24 days to go (October 10)
REPUBLICAN. The party of systemic racism.
HELPING THE HOMELESS. There was a study done in Vancouver, BC, Canada, to see what happens if you give homeless people some cash. The results defied conventional “wisdom”. Many found permanent housing faster (12 months on average) than a control group that received no money. Learn more here.
WHY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE HANGS AROUND. Some like it, some hate it, some are indifferent to it. Whatever their reasoning, some change their minds depending on the outcome of a particular election. Learn why it is so difficult to change here.
BIDEN’S FIRST DIPLOMATIC FIGHT. It is likely to be at home and not necessarily with the republicans. Learn more here.
JUDGE ORDERS REMOTE BALLOT DROP SITES OPEN. This is much to the dismay of the republican governor, but hailed by the voters. Learn more here. And, in a courtroom ping pong game, another judge has permitted the governor’s restriction to remain in place for the time being. Learn more here.
POMPEO WORKING TO RELEASE CLINTON’S STATE DEPT. EMAILS. It seems trump doesn’t care that it would be releasing classified information exiting in the tens of thousands of emails. Nor are they looking into the tens of millions of email Bush43 and Cheney deleted off servers at republican HQ in DC where it was illegal to have them and gave republicans inside information for their campaigns. Learn more here.
REPUBLICANS DISS DON. Finally! Some are beginning to distance themselves from trump, but their wording is careful and mild. Learn more here.
NIXON AND THE ELECTION. Nixon once tried to overturn and election. Learn more here and see how it relates to today.
VOTER INTIMIDATION. It happened in New Jersey in 1981. Now, trump wants to do it nationwide. Learn more here. If you see voter intimidation occurring, try to get a video of it, but do nothing to endanger yourself. Instead, call the police, the registrar’s office, and Bill Fuller as quickly as possible.
In Virginia, any legitimate poll watcher must have papers identifying them as a legitimate poll watcher and the law limits how many from any party in each precinct. They are inside the polls and cannot interface with any of the staff except the Head Officer. In fact, they can do little more than watch and stay away from people and equipment. They can insist on being able to hear the voter’s name and address when the voter checks in.
Anyone outside the polls is not acting as a poll watcher, and these are the ones to watch for voter intimidation. In the city and county combined, only one place, Victory Church (Rolling Hills) permits firearms of any type on the property. Even there, the Head Officer can insist a person with firearms leave if it looks like voters are intimidated. Law enforcement is exempted everywhere, but can also be construed as intimidating voters.
23 days to go (October 11)
WEED CANDIDATES. New political parties are forming to champion marijuana legalization, but beware. It seems some of the candidates are just spoiler candidates. Learn more here.
BAD MANAGER. A good manager treats the workers well. A bad manager … well…. It seems trump asked all his appointees to submit their resignations so he can easily pick and chose who he wants to take into his next term, should he get one. Learn more here.
4 WORDS CAN SAVE AMERICA. That’s what you will find in this opinion piece and why it is important to use them.
BLACKLISTING. The social platform Yelp is developing a blacklist of companies that have a history of discriminating. Learn more here.
A LEADER. Enjoy this article about a progressive leader who has admirers and detractors around the world.
PROBLEMS WITH HERD IMMUNITY. A data scientist tells us the dangers of herd immunity in this video.
ZOOMERS TO THE RESCUE? Looks that way. As Gen Z comes to the polls, we see them more progressive and responsive to Democratic ideals. However, many will be active republicans. Can they change that party for the better? Learn more here.
BREAKING LAW. It looks like Minnesota republican US Rep Jim Hagedorn may be guilty of violating campaign finance laws. Are we surprised? Learn more here.
WARNING TO VOTERS AND MEDIA. Thomas Friedman has a warning about this election that is well worth the read. Do it here.
22 days to go (October 12)
WHY TENS OF THOUSANDS VOLUNTEER TO BE COVID EXPOSED. They aren’t crazy and each has their own reason. Read here to learn more.
NO-DOG PRESIDENT. It is true that trump is the first president in a century not to have a dog in the White House, per this article. Some people say a dog is man’s best friend, but trump made sure he has no friends of any species.
ARMY COVID. The world’s oldest standing military unit, the Swiss Guard, now has at least four COVID infections in its ranks, per this article. Four is a lot considering there are only roughly 135 in the Guard.
