Monday’s 5 Things: One Election, Some Flooding, and That Speech

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Monday

Jimmy Carter’s cancer-free, Chennai’s misery and Obama’s speech on TV. It’s Monday, and here are the five things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

BATTLING ISIS

Feel better?: President Obama’s big terrorism speech last night was supposed to calm Americans’ fears. But, judging by his critics, they’re going to need some more hand holding. Obama didn’t lay out any changes in his terrorism strategy, which spurred The Donald to use his medium of choice, Twitter, to ask “Is that all there is?” Obama vowed to destroy ISIS but said he won’t send ground troops. Funny thing is a majority of Americans – 53% in a new poll — are now OK with sending our sons and daughters back to the Mideast.

SAN BERNARDINO SHOOTING

Soul searching: A father can’t forgive himself, and neighbors are ashamed. Those closest to the San Bernardino shooters can’t wrap their heads around what happened. But Syed Rizwan Farook’s father says there were warnings. Farook had expressed support before for ISIS’ dream of an Islamic caliphate. And the father is haunted by what his son has done. As for Farook’s wife, people who knew Tashfeen Malik described her as a “stay-at-home mom.” Now her former neighbors call her actions “shameful for us all.”

JIMMY CARTER

Can’t keep a good man down: Is there a harder working ex-President than Jimmy Carter? Nope. So, we were elated to learn that even cancer’s like, ‘Nah, we don’t want to mess with him. He’s got important work to do.’ Carter told his Sunday school class his MRI results showed he’s cancer free. Whew. Because things didn’t look so good back in August when docs told him the cancer that began in his liver had spread to his brain.

FLOODING

Water, water everywhere: It’s in Chennai, India, mopping up after 47 inches of rain in November and already 16 inches this month. The floods have killed at least 272. It’s in the U.K. too, after a storm named Desmond swooped in and dumped buckets on northwest England. In both places, homes are flooded; people are evacuating. It’s a mess, and it’s not going to get better: the forecast calls for more rain. Kinda puts your Monday blues in perspective, doesn’t it?

VENEZUELAN ELECTIONS

Ch-ch-changes: Turn and face the strange, Nicolas Maduro. His party lost its majority to an opposition coalition this morning, the first time that’s happened since the days of Hugo Chavez. Voters — sick of a shrinking, oil-based economy — were in a “throw the bums out” mood, so that’s what they did. The opposition, armed with new powers, can make constitutional changes and even pursue kicking Maduro out of office before his current term ends.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Quote of the day: “”Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear.”

President Obama, who in a speech last night, tried to ease anxiety over terror attacks and urged Americans to come together.

Imma let you finish but …

Easton West is NOT the name of Kim and Kanye’s new baby. Even though Twitter’s annointed him so, we don’t think Mr. and Mrs. West will go that direction. We got a better suggestion: Wild. As in, Wild West.

All you need is love

Ringo Starr auctioned off a boatload of Beatles memorabilia – including his copy of the ‘White Album’ and the kit he banged on at 200 shows – for a cool $9 million. Why? Because love is all you need, man.

Judging a book by its cover

How do people react to Bible verses when they think they’re from the Quran? Exactly as you’d expect.

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH

Here’s what’s coming up later.

Stand by me: To mark the eight days of Chanukah, Jews in 15 U.S. cities will rally nightly against Islamophobia and racism.

In the city of blinding lights

U2 was forced to reschedule its Paris dates after last month’s attacks. The second of those make-up shows is tonight and you can catch it on HBO.

Number of the day: 19.8 million

The number of gun background checks the FBI’s processed this year. 2015 will likely set the record for most ever. Because America <hearts> guns.

AND FINALLY …

Get in my belly!

It’s pretty obvious who’s the alpha in this house: the utterly spoiled golden retriever who WILL NOT let you stop petting him.