24
Dec
14

2014: Kat4Obama’s Most Memorable Moments

by @Kat4Obama

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1. China Climate Deal

 

White House Fact Sheet

 

Building on strong progress during the first six years of the Administration, today President Obama announced a new target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.  At the same time, President Xi Jinping of China announced targets to peak CO2 emissions around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20 percent by 2030….These actions will also inject momentum into the global climate negotiations on the road to reaching a successful new climate agreement next year in Paris.

The new U.S. goal will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction from 1.2 percent per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8 percent per year on average between 2020 and 2025.  This ambitious target is grounded in intensive analysis of cost-effective carbon pollution reductions achievable under existing law and will keep the United States on the right trajectory to achieve deep economy-wide reductions on the order of 80 percent by 2050….

The Administration’s steady efforts to reduce emissions will deliver ever-larger carbon pollution reductions, public health improvements and consumer savings over time and provide a firm foundation to meet the new U.S. target.

The joint announcement marks the first time China has agreed to peak its CO2 emissions. The United States expects that China will succeed in peaking its emissions before 2030 based on its broad economic reform program, plans to address air pollution, and implementation of President Xi’s call for an energy revolution.

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2. President Obama designates largest marine monument in the world off-limits to development — almost a half-million square miles

 

White House Fact Sheet

 

As part of this Year of Action, President Obama will sign a proclamation tomorrow to designate the largest marine reserve in the world that is completely off limits to commercial resource extraction including commercial fishing. The proclamation expands the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, one of the most pristine tropical marine environments in the world, to six times its current size, resulting in 370,000 square nautical miles (490,000 square miles) of protected area around these tropical islands and atolls in the south-central Pacific Ocean. Expanding the Monument will more fully protect the deep coral reefs, seamounts, and marine ecosystems unique to this part of the world, which are also among the most vulnerable areas to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.

The recently released National Climate Assessment confirms that climate change is causing sea levels and ocean temperatures to rise. Changing temperatures can harm coral reefs and force certain species to migrate. In addition, carbon pollution is being absorbed by the oceans, causing them to acidify, which can damage coastal shellfish beds and reefs, altering entire marine ecosystems. To date, the acidity of our ocean is changing 50 times faster than any known change in millions of years.

In response to this growing threat, the President announced in June his commitment to use his authority to protect some of our most precious marine landscape just like he has for our mountains, rivers, and forests. The Administration identified expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument as an area of particular interest because science has shown that large marine protected areas can help rebuild biodiversity, support fish populations, and improve overall ecosystem resilience.

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3. 260 million acres of public lands protected

 

See Dan Pfeiffer here and the White House Fact Sheet

 

Today, President Obama designated the pristine waters of Bristol Bay as off limits to consideration for oil and gas leasing.  This action safeguards one of the nation’s most productive fisheries and preserves an ecologically rich area of the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska that is vital to the commercial fishing and tourism economy and to Alaska Native communities.

Bristol Bay is at the heart one of the world’s most valuable fisheries, helping to provide 40 percent of America’s wild-caught seafood and support a $2 billion annual fishing industry.  The beautiful and remote area is also an economic engine for tourism in Alaska, driving $100 million in recreational fishing and tourism activity every year. Bristol Bay hosts the largest runs of wild sockeye salmon in the world, and provides important habitat for many species, including the threatened Stellar’s eider, sea otters, seals, walruses, Beluga and Killer whales, and the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.

Today’s decision to withdraw the area from all future oil and gas leasing extends indefinitely a temporary withdrawal that President Obama issued in 2010 and was set to expire in 2017.  This action builds on decades of local efforts to protect Bristol Bay from oil and gas development by Alaska Native tribes and organizations, as well as local seafood and tourism businesses that create jobs and strengthen Alaska and the nation’s economy. It also honors the legacy of Alaska residents like Harold ‘Harvey’ Samuelsen, a salmon fisherman who is legendary for his lifelong dedication to Bristol Bay and to creating economic opportunities for Alaska Native and rural communities.