21 days to go (October 13)
POLITICAL SECRET. Amy Klobuchar delivers a good one in this video.
4-STAR ENDORSEMENT. A retired 4-star General living in The Plains who is a long-time republican and has never before endorsed a candidate decided to endorse Biden. You can learn why here.
VIRGINIA KIDNAPPING AVERTED. During the Michigan court hearing of those charged to kidnap Michigan’s governor, an FBI agent revealed the paramilitary group wanted to kidnap Virginia’s governor, too. They weren’t the only potential victims. Learn more here.
“UNINHABITAL HELL”. That is what the UN says Earth will be like for millions of people unless leaders take climate control actions quickly. Learn more here.
FIGHTS FOR MINORITY RIGHTS. That is what Joe Biden does and will do as president. In this report, he addresses his support for the LGBTQ+ community.
SHE SHOOTS A WOMAN, THEN SPEAKS AT REPUBLICAN CONVENTION. Goes to show the depths the republicans can sink. Lear more here.
CABLE CUT, VA ONLINE REGISTRATION HALTED. A roadside utilities contractor accidentally cut the fiber cable that feeds the Virginia voting office, among others. The result is that online registration ceased until repairs were made. A federal judge granted a brief extension of the registration deadline. Read about it here.
20 days to go (October 14)
DARK MONEY BEHIND COURT APPOINTMENTS. What this PBS video in which Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) shows it looks like there is a pattern of conservative special interest groups using “dark money” to influence who sits on the court. It is, of course, rather damning to republicans, but they don’t care.
15 RACES THAT WILL DECIDE THE SENATE MAJORITY. You will find a discussion of each here.
VOTING DRESS CODE. Yes, there is one, per this interesting article. Basically, it is advisable to avoid wearing clothing that supports a candidate or a candidate’s position.
3 FUNNY FEELINGS ABOUT 2020. Yard signs, turnout, and political divorce are the topics discussed in this article.
19 days to go (October 15)
THE BABY DIDN’T GET HIS WAY. No coronavirus vaccine ready to deliver just before the election, a damning trove of Justice Department findings, and lack of a new stimulus package kills trump’s hopes of any October Surprise. Learn more here.
DELAY TACTICS. In an attempt to indefinitely delay Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Democrats argue they have had inadequate time to review her nomination and that her paperwork was incomplete. Read more here.
WEARY WORLD RELIEF. With all the trouble we face, we need something to brighten up the day every once in a while. What could be better than this video of a sheep on a trampoline? Maybe this video of multiple sheep on and under a trampoline?
18 days to go (October 16)
GOP FORGING ALLIANCE WITH QANON. It seems to be the new republican base, one of conspiracy “theories”, accusations, and lies. Learn more here. They’ve completely gone over to the dark side.
FLORIDA REMOVING FELONS FROM VOTER ROLLS. So long as they have outstanding court debts, they are not being permitted to vote. Of course, this hits minorities the most and is suppressing likely votes for Democrats. Learn more here.
PAC ILLEGALLY COORDINATED WITH 2016 CAMPAIGN. I don’t have to tell you that it was trump’scampaign. Here is information about the Watchdog.Org accusation.
Where is a Reasonable, Responsible, Conservative Party?
by Member Charles Uphaus
What this country needs in addition to a good five-cent cigar is a reasonable, responsible, conservative party. And, friends, the Trumpublican party ain’t it.
I don’t know how one might define conservatism these days, but in the recent past it has certainly never included coddling foreign dictators and authoritarian leaders (Putin, Kim, MBS, Erdogan, Modi, Bolsinaro, Duterte), trashing alliances, ignoring human rights violations all around the globe, restricting trade and immigration, unprecedented deficit spending (and this before the coronavirus relief packages), tearing young children away from parents, praising white supremacists and antisemites (“very fine people”), vilifying journalists (“enemies of the people”), rejecting scientific facts or embracing quackery. That’s why so many stalwart conservative politicians, public servants and commentators — among them former governors John Kasich and Christine Todd Whitman, sitting governor Charlie Baker, former senator Jeff Flake, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, commentators George Will, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Gerson — have abandoned the GOP and thrown their support to the Biden/Harris ticket. No one ever accused these people of being flaming liberals. Rather, what they are is responsible, patriotic, conservative citizens who put the interests of the country ahead of faction or sect.
