Long day, longer night.

Oh, yesterday’s election was dreamy. Like one of those dreams where you keep telling yourself wake-up-wake-up-it’s-just-a-dream but it keeps going on and on and on. Which is to say: Abysmal turnout, yet again. Thirty-eight voters all day. When that happens, you find yourself staring at the animation on the voter-assist terminal screen. It recycles every three seconds. There are 3,600 seconds in an hour, so it played 1,200 times in 60 minutes. Times…13 hours of voting. It played at least 15,600 times.

I think I watched 12,000 of them. It was in my eyeline.

This is my last year in this precinct, I think. Next year I want a new assignment. Absentee vote-counting, maybe. The same insanely long shift in a mask – because we will be wearing masks forever and ever, that’s clear to me now, get used to the smell of Purell – but constant work, no idleness.

Every so often we’d remark on the lack of voters. I’d say, “Mayor’s race a foregone conclusion. City council the only real races. Low-income precinct. It’s just not an exciting election.” And one of my fellow poll workers would say, every time, “With legalization of psychedelics on the ballot? How can you SAY that?” And I’d laugh, and watch the animation 500 more times, and two hours later, we’d have the same exchange.

It wasn’t a good day for Democrats. I’m not an optimist. I think, in three more years, we’ll have a Trump-Biden rematch (because Biden won’t yield, because…I don’t know why). Trump will win, and American democracy as we’ve known it all our lives will be effectively over. Is that too strong? Maybe so, but you know what the Michigan Secretary of State did this week? Announced that starting soon, non-binary residents can choose X on their drivers’ licenses, instead of M or F. What a victory. What timing. She ran on reducing the wait in license branches to 30 minutes or less. Then the pandemic hit, and they went to an appointment system, which she announced would now be permanent. However, appointments are impossible to get unless you know how to game the system (basically, go on the site at 10 seconds past 8 a.m. or whenever the system goes live and try to snag one of the same-day appointments). So now, instead of waiting in line for an hour to renew your driver’s license (which can now have an X on it!!!!), you can have the experience of sitting in your own home, renewing your driver’s license the way you used to buy U2 tickets.

But in all of this, it’s key to remember that the other thing the secretary of state does? Run elections.

Just once, I want Democrats to behave as though they understand what the stakes are, and stop behaving as though saying “pregnant people” is some sort of landmark in civil rights. And stop handing their opponents the clubs to beat them with.

To be smarter, in other words.

It’s time for me to counter the degradation of all that sitting and snack-nibbling with a workout. Discuss.

Posted at 8:55 am in Current events |
 

72 responses to “Long day, longer night.”

  1. Suzanne said on November 3, 2021 at 9:22 am

    My take from living out here in rural ‘Merica for half my life is that it’s over. The Democrats are seen here as baby killing agents of Satan so even if the Dems economic message is great, most of my fellow citizens will not vote for them. The years of Fox and Rush and local lip flapper talk radio hosts has poisoned the well.
    These are people who do not see civility as a virtue but work is. Trump’s rude behavior didn’t bother them. They will excuse all sorts of bad behavior like drunkenness, greed, lust, and corruption, as long as the person doing it is “a hard worker”. Social skills are not valued. Literacy is not valued. Religion is valued as long as it’s Christianity and it doesn’t require a lot of deep thought. The Democrat’s message of inclusion, empathy, and community won’t resonate. They want community but mostly limited to people like them. The fruits of the spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control- are optional because those won’t help defend our liberties. They fear what they don’t know but they won’t make the effort to learn.

    Am I stereotyping? Somewhat, but I live among the voters the Dems are trying to sway and from my viewpoint, it ain’t gonna happen.

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  2. Deborah said on November 3, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Same, disappointed but not surprised. Nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about why it turned out the way it did. I wish we could clone Stacey Abrams in every state.

    I just want to change the subject… I’m rereading “Tender is the Night” by Fitzgerald of course. I read it the first time 24 years ago on a flight to Barcelona with LB. Amazing writing.

    My husband is making cassoulet, lordy it takes like 3 days with salt pork, duck, sausage and pork belly with white beans etc.

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  3. alex said on November 3, 2021 at 9:31 am

    To continue the conversation with David C. from the last thread, and his observation that the Dems don’t know how to play to their base and waste too much energy trying to appease those who’ll never vote for them anyway, I agree. But this is how we ended up with Biden, really more of a compromise to overthrow Trump than to further the progressive agenda, and I’d bet the farm that if we’d nominated Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, Trump would have won by the same margin that he lost. It’s really about which party can appeal to moderates and independents when it comes to national elections. I also think that the Dems are overly cautious about promoting an agenda that would appeal to their base because they fear that the right will weaponize it and re-frame it as a communist takeover. Which, of course, they’re doing anyway and largely getting a pass from mainstream media.