The North Aleutian Basin Planning Area that includes Bristol Bay consists of approximately 32.5 million acres, a portion of which was leased in the mid-1980s but never developed due to litigation.  The previous Administration set in motion a new lease sale for 2011 that would have opened approximately 5.6 million acres – about one-fifth of the planning area – for drilling.

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4. Obama Administration Takes Major Step Forward for Offshore Wind Power in Massachusetts

 

National Wildlife Federation

 

The ever-growing need for viable, large-scale clean energy solutions to protect wildlife from the dangers of climate change places the Atlantic Coast at center stage—and today, the spotlight is on Massachusetts….

“National Wildlife Federation applauds the Obama Administration for taking this significant step forward for offshore wind power, and calls on Massachusetts’ leaders to seize this opportunity with a clear commitment to ensure that responsibly-sited offshore wind power plays a major role in the Commonwealth’s energy future.” – Catherine Bowes, Senior Climate & Energy Manager, National Wildlife Federation

Separate from the soon-to-be-spinning Cape Wind project, and the Rhode Island- Massachusetts Wind Energy Area leased last July, the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area is located approximately 12 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 13 nautical miles southwest of Nantucket.

The 742,000 acre area has an estimated 5,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy generation potential—enough to power 1.6 million U.S. homes. It’s a critically-needed opportunity to diversify the Northeast regional energy mix, create significant new jobs and economic development, and protect wildlife and future generations from the dangerous effects of climate change.

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5. President Obama creates largest national monument of his Presidency, placing almost half a million acres in New Mexico off-limits to development

 

White House

 

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area is important for its ruggedly beautiful landscape and the significant scientific, historic, and prehistoric resources found there. The abundant resources testify to over 10,000 years of vibrant and diverse human history of many peoples. Objects left behind by this multi-layered history and spread throughout this geologically and ecologically diverse landscape enhance the experience of visitors to the area and represent a vital resource for paleontologists, archaeologists, geologists, biologists, and historians.

Archaeologically rich, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area features hundreds of artifacts, rock art, dwellings, and other evidence of the Native peoples of the area. Three of the many rock art areas are in the Las Valles Canyon in the Sierra de las Uvas, the Providence Cone area in the Potrillo Mountains, and the Doña Ana Mountains. Scattered Paleo Indian artifacts, including those from the Folsom and Clovis cultures, represent the first people who lived in southern New Mexico and have been found in the Robledo and Potrillo Mountains as well as the Las Uvas Valley. The majority of the cultural items known to be in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area are from the Chihuahuan Archaic period between 8,000 and 2,000 years ago. Diverse rock art images, along with ceramic fragments, demonstrate that the area was the scene of many cross-cultural interactions as the region’s early occupants transitioned over time from roaming hunters to semi-permanent villagers….

The Organ Mountains are home to alligator juniper, gray oak, and mountain mahogany, as well as the endemic Organ Mountain evening primrose, Organ Mountains giant hyssop, Organ Mountains paintbrush, Organ Mountains pincushion cactus, Organ Mountain figwort, Organ Mountains scaleseed, night-blooming cereus, Plank’s Catchfly, and nodding cliff daisy, and likely the endangered Sneed’s pincushion cactus.

The area also supports diverse wildlife. Across the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks landscape, many large mammal species can be found, such as mountain lions, coyotes, and mule deer. The Organ Mountains were also historically home to desert bighorn sheep. Raptors such as the golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, and endangered Aplomado falcon soar above the area’s grasslands and foothills…

The protection of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area will preserve its cultural, prehistoric, and historic legacy and maintain its diverse array of natural and scientific resources, ensuring that the prehistoric, historic, and scientific values of this area remain for the benefit of all Americans.

