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I don’t know why I was hopeful last night.

There were no upsets or surprises. Republicans were leading in the polls in every race they won, and they had been leading the entire campaign.

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I don’t have anything positive or reasonable to say about the election because I’m not a journalist — so I don’t have to be objective — and I’m not an optimist — so I don’t have to put a happy face on anything.

I let myself hope yesterday and that’s so not in my character. I don’t even know where it came from! I was actually LESS hopeful during the 2016 election, and when Trump won, I was largely unaffected. I assumed Clinton would win, because all y’all’s polls kept telling me so, but when she didn’t, I said “whelp, that’s just White America being the White America I always knew they were” and I left it at that. I went about my Wednesday after the election like nothing ever happened.

I don’t know where this hope came from last night!

There were no upsets or surprises. Republicans were leading in the polls in every race they won, and they had been leading the entire campaign. At no point did Gillum, O’Rourke, or Abrams have a lead over their Republican competition. At no point did the Senate map look favorable for a Democratic takeover in any way whatsoever.

So I don’t know where this hope came from!

Still, I am absolutely crushed. Even though the election played out exactly the way it was going to from the start, I actually let myself hope for a surprise victory, a referendum on hate and bigotry and Trump that would prove to me that this idea of a better America was attainable. I’m tired of seeing them win, even though I thought I’d grown out of this infantile notion that Good Triumphs Over Evil or the vague universal notion of karma. You don’t reap what you sow, not in the way we’d like to believe. You plant seeds, and either they grow or they don’t, and it has nothing to do with how “good” you are, only how good you are at watering the seeds.

The United States is founded on bad seeds and there is more than enough water for each and every one of them. I wanted a surprise victory the way they got their surprise victory in 2016, but we haven’t planted enough of those seeds to counterbalance the harvest of hate the GOP is currently reaping.

I can’t speak for everyone in my age bracket, but for me, I knew logically that this wasn’t a great country for most of my life. I could see it in the statistics, in the rhetoric, in the “democratic” process, but I became an adult during the Obama administration. I got to vote for a Black man with a Muslim name TWICE and he won TWICE on a platform of hope. I was wearing these rose-colored glasses for my entree into political engagement. 2016 took them off and 2018 stepped on them. I grew up a queer Black atheist in the rural South, so at no point in my life did I ever feel like this country was for me or that I was welcome here. I always felt like I was barely clinging to the American ladder, holding on to one of those lower rungs by my fingertips, but under Obama, I felt like I had a whole palm on it! It was like I too could feel proud to be an American. I didn’t have to be a Straight White Christian to feel comfortable in the US because this Black man with big ears and a Muslim name was the PRESIDENT!! and he got elected twice. Now I’m back to my fingertips, growing out my nails for extra traction so I don’t slip off completely.

We picked up the House seats we knew we would, and we lost the Senate and governors’ races we knew we would, but I wanted America to surprise me. I wanted to know that blatant lies and racism and bigotry and misogyny and VIOLENCE! were all so abhorrent, that people would be so enraged at what’s happening in the country, they’d overcome the voter suppression and misinformation to send a firm message to the Republican party that we refuse to accept this as the new norm. But Conservatives still outvoted us. They said “we like where the country is going” and I don’t know how to process that right now because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I can’t physically drag people to the polls. If what they’re seeing isn’t enough to get them off the couch, I don’t know what I’m supposed to DO to convince them that the only way to correct course is an enormously massive and unprecedented turnout so we can fix the easy problems immediately and set to work on the big ones. We need to redraw voting districts fairly and a federal voting holiday and automatic registration when you turn 18 and paper printouts of voting confirmation so people have faith in their vote. These are things we can fix immediately if we take control and wield that power the way Republicans have.

But that’s in the future. Today, right now, in this moment, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do in order to feel good about this country or what I’m supposed to say to myself to feel like we have any hope in 2020.

Now that you’ve gotten this far, go read some balanced reporting about how difficult it is to flip the House when the economy is strong (we did that), about the number of women joining Congress, about Ohio and Michigan and what those races say about Trump’s (possibly diminishing) strength in the Midwest, about felons in Florida getting the right the vote, about subpoenas and investigations into this administration, about potential prospects for 2020 now that the race has basically kicked off, about energized young people all over the country ready to buckle down and do even better next time.  Go read all those things because giving up is obviously not an option.

(If you wanna take a couple of weeks off that’s fine though. I’ma finally bust through some of this Netflix queue I’ve stacked up.)

 

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Politics

Trump sues the Internet, because he needs money.

He’s filing a suit he can’t win so his cult will give him more cash.

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Donald Trump sued Twitter, Facebook, and Google yesterday because he misses being able to shit in America’s face whenever the mood strikes, and because he needs money.

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he will lead a lawsuit over alleged censorship against Twitter, Facebook and Google – three tech companies that removed him from their platforms after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters.

