We have all heard about the “Big Lie” — that Trump really won the 2020 election — and how dangerous it is.  And that is 100% true.  That is a big lie and it is really dangerous.

But there is another lie that is even worse.  It is even more pernicious.  It is even more widespread.  And it is operates more subtly so we don’t even realize we are fighting it.  It is the worst lie.

The worst lie is that being cynical is smart.

The worst lie is that life is just pain and hope is for suckers.

The worst lie is that people can’t change for the better and the world can’t improve and we can’t find beauty and unity and joy and hope in every moment.

The worst lie is that everything is awful and anyone who believes otherwise is a fool.

Why do they keep pushing this lie?  Why did Putin say that “There is no happiness in life.  There is only a mirage on the horizon.”

They tell that lie, again and again, in every way possible, because they only win if we believe that lie.  If we believe that everyone is corrupt then they win.  We no longer fight, because what is the point?

If we believe that Democrats are no better than Republicans then they win.  We no longer fight, because what is the point?

If we believe that happiness is an illusion then they win.  We no longer fight, because what is the point?

If we believe that the world is in a hopeless cycle of doom then they win.  We no longer fight, because what is the point?

It is all part of the worst lie out there — that everything is incurably awful so there is no point to hope and fight for more.

It is a lie that is intoxicating because it absolves us of trying. It makes us feel clever, like we understand the world better than the poor naïve fools trying to make a differences.  It allows us to be lazy and self righteous.

Please don’t, for one moment, believe that this is anything but a lie.  Happiness is real.  Love is real.  People do change.  Life does improve.  Hope is powerful.  Democrats could not be more different from Republicans.  We can build a better future.  People have been doing it for our entire history.

Good News You Might Not Have Heard About Because Good News Doesn’t Get Clicks

The West’s center-left is having a moment

A few years ago, the political obituaries were practically writing themselves. Center-left parties across various countries in the West were teetering toward collapse or, at best, licking their wounds. President Donald Trump’s unlikely victory had exposed the failings and complacency of the U.S. Democrats. In France and the Netherlands, among other nations, traditional social democratic factions that had long been mainstays in national political life had shrunk into irrelevance. Germany’s Social Democrats, one of Europe’s most venerable parties, found itself in steep decline as a junior partner in center-right Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition.

Now, the political winds seem to be blowing in a different direction. President Biden is in the White House and attempting to push through a slate of ambitious social spending projects. In Norway, the left-wing opposition is now back in power. Center-left parties all hold sway or rule in coalitions in Italy, Spain and Portugal. In Canada, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fended off challenges from both the right and further to the left to win a third term in power after calling snap elections earlier this year.

In Germany, which stages federal elections this Sunday, the Social Democrats are the surprise party in the driver’s seat as voters weigh what should follow Merkel’s more than a decade-and-a-half in power. 

A predominantly Black football team protested in a White Kentucky community. It worked out fine.

The plan was carefully considered over several weeks last summer: Eastern Kentucky’s football team would wear special black T-shirts before their first game of the 2020 season with “Say their names” on the front and “Enough is enough” on the back. In addition, players would wear a helmet sticker of a raised fist.

The reaction that followed the Colonels’ public protest followed the usual notes: Faculty and administrators supported the player-conceived and -executed plan, and a group of alumni and fans swore to never support the Colonels again. In a wave of dissent originating almost exclusively from online comments and emails to the university, those who disagreed with the statement promised that the actions of the 2020 team would forever divide the Colonels football program from its community and hinder its long-term success.

A year later, none of those predictions have made it from email to reality.

Even in the nascent days of an attempted rebuild, whatever doomsaying followed the public protest by EKU’s players has yet to materialize.

Flint has replaced over 10,000 lead pipes

The city’s effort to remove lead pipes shows what’s possible with funding and political
will.

Now, this once-poisoned city is on the brink of a milestone. A lead water pipe removal program, established under a 2017 court order issued as part of a massive lawsuit on behalf of Flint residents, is inching toward a close. Block by block, house by house, the city and its contractors have excavated and checked more than 27,000 pipes to determine what hidden risks remain under the ground.

The effort has led the city to replace more than 10,000 lead pipes so far, officials say.

Jeff Bezos pledges $1 billion to protect 30 percent of the Earth’s land and sea

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos earmarked $1 billion of his $10 billion environmental philanthropy to conservation efforts Monday afternoon, aiming to protect 30 percent of the Earth’s land and sea by 2030 in an effort to prevent mass extinctions.

The reason I feel optimistic about the future of Alzheimer’s research

If we want to stop Alzheimer’s, one of the biggest things we need to develop is a reliable, affordable, and accessible diagnostic. I think we’re close to having one, and the developments we’ve seen over the past couple years make me more optimistic than ever that we can one day stop Alzheimer’s. I can’t wait to see what new progress is unlocked thanks to better tests.

Is The Worst Over? Models Predict A Steady Decline In COVID Cases Through March

Americans may be able to breathe a tentative sigh of relief soon, according to researchers studying the trajectory of the pandemic.

The delta surge appears to be peaking nationally, and cases and deaths will likely decline steadily now through the spring without a significant winter surge, according to a new analysis shared with NPR by a consortium of researchers advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Republican Review of Arizona Vote Fails to Show Stolen Election

After months of delays and blistering criticism, a review of the 2020 election in Arizona’s largest county, ordered up and financed by Republicans, has failed to show that former President Donald J. Trump was cheated of victory, according to draft versions of the report.

