Here is a fun thought exercise for us: Imagine a pack of killer mutants is coming straight for your hometown (it is 2020 after all).
If these mutants reach your town, they will destroy it. Many people will die. The town will be laid waste. It is unlikely that you would be able to come back from the destruction (assuming you are one of the people who actually lives through it). Everything you love will be destroyed.
Some people say that there is a 30% chance that the mutants will reach your town, but you can’t be sure of that. A few people say they chance is lower. Others say it is much higher. After all, these are cheating, lying, scumbag, killer mutants we are talking about!
But, good news: the mutants aren’t there yet! And there is plenty you can do to keep the mutants from ever getting to your house. Sure it will take time and money and may not be that fun, but there are plenty of ways to keep them from ever showing up.
Imagine being in that situation and doing nothing to stop the killer mutants. Imagine worrying about it, and sharing memes about how scary it is and how awful the killer mutants are, but not dedicating much (if any at all) of your time and money to stopping the mutants.
Wouldn’t that be ridiculous? Isn’t it hard to even imagine?
Well, that is what many people are doing right now with the election. Are you one them?
Are you worried about the end of democracy but not doing much at all to get Biden elected?
That is a shame, because not only will we all be more likely to see the end of democracy and the end of our chance to address our climate crisis, but you will miss your chance to be a hero.
You can be on the team that defeats the killer mutants! You can be the hero who brings them down! You can be the one who gets to tell your kids, and grand-kids, and random neighborhood children who wander on your porch, amazing stories about the time you and your friends saved everyone. “it wasn’t easy” you will tell them “but we worked together, kept our eyes on the prize, and saved everyone!”
And you won’t be able to tell them that you went uphill both ways but you WILL be able to tell them how you saved democracy during a motherf&^%ing pandemic! Woo hoo! Go you!!
You are a hero in this story. You are the person who doesn’t just sit and whine but busts your butt to get things done! History will know your name!
Join in! Do more!
Here are some ideas:
and/or donate or join one of the great organizations dedicated to fighting voter suppression
Fair Fight builds a robust network of grassroots activists to strengthen democracy
And I still Vote works to empower our communities to act.
Black Votes Matter goal is to increase power in our communities.
Let America Vote ensures people don’t have to pick between safety and their vote
ACLU — Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, has filed 20 lawsuits and counting to ensure every eligible voter can vote by mail.
In addition (or instead) of donating money here are 12 ideas for Non-financial ways to help:
- Volunteer with the Democratic party Explore their centralized hub for grassroots volunteer opportunities to take action on your own time.
- Volunteer with the Biden campaign You can get training to text for Joe, make phone calls for Joe, host an event, or attend an event.
- Get involved with Postcards to voters. Postcards to Voters are friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast.
- Volunteer with Beto to turn Texas Blue Over the recent months, thousands of Powered by People volunteers have stepped up to help us reach the Texas voters who will decide the most important elections of our lifetime. Join them!
- Register voters in key battleground states. Vote Forward has active campaigns going in 8 key states to encourage under-represented (potential) voters to register. In 6 of them, the packet you send to each potential voter will include the actual voter registration forms and instructions with pre-paid postage for that state. The folks at Vote Forward have collected data on this technique and determined that it does, indeed, appear to increase voter registration.
- Text voters in key Senate races Payback Project has a comprehensive, four-pronged approach to make sure Republicans Senators are held accountable for their actions, their votes, and their enabling of Donald Trump.
- Organize your community online The Democratic National Committee’s digital organizing team put together a list of ways you can keep organizing in your community online.
- Do whatever we can to promote Biden in tweets and posts and emails and wherever. The same goes for other D candidates. Help them get positive recognition!
- Find out how to be a poll worker on election day. Use this link
- sign up to be a voter protection volunteer with the Biden Harris campaign
- Swing Left offers virtual tools to help you maximize your impact on the closest races in Super States across the country. Swing Blue has a wonderful list of ways you can help from your home and links for each one of you are motivated
- register for protect the results which is building a coalition of voters to mobilize if Trump refuses to accept the election.
Now onto the good news!
We Can Win
The DNC convention made people more enthusiastic about Biden! yay!
the Democratic National Convention took over the conversation surrounding the presidential race this week, and more Americans had positive things to say about the party’s nominee — former Vice President Joe Biden — than at any point in the last eight weeks.These findings come from The Breakthrough, a project from CNN, SSRS and researchers from Georgetown University and the University of Michigan asking Americans what they have heard, read or seen about each of the presidential candidates lately. The survey was in the field beginning the second day of the convention and continued through Sunday night.The number of people who spoke positively about Biden jumped sharply, and outpaced negative responses: there were about 1.6 positive responses for every negative response, the highest ratio so far.
