Category Archives: democracy

Indivisible phone call — voices of reason

So who’s going to Pride?
I am! Yes, can’t wait.
It’s the 50th.
Who’s driving? Taking the T? Is it noon — 12:45?

There’s this dedication in Medford. To mark the graves of the enslaved. Going there instead.

Did you see Gillette’s trans shaving ad? So great! So great!

Did you see Kushner — disgusting. Axios? Australian interviewer. Three times saying about birtherism, “I didn’t have anything to do with that.” Wouldn’t say it was racist.

CNBC: Trump baby blimp

London?  The baby in diapers blimp! McCain hat projected on building.
The Brits know how to protest! Feed him to the corgis.

He fell asleep during Queen’s remarks.
This long twitter thread on dementia. Quite advanced. Slurring, body twitches, wide-legged walk.Can progress rapidly. Only question is: what KIND of dementia?

Would we know the difference?

I called my rep: ‘take a stand on impeachment.’
What IS his stand on impeachment?
He says everything’s on the table. Like Pelosi.

Back and forth.

Argument against impeachment

  • what might happen in 2020.

Arguments for impeachment

  • political speculation has been wrong;
  • his base is already fired up (and what about the Dem base, BTW);
  • polls based on static view are bound to change after weeks of televised hearings (look what 9 minutes of Mueller did) (or is this Pollyanna-ish — after all he’s already an unindicted co-conspirator);
  • failure by the Senate to convict will be taken as a triumph, yes, but so will the failure to impeach. At least a trial in the Senate would put every Senator who votes with trump on the record.
  • It’s about the long game. If democracy collapses, it won’t matter that impeachment failed and if democracy survives, the record will damn trump-enablers eventually.

And then this:

“If you think the president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors and you move toward impeachment, that’s constitutional. If you think he’s committed impeachable offenses and you don’t hold impeachment hearings, THAT’s political.”

Why did Pelosi say, “Do you want me to send Elijah Cummings home?” WOULD the other investigations have to end?

What makes us think a ‘turbo-charged impeachment subpoena’ will fare better than a regular one, especially since the White House is now defying COURT ORDERS (Flynn disclosure ruling). Holy Christ!

He’ll start a war. That’s his fallback.

“If you think impeachment is political, then so is upholding the 14th Amendment.”

Ending on a high note? Today’s New York Times OpEd by David Brooks (gag), yeah, but his views are evolving. “The Coming GOP Apocalypse.”

“The generation gap is even more powerful when it comes to Republicans. To put it bluntly, young adults hate them.”

“The difference is ideological. According to Pew, 57 percent of millennials call themselves consistently liberal or mostly liberal. Only 12 percent call themselves consistently conservative or mostly conservative. This is the most important statistic in American politics right now.”

Well, this would’ve been more evident by now if it weren’t for gerrymandering.

What happened to our high note?

The court’s ruling on the census case soon.

 

Indictments and coffee: a swell combo!

Who knew that reading indictments would become something like a hobby? Seven counts goes well with coffee!

You can read Stone’s here.

(This is the dog Stone threatened). And below is one of the first podcasts I’ll listen to once it’s up. Meanwhile, @renato_mariotti on twitter features a meaty long thread this morning.

The wind yesterday felt retributive.

At 3:00 am

When I rise in the early hours, I love to look out the window on my way downstairs. It’s quiet out there. Dark. Unlike a sunshine shadow, a streetlight shadow carries an air of mystery and force, as if it might unhitch itself from its creator (in this case a bent maple branch) and walk off — probably to work mischief somewhere.

Last night sleeplessness might’ve been caused by an unshakeable sense of unease about not going up to Salem this weekend (a feeling my sister graciously dispelled this morning). Or, it might’ve been the bombshell NYTimes reporting late yesterday about our president being under surveillance as a national security risk (which sounds like the same old same old but certainly isn’t).

But mostly, it’s this body I inhabit, this time of life. Sleep just doesn’t come sometimes.

After reading twitter and watching Maddow, I finished reading this debut novel in the wee hours. Tommy Orange graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts and is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

One of the characters tells us early on that Gertrude Stein grew up in Oakland, the novel’s setting, and upon her return after being away for many years, said (in her inimitable style): “There is no there there.”