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  4. ROGirl said on November 3, 2021 at 9:43 am

    So are the people who don’t believe that Biden won going to dispute the results of the Virginia election?

    The Democrats just self-sabotage and let the message get distorted way too often.

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  5. JodiP said on November 3, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Has anyone read/heard about the information in Bob Woodward’s and Robert Costas’ new book, “Peril”? Fresh Air had a good interview with Costas. The Republicans are just getting started. I am really frightened about 2022 and ’24.

    Also, as I expected, lotsa talk, no consequences for lack of action on climate change coming out of COP26. My personal efforts to reduce my carbon footprint seem so pathetic. Why do I even bother? Oh and also, that phrase was created by oil companies to distract us from their far larger role: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/23/big-oil-coined-carbon-footprints-to-blame-us-for-their-greed-keep-them-on-the-hook

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  6. maria said on November 3, 2021 at 10:11 am

    As a resident of Virginia I am stunned and unbelieving at the results. It wasn’t even all that close, for God’s sake.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on November 3, 2021 at 10:13 am

    I spoke with my oldest best friend yesterday. He lives in southeastern Ohio, an relatively affluent and overwhelmingly white exurban area where tRump flags outnumber American flags. Three candidates were vying for two township trustee spots –township fucking trustees– and one of them was running solely on eliminating masks, preventing the teaching of critical race theory and outlawing abortion. Does a township trustee wield that kind of power? Of course not. They deal with parks and water lines and basic governmental services. He had a good shot at winning.

    I worry so much about the direction of our country and how the meanness and stupidity affects others. My buddy counseled me to ease off. . .do what I can to affect change. . .but accept this nation is in the grip of insanity and try to live my remaining years without engaging it too directly.

    So, yeah. We’ll see that bloated orange pus bag back in D.C. We’ll see a total retreat from confronting the devastation of climate change. We’ll ignore science and expertise. We’ll see our schools and universities gutted of anything requiring critical thinking or dark history. We’ll see those who aren’t straight marginalized. We’ll see women’s access to abortion limited solely to those wealthy enough to seek out providers. And we’ll see the permanent establishment of a corrupt oligarchy similar to Russia. Truth will be whatever you want it to be.

    Now that I’m in my seventh decade, I may not be around to see all of this come to pass and I may even be able to maintain my progressive bubble here in Chicago until I go toes up. Maybe my friend is correct. Maybe I need to stop caring.

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  8. Connie said on November 3, 2021 at 10:33 am

    I am very happy with the Michigan SOS. In the last couple of months I have renewed my drivers license, my husbands license, and the annual car registration renewals, one of which needed a replacement license in addition to the sticker, all of it online. I easily did address changes for the vehicles. You only have to go to the SOS for license renewal if your license picture has gotten too old to reuse.

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  9. nancy said on November 3, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Or if you need a Real ID, which was our last encounter with it. Somehow my license — easily renewed online — came with no notification that it had to be Real’d well before the next renewal. My point, however, is that they will use license branch tsuris as the next club to beat her with, when their real goal is the elections.

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  10. Connie said on November 3, 2021 at 11:25 am

    I got my real ID in 2019 when I took the driving test for my handicapped driver endorsement, which motivated me to make an apptment for him to do it.

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  11. Deborah said on November 3, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    This is scary, the Dems got out the vote, 200,000+ more voted in this election than voted for Biden! Yikes, that means the Repubs got out their voters like crazy. Fear sells, no question about it, and the Republicans know how to wield fear for sure. It’s all based on lies of course, but they couldn’t care less as long as they get what they want.

    I feel like it’s inevitable that we’re going to lose abortion rights and the safety net for those who need it, but the part that worries me the most is losing the rule of law. That’s going to be catastrophic.

    It’s remarkable because when you look back republican administrations are rank with scandal (Nixon), war (both Bushes), recession (Reagan, especially W) and complete ineptitude and mismanagement (Trump), and most of the red states are underwater financially and have been for generations. The cruelty is mind boggling. I don’t get it? Is it because they have an uncanny sense to figure out what people fear and there are multitudes who eat it up?

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  12. Little Bird said on November 3, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    At my polling place I would say that most of the voters were around 20 years older than I am. Most were white. And most were women. I’m not at all surprised at the results.
    In other news I may finally get to be pain free in a few weeks. I’ve been experiencing hip pain for about 12 years now and finally, FINALLY have a doctor who thinks he can relieve it. It’s an injection that will essentially block the nerves and, if successful, could last a year. If it isn’t successful there’s another option; an implant that would insert wires into my spine and connect to a small (also implanted) device in my hip. Kind of like TENS therapy, but permanent. I actually cried when he told me that I could be either pain free or in significantly less pain without having to resort to pain meds. Twelve years is a long time to be in pain.

