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I ran into a friend this week who I hadn’t seen in a while.  She is left-leaning, like me, and she looked pretty haggard.  I asked what was wrong and she alluded to this mess we are in as a nation (and world) and how hard it was to be upbeat.

It occurred to me that although I hear this friend talk a lot about how awful things are (in real life and on social media) I have never once seen her at any local events.  I have never seen her post pictures of herself at marches, or talk about how she donated (and ask other people to do the same).  I have never seen her encourage or engage in any kind of social action.

I couldn’t stop thinking about her for the rest of the day and it occurred to me that the people who seem the least hopeful and most depressed about current times are the people who talk about how bad things are but aren’t actually doing much to change things.

If you care about this country and you share my concern and you aren’t spending a portion of your time trying to make things better, then no wonder you are depressed and hopeless. 

And to be blunt, if your contribution is arguing with people on the internet then you are not the solution.

Just voting in this election is not enough (although it is a start).  There is some kind of action for every single person who cares.  You can drive people to the polls.  You can phone bank from your house.  You can go door to door.  You can donate money. You can send postcards. You can make snacks for people who are canvassing.

Almost every one of you can do SOMETHING. If you are physically and financially able to help and you haven’t then you need to seriously reevaluate your life. Seriously.

Tough love here: if you are not involved in some way then you are stinking this up.  You are failing at this. You can and need to do better.  

But good news: it is not too late to change.  Get with it and do it FAST.  Devote your time and your money to our country for every day from right now until November 6th.

The best news is, that not only will you be a part of the solution, but DOING something will also make you feel better. 

You have a chance to be a part of the most amazing movement I have seen in my lifetime.  You have a chance to save democracy.  DO IT!!!!  

And if you aren’t at least contributing as much as you can, don’t you dare use these diaries to prop yourself up and convince yourself that everything will be OK.  Without your help, IT WILL NOT BE OK.  Get off your butt, make yourself feel better, and DO SOMETHING.

And to all of you who HAVE been donating and calling and writing and showing up and doing all you can (and I know that is most of you) THANK YOU.  I remain proud, humbled and lucky to be in this with you ❤️ 

Now onto the good news:

Blue Wave Potential

Cook updated again yesterday and moved two more races in our direction and only one away from us (and we are likely to win that one anyway).

Remember all the crowing about the Kavanaugh bounce?  Not really seeing that.  First:

Kavanaugh May Be Getting More Unpopular

Brett Kavanaugh was already one of the most unpopular Supreme Court nominees in recent history, and while we don’t have a lot of polling data since Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that he sexually assaulted her when the two of them were in high school, the surveys we do have suggest the allegations have made him more unpopular.


So in summary, no bounce.  And don’t start preaching at me about the Senate.  There has been a slight movement there away from us (not that the numbers were even in our favor) but there is no evidence that K had anything to do with it.

I still maintain that the Senate is a possibility.  The polls are based on old estimates of turnout. If we can get more young people and more minorities to turn out, we WIN. Let’s spend the next few weeks doing just that!

Speaking of the Senate:

That is three times the amount that Cruz raised and it is all from actual people!

What that shows is ENTHUSIASM.  And it isn’t just Cruz:

Sen. Sherrod Brown Breaks Ohio Fundraising Record

Weeks before election day, Sen. Sherrod Brown has raised $27.1 million, an Ohio record, the Dayton Daily News reported Thursday.

That total eclipses Sen. Rob Portman’s historic $25.8 million haul in 2016.

We are fired up. And if we are all just willing to work hard for a few weeks, we can totally pull off this blue wave!!

The Rs are already cutting losses left and right:

GOP Yanks Ad Spending for Marquez Peterson in Arizona

The National Republican Congressional Committee will halt television ad spending in Arizona’s 2nd District days after the party’s candidate stumbled during a debate.

And I know the Georgia voter suppression news is distressing, but keep a couple of things in mind.  First, we all worried about this in Alabama too and then Black people turned out in amazing wonderful numbers and saved us all.

Second, we are fighting this.  People are talking about it and doing all they can to counteract the negative effects of the policy.  Including this:

Georgia sued for placing thousands of voter registrations on hold before the election

Civil rights groups sued Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for governor who also oversees elections in the state, saying the method his office uses to verify new voter registrations is discriminatory.