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President Obama jokes with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and EPA staff members who worked on the power plant emissions standards, in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 2, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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6. EPA announces first national rule to provide for the safe disposal of coal ash from coal-fired power plants

 

EPA

 

Early in the morning on December 22, 2008, a dam failed at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant near Knoxville, spilling 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash over a roughly 300-acre area. The ash flooded into the Emory River and covered homes, putting people’s health and the environment at risk. A major gas line was ruptured, several houses destroyed and a nearby neighborhood evacuated. Coal ash is the waste produced from coal power generation, and it contains toxic elements like mercury, cadmium and arsenic. It poses significant health risks if it gets into drinking water or mixes with the air we breathe.

Today, Administrator Gina McCarthy signed a new rule to help ensure that this doesn’t happen again and that coal ash is managed safely. This new rule protects communities from coal ash impoundment failures, like the catastrophic Kingston, Tennessee spill, and establishes safeguards to prevent groundwater contamination and air emissions from coal ash disposal.

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And there is more to come: US and India to announce joint climate change action during Obama visit in January 2015 (The Guardian)

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These are just a few highlights. Of course there is much more to the story of what President Obama and his Administration are doing to protect our communities, economy and national security with his actions on climate and the environment; to maintain the safety of our air, water and food and other products; to fight pollution and mitigate the harm of climate change, and to save the irreplaceable natural and historical heritage of our environment.

We have so much for which to thank him, and I do, from the bottom of my heart.


153 Responses to “2014: Kat4Obama’s Most Memorable Moments”


  1. 9 Nerdy Wonka
    December 24, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    These are fantastic memories, Kat.

    Thank you, President Obama for preserving our lands, seas, and air for future generations.

    Thanks, Chips for putting this fabulousness together.

  2. 10 desertflower
    December 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Beautiful, kat! Great job reviewing the environmental goodness this President has saved/created/respected

  3. 12 desertflower
    December 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Must…get….some…more….things…for…..Christmas…..ahhhhhh!!!!!

  4. December 24, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    So beautiful…speaks to inner core of our President

  5. December 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Wow, Kat! This is wonderfully comprehensive and fills me with tremendous pride that our PBO sees the importance of preserving our beautiful natural resources. It’s encouraging to see this progress all together. THANK YOU!

  6. December 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Excellent selection of top moments Kat4Obama! 🙂 Environmentalists everywhere, not just in the US – should be savoring this administration….

  7. December 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    These are huge accomplishments. This is real progress! Thank you for posting them.

  8. 21 japa21
    December 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    You know, I really tried to create a list of the top moments of the year, but sometimes I was having difficulty picking the top moment of the day.

    Even negative events could end up being a memorable moment for the change that was eventually brought about. We may some day look back at the Michael brown shooting and, while never viewing it as a positive or good thing, recognize that that event served as a catalyst that resulted in true change. At least, I hope we will be able to do that.

    At the same time, I could look at any of PBO’s press conferences and find several moments that were memorable, sometimes several in one conference.

    So I am going with one memorable moment, even though I promised Chips I would. For me, I will always remember 2014 as PBO’s Timex year. He took a licking from the media, the GOP, many Dems, but he kept on ticking. And by doing so, he continues to inspire many others to keep on ticking as well. With him as an example, can we do anything less?

  9. 25 GGail
    December 24, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Kat – thanks so much for creating the pro-environment Memorable Moments. There are so many aspects of life that President Obama has attempted to make a positive difference and not just in one year, but throughout his Administration.

    He puts most of our other Presidents to shame.

    Thanks again kat4obama for the wonderful memories!

  10. 27 MightyPamela
    December 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    🐻

    • 28 MadameSoph
      December 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Happy Belated Solstice Mighty Pamela!