The interviews revealed a widespread feeling among Trump alums that he will not be re-elected. Some, like Scaramucci, are rooting for the president to lose. Others are critical of a campaign operation they see as flailing. What unites them all is shared skepticism that Trump can overcome the public’s harsh assessment of his management of the pandemic, which has now killed more than 180,000 Americans and has driven millions into poverty and deprivation.
t’s not just the president’s flat poll numbers, which currently place him an average of roughly seven percentage points behind Biden, that factors into the critics’ assessments. The lack of trademark Trump rallies has also put a severe damper on his campaign, which relied on the massive events to drive free and largely unfiltered local media coverage, to stoke Trump’s loyal base of supporters, to inspire them to volunteer and donate — and to siphon up their personal data.
Lots of work in Texas to make it competative:
Harris County voters this November will have more time and more than a hundred additional places to cast ballots in the presidential election, including drive-through locations and one day of 24-hour voting, under an expansive plan approved by Commissioners Court Tuesday.
and we have great allies in GOTV operations!
More Than a Vote, a group of athletes headlined by LeBron James, is launching a campaign to address poll worker shortages and the need to keep polling stations open in Black electoral districts.
As more than 70 speakers and thousands of supporters get together this week to officially name President Donald Trump the Republican nominee and boost him for the upcoming November election, the Trump campaign is being dramatically outspent by the Biden campaign in the rivals’ ever-growing television advertising wars.
The move by the Trump campaign to go conservative with its ad spending during the convention week is a stark turn for a campaign that previously promised to unleash a “Death Star“-level onslaught on its Democratic opponent leading up to Election Day.
This is minor thing, but it just shows how much sharper the Biden team is than the Trump team → Biden snags ‘Keep America Great’ domain in latest act of Trump trolling
After trolling Republicans throughout their convention, the Biden campaign has pulled its final act of the week: acquiring the web domain KeepAmericaGreat.com.
When Trump launched his reelection campaign last year, he rolled out the “Keep America Great” as its official new slogan with great fanfare. But the Biden campaign recently learned the web domain was available and snagged it.
The site now lays out a top-to-bottom rebuke to the Trump administration, including his handling of coronavirus. “Promises Made, Promises Kept Broken,” the site’s home page screams. “Trump isn’t looking for a second term,” it charges. “He’s looking for a do-over.”
It is unlikely trump brought over anyone new this week
President Trump’s Thursday night convention speech making the case for his reelection was lower-rated than his challenger Joe Biden’s speech one week ago, according to overnight Nielsen ratings.
Huh! @AndrewBatesNC I always forget, does @realDonaldTrump care about his television ratings? Or is that not something he cares about? Like, do you think it’ll trigger him that @JoeBiden’s speech got way bigger ratings than his did? https://t.co/tddzWrXkN8
— TJ Ducklo (@TDucklo) August 28, 2020
You mean the self-described "Ratings Machine DJT," who bet the farm on this & broke the law to exploit the White House as a prop *while* pretending he isn't in charge as the pandemic spins out of control and violence & division flare up?
Nah, I think he'll be totally sanguine. pic.twitter.com/HFtMt4Ms4q
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) August 28, 2020
Double hee hee!
And there is no evidence that the few people actually watching were moved by their fear-mongering:
The suburbs, like this one, just up Interstate 77 from the official site of the start of this week’s Republican National Convention, make up the terrain on which the coming election almost certainly will be decided. The suburbs almost always are a political battlefield, or at least have been for the past generation or more. And if Trump can’t win or even loses a sufficient slice of his support in Cornelius, one of the whitest and most reliably Republican of the key suburbs in this critical swing state, he probably can’t win North Carolina, according to pollsters and strategists. And if he can’t win North Carolina, they say, he probably can’t win reelection. Hence the message he’s been delivering with increasing frequency and ferocity of late, appealing to the “Suburban Housewives of America,” charging that Joe Biden wants to “destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream,” and stressing that residents of American suburbia want “security” and not “low-income housing” forced “down their throats.”
The response I got from actual suburban women here on Monday, though, was a mixture of eye-rolls, laughter and confusion. “It’s not something I’m afraid of,” said Connie Searle, 61, retired from a human resources job at a bank.