The lawsuit, filed late Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, comes after the revelation that thousands of new applications were placed on hold just weeks before November’s midterm election.

The filing alleges that Georgia’s “exact match” protocol — which requires information on voter registration applications to precisely match information on file with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration — suppresses minority votes in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the 14th Amendment and the 1993 Voter Registration Act.

So keep the faith and keep WORKING!

Russia Russia Russia

CNN poll: Public supports Russia investigation, Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein

Robert Mueller continues to merit more positive than negative reviews for his handling of the Russia investigation, while President Donald Trump’s marks on handling it remain majority negative, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

The public does agree with one recent Trump decision on Russia: 53% say he should not fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Just 18% of Americans think Trump should fire the senior Justice Department official who oversees the Russia investigation.

got that?  Despite Trump and his teams’ constant efforts to lie and smear Mueller, people still like Mueller better than him.

Sometimes Trump’s BS doesn’t work and that is GREAT NEWS!

Judge orders partial release of Watergate ‘road map’

A federal judge has ordered the partial release of a Watergate report that fueled an impeachment drive against President Richard Nixon and could serve as a precedent for a similar effort aimed at President Donald Trump.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell granted a request Thursday to unseal a large chunk of the so-called road map that a federal grand jury in Washington sent to the House Judiciary Committee in early 1974.

This could be really helpful when the report comes out.

 Michael Cohen is now a registered Democrat

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former attorney who until June served as the Republican Party’s deputy finance chair, today changed his party registration from Republican to Democrat, according to a knowledgeable source.

This is just one more sign that Cohen turned on trump.  Not that we needed another sign (since he admitted that he met with Mueller and shared everything) but it is pretty sweet that one of the highest guys in the R party is now a Democrat.

Speaking of people who turned on Trump:

Rick Gates continues to help Mueller investigation, lawyer says

Rick Gates continues “to this day” to help special counsel’s Robert Mueller office in its investigation into Russians, the Trump campaign and the 2016 election, he said in a court filing Thursday.

The former Donald Trump campaign aide cited the “numerous” times he’s visited the special counsel’s office in recent months as he asked a federal judge in Washington to relax the court-ordered restrictions he’s under as he awaits sentencing.
This is HUGE.  Remember, Gates knows everything. With Gates, Manafort, and Cohen all in Mueller’s pocket, Trump is in big trouble.
It is just a matter of time.

Silver Lining File

Trump’s outlandish op-ed has a silver lining for Democrats

So why, after getting it so wrong, did the President’s op-ed make me smile? It’s simple. The op-ed is a tacit admission that his policies can’t stand up to ours in the court of public opinion.

All across the country, including in key swing congressional districts, voters are looking for a measured approach to move this country forward. That’s exactly what members of our coalition and our candidates in the field consistently offer going into November. The President has to say otherwise because these authentic individuals offer a winning message, against which the President and his allies simply cannot compete.
I remain optimistic in our chances at a comeback this year. If this holds true, our President and those Republicans who remain in the House and Senate will have an opportunity to show the country that they’re ready to do exactly what American voters — and many Democrats in Congress — have asked for these past two years: to reach across the aisle and get something done.

Progressive advocates used to write briefs designed to appeal to Anthony Kennedy. They’ve now got a new justice in their sights

With Kennedy off the bench and Gorsuch the ACLU’s most gettable vote, the group’s Preapbrief deconstructs the statute’s language, urging the court to apply “the statute’s literal terms” and reject the government’s “contrary interpretation,” which “turns the plain language” and “structure” of the law “upside down.”

At oral arguments, Gorsuch followed the ACLU’s lead, immediately latching onto the strange consequences of the government’s reading. He asked Zachary Tripp, a Justice Department attorney, if the government should seize an unauthorized immigrant 30 years after his release—even if “was aware of him the entire time and chose not to act.”

“Is there any limit on the government’s power?” Gorsuch asked Tripp. Eventually, Tripp admitted that, no, there isn’t: Under his argument, the government can ignore an unauthorized immigrant for decades, then detain him, without bond, on a whim. The justice seemed troubled. No limit? “Fifty years” after an unauthorized immigrant commits “a minor crime, you say, yes, the government must come and arrest him?” he asked.

