I know these are dark times, but I am full of hope. I am full of hope because the American institutions and local governments are stepping in and doing what is right. We are showing that people are here for others and for the public good.
We are showing what real leadership looks like. And people are seeing this. They are seeing who is ignoring the virus. They are seeing who is making things worse. And they are seeing who is working to keep us safe.
Yes, the numbers are only going to get worse. There is no doubt that people will get sick and that is awful.
But fewer people will get sick because we are doing all we can to stop the spread. Lives will be saved because we are saving them. And in the end, truth and light and love will win the day.
AMID DREAD and uncertainty, the American people are displaying extraordinary purpose and motivation to meet the coronavirus threat head-on. From darkening Broadway to silencing professional and amateur sports leagues, from closing Disneyland to shuttering cathedrals, we are witnessing the response of an open democratic society, with unfettered news and social media, and civic and political institutions and leadership ready to make hard decisions. This is America at its best.
Ever since experts began calling for social distancing to reduce transmission of the respiratory virus, people in the United States have demonstrated they were listening. Their actions have ranged from small acts of kindness, such as a young woman buying groceries for an elderly couple, to disruptive decisions that until recently would have seemed unthinkable, such as emptying sports stadiums and turning out the lights at universities. Costly, emotionally fraught choices have engendered remarkably little complaining or bitterness.
The response is all the more remarkable given the absence of credible leadership from President Trump. Though he declared a state of emergency Friday, he generally has taken the negligent approach that people shouldn’t worry; everything is “totally under control.” This is hardly an ideal situation for a nation in crisis. But it is heartening, three years into Mr. Trump’s presidency, to see that society is capable of navigating these rough seas based on collective common sense and despite this president’s lies, hatreds and distractions.
We can see this amazing movement in leaders who are making things happen:
School superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners have taken it upon themselves to shut down much of American life without clear guidance from the president.
School superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners across the country take it upon themselves to shut down much of American life without clear guidance from the president.
We can see this amazing movement in Democrats who are making things happen:
Like a host of “The Price Is Right,” Porter asked a Department of Health and Human Services official to guess what it would cost for an uninsured American to receive a coronavirus test, itemizing everything from the initial flu test to the expensive emergency room visit. She tallied up the total cost on a whiteboard: an estimated $1,331 out of pocket.
It was the beginning of a relentless line of questioning from Porter that, in just five minutes, would pry a promise out of Redfield to ensure that coronavirus testing would be free for all Americans. The stunning exchange between the doctor and lawmaker, during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, led many to credit Porter with potentially saving lives amid the federal government’s uneven response to the pandemic, calling her “brilliant” and a “hero.”
The House prepared to vote Friday on a bipartisan economic relief package to help people impacted by the coronavirus.
The legislation will include measures to boost paid family leave and unemployment insurance, ensure free coronavirus testing, and strengthen nutritional aid like food stamps.
Speaker Pelosi writes to colleagues: "Today, the House is taking the next step to put Families First. We are proud to have reached an agreement with the Administration to resolve outstanding challenges, and now will soon pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 13, 2020
We can see it in organizations doing what they can to help
U-Haul is offering 30 days of free self-storage to students who have to move due to precautions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
We can see it in all of us: washing our hands, keeping our distance, canceling large events, taking care of ourselves and the people around us.
Mr. Rogers told us that when things look awful, we should look to the helpers for inspiration. And this country is filled with helpers working to make this difficult time better.
So take heart.
And keep reading, because we have a lot of GREAT news to get to. Let’s start with the most important of all — our “eyes on the prize” moment: 11/3
11/3 11/3 11/3
No one is happy about this awful virus, but there is also no denying that it is making it clear to many, many people that there are consequences to having a raging incompetent narcissist for a president.
The nation is recognizing this, treating him as a bystander “as school superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners across the country take it upon themselves to shut down much of American life without clear guidance from the president,” in the words of Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times.
Donald Trump is shrinking before our eyes.
The coronavirus is quite likely to be the Trump presidency’s inflection point, when everything changed, when the bluster and ignorance and shallowness of America’s 45th president became undeniable, an empirical reality, as indisputable as the laws of science or a mathematical equation.
