎄Christmas! … and more + 🎶

But first …

This is what Christmas is all about … :


♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

THE ORIGINAL HOMELESS FAMILY♥️:

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Rose’s Polish immigrant grandmother’s baby Jesus (and Mary and Joseph). About 90 years old …


Rose and the Old Beau saw Loretta Lynn at Indian Ranch in Webster – an iconic American artist! Fun, too!

Ma, pictured above, treasured her First Holy Communion prayer book she received as a 2nd grader at St. Mary’s School in Kelley Square. I don’t use it – it’s way too fragile – but this Christmas I pray … for our city kids being sent to school in sweat shirts in 30-degree weather – and not complaining. For kids stuck with violent, missing in action parents. I pray their parents cook simple, healthy meals for them.

I pray for the WRTA bus riders, cold and patient, as they stand at the WRTA bus shelters that don’t shelter them at all …
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pics: Rose T.

… I pray for the millions of homeless cats and dogs in America who are alone and afraid in animal shelters this Christmas Eve – thousands will be “put down” in the New Year! I pray they all find good homes and ♥️loving owners:
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♥️Jett

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♥️Lilac

🐩🐩🐩🐩🐩🐩🐕🐕🐕🐕

Animals are for life – not just the holidays!!

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

Two kittens are hoisting themselves up my pant legs as I write this, sinking their needle-like claws into my shins. Before their attention turned to scaling my legs, kitten number one was clambering up the wastepaper basket in an attempt to reach the power cords that I had stashed out of her reach, and kitten number two was toppling her mama’s food bowl for the third time that day. When I got up this morning, I found that they had “decorated” my office — using the contents of their litterbox. And now … please excuse me while I run off to rescue my (nontoxic) houseplant from their mama’s eager jaws.

I knew I was courting this kind of crazy when I volunteered to foster animals in need. But along with the chaos, this feline foster family has brought so much joy, love and laughter into our home.

Fostering has reminded me that taking in a new animal is a big commitment that brings with it big changes and big challenges. Every year, many families who buy kittens, puppies or other animals because they think they’ll look cute under the Christmas tree find themselves overwhelmed and unprepared. And many animals who were purchased as “gifts” find themselves tossed out like used wrapping paper.

In Germany, animal rescue facilities report a 40% increase in the number of dogs and a 50% spike in the number of felines returned in January. The problem is so widespread that several countries have prohibited the adoption of animals during the holidays.

Even for people who are committed to caring for an animal for life, the holidays are typically one of the worst times to bring home a new family member. Parties, shopping, cooking, decorating, visitors and travel keep many people busy and away from home more often during December. This can make it difficult for an animal to adjust and can hinder the crucial bonding process.

Animals need time, a calm environment and gentle, consistent, positive guidance to understand the “do’s” and “don’ts” of their new home. There will be mishaps, messes and mischief. It’s our job to set animals up for success—by spending plenty of time with them, keeping a close eye on them, ensuring that all their needs are met and never punishing them for the inevitable “oopsies.”

The holidays also introduce all kinds of dangers and temptations into animals’ environments — twinkle light cords to chew on, trees to climb, irresistible (and breakable) ornaments to bat at, candles that can be knocked over, poisonous plants and an abundance of foods that can sicken or even kill them.

And, there’s no getting around it: Caring for an animal is expensive. In the few weeks that they’ve been with us, our feline trio has needed medications, vet visits, shots, special food, litter, toys, lots of paper towels and cleanser and more. With many families’ budgets already stretched thin during this time of year, the added expense of caring for an animal can rack up debt—or worse, result in animals being deprived of vital veterinary care or even abandoned.

Fostering has also reminded me of how many wonderful animals are waiting for loving, responsible people to commit to caring for them for life. If you fit that description and have given the decision careful consideration, please visit your local animal shelter to adopt your new family member — after the hectic holiday season is over. After all, nothing helps chase away the post-holiday blues like taking a canine companion for a long, leisurely walk or letting a purring kitty share the warmth of your lap, which is what I’m doing right now.

🐩🐕🐶🐩🐕🐶

On a positive “note”!!

😊🎶🎶🎶🎶!:

Politics Sat.: Gary Rosen and WRTA buses🚌 … Jim🇺🇸: Why I Voted to Impeach Trump👿 … + more🐄🎶

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#4 Millbury WRTA bus – WRTA gal bus driver has windows open and heat low – EVEN ON COLD WINTER EVES. pic: Rose T.