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  13. JodiP said on November 3, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Little Bird, I really hope you get some relief! Please keep us posted.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on November 3, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting Republicans in the Ohio legislature are introducing a bill even more draconian than in Texass. Yippee.

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  15. Jason T. said on November 3, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    A few days after Trump was elected back in 2016, I met a friend for drinks. “How are you doing?” I said. “The Empire has fallen,” he said.

    I strongly believe America is in eclipse, and I know this is terribly ageist, but the fact that we’re ruled by a gerontocracy is, to me, evidence.

    I remember being a kid and seeing all of the ancient Soviet rulers propped up on reviewing stands. I look at Biden, Trump, Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell, Sanders, etc., and think … well, we’re there now — we’ve had “last days of the Soviet Union” energy for a while.

    … not that the younger crop of national political leaders (Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Krysten Sinema) are any better — and in most ways, they’re actually much worse. They’re shallow, nasty people, committed to no ideologies other than “winning” and “building their personal brands.”

    I wonder what’s next? Will the federal government wither away to little more than the military and border control, with individual states wielding all of the power — and with our individual rights and freedoms depending largely on which of the 50 states we live in?

    Or will we actually see a Czechoslovakia-style break-up of the U.S. into smaller republics? I actually think that might be preferable in some ways to trying to hold together a bunch of warring, competing states, a la the “Articles of Confederation” era.

    I agree that barring some deus ex machina, we’re going to get a Trump-Biden matchup in 2024. I wonder how much it would cost to be put into a coma for that entire year?

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  16. LAMary said on November 3, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    This is not very nice of me but I hope Trump gets sick. Like can’t run for prez again sick. He doesn’t have to die. Just be too sick to run. Am I alone in this evil thought?

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  17. Suzanne said on November 3, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    Jason T, you aren’t alone in your thoughts. This spells it all out from the man who spoke in Fort Wayne a few weeks ago.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/02/the-republican-party-is-now-in-its-end-stages/618132/

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  18. Sherri said on November 3, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    I’m pretty discouraged about the state of the political situation, perhaps most about how few people seem to care enough to vote. With universal vote by mail, it’s hard to get easier to vote, yet the early returns last night only had about 20% of registered voters in Redmond casting a ballot. To get to the vote total of 4 years ago will require that half the ballots be returned on election day, which is possible, I guess.

    Seattle basically voted for change without change, which is entirely what I expected. Get rid of homelessness and crime, just don’t spend any money on it. Everybody wants to “help” the homeless, just somewhere else, and can you make them stop using drugs first? Maybe clean them up, make them a little less crazy? We want to help nice clean normal homeless folks who don’t make us feel uncomfortable.

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  19. Scout said on November 3, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    LAMary – you’re not alone. I think there are millions of us wishing the same.

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  20. Deborah said on November 3, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    LAMary, Trump’s dad was 94 when he died and did have dementia for a few years before that. His mother was 88 when she died, I don’t remember the cause. Trump is 75 now so he probably has more relatively healthy years left. But I’ve read that he eats a lot of junk food and doesn’t exercise. He plays a lot of golf but uses golf carts, doesn’t walk the course. So who knows.

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  21. LAMary said on November 3, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    If the life span of parents was a reliable predictor I would have been dead 13 years ago. I’m rooting for the big mac and KFC diet to get him.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on November 3, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    Joining LAMary’s wishes!

    And best of luck to Little Bird for pain relief. I’ve battled foot pain for 25 years so I relate.

    The Orlando City Commissioner election yesterday drew less than 13% of registered voters, though our “politically active” district was about 21%. The election was won by only 400 votes, and of course my candidate lost.

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  23. David C said on November 3, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    One of the recent books said his lunch is two Big Macs, two Fillet-O-Fish, and two large fries. His parents probably didn’t eat anything like that.

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  24. Sherri said on November 3, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    I’m so tired and down today.

    I’m tired of assholes getting elected, regardless of what label they wear. I don’t care if they are Dems or Republicans, I don’t want elected officials who treat people like shit, even if their politics are “progressive” or whatever. In fact, don’t even come telling me that someone who treats people like shit is progressive, because that’s bullshit. (Yes, that refers to a couple of local Dems who got re-elected.)

    I’m tired of pissed off know-nothings, which seems to make up most of the electorate these days. All they know is they are mad, and they want the problems solved, but they don’t want the solution to cost them anything.

    I’m tired of people who just want to make noise and posture, rather than govern. I’m tired of electeds who won’t do the homework. I’m tired of candidates who sell simple solutions to complex problems.

    I’m so, so, tired of stupidity, and it’s running rampant.

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  25. alex said on November 3, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    It’s a wonder he hasn’t already had a massive hemorrhagic stroke on a diet like that. Here’s wishing him one.

    btw, I hear his blood’s boiling over the fact that Youngkin got more votes than he did in Virginia, so if that proves to be the final nail in his coffin it will have been well worth it.

