Save America

The presidential election is less than four months away. This country has been through so much scandal, investigations, corruption, and incompetence these past three and a half years, it’s beyond a relief that the time we can put an end to this chaotic and lawless administration is merely months away.

And November can’t come soon enough.

I don’t know if the pandemic is making the time go by slower or faster. My days seem to melt together because they’re pretty much the same. Does this make the days feel shorter or longer? Shorter because Wednesday can slip into Thursday or longer because Thursday can still feel like Wednesday? I don’t know, but I’ve been quarantining since mid-March, until about a month ago when I started making weekly trips to grocery stores.

I’m a writer, and luckily I’m able to do that at home, but I used to go to places to write some pages like, my local public library, the Morton Arboretum, coffee houses, and my late-night favorite, IHOP. But these days I’ve been writing at home and I’ve used the quarantine time to finally finish the novel I’ve been working on for the past two years. That feels great.

I’m an introvert at heart, so quarantining probably hasn’t been as hard on me as has been for all the extroverts out there. Aside from writing, I like to cook, read and was always a movie buff.  So add three more activities to the “things to pass the time” list.

As I write about quarantining, the news is swarming about the skyrocket rate of new Coronavirus cases in the U.S and I’m aware not everyone is taking this virus and the need to quarantine seriously. With over 130,000 Americans dead and no sign that U.S cases are going to slow down, please stay home when you can, and if you have to go out, wear a mask.

If we had a decent president in this country, wearing a mask in public wouldn’t be considered political. Under a competent president, wearing a mask in public during a global pandemic would be considered the sensible thing to do. But, sigh, we have neither a decent nor a competent president.

But you can help to change that. If you’re stuck at home, and are neither a writer, nor a reader, nor a movie buff , nor a cook, and you are looking for something to do to help pass the time, I have a suggestion for you – postcarding.

If you want Trump out of office as much as I do, postcarding is a great way to help get people out to vote. There are ten states considered to be swing states that both parties need to win in November. If you have the time, please consider writing postcards to constituents of these states and urge them to get out and vote.

Every vote matters.

You can pick which swing state you want to send your postcard to.  Postcards will be sent to you at no charge, with a pre-written message that you write on each card, but you do have to supply the .35 cent postage.

The ten swing states are, Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Kansas, North Carolina, and Montana.

Click on the link below:

https://postcardstoswingstates.com/

Every single one of us needs to do all we can to get this narcissistic and authoritarian maniac out of the White House.

 

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Get Ready to Vote

It’s hard not to get political these days as 24-hour news channels, with nonstop talking heads, argue for their side of the political spectrum.  So a certain amount of political partisanship is expected over issues like healthcare, the national budget, gay marriage, abortion, and social security. But political partisanship over a highly contagious virus that infects people with no regard to party affiliation sounds counterintuitive to me.

I’ve stopped watching the White House coronavirus briefs because I can only take so much of an insecure narcissistic patting himself on the back for a job well done, as 81,199 Americans have died from COVID-19, and these are just the numbers from people who died in hospitals. There is no count of people who are dying at home from this virus.

Donald Trump has politicized every aspect of this virus. He has blamed lack of testing on Barack Obama, even though COVID-19 wasn’t around when Obama was president. He has blamed the lack of medical stockpile, like masks, ventilators, and PPE on Obama, even though in February of this year, the State Department sent 17.8 tons of medical supplies to China. But even if it were true that Obama left the stockpile bare, why didn’t Trump do anything to replenish it? He’s been president over three years. Seems like that should be sufficient enough time to order ore supplies, I mean, he certainly found time to golf.

Trump has encouraged this country to become even more politically divided over this virus. He has used his Twitter account to agitate his followers. As Democratic governors have issued shelter-in-place orders, Trump tweeted for those states to “liberate” themselves, and people protested with guns, nooses, and Confederate flags.

Just a few days ago, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled the Democratic Governor’s shelter in place order, and within hours bars were packed with patrons crowded close to each other, sans masks or any kind of social distancing.

What could go wrong?

Back in April, Trump estimated the death total by August could be 80,000, and here it is mid-May, and we’ve already surpassed that.

I wonder how differently this pandemic would have been handled if we had a competent President, with an uncorrupted administration, in charge.

But we don’t have that, so all we can do right now is wonder, at least until November. Then we can vote.

 

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Our Idiot President is Dangerous

Other than walks with my dog, today was the first time I left my house in eleven days.  I drove my mother to get a blood test. We pulled up to the facility, and a nurse wearing a mask and gloves came to the car door. After taking my mother’s name, the nurse pricked her finger. She secured the sample, thanked us, and walked away. The whole process took less than five minutes.

