Regarding today’s vote on expanded gun background checks:
I hope someone is writing a book called “Profiles in Cowardice” to describe the 45 pathetic Senators this country has.
I noticed the other day what Tumblr writes on their log-in page: Follow the world’s creators.
It’s as if they believe the site has enough original blogs and enough of the blogs which just re-blog the originals. It’s as if they want to say, ’if you’re new to Tumblr, you should make an account just to follow the creators who have been using Tumblr for a while - not to create any of your own content.’
He told us we aren’t working hard enough. We aren’t instilling values deep enough. We aren’t thinking enough. We aren’t worthy of a pat on the back. And I thank him for that. He could have talked only of God, mercy, and angels - and no one would have said anything of it. But he started the hard conversation that we simply aren’t doing enough. That we are making excuses. He made us question whether we are worthy of the joys of having children and made us question the determination that we claim to have. Are we doing enough? No. Thank you for telling us that tonight, Mr. President.
Gun massacres have happened many times in many countries; in every other country, the gun laws have been tightened to reflect the tragedy and the tragic knowledge of its citizens afterward. In every other country, gun massacres have subsequently become rare. In America alone, gun massacres, most often of children, happen with hideous regularity, and they happen with hideous regularity because guns are hideously and regularly available.
The people who fight and lobby and legislate to make guns regularly available are complicit in the murder of those children. They have made a clear moral choice: that the comfort and emotional reassurance they take from the possession of guns is, placed in the balance even against the routine murder of innocent children, of supreme value. Whatever satisfaction gun owners take from their guns—we know for certain that there is no prudential value in them—is more important than children’s lives. Give them credit: life is making moral choices, and that’s a moral choice, clearly made.
All of that is a truth, plain and simple, and recognized throughout the world. At some point, this truth may become so bloody obvious that we will know it, too. Meanwhile, congratulate yourself on living in the child-gun-massacre capital of the known universe.” —Adam Gopnik (via theatlantic)
Now, yesterday, I made this same point at a town hall in Florida. I said, one thing I’ve learned is that you can’t change Washington just from the inside. You change it from the outside. You change it because people are mobilized. You change it with the help of ordinary Americans who are willing to make their voices heard because of the decency and the goodness and the common sense of Americans. That’s what moves the country forward.
Now, for some reason my opponent got really excited. He rewrote his speech real quick. He stood up at a rally, proudly declared, ‘I’ll get the job done from the inside.’ What kind of inside job is he talking about? Is it the job of rubberstamping the top-down, you’re-on-your-own agenda of this Republican Congress? Because if it is, we don’t want it. If it’s the job of letting oil companies run our energy policy, we don’t want it. If it’s the job of letting politicians decide who you can marry, or control the health care choices that women should be able to make for themselves, we’ll take a pass.
We don’t want an inside job in Washington. We want change in Washington. And from the day we began this campaign, we’ve always said that change takes more than one term or even one President, and it certainly takes more than one party. It can’t happen if you write off half the nation before you even took office.
In 2008, 47 percent of the country didn’t vote for me. But on the night of the election, I said to all those Americans, ‘I may not have won your vote but I hear you voices, I need your help, and I will be your President.’ And for everybody who is watching, or anybody here who is still undecided, I don’t know how many people are going to vote for me this time around, but I’m telling the American people I will be fighting for you no matter what. I will be your President no matter what.” —President Obama in Virginia today (via barackobama)
In your 20s, for example, you should regard yourself as an Ayn Randian Superman who is the architect of the wonder that is you. This is the last time in your life that you will find yourself truly fascinating, so you might as well take advantage of it. You should imagine that you have the power to totally transform yourself, to go from the pathetic characters on “Girls” to the awesome and confident persona of someone like Jay-Z.
This sense of possibility will unleash feverish energies that will propel you forward. You’ll be one of those people who joined every club in high school, started a side business while in college and spent the years after graduation bravely doing entrepreneurial social work across the developing world.
This may not make you sympathetic when it comes to other people’s failures (as everybody’s Twitter feed can attest), but it will give you liftoff velocity in the race of life.” —
David Brooks, The Credit Illusion
Statement by the President on Curiosity landing on Mars
My family moved out of our home yesterday – after 17.5 years. People have been asking me if I’m sad about leaving my childhood home or even a little nostalgic - but since the past year has been so tumultuous with selling the house, dealing with the building of the new house, and the numerous issues in between – I just want to be done with it and bring on the new.
I don’t think the fact that I’m leaving my childhood home really occurred to me until yesterday – when I was removing the glow in the dark stars that have hung from my ceiling since I was 8. Yes, I had those stars until the age of 23 – but only because they were always there – and removing them just didn’t come to mind. But I’m not 8 anymore and I sure as hell will not be hanging up glow in the dark stars in my new room – or any room after that.