    To all the rest of you getting relief from illness, that’s great news. I’m happy to report that I feel like a new person after my septoplasty. I don’t remember ever breathing or sleeping so well. My cognition is definitely feeling a lot sharper and I have energy to spare.

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  26. Deborah said on November 3, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    Here’s to medical solutions for lots of people.

    As LB said, she’s been suffering with unexplained pain in her hip for many years. Her Drs have all been trying to diagnose the cause for ages coming up with zilch, instead of addressing the reality of living with chronic pain. She had surgery for a torn labrum in her hip which basically did nothing and now we know for sure was a waste of time and money. After doing lots of research about her neurological condition I asked her to see if she could get an MRI of her spine to see if she had any tumors there that might be causing the hip pain. So thankfully no tumors there but they found out she does have spinal stenosis and sent her to a pain specialist who has come up with these new possible ways to help her. If the first procedure doesn’t work she has the option of spinal ablation which is complicated to describe here. Thankfully, hopefully, there may be an answer to her continual suffering. She was in a wheelchair a few years ago because of the pain and she’s been walking with a cane for years now when she’s normally way too young for that. Whether this has anything to do with her neurological condition, NF, we don’t know for sure but it seems highly likely to me. Medical science is an evolving thing and over time more is known and methods and procedures change. Thank goodness for some good news about a possible solution. She has been quite emotional about this possibility, finally, understandably.

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  27. alex said on November 3, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    Part of the problem with the medical industrial complex is that doctors don’t seem to have much incentive to investigate an individual’s specific problems but simply sell them what they’re selling everyone. As a case in point, I was referred to sleep apnea specialists who put me on a CPAP machine and largely ignored my complaints that I felt the damned thing was suffocating me. It was forcing me to breathe through my nose and didn’t allow me to breathe through my mouth, and my nasal passages were so obstructed that I wasn’t getting enough air. Rather than bother to investigate, they referred me to a dentist to get an oral appliance in the incorrect assumption that I must have TMJ and that this must be what was inhibiting my breathing. The TMJ doctor, who found no evidence of TMJ, was the one who correctly diagnosed my deviated septum and hypertrophic turbinates and sent me to an ENT surgeon. (Although I’m still getting a $4.5K oral appliance anyway because sleep apnea was causing me to grind my teeth and I just spent $6K on restorative dental work that needs to be protected.) But as I see it, a bunch of other specialties got their cut for bouncing me around and not really doing anything to diagnose the problem, and this could have been remedied many years and many thousands of dollars ago and I’m rather fucking pissed about it.

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  28. Dexter Friend said on November 4, 2021 at 2:27 am

    All the stuff on Trump and he’s still inviting himself to World Series games and talking of building a new news network when by now he should be in irons for being an insurrectionist. We all saw him urging the criminal terrorists to “fight and fight like hell!” as they marched to the Capitol on January 6 with true marching orders from the President of the United States of America , to prevent Joe Biden from becoming the President. Then, for an aside, to hang Mike Pence and just fucking kill Nancy Pelosi however possible.
    And this fucker very likely will run and may even be elected for President in 2024, because people so not read the news to understand what Trump has done, the corrupyion, the constant lies, all of it. As the Trump 2024 flags fly around here, more each week. Also, I have actually seen a few “Fuck Biden!” bumper stickers on parked and moving vehicles here. I am no prude but damn, that’s crude. As Virginia was lost to Youngkin, Murphy managed to hold the New Jersey statehouse. All is not lost, even as most talking heads predict a sweeping red tide next November, as the Democrats may lose both houses of Congress again.
    Fall is the season of death as the freezes appear around here, like 30F tonight. I have lost 4 former co-workers since August, all work-buddies, but not friends after I retired. Still, it’s too many, like a confused harbinger it seems, fall closing in. The four were 73, 72, 72, and 71. I am 72 and well, shit…makes a fella glad to be see a sunrise, through fall clouds or clear sky.

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  29. Suzanne said on November 4, 2021 at 6:24 am

    Tell me about medical procedures. My husband had outpatient surgery to remove a small growth in his colon, not a polyp. It was nothing serious, not cancerous, was in the OR maybe 20 minutes. We got the statement from the insurance company yesterday…$33,000.00. Insurance pays most of it, but really?? No wonder life expectancy has declined. With no insurance, who can pay bills like that?

    Also, there was a clip on MSNBC of a man explaining the whole JFK Jr QAnon thing in Dallas yesterday. Utterly bonkers! Trump, you see, is really the son of General Patton and JFK Jr is his cousin or something and is, of course, not really dead and is going to appear & be Trump’s 2024 running mate. Omar Bradley was in the mix somewhere and Mussolini along with their offspring Gen Flynn and I can’t remember who else. It was utterly mind bending that people do believe this lunacy. And they vote.