It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain. The president, enraged for having been unmasked, will become more desperate, more embittered, more unhinged. He knows nothing will be the same. His administration may stagger on, but it will be only a hollow shell. The Trump presidency is over.
At the sight of this particular black swan, Trump’s beautiful, perfect stock market has lost roughly 4,000 points — and that’s before the World Health Organization called on governments everywhere to pull out “all the stops.” Let’s assume those stops resemble the ones already pulled in East Asia. Travel stops. Industry stops. Entertainment stops. Dining out stops. Tourism stops.
Eventually, the virus stops. But the economic damage is done. The authoritative Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicted week that covid-19 will cut global growth in half if the virus spreads beyond East Asia. Since then, it has spread.
Trump’s going to need a new campaign script. And this one won’t be called “Mr. Lucky.”
Maybe all this deception isn’t doing much of anything at all, except further damaging Trump.
A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Trump’s numbers are pretty awful. Only 43 percent of registered voters nationwide approve of Trump’s handling of coronavirus, while 49 percent disapprove.
Among key voter groups that Trump needs to win back, those numbers are worse. Only 37 percent of independents approve of his handling of coronavirus, versus 50 percent who disapprove. Among college-educated whites, those numbers are 43 percent and 51 percent. Among suburban voters, they’re 40 percent and 54 percent. Among women, an abysmal 36 percent approve and 55 percent disapprove.
Meanwhile, the poll also finds that registered voters say by 56 percent to 40 percent that former vice president Joe Biden — the most likely Democratic nominee — would do a better job than Trump handling a crisis. Among college-educated whites, that’s 54 percent to 42 percent. Among independents, it’s 59 percent to 33 percent; and among women, it’s 63 percent to 32 percent.
those numbers have only gotten worse:
NEW: A majority of Americans, 54%, disapprove of Pres. Trump’s handling of the response to the coronavirus, while 43% approve, per new @ABC News/Ipsos poll. https://t.co/zVKuveyHZz pic.twitter.com/WHjk1Yrn4T
— ABC News (@ABC) March 13, 2020
Many of us knew we couldn’t trust Trump. Wall Street, however, could tolerate fascism as long as profits were good. When profits aren’t good, Wall Street gets suspicious. Doubt creeps in. Once doubt creeps in, it doesn’t go away. It grows. It accelerates. And the more Trump says the markets will be fine, the more the markets will doubt him.
Alas, it takes Wall Street for America to see what we been knew.
Read between the lines and you can see that Fauci offered a devastating indictment of the president’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Fauci was asked point-blank whether our failure to act earlier to mitigate the spread of coronavirus has put the United States on track to see a spike in infections similar to that in Italy.
He declined to directly answer.
Fauci has acknowledged that the United States is “failing” on the testing front. Konyndyk told me that this, combined with Fauci’s tactful refusal to say whether we’re on Italy’s path, amount to both an “acknowledgment of obvious realities” and a “devastating indictment.”
and this week’s primaries gave us a lot of reason for hope:
Staggeringly high Democratic turnout in the Texas suburbs last week has the party bullish about capturing a half-dozen seats that slipped through its grasp in the 2018 midterms.
Democratic primaries in six GOP-held districts saw a roughly 100 percent increase in voters compared to 2016, according to a POLITICO analysis of turnout data. The spike indicates that a lethal recipe might be brewing for Republicans in the run-up to November: President Donald Trump’s unpopularity in the suburbs, combined with rapid demographic change and an amped-up Democratic base.
After coming tantalizingly close to flipping several red-leaning seats in 2018, Democratic candidates are gearing up in and around the state’s five largest cities. Their game plan: win over moderates and independents repelled by the president, and bring in as many new Democratic voters as possible.
Voter turnout increased from 2016 in the Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri primaries.
The largest bump was in Michigan, where turnout was up by 30.5%. Turnout was up more than 17% in Mississippi and more than 5% in Missouri. https://t.co/4cICw6P9NY
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 11, 2020
and THIS GUY who should NOT be president is doing a GREAT job making sure that Trump gets defeated:
Michael Bloomberg advisor Tim O’Brien informed Joy Reid on her show Saturday morning that the wrath of the Bloomberg media campaign will be unleashed in a brutal, take no prisoners “scorched-earth” campaign focused on Trump’s adult children with first wife, Ivana.