After opening his big mouth – calling the WRTA BUS SYSTEM “obsolete” and hinting it should be scrapped all together – Worcester City Councilor Gary Rosen has decided to save his political career and do a 100% turnaround. Gary is now CALLING FOR FARE-FREE BUS RIDES on city buses. Popular idea, needed by most of the WRTA riders … Let’s hope Gary gets beyond his BS slogans AND ACTUALLY LEARNS ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO TAKE THE BUS – refugees, immigrants, the elderly, single moms with little kids, special needs folks, the working poor – AND WORKS TO HELP THEM.

The city’s bus system sucks. IT NEEDS TO BE OVERHAULED.

EMAIL GARY TO LET HIM KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS:

roseng@worcesterma.gov

– Rose T.

🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌

Why I Voted Yes

From Congressman Jim McGovern

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Jim has integrity!🇺🇸🇺🇸

This week, I voted to impeach the President of the United States for abusing the power of his office and unconstitutionally obstructing the work of Congress.

At this important moment in our nation’s history, I can’t help but think back to my first genuine political experience — I was in middle school. It was 1972, and I was inspired by Senator George McGovern’s campaign for president — no relation, by the way.

I found him to be dedicated to the same values that I was: He wanted to end the Vietnam War, feed the hungry, and help the poor.

His vision for America gave me hope, and I wanted to help elect him president. So that year, rain or shine, I left leaflets at the homes of potential voters urging them to support his campaign. I may have been too young to cast my own ballot, but I wanted every voter to make it to the polls to help change the destructive course I thought our nation was on under Richard Nixon’s presidency.

Senator McGovern came up short (even though I helped him win Massachusetts). And I was devastated that he wasn’t given the chance to be president of the United States. But instead of giving up on our democracy, I threw myself into our political process even more. I worked on races up and down the ballot, eventually asking voters to support me in my own campaigns.

I feel honored every single day to represent the people of Massachusetts’ Second District in Congress. I’ve taken the oath of office many times now, and to this day, there is no way to describe how it feels to walk into the United States Capitol and use the power of this institution to make life better for the American people.

Throughout this impeachment process, I’ve reflected a lot on that oath of office and what it means to support and defend the Constitution, as all members of Congress have sworn to do.

I believe the Constitution is more than just words on paper. With three simple words — “We, the people” — the founders who created this country also gave us the power to write our own future. To shape our democracy daily — door by door, vote by vote, election by election.

Sadly, I believe it is no longer possible to reconcile President Trump’s abuse of power and obstruction of Congress with the oath of office I took.

The facts are clear. This president withheld congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine, a country under siege, to extract a personal political favor. Not as a matter of US policy, but for his own selfish benefit in the 2020 presidential race. He tried to cheat and he got caught.

His actions are a clear and present danger to our democracy.

He has repeatedly rolled out the welcome mat and invited other nations to decide our elections for us.

I often think about kids today getting involved in the political process just like I did back in 1972.

What will they think if we say that the president’s actions don’t matter?

What should we tell them when, inevitably, they ask about bad actors a half-world away who were encouraged by American leaders to change the outcomes of our elections?

I’ve felt both the exhilaration of winning a campaign and the stinging defeat of losing one.

But I would take losing an election any day of the week when the American people render that verdict. I will never — never — be okay if other nations decide our leaders for us.

The fight to defend our democracy is the very meaning of America. Letting that democracy slip away or be diminished betrays the oath that each of us took to stand up for the Constitution.

The President of the United States has been impeached. But to be honest, this has never been about him. This is about us. About what kind of country we want our kids to grow up in. About protecting the precious gift of government of, by, and for the people that has been entrusted to all of us.

Democracy is not easy. It takes hard work. But it is now up to us to decide whether the United States remains a nation where no one is above the law — or whether America becomes a land run by those who act more like kings or queens, as if the law doesn’t apply to them.

In casting my vote in favor of these two impeachment articles, my conscience is clear.

I’m upholding my oath and defending our democracy. But I’m also doing something fundamentally as important: making sure the next kid who comes along and wants to make a difference in this country will know that their voice matters and their vote counts.

More Soon,

James P. McGovern
Member of Congress

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

From RespectAbility.org

Disability Employment Highlighted at Democratic Presidential Debate

By Lauren Appelbaum

For the first time this political season, a debate moderator, Politico’s Tim Alberta, asked a question specifically on disability policy – giving the example of Kyle, a young adult with disabilities in Iowa: “Are there specific steps you would take to help people like Kyle to become more integrated into the workforce and into their local communities?”

Out of more than 20 million working-age people with disabilities, just 7.5 million have jobs, while 70 percent would prefer to be employed. This data also shows the serious gaps that remain between disabled and non-disabled Americans: 37 percent of U.S. civilians with disabilities ages 18-64 living in the community had a job, compared to 77.2 percent for people without disabilities.