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  30. David C said on November 4, 2021 at 6:48 am

    For all the BS about critical race theory and mask mandates, in the Mequon school district here in Wisconsin they tried to recall four members of the school board and failed miserably. Mequon is in what they call the WOW counties, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington. They are the white flight counties for Milwaukee and deep red Scott Walker country. It seems to me it’s time to start punching back hard on those issues. If it didn’t fly in the WOW counties, it’s not going to fly anywhere.

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  31. ROGirl said on November 4, 2021 at 8:04 am

    In my local election the slate of candidates (mayor and city council members) that tried to weaponize the relocation of the veterans memorial a few hundred feet from its original site into a political/cultural battle all lost. And the ballot proposal to move it back to its original location (despite changes due to new construction) also lost. My vote counted.

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  32. LAMary said on November 4, 2021 at 9:38 am

    I started work yesterday morning at 5:30 am so I could take an hour and a half off to go to my final post surgical appointment. Got to the eye doc at 8:20 for my 8:30 appointment, sat for 50 minutes waiting, got looked at by the medical assistant for 5 minutes, the doc for a little less than that, and sent on my way.That all sounds ok but the assembly line process in that practice, which had a large room with 12 curtained off gurneys in a row and one doctor moving down the line doing cataract surgeries was sort of grim, and the same sort of system for the follow up didn’t help. I wasn’t looking for hand holding but I’ve seen better bedside manner and concern from appliance repairmen. The other thing that bugged a bit was that unless they had to address me there was no English being spoken. That shit got you written up, then fired if it happened again, in the hospitals I’ve worked in. Eveyone in the eye doc practice was speaking Armenian. Perhaps the pseudo Soviet grim atmosphere was related to Armenia being a former iron curtain country. On the way home from the doc we saw a Rolls Royce SUV. We assumed it was the eye doctor’s.

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  33. diane said on November 4, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Ditto about local elections. Here the left has realized that they too could do some work at the grassroots level. There were several seats on the school board up this election. The same people who homeschool their kids but showed up at school board meetings protesting the ungodliness of the mask mandate in schools and takeover of parents rights ran for those seats. To my surprise, someone organized. Talked to teachers, administrators and the teachers union for names of active, involved, sane parents and then then they recruited. They got a good slate, formed a PAC and fundraised. Ran an ad with a huge list of admired people in the community who supported this group. Letters in support of them started appearing in the local paper, etc. Suddenly this was the most interesting thing on the local ballot so the paper started writing about it. The paper ‘interviewed’ the candidates-sent questions to each one and each day printed one or two candidates’ picture and answers. The difference in the quality and competency In the answers spoke for itself. Then someone looked at the campaign filings and pointed out that the right wing candidates were much better funded and much of it was money from outside the county. At this point, letters started appearing complaining about about the ‘slate’ (mind you, at the same time suddenly there were lists going around and signs going up listing all of the right wing candidates).
    The sane, involved parents won and did so decisively. Basically, it can be done but it takes time, effort, organization and clarity in your message. I am hopeful.

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  34. Bitter Scribe said on November 4, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Just once, I want Democrats to behave as though they understand what the stakes are, and stop behaving as though saying “pregnant people” is some sort of landmark in civil rights. And stop handing their opponents the clubs to beat them with.

    To be smarter, in other words.

    Can we please please pretty please throw “defund the police” on that bonfire? Most people hear that as “abolish police,” and louts on the right are only too happy to help them to do. Then we have to explain, “No, it doesn’t mean abolish, it means transferring responsibility for…” and, as they say, when you’re explaining, you’re losing.

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  35. Jeff Borden said on November 4, 2021 at 10:25 am

    The die has been cast for 2022 in Virginia. One website I saw put it this way: “Moms vs. Mentors.” It’s going to be a full-scale attack on public education cloaked as parental rights vs. elitist teachers. Perhaps you saw the TV commercial for Glenn Youngkin in which a mother (who turns out to be a Republican operative) relates the tale of how her son was traumatized and suffered “night terrors” after reading a horrible book replete with beatings, rapes and death. The book was Toni Morrison’s “Beloved.” The son was an AP English student, who also happens to be a Republican lawyer today. It was highly effective in framing a non-issue –critical race theory is taught in zero K-12 classes in Virginia– as a pressing crisis.

    Democrats better figure out a way to get Manchin and Sinema on board and fast. The only way to win in 2022 and beyond is to start helping American families. Joe Biden said as much yesterday. In the absence of real legislation that would help average people, the way is clear for the Republicans to play their culture war games.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on November 4, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Bitter, the incumbent candidate who won pulled the defund the police card when his opponent hadn’t said it. She said that as a parent and school volunteer, she saw many better ways to spend resources at our schools. He turned that into defund the police. Grrr.

