Happy First Day of Autumn, Gnusies!
Buckle up! There’s a ton of news again this morning! I love to see it!
But first, another guest intro! I love the perspective he brings to these unsettled times: Waiting out the storm in the UP, Neil Steinberg, Chicago Sun✶Times, September 21, 2022.
I sat on the beach and watched the waves roll in. Odd thing about a wave — it doesn’t arrive all at once, but rolls along the shoreline, the crest breaking in endless sequence. Even as it rushes in, the undertow is pulling back, in this complicated simultaneous advance and retreat, which probably is applicable to our political world as well. Some tumble forward into the future while others draw back into the past. It’s still the same lake. New room has to be made somehow for the next wave coming in.
Before sunset Saturday, a storm boiled up over the lake. Ugly roiling clouds, rushing in from the north. An end-of-the-world sky. And then it blew right past us and was gone. I don’t want to suggest our current gales will just fly past — I believe we haven’t even gotten to the Really Bad Part yet. But there is an underlying natural world that carries on no matter who is in office, from the wheeling of the cosmos to the cycles of nature. Optimism is certainly premature, but like the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, hope makes a great place to visit and forget about all this toxic cacophony for a while.
Before we begin, for the first day of autumn, take a little breather:
😎💙 Biden and the Democrats Deliver 💙😎
Biden commits another $2.9 billion to fight world hunger as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine takes global toll, Tami Luhby, CNN, September 21, 2022.
World hunger is expected to rise this year, in part because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further disrupted supply chains and increased food prices globally.
“It’s Russia’s war that is worsening food insecurity, and only Russia can end it,” Biden said, stressing that the sanctions multiple countries have levied on Russia allow it to continue exporting food and fertilizer. ✂️
The aid Biden announced Wednesday adds to the $6.9 billion in assistance the US is directing for global food security this year, the administration said.
Dems are patriots who actually thank you for your service
Dems lead on climate again
More than half of the R-senators voted against this no-brainer (of course), but Democrats led by Chuck Schumer and our special envoy on climate, John Kerry, rallied some R support and got the approval passed comfortably:
Senate approves treaty to combat climate crisis, Alex Rogers and Ted Barrett, CNN, September 21, 2022.
The vote was 69-27, with more than half of Republican senators objecting.
In 2016, the United Nations struck an agreement known as the Kigali Amendment to the
1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Senators who support ratifying the Kigali Amendment said its adoption would position US industries to lead the world in the creation of new, environmentally sound ways of cooling.
“This measure will go a long way to lowering global temperatures, while also creating tens of thousands of American jobs, and deal with the fact that China rarely participates in global cooperation when it comes to putting their own economy and jobs ahead of ours,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
The Kigali amendment is supported by business groups like the Chamber of Commerce and environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council. Advocates for its ratification said it would prevent global warming by up to half a degree Celsius, while benefiting manufacturers developing alternative products.
“Today’s Senate vote was a decade in the making and a profound victory for the climate and the American economy,” said US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
Mental Health initiative passed (mostly) by Democrats
This is important. We need to stop asking police departments to go out on calls for mental health events and interventions. They are not trained for it and these encounters can go lethally wrong. This is a step in the right direction.
🙄 👎 Republicans are Ridiculous (and in Disarray) 👎 🙄
Shot Bad Behavior:
Ohio GOP House candidate has misrepresented military service, Brian Slodysko and James LaPorta, AP, September 21, 2022.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Campaigning for a northwestern Ohio congressional seat, Republican J.R. Majewski presents himself as an Air Force combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, once describing “tough” conditions including a lack of running water that forced him to go more than 40 days without a shower.
Military documents obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request tell a different story.
They indicate Majewski never deployed to Afghanistan but instead completed a six-month stint helping to load planes at an air base in Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally that is a safe distance from the fighting.
Republicans abandon GOP candidate in gerrymandered Ohio district who lied about Afghanistan service, Jeff Singer, DailyKos, September 22, 2022.