In fact, the draft report from the company Cyber Ninjas found just the opposite: It tallied 99 additional votes for President Biden and 261 fewer votes for Mr. Trump in Maricopa County, the fast-growing region that includes Phoenix.

Democrats are Great

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Biden pledges to double U.S. donations of Pfizer vaccine for poor nations

President Biden announced Wednesday that the United States will double the number of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine doses it is donating to other countries, a step toward the goal of immunizing 70 percent of the world’s 8 billion people within the next year.

Biden taps Wall Street critic Saule Omarova for key banking regulation post

President Biden will nominate Saule Omarova, a Cornell University law professor, to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, selecting an outspoken critic of the banking and crypto sectors to oversee the biggest U.S. banks.

The White House announced the pick Thursday, noting that if confirmed, Omarova would be the first woman and the first person of color to lead the 158-year-old agency.

Liberal senators cheered the decision. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) pointed to Omarova’s background as an academic, Treasury Department official and corporate lawyer, saying her experience “will allow her to work with stakeholders across our financial system to ensure the economy works for everyone, and to protect our economic recovery from the risky activities of Wall Street and other bad actors.”

Greenhouse gases in grocery freezers are more powerful than carbon. The EPA now aims to slash their use.

The Biden administration finalized its first new climate rule Thursday, slashing the use of powerful greenhouse gases widely used in home refrigerators and air conditioners and often found to be leaking from U.S. supermarket freezers.

The regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency establishes a program to cut the use and production of chemicals known as hydrofluorocarbons by 85 percent over the next 15 years.

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Democrats quietly limit House GOP effort to press for probes into Biden administration

House Democrats have quietly moved to restrict the GOP’s ability to use its limited power in the minority to press for investigations

According to publicly available documents reviewed by CNN, Democrats last year began slipping language into House rules that essentially blocks Republicans from using a “resolution of inquiry.” That tool allows a lawmaker to formally request information from the executive branch. Once the inquiry is introduced, the relevant committee is required to act within 14 days or else it can be brought up as a privileged resolution on the House floor.

Capitol attack panel said to be considering subpoenas to Trump White House aides

The House select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol is considering issuing a blitz of subpoenas for top Trump White House aides including the former chief and deputy chief of staff, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Rep. Adam Schiff  Trump left behind a road map for aspiring autocrats. We intend to destroy it

Donald Trump is no longer president, but the road map he left behind for any unscrupulous, aspiring autocrat is apparent to all. That is why it is up to us to act, to restore the guardrails he purposefully tore down and to put in place reforms so that our democracy is never again placed in such peril.

Newsom signs laws to boost protections for California abortion patients

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed two laws that aim to protect the privacy of people seeking reproductive health care and enforce new safeguards against harassment of patients and providers.

With Hard Work, We Can Win in 2022 and 2024

Broad majorities of Americans oppose key provisions of restrictive Texas abortion law, poll finds

Broad majorities of Americans oppose key provisions of a restrictive Texas abortion law, and a majority disagrees with the recent Supreme Court decision that allowed the law, which effectively bans abortions after six weeks, to go into effect, a new poll finds.

Democrats launch $30 million field organizing program to keep Senate control in 2022

Senate Democrats are accelerating their 2022 midterm election efforts with a $30 million field organizing push targeting nine states that will help determine control of the chamber.

The program, Defend the Majority, details of which were shared with NBC News, represents the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s largest financial commitment this early in a cycle, officials with the group said.

House GOP’s impeachment backers vow to stay in the midterm fight against Trump and his allies

Nearly all of the House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump are signaling they’re committed to defending their seats and going head-to-head with the Trump wing of the party, teeing up a massive intraparty showdown and putting GOP leaders in the crosshairs of the vindictive former President.

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How Trump mobilized women

Later that year, I cast my first presidential vote for a Democrat. Like most voters, I never expected Hillary Clinton would lose. The outcome left me gobsmacked and despondent. But I also did not expect that millions of women shared my sense of dread and disorientation. The 2016 election would spawn a new spirit of resistance to a party that abandoned loyalty to the country, the Constitution and the truth.

Trump’s election had awakened women who imagined that our democracy was secure from a homegrown authoritarian and that their progress toward full equality was irreversible.

Over the next four years, women who had never run for elected office — Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Amy McGrath of Kentucky, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, to name four — grasped that politics was no longer about what other people did.

The Democrats’ sweeping gains in the 2018 midterms offered some hope that conscientious citizens could reclaim America’s best traditions

Democracy’s secret weapon? Its women warriors. They know how to organize, how to transform themselves into activists and candidates, and how to speak to voters who don’t automatically vote for anyone with a “D” next to his or her name. If Democrats prevail again in 2022 and 2024, credit will likely go to millions of women who taught us not to underestimate the power of self-starters. However, if we learned anything from Jan. 6, it is that democracy remains fragile and Trumpism is not behind us.

On The Lighter Side

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What can you do to save democracy?

Most important: DON’T LOSE HOPE.  This is a giant and important fight for us but, win or lose, we keep fighting and voting and organizing and spreading truth and light.  We never give up.

That is it for today.

I am so lucky and so proud to be in this with you ✊🏾✊🏻♥💙💚💛💜🧡✊🏽✊🏻

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