In addition to lots of information about the rapidly improving health of the Affordable Care Act, the good people at the Kaiser Family Foundation have a nice tribute to the late, great Nelson Mandela  today on the front page of the organization’s website that explains the interesting connections between the Foundation and Mandela.
Also, in case you missed it, Think Progress ran a story last week that listed the “Six Things Nelson Mandela Believed That Most People Won’t Talk About”  – including his strong opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq and his belief that freedom from poverty ought to be a fundamental human right.
Meanwhile, there will be a North Carolina tribute to Mandela this coming Saturday at First Baptist Church in Raleigh. Click here for more information .
And speaking of fighting back, the U.S. Senate is continuing its efforts to confirm several of President Obama’s appointees that had been derailed by absurd filibusters. The Charlotte Observer reports  that Congressman Mel Watt’s nomination to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency could be voted on as soon as tomorrow.
The Senate is also moving ahead with legislation to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms that can evade metal detectors. As the Associated Press reports , however, the legislation is only a pale shadow of what it ought to be
Here in North Carolina, the good people at the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA will hold a free and open-to-the-public forum on fracking and its implications for landowners this Saturday in Sanford from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Click here for more information .
The state NAACP is also launching a new round of informational pickets outside various stores owned by state Budget Director, Art Pope. The list includes:
Durham Rose’s – Monday 12/9/13 at 4:00 PM – 105 NC HWY 54, Durham –Picket will occur at the corner of HWY 54 and Fayetteville Rd.
Charlotte Rose’s – Wednesday 12/11/13 – 11:00 AM – 4525 The Plaza, Charlotte
Winston-Salem Maxway – Saturday 12/14/13 – 11:00 AM – 3571 N. Patterson Ave. Winston-Salem
Fayetteville Rose’s – Saturday 12/14/13 – 1:00 PM – 125 Morganton Rd. Fayetteville
And finally, in the “it-could-be-worse” department, click here it check out this current scene in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska  where a tropical heat wave may lift the temperature to a comparatively balmy 27 degrees today and sunset will come just four hours as after sunrise.