These 2018 Midterms Are Tests Because They Will Be Hard

2018 midterms, Senate, House of Representatives, primaries, Democrats, Republicans
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is a Democratic hoping to unseat a Republican Senator this year. Specifically, he’s running against Sen. Ted Cruz in the general election. Here, O’Rourke can be seen at an event held for the 2016 President’s Leadership Council hosted by Inter-American Dialogue. Image via Flickr by Inter-American Dialogue. Some Rights Reserved.

The 2018 midterm elections are already underway, so I’d thought I’d keep a record of what has happened so far. I’d been thinking about doing something like this before, but my schedule was out of whack and I already passed up a chance to do something similar for 2016. Anyhoo, let’s take a look at the midterms from state to state and see how things are shaping up.

Note: I will need some time to catch up, but there have only been primaries in 10 states held so far. This post will be updated.

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Are You Still Following News of the Russia Probe?

Russia probe, Donald Trump, James Comey
Did this guy somehow collude with Russia? I don’t know, but something’s off …

On April 24, I started a two-post series in which I discussed my overall view of the Russia probe that is currently dominating headlines in the United States. While I said I felt that the probe was a distraction (in terms of its focus), I felt there needed to be an investigation in order to finish vetting Donald Trump and some of his cohorts.

Now, while I might disagree with this probe’s focus, it has turned up some interesting events I could not ignore or refrain from sharing. Also, there have been some recent developments in regards to how this entire probe and suspicions are being reported.

That said, let’s discuss what this probe is about and how I plan to cover it.

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Our Leaders Are Failing Us During This Coronavirus Pandemic

coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, pandemic, COVID-19, Trump, response, crisis, our leaders
In this image, Trump and Mike Pence can be seen giving a press briefing during a Coronavirus Task Force Meeting on February 29, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House. Trump’s administration has provided no real confidence that this country is taking the pandemic seriously. Image provided by The White House via Flickr. (Public Domain)

So … how’s your 2020 going? Not so great, right? I honestly had no expectations for this year beyond meeting a few personal goals, but the coronavirus pandemic (this virus is called COVID-19) has already ruined this year for many. Not only are people dying, but many have either lost their jobs or have been furloughed. They will not have money to pay all their bills or buy essentials to make it past this indefinite crisis period (which could last for at least six months).

Instead of talking about statistics — at least in this post — I wanted to briefly write about what we need from our leaders to stop the spread of the virus and help people recover.

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Famous Sayings #184 — ‘[Beware the] Ides of March’

March 15, 2020

Beware the ides of March.

Vincenzo Camuccini - La morte di Cesare
Vincenzo Camuccini / Public domain

As I was doing research for this famous phrase, I came across this quote in a subheading for one of my sources:

March 15 is known as the Ides of March, which may vaguely remind you of a high school English class.

Indeed, I first heard of this phrase while I was in high school — in the tenth grade to be exact — and after reading a certain play, the phrase has always stuck with me. Thus, when I realized that March 15 fell on a Sunday this year, I decided that this was the phrase I would be looking at on this date. (Note: As I’m typing this, March 16 is approaching …)

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Famous Sayings #183 — ‘Every Tom, Dick, and Harry’

March 14, 2020

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry believes that he can become rich. If everyone were rich, no one would be.

Three men thinking, one wearing a wristwatch
I’m not sure if these men’s names are Tom, Dick, and Harry, but they’re three guys, so … Image cropped. Original photograph by Szilárd Szabó from Pixabay.

This is an interesting expression to look at because it involves three male names that were once very popular. Thy are still common English names because chances are you have met a Tom, Dick, or Harry in your lifetime if you live in an English-speaking country.

Have you used this expression? I don’t believe I have, but I was introduced to it in my childhood.

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Famous Sayings #182 — ‘Wholeheartedly’

March 7, 2020

I agree wholeheartedly.

wholeheartedly, wholehearted, matters of the heart, famous sayings, 19th century

To get started in March, I decided to look at a term originally intended for February on Valentine’s Day to be exact but since I had already found the sources, why not publish it now? Since the post was originally meant for Valentine’s Day, it, of course, concerns a matter of the heart, so to speak.

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Famous Sayings #181 — ‘Leap Year’

February 29, 2020

Since it’s 2020, this year is a leap year.

I decided to cheat a little bit and use a term that is very pertinent to this year: leap year. While looking up the history of this term, I learned some interesting facts about the Gregorian calendar and the Earth’s revolution around the sun.

What Is a ‘Leap Year’?

Of course, a normal year according to the Gregorian calendar is one that lasts 365 days. A leap year has an extra day and generally comes every four years. The extra day, called a leap day, is February 29.

