Be brave. Be engaged. Be the change we need to see

Vince Alongi / Flickr Hope is a belief in a...
Vince Alongi / Flickr

Four years ago, I was eagerly anticipating the election. I was an enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Clinton.  I didn’t agree with every position Hillary had taken over her long career, but I agreed with most of them.  I admired her — her hard work, her intelligence, her ability to deal with adversity.  I was thrilled that a woman was about to become president.  Beyond thrilled — I was giddy.

Despite my enthusiasm, I was careful with whom I discussed my HRC love.  I figured out pretty quickly that it wasn’t “cool” to love Hillary.  When I posted on social media about my enthusiasm about her I risked being trashed by the right, which believed Trump’s lies about her; and by the left, which focused only on the ways she differed from them and not the many similarities.

I found this was true amongst my friends as well.  My circle tends to run pretty left and people (mostly men) were pretty vocal about what a disappointment she was and how they would be “holding their noses” when they voted for her.   And other people (mostly women) kept quiet about how they really felt about her — how deeply excited they were to have a strong woman lead America.

So I joined secret groups on Facebook where people who loved Hillary hid. We shared our excitement with one another.  We couldn’t wait for her to beat Trump.

Sigh.

So here we are four years later in a completely different world but in a very similar situation. We have a candidate who it is not “cool” to love.  He may not bring the kind of fiery hatred that HRC did (from both the left and the right) but being enthusiastic about him is not seen as the norm.  And enthusiasm is greeted with vitriol from both the left and the right.

I often look back on what I did in 2016 and regret not doing more — not knocking on more doors, not being more public in my enthusiasm, not donating more money. After all, the election was so close! If only we had all done just a little more!

I don’t want to make that mistake again.  I can’t bear the thought of falling short on 11/3 and wondering — forever and always — what I could have done to help us win.

I hate conflict.  But I am pushing past that and publishing 100 positive things about Biden — six days a week as we lead up to 11/3.  I am already almost a third of the way through.  I don’t want to make the mistake of not sharing my enthusiasm again.

There are many things I love about doing this series.  The best part is the amazing people who have been posting in the comments.  It is great to “see” them every day.  The second best part is learning more about more about Biden and feeling MY enthusiasm for him grow with every day.

That said, doing this series is hard.  It is tough to find the time to write one every day.  I have kids, a job, aging parents… everything but time.

Even more difficult — for me — is the conflict it has brought.  People from the left argue with me and post criticisms of Biden.  At one point a right wing troll picked up a summary of the first 25 reasons and suggested that it was actually a list of reasons for moderates and Republicans to NOT support Biden and thus should be shared by all Trump supporters.  Some bots (I think) retweeted it.  That led me to a real dark place full of doubt, insecurity, fear, and exhaustion.  Was I really putting in this much hard work for something that was hurting more than helping?

I thought long and hard about it.  I talked to people I admire.  And I decided to keep going with it.  I reminded myself that for every negative comment there are a dozen positive ones.

I reminded myself how sorry I was in 2016 that I let the negative comments and fear of conflict keep me from being more publicly enthusiastic about HRC.

And I reminded myself that even though it isn’t easy and it pushes hard against my desire to “make nice” all the time, it is worthwhile.  I reminded myself that some discomfort and difficulty will be worth it if it can put even a small dent in the tendency of many in our party to focus on the negative of our candidates.

There is so much we can’t control about what will happen in November and I get how terrifying that can be.  But from now until November, there ARE things we can control.

I challenge all of you to push a little beyond your comfort zone.

Give a little more of your time than you want to, a little more from your wallet than you planned to, and a little more from your heart than you knew you were capable of.

Don’t dwell on it, but remember how we felt after the election of 2016.  Do all you can to avoid that feeling again.  Push yourself.  Push one another.

Don’t just do what is easy and convenient.  Do more.  We have one shot at this and we best not miss.

It is easy to romanticize political engagement.  But really it involves nothing more than picking yourself up and pushing hard for what you know is right, even when that means having people yell at you, argue with you, and make you uncomfortable.  There is very little romantic about it.

