On my morning walk I saw some other flowers that survived the recent cold-snap here in North Texas. I think this is an Azalea bush, but it is different from any other bushes I’ve seen. If you look closely you can see my dog, Dusty. I didn’t know he was in the picture until I pulled it up on my computer to put in the blog post.
The race to the presidency in 2020 is off and running. So far, there are a lot of candidates on the Democratic side including Cory Booker, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.
A March 7 story in The Chicago Tribune has a list of who’s in, as well as those still exploring the possibility of an official run. According to the story, the following high-ranking Democrats are not going to run: Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley.
A potential candidate who has not made it official is Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. I heard him interviewed on the Podcast, Pod Save America, and what he had to say really impressed me, especially because he said the campaigns have to be about the issues, as well as being forward-thinking. No looking back, no dredging up crap from the past, and no pointing fingers. The idealist that I am, I liked that a lot.
On the Republican side, the only one to consider challenging Trump is Bill Weld, a lawyer and a former Justice Department official. He was governor of Massachusetts in the 1990s. If you’d like to know more about Weld and his stand on issues that Americans are concerned about, check out his recent interview in The New Yorker. Weld probably won’t get the nomination, but I like the idea that someone is challenging Trump.
As for the issues that will be driving the campaigns, finally climate change seems to have taken the top spot. When I did a Goggle search for the major issues that people are concerned about in the United States, a 2018 poll listed:
Climate change / destruction of nature (48.8%)
Large scale conflict / wars (38.9%) …
Inequality (income, discrimination) (30.8%) …
Poverty (29.2%) …
Religious conflicts (23.9%) …
Government accountability and transparency / corruption (22.7%) …
Food and water security (18.2%) …
Lack of education (15.9%) …
To that I would add school safety. I think it is tragic that students have to have “shooter”drills, and many of them think about what they would text to their parents if a shooter entered their school. Another view of the impact of those drills on students is explored in this February 13, 2019 article in Washington Top News by Kate Ryan. She interviews a school counselor who says that the drills themselves, if handled properly, don’t raise student fears. Teachers have to talk about the safety aspects and not focus on the frightful thought of shooting and possibly dying.
That may be true, but I remember the drills of my elementary school days when we would practice getting under our desks in the case of a nuclear bomb hitting our city. That was pretty damn scary, and nothing a teacher could say would take my nightmares away.
On another note, Just in time for Tax Season, Litter Robot has this blog post about tax deductions for your cat. When the notice about the article popped up in my mailbox, I was prepared for some humor, but apparently there are special circumstances where your feline friend can bring you a deduction.
Now we do need a bit of humor to carry us over the weekend, so here are a couple of jokes from The Laugh Factory:
Q: Why do ducks have webbed feet?
A: To stamp out fire.
Q: Why do elephants have flat feet?
A: To stamp out burning ducks.
A man knocks on a lady’s door and tells her, “I’m terribly sorry miss, but I ran over your cat. Because I’m responsible for its death, I’d like to replace your cat.”
The lady thanked him and asked, “So, how are you at catching mice?”
That’s all for me folks. I will have a busy weekend with some writing and editing, and maybe playing outside a bit with flowers. It is looking a lot like spring here. Whatever you have planned, I hope it brings you joy. Be safe. Be happy.