Why Lumps Of Coal In Children’s Stockings Are Good For West Virginia’s Economy! Tabs, Tues., Dec. 21, 2021

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Joe Manchin refused calls from the White House before killing President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better on live TV. He also seems to think House Speaker Pelosi’s title is “Nancy.” (Politico)

I’ve been working on this, meeting with — whether it’d be the president, President [JOE] BIDEN, whether it’d be Majority Leader [CHUCK] SCHUMER and his staff, whether it would be with NANCY PELOSI, all of my colleagues.

Sure, the prospects for Build Back Better and voting rights legislation don’t look good, but the Democratic-controlled Senate has confirmed 40 of Biden’s judicial nominees. That’s what we call a bright side ... or a democracy’s going out of business sale in advance of the 2022 midterms. But try to be a glass half full person this holiday season. (The New York Times)

The best response to anti-vaxxers: "This is a stupid conversation, and I’m not going to continue it.” (Twitter)



COVID-19 is once again cancelling Christmas, and not just in the “Grinch stole all the presents and food but everyone can happily gather in a large crowd and sing that annoying 'dahoo damus' song.” (The Daily Beast)

The president is expected to address the nation Tuesday about how fucked we are because of the Omicron variant. Please get boosted ASAP, and if you’re a grown-ass adult who’s not already vaccinated, why am I even taking to you? (Washington Post)

Since you’re not going anywhere, here’s Barack Obama’s list of favorite books, movies, and songs from 2021. (Newsweek)

Not surprisingly, the pandemic had a devastating impact on children’s education, with minority students especially suffering. (The Economist)

A mountain of garbage is destroying the birthplace of modern feminism. This is a literal statement about the New York Finger Lakes. It’s not an Internet metaphor. (The Nation)

A Tennessee professor hid the instructions for the location of a cash prize on campus in the one place he knew no student would look — his class syllabus. (CNN)

Senator Elizabeth Warren has endorsed enlarging the Supreme Court. Georgetown University professor E.J. Dionne explains why that’s a good idea. (Washington Post)

Come listen to me discuss critical race theory panic with Matthew Sheffield at Flux. (Flux Capacitor)

Screenwriter and director Aaron Sorkin believes heterosexual actors should be able to play gay characters. While that’s a complex argument, this is the same Aaron Sorkin who cast Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball. (The UK Times)

The great Cycerli Ash discusses playing Scrooge at the Portland Playhouse’s production of A Christmas Carol. (The Oregonian)

Have a pleasant Christmas. As has been tradition since 1990, my celebrations will include an annual viewing of “The Avengers” episode "Too Many Christmas Trees.”


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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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