Political involvement won’t always be fun and it will rarely be easy; but it will give meaning and purpose to your life.  And it will give you a sense of peace and joy in the future, when you look back on what you have done. It will give you a chance to alter history.

Let’s write our own history.  Let’s give ourselves something to look back on with pride.

Be Brave.  Be engaged.  Be the change we need to see.

Reasons to be hopeful for 11/3

Quinnipiac polls: Gideon leads Collins in Maine; South Carolina Senate race tied

Sara Gideon narrowly leads Republican Sen. Susan Collins in Maine, according to a new survey from Quinnipiac University,

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a narrow edge over Democrat Amy McGrath in Kentucky and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is tied with Democrat Jaime Harrison, according to the surveys.

How Trump’s corruption may doom any attempt at an ‘October surprise’

When the full story of Donald Trump’s presidency is written, one Machiavellian lesson to be drawn will surely run as follows: If you spend much of your tenure openly subverting the nation’s interests to your own — while manipulating the levers of government in service of unabashedly corrupt and megalomaniacal ends — then voters will ultimately grow wise to the scam.

We are now learning, via an extraordinary new report in the New York Times, that many scientists fear that Trump will attempt the ultimate “October surprise.” These scientists — which include some inside the government — worry that Trump will thoroughly corrupt the process designed to ensure the safety and efficacy of any new vaccine against the coronavirus.

It is the perfect Trumpian paradox that his long record of just this sort of corruption underscores why this scenario should be entertained with deadly seriousness — but also why it will likely fail.

Super PAC run by former Sanders aides prepares six-figure ad boosting Biden

A super PAC run by former aides to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is preparing to launch its first TV spot boosting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden among progressives who remain reluctant to support the former vice president.

The ad from America’s Progressive Promise PAC is backed by a six-figure cable buy and will run nationally during the Democratic National Convention later this month. It’s not clear exactly how much the group plans to spend on the television spot.

The ad highlights Sanders’s endorsement of Biden earlier this year, in which he said that the former vice president “would be the most progressive president since” Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

not only did cook more 4 seats more towards us yesterday (and only one away) but…

Trump’s desperate attacks are revealing the scam Republicans have been pulling for years

Unless something dramatic happens, President Trump will lose in November, taking a good number of Republican enablers with him. The Pew Research Center reported on Thursday: “Trump’s rating from the U.S. public overall for his response to the coronavirus has declined 11 percentage points since March, from 48% to 37%.” His overall approval is down to 38 percent. A new poll has his Republican ally, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, tied in South Carolina. Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Joni Ernst (Iowa) all trail their opponents in recent polls.

Democrats will have a field day if Republicans leave town without a stimulus deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) have already bashed Republicans over and over again for failing to come to the aid of Americans facing poverty, eviction and food insecurity while proposing in their bill a tax deductibility for business lunches.

As Trump leans into attacks on mail voting, GOP officials confront signs of Republican turnout crisis

President Trump’s unfounded attacks on mail balloting are discouraging his own supporters from embracing the practice, according to polls and Republican leaders across the country, prompting growing alarm that one of the central strategies of his campaign is threatening GOP prospects in November.

Multiple public surveys show a growing divide between Democrats and Republicans about the security of voting by mail, with Republicans saying they are far less likely to trust it in November. In addition, party leaders in several states said they are encountering resistance among GOP voters who are being encouraged to vote absentee while also seeing the president describe mail voting as “rigged” and “fraudulent.”

As a result, state and local Republicans across the country fear they are falling dramatically behind in a practice that is expected to be key to voter turnout this year. Through mailers and Facebook ads, they are racing to promote absentee balloting among their own.

Trump’s interview debacle sends a warning for the fall campaign

Donald Trump’s weak and flailing interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios fired a warning flare about the President’s hopes for reelection, if his campaign and White House staff programed to fulfill his yearning for praise are prepared to recognize it.

