I plan to take off the next two and a half weeks. The next time I plan to send out an email is Thursday, January 3, the same day the new U.S. Congress, the 116th, is seated. On that day all the legislation that didn't become law in the last two year Congress, the 115th, resets. A congressperson has to put a new copy "in the hopper" to get started again. I've heard in the last two years there were around 700 bills passed by the House which the Senate never took up. I'm sure we'll see many of these bills proposed again, but with less chance of getting by the House again this time around.
In 2019 there will be primary and general elections for municipal officials. These are elections for which voter turnout is typically low. It will behoove us to learn about the candidates and issues and to participate. This is where it starts. Personally, I find it much easier to gather information on candidates and issues nationally and state-wide than on counties, cities, and towns. Wikipedia and Google and even Ballotpedia are much less granular than a full understanding of our politics requires. I hope to clarify local civics for myself. Part of that process for me is writing about what I learn, so expect some missives on local government.
I want to leave you with one striking example of the bias of Fox News. Tuesday evening after the surprise video of Trump, Pence, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schemer sparing over Trump's border wall I listened to and read a variety of media. When I got to FoxNews.com I found the following article posted at the top of their page as if they were reporting breaking news, not offering an opinion: "On border security, Pelosi and Schumer play politics while Trump fights to protect us." (I looked for but did not see the small print "opinion" that appears with the web article now.) If you have ever wondered why conversing with a Fox News listener is like conversing with someone from another planet, reading this article will will offer an explanation. A constant with Fox News is the blurred line between opinion and reporting.
Enjoy the holiday season. I wish us all...and our country...well. Back on January 3.
Keep to the high ground,