    Grrr also for my new/ex doctor who sent me a whopping big bill after my first brief appointment. When I called and waited 45 minutes, I asked if he accepted Medicare as full payment, and was told he did. Turns out he doesn’t. I asked for the fee to the be waived, but they only offered a 30% discount or a payment plan, since the office manager states they never said it. Wish I had recorded the call. His bill was over $700 for less than 10 minutes and all he did was listen to my heart and lungs. Hmpf.

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  37. Deborah said on November 4, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    This morning I was scrubbing the bathtub with vigor, when I heard a pop and my upper right arm began to hurt very badly, almost excruciatingly. I couldn’t move my arm much without wincing in pain. I have a call in to my Dr to see if I need imaging. Her assistant kept asking me questions about my osteoporosis which seems absurd that I could fracture a bone from scrubbing. I think it’s more likely muscle or tendon related. Right now I’m sitting at home with my arm in a sling made out of a dishtowel. I took a shower in case I have to go in to the Drs office and boy was that fun washing my hair one armed and then later blowdrying my hair and putting on mascara with my left hand was hilarious. I hope this is something that will go away soon by just resting my arm.

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  38. Sherri said on November 4, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Just once, I want people to understand that what we say or how we say it doesn’t matter in the face of the right wing noise machine!

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  39. Sherri said on November 4, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    I mean, ask Jeff(tmmo) how well pastors are doing with the message of the gospel in the face of the right wing noise machine, and I don’t think anyone thinks we should throw “love your neighbor as yourself” on the bonfire.

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  40. Jeff Gill said on November 4, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    “For God so loved the world*, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
    ~ John 3:16**

    *the World, as in “those whose behavior and other externals meet our baseline assumptions about who really belongs within the circle of acceptance as we define that circumference, which is pretty darn narrowly when you get right down to it.”

    **lesser known codicil, the very next verse, in fact: “For God sent not his Son into the world*** to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” AKA John 3:17, making it abundantly clear that God’s baseline intention is to preserve and transform and redeem and renew things — not primarily to sort out wheat from chaff, sheep from goats, etc., which is in there, but not as powerfully and clearly as we’re told the Divine Intention is to NOT condemn, but to save.

    ***All usages of “the world” in these two verses are, in Greek, “kosmos,” or in more modern English, “the whole shebang.” The cosmos as Carl Sagan described it, the all of all-ness. So not even just our pale blue dot, but the hope of faith is in an inherent plan to love the whole of creation.

    Quiz question: at what point did I lose regular Fox News listeners? That’s correct, at the point when I began to quote the Bible beyond a few well-rehearsed clobber passages.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on November 4, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    Love God and love your neighbor as yourself is the summation, by Christ, of the entire Bible. Really pretty simple, but it’s that love neighbor AS YOURSELF that trips up so many. We just started a new Bible study that’s all about neighboring, with some great discussions and hopefully some great changes too.

    So today we spent the whole day looking at Medicare supplements and can I just say, I don’t know how anyone makes a truly informed decision.

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  42. David C said on November 4, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    I think I’ve said this before but I worked with a guy, actually we were quite good friends in spite of his wingnuttiness but when he came into work after every other Wednesday morning men’s bible study he was mad at the world. I don’t think the fellas talked too much about neighboring. I heard a quote from Franklin Graham where someone asked him about loving you neighbor as yourself if say the neighbor is LGBTQ. He said we love them more because we don’t want them to burn in hell. OK dude, whatever. I don’t think that’s how it works.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on November 4, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    A. That is not love. B. Franklin Graham is not a Christian.

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  44. LAMary said on November 4, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    Two things in my email to share: Donate to your local food bank for the holidays. Good idea, easy to do.
    Check out a the collection of George Booth cartoons the New Yorker is celebrating. George Booth’s cats and dogs are especially good.

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  45. Colleen said on November 4, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    The total price tag for my bariatric surgery was 98k. Yes. NINETY. EIGHT. THOUSAND. I did not pay that because my insurance rocks, but geeze. There is something so very, very wrong with our system.

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  46. Deborah said on November 4, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    After spending hours in an urgent care facility across the street from my Dr’s building I was X-rayed and the good news is no fractures in my arm, not that I thought there would be. Now I have to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon they referred me to. They are equipped to look at soft tissue that might be the problem, tendons, ligaments, that kind of thing. Meanwhile I have a real sling now instead of a dish towel. Two weeks from Saturday we’re scheduled to go back to NM. This is way more than a pain.

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  47. Joe Kobiela said on November 4, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    Deb,
    Torn rotator cuff is my guess.
    Not a doctor but I have stayed at a holiday inn express.
    Pilot Joe

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  48. Lily Machado said on November 4, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Hello Nallers! LONG time reader, but not a poster. My political views are in no way represented by the mainstream parties, so I have no argument with the opinions of this community. What I do find so very interesting is that no matter what I read or where, of any political stripe, the comments reflect a “we’re doing to the dogs because of the blah blah blah left/right/Biden/trump/Dem/Rep”, pick your tribe.