“I haven’t heard anyone voice concerns about being afraid that angry mobs are going to come out this way,” said Sue Rankin-White, 72, who worked for the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., and lived in Northern Virginia before moving here.
Afraid of the city? “I’m here because of its proximity to Charlotte,” said Camerin Allgood McKinnon, 36, a mother of two who teaches dance.
And the arguments he’s making to suburban women? “These protesters and rioters are going to come into the suburbs?” Jackson said. “He’s having a conversation that frankly only exists on Fox News. It doesn’t exist in any neighborhood in the suburbs.”
“It’s appealing to June Cleaver,” said Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at nearby Catawba College, “when June Cleaver’s dead.”
As Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg says, “there’s no monolith of white women in the suburbs who are like locking their doors and putting on their burglar alarms, scared of invading hordes. It’s just not the way they think about their lives.”
And critically, Greenberg argues, they see Trump’s rhetoric less as a response to actual events and more as part of his long-standing attempts to sow fear and racial division. When it comes out of Trump’s mouth, people see it for what it is. The message cannot be separated from the messenger.
Dude, even Fox hated his LONG speech! Fox News Hosts Trash Trump’s ‘Flat’ RNC Speech: It Was ‘Far Too Long’
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and senior political analyst Brit Hume ripped President Donald Trump’s 70-minute Republican National Convention speech on Thursday night, describing it as “surprisingly flat” and lacking in “excitement.”
Wallace, noting that the “impressive” post-speech fireworks were still booming in the air, said he “was surprised at the lack of fireworks at the president’s speech tonight.” Pointing out that “it was far too long,” the Fox News Sunday moderator said it felt at times like a State of the Union or even a campaign speech.
“I have to say in his delivery, I thought the president—who we have seen really turn on a crowd—was surprisingly flat and didn’t seem to have the bite that he usually does have in his speeches,” he declared.
Also, Vox hated it: Trump’s RNC speech was a mess.
The text of President Donald Trump’s rambling 70-minute-long RNC-closing speech wasn’t particularly impressive. Trump read laboriously and largely stayed on script. His remarks consisted of now-familiar lies about his record, overheated attacks on Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and authoritarian bluster.
And the Washington Post: Trump desecrates a public monument in the finale to a convention of lies
His acceptance speech Thursday night, a seemingly endless recital of by-now familiar falsehoods, was notable principally for when and how it took place: before a crowd of more than 1,000 mostly unmasked people on a White House lawn festooned with campaign insignia. Mr. Trump managed to merge contempt for public health with desecration of a public monument, the final and most jarring of the convention’s exploitations of the perks of public office for political purposes.
The speech elevated the darkest themes of the convention. The Republican National Committee chose not even to adopt a platform this cycle. In other words, the party no longer stands for anything. So it was unsurprising that, relying on a mixture of hyperbole and lies, both Mr. Trump and the speakers preceding him highlighted what they’re against.
And CNN: Trump’s speech was a miss
The billionaire businessman won the White House, at least in part, because of his free-wheeling style and his uproarious campaign rallies. He didn’t win the White House by reading speeches off of a teleprompter. And his acceptance speech Thursday night proved why. His delivery — particularly in the first 30 minutes or so of this way-too-long speech — was without emotion and decidedly flat. As for the speech itself, there just wasn’t all that much new to it. Trump spent the first 35 minutes rattling off his accomplishments in his first three years in office — repeating long-disproven claims about how he built the greatest economy in the history of the country and how he has done more for African Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. Anyone who caught a Trump speech or a Trump TV interview over the past year (or so) would have recognized virtually every line in his acceptance address. “This speech is pretty standard issue so far for Trump, absent the lyricism and poetry — and just different rhetoric — of many convention speeches,” tweeted Washington Post politics editor Cathleen Decker. And then there was the second half of the speech, which was entirely dedicated to promulgating the idea that, in Trump’s words, “no one will be safe in Biden’s America.” But again, the vast majority of these attacks were rehash. Taken in total, the speech felt like a mash-up of a State of the Union address and an opposition research dump. And one that you’d seen and heard before.
The speech lacked structure and thematic discipline. The president swerved between topics, some of which felt beneath the occasion, and appeared so drained by the marathon effort that he failed to punch through what should have been the most impactful moments. (“Really needed to be edited down and reorganized. A lot of stuff that could’ve been left on the cutting room floor diluted the powerful parts,” tweeted Scott Jennings, the conservative CNN commentator and Trump supporter.)