The NRCC on Thursday canceled the entire $960,000 ad buy it had booked in Ohio’s 9th District to defeat Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a development that was first reported by the Republican firm Medium Buying and confirmed by Politico and the Democratic firm Amplify Media. The committee’s pullout came one day after the Associated Press reported that Kaptur’s Republican opponent, QAnon-aligned activist J.R. Majewski, had lied about serving in Afghanistan. The NRCC has not yet commented on the move, though the committee is still touting Majewski as a featured candidate on its website.
While Senate Republicans have scaled back, or outright canceled, their planned spending in a number of battlegrounds, this appears to be the first time this cycle that either party has retreated in a House contest. Big-money players usually make this sort of move to redirect cash elsewhere either because they feel supremely confident, or because they’ve concluded their candidate is doomed. It’s unlikely anyone feels supremely confident in Majewski.
That’s the Game, right there
The Tipping Point of Stupid, Mark Leibovich, the Atlantic, September 22, 2022.
If you’re a candidate seeking a GOP nomination, Trump’s blessing can be a political wonder drug. But it comes with debilitating side effects. These go beyond the standard debasements that Trump inflicts on his dependents (for instance, Trump boasting at a Youngstown, Ohio, rally on Saturday that J. D. Vance, who is running for Senate there, was “in love” with him and “kissing my ass, he wants my support so much”). Assuming an acceptable Trumpian posture requires a determined self-lobotomy. In most states, it’s nearly impossible to pass yourself off as an election-denying January 6 truther and still be taken seriously by a majority of voters. Yet many candidates who clearly know better are doing exactly this. ✂️
The trickier proposition for Republicans involves statewide elections in toss-up states—which is why someone like Greene would almost certainly never win, say, a Senate race in her home state of Georgia. (The actual Republican nominee, Herschel Walker, is himself bananas, but also something of a special case given that he was a University of Georgia football legend.) While the primary successes of Trump’s protégés have saddled Republicans with, as Mitch McConnell put it, low “candidate quality”—people like Walker, Oz, and Blake Masters in Arizona—the former president has imposed a mental headwind against even the most seasoned GOP incumbents. It is to their great disadvantage, at least with most college-educated voters, that remaining Trump-accredited requires shaving dozens of IQ points off an otherwise sound candidate’s brain. ✂️
Absent Trump, Republican candidates in 2022 would be able to focus on subjects that would be more favorable to them and their party, such as inflation, crime, and Biden’s unpopularity. Trump continuously muddles their efforts and requires them to dwell in the bizarre realm of his narcissistic delusions. From Trump’s perspective—and therefore, much of the GOP’s perspective—that world never advanced beyond November 2020. He has done his best to ensure that the stolen-election myth has remained the most important issue in America.
R’s Anti-abortion fantasies fading
Opinion Those radical antiabortion fantasies? They’re already imploding. Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent, Washington Post, September 22, 2022.
Some results from the Marquette University Law School poll show just how deep opposition runs to more extreme antiabortion proposals:
- 90 percent of respondents say the victims of rape or incest should be able to get an abortion if they become pregnant; 81 percent of Republicans agree.
- Only 18 percent of respondents — and only 26 percent of Republicans — say a state should be able to bar women from traveling to another state to obtain an abortion.
- 76 percent of respondents say states shouldn’t be able to stop women from getting out-of-state prescriptions for medication abortions; 60 percent of Republicans agree.
Similarly, a recent Quinnipiac poll found 85 percent of respondents saying rape and incest victims should be able to get abortions.
lol eating their own
Chris Christie jokes ‘longtime New Jerseyan’ Dr. Oz should have run in New Jersey, Matthew Chapman, Raw Story, September 22, 2022.
On Thursday, New York Post Albany correspondent Zach Williams reported that one unlikely person made a joke about it at a meeting of the New York State Business Council: former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
“I defend Dr. Oz because he is a longtime New Jerseyan,” said Christie. “The problem is he’s running in Pennsylvania.” ✂️
Polls currently show Oz trailing Fetterman but still usually within single digits. The two candidates will come together for a debate on October 25.