    I know your feelings come from what you consider a caring and informed place, but the cynicism is lazy. And honestly, although you can’t see it and will take great offense at what you perceive to the the error of my assessment, you really let politics influence your daily mental outlook in a genuinely deranged way. Yikes, it was so sad and pathetic during the Trump administration, and this is coming from someone who despised Trump and thought he was dangerous and needed to be removed from office.

    I was hoping that the 2020 election would help this group achieve some equanimity, so it has been disappointing that you are still fighting the boogeyman under the bed. I KNOW you believe that such ‘righteous’ anger is warranted, but you are so deeply myopic and misguided. As delivered by the Count, “The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.” Michel de Montaigne

    I will intentionally be avoiding this blog for an extended period, so please feel no need to correct me. If it helps you to argue how wrong I am and how very much you would like to be cheerful but it just cannot be done in light of the obvious doom and gloom of the world we inhabit, please do so for your own sake and pleasure. You are all blessed, almost beyond human comprehension for much of the world’s history, and I wish you all the happiness and hope in the world.

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  49. Dexter Friend said on November 5, 2021 at 1:42 am

    I remember how our California friend here, who passed from cancer a couple years ago, always complimented Kaiser Permanente insurance for covering his medical procedures top to bottom. A couple times here I have praised Manhattan Life of Houston, Texas for their excellent supplemental insurance for Medicare folks. Here’s the latest episode: after repeated billings to me for Carla Lee’s care, which were covered 100%, Manhattan Life representatives called this provider and told them to simply bill them…the procedure was covered 100%. So I received two more billings , and they began harassing my daughter. Next, Manhattan set up a 3-way call with the provider, Manhattan representative, and me, telling them to basically knock the harassment off and just bill them. I was told I have two more options, try to involve the BBB and lastly, get a high-dollar attorney.

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  50. David C said on November 5, 2021 at 5:56 am

    My wife has had bad acid reflux for the past couple of weeks. She asks me if I think one thing or another will work. I’ve told her that I don’t know, I got my medical degree from Ferris State University School of Engineering. I don’t know if that’s higher or lower on the scale than staying at a Holiday Inn Express. You probably stay in way more hotels than I do, Joe. What do you think? Ferris State or Holiday Inn?

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  51. Joe Kobiela said on November 5, 2021 at 7:39 am

    I would give the edge to Ferris State, they have a better football team.
    Pilot Joe

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  52. LAMary said on November 5, 2021 at 9:28 am

    The hospital where I used to work added bariatric surgery wing. It was the most profitable department in the hospital. PPO insurance paid for the procedures and hospital stay and the extended series of visits kept the bucks coming in.

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  53. Deborah said on November 5, 2021 at 9:31 am

    The pain is not in my shoulder, it’s more like my bicep area, it’s probably a torn tendon, if I had to guess. But I’m not a Dr either. I’m making an appointment with a orthopedic surgeon today, hopefully I can get in soon because this hurts.

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  54. Julie Robinson said on November 5, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Deborah, I’m so sorry about your arm. I’m not a doctor, Ferris State grad, or Holiday Inn patron, and I’m sure they already told you to ice it and take ibuprofen, so I’ll just commiserate. My knee pain has flared up again and I barely slept last night. There go my fun plans for the day.

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  55. ROGirl said on November 5, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Speaking of Ferris State, I used to travel to Big Rapids to go to one of my company’s plants. Always stayed at the Holiday Inn, where the hotel management students worked.

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  56. Jim said on November 5, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Deborah: like a little painful knot on your bicep? My doctor told me mine was a torn tendon caused by a rotator cuff injury.

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  57. Deborah said on November 5, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Back from the Dr, good news, no torn tendon, just strained or frayed. My rotator cuff is fine, in fact not even arthritis in my shoulder. I have to do physical therapy Mon Weds Fri for the next 2 weeks before we go to NM. Then I have to continue PT in NM, for 4 more weeks. Also I am only supposed to wear the sling sparingly so I don’t get stiff. It still hurts like hell but at least it’s not serious.

    I certainly wish I was more optimistic about the situation in this country.

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  58. Sherri said on November 5, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    My school district is holding a vaccine clinic for kids. Demand for appointments was so high the server crashed, and the clinic filled up immediately.

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  59. basset said on November 5, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    I didn’t go to Ferris but Mrs. B did. Back in the late 70s there was a pharmacy-themed McDonald’s across the street from campus, that being one of Ferris’ better-known majors at the time and still may be.
    For some unknown reason this has stuck with me, it was on the wall:

    “Ipecac, opium, lobelia squills
    We’re the boys who roll the pills
    Rah, rah, sis boom bang
    Hurrah, hurrah for the Pharmic gang!”

