Sorry I abandoned you on the live feeds today. It’s been a weird day.
Sorry I abandoned you on the live feeds today. It’s been a weird day.
Did what amounts to a symbolic bit of electioneering today–a lit drop in Salem, NH. I haven’t been nearly as active-on-the-streets as I usually am, for a variety of reasons; it’s been money and a bit of post-carding for me.
So this was my first real on-the-ground experience outside the Brookline, MA bubble–which really is a bubble. Our politics basically runs from tote-bag liberal to unreconstructed lefty, and that’s fine by me. (Like a lot of town-governed-towns, actual local politics is run by a small, deeply embedded cabal and it’s just as tricky as you might imagine, but that’s for a different post.)
New Hampshire, though it’s been pretty blue for a while now still has plenty of the Hamshirtucky that made it a rock-ribbed/crazy right wing state for a long time. So when we showed up at the local HQ in Salem NH, we were met by a wall of Trump signs and some very loud MAGATs, using a bullhorn to taunt Democrats for all kinds of things.
One of the weirder moments in that monologue, by the way, was a sudden diversion into California mandating all-electric cars by 2035, as the highly informed and judicious asshole with the bullhorn complained about the quality of CA’s current grid. He then asserted CA is a shithole of state, and as a scion of the place, I wondered what it was that so upset him: the weather? The food? The quality of higher ed in the state? Etc. Take it from me folks: New Hamster has its virtues–but it’s not going to win most competitions with the Golden State.
But I digress.
What struck me was the purity of the demonstration: this was simply an expression of assholery. This guy, at least, had some stamina, and he was a blessedly silent performer:
He was doing his Trump dance for at least three hours that I could check, so give the man some points for persistence.
But this captures the tone of what was being bullhorn across the street:
The good news is that all this involved a fair amount of local resources: ten or dozen people (none masked, of course), lots of signs, lots of energy. The D’s had three or four folks at the HQ–and all the volunteers (and there were a bunch) were out canvassing and dropping literature. The Trumpanzees went for what really amounts to political masturbation.
So yeah, it was uncomfortable, and it was intended to be so: these scumbags wanted to make some other folks lives miserable, and between the horns (some truckers driving big rigs really enjoyed leaning on theirs) and the blather, they did a pretty good job.
Except for the fact that the Democratic GOTV effort was completely undisturbed.
But besides being forced to come to some conclusions about how these losers were raised, it was a reminder that these are not people with whom one can respectfully disagree. From the top down, they are performative jerks–on their best days.
Oh–and they cheat all the time, large and small. One more photo (ETA: actually loaded the photo this time):
What you’re seeing is a Trump flyer, placed in a mailbox. As everyone here likely knows (at least everyone who has canvassed in the last many decades) that’s a big no-no. Just last night in our volunteer training Zoom, they told us at least three times that it is a federal crime to do that. We saw Trump leaflets in each of the open mailboxes we passed.
Admittedly, when the tally of Trump-era crimes are totted up, this won’t rank high. But to me that’s what’s telling: there is simply no rule, no matter how minor, that they won’t break.
Fuck ’em. Let’s roll their sorry asses through Tuesday. Even my cup of coffee agrees:
It is open for anything.
Image: Jan Pietersz. Saenredam, The Fool, between 1590 and 1600.
Think about where we were the day after 2016, and what has happened since.
I listened to Pod Save America last night, and it was inspiring.
Are they worried? Sure. But they are also hopeful, and they are experiencing the same hope one minute, anxiety and worry the next minute swings that we are.
They talked about what has them hopeful, and I want to share what they said, because I think it’s important.
There could be a big surge of voters for Trump on election day, but a vote banked is a vote banked. Florida is at 72 or 75% of their total votes for 2016. Of those votes, a quarter of them are people who didn’t vote in Florida in 2016. Data nerds have been able to figure out that Biden has a 9 point advantage among those people, so Dems are voting early. Among new voters there are suggestions that Dems are dong well there. All of it could change, but it is hopeful.
