Today’s title comes from the poem by Caitlin Seida.  Check it out:

225961657_10158856947858355_1177154626835545051_n.jpg

Some days, it is hard to be hopeful.  We see what is happening with the planet.  We hear about the Republican attempts to destroy our democracy.  We find out people in charge have done terrible things.  It is exhausting.

But hope doesn’t come to us like delicate bird. 

Hope comes like a rat.  Not pretty.  Not delicate.  

Ugly and determined.  Clawing its way through the darkest of spaces.  Able to survive no matter what.  

Hope is a sewer rat.  Hope is a cockroach.  Hope is your sweat drenched and angry coach screaming at you as you struggle to make it to your goals.

Hope fights and claws and doesn’t give up. Hope lives in the darkest of spaces.

It is easy to feel positive when birds are singing and flight is possible. 

It is harder to feel positive when the blows keep coming.

But if we want to survive, if we want to thrive,  we need to be that rat, hiding under floorboards when we have to, taking sustenance wherever we can, using our wits and perseverance to get us through the night.  The rat knows morning is coming.  The rat will do whatever it takes to get there.

It wasn’t a delicate bird that got us through the Trump years.  It wasn’t a feather that won World War Two.

It was us.  Dingy and scared and in the dark.  But not giving up for one moment.  Not even considering that giving up is an option.  Fighting, sometimes against all reason to save ourselves, save one another, save America, and save our planet.

Hope is Cori Bush refusing to give up.  

When Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined me on the top of that marble staircase last Friday night, the doors to the chamber locked behind us, we sat shocked in disbelief. We could not comprehend how Congress had left for August recess after failing to pass legislation to extend the eviction moratorium. My adrenaline was pumping, I felt like I needed to take off running until we found a solution. It was a familiar feeling — one rooted in trauma. I’ve been evicted three times in my life

With a camping chair in one arm and my phone in the other, I invited my colleagues to return to DC and join me on the stairs of our chamber. At first it was just me and my staff. Then my sisters in service, community members, friends and colleagues turned out in a show of force I could never have foreseen.

By Tuesday, we had welcomed dozens of House and Senate colleagues, moderate and progressive, in pouring summer rain, cold of the night, and intense midday heat, all in the service of a single message: keeping people in their homes as the eviction moratorium lapsed.

No one thought this would work. We were junior House members, activists, neighbors, and people passing by, engaged in a movement we couldn’t yet comprehend. Yet, in just five days, our movement pulled out a victory from the most powerful office in our country. The Biden administration announced a new eviction freeze that would help Americans in places experiencing high spread of Covid-19 cases, which is the majority of counties in the US, through October 3.

That is some powerful rat energy right there.  And it worked. 

Did she do this because she was fearless?  Did we all stand up in the Trump era because we weren’t worried?  Nope:

x

Hope, courage, bravery, dedication.  In hindsight, these things all look like beautiful birds, bringing light and joy through the seemingly impossible act of flight.  

But in reality these are messy and sometimes scary and fraught with sweat, occasional failure, and hard work.

But they are so, so worth it ❤️ 

Good economic news

This Is the Job Market We’ve Been Waiting For

America is getting back to work.

That’s the simplest, clearest analysis of the labor market that emerges from nearly every line of the July employment numbers released Friday morning. It is a welcome sign that, as of the middle of last month, the economy is healing rapidly — and that the previous couple of months reflected healthier results than previously estimated.

The 943,000 jobs added to employers’ payrolls in July is impressive on its own (though with an asterisk involving education employment, about which more below). It’s all the more so when combined with sharply positive revisions to May and June numbers.

A broader measure of unemployment — including people out of work because they gave up looking for a job, and people working part time who want full-time work — fell by even more, to 9.2 percent from 9.8 percent. The number of Americans who were working only part time because of slack business conditions fell by a whopping 465,000.

Jobless claims fall to 385,000

An estimated 385,000 Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, a drop from the previous week despite a new increase in coronavirus cases, according to data released Thursday morning by the Labor Department.