This is bad news because without an infusion of new blood Trump’s coalition is narrowing
Trump has imposed a distinctive bet on the GOP. He’s increased its reliance on the people and places least touched by — and most resistant to — the seismic demographic, cultural and economic changes remaking America, while accelerating the party’s retreat in the places, and among the people, that most welcome those changes. Evidence is growing that in November, the GOP could be pushed back further into its strongholds and lose more ground in diverse, growing metropolitan America, even if Trump finds a way to overcome his persistent deficits in national polls to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.As Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder of the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, recently calculated, the GOP coalition today closely resembles the racial and religious profile of people who are 65 or older in the overall US population, while Democrats more closely resemble the profile of those who are younger than 30.“It’s just not a sustainable trajectory,” he says.
Biden keeps gathering support
New people keep joining team Biden!
Several hundred former aides to President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain announced Thursday that they are endorsing Joe Biden for president.
Former chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele is joining the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans working to prevent President Donald Trump’s re-election.“Today is the day where things should matter and you need to take stock of what matters to you — and the kind of leader you want to lead in these moments. And for me, it ain’t him,” Steele, a political analyst for MSNBC said making the announcement to host Nicole Wallace on Monday afternoon.
A coalition of more than 350 faith leaders endorsed Joe Biden for president late Thursday, citing a “need of moral leadership” and “hope for a better future.”
The array of endorsements includes well-known progressive faith leaders such as Nadia Bolz-Weber, a Lutheran minister who founded the LGBTQ-friendly House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, and Robert W. Lee IV, a descendant of the Confederate general, who stepped down as pastor of a North Carolina church in 2017 after publicly supporting Black Lives Matter.
It also includes a number of names who have never politically endorsed before, according to a press release from Faith 2020, which calls the range of names “big tent” and “multi-faith.”
Jim Gaffigan—the wholesome standup comedian known for his clean act that he has purposefully steered away from politics—has finally been forced into dropping some f-bombs by President Donald Trump. In an outpouring on Twitter that lasted for over an hour as Trump delivered his Republican National Committee speech at the White House, Gaffigan offloaded what seemed to be four years of pent-up criticism of the president.
“Look Trumpers I get it,” he wrote. “As a kid I was a Cubs fan and I know you stick by your team no matter what but he’s a traitor and a con man who doesn’t care about you. Deep down you know it. I’m sure you enjoy pissing people off but you know Trump is a liar and a criminal.”
After getting pushback from Trump supporters, Gaffigan wrote: “I don’t give a fuck if anyone thinks this is virtue signaling or whatever. We need to wake up. We need to call trump the con man and thief that he is.” People were shocked, but not necessarily disappointed, by Gaffigan’s outburst. Writer Roxane Gay wrote: “Wow. The president made Jim Gaffigan, the chilliest dude, snap completely.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is poised to endorse nearly two dozen freshmen House Democrats for reelection, triggering a revolt within the right-leaning organization and drawing fierce pushback from the group’s powerful GOP donors.
The decision represents a sharp departure for the traditionally conservative Chamber, which has spent over $100 million backing Republican candidates during the past decade, and it threatens to further complicate the party’s prospects in the November election while driving a split in the business community.
the father of Jacob Blake said Friday that his hour-long conversation earlier this week with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris was akin to “speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters.”“They were so comforting that you almost forgot how the situation was really playing out,” Jacob Blake Sr. told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day,” referring to Biden and Harris. “It was like I was speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters — literally, literally.”“Biden kept telling me his own issues with his family. That he identifies with what I’m going through. I didn’t have to keep telling him. He knew. It felt like he knew,” Blake added. “It felt like they knew what was going on. And they didn’t act like they were in a hurry to go anywhere. They spent time with us. And the tears that came from (Jacob Blake’s) mother in this talk with the Bidens, that was important.”Asked if President Donald Trump has tried to reach out to his family, Jacob Blake Sr. replied: “That’s a negative.”
Our Movement can’t be stopped
This was a huge week for professional athletes to make a real statement on BLM
The Milwaukee Bucks, who were supposed to have a chance Wednesday to clinch their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic, didn’t come out on the court for their 4 pm tip-off. The news soon broke: The Bucks were boycotting the game, believing they should not play given the recent shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Within a matter of hours, the entire Wednesday slate of playoff games had been postponed
Individual athletes have protested out of political conviction before. And some of them have been ostracized; Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the National Anthem and quickly found himself without a job in the NFL. NBA players have more often been on the leading edge of athlete activism, supported by a more progressive league office. But there had still never been anything like Wednesday’s walkout.