The GOP declined to propose a party platform this past summer and simply declared total fealty to Donald Trump, wherever he may take them. (I could, at this point, note the similarity to the actions of parties in certain European countries in the first half of the last century. But I will refrain.) There was a time not too long ago when the Republican party was the one with the ideas. (Some of them were terrible ideas, to be sure, but at least the party was looking forward, not backward to some utterly fictitious golden age.) But that was then. The fact that now the party can no longer come up with a platform is clear indication that it is brain dead. It’s time to pull the plug. And the way to do that is make sure that it is repudiated, from the bottom of the ticket to the top. Only then will a rejuvenated conservative party be able to emerge from the ashes.
VALLEY HEALTH/ ANTHEM DISPUTE HIGHLIGHTS
NEED TO VOTE DEMOCRATIC by Member Warren Golightly
Failure of contract negotiations between Valley Health and Anthem highlight the need for the local community to vote a straight Democratic ticket. The Star reported September 30 that the Winchester City Council and the Clark County Board of Supervisors adopted a letter and Resolution encouraging these entities to reach a deal. The all Republican Frederick County Board of Supervisors is conspicuously absent from the article.
The Republican candidate for Shawnee District repeatedly emphasizes that he is 100% supportive of Republican office holders. Virginia Republicans for years denied low income wage earners access to healthcare refusing to expand medicaid, negatively impacting 400,000 essential workers. When Republicans held both houses of Congress they failed an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They had no alternative plan of their own.
The current Republican administration (which the local Shawnee candidate admires) has shown little concern for public health outcomes. Treating a worldwide pandemic in cavalier fashion this administration ignored its own Center for Disease Control guidelines. By downplaying the severity of the community health hazard, refusing to wear masks or socially distance, and encouraging large crowds, even at indoor gatherings; the White House, itself, has become a dangerous place to be.
The Justice Department, abandoning a tradition of independence, supports lawsuits to cripple or overturn the ACA. The courts are packed by judges chosen because of their opposition to the ACA. A Supreme Court nominee is being rushed through Senate confirmation days before an election violating a precedent established by the very same Senate leadership. Their hope is the new justice will be seated on the Supreme Court in time to rule on a pending case to invalidate the ACA.
The Republicans have exhibited a policy pattern of hostility toward community health care. They denigrate public health professionals, public health institutions (The World Health Organization) and medical science, itself.
This Shawnee BOS candidate is strong on ideological rhetoric and Republican talking points. However his issues are outside the purview of the BOS. Excepting empty symbolic gestures there is absolute nothing the Frederick County BOS can do about abortion, the 2nd Amendment, “Marxist led rioters” in our cities, and so forth. The Democratic candidate for Shawnee focuses on practical issues that can actually be accomplished by the BOS. One action the Board could do is protect the health coverage of Frederick County employees and teachers. Apparently it could not be bothered to write a letter and Resolution to the officials at Valley Health and Anthem.
If you are a local voter and you are concerned about the Valley Health /Anthem breakdown of negotiations because of the negative impact on your health care, you should vote a straight ticket for the only party that cares about community public health. Vote Democratic!
WFCDC Member Robin Young suggests that…
As much as we would all like to collapse and rest up after Nov 3, this article makes it clear that grass roots campaigns that the election was fair and the result valid may be needed in the aftermath to argue that voters aren’t crooks, that the Registrar’s office had procedures, and that the victor must be sworn in. That the armed militias are unwelcome.
It’s an added burden, but perhaps a small bit of advanced planning ought to be activated. The Star constraints will be lifted on political letters, and we should consider being prepared to drop a lot of letters in support of the head of the ticket and anyone else. Maybe we should tell our people to leave their signs up til inauguration day? No other ideas at the moment but do read this.
CNN has been running specials on old elections and the one on the Gore Bush race was chilling and sad. The national democratic team led by Warren Christopher went in focused on a recount. The GOP team, Jim Baker I think? Went in thinking Supreme Court fight, get the issue out of Florida asap so it’s not bogged down. They prevailed. It was strategy. As this article explains, the Dems aren’t making that mistake again. They are lawyered up big time around the nation.
A footnote. VA will be at about 7 million registered voters, and think of how much hoopla both Michigan and PA get with only 1 million more, at 8 million each. We are not small change, in any way. Stay strong everyone. Robin