Directors unanimously vote to recommend firing of Trump appointee
Bank directors urge firing of Trump official in ethics probe, Joshua Goodman, AP, September 22, 2022.
MIAMI (AP) — Executive directors of the Inter-American Development Bank voted unanimously Thursday to recommend firing a former Trump official as president of the Washington-based institution, a person familiar with the vote said.
The move came after an investigation conducted at the bank board’s request determined that Mauricio Claver-Carone violated ethics rules by favoring a top aide with whom he had a romantic relationship, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press. ✂️
Among those pushing for Claver-Carone’s removal is the Biden administration, which said it was troubled by Claver-Carone’s refusal to fully cooperate with an independent probe.
“His creation of a climate of fear of retaliation among staff and borrowing countries has forfeited the confidence of the Bank’s staff and shareholders and necessitates a change in leadership,” a Treasury Department spokesperson said.
⚖️ Legal Matters ⚖️
Trump’s legal woes mount without protection of presidency, Eric Tucker, AP, September 22, 2022.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stark repudiation by federal judges he appointed. Far-reaching fraud allegations by New York’s attorney general. It’s been a week of widening legal troubles for Donald Trump, laying bare the challenges piling up as the former president operates without the protections afforded by the White House.
The bravado that served him well in the political arena is less handy in a legal realm dominated by verifiable evidence, where judges this week have looked askance at his claims and where a fraud investigation that took root when Trump was still president burst into public view in an allegation-filled 222-page state lawsuit.
In politics, “you can say what you want and if people like it, it works. In a legal realm, it’s different,” said Chris Edelson, a presidential powers scholar and American University government professor. “It’s an arena where there are tangible consequences for missteps, misdeeds, false statements in a way that doesn’t apply in politics.”
New York Attorney General Sues Trump and Children for $250 Million, Russ Choma, Mother Jones, September 21, 2022.
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday filed a $250 million lawsuit against Donald Trump, accusing the former president of committing a variety of fraudulent business practices for a decade in the run-up and during his presidency. James—who also named Trump’s adult children, top executives at his companies, and a slew of LLCs owned by the former president—is accusing the Trumps of falsely valuing various properties they owned, hundreds of times, to secure beneficial terms for loans and insurance coverage and to reduce what they owed in taxes.
James is seeking $250 million in repayments—a figure she says represents the minimum amount she believes Trump benefitted from the alleged fraudulent activity. She also wants to bar Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump from ever serving as an officer or director of any corporation registered or licensed in New York; bar Trump from engaging in any commercial real estate deal in the state of New York for five years; and bar Trump from applying for a loan from any financial institution registered with the New York Department of Financial Services.
Let’s hear Beau’s take:
So, on Thursday, the loose cannon judge issued an order saying, among other things, “Oh yeah, I meant to say EXCEPT the 100 or so classified documents, duh!” (Nice try, Judge).
The bottom line: DOJ gets the classified documents back and can resume the investigation using them.
Oh, and another thing: Judge Dearie has given TFG’s lawyers until next Friday, September 30 to formally assert that the FBI “planted” evidence at MAL, as TFG has been alleging on social media. The judge is compelling them to say in court what they have been saying outside of court (in other words, either admit they were lying or prove there is evidence it is true by swearing to it in court where lying would be illegal.
Ah! Hang on! I found a story link! Special Master Forces Trump’s Hand in His First Mar-a-Lago Ruling, Justin Rohrlich, Daily Beast, September 22, 2022.
The judge appointed to review the documents seized by the FBI in the bureau’s court-authorized search of Mar-a-Lago last month is demanding Donald Trump back up the wild claims he’s made on social media—or stop wasting everyone’s time.✂️
Trump has put forth various conflicting excuses for why federal agents found hundreds of documents marked classified in a storage room at the Palm Beach resort where he now resides. He’s said they were planted by the FBI. He’s said he was just bringing work home, like all presidents do. He’s said he declassified them under a “standing order” that no one else from his administration seems to remember. He’s said the documents were covered by attorney-client privilege, and also that he had a right to them under the executive privilege he held while in office.