      • 29 MightyPamela
        December 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

        And to you, Madame Soph, and to all at TOD! Another day or so of stationary, then we will begin to see our 4 minutes a day of light increasing! In a month, some will be thinking we have made it through another winter! In two months, spring will be in the air (sort of), and we will be counting days towards the Equinox! ❤ Such is the way of humankind.. 🐻

        • 30 jacquelineoboomer
          December 24, 2014 at 6:28 pm

          Such is the way. Nice to “see” you here today, MightyPamela … although I’m just more or less getting here, myself!

  11. December 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

  12. December 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

  13. 33 Linda
    December 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Questions Arise As Another Black Teen Shot And Killed By White Cop Near St. Louis

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/12/24/questions-arise-black-teen-shot-killed-white-cop-st-louis.html

    Very suspect video. where is the close up video ????

    • 34 0388jojothecat
      December 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      I am hoping that the eye witnesses do not come forward until after all the police evidence is out there and they can’t make it fit their narrative.

    • 35 yardarm756
      December 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      Good afternoon mates……Just got my lazy ass out of the rack and heard the news…….This shooting is a cause for concern as it happened in a town where my nephew is a police officer.
      Berkley is a small town next to Ferguson but the composition of municipal offices is much different………I’ve just talked to my nephew and he verified the incident was true…..While he was not on duty at the time, he told me that the kid had a gun and the officer was lucky to be able to draw his weapon and fire……….The officer was white and a member of a force that is over 60% Black. The Mayor is also Black.
      As an aside, the dash cam and body cam’s were OFF. Department regs only require dash cams on traffic stops. Only the body cam is problematic at this point…..
      My nephew has indicated that this Officer who fired the shot is a “decent dude” and not prone to impulsive behavior……More to come.

      MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

  14. December 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Wow, Chips, this looks great! Perfect illustrations! I want to mention that another important aspect of President Obama’s comprehensive approach to environmental protection and clean energy involves his ongoing actions to support the health, economic vitality and climate change resiliency of Native American communities. Here are some 2014 highlights:

    1.

    2. White House Fact Sheet: Taking Action to Support State, Local, and Tribal Leaders as They Prepare Communities for the Impacts of Climate Change http://1.usa.gov/1wvdWPU

    3. Secretary Jewell Announces New Tribal Climate Resilience Program: Obama Administration dedicates nearly $10 million to help tribes prepare for climate change http://on.doi.gov/1nblB6j

    As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and continued commitment to support Native American leaders in building strong, resilient communities, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn today announced the Administration has dedicated nearly $10 million this year to help tribes prepare for climate change through adaptation and mitigation. The Tribal Climate Resilience Program, which will be announced today at the fourth and final meeting of the White House State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, is part of a new initiative to work toward addressing the impacts of climate change already affecting tribal communities.

    “From the Everglades to the Great Lakes to Alaska and everywhere in between, climate change is a leading threat to natural and cultural resources across America, and tribal communities are often the hardest hit by severe weather events such as droughts, floods and wildfires,” said Secretary Jewell, chair of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. “Building on the President’s commitment to tribal leaders, the partnership announced today will help tribal nations prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change on their land and natural resources.”

    “Impacts of climate change are increasingly evident for American Indian and Alaska Native communities and, in some cases, threaten the ability of tribal nations to carry on their cultural traditions and beliefs,” said Assistant Secretary Washburn. “We have heard directly from Tribes about climate change and how it dramatically affects their communities, many of which face extreme poverty as well as economic development and infrastructure challenges. These impacts test their ability to protect and preserve their land and water for future generations. We are committed to providing the means and measures to help tribes in their efforts to protect and mitigate the effects of climate change on their land and natural resources.”

    The program will offer funding for tribes and tribal consortia and organizations to develop science-based information and tools to enable adaptive resource management, as well as the ability to plan for climate resilience. The program will offer nationwide climate adaptation planning sessions and provide funding for tribal engagement and outreach within regional and national climate communities.