When those words are quoted by a white gentrifier in passing to one of the Native characters (who is both Indian and native to Oakland), it takes on the weight of history. “There is no there there” could be the catch phrase for genocide. The Oakland Native character is well read enough to know, too, that Stein used the phrase to describe change and not really to say something about the place itself and so the remark is both insulting and ignorant. That gives you a feel for the book’s themes and occupations.

The novel is haunting, sad (really sad), and at times funny. Family is central. There are parents who vanish and parents who are doing the best they can but falling far short of the mark. There are the lingering scars of a devastating history. In one review, Orange said, “We are the memories we don’t remember.”* The book’s main and final event, a first-time powwow in Oakland, provides a canvas to explore a range of relationships to Indian culture — from celebratory to ambivalent to predatory.

There were a lot of characters to keep track of, so this novel would benefit from a second read. By the time of the denouement, I had trouble remembering who everyone was which makes me think this story would make a better movie than novel.

But it’s a good novel.

* NYTimes review by Colm Toibin.

Pages turning

Ran to the store near the lions to get my new calendar. Does that make the new year official?

Yesterday, some of us stood on the corner near Rep Kennedy’s office. I dashed off to writing class, late, while others met with our rep. Does that make the new political season official?

Also yesterday: Pelosi was sworn in as Speaker of the House, ushering in a season of HOPE and accountability.

(Year-end review produced this gratitude-soaked realization: I’ve needed no major dental work for the last two years. Ahhhh!)

Time to get back at it. It’s easier to pick up the needle than the pen, but both are in hand again.

Reading for the new year will be facilitated by the generosity of others. I’ve devoured three from this glorious pile already.

Cornball meets irony?

OMG. The Hallmark movie producer must’ve said to scriptwriter: Get racy! Because instead of the usual egg nog or ubiquitous cocoa, the obvious couple-to-be drank wine! And instead of our heroine being a Gold Star Widow or a widow whose husband died on Christmas Eve or the single sister of a veteran serving overseas or the big city career gal in relationship with a chump who narrowly but conspicuously misses being handsome and who fails to appreciate either the spirit of Christmas or small town values (said spirit and values being interchangeable in the Hallmark universe), she was — gasp— divorced.

But we had many of the usuals: big toothed child fervently wishing for her parent’s happiness, the small town with over the top decorations, small town and better beau lining up so that to choose one is to choose the other, the town festival in jeopardy.

(Yes, I created Hallmark Christmas Movie Bingo — don’t judge!)

And don’t ask how it all came out. As much as I keep recording these narrowly disguised Christian homilies and watching them the way one might a road side accident (curiosity, horror, but also irony), I also take inordinate satisfaction in hitting “delete” halfway through.

My excuse? The same one I use for not sleeping well and to explain a rather pernicious inclination toward gloom: the news. What else?

But wasn’t yesterday an exciting one? It was one of those days where I broke down and watched CNN (I’m more of an MSNBC gal).

We now have Trump, his family, and his campaign gathering dirt on HRC from Russia while actively pursuing a business deal in Moscow and lying about it. “Where I come from, that’s collusion.”

Eric Swallwell

Gloomy Sunday

Oh but look what awaits on the glossy sidewalk.

Blue for the NYTimes. Translucent for The Boston Globe. There will be a fire again, postcardstovoters scribbled, and a roast chicken for dinner.

During yesterday’s hours in the studio, two old pieces caught my eye. I may work on them some today, too.

Happy Sunday, wherever you are.

Collaging to the news

Soul Collage, when you listen to back podcasts of the news, can’t help but feature the vulnerable.

This next one came in response to a story that keeps coming back, not unlike a virulent STD. I’ve included a close up to make the reference clear, but since the script is still small, let me tell you. After one line, find penned two words, “altar boys.”

And because Halloween is about a week away, this next one.

I also spent a considerable amount of time clearing about six square feet of floor. Wish there was a “before” picture but you’ll just have to take my word for it. The recycling bin will be full this week.

Question: what are you guys doing to stay sane in these last days leading up to the midterms? I’ve got my weekly call with my Indivisible group and postcards. Tomorrow a friend and I will hit 200.

A fire is nice, too.