I’m so sorry to bring such heartbreaking – and very belated – news about one of our best friends from here, Sue in Minnesota.
It was only today, so many months later, that I was able to find out that Sue died on April 17.
Lots of you had been asking about her the last few months and I had been trying, with the help of Chi, who never stopped thinking about Sue, to trace her because we knew she had been unwell, and hadn’t commented at the blog since February.
It’s just impossible to express how painful this is, those of you who got to know Sue at the blog could only love her – she was kind, warm, inspirational, endlessly encouraging and full of passion, and in her later days she never let her ill health overcome her spirit. Her support and work for President Obama was immense, he meant everything to her and she talked often of feeling blessed to be alive in his time.
I read back through Sue’s comments today, she was here since almost the beginning, in 2009, and she never failed to make me smile. Especially her fiery determination to learn how to use Twitter – so many of you were helping her figure it out, VC her tutor-in-chief.
The name she chose at Twitter was simply perfect: @fairwarrioress
She hadn’t got around to mastering Twitter, but I smiled again when I saw that one of the 12 people she was following was Ambassador Susan Rice. I think I know who Sue would want to be the next Secretary of State. Although, I’d guess she was a John Kerry admirer too.
I can’t even begin to describe her kindness to me, her generous, supportive, beautiful emails, right from the early days, ones that made your day. A word from Sue was a blessing, she spread sunshine, she was a very, very lovely human being.
Yet, that’s the strangeness of all our blog friendships, we simply do not know what to do when contact is lost, we’re just left wondering and worrying. And so many of us feared the worst about Sue.
But, after she left us, her beloved Minnesota did her proud:
And that would have made her beam broadly.
The search function on the blog is useless, but I think this was the last post Sue commented on.
It included photos of Jodi Fisher, the 44-year-old woman who was diagnosed with an inoperable form of cancer and who created a bucket list of things she wanted to do before she died. One of them was to meet President Obama, which she did at San Francisco International Airport on February 16 (you can read more about Jodi here).
“Strength and God’s blessings to Jodi and those with her on her journey, she seems so full of light.”
Jodi died on March 17, Sue died exactly a month later.
Love you always, Fair Warrioress.
Like Jodi, you were so full of light.
As a message under Sue’s obituary in her local paper read:
“You touched our lives and will live in our hearts forever.”
Our thoughts go to Sue’s family for their immeasurable loss.
President Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office, Dec. 11. Pictured, from left, are: Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; and Chief of Staff Jack Lew. (Pete Souza)
12:0: President Obama holds a conference call with a bipartisan group of mayors and community leaders
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
Paul Krugman: Both Jonathan Chait and Charles Pierce have a field day with a Politico piece titled, without a hint of irony, Crafting a boom economy. In said piece they talk to various Very Serious People, and divine the insider consensus on What Must Be Done – which mainly seems to involve, naturally, cutting Social Security and Medicare while reducing corporate tax rates.
What I find remarkable about this piece is that after everything that has happened these past five years or so, Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen still take it for granted that these people actually know what they’re talking about….
…. The whole theme of the Politico piece is that great things would happen if only the insiders could override all this messy democracy stuff. But the real lesson is that those insiders are not only self-dealing, but profoundly ignorant and wrong-headed. It’s too bad that so many journalists still can’t see that.
See also Liberal Librarian’s post at The People’s View: ‘More adventures in our failed media experiment’
Steve Benen: There was a widely held fear after Election Day that systemic voting restrictions would soon be forgotten. The outrage over voter-suppression tactics was real – unnecessary voter-ID laws, closed early voting windows, ridiculously long lines and waiting times – but once the election came and went, would the political world’s short attention span forget the fiascos?
Fortunately, no – or at least, not yet. Several Democratic members of Congress have already unveiled modest-but-helpful election reforms, and in the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder continues to take the issue very seriously….
NYT: A broad swath of the nation’s leading chief executives dropped its opposition to tax increases on the wealthiest Americans on Tuesday, while the White House quietly pressed Wall Street titans for their support as well.
Before Tuesday’s about-face, the Business Roundtable had insisted that the White House extend Bush-era tax cuts to taxpayers of all income brackets, but the executives’ resistance crumbled as pressure builds to find a compromise for the fiscal impasse in Washington before the end of the year.
“We recognize that part of the solution has to be tax increases,” David M. Cote, chief executive of Honeywell, said on a conference call with reporters. “That’s the only thing that allows a reasonable compromise to be reached.”
TPM: As Michigan Republicans pushed their controversial right to work legislation another step forward Tuesday, organized labor’s promise not to go quietly was realized.
…. labor groups say they’ve found a way to unwind the Michigan Republicans’ attempt to write the law in a way that makes it impossible to be overturned at the ballot box …. A high-ranking labor source told TPM unions are ready to turn Michigan into the next Ohio.
“If this bill is signed today, it will be Thunderdome for Governor Snyder and Michigan for the next two years,” the official said. “There are multiple options for a referendum, for the voters to have their say on this issue and all options are on the table, the fight is far from over.”
First Lady Michelle Obama during an event with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition on the South Lawn of the White House, May 9, 2011 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
NYT: After decades of rising childhood obesity rates, several American cities are reporting their first declines. The trend has emerged in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as smaller places like Anchorage, Alaska, and Kearney, Neb. The state of Mississippi has also registered a drop, but only among white students.
“It’s been nothing but bad news for 30 years, so the fact that we have any good news is a big story,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the health commissioner in New York City, which reported a 5.5 percent decline in the number of obese schoolchildren from 2007 to 2011.
The drops are small, just 5 percent here in Philadelphia and 3 percent in Los Angeles. But experts say they are significant because they offer the first indication that the obesity epidemic, one of the nation’s most intractable health problems, may actually be reversing course.