    Can’t remember the names of people I met yesterday, but clutter like that remains for years.

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  60. Dexter Friend said on November 6, 2021 at 3:32 am

    I received my medical degree from Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. I did so well the training was over in ten weeks. My specialty was medical corpsman, US Army. All I ever did in practice was take temps, suture minor open wounds, learn how to use blood volume expanders , stop major bleeds, and for a few months work with heroin addicts in Vietnam. Not to worry; in today’s army medical corpsman training is much longer and complex . My grandson went through the training at Fort Sam Houston a few years ago and told me about it. No comparison…his training actually prepared him to handle war-time situations. In 1969, we learned on the job in the war.

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  61. David C said on November 6, 2021 at 6:15 am

    Even thought I got my degree from Ferris, I know next to nothing about what programs they offer. I set foot on campus in Big Rapids exactly twice. I took all of my classes at a satellite in Grand Rapids.

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  62. Deborah said on November 6, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Joe Manchin drives a Maserati.

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  63. LAMary said on November 6, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    He drives his Maserati to and from the yacht he keeps docked in DC. He lives on the yacht when the Senate is in session.

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  64. Jason T. said on November 6, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    Deborah @ 62 said:

    Joe Manchin drives a Maserati.

    They say he’s lazy but it takes all his time
    (Everybody say, “Oh yeah”) (“Oh yeah”)
    He keeps on goin’ guess I’ll never know why
    Life’s been good to him so far

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  65. Sherri said on November 6, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    78% of Republicans don’t believe that Biden won the election. Most Republicans believe that Democrats are the enemy, not the political opposition. It does not matter what we say, how we say it, or what we do, this is the context in which all of it is happening. Even people who don’t watch Fox News are affected by it, because all news sources are infected by it, by a desire to remain above the fray and objective and nonpartisan, treating both parties as the same.

    Nobody outside the deepest blue areas campaigned on Defund the Police, and even in those areas, those candidates didn’t do well. Yet there’s a perception that the Democratic Party was in lockstep to defund the police. Why is that? Did a single candidate for the nomination ever utter those words? Yes, protestors did, but why did Joe Biden of all people get tarred with that brush?

    The right wing noise machine churns away, and because the rest of the media won’t ignore them or call them crazy liars, their nonsense works it’s way into the mainstream. Nonsense from the fringe of the right wing gets amplified by the “more respectable” organs of the noise machine, and then picked up by the Times and the Post, in a way that seldom happens from the fringe of the left.

    Consider CRT. That was a deliberate action by Christopher Rufo. You can always find some useful idiot cultural elite to launder the shit with a “but he’s got a point” op-ed along the way.

    Meanwhile, if you sit down and tell voters exactly what Republicans say they’re going to do economically, they don’t believe you.

    But the biggest mystery of all to me is how the NYTimes politics desk seems unable to find anyone to interview who isn’t a Republican plant, and they can’t spend five minutes with Google to find that out.

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  66. Jeff Gill said on November 6, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Driving across rural Ohio today, I saw a couple of Trump signs with a new tag line: “Fix 2020 First!”

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  67. Dexter Friend said on November 7, 2021 at 1:41 am

    Sherri, you are correct on all points. When a farmer at his roadside vegetable stand began chatting small talk to me last August, he began loudly with all Trump supporters’ talk. “We all know Trump is our President”, and every other point, to the point, even, that the Covid19 is a hoax. I paid him for my goods and just wanted away from this maniac. I told him calmly of Carla Lee’s death from Covid19. “You mean she had the FLU!!!” he blurted out.
    I found another place to buy my sweet corn. The gall that bastard showed, just after telling me he was a lay preacher in several little churches there.

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  68. David C said on November 7, 2021 at 11:19 am

    I know it’s not worth an assault charge but that dude deserved a busted jaw. I wonder how many other customers he drives away by sharing his thoughts so freely.

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  69. Sherri said on November 7, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Which is a bigger problem, excessive wokeness or racism? Which gets more attention?

    Democrats have been accused for decades of ignoring rural voters and working class voters. The only thing Republicans have done for them is feed their grievances.

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  70. Suzanne said on November 7, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    “The only thing Republicans have done for them is feed their grievances.”
    Having lived among rural people for over 30 years, that’s all most of them want. Real solutions would mean change. They don’t want change. So they are happy to have their grievances fed.

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  71. alex said on November 7, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    Suzanne nails it. In fact, it’s kind of refreshing to talk to old farts with Reagan-era laments about welfare cheats. Around here they’re so fucking conservative that some of them can’t even change up their repertoire to talk about CRT.

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  72. ROGirl said on November 8, 2021 at 5:12 am

    And in case anyone had any doubts about the origins of the anti-CRT hysteria, it wasn’t merely a spontaneous surge of pre-election activism.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/right-wing-aristocrats-fund-critical-race-theory-backlash

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