The warning to the grifters occupying the White House is to either drop the attacks on Joe Biden’s son Hunter and Burisma or else they will face the metaphorical, both barrels blasting, directed at them with zero mercy.
Less than a week after leaving the presidential race, Mike Bloomberg gave an additional $2 million to register 500,000 black voters before the November election. https://t.co/tEMZdhnATc
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 9, 2020
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, fresh off having spent more than $500 million on his failed presidential bid, gave $500,000 to a group registering young Latinos to vote.
Bloomberg made the donation to Voto Latino, a group founded by the actress Rosario Dawson and María Teresa Kumar, the group’s president.
“President Trump has spent four years attacking and slandering Latino communities, but in November, Latinos will have a chance to make their voices heard,” Bloomberg said in a statement first provided to NBC News.
“We need to make sure that Latinos who are eligible to vote are registered and we get them to the polls — and I’m supporting Voto Latino to achieve both goals,” Bloomberg said.
You know who wasn’t happy about the primaries this week? The Russians: Russian Media Freak Over Joe Biden’s Election Resurrection
Joe Biden’s win in South Carolina gave those Russian media pause, but his buoyant resurgence on Super Tuesday left the Kremlin’s mouthpieces nearly speechless.
Reporting on the U.S. elections for Russian state TV channel Rossiya 24, Alyona Pivkina made a gesture of surprise and said: “Suddenly, Biden surged ahead.” The revelation was followed by an awkward moment of silence between Pivkina and the seemingly stunned host of the news broadcast.
With notable irritation, Vzglyad griped about Joe Biden’s state primary victories in North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Alabama, claiming that the pro-Biden votes in rural states were secured by “rednecks, who shoot skunks for fun, bowl, beat their wives and associate the word ‘socialist’ with the communist threat.” The newspaper bitterly surmised that through Biden’s anticipated nomination, the U.S. elites won yet another Cold War against socialism.
Who also wasn’t happy? Trump. Not because it is Biden, but because of how Biden won: What should alarm Trump about Biden’s success
Biden is showing strengths at this stage of the campaign that Hillary Clinton, the party’s 2016 nominee, did not.
What should alarm supporters of Trump is Biden’s success in rural and small-town counties in Michigan that Clinton lost to Sanders in 2016. Trump, whose 2016 victory margin over Clinton in Michigan was just over 10,000 votes, cannot afford any deterioration of his support in these areas that formed his base.
Just as disturbing for Republican strategists is a shift away from Sanders and toward Biden among Michigan’s white voters, upscale and blue collar alike. In 2016, Sanders carried white college graduates by a decent margin and whites without college degrees by even more. On Tuesday, both groups swung to Biden.
And if Trump’s backing among his core groups is in jeopardy, Democrats are energized in their opposition to him not simply from discontent but from outright anger. For example, among the voters in Michigan, better than 6 in 10 told the Edison Media Research exit poll that the Trump administration made them angry. Almost all of the rest said they were dissatisfied.
President Trump has not been irrational on one topic: He really does not want to run against former vice president Joe Biden. Even in a state Trump won in 2016, Arizona, he is in serious trouble if Biden is his opponent.
The OH Predictive Insights Arizona poll shows “Biden leading President Donald Trump in a head-to-head matchup by 6 points.
more good news from this week:
🚨BREAKING: red to blue flip
We are THRILLED to announce that Democrat Kathleen Martins has defeated her republican opponent—a huge upset in Hooksett, a historically Republican town where Trump won by 10 points!#nhpolitics #nhhouse pic.twitter.com/gMzzT2dsHk
— NH House Democrats (@NHHouseDems) March 11, 2020
and with this, we have an even better chance at winning the Senate. This guy is super popular in Montana:
I've always fought for the people of Montana. Together, we expanded health care, protected public lands, banned dark money in politics & more. Now I'm taking that fight to the US Senate. Let’s make Washington work more like Montana. Join us: https://t.co/vyPPioB0tJ #MTSen #MTpol pic.twitter.com/6VuCKsNTeW
— Steve Bullock (@stevebullockmt) March 9, 2020
There are two ways to look at the fight for the Senate majority: one as a corollary to the presidential race, and one as a series of individual contests. Either way, Republicans have reason to panic.