    4. Secretary Jewell Announces Second Utility-Scale Solar Energy Project on American Indian Trust Land Approved: Announces More than $700,000 in Grants for Tribal Energy Efforts, Highlights Obama Administration Commitment to Assist Tribal Communities in Combating Impacts of Climate Change http://on.doi.gov/1sYK5OL

    As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to build strong and prosperous tribal communities and the Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and create clean energy jobs, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the approval of the 200-megawatt Moapa Solar Energy Center Project*** on tribal trust land in Nevada and that nine federally recognized tribes have been awarded Tribal Energy Development Capacity grants totaling over $700,000.

    The competitive grants, provided by the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs’ Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, fund projects that help build tribal capacity for energy and mineral resource development, including renewable energy projects.

    “Today’s announcement reflects the Obama Administration’s steadfast commitment to work with Indian Country leaders to promote strong, prosperous and resilient tribal economies and communities,” said Jewell. “This solar project and these grants also deliver on the President’s Climate Action Plan goals to spur important investments and jobs in tribal communities that can be leveraged to address some of the impacts from climate change that threaten tribal lands, waters and ways of life. The Moapa solar project will generate enough electricity to power 60,000 homes and will create hundreds of jobs and additional income for the tribe.”

    ***Kat4Obama’s note: Unfortunately, the shovel-ready Moapa solar project, which would have provided hundreds of construction jobs, many already filled by tribal members, was blocked a few days ago by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (1 Dem, 1 GOP, 1 Ind, all appointed by GOP Governor.) http://bit.ly/1C51ei3

    And…

    5. There is much more to come in future:

    – The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) is hosting the Tribal Leaders Summit on Climate Change conference. The conference will share tribal strategies, plans, and regional, national, and international policies on climate change, energy and carbon emissions as well as discuss tribal needs and funding opportunities. http://1.usa.gov/1zigCS3

    – Applications Now Being Accepted for Alaska START: The DOE Office of Indian Energy is currently accepting applications for the third round of the Alaska Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program to assist Alaska Native corporations and federally recognized Alaska Native governments with accelerating clean energy projects. Applications are due Feb. 6. http://1.usa.gov/1zih038

    – New Federal Funding and Technical Assistance Online Tool Now Available: The new Federal Grant, Loan, and Technical Assistance Programs for Tribal Energy Development tool provides a central repository of federal funding and technical assistance programs that can support tribal energy project development. http://1.usa.gov/1xcmDBy

    To learn more about the Energy Department’s programs for tribes, visit the Office of Indian Energy’s website: http://energy.gov/indianenergy/office-indian-energy-policy-and-programs

  15. 41 MadameSoph
    December 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Yay! Finally on vacation and back at TOD!

    Kat4Obama, this collection is wonderful! I am forwarding this to my F&F who support environmental progress, but, because our MSM is not doing its job, sometimes miss or forget how much this administration has accomplished and is accomplishing!

    In fact, I think I will do a “12 Days of Memorable Moments” and forward collections from TODers every day over the next days! I know they will all be informative and uplifting!

  16. 43 arapaho415
    December 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks, Kat4Obama, for keeping track of President Obama’s environmental accomplishments.

    Love these so much!

    BTW, WH Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, must lurk here (LOL) because he has listed *his* most memorable 2014 moments. His first selection is VC’s photo that got my February vote yesterday (though I was torn between that photo and the one of our President offering a chivalrous hand to Michelle with French President Hollande as an [envious] onlooker).

    P.S. You’ll need slo-mo to view all the goodness at the end (which I don’t have 😦 ).

    • 44 MadameSoph
      December 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Arapaho,
      Just read your 2014 Memorable Moments! Wow! You highlighted some I had momentarily forgotten – Bowe Bergdahl’s release as well as Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller. The visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was one of my favorites! And I love Dakota Kicking Bear Brown’s acronym for his Native Education Raising Dedicated Students program – N.E.R.D.S.! 🙂 And PBO’s manufacturing push has been woefully neglected by our sorry excuse for an MSM. Glad you highlighted it here!