If Gorsuch follows his textualist instincts, he should reach a progressive result that would grant bond hearings to thousands of unauthorized immigrants. But even if he sides with the conservatives, the ACLU is onto something here. Gorsuch’s eagerness to grasp Wang’s textualist interpretation provides more evidence that the justice isn’t just another law-and-order hard-liner. With enough grammatical precision, liberal advocates might occasionally lead him to results that the Trump administration despises. The era of the Gorsuch brief has arrived.

We Are Not Alone In Our Battles

The disappearance and likely murder of Khashoggi has been horrifying and the Trump admin’s refusal to do anything about it (and possible contribution to it by vilifying journalists) has also been terrible.

But a president is only one way to make a change in the world and this case is a classic example of the power of the rest of us.

First, the Senate (and not just Democrats) is not sitting still for this

Senators push the vote to block Saudi arms sales after Khashoggi disappearance

Senators in both parties are gearing up to force a vote on scrapping U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid mounting frustration over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Riyadh government.

As Republicans and Democrats raise alarms over Khashoggi, whose vanishing and potential killing have been linked to the Saudis by Turkish intelligence, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Thursday that he plans to introduce a resolution of disapproval once Congress is notified of the next potential U.S. weapons sale to Saudi Arabia.

Murphy and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), his ally in pushback against the arms sales, fell four votes short of blocking a Saudi weapons deal last year — and Murphy predicted that they would fare better this time around.

“I don’t think that a military sale could pass the Senate today. I don’t think that it could pass the House,” Murphy told reporters.

Murphy and 21 other senators in both parties aligned on Wednesday to urge President Donald Trump to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance and sanction those responsible — even if they hailed from the Saudi government. Murphy said, however, thathe’s “very doubtful” that the Trump administration would slap on sanctions.

And capitalism is working the way it is supposed to (but doesn’t always) with businesses being unwilling to work with those who behave in ways the people abhor.  There is this:

Business backlash over Khashoggi threatens Saudi Arabia’s economic dreams

One year ago, with more than 3,500 business leaders and government officials in attendance in Riyadh, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced that Saudi Arabia was open for business.

Now businesses and CEOs are distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, threatening the country’s bid to transform its oil-dependent economy.

and this:

More media sponsors pull out of Saudi conference after journalist disappears

Most of the news outlets that had agreed to sponsor a high-profile business conference in Saudi Arabia have now pulled out following the unexplained disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Bloomberg is the latest media organization to withdraw.
“Bloomberg will no longer serve as a media partner for the Future Investment Initiative,” a spokesperson said. “As we do with every major event in the region, we plan to cover any news from our regional news bureau.”
so when we despair about this a-hole in the white house, remember that he is not the emperor of the universe (except in his mind) and there are still ways for good to happen.

Other Good News

New document contradicts Ross’s congressional testimony on census citizenship question

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recalled talking with former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon and Attorney General Jeff Sessions about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, according to a document filed Thursday by the Justice Department, though he testified to Congress that he had not done so.

The document, part of a multistate lawsuit against the Trump administration over the question, said Ross recalls Bannon calling him in the spring of 2017 to ask whether Ross would speak to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach about ideas for a possible citizenship question on the census.

the truth is catching up with Ross and this means that the census question issue is hardly over.  It goes without saying, of course, that getting democrats in the House will be the easiest way to get this awful question off the census.

Gillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is voicing support for the candidacies of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Tennessee Senate hopeful Phil Bredesen despite their support of the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Gillibrand, considered a possible 2020 White House contender, said Manchin, the lone Democratic senator to vote for Kavanaugh, has proven himself a valuable member of the caucus.

“The fact that Joe Manchin stood with us when we were defeating Trumpcare, when Trump wanted to allow insurers not to cover people with preexisting conditions, I was really very grateful that Joe Manchin was there. So I think you win some, you lose some, but to have someone with you there nine out of ten times makes a huge difference. And to have someone who shares your fundamental values also makes a huge difference,” Gillibrand told New York Magazine in an interview published Friday.

This one may not seem like good news to all of you but I think it is.  We NEED Manchin to have any chance of taking the Senate.  And he may not always vote with us, but he is NEVER the deciding vote against us.  Manchin is no Joe Lieberman.  He is a real ally.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Have any free time at all?  Able to make some?  Stop by your closest Democratic headquarters and tell them you want to help.

You will be glad that you did ❤️

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