Just three candidates were given the opportunity to respond – businessmen Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Sen. Amy Klobuchar – and potentially others off camera – also tried to answer but the moderators moved on to another topic.

Tom Steyer: Support People with Disabilities in Education and as Part of Workforce

Steyer, who was given the first opportunity to respond, spoke about supporting people with disabilities, “both in terms of education and later when they are part of the workforce.”

“That means bringing the resources to bear to make sure we are treating them fairly in school and after school to try to integrate them fully and to make them have as full a life as possible,” he continued.
Andrew Yang: “Special Needs Person” Can Be Contributor in Workplace

Yang, whose disability platform focuses on the “care for people with disabilities,” came under criticism by many members of the disability community for talking about his son with “special needs,” even after RespectAbility’s Eric Ascher, who is on the Autism spectrum himself, spoke with Yang last month about better language to use. However, people not in the disability community found it powerful when he asked the debate audience if they had family members with disabilities – although he phrased it as “family members with special needs or Autism.”

Terms like “special needs” and “differently-abled” can be seen by some as patronizing and ableistic. Using these phrases may seem on the surface to convey that someone with a disability has positive qualities about him or her. However, terms like these tend to be euphemistic, and frequently are not used by the people to whom they refer. In addition, people with disabilities, in the U.S., are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. People with “special needs” are not.

In answering the question of specifics, Yang said: “We go to employers and say, hey, this ‘special needs person’ can be a contributor in your workplace, which is correct. But that’s not the point. We need to stop confusing economic value and human value to be able to say to our kids and Kyle that you have intrinsic value.”

Yang then discussed his signature proposal, a freedom dividend of $1,000, as a solution. However, while people with disabilities who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) alone would receive the dividend, those who receive both SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) would not receive it. People would have to choose between SSDI and SSI if they want this universal basic income.

Elizabeth Warren: Fully Fund IDEA, Ensure Accessible Housing and Fair Pay

Sen. Warren talked about her prior career as a special education teacher, where she was proud to “recognize the work of every human being.” She called for the full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is something that the Democratic candidates are in agreement on. IDEA, which covers educational funding for children with disabilities from birth through high school graduation or age 21, whichever comes first, has yet to be fully funded by the federal government since it was first passed in 1975.

Sen. Warren also talked about the importance of accessible and independent housing opportunities. “People who want to live independently, people who have disabilities, will have housing available to them,” she pledged.

She also called for paying people with disabilities fairly. Currently, 14C and sub-minimum wage programs allow people with disabilities to be legally paid as low as a dollar an hour.

Sen. Warren also has disability rights plan on her website that goes into further detail on these issues.

While Sen. Warren was the only candidate on the debate stage to offer real policy solutions, the end of her statement was cringe-worthy to the disability community, referring to people with disabilities as “the least of thy brethren” – implying that disabled people are “less than.”

Julian Castro Via Twitter: Fully Fund IDEA, Expand SSI and SSDI, Ensure Accessible Housing

In addition, Julian Castro, who did not qualify for the debate stage but was responding to all questions via Twitter, tweeted: “As president, I’ll fight to empower and improve the lives of individuals with disabilities – in housing, jobs, education, accessibility, and elsewhere. I’ll make sure there are no second-class citizens in this county.” He then linked to his plan for equality for people with disabilities before adding: “My plan includes fully funding IDEA, expanding SSI and SSDI benefits, ensuring sufficient stock of accessible housing units, and expanding Medicare for long-term services. People with disabilities deserve full equality – and a president who will prioritize disability issues.”

Pete Buttigieg’s Disability Plan Calls for National Apprenticeship Programs

While Mayor Pete Buttigieg did not have an opportunity to respond, his disability plan does address disability employment specifically and concretely. Both Mayor Buttigieg and Sen. Warren advocate for national apprenticeship programs as part of their disability policy plans; these programs would be for the broader population, not just people with disabilities. Mayor Buttigieg’s plan also includes an executive order to make the federal government a model employer of people with disabilities and raise the percentage of federal procurement dollars that go to small businesses owned by underrepresented groups, including people with disabilities. His goal is to double the number of employed Americans with disabilities.
Disability on the Campaign Trail

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Elliott sings Cat!♥️🎶♥️🎶♥️:

🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

And Please! Love and DO RIGHT BY ALL ANIMALS THIS XMAS AND IN THE NEW YEAR!