But Dearie isn’t having it. The plan he handed down Thursday insists on answers from Team Trump about the spurious claims they continue to float. On Wednesday evening, Trump added another one, telling Fox News pundit Sean Hannity that a U.S. president can declassify top secret material simply “by thinking about it.”
Meanwhile, the J6 Committee keeps working
Jan. 6 committee eager to question Ginni Thomas over her ‘unprecedented’ election meddling, Sarah K Burris, Raw Story, September 22, 2022.
WASHINGTON — The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress will reportedly speak to Ginni Thomas, the right-wing activist, lobbyist, and spouse to Justice Clarence Thomas.
When working to get Thomas to testify before the committee, lawyers for Thomas argued she shouldn’t have to appear because it was “a particularly stressful time.” Now it seems it’s finally happening. ✂️
Thomas has been linked to pressuring Arizona and Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn the state’s electoral votes so that Donald Trump could win the states. At the same time, there was another pressure campaign on election officials in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania so that Republicans there could change the vote and ensure Trump was re-elected.
Thomas was also working directly with Trump’s White House, and text messages to chief of staff Mark Meadows prove it. Meadows was then subpoenaed and told to turn over all of his electronic information from the days at the White House to the Jan. 6 committee. He fought the subpoena, going all the way to the Supreme Court, where Thomas didn’t recuse himself from the case and was the only judge to oppose the subpoena. It was then revealed Thomas’ wife was in those text messages.
AND… 3 of TFG’s lawyers spotted outside DC courthouse handling J6 case.
Oops, My Pillow Guy!
Comeuppance for this twerp and his sleazy “project”
🎶🍁 Seasonal Musical Break 🍁🎶
🌎🌏 International News 🌎🌍
The world community recognizes our shared interests:
At UN, hope peeks through the gloom despite a global morass, Ted Anthony, AP, September 21, 2022.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the United Nations had just warned of a world gone badly wrong — a place where inequity was on the rise, war was back in Europe, fragmentation was everywhere, the pandemic was pushing onward and technology was tearing things apart as much as it was uniting them. ✂️
Yet barely an hour later, here were two U.N. delegates — one Asian, one African — grinning and standing in the sun-dappled lobby of the U.N. Secretariat Building, thrilled to be there in person on this particular morning as they snapped photos of each other, laughing along the way as they captured the moment.
Hope: It can be hard to find anywhere these days, much less for the people who walk the floors of the United Nations, where shouldering the world’s weight is central to the job description. After all, this is an institution that listened last year as the president of the not-yet-at-war nation of Ukraine described it as being “like a retired superhero who has long forgotten how great they once were.” ✂️
“As humanity strives to defend freedom and build lasting peace, the U.N.’s role is indispensable,” said South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.
“Putin’s erratic actions are not those of a secure leader”.
The Kremlin Must Be in Crisis, Anne Applebaum, the Atlantic, September 21, 2022.
In part, the crisis stems from Putin’s fears that he will lose whatever counts as his international support. No ideology holds together the global autocrats’ club, and no sentiment does either. As long as they believed Russia really had the second largest army in the world, as long as Putin seemed destined to stay in power indefinitely, then the leaders of China, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, along with the strongmen running India and Turkey, were happy to tolerate his company.
But Putin’s supposedly inevitable military victory is in jeopardy. His army looks weak. Western sanctions make problems not just for him but his trading partners, and their tolerance is receding. At a summit in Uzbekistan last week, he was snubbed by a series of Central Asian leaders. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told him that “today’s era is not an era of war,” and Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his “concerns” as well. On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told PBS that he had urged Putin to end the war: “The lands which were invaded will be returned to Ukraine.” And those lands, he made clear, should include Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, following a sham referendum much like the ones it now plans to stage in other parts of occupied Ukraine.
