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picture of newtown warehouse full of teddy bears

Newtown, CT warehouse courtesy of Danbury News-Times

Newtown, CT (where I live) has been overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers. We thank you, but don't send us any more teddy bears. If you want to consider helping, read about the teachers' web page in the Danbury News-Times:

"The idea is that the donations will directly impact the classrooms, so the teachers can decide on projects or special work they want to do and apply directly for funds to support them," Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson said.

Robinson said state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor "thought this was a great way to get resources to the teachers a way that is meaningful to our kids."

Another alternative is the Sandy Hook School Support Fund via United Way of Western CT. From the Litchfield County Times:
The town of Newtown has formed a transition team that will manage the fund based on the town’s needs.

According to a press release from the United Way, neither the UWWC nor the Newtown Savings Bank will take any percentage of the funds. The fund is designed to receive only general, undesignated contributions.

Both are legit, unlike this bottom feeder:
Federal authorities arrested a 37-year-old Bronx woman on Thursday after she allegedly concocted a ruse in the wake of the Connecticut mass shooting and posed as a relative of one of the slain children.

Nouel Alba is accused of using her Facebook account to solicit money from those wanting to donate to victims’ families, claiming that the money was to be used for a “funeral fund,” according to a U.S. Justice Department statement.

More opportunities, many of them very local, can be found here, in lieu of any material objects. Reading through it gives you a flavor of how many people are trying to help.


In the desperate search for motive where madness has prevailed, the Lanza case is more frustrating than most. For a young man who spent most of his waking hours at a computer, he appears to have left behind an astonishingly small online footprint — no Facebook page, no Twitter account.

The Connecticut State Police, assisted by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has poured everything it has into the Newtown shootings investigation, but “we don’t have any smoking gun to say this is why it occurred, at least not yet,” said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a department spokesman. “We are looking at several months before we really have our arms wrapped around this.”

Scott Clement:
The Newtown shootings two weeks ago sparked an intense reaction across the country, and public opinion polls captured major changes in the way the public interprets such events and how strict gun laws should be, but only minor shifts in support for specific policies. Here is a rundown of what public views changed, and what didn’t, after the shootings.

More interpret shooting as sign of broader problems

In a major reversal, over half of Americans saw the Newtown shooting as a reflection of broader societal problems, according to Washington Post-ABC News poll immediately after the attack. Only about a quarter of the public saw the July shootings in Aurora, Colo. as a sign of broader problems for society according to a Pew Research Center poll at the time, while two-thirds viewed it as the isolated act of a troubled individual. Likewise, nearly six in 10 saw the 2011 Tucson shooting that killed six as an isolated act.

Good round-up of public opinion from the Washington Post.


Jamelle Bouie:

"Both sides" don’t need to compromise. Rather, Republicans need to reconcile themselves to the fact that the public voted decisively against their policies, both in the presidential election and in congressional elections around the country, where Democrats won most open Senate seats and came away from House elections with a larger share of votes (which, due to redistricting and population movement, didn’t translate to a large gain in the chamber itself). The fiscal cliff shouldn’t be used to circumvent the clear preferences of the electorate.

This isn’t to say that Republicans have to give up their interests, but if compromise requires the White House to adopt GOP priorities, then it won’t happen — and more important — it shouldn’t. If Republicans want to strip down the social safety net and craft a low-tax, low-service environment, then the first step is to win elections.

Jonathan Capehart:
So, as we hurtle toward another dance with the debt ceiling, it is imperative that we keep two things in mind. First, raising the legal borrowing limit is not new spending. It’s money already spent by Congress. Second, the federal government will not have enough revenue to cover its obligations without borrowing. To not meet those obligations would make the United States a deadbeat.
Forget the Republican Party’s need to rebrand itself. Forget party elders' promises that they will start reaching out to minorities. And forget the supposed soul-searching that is meant to sweep over the GOP as it undergoes a serious reexamination of its future.

Right now, Republicans are having trouble even getting out of their own way.

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