President Trump’s chances of reelection, already imperiled because of his low approval ratings, are dropping as fast as the stock market.
As though that were not bad enough for Republicans, an examination of individual races shows Democrats have an increasingly impressive hand. The Post reports: “Monday, term-limited Montana governor and former 2020 presidential candidate Steve Bullock announced that he’s running for Senate there, putting up Democrats’ strongest candidate to take this seat from Republicans.” That makes him the second popular governor (or former governor) who has a shot at flipping key Senate seats. (“The same happened in Colorado recently when John Hickenlooper, that state’s former governor and presidential candidate, decided to run for Senate. Those are two well-known names who have the best chance of probably anyone in their party to win these Senate seats for Democrats.”)
Kelly, a former astronaut, is challenging McSally, who lost the general election in 2018 to Sen. Krysten Sinema (D). McSally was later appointed to the Senate to succeed interim Sen. Jon Kyl (R), who filled Sen. John McCain‘s (R) seat following his death in 2018.
Other Good News
“To require people to pretty much alter chemically or in some type of extreme way how their hair grows out of the head seems to me so beyond intrusive,” said Smith (D-Baltimore City). “In the 21st century, it shouldn’t be necessary to make those kind of accommodations so someone can see you as a human or as a professional.”
Ever since a New Jersey high school wrestler was forced to cut his locs to participate in a match more than a year ago, the issue of hair discrimination has exploded into the national consciousness. A growing number of states and localities are taking steps to ban such discrimination — often led by young African American lawmakers like Smith, 38, who understand the shame and frustration the wrestler felt on a deeply personal level.
this amazing heartwarming story:
Last week a Conservative constituent sent me deeply hurtful anti-Muslim tweets😓
I replied by donating to his GoFundMe to help cover his crushing medical debt
He wrote me a thoughtful & compassionate apology & asked me to visit him
— Qasim Rashid for Congress (@QasimRashid) March 9, 2020
he Senate rebuked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Trump Administration on a bipartisan basis. Secretary DeVos recently rewrote the “borrower defense to repayment” rule, a regulation that provides debt relief to students who were defrauded by their colleges. Using the Congressional Review Act, the Senate has joined the House of Representatives to stop Secretary DeVos from implementing a new rule she has put into place. Joining the Democrats, 10 Republican Senators voted to overturn the rule.
The full DC Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to consider two major separation-of-powers cases involving standoffs between the Trump administration and House Democrats.The court said Friday it will rehear the House’s appeal for former White House counsel Don McGahn’s testimony, erasing the court’s previous decision that judges can’t resolve standoffs over subpoenas between the executive branch and Congress.Two judges appointed by Trump — Greg Katsas and Neomi Rao — did not weigh in on the vote to rehear the McGahn case and may be recused when the case is heard by the full circuit court. Even with them, the 11-judge court has more appointees from Democratic administrations than Republican administrations.
Also, stop panicking about trump canceling the election. He can’t. And even if he could, Pelosi would take over:
And even if the election was delayed, Trump's and Pence's terms would still end at noon on January 20, 2021. If no election has been held by that point, the Speaker of the House would assume the powers of the presidency under the Presidential Succession Act. https://t.co/S0hQ7W1pyM
— Carlton Larson (@carltonfwlarson) March 13, 2020
Lots of good news, right?!
Finally, still feeling despondent? Some action will make you feel better
Let’s focus on things we can do from our own homes this week!
Here are some ideas of ways to donate your time from the comfort of your own home (click on the links):
- 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.
- register voters in key battleground states. Vote Forward has active campaigns going in 8 key states to encourage under-represented (potential) voters to register
- 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
Here are some ideas for donating:
- Donate to a fund for Democratic candidates that run in the 2020 Senate elections Fund for the Democratic candidates that run in the 2020 Senate elections in flippable seats.
- Donate to the Unify or Die fund for WHOMEVER our nominee will be 100% of your donation to the Unify or Die Fund will go to the eventual Democratic nominee for President.
- Donate to Swing Left Swing Left connects you with the most effective actions you can take to help Democrats defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020.
- Donate to the ACLU Donate to the ACLU today to help protect the rights and liberties of people across the country.
Get busy and have a great weekend. I am so proud and so lucky to be in this with all of you! ❤️ ✊ ❤️
And stop touching your face! ❤️