But while losing support abroad is bad, losing support at home is worse, and there are some signs of that too. Putin might not care much about the Russian liberals and exiles who oppose the war, but he may worry (and should worry) about people who are supposed to be on his side—people such as Alla Pugacheva, a Soviet-era pop star who has millions of mainstream followers and has recently proclaimed both her patriotism and her opposition to the war. Putin may also worry about the disappointed, pro-war nationalist bloggers, active on social media, who have been criticizing the conduct of the war for some time. “Mobilization is, let’s put it bluntly, our only chance to avoid a crushing defeat,” one of them recently wrote. No one has stopped or arrested these critics, perhaps because they have protectors high up inside the security services, or perhaps because they are connected to the heavily armed mercenaries who are now doing much of the important fighting in Ukraine. If their loyalty isn’t assured, then Putin isn’t secure either.
Sure enough, China is not impressed with Putin’s war escalation
🌱🌍 Good News from Planet Earth 🌎🌱
Hat tip to T Maysle for some of these stories. 🎩 Thanks, T!
This story about the recovery of a fishery in Brazil is very detailed and interesting. Almost impossible to pull out enough bits to get across the gist of it, but do go read it!
Fish return to Southern Brazil after trawling ban, Naira Hofmeister, Mongabay, September 19, 2022.
The bill that created the State Policy for Sustainable Development of Fisheries in Rio Grande do Sul was unanimously passed by the state parliament and signed into law by the governor on September 5, 2018 (Law 15223). As the result of unusual unity among small- and large-scale fishers, scientists and NGO activists – who are often on different sides — it was celebrated by everyone in the state.✂️
The studies projected that each tonne of fish discarded by trawlers – because these individuals are too young and small to be sold – could turn into 10 tonnes (11 tons) in just two years, discounting natural deaths and factors other than fishing.✂️
There are still no scientific statistics to know whether the predictions have been confirmed, but the general impression is that they have.
In addition to fishers’ reports, the Brazilian guitarfish population is already showing signs of recovery, according to preliminary data collected by the Rio Grande do Sul Aquatic Mammal Study Group, based in the coastal town of Torres.✂️
“In addition to protecting fishers and their livelihoods, we are also protecting ecosystems, right? We are protecting the ocean,” says Machado Alves, the fisher from Island.
I think this approach — human adaptation to the realities of natural water flow, geological activity — makes far more sense than diking and damming and trying to force nature to adapt to human wishes. I mean, we can’t actually force nature to do what we want — eventually it breaks out of our various structures trying to contain it — so how about we try to fit our own selves around nature and within it, in a manner that makes sense? Here’s an example where that is really working and also how various competing human interest groups managed to make it work!
‘This is what a river should look like’: Dutch rewilding project turns back the clock 500 years, Phoebe Weston, the Guardian, September 20, 2022.
Rivers should be biodiversity hotspots but all over the world they are being damaged by human activity and slurry and pesticides runoff from farms. A key part of Border Meuse has been separating nature and agriculture by buying out farms along two river catchments and returning them to a natural state. Some farmers opposed being moved, but most were struggling to farm because of the flooding and were generously compensated. Farmers have moved away from hundreds of kilometres of Dutch rivers where flood protection and ecological restoration are priorities, says Schepers.
The €550m project is being paid for mainly by companies wanting to extract sand and gravel from the riverbed, which has helped widen the river and lower riverbanks and so expand the floodplain. Because of the involvement of industry, Border Meuse was the only large river restoration project that wasn’t withdrawn during the 2008 financial crash. Today, it attracts two million visitors a year, bringing in about €1bn of revenue to the Meuse region.
The system is designed to cope with a one in 250 year flood event. During serious floods in the Meuse basin in July 2021, all villages remained safe and dry, suggesting the project has already been successful.
U.S. charts course for adopting ropeless fishing to reduce whale deaths, John Cannon, Mongabay, September 21, 2022.