Trump came across as ill-prepared, narcissistic and far from in control of the coronavirus pandemic. It was a far cry from the image of courageous leadership and energetic, unstinting commitment on behalf of Americans that his aides spend every day trying to sketch.
It is hard to remember an interview in which a sitting President was more unsparingly exposed or seemed so unequal to the magnitude of a crisis that is threatening the American people and is nowhere near ending.
And Trump’s sit-down with Swan came about a month and a half before his first presidential debate clash with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. His struggles offer plenty of fodder for Biden’s debate prep team as they plot his strategy and train up their man for what could be the most important moment of the most unusual presidential campaign.

Biden campaign announces largest ad buy ever by a presidential candidate

Pretty soon it’ll be hard to escape Joe Biden on your television. Or your radio. Or your phone.

The Biden campaign on Wednesday is announcing what it says is the largest TV ad buy ever by a presidential candidate, with $220 million set aside for commercials to air through the fall and another $60 million budgeted to reach audiences digitally on social media or gaming platforms.

Biden’s team is planning to reach voters in at least 15 states, with messages that feature the former vice president speaking directly to camera about the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fall

The majority leader dedicated himself to conveniencing Donald Trump, and it’s looking like he may not be the majority leader for much longer.

It’s been a badbadbad summer for Mitch McConnell. From the shifting Senate map to the pandemic closing in on his state to the president who has no idea how to make America great again or even just keep Americans from dying, the majority leader who once held all the cards now looks like he’s just bluffing.

A wise man told us that everything Trump touches dies, but until these last few months Cocaine Mitch has seemed like the undead exception that proved the rule. Now, the ETTD curse is finally having its inevitable effect on the Turtle, who’s been the architect of the structures that have enabled Donald J. Trump for the last three years and one-hundred-and-ninety-eight days but who’s counting?

Democrats are great

Emboldened Pelosi takes hard line as relief talks drag on

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stood up before a room full of Senate Republicans noshing on lunch Tuesday, compelled to make a declaration about Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“There were press reports that Mark is indecisive and I’m owned by Nancy,” Mnuchin said of himself and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to two people in the room. “I can tell you those reports are false.”

That the Treasury secretary under a Republican president felt the need to reassure GOP senators he wasn’t secretly controlled by a Democratic lawmaker underscores the current power struggle on Capitol Hill and Pelosi’s strong position.

Pelosi is where she likes it best — slugging it out with Republicans on another record-breaking coronavirus relief package. Now, even more than during her first go-round as speaker, Pelosi wields more power than anyone in the Capitol, even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). And with Pelosi in firm control of her caucus and Democrats poised to do well in November, there’s no doubt she’ll vie for the speaker’s gavel another, possibly final, time later this year.

“Just about anyone can lead during a sunny spring day, with the temperature at 75 degrees, but it takes a gifted person to lead during a hurricane, followed by a rock-sized hailstorm. That’s what has happened,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), a longtime ally of Pelosi.

Bernie Sanders and John Kasich will share a night in the spotlight at the convention

This is so smart!

One source said Kasich — the former Republican governor of Ohio and a major critic of President Donald Trump — would appear on the same night as Sanders early in the week in a demonstration of unity. The duo would be designed to showcase a broad anti-Trump coalition that is backing Biden.

Others who’ve been tapped for coveted speaking slots during an event that’s been shrunk down to eight prime-time hours over four nights are Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Jill Biden. And it goes without saying that the party’s two most popular figures, Barack and Michelle Obama, will be featured prominently.

Democrats try new tack in blocking Trump from corrupting our election

One big question right now is this: Will Louis DeJoy, the GOP fundraiser who was recently installed as postmaster general, help contribute to this evolving scheme, whether wittingly or not?

Democrats have now sent a letter to DeJoy that reveals some details about a meeting they held with him on Wednesday that may help determine the answer to that question.

Specifically, Democrats say in the letter that DeJoy privately committed to presenting documentation of a plan to ensure that mail balloting runs smoothly, and challenge the postmaster general to make good on that.