The lawsuit will be a class-action, with Trump as the lead plaintiff, claiming that he’s been censored by the companies. He spoke about the legal action from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“I stand before you this morning to announce a very important… development for our freedom and freedom of speech,” Trump said. “In conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing, as the lead class-action representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their CEOs.”

(cont. Fox News)

Fox News is reporting this story to its viewers and readers the way it reports everything else: with half of the truth and a Conservative tilt that builds a false reality in the minds of its consumers. Trump is indeed filing suit and he does indeed feel that his First Amendment rights have been infringed upon, but if Fox News would just say plainly that these suits have zero chance of success, people would be less likely to send Trump money, which is all that orange bastard wants in the first place.

Donald Trump’s entire fundraising strategy is to present himself as a champion of white Conservatives who feel they’ve been silenced. They feel like he’s the only one who’s fighting for them, so they send him — a supposed billionaire in their eyes — money to fight liberals, to fight Democrats, to fight the legal establishment, to fight media elites. Fine, if you want to throw away your money so your champion has enough cash to fight the good fight, that’s your right.

Where’s the good fight though? These are lawsuits for show. They won’t be pursued because they have no chance of winning and Trump hates to lose. From a legal precedent, we just had a ruling on this exact same situation less than two weeks ago, and it was in Florida where Trump filed his lawsuit.

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a Florida law that would penalize social media companies for blocking a politician’s posts, a blow to conservatives’ efforts to respond to Facebook and other websites’ suspension of former president Donald Trump. The law was due to go into effect Thursday, but in issuing a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida suggested that the law would be found unconstitutional.

(cont. WaPo)

Speaking of Florida, you can’t sue Facebook or Twitter from Florida. You have to sue them in California. I’m not a legal scholar and I don’t know why that is. I would suspect that a company would choose to set up shop in a state whose legal system was more likely to side with the company should an issue arise. If I’m a gun manufacturer, I’d rather be sued in Texas than in New York because my Texas judges will probably see it my way. Whatever the reasons, we all agree to file suit against Facebook and Twitter in California. When you sign up to use the platform, it says in the Terms of Service that any dispute you have must be filed in California.

It’s a done deal. Case closed, before it’s even open. Courts almost always uphold Terms of Service agreements unless there’s something egregiously illegal or unconstitutional in them, and specifying a jurisdiction in which to file a lawsuit is so commonplace, there’s no court that would even look twice at this filing from Florida. The Terms of Service agreement isn’t suddenly rendered invalid because you don’t like what you agreed to or you didn’t read it. It’s a legally binding contract that you agreed to, and if Trump wanted us to believe even for a second that he would pursue this lawsuit seriously, he would’ve at least bothered to file it in California. It’s so clearly Trump’s latest grift to wring money out of his cult, a way to keep his name trending, and another virtue-signaling tactic to his brainwashed followers that says, “hey…I’m still fighting for you guys.”

But he’s just fighting for his bank account.

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Dr. Jill Biden for Vogue

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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden covers Vogue this month and the accompanying write up is great.

I don’t feel like I know as much about her as I did about Michelle Obama, because the press were breathlessly reporting on every little Obama Tidbit, but Dr. Jill has firmly had me in her camp since I noticed how often she perfectly matches her gloves to her outfit.

This passage about the Navajo nation made me give her two snaps:

Dr. Biden’s trip to the Navajo Nation was, in fact, her third official visit to the tribal land—a fact that was lost on no one. (Business leader and Navajo advocate Clara Pratte says, “As someone who has worked in this field for a long time, I can tell you: This is not the norm. But it should be the norm.”) Dr. Biden’s last trip was two years ago, when she came to open “the very first cancer-treatment center on any American Indian reservation,” as the Navajo Nation’s first lady, Phefelia Nez, pointed out. Her husband, President Jonathan Nez, added that it was the Navajo Nation that helped put Biden over the top in Arizona, with “60, 70, even 80 percent turnout in some places.” There is a Navajo word, jooba’ii, that sounds like “Joe Biden” and means compassion, he said. “That’s how a lot of our elders remembered it at the polls.”

(cont.)

How about that. She’s the real deal.

Also: I love that this photo of Dr. Jill and her grandchildren from a couple of years ago pops up again. Annie Liebovitz did some good work here.

 

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WaPo: 21 House Republicans vote against awarding Congressional Gold Medal to all police officers who responded on Jan. 6

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Twenty-one House Republicans on Tuesday voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to all police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 violent attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

The measure passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support from 406 lawmakers. But the 21 Republicans who voted “no” drew immediate condemnation from some of their colleagues, and the vote underscored the lingering tensions in Congress amid efforts by some GOP lawmakers to whitewash the events of that day.

(cont.)

Imagine facing down an angry mob and putting your life on the line for a group of people who largely look past you day to day, and then having those people say “oh it wasn’t that bad” and refuse to give you recognition.

The way I would CUSS them out to their FACE. The GOP has no floor. Their party is in hell.

 

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