On July 29, NOAA released a draft Ropeless Roadmap, laying out the technological and regulatory hurdles facing the adoption of this new fishing gear. Scientists and fishers alike say the use of on-demand gear could give the North Atlantic right whale the reprieve from entanglement it needs to survive. The gear would also allow U.S. trap and pot fisheries, primarily for lobster but also for bottom-dwelling fish, to return to right whale hotspots they’ve been excluded from. These fisheries are the long-standing economic anchors of many communities along the eastern coasts of the U.S. and Canada.
The road map outlines a targeted approach to expanding the use of on-demand gear specifically aimed at allowing ropeless fishing in areas that are closed due to the risk the lines involved in traditional fishing pose to right whales. That would first happen under special permits allowing “limited access” for fishers to try out experimental gear, tentatively scheduled to launch in 2023, according to NOAA’s plans.
The end result might involve highly adaptive and real-time recommendations from scientists indicating places where only on-demand fishing should be allowed because the use of traditional gear with persistent vertical lines would be too dangerous for the few remaining right whales.
A Red State promoting EVs — Imagine that!
No, hell hasn’t frozen over — but sweltering Alabama is going to “lean in” and try to get a foot in the door of EV production. It is good news for planet Earth that even a red state like Alabama recognizes that EVs are the future in transportation, even if they must couch it in terms of “good for our economy” instead of “good for the earth”. Who cares, just do it.
Gov. Kay Ivey says Alabama needs to ‘lean in’ on electric vehicles, AL.com, September 22, 2022.
Delivering opening remarks at an electric vehicle summit in Birmingham today, Ivey told the crowd of a few hundred attendees that the future of transportation was electric, and that Alabama is being proactive in embracing the changing automotive markets.
“We need to lean in on this new technology for the sake of our economy tomorrow,” Ivey said. ✂️
Ivey said the state has work to do on charging infrastructure to be prepared for oncoming wave of electric vehicles.
“We are making investments in charging infrastructure across the state which assures Alabamians that they will always be able to get from point A to point B,” Ivey said. “This also ensures that out-of-state drivers will be able to charge their vehicles on the way to the beach and spend money in Alabama.”
🏆 Let’s Honor Truth and Celebrate Love 💖
chloris creator usually has a section honoring someone who showed a courageous commitment to truth or love. I’m going to try to honor cc herself by trying to do a little section like this in today’s substitute GNR.
Truth — Christiane Amanpour
Ms. Amanpour was brought up in Tehran but lives in the USA, and although she abides by the legal command that women wear headscarves when she is in Iran reporting, she rejected the last minute demand of the Iranian president that she wear a headscarf in order to interview him in New York. He responded by refusing to appear for the scheduled interview. By refusing to be cowed in a free country by a representative of a repressive regime, Amanpour exposed the truth of the misogyny and power games that masquerade as “religious respect” in Iran and elsewhere. They tried to use her — on CNN’s platform — to underline that Iran can compel even “free” women to wear the hijab and to potentially send a message to Iranian women (and men) currently rebelling against their religious oppression that even the famously independent Amanpour bows to their religious rules. Christiane Amanpour stood strong and denied Iran another weapon to use against its own people:
Iran’s President abandons CNN interview after Amanpour declines head scarf demand, Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, September 22, 2022.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi withdrew from a long-planned interview with CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, after she declined a last-minute demand to wear a head scarf.
Some 40 minutes after the interview was scheduled due to start and with Raisi running late, an aide told Amanpour the president had suggested that she wear a head scarf. Amanpour said that she “politely declined.” ✂️
Iranian law requires all women to wear a head covering and loose-fitting clothing in public. The rule has been enforced in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and it is obligatory for every woman in the country – including tourists, visiting political figures and journalists.
Amanpour said that Raisi’s aide made clear that the interview – which would have been the Iranian president’s first on American soil – would not happen if she did not wear a head scarf. He referred to it as “a matter of respect,” given that it is the holy months of Muharram and Safar, and referred to “the situation in Iran,” alluding to the protests sweeping the country, she added.