DeJoy has made a series of cost-cutting changes to the U.S. Postal Service that have resulted in widespread delivery delays. As election experts note, such delays, if they hold up delivery of mail ballots, could cause serious disruptions to the election or potentially disenfranchise large numbers of voters.

As part of the talks over the economic rescue package, Democratic leaders met with DeJoy on Wednesday and told him reversing those changes are critical to getting a deal on that package. Democrats have also demanded that the deal include $10 billion in increased funding for the Postal Service to offset backlogs.

 DeJoy pledged to provide documentation of an actual plan to deliver mail ballots successfully, as well as of the changes themselves and a real analysis of the impact they might have.

Now, it remains to be seen whether Democrats will successfully use the talks over the rescue package to leverage fulfillment of these commitments. But the fact that DeJoy apparently made them should open the way for much more intense media scrutiny of his role and of his true intentions in terms of ensuring that mail delays don’t introduce chaos into November’s election

Good Virus News

Masks May Reduce Viral Dose

People wearing face coverings will take in fewer coronavirus particles, evidence suggests, making disease less severe.

Researchers have long known that masks can prevent people from spreading airway germs to others — findings that have driven much of the conversation around these crucial accessories during the coronavirus pandemic.

But now, as cases continue to rise across the country, experts are pointing to an array of evidence suggesting that masks also protect the people wearing them, lessening the severity of symptoms, or in some instances, staving off infection entirely.

Scientists Are Optimistic About New Vaccine Studies From Novavax

Novavax, the little-known Maryland company that received a $1.6 billion deal from the federal government for its experimental coronavirus vaccine, announced encouraging results in two preliminary studies on Tuesday.

In one study, 56 volunteers produced a high level of antibodies against the virus without any dangerous side effects. In the other, researchers found that the vaccine strongly protected monkeys from coronavirus infections.

Although it’s not possible to directly compare the data from clinical trials of different coronavirus vaccines, John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine who was not involved in the studies, said the Novavax results were the most impressive he had seen so far.

“This is the first one I’m looking at and saying, ‘Yeah, I’d take that,’” Dr. Moore said.

The company has received a $1.6 billion grant from the government’s Operation Warp Speed to have 100 million doses ready by early 2021.

On the lighter side…

Seth Meyers is funny AND points out some real truths:

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That is it for today ❤️

Want to donate to help Biden win?

Click here to donate to Biden.

In addition to donating money there are many Non-financial ways to help.

Here are some:

Volunteer with the Democratic party  Explore their centralized hub for grassroots volunteer opportunities to take action on your own time.

Volunteer with the Biden campaign You can get training to text for Joe, make phone calls for Joe, host an event, or attend an event.

Get involved with Postcards to voters. Postcards to Voters are friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast.

Volunteer with Beto to turn Texas Blue Over the recent months, thousands of Powered by People volunteers have stepped up to help us reach the Texas voters who will decide the most important elections of our lifetime.  Join them!

Register voters in key battleground states. Vote Forward has active campaigns going in 8 key states to encourage under-represented (potential) voters to register. In 6 of them, the packet you send to each potential voter will include the actual voter registration forms and instructions with pre-paid postage for that state.  The folks at Vote Forward have collected data on this technique and determined that it does, indeed, appear to increase voter registration.

Text voters in key Senate races Payback Project has a comprehensive, four-pronged approach to make sure Republicans Senators are held accountable for their actions, their votes, and their enabling of Donald Trump.

Organize your community online  The Democratic National Committee’s digital organizing team put together a list of ways you can keep organizing in your community online.

Do whatever we can to promote Biden in tweets and posts and emails and wherever. The same goes for other D candidates. Help them get positive recognition!

Also, contact your reps and senators on important issues 

I am so lucky and so proud to be in this with all of you ❤️ ✊ ❤️

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1 Comment on "Be brave. Be engaged. Be the change we need to see"

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Debra
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Debra

I don’t disagree that mail in voting has little proof of fraud but I do think we all need to vote in person. Just like Kemp did to Abrams, DeJoy will do to the USA