Our calendar year does not perfectly match up with the tropical year, which is the time it takes the Earth to make a full revolution around the sun. The Tropical year is also referred to as the solar year astronomical year, or an equinoctial year. We need to add a leap year every four years so that our calendar can line up with the Earth’s revolution around the sun, otherwise, we would lose about six hours every year and a total of 24 days in a century (“When Is the Next”).

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Famous Sayings #180 — ‘Fainthearted/Faint of Heart’

February 17, 2020

Car racing can be a dangerous sport. It’s not for the faint of heart.

fainthearted, faint of heart, famous sayings
I guess you can say that being a surgeon is not for the faint of heart. Image by skeeze from Pixabay.

As I was looking up the term half-hearted for the Famous Sayings post I published on Valentine’s Day, I came across some information for the word “fainthearted” and the related term “faint of heart.”

What Does It Mean to Be Fainthearted?

There are many definitions for the term fainthearted. In short, a fainthearted person:

  • Shows their weakness during difficult or intense situations (“What does”).
  • Is not confident or brave and they may dislike taking unnecessary risks (“FAINTHEARTED”).
  • Lacks courage. They are cowardly and timorous (“Fainthearted”).
  • Will easily experience anxiety or stress when faced with an unpleasant situation, a challenge, a risk, or physical strain (“Faint of heart – Idioms”).
  • May feel uncomfortable or become sick when they see graphic imagery (“Faint of heart – Idioms”).
  • Is squeamish, and thus unable to rise to the occasion (Grammarist).
  • Lacks conviction (Lexico).
  • Is irresolute (Various).

Generally, the term “faint of heart” can be used to refer to a group of timid people (Various). Also, when someone says that something that is “not for the fainthearted” or “not for the faint of heart” that person is saying that the thing in question is extreme or very unusual. Therefore, that thing is not suitable for people who only want to deal with the safe and familiar (“Not for the fainthearted”).

Other times, these terms can be used in the humorous sense to say that something is difficult and that it requires a lot of effort (“something is not”).

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Famous Sayings #179 — ‘Half-Hearted’

February 14, 2020

Despite knowing that she would need to their votes in her race for U.S. Senator, Paula made a half-hearted effort to reach out to this constituency.

Travis made a half-hearted attempt to pick up the trash in the schoolyard.

Dan made a half-hearted attempt to wash the dishes, so I had to step in. I know that was the point. He thinks he’s slick.

half-hearted, halfhearted, heart, Valentines Day, famous sayings

Since it’s Valentine’s Day is, here is a Famous Sayings post that concerns the heart. The term half-hearted is very prescient right now. The meaning is straightforward, but I was surprised to learn of its origin. Maybe you won’t be, but it is interesting.

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Famous Sayings #178 — ‘Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick’

January 31, 2020

Speak softly and carry a big stick. You will go far.

William Allen Rogers [Public domain], via Wikipedia

This was a post I meant to finish and publish on Sunday, January 26, but after hearing the tragic news about Kobe and Gianna Bryant and seven others that day, I hadn’t the heart to go on with my normal schedule. (You can read my thoughts about the tragedy here.)

Now, I was researching this topic early in 2019, but I had originally decided to postpone this post until January 26, 2020 because of the historical connection to this proverb. Does this proverb have any connection to current events? You bet it does.

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January 26, 2020: Today Was a Terrible Day

Today, I was planning on posting a Famous Sayings post, but after hearing of some sad news today, I didn’t have to heart to do much research — or much of anything, for that matter. I was kind of watching the Pro Bowl when a relative alerted me to some terrible news.

This morning, I heard that Kobe Bryant, a beloved figure in Los Angeles and the world of sports, had died in a helicopter crash. Bryant’s Sikorsky S-76 was circling for a bit in foggy conditions and it crashed in a mountainous region. The news was first reported by TMZ, but I and others waited for confirmation, which, sadly, came from other news sources.

The news about Bryant’s death was bad enough, but as the day went on, the situation was much worse than we originally thought. By mid-day, news came out that five (now the count is at nine) people had died on the helicopter and that there were no survivors. Not everyone was identified, but at one point, it was suspected the Rick Fox (a former teammate of Bryant’s on the Los Angeles Lakers) was also on the helicopter. That news was refuted, but one bit of news really saddened me.

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Famous Sayings #177 — ‘Free at Last!’

January 20, 2020

‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’

Colors by Emijrp [Public domain]

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, I decided to do an extra Famous Sayings post this week at look at a part of the Reverend’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech.” The speech, giving on August 28, 1963, was part of the March on Washington to Jobs and Freedom. At the end of the speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. said these words:

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholic, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

‘Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’

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