Anti-government protests erupted across Iran last week over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody, after having been arrested by Iran’s morality police on an accusation of violating the law on head scarves.
Love — Puerto Rico
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, we became emboldened and strengthened and said, ‘No, enough of this. We want a different Puerto Rico,'”
David Begnaud has been doing great reporting from Puerto Rico. Although he began work on this story before Fiona hit Puerto Rico, he finished the story believing that the new storm had not undermined the work that began after Maria, but rather “even as they face new challenges, many Puerto Ricans show resilience and strength as they continue to recover”. The story makes clear that where they draw that resilience and strength is from loving communities working together:
Rising from the ruins: Puerto Ricans reflect on progress, show “the path of what’s possible” 5 years after Hurricane Maria, David Begnaud, CBS, September 21, 2022.
Raised in the southern city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Rodriguez and his family left their lives in North Carolina after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017 and returned to Puerto Rico, where they bought a sod farm in Vega Baja.
His non-profit employs mostly retirement-age Puerto Ricans who grow, harvest, prepare and then deliver meals to hundreds of the neediest people there each week. Among them is Victoria Ortiz, a stroke survivor who lives alone in Vega Alta and struggles to make ends meet.✂️
You have communities growing their own food, collecting rainwater, providing electricity through solar panels because they don’t trust that the government can get it to them, and because they’ve lived through instances where they’ve been lacking those services,” she said.
Graulau cites Casa Pueblo as one shining example of innovation with little federal funding. For example, solar panels have been installed on the roofs of 13 businesses whose owners agree to provide critical services like medicine, refrigeration, and cell phone charging to residents during major power outages.
“So that the barber now has reliable electricity, so that the bakery now has reliable electricity, and that we have an oasis, so that when we have an outage in a home, so that people who don’t have the solar panels can come here, connect their devices, so that they’re not stranded,” Graulau said.
📥 Actions You Can Take 📤
newish!!! Tax-exempt organization complaint referrals. 13909. You can fill this out for the NRA and lots of other organizations. How about if some of us white folk go into some of the MAGA churches and video record what they’re saying?
Voting rights. This may be the biggest issue threatening our democracy right now. Besides contacting your representatives at the state and federal level to do the right thing (depending on who they are), you can support and contact these organizations:
ACLU — American Civil Liberties Union
Democracy Docket — founded by Marc Elias, so important in fighting the challenges after the last election.
Fair Fight — founded by Stacey Abrams
🌱Grass roots. Biden and Harris can do the top-down stuff, but we have to support from the bottom. I don’t know how to deprogram 75 million people, but some things have been written about, such as deep canvassing, and lots of people are talking about this. If you know someone (who did not storm the Capitol), then see if you can be pleasant. Instead of trying to reason with them (logic is obviously not their strong point) distract them with something else. We need to remove the sources of lies and to take down the temperature. If we get more of the Rs to wear masks and to get vaccinated and to vote for Ds, the country will be a better place. We need to coax some of them out of the rabbit holes and diffuse the anger and the crazy.
🏃 Run for something. If you want to run for something, but have no idea what to do, these people will help you. They also like money and volunteers to help those people who are running, so even if you’re not in a position to stand for office, you can help. Note: they are especially planning to target the 57 Rs in local governments who participated in the insurrection.
👎 Defund the seditionists. Defund the seditionists. This is a list with companies that sometimes have donated to the seditionists. The list is long. You will recognize many of the corporations, and you probably have a relationship with some — either you are a customer, a shareholder, or maybe even an employee. Contact them and compliment or complain, but let them know you are watching. Forward it to others.
There are millions of Americans living abroad (like chloris creator does for part of each year) who may not know how to vote from abroad. If you know any Americans eligible to vote who are living abroad, please encourage them to check out Democrats Abroad for information about how to vote as well as lots of cool info about other Americans living abroad and things people can do to participate more fully in our democracy!