Good infrastructure news

The Biden Approach Is Working

If Joe Biden stands for one idea, it is that our system can work. We live in a big, diverse country, but good leaders can bring people together across difference to do big things. In essence Biden is defending liberal democracy and the notion that you can’t govern a nation based on the premise that the other half of the country is irredeemably awful.

Republicans and Democrats have been involved in a complex set of negotiations about infrastructure spending. It’s been messy and complicated, the way politics always is, but the two sides have worked together productively.

x

Good news on Voting (and winning)

Senate Dems plot new paths on voting reform, sidestepping filibuster

Senate Democrats, led by Rules Chair Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, are considering providing additional cash for voting standards and voting by mail in the $3.5 trillion social spending plan that the party is set to take its first steps on as soon as this weekend. Klobuchar and others have emphasized that the boost of cash for election infrastructure is not a replacement for Democrats’ stalled reform plan, but rather an alternate track to make progress.

Stacey Abrams, Michelle Obama urge voters to join the fight to protect access to the ballot

Stacey Abrams and Michelle Obama have joined forces to raise public awareness of their crusade for voting rights, with a video message urging Americans to lobby members of Congress to pass federal voting legislation.

The collaboration between Abrams, a former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, and former first lady Obama, comes as activists are raising the volume on their concerns over restrictive voting laws being passed by Republican-controlled legislatures across the country.

Republicans’ Actions and Policies Are Toxically Unpopular

Over the last several years, Republicans and their policies have grown increasingly extreme. The party has pushed past the bounds of acceptable behavior time and again, and become a font of bigotry, lies, and conspiracy theories.

In a new Data for Progress poll of 1,254 likely voters fielded from July 30 to August 2, we examined voter attitudes towards top Republican policy priorities and some of their most prominent actions over the past year. 

Voters also overwhelmingly disapprove of their encouragement of the violent protests at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 by a 55-point margin. Voters disapprove of GOP objections to the Electoral College by a 21-point margin, and Republican claims that the election was stolen by a 19-point margin.

 a strong majority of likely voters disapprove of the policy priorities that Republicans have pursued over the past years. The most unpopular policies we polled were tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, and laws making it more difficult for people to vote: Voters disapproved of these policies by a 58-point margin, and a 57-point margin, respectively. They also disapprove of the party’s climate-change denial and their efforts to block climate-change legislation by a 55-point margin.

This polling makes it clear that voters, even Republican voters, can’t tolerate many of the actions and policies that define the GOP. It’s clear that the path the Republican Party has taken in recent years isn’t just morally wrong, it’s also politically risky. Republican politicians aren’t delivering for their constituencies or their voters and it’s important that we replace them with politicians who will.

Good COVID news

judge blocks state from enforcing mask mandate ban

An Arkansas judge on Friday temporarily blocked the state from enforcing its ban on mask mandates after lawmakers left the prohibition in place despite a rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox issued a preliminary injunction against the law that Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed in April banning mask requirements by governmental entities. The ban was being challenged by two lawsuits, including one from an east Arkansas school district where more than 900 staff and students are quarantining because of a coronavirus outbreak.

Backlash is building against COVID denying Rs

Rising case numbers put lawmakers who have downplayed the virus in a tight spot. A new poll today from St. Pete Polls shows that DeSantis’s popularity has fallen behind that of a Democratic rival, Charlie Crist, in the 2022 governor’s race. Forty-nine percent of Floridians disapprove of DeSantis’s job performance, while only 44% approve. He is in positive numbers only with voters older than 70. In contrast to the older folks, most voters disapprove of his opposition to masks in schools.
Other Republican governors have expressed regret that they were so quick to outlaw masks. Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson today said he wished he hadn’t signed into law a measure banning state and local mask mandates. He has called the legislature into special session to change the law, claiming that he signed the previous measure because “I knew it would be overridden by the legislature if I didn’t sign it.”
The new spike in infections has meant an uptick in vaccinations, with numbers matching those of early July. On Tuesday, Jeff Zients, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, reported that Louisiana has seen a 302% increase in the average number of newly vaccinated per day; Mississippi, 250%; Alabama, 215%; and Arkansas, 206%. On Tuesday, almost a month late, the nation met the goal President Joe Biden had set for July 4 of having at least one vaccine shot in 70% of eligible Americans. About 49% of all eligible Americans have been fully vaccinated.