I then went to the post office for stamps. There was a sign at the entrance instructing all people to stand at least six feet apart. Only four people stood in the wrap-around line that would normally fit at least twenty people, yet I couldn’t move much past the door. The person in front of me stood at about six feet. No one tried to enter the post office as I stood there, but if they had, they wouldn’t have been able to come in. They would have had to wait outside the door until the line moved up.

These are the times we’re living in. Staying home, drive-thru blood tests, closed bars and restaurants, and six feet of separation are the new normal. But it’s all worth it. People are dying and it appears things are going to get worse. We’re not even at our peak of infections and death, and already the idiot president in charge is talking about opened business and packed churches—in the middle of a fucking pandemic.

Being home twenty-four hours a day, with twenty-four hour news channels of constant Coronavirus coverage, as well as social media, can be overwhelming. I am overloaded with news, and most of it fills me with anxiety. I no longer watch Donald Trump’s news conferences because I’m sick of being lied to.

Here is a president who was briefed on the severity of Coronavirus in January, yet spent two months publicly downplaying the virus’s threat in the States. Trump refused test kits offered by the World Health Organization in January because he didn’t want to know the numbers for fear that they’d hurt his re-election chances. So he spent two months lying to the American people (he’s actually spent his entire presidency lying to the American people) while telling us that the virus was contained and it would all go away in April with the warmer weather and in two weeks we’d be down to zero cases.

The lies continued into March, even as Trump finally decided to take this virus serious. He told us everyone who wanted a test could get a test. That wasn’t true. Then he said there’d be a millions tests available at the end of the week. That wasn’t true either. The next week he said there’d be over four million test kits available. There weren’t. Hospitals were running out of masks. Trump said there were millions available. Yet another lie.

The next three weeks will deliver us more deaths, but Trump’s main concern will be the Stock Market and his re-election.

God help us all.

 

 

 

Here Comes Mueller

Robert Mueller is scheduled to testify in front of Congress this week. I just finished reading the Mueller Report a couple days ago. I started the report July 3, and continued through the 4th of July holiday weekend. As I read about an American presidential campaign having so many contacts with Russians, and Russians trying so hard to infiltrate the US in order to influence an American election, I thought solemnly to myself, Happy Birthday, America.

This is where we’ve come.

The polls show that most Americans haven’t read the report. Hopefully it’s because of lack of time – family, work, school, life – and not for a lack of interest because what’s in this report should concern us all.

According to the report, the Russians’ attack on the U.S through social media to sow discord on our democracy was “sweeping and systematic.” There were hundreds of thousands of fake accounts on Twitter and Facebook of Russians posing as Americans and smearing lies about Hillary Clinton.

I remember those lies. I got nowhere trying to convince a man I know that Hillary Clinton was not heading a child sex ring in a pizzeria in Washington, DC. But he believed the conspiracy theorists that told him there were tunnels trafficking children into the basement of the pizza parlor. Another man believed it too because he showed up with a gun demanding to see those tunnels. Luckily the owner was able to talk the delusional man down until the police came.

But there were more lies. So many lies. Social media was run amok with Russian bots spreading those lies, and Americans didn’t know the difference.

We know from the report that the Trump campaign welcomed the support of the Russians. It should make every American shudder that an American presidential campaign did not notify the FBI once during the hundreds of contacts between the Russians and those in the Trump campaign or associated to the campaign.

In 2000,  George W Bush’s debate prep book was stolen, and Al Gore received the book while he was preparing for a presidential debate with Bush. Gore and his team immediately turned the stolen materials over to the FBI. Yet not one peep from the Trump team to the FBI about the Russian interference. That should infuriate every person who calls themselves an American.

The report found collusion with Russia, but Mueller couldn’t determine conspiracy, mostly because those questioned had lied, or had communicated with each other through apps where texts disappeared, or they simply destroyed evidence.

I hope Mueller is very clear about this part because Donald Trump has falsely claimed too many times that there was no collusion.  I hope Mueller is blunt about every pointed question he is asked, especially those questions about obstruction. Trump obstructed justice on multiple occasions.

I laughed out loud as I read a part of the report where Donald Trump tried to get then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself from the Russia investigation and order the FBI to limit their scope to include only future elections. This made me laugh because I remembered as a child when I did something bad and got caught and knew I was going to be punished, I’d yell “Starting now! Okay? Starting now! You can punish me starting now.” I wanted a do over. I wanted my bad behavior from just minutes ago to be forgotten and only my future behavior be judged for punishment.

Donald Trump wanted a do-over too. It’s funny when children try to get away with bad behavior, but when it’s the President of America it’s abhorrent.

America deserves better.