The players may not have had a specific list of demands, but Black scholars I spoke with said the very fact of the work stoppage itself was historically significant.
“This is an unprecedented act of collective protest. There is no precedent in sports history,” Hasan Jeffries, a history professor at Ohio State University, told me in an email. “We have reached an inflection point among Black athletes.”
And it is being seen really well! Americans Support NBA Players Strike Following Jacob Blake Shooting By a Staggering 2-to-1 Margin: New Poll
If President Donald Trump is planning to speak out against this week’s NBA players strike to rally the electorate, he might want to reconsider — based on the results of initial polling on the subject.
According to a YouGov survey of 7,425 Americans, support for the NBA players who went on strike to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake is overwhelming. The poll finds that 45 percent of people “strongly support” the players, with another 12 percent saying they “somewhat support them.” Twenty-one percent of those polled “strongly oppose” the job action, while another 7 percent “somewhat oppose.” So overall, support beats out opposition by a more than 2-to-1 margin, 57-28.
The Milwaukee Bucks led the strike on Wednesday, as they did
And the players leveraged this into real change —> N.B.A. arenas will be used as polling stations as part of a plan to get back on the court.
The N.B.A. and its players’ union announced a plan to convert league arenas — provided they are under team ownership control — into polling locations for the November election as part of an agreement to resume the playoffs on Saturday, officials said in a joint statement on Friday.
“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between N.B.A. players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality,” said the statement signed by the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, and Michele Roberts, the executive director of the players’ union.
And NBA players were not alone Mets, Marlins walk off the field after 42-second moment of silence honoring Jackie Robinson
The New York Mets and Miami Marlins took the field as scheduled for their game on Thursday night, but in a symbolic gesture of solidarity, players on both clubs then returned to their dugouts without a pitch being thrown.
The only thing left on the diamond was a Black Lives Matter shirt a grounds crew member had placed over home plate.
The gesture combined a protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and a tribute to Jackie Robinson, the first Black player in the major leagues who wore jersey No. 42.
Major League Baseball will celebrate its annual Jackie Robinson Day on Friday.
The Mets-Marlins game in New York was one of seven MLB games to be postponed, while the other eight games on Thursday’s schedule were played.
If you didn’t see it, it is really worth watching:
Another sign that attitudes are changing:
A private Milwaukee college has canceled plans to have Vice President Mike Pence deliver a commencement address this weekend, citing unrest in nearby Kenosha where police shot a Black man, Jacob Blake, and two people were killed during protests that followed.
Wisconsin Lutheran College said Thursday that “after further review with careful consideration of the escalating events in Kenosha,” it decided to not have Pence deliver the speech.
Our pressure did this:
The CDC director has scaled back the agency's recommendation advising some people not to get tested after exposure to the novel coronavirus, now saying "testing may be considered for all close contacts of confirmed or probable Covid-19 patients." https://t.co/RQsmAo4MQV
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 27, 2020
And I bet it was behind this as well:
Handcuffs restraining Jacob Blake to a hospital bed have been removed, his attorney, Patrick Cafferty, told CNN Friday afternoon.Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. David Wright on Friday explained that Blake was handcuffed to the bed because he “has felony warrants for his arrest from crimes he committed prior to the shooting incident.”Those warrants have been vacated, Cafferty said Friday.
On the lighter side
That is it for today. Before we leave, here are some wise words from Dan Rather:
Yes, this is a fight for democracy. But do not underestimate the strength and power of those who stand in opposition. Time and again, America has withstood threats – external and internal – in its uneven march to a more perfect union. And time and time again, courageous and energetic mass movements have signed up for service to this nation’s higher ideals. This is a moment of testing, to be sure. It is, as I said, chilling. But it cannot be defeated unless it is clearly seen for what it is.Know how to get your vote in, and make sure it is counted. See how you can help others have their voices heard at the ballot box. There is so much to despair about, but despair and demoralization is being weaponized by those who seek to cynically hold on to their power. Instead, try to be inspired by a movement of tens of millions across this nation who are determined that this shall not be the definition of America.
I am so proud and so lucky to be in this with all of you ❤️ ✊ ❤️
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.