Election Connection: 30 Weeks: What Can You Do Before November 3rd?

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Three recommendations:

1. Dan Pfeiffer‘s new book, Untrumping America: A Plan for Making America a Democracy Again

2. David Plouffe‘s two new books, one for adults, and one for children: A Citizen’s Guide for Beating Donald Trump and Ripples of Hope: Your Guide to Electing a New President

3. David Plouffe’s Podcast: Campaign HQ with David Plouffe

Links go to publishers, but books can be bought at any indpendent bookseller or online book retailer. Podcasts links to Player.FM but can be found wherever you get your podcasts.

Podcasts – Ongoing, Information, and Interviews with Experts (Updated 4/12/20)

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Epidemic. Hosted by Dr. Celine Gounder and former Ebola response Coordinator, Ronald Klain. New episodes every Friday.

America Dissected: Coronavirus with Dr. Abdul el-Sayed. New pods will be broadcast on Tuesdays and Fridays. (added 3/13/20)

NEW Coronovirus: Fact vs. Fiction (CNN)

In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt

Here’s the Deal with Joe Biden (the presumptive Democratic nominee for President) (first episode includes Ron Klain)

What a Day – 15 minutes of news and politics, including current covid-19 information. Hosted by Gideon Resnick and Akilah Hughes

Interviews with Ron Klain

Campaign HQ with David Plouffe

Interviews with Andy Slavitt

Stay Tuned with Preet Bharara

The Al Franken Podcast

COVID-19 INFORMATION HUB (UPDATED: 3/20/20)

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Here’s the first update for the new Coronavirus Information Hub. The whole post will change over the next week. Judging by today’s publishing fun, it will take at least two hours to get these posts set up by categories. As they are published, they will be easily found through the COVID-19 category tag.

What to Do in Isolation/Quarantine (UPDATED 3/21/20)(NOW WITH EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES)
Where Can I Help? (UPDATED 3/21/20)

THIS POST WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE UPDATES AS INFORMATION CHANGES.

SARS-CoV-2 is the official name of this strain of the coronavirus. The respiratory disease the virus causes is abbreviated COVID-19. My intention in this post is to be apolitical, but after watching the press conference naming Vice President Pence as the coronavirus response coordinator and then their blocking the doctor (Dr. Anthony Fauci) from appearing on news programs this weekend, I’m not sure that this Administration is taking this epidemic seriously.

For one thing, according to a HHS whistleblower and reports in The New York Times and elsewhere, DHS employees were instructed to interact with repatriated quarantined Americans without protocols or protective gear. In one case, a DHS employee was forced to return to work before their 14-day quarantine was over, which they did. Another employee stayed at a hotel, and then took a commercial flight home with no precautions. There are currently three community based coronavirus transmissions in California and Oregon. There are reported positive tests also in Utah and Texas.

For those of us who are legitimately worried about contracting the coronavirus, we need to dispel the misinformation and out and out lies coming from this Administration, and get actual facts from experts and medical professionals.

It is important to note that I am NOT a doctor. I do NOT work in the health care field. I have carefully researched and vetted the links that follow, and in the case of podcasts have personally listened to them in order to be able to recommend them to you. Any advice I give further down the post is “mom-advice” that I am giving my own family, and following myself. It is not medical advice. IF you are an immuno-compromised individual, contact your doctor for the steps to keep yourself healthy and safe from this outbreak. Obviously, washing your hands, etc. is something you can do, but it’s best if you check on your individual situations with a medical professional who knows your specific circumstances.

I can’t believe that I have to debunk this, but you will not get COVID-19 from drinking Corona beer or eating Chinese food. In fact, we’re eating Chinese take-out tonight for dinner. Another point of necessary debunking is that coronavirus “is just like the flu”. It is not. At the lowest level of the range, deaths from the regular flu (influenza) is .02%. Deaths from Coronavirus is 2%. That makes the coronavirus 100 times more deadly than seasonal flu.

While there are fifteen confirmed cases in the US (origin to the US), there are over fifty including those repatriated from Japan and the cruise ship as well as the new unknown origin transmissions that I mentioned above. Despite assertions to the contrary, this virus will spread. It is already spreading.

In 2014, President Obama appointed Ronald Klain as the coordinator for the Ebola response. One thing I will say is that under Obama and Klain, I did not miss one night’s sleep. I did not give Ebola a second thought; I knew it was being handled. Mr. Klain was and is not a medical professional, but he was able to hear from all the various departments and disseminate the appropriate information to the appropriate agencies. He never restricted what the CDC and the NIH told the public. He also had briefings twice a day from the CIA and national intelligence agencies. As with ebola, coronavirus is a global problem. I mention all of this because this does not appear to be the procedure the Trump Administration is following. In fact, in 2018, President Trump eliminated the pandemic team which leaves us starting practically from scratch today.

Mom-Advice:

If you are able, get a flu shot. This will keep you from getting the flu and lowering your immune system. It will NOT prevent the coronavirus.

Wash your hands with soap and warm water several times throughout the day. After using the bathroom, before and after eating, arriving at work and returning home.

Equally important is to dry your hands thoroughly. This is something I learned as an Early Childhood Teacher/Specialist. (added 3/9/20)

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. I know, I know, you’re doing it now. I understand.

When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose AND mouth. Even if covering with a tissue or fabric, wash your hands after with soap and warm water.

Do not share food or drinks with anyone. ANYONE. Do not share straws also.

Resources for you:

First and foremost is the new podcast, Epidemic. It is hosted by Dr. Celine Gounder and former Ebola response Coordinator, Ronald Klain. The first episode is out now, and is incredibly informative. They will be releasing new episodes every Friday.

NEW PODCAST: America Dissected: Coronavirus with Dr. Abdul el-Sayed. New pods will be broadcast on