 

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

 

Save America, Vote

So much is at stake this November and this country can’t afford to have over a hundred million people sit another election out.

Our healthcare is on the ballot.

Corruption is on the ballot.

Freedom of the Press is on the ballot.

The survival of our land, air, and water are on the ballot.

Women’s rights are on the ballot.

Gay rights are on the ballot.

Consumer protections against predatory banks and lenders are on the ballot.

Human rights are on the ballot.

Education is on the ballot.

Labor rights are on the ballot.

Save our country. Register to vote. Already registered? Go to vote.org and make sure you haven’t been purged because Republicans are doing all they can to suppress our votes. Vote Democratic and stop the corruption. Republicans are doing nothing to stop Trump from his authoritarian ways. Keep democracy alive and vote to turn Congress blue this November and finally put a check on Trump’s overreach of power.

 

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Election 2016 – Let’s Make Herstory

 

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So this is the day the past year has been leading me to. From the moment I watched the first (out of way too many) Republican primary debate, to the Hillary and Bernie showdown, through Hillary’s emails and every racist, misogynist, xenophobic, and otherwise completely insane statements that spewed from Trump’s mouth. Through all of that, here we are.

Call it Judgement Day.

Call it the Day of Reckoning.

In America, we call it Election Day.

And thank God it’s almost over because my jeans can’t take anymore of the anxiety-fueled binge-eating episodes triggered by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency.  For a while, I was cool about the election, thinking no way could Trump ever win, but then the numbers coming in suggesting a close race. And it’s hard to keep one’s sanity when a man who puts down a former POW for getting caught, stereotypes an entire ethnic group as rapists, brags about sexually assaulting women, fights with a Gold Star family while he had been granted five deferments during the Vietnam War, promises to implement a ban on Muslims, if elected, and mocks a disabled reporter, is in a close race for the US Presidency.

The first of U.S voting centers will be closing in approximately less than four hours. The early polls solidly show Hillary Clinton has the lead, as well as more paths to the needed 270 electoral votes needed to win than her opposition does. I’m anxious to hear the results, as most Americans probably are, but I’m not binge-eating today. I am confident, but not cocky, that my candidate, Hillary Clinton, will be voted as the first woman U.S President.

I live in a divided house. The sooner this election is over, the better.  But the hope that the end results of this crazy election will bring a peaceful transition to this country, with Donald Trump gracefully conceding the race(if he should lose), is a long-shot.

I’m going to do some yoga, with a concentration on deep breathing, before I plant myself in front of my TV to watch the coverage of the intense election. Hopefully, Hillary Clinton gets an early victory because I can’t take much more of this anticipation.

 

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Photos courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

 

This Election is Different

I drove to the ballot boxes yesterday to cast my early vote. My mother beside me. Her for Trump, me reciting out loud the words “Madame President.” The car ride lasted about ten minutes, with each of us making our last arguments. Neither did it to try to change the mind of the other, we’ve both come too far for that.  Rather, I suppose, just to get under the other’s skin a bit. A little heckling before the big game.

I know that’s the reason I ran my mouth, because ever since I was a little girl, nothing amused me more than to aggravate my mother enough to get her to drop the F-bomb. And she did.

Mission accomplished.

Flashback four years ago. My mother and I were having a very different kind of car ride. We were driving to one of my niece’s softball games. The election between President Obama and Mitt Romney was fast approaching. My mother is mostly conservative. She had spent most of that campaign talking up Romney and regurgitating every email and posts her like-minded Republican friends shared on Facebook.

If you recall, it was that election when the president came out in support of gay marriage. I’m gay. My mother knows this.

So four years ago, I was driving with my mother when she turned to me and said, “I want you to have equal rights. I want the law to protect you as much as it protects me. So, for you, I’m voting for Obama…but don’t tell anyone.”

And with that I almost drove the car into someone’s front lawn.

It was wonderful to have had my mother’s support. I know I still do today, just not in her vote because this is a different election.

Way different.

I can’t say for sure that if Trump’s campaign promised to not only take away all gay rights, but to chop off the feet of every gay person in the process, just because, would be enough for my mother to select the X beside Hillary Clinton’s name.

“Rights are over-rated,” she’d say. “And they do such wonders with prosthetics these days. You’ll be fine.”

Not to mention that the Vice President candidate on Trump’s ticket, Mike Pence, signed a bill last year as Governor of Indiana that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay people based on “religious” convictions.

“It’s a nice day out,” my mother would say. “It won’t hurt you to eat in the car.”

Yep. This election is way different.

It’s uglier. And talks of election day violence should Hillary win (which seems likely) brings out the worst of this country.

The world is watching.

Vote this election. But vote in peace.

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net