Friday, August 30, 2013

Pointed Examples of Forward Motion

After an unexpectedly busy August filled with news, we're excited today. A full three-day weekend away from the drawing board and keyboards is staring us in the face, with time for our families, friends, and the opening weekend of college football.

We plan on celebrating the true meaning of Labor Day too, a time to remember the struggles and sacrifices of past working class Americans, who fought - and sometimes even died - so Americans today can have things like a 40 hour work week and safe working conditions. Some workers, like those who went on strike across the country on Thursday, need no reminder of what it means to fight for fair wages.

That fight against injustice has sometimes seemed pointless in the face of policies like the newly rigged voting laws in TexasNorth Carolina, and elsewhere. After yesterday, though, we're a bit more hopeful that almost anything is possible, if we just prepare and keep hacking away at the problem.

We stress 'almost anything', though. After all, we're not in charge of finding Democratic candidates to run for Congress in Nebraska in the 2014 election.

Still, there was slew of good news yesterday afternoon, even in the midst of all the rumors surrounding Syria.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday that they will now begin recognizing all same-sex couples' marriages for tax purposes, even if the couple lives in a state that doesn't recognize their marriage. That news came on the heels of the announcement that the Justice Department will no longer sue to block laws legalizing marijuana in 20 states and DC.

Both of those pieces of news fell in line with the news from the White House that - as promised - President Obama is going ahead with Executive Branch changes to federal gun laws, closing two loopholes that allowed corporations to register highly restricted guns that people might not otherwise be able to register and own themselves.

Add to those pieces of news another story from Barton Gellman & Greg Miller, based on the leaked NSA information that finally lets Americans know how much money we're spending on our security state ($52.6 billion), and who actually spends the most "secret" government money (That's the CIA, followed by the NSA). Even more good news came when the British Parliament voted down military action in Syria, and the Swiss & U.S. agreed to finally go after the tax cheating banks on Wall Street.

It wasn't all good news yesterday. As we noted on Thursday, many pundits and some at the highest levels of the U.S. government are still pushing to get America involved in Syria's civil war.

Frankly, the story that many on the rabid anti-war left have jumped on is a single report from The New York Times, unsubstantiated by separate sources elsewhere. That story insists President Obama is "willing to pursue solo Syria strikes" - a claim we have difficulty believing for multiple reasons, including the past history of the New York Times publishing misleading lies in the run up to an unnecessary and unwanted war.

Still, overall, it's been a much better August than we'd anticipated it to be.

Time for a well-earned three-day weekend.

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