  17. 45 MadameSoph
    December 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    BTW, I just emailed my Memorable Moments collection to Chips! 🙂

  18. December 24, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Great support for the environment. Congrats Kat!! And Tally on #1

  19. 49 JER
    December 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm

  20. 51 yardarm756
    December 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR!

  21. 56 MightyPamela
    December 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    He is surely not just another pretty face, our PBO, is he?! 🙂

  22. 58 Nerdy Wonka
    December 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    LOL. Tweet of the Day.

    I’m so tired of the stupid holiday songs and movies I hear and see everywhere.

  23. 59 Linda
    December 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Just released…..

    • 60 MightyPamela
      December 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      I am going to watch this, but not until after Christmas. I hope it is his undoing. He does great harm to our planet by trying to own people’s minds.

  24. 62 Vicki
    December 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I am on my way out to the Xmas Eve party I attend every year but before I go I want to wish each and every TOD bt, commenter and lurker the happiest of times.

    Also, if someone can post Bill Maher’s Commencement address at Berkeley I think a lot of people would enjoy it. Bill is no PBO. It takes a while for him to warm up the audeince but the speech is only 14 minutes and by the time he finished I was very moved. Strong defense of what it means to be a liberal.

    I found it on his twitter link.

  25. December 24, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    LOVE THIS MAN

  26. 69 sjterrid
    December 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Merry Christmas, TOD! For those traveling, I hope you have a safe journey. My prayers for good health for you and your families, and my deepest sympathies for those that have lost loved ones.

  27. December 24, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Merry Christmas, Friends. May we all listen to and live the message of the angels: Peace on earth and good will to all!

    Several years ago I penned this Christmas remembrance about my mother. She died now about two years ago just after Christmas. She had many hard times in her life but always, always kept a compassionate and loving heart.
    *********************************************************************************************
    A Christmas Story
    by Bill Ryan

    It was Christmas time at the age of 8 years of age that I rediscovered the Light which nothing can destroy. We were a family of a single parent: mother, with three children, ages 5, 8, and 14. Through a series of tragic mistakes and setbacks, we found ourselves homeless and living in the state of California out of a late 40s model Studebaker sedan which was on its last legs and burning more oil than gas. This was in the days (1956) when most states didn’t offer any welfare or emergency assistance except for those who had been a resident of that state for a year or more. Christmas was getting close and we were running out of gas and oil, and it was cold, even for northern California.

    Gratefully my mother was able to find a job as a waitress in a restaurant which had good tips. We were able to find low cost housing and a bed to sleep in at a motel which rented by the week and month near a military post where soldiers’ families stayed. My mother was able to find a small Christmas tree and we placed it on the kitchen table, and we made decorations out of colored paper. She gave my brother a dollar to shop with and, the frugal magician that he is, was able to buy presents for everyone at the Woolworth five and dime store.

    Strange as it may seem, I still believed in Santa Claus at age 8. My brother teased me and told me what a stupid notion that was. Well, anyway, I resolved to stay up late and watch for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. I did, and about midnight I furtively crawled out of my bed and into the kitchen/living area of the motel unit where the tree was. Instead of Santa Claus, I gazed upon my mother under the lamplight, who had just gotten off of work. She was sewing new doll clothes for my sister’s doll, a present from Santa Claus.

    In that moment I was disillusioned, that is, I lost my illusion of what Christmas isn’t and saw the truth of what it really is. I was witnessing the faithful love of a weary mother, who might have been otherwise overcome and discouraged by the darkness of our circumstances, doing the very best she could for her daughter and all her children. She had little money but she could sew. And on that sleepless Christmas Eve night she did. And the Christmas in which I lost the illusion of Santa Claus was a Christmas in which I saw the same Light we celebrate birthed into the world, deeply present in my mother and lived by her in the midst of darkness.

    • 73 sjterrid
      December 24, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Bill, thank you sharing this memory of your mother with us.

      I hope you and your family have a merry Christmas and have a happy and healthy New Year.

