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Ramona's Bird Cage: News from the Twitterverse - In a Few Words

Ramona's Bird Cage: News from the Twitterverse - In a Few Words
By Ramona Grigg • Issue #8 • View online
If you like what you read here, please sign up to subscribe. Everything I write here will have a connection to Twitter but I can’t promise where it will lead. I’m all over the place–and what a place!

The beauty of Twitter is the ability to condense thoughts into a few words. It takes some effort to work a big idea into 280 characters but when it’s done well it’s worth a look.
Twitter does let us write long now by linking our tweets into threads, and some of those threads are so amazing they really should be essays. That can happen, too, right on Twitter. There’s a magic genie called Thread Reader that will pull the threads together into essay form just by asking.
But I want to talk about those stand-alone tweets that are short but sweet. They say it all.
I’ve grabbed just a few that grabbed me over the last couple of days:
Robert Reich is an economist and political commentator who served under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Bill Clinton’s Labor Secretary. He holds fort on Twitter and has, at this writing, 1.2 million followers. You might say he’s an ‘influencer’.
Robert Reich
America's 660 billionaires could give everybody in the country a $3,900 survival check and still be as rich as they were before the pandemic.

If that doesn’t convince you we need a wealth tax, I don’t know what will.
In the one shown below, I might have missed Stephen Colbert’s original tweet after France’s former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was found guilty of corruption and influence-peddling, but I follow the person who retweeted it, so it showed up in my timeline.
Retweets are the lifeline of Twitter. They bring us all into the conversation. It’s the reason tweets go viral and end up in the Trending list. It wouldn’t happen without retweets.
Stephen Colbert
There's so much I admire about the French: their sophistication, their cinema, their willingness to prosecute former presidents.
Twitter is like a giant bulletin board, and politicians and influencers all over the country use it to spread their messages. Donald Trump used Twitter so often it became a contest to see if you could count the number of tweets in any given day.
When his lies became toxic and it appeared he had used Twitter as a call to arms, two days after the insurrectionists attacked the Capitol Twitter took another look and banned him permanently.
It’s much quieter now that Trump is gone, but politicians are still out there duking it out in public.
Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, has been under fire for his actions during the COVID pandemic, as well as his treatment of the raging winter storm that struck Texas in mid-February. Only seven percent of the state’s population has been vaccinated against COVID, and the state is third highest in death tolls among COVID victims, but that didn’t stop Abbott from opening up the entire state without restrictions:
Greg Abbott
I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%.


I also ended the statewide mask mandate.
Beto O'Rourke, who lost his run for the Senate to Ted Cruz in a closer than expected race in 2018 and is rumored to be considering a run against Abbott for governor, weighed in:
Beto O'Rourke
A death warrant for Texans.

Add them to the 44,000+ killed as he failed to confront the pandemic & botched the vaccine rollout.

And those who froze to death because he cares more about energy companies’ profits than keeping Texans alive.

Abbott is killing the people of Texas.
Yesterday Keith Olbermann put in his two cents in a tweet so clueless and thoughtless all of Twitter sucked in a collective breath.
Keith Olbermann
Why are we wasting vaccinations on Texas if Texas has decided to join the side of the virus?
It happens when rage gets the best of us. And it happens because Twitter is so available, so ready to serve, so easy to throw out a rant without thinking about the big picture.
As expected, Twitter denizens, in less than kindly fashion, asked Keith if he seriously wants Texans to die over something their governor did–which might, in fact, hasten their deaths, anyway?
Keith, who uses Twitter mainly to find homes for at-risk dogs, still hasn’t addressed his ill-advised tweet. I waited to publish this, hoping he would and I could include it, but it’s 13 hours later and still not a peep.
So on to brighter news:
The inimitable Dolly Parton got her first Moderna shot and delighted us with her take on it. (A reminder that Dolly donated a million dollars last April to Vanderbilt University to help fund their vaccine program. VU lab directors say the donation allowed their R&D to be stepped up by a factor of 10. Without it we might still not have access to the Moderna vaccine.)
Lastly, everyone who knows me on Twitter knows how much I hate moving memes, but in this case I’ll make an exception. Congratulations, Rachel Maddow! Her show was rated the most watched on television for both January and February.
Changes in the air? Lordy, I hope so.
A.Silver—GIFS & Memes
Congratulations “Rachel Maddow”
#Maddow & #MSNBC is most watched on Cable News.
Until next time then. Please share if you like what you read here, and by all means, let me know if I’ve missed something juicy on Twitter.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Ramona Grigg

Writer of things, mainly essays. Contributor at Medium, Crooks & Liars, Huffington Post, Substack, others. I spend an unusual amount of time on Twitter, so thought I'd share some of what I find. Leaning Liberal/Democratic. Hater of most memes and GIFs. Love Twitter, warts and all. (Click on 'Issues' tab below to enter.)

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