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Well, it’s been a week since Election Day, and although it was only the mid-terms, I felt like in the weeks running up to it, it received almost as much media coverage and attention as a presidential election.


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That is because so much was on the line. The “hype” was that there would be a “red wave” and the Republicans would dominate. And, easily take control of Congress. It never happened.


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It certainly proved not to count your chickens before they hatch, that it’s not over until the fat lady sings, oh, I could go on and on.


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You can stop with the idioms, especially since I am not sure the “fat lady” one is PC (politically correct). But, the results show that voters were much more levelheaded than the media gave them credit for being.

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Which, given how disheartened I’ve felt in the last few years, I found to be a huge relief. And although I wasn’t surprised at what happened here in Texas, the results throughout the rest of the country definitely caught me by surprise.

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Maybe we all are just tired of all the extreme rhetoric on both sides – the radical Republicans and the progressive Democrats. Maybe even longing for the days when the two parties had different beliefs in the role of government and fiscal policy, but still shared an underlying belief in democracy. And, the right for people’s voices to be heard.

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I know that many people thought democracy was “on the line,” but on reflection, it seems that abortion’s what got so many people out to vote. After Roe v. Wade was overturned, it became a major issue and, no doubt, got many women and younger people out to vote.

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To a great extent, abortion was tied to democracy, as it appeared to be a partisan decision from the Supreme Court, not a reflection of what the people wanted. Just look at the results when some states made abortion a line item, a referendum, that people could vote for or against, separate from what candidates they voted for. Or, look at states where the outcome of the governor's race could dramatically change abortion rights policy. (Although, as expected, Texas and Florida stayed red.)

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Yes, which just shows how a specific issue you feel very strongly about can greatly influence how you vote. Even to the extent that it might cause you to vote for a candidate you might not otherwise have supported based on that single issue.

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Exactly, so why not make those key issues national referendums? Why make voters choose between candidates based on a single issue? Looking at the mid-term results, it might well have resulted in very different outcomes.

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Now there’s an understatement. What I find most interesting is that we went from expecting a red wave and all the “noise” about what that could mean for the country to an election that, although it was incredibly tight for some races and/or had surprising results, actually felt pretty normal.

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Agree. Luckily the predicted, or maybe “threatened” is a better word, voter intimidation, violence, and other antics at polling places never came to fruition. And, many candidates who lost even conceded with grace.

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And the fact that many of us, including the press, found that surprising speaks for itself. Regardless, it will be very interesting to see what happens when it comes to the 2024 presidential election. Two years is a long way away, but not when it comes to politics, and much can, and no doubt will, happen.

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I am sure many politicians are busy rethinking and adjusting their positions and strategizing as they obviously misread the room and clearly did not know their audiences.


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And now who’s talking in clichés?


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Want another cliché? When it comes to the will of “We the people” and voting … actions speak louder than words.
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It’s #GivingTuesday, and although it’s always a good time to think of others, remember all the people who are continuing to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters long after the headlines have been forgotten.

And even though Black believes charitable giving can be “secretive”, she also knows there’s science proving helping others is good for you. (Warning: she likes to recommend the book “Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways That Serving Others Is the Best Medicine for Yourself.“)

P.S. – Wherever you may choose to donate, beware of potential scammers. So, if in doubt – check them out! (Black likes GuideStar and Charity Navigator.)



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I know today’s Giving Tuesday, but what I always find so amazing is how you treat every day as “Giving Tuesday."


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What makes you say that? I do not donate to an organization or charity every day.


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You’re always so literal. I meant that the spirit of “giving to others”, whether donating or providing support in some way, seems to be part of your daily life.


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I think you are exaggerating.
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Photo courtesy of Red’s eldest daughter, Natasha


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At the risk of asking you a warm and fuzzy question, have you thought about what you’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving?


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Yes.


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I should’ve guessed that you’d take the question literally. Could you expand on that a little, or at least give me a hint?
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When Red was a child, toilets represented more than a place to go when, well, you had to go. Much to Black’s amusement, Red saw cleaning them as a reward. (Really! Check out Red's post below.) But neither of us realized that billions of people don’t have access to toilets. And if it weren’t for today being World Toilet Day, we never would have known the magnitude of the associated health and safety issues – or the connection between sanitation and groundwater.

RED: What can I tell you? When I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite things to do was … clean the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. And it wasn’t because I was a germophobe or a clean freak. I just loved being able to sit on the floor, using as much Bon Ami (I’ve no idea why I remember the brand) cleaning powder as I wanted. And the best part? All those bubbles!

It kept me entertained for hours. Not to mention, my mom was thrilled because it kept me “contained” and out of her hair. So much so that if I was very good and behaved myself, she might even give me “special permission” to clean the toilet in my parent’s bathroom. Of course, Black, being five years older and understanding the situation, found it all extremely amusing. Even now, decades later, she still gives me grief about it,

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