    • December 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      A beautiful, warm tribute Bill. Very kind of you to share it with all of us.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • December 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Your story touched my heart. I came up poor as well but we made it through. This kind is my favorite kind of Christmas story. One of overcoming and operating on faith. Just what Christ taught. After all, isn’t He the reason for the season ?

    • December 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Bill, thanks so much for sharing this incredibly beautiful memory of your Mother with us. I feel like it exemplifies the true spirit of Christmas, the spirit of love and of giving.

      A very Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • 79 MightyPamela
      December 24, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      {{{{{ ❤ BillR ❤ Mother ❤ }}}}}

    • 80 sherijr
      December 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      ((((Bill)))) what a beautiful, touching memory of your dear mom. Thank you for sharing it~

    • December 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      Oh, Bill. Your mother was a treasure as is your sharing this memory of her. May all your Christmases be bright.

    • 82 GGail
      December 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Bill R, your mother shines through you in your determination to help those less fortunate around your community and in the Country. She taught you a valuable lesson and we are so blessed that you shared your story with us tonight.

      Merry Christmas Bill and may God continue to bless you and yours ❤

    • 83 jackiegrumbacher
      December 24, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      What a beautiful, beautiful story, Bill. It brought tears to my eyes. I hope you got a chance to show this to your mother so she knew how much she was loved. Hope you have a Christmas filled with love, joy and peace.

    • December 24, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you all for the kind and supportive responses. As one of my mentors along the way once said, “I guess we just have to keep sharing the Light.” Blessings to you and yours.

    • 85 MadameSoph
      December 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      I grew up poor too (though I didn’t realize it at the time). What a lovely story! Thank you for sharing it!

    • 86 Dudette
      December 24, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      That was so moving and beautiful a tribute to your Mom, Bill R. I’m overcome. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    • December 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you for this, Bill. What a great gift you received in your mother’s love and your family’s devotion even in the hardest times. You relate the memory so clearly and movingly I can almost see it. Many would trade their material wealth for that light.

    • 88 theo67
      December 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      What a beautiful story for Christmas Eve – your mother has a lot to be proud of in you, and the man you turned out to be – based on your insights in this story. She must be smiling down on you. 🙂

  28. 89 yardarm756
    December 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    We can’t forget them.

  29. December 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    SO grateful to these men and women who fight for health every day:

  30. 92 jacquelineoboomer
    December 24, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Kat – This is GRRRRREAT! Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  31. 93 Nerdy Wonka
    December 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    OMG….I LOOOOOOOOVE President Obama!!!!!!

    • 94 sherijr
      December 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      President Obama is EXACTLY what a President is supposed to be- Leader and Father of our country. He will forever and always be The President – for me – he has raised the bar so high- to the level it should always have been.

      • December 24, 2014 at 7:40 pm

        Likewise for me. I count myself blessed to have lived during the presidency of Barack Obama. He is a guide to humankind for what wise and compassionate leadership is.

    • 96 MightyPamela
      December 24, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      This is so adorable! I can imagine when these young ladies are old, and maybe have grandchildren or great grand children, this photo will be a main topic of conversation when they come to visit. And so, PBO continues to shape the future, long long into the distant reach of the universe!!

    • 97 MadameSoph
      December 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      I second the OMG! Coolest POTUS is right! Definitely a memorable moment for those girls!

    • 98 GGail
      December 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      I bet he’s had plenty practice, wearing these for his two daughters. Look how cool he has it sitting on his head 😀

  32. December 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Before I get off to greet my soon to arrive family I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. There will be 16 of us altogether with much chaos since it will include a four month old, a two year old, four year old, and twelve year old, a family pet (yellow Lab) and parents, Grandma (me), Great Uncle, and cousins. I have two crockpots going of baked potato soup with green onions, sour cream and bacon bits for garnishes. A spinach salad with mandarin oranges, red onions, dried cranberries, pecans, and feta cheese with pear vinegarette salad dressing and cheesy breadsticks. Then I made individual cheesecakes in Mason jars with different toppings for dessert along with Christmas cookies. I figure with people coming from Seattle, Reno and Beaverton they can eat when they arrive. Tomorrow my daughter is cooking. Friday I am babysitting and cooking. Hope I can handle the age spread of the kids. And to think I used to do it routinely with my own four kids! Anyway Merry Xmas!

