Mitch McConnell mocked Jon Stewart's work on behalf of 9/11 victims. Big mistake.


Jon Stewart Won't Let Mitch McConnell Off That Easy www.youtube.com


Jon Stewart's work on behalf of the 9/11 Victims Fund has truly elevated him to hero status. His tireless efforts to raise awareness and restore funds to survivors and the families of victims have earned him much-deserved praise and literally helped push funding through a House committee last week.

But it shouldn't have to be like this.


There is room for almost any kind of political debate within the storied halls of Congress but providing basic healthcare for survivors of the worst terrorist attack on American soil in history should not be a place of neglect, or a talking point for one political party.

And yet, here we are.

Despite moving out of the House committee, the funding bill faces an uncertain future when it makes its way to the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, after expected passaged by the full House.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been non-committal in terms of when or even if the funding measure will get a full vote in the Senate and whether or not he will direct Republicans to support what should be just about the least controversial bill to come before lawmakers.

Yet, during an appearance on the Fox News Channel, McConnell was dismissive of Stewart's impassioned efforts, calling the former "Daily Show" host "bent out of shape" and insisting the Senate was too busy to rush its attention on the bill: "Many things in Congress have [come] at the last minute," McConnell said. "We have never failed to address this issue, and we will address it again."

His statements were not only insensitive but ironic after McConnell drew much ridicule in recently after tweeting support for the idea that the Senate shouldn't move forward with any meaningful legislation until Democrats submit to President Trump's legislative priorities, i.e. funding for a border wall with Mexico.

Well, McConnell should have known that Stewart wasn't going to take this lying down.

Instead, he stopped by to visit his old pal Stephen Colbert and delivered an epic 6-minute monologue on McConnell's comments. Some highlights below:


"No, Mitch McConnell, I am not bent out of shape," Stewart began.

"Listen, Senator — I know that your species isn't known for moving quickly," Stewart said in reference to a joke he started years ago about the Kentucky lawmaker resembling a turtle. "But damn senator. You're not good at this argument thing.

Basically, we're saying you love the 9/11 community when they serve your political purposes. But when they're in urgent need, you slow-walk, you dither, you use it as a political pawn to get other things you want."

"You know what, if you're busy, I get it," Stewart continued. "Just understand that the next time we have a war, or you're being robbed, or your house is on fire, and you make that desperate call for help, don't get bent out of shape if they show up at the last minute with fewer people than you thought."

"These are the first heroes, and veterans, and victims of the great trillions-of-dollars war on terror," Stewart said. "And they're currently still suffering and dying and in terrible need. You would think that would be enough to get Congress' attention, but apparently it's not."

Keep going Jon Stewart. It's a shame you're having to do the work our elected representatives are being paid to do. But until they do their jobs, please keep doing yours. America needs you, the 9/11 Victims Fund needs you, and we could all use a little more of the common sense decency you're casting an illuminating light upon.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 10.23.15


Getting people who don't suffer from anxiety issues to understand them is hard.

People have tried countless metaphors and methods to describe what panic and anxiety is like. But putting it into the context of a living nightmare, haunted house style, is one of the more effective ways I've ever seen it done.

Brenna Twohy delivered the riveting poetic analogy recently in Oakland, starting out by going off about some funny "Goosebumps" plots. It's lovely, funny, sweet, and relatable, and it's totally worth the short time to watch.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."