F.D.A. Aims to Give Final Approval to Pfizer Vaccine by Early Next Month

With a new surge of coronavirus infections ripping through much of the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has accelerated its timetable to fully approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, aiming to complete the process by the start of next month, people familiar with the effort said.

President Biden said last week that he expected a fully approved vaccine in early fall. But the F.D.A.’s unofficial deadline is Labor Day or sooner, according to multiple people familiar with the plan. The agency said in a statement that its leaders recognized that approval might inspire more public confidence and had “taken an all-hands-on-deck approach” to the work.

Other Good News

x

On the Silly Side

Biden pays homage to Obama by rocking tan suit during birthday week

bidenjoe_08062021getty.jpg

Biden wears tan suit almost exactly 7 years after right-wing media made Obama wearing one into a scandal

The SHADE from this Guardian article about Trump’s tempter tantrum gave me life.  No this is not the Onion. No, this is not from Wonkette.  This epic level of shade is from The Guardian.

“Woke means you lose, everything that is woke goes bad, and our soccer team certainly has. There were, however, a few Patriots standing. Unfortunately, they need more than that respecting our Country and National Anthem,” continued the man who recently lost the presidential election, of the World Cup champions.

“They should replace the wokesters with Patriots and start winning again. The woman with the purple hair played terribly and spends too much time thinking about Radical Left politics and not doing her job!” he added, referencing Megan Rapinoe, whose terrible performance included scoring two goals, one a magnificent volley, in the 4-3 victory over Australia.

While the USWNT team have won four World Cups and four Olympic golds, the former president is proud of his own athletic career.

In 2010, he told MTV: “I was supposed to be a professional baseball player.” By 2015, his athletic ability had grown, the soon-to-be-president saying he could have turned professional but “in those days you couldn’t even make any money being a great baseball player”. But in an entertaining, meticulously researched deep dive into Trump’s baseball career for Slate, Leander Schaerlaeckens examined the president’s record in high school. His conclusion: “It seems like Trump was a solid defensive first baseman but a bad hitter.”

Keith Law, a senior baseball writer who was once a member of staff at the Toronto Blue Jays, was more withering. Looking at Trump’s .138 batting average in high school (for non-baseball fans, anything below .250 is underwhelming), Law told Schaerlaeckens: “You don’t hit .138 for some podunk, cold-weather high school playing the worst competition you could possibly imagine. You wouldn’t even get recruited for Division I baseball programs, let alone by pro teams. That’s totally unthinkable. It’s absolutely laughable. He hit .138 – he couldn’t fucking hit, that’s pretty clear.”

hee hee.  Also, you are a loser:

x

On the Lighter Side

233414798_10159651716493970_6608460143585445237_n.jpg

234091058_10209863953071659_1890519675579831462_n.jpg

221272691_10225150824739050_2657836414531158356_n.jpg

Screenshot2021-08-05at8.08.35AM.jpeg

228469002_10159639906053970_2555206530593314427_n.jpg

223391064_10226009622737466_1543291867140010917_n.jpg

232659760_10222864365852381_8893813636345262531_n.jpg

Screenshot2021-08-05at9.23.39AM.jpeg

231224438_4380908401959547_5412164284795857588_n.jpg

223663117_4294668413949845_1407505539335712093_n.jpg

229204656_3139113102985621_2900221980151401049_n.jpg

217911393_10220133115778935_7229087931802813951_n.jpg

219474683_831424404176532_3904180408401115419_n.jpg

230631484_364041438650101_6780594309344114472_n.jpg

229078753_5979491395454153_3643035278934861010_n.jpg

227456261_10209834365972000_8150368464720405264_n.jpg

231868046_10220224734470266_869087330029042718_n.jpg

Thanks to Jessica for the poem and my sister for a couple of funnies.

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 ✊🏾✊🏻♥💙💚💛💜🧡✊🏽✊🏻

Liked it? Take a second to support Community on Patreon!

This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here