🎶 🍁 Indispensable September Music 🍁🎶
Midterm Election Polls
Yes, you know what I always say — Polls don’t vote, people do! — but it’s also a fact that people are encouraged by polls that seem to show things moving in the right direction for their candidates. So, here’s some of that encouragement! 😁
Joe Biden’s approval highest since December 2021:
Remember: polls don’t vote, people do! These polls won’t mean diddly squat unless the people who said “YEAH, I like Joe Biden!” or “YEAH, I think I’d vote for the Dem”! actually DO vote for the Dems. We must GOTV!
more Women Registering to vote
‘I can’t stay silent’: Roe reversal powers new generation to sign up and vote, Poppy Noor, the Guardian, September 22, 2022.
People such as Koenig threaten to be a hugely pivotal voting bloc as the midterms loom, with organizers focusing on women and young people in voter registration drives all over the country. The first hints of that bloc’s voting power came in early August, when women in Kansas came out overwhelmingly to protect abortion rights. That election saw huge turnout, with women representing 70% of newly registered voters. They ultimately protected abortion rights in a state where Donald Trump had a 15% lead in the 2020 presidential election that he lost to Joe Biden.
That trend seems to be continuing in other states – a threat to Republican lawmakers, who in recent weeks have quietly removed abortion-related election pledges from their websites and softened their anti-abortion messaging. ✂️
Perhaps women are unconvinced. Target Smart analyzed new voter registration from 45 states following the supreme court decision that reversed federal abortion rights – the group said female registration shot up 12%.
“In my 28 years of analyzing elections, I had never seen anything like what’s happened in the past two months in American politics,” Tom Bonier, chief executive of Target Smart, wrote in the New York Times. “Women are registering to vote in numbers I never witnessed before. I’ve run out of superlatives to describe how different this moment is.” ✂️Younger people, in particular, are playing a key role in the surge in women voting. Usually, voter turnout is particularly low for young people in midterms and primaries. But in Kansas, voters under the age of 30 comprised over 14% of ballots cast, surpassing their vote share for each of the past three general elections in Kansas.
🍂🧡 Mental Health Break 🧡🍂
Relax with this astonishingly restful and enjoyable video (and you’ll learn how to make the most amazing brownies, if you want to):
🖇 Odds and Ends 🖇
📎 On this Earth Wind and Fire Day, remember “September” as a beautiful case of accidental magic, Melanie McFarland, Salon, September 21, 2022.
📎 Trump’s Terrible Week, Russell German, the Atlantic, September 22, 2022.
📎 Opinion Why Trump may be at a tipping point, Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, September 22, 2022.
📎 Trump is ‘done’ and ‘I’m not sure he’s going to escape jail’: presidential historian, David Edwards, Raw Story, September 22, 2022.
📎 Conspiracy Theorists Want to Run America’s Elections. These Are the Candidates Standing in Their Way, Charlotte Alter, Time, September 20, 2022.
📎 Book bans are an attack on freedom to read, teach and learn, Ben Jealous, Chicago Sun Times, September 19, 2022.
📎 Living well: Don’t Objectify Yourself, Arthur C Brooks, the Atlantic, September 22, 2022.
💖 CC’s Roundup WindDown 💖
💙 What You Can Do to Rescue Democracy 💙
It turns out that participation in democracy is not just an every-four-years event but requires active participation, like, whenever you can find time.
Look in the comments for Progressive Muse’s report on Postcards to Voters
And some other ideas:
You can relax and recharge.
You can join protests and freeway blog.
You can help register new voters.
You can smile.
You can get out the vote for special elections.
You can reach out to upset Republicans. We need to win some back.
You can share your ideas below.
💙 “Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured.” 💙
President Joseph R. Biden
🌹 🌹 🌹
TRUTH MATTERS. LOVE MATTERS.
Safe travels today, CC! Happy Friday, Gnusies!! Welcome Autumn!
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.