We do not know what’s gonna happen. Donald Trump could still win this election. But if you think about where we were the day after the election in 2016, and what has happened since… It didn’t have to be this way.
There was an alternative scenario where people just checked out and said fuck this, if politics is this broken that this guy can be elected with fewer votes, then I’m out.
The exact opposite thing happened.
We have had the incredible privilege to see people become engaged like never before. It started with the women’s march and the amount of activism, with so many people putting so much on the line and giving so much of themselves to try to take this country back, to try to fix what happened in 2016. It’s very inspiring and it’s very hopeful in the long run.
And the fact that people kept doing it. This is not a time when people have extra money or extra energy, and people are struggling in this pandemic, and they are still working their assess off.
I was thinking about what we were worried about in the beginning, in the early days of 2017, and we had a lot of conversation about whether our institutions would hold up, and the jury is still out on that.
And we had a lot of conversations about what Trump could do and a lot of fear that we would have a crisis, and the crisis that we feared, happened, and it cost us dearly.
At the same time we had the women’s march and the protest against the muslim ban, there was this fear that this coalition would be exhausted and that the kind of powerlessness and disenfranchisement that comes in facing an improv authoritarian like Trump would exhaust people.
Worried that maybe by the time we got to 2018 or 2020 that people would have given up or run out of steam. Or the stakes and the fear and the anxiety and just disagreement would create a rift that would drive inside of the democratic coalition. That happens when you face an authoritarian. That happens when you face right-wing nationalists.
We head into this election with an incredibly united coalition that runs all the way from the right of our party to AOC and Bernie and the Lincoln Project. And everyone has behaved. It’s an extraordinary thing. We will decide what we think of the Lincoln Project come Wednesday. It’s a messy coalition, but in the background everyone is aware that Donald Trump is the real threat.
What our party has done is extraordinary. That’s an extraordinary moment in history. That’s never happened before. We never faced a threat like this before, and we never responded like this before. So a lot of the uncertainty comes from that. But I think we should be incredibly hopeful about what we built and what we did together. Because it didn’t have to go this way.
Listen to the podcast. They started talking about this stuff around the 53 minute mark.
Who let all these people into my basement? pic.twitter.com/E17SPqmXib
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 31, 2020
Massachusetts set a record for ‘snowiest October’ in one burst Thursday — we got almost six inches! — but it’s gloriously sunny, if still cold, today. In northern European traditions, this is the time of year when the calendar turned over; everyone faced the long summer days and harvest bounty circling down into months of darkness, chill, and short rations. That’s what the Halloween / Day of the Dead feasts are about: making peace with the past, and with your community, before everyone was locked down and absolutely dependent on each other to survive. Which, some years more than others, just might require the intervention of every saint on the calendar!
"Democrats are far more likely to win Senate control if Joe Biden wins the presidency, and climbing coronavirus cases could make an impact in the closing days of the campaign," @ForecasterEnten writes. | Analysis https://t.co/u8ajqSziOQ
— CNN (@CNN) October 30, 2020
During a campaign stop in Minnesota, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said President Trump ‘has simply given up’ on the pandemic, and criticized him for falsely accusing doctors of profiting from COVID-19 deaths https://t.co/2J1mEeMK0c pic.twitter.com/mtMYJg6FCa
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 31, 2020
This storm will pass, and a new day will come. pic.twitter.com/PewrMRuRXx
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 30, 2020
It’s time to get your pet photos in for this year’s calendar, if you haven’t already!
You know you won’t be able to focus on much after Monday, right? Let’s get ’em in.
Calendar lists #1, #2, and #3 in the sidebar have been updated.
We’re having two calendars this year so each pet photo gets more space.
Cost is $25 per calendar, but if you buy Calendar A and Calendar B together, it’s only $45 for the set.
Calendars will be available for order on Dec 1.