  33. December 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I have my Christmas shopping done!!!!!

  34. December 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    And a VERY massive thank you to Kat for this brilliant round-up of the President’s climate change/environment protection achievements in 2014, a wonderful reminder – thank you soooo much Kat!!

  35. 126 MightyPamela
    December 24, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Okay, TOD Prayer Warriors: I’ve just had word a little while ago, my dearest SIL has Crossed Over, this morning at 10:30. Victoria has had MS for over 10 years, and her release is a blessing and a gift! From the time I was 18, she has been an integral person in my life, and we have always loved each other as sisters. So, all o’ y’all give a shout of joy, and see her on her way! Musically talented, the kindest heart I have ever known, I will miss her, but am relieved she is free of her pain. Thank you my darlings TOD! ❤ 🐻 ❤

    • December 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Oh {{{MightyP}}}, so, so sorry for your loss, but I sense your relief that your SIL’s suffering is over. May she rest in peace and go to a much better place. Love and strength to you and your family.

    • 128 GGail
      December 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      MP, may she sit at His feet and be Blessed.

    • 129 jackiegrumbacher
      December 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      MP, I’m sorry for your personal loss, but you have the right view of her release from suffering. Huge hugs to you and your family.

    • December 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      May she rest and be free, MP. Sending my condolences to you as you grapple with the unfolding.

    • December 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you for sharing the story of your loved one’s passage to the heavenly realm, where the circle of blessed ones radiate their love and healing to us all. We can grieve and with blessed assurance at the same time.

    • 132 MightyPamela
      December 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you everyone. I have had so many Cross, my Mother, my little Sister, my Dad, dearest Aunts, friends who were too young in Earth years ~ I have a very different view of death than most people. It is part of the cycle of human life, and I feel the Soul is set free, we are never very far apart, and the Love we share is unchanged. So, I celebrate her Life, and her Passing, and nothing has changed. We will all be together again, in Heaven, when my Time comes. Blessings. Dinner is in order here, have waited too long to eat something. And I will raise a glass of wine for my departed SIL, she will take a sip as she laughs and Lights up Heaven with her music and her wonderful voice! BBL.

    • December 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Peace be to you and your family.

    • 134 sjterrid
      December 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      My deepest sympathies, MP! May she RIP. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    • 135 jacquelineoboomer
      December 25, 2014 at 12:47 am

      We should all earn such a lovely send-off, MightyPamela. I’m sure she knew she was loved! May she rest in peace, and may you find comfort in knowing you and she had such a loving relationship.

  36. 142 MadameSoph
    December 24, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    O.k. TOD, I have to go cover up the (gasp!) grey from my hairline, as I have an Xmas party to go to tomorrow.

    Then I will relax with the kitties, watch Christmas movies and drink some cherry hibiscus cinnamon and vanilla punch, eat some sautéed mushrooms with truffle oil and cheddar, green lentil risotto, roast chicken and arugula followed by coconut/chocolate/coffee tiramisù.

    Here is a little Simon the Cat short for those who know/want to know what Christmas with a kitty is like:

  37. December 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

  38. 146 JER
    December 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Waiting to hookup with Santa…

  39. December 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Dear TOD people,

    I wish you a holiday full of love and warmth and a wonderful new year. I don’t comment much, but I read and want to thank you all. Chips, you do incredible work day and day out. Please tell Danny Merry Christmas, but don’t let on it came from a cat.

    Love,

    Kat 4 Obama

    >^..^<


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