Steve’s point of view re: Trump impeachment … FYI … and more🎶

On Trump Impeachment

By Steven R. Maher

In the end, the conclusion of the impeachment drama was foreordained: Trump would be impeached in the United States House of Representatives and not removed from office by the US Senate. The first stage in this process, impeachment, has ended. The next stage, the Senate trial, is about to begin.

… At the ballot box, voters will make the ultimate decision. And during the Trump presidency, a year is like an eternity. They are not likely to be impeachment. Given that the polls did not move a great deal during the impeachment drama, there is little reason to believe they will move during Trump’s Senate trial. If the Republicans wrap up things without beating the voters over the head with too much propaganda, they will be a better position to re-elect Trump. But this leaves out the most important factor in the political equation: Donald J. Trump. If Trump learned from history, he will not turn this into a Show Trial. That would probably turn off large masses of voters who are sick and tired of all this.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell will not be impartial – he will not letting the Trump trial add any witnesses such as John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney, while the Republicans celebrate Trump’s presidency.

But it seems unlikely that Republicans will be able to rein in Trump’s bizarre tweets and letter writing (the 6-page letter to Nancy Pelosi this week was a deranged doozy).

One thing the Democrats and America can look forward to is Trump’s continual bizarro slash and burn tactics against whomever piques his ire.

**********

FYI:

😢😢😢😢😢:

This Xmas SKIP THE TURKEY! BEAKS CUT OFF, BLOOD BATH CITY …

*********
🎶:
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pic: Rose T.

Elliott♥️:

Impeaching Trump: from Congressman Jim McGovern🇺🇸 … and FYI + 🎶

Chairman McGovern’s Opening Statement as Rules Committee Considers Resolution Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for High Crimes and Misdemeanors

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Congressman McGovern

WASHINGTON, DC — Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) yesterday delivered the following opening statement as the Rules Committee began its markup of H. Res. 755, impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Chairman McGovern’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

editor’s note: we’ve made some sentences bold:

The Rules Committee will come to order.

It’s unfortunate that we have to be here today. But the actions of the president of the United States make that necessary.

President Trump withheld congressionally approved aid to Ukraine, a partner under siege. Not to fight corruption, but to extract a personal political favor.

President Trump refused to meet with Ukraine’s president in the White House until he completed this scheme. All the while, leaders in Russia – the very nation holding a large part of Ukraine hostage, the very nation that interfered with our elections – had another meeting in the Oval Office just last week.

These are not my opinions. These are uncontested facts.

We’ve listened to the hearings. We’ve read the transcripts. And it’s clear that this president acted in a way that not only violates the public trust.

He jeopardized our national security.

And he undermined our democracy.

He acted in a way that rises to the level of impeachment.

That is why we are considering H. Res. 755 today – a resolution impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Congress has no other choice but to act with urgency.

When I think back to the Founders of this nation, they were particularly concerned about foreign interference in our elections.

They understood that allowing outside forces to decide American campaigns would cause the fundamentals of our democracy to crumble.

But the evidence shows that is exactly what President Trump did – not only allowed, but solicited foreign interference, all to help him win his reelection campaign.

What shocks me, quite frankly, about so many of my Republican friends is their inability to acknowledge that President Trump acted improperly.

It seems the only Republican members willing to admit the president did something wrong have either already retired or announced plans they intend to retire at the end of this Congress.

I get it – it’s hard to criticize a president of your own party. But that shouldn’t matter here.

I admired President Clinton when he was president and I still do today. But when this House impeached him – which I didn’t agree with – I went to the House Floor and said I thought what President Clinton did was wrong.

Because moments like this call for more than just reflexive partisanship. They require honesty. And they require courage.

Are any Republicans today willing to muster that strength and say what this president did was wrong?

Let me say again what happened here: this president withheld congressionally approved military aid to a country under siege to extract a personal political favor. He did not do this as a matter of U.S. policy. He did this for his own benefit.

That is wrong!

And if that is not impeachable conduct, I don’t know what is!

I’ve heard some on the other side suggest this process is about overturning an election. That is absurd. This is about President Trump using his office to try and rig the next election.

Think about that. We like to say that every vote matters. That every vote counts. We learned in grade school about all the people who fought and died for that right. It is a sacred thing.

I remember as a middle schooler in 1972 leaving leaflets at the homes of potential voters urging them to support George McGovern for president. No relation, by the way. I thought he had a great name. And he was dedicated to ending the Vietnam War, feeding the hungry, and helping the poor.

I remember what an honor it was to ask people to support him, even though I was too young to vote myself. And what a privilege it was later in life to ask voters for their support in my own campaigns.

I’ve been a part of winning campaigns, and I’ve been a part of losing ones, too. People I thought would be great presidents, like Senator McGovern, were never given that chance.

Make no mistake – I was disappointed, but I accepted it.

I would take losing an election any day of the week when the American people render that verdict.

But I will never be ok if other nations decide our leaders for us.

And the president of the United States is rolling out the welcome mat for that kind of foreign interference.

To not act would set a dangerous precedent – not just for this president, but for every future president.

The evidence is as clear as it is overwhelming. And this administration hasn’t handed over a single subpoenaed document to refute it. Not one!

So now it’s up to us to decide whether the United States is still a nation where no one is above the law. Or whether America is allowed to become a land run by those who act more like kings or queens. As if the law doesn’t apply to them.

It is no secret that President Trump has a penchant for cozying up to notorious dictators. He’s complimented Vladimir Putin. Congratulated Rodrigo Duterte. Lauded President Erdogan. Fell in love with Kim Jong Un.

I could go on and on and on. Maybe the president is jealous that they can do whatever they want.

These dictators are the antithesis of what America stands for. And every day we let President Trump act like the law doesn’t apply to him, we move a little closer to them.

Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention and said the founders had created ‘a republic if you can keep it.’

There are no guarantees. Our system of government will persist only if we fight for it. The simple question before us is this: are we willing to fight for this democracy?

I expect we’ll have a lot of debate here today. I hope everyone searches their conscience.

To my Republican friends: imagine any Democratic president sitting in the Oval Office. President Obama. President Clinton. Any of them. Would your answer here still be the same?

No one should be allowed to use the powers of the presidency to undermine our elections or cheat in a campaign. No matter who it is. And no matter their party.

We took an oath. Not to defend a political party but to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

History is testing us. We can’t control what the Senate will do. But each of us can decide whether we pass that test – whether we defend our democracy, and whether we uphold our oath.

Today we’ll put a process in place to consider these articles on the House Floor. And when I cast my vote in favor, my conscience will be clear.

Before I turn to our ranking member, I first want to recognize his leadership on this committee.

We take up a lot of contentious matters up here, and often we are on different sides of many of issues. But he leads with integrity and cares deeply about this House.

There will be passionate disagreement here today. But I have no doubt that we will continue working together in the future and side by side on this committee to better this institution.

Let me also state for the record that Chairman Nadler is unable to be here today because of a family medical emergency. We are keeping him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Testifying instead today is Congressman Raskin. He is not only a valued member of this committee, but also the Judiciary and Oversight Committees. In addition, Congressman Raskin is a constitutional law professor, so he has a very comprehensive and unique understanding of what we’re talking about today. I appreciate him stepping in and testifying this morning.

I also want to welcome back Ranking Member Collins, a former member of the Rules Committee.

Now, let me turn to our ranking member, Mr. Cole, for any remarks he wishes to make.

********

FYI:

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Canal District, Worcester: under the Green Street Bridge.
file photo: R.T.

More needs to be done here in Worcester. In the chi chi Canal District close to 50 homeless folks were sleeping on the front and back porches of the church rectory a few nights ago because Hotel Grace – where the homeless can spend the night – only opens if it is 32 degrees out – literally “freezing.” Two or three nights ago it was a few degrees above freezing … so people suffered.

IT SHOULD NOT ALL FALL ON VOLUNTEERS WITH GOOD HEARTS to solve a city problem. The Community HealthLink shelter on Queen Street is not enough! City officials must DO MORE to house or help our homeless! Why not, for instance, buy a few old abandonned factories and convert them into teeny apts/rooms for our homeless?
WHY NOT CREATE THE SPACE TO BE WARM AND SAFE?

– text+pic:Rose T.

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ELLIOTT …

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Smith – now a part of Rose’s record collection. pic:R.T.

Below: a beauty of a winter tune. Big Star sung by Elliott Smith.
Some one once asked Smith if he made “sadsack music.” Smith said, No, he didn’t think so. Later, on a TV show, he said his music had a “Strong Quiet Beauty.” Perfect.♥️
If you love music, you will “get” my SHEER JOY – ESPECIALLY AT THIS AGE! – TO DISCOVER (LATE, I KNOW) A NEW MUSICAL VOICE! To listen to song after song after song (all new to me) and go WOW!! I LOVE THIS!!🎶 A kind of renewal … a brief return to youngness. Like me hearing the Beatles for the first time at 14 … your first real hike in Vermont woods ….. or learning (I am pretending here) that the suitcase filled with early Hemingway short stories – the only drafts – stuffed in a suitcase and lost by Ernest’s pretty young wife Hadley – had been found! AND THE STORIES WERE PERFECT.

– Rose T.