I’ll be around if anyone has questions.
Plus we’re offering 12 months of wallpaper this year – for phones, tablets and computers.
Something on the order of this, only with BJ pet photos instead of yarn.
Does $10 seem like a fair price for that?
That’s about how much we make off each calendars for the pet charity.
*** Re-posting this from yesterday so more people see it and because I am too lazy to write a new post ***
Hello all- as you know we decided to change animal charities from the delightful people at MARC to a new one, solely because MARC is so well established that they simply don’t need us anymore. They’re still great! There is nothing wrong with them that is causing this move. I love them 100%! But, much like fostering animals, who move along when they no longer need your help, so it is with us and our animal charities. It’s the bittersweet price of success. So if you have a recurring donation with MARC and want to keep it going, I say hell yes, they are great. But for us as a group, it is time to move on.
We asked you all a while back to help us find a new charity, and there were a lot of suggestions, but many of them just had massive operating budgets already, and what I really wanted was some place that was a shoestring operation, had a lot of heart and big ambition, was already getting a lot done with next to nothing, and who would FLOURISH with our meager annual cash injection. And so it is with WMAW.
WMAW is based in Colorado, in what was described to me as a region that is basically “poverty with a view,” and man did that strike home because it is basically the same story as around here in my parts and where our previous charities have been focused in Tennessee. They are in the 2nd poorest county in Colorado, right next to the poorest county, and man do they have their hands full. Their website is here, and I hope you all take some time and check them out. They have some big plans, and hopefully we can help them on their way and one day get them a physical space.
At any rate, that is our new charity. Our second runner up was Satby’s suggestion, the Spay Neuter Assistance Program of Michigan, but their annual budget was just too large to fit the criteria we were looking for. However, because of covid, they are low on funds this year, and are currently running a little fundraiser ($2500), so if you would like to chip in and help them out, it would be appreciated, I am sure.
Thanks for everyone who offered suggestions, and thanks to Watergirl for the legwork on the finances of different outlets.
Fun to think about how we learned today that Trump and Barr did with Turkey the exact thing Trump and his fans are falsely claiming Joe Biden should be in prison for doing, and it’s just another wild story of Trump doing crimes that won’t break through https://t.co/rGtKeMLqIo
— 😱 Endless Zoom Meeting 😱 (@AdamSerwer) October 30, 2020
The iron rule of Repub propaganda is that it’s always projection, but this particular saga is particularly ripe…
This story is one huge five alarm Trump corruption scandal with individual acts of corruption by Barr, Whitaker, and Mnuchin. https://t.co/zxayB4d1Or
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) October 29, 2020
Committing actual journalism at the NYTimes — “Turkish Bank Case Showed Erdogan’s Influence With Trump”:
The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Mr. Berman had traveled to Washington in June 2019 to discuss a particularly delicate case with Attorney General William P. Barr and some of his top aides: a criminal investigation into Halkbank, a state-owned Turkish bank suspected of violating U.S. sanctions law by funneling billions of dollars of gold and cash to Iran.
For months, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey had been pressing President Trump to quash the investigation, which threatened not only the bank but potentially members of Mr. Erdogan’s family and political party. When Mr. Berman sat down with Mr. Barr, he was stunned to be presented with a settlement proposal that would give Mr. Erdogan a key concession.
Mr. Barr pressed Mr. Berman to allow the bank to avoid an indictment by paying a fine and acknowledging some wrongdoing. In addition, the Justice Department would agree to end investigations and criminal cases involving Turkish and bank officials who were allied with Mr. Erdogan and suspected of participating in the sanctions-busting scheme.
Mr. Berman didn’t buy it.
The bank had the right to try to negotiate a settlement. But his prosecutors were still investigating key individuals, including some with ties to Mr. Erdogan, and believed the scheme had helped finance Iran’s nuclear weapons program…
Let’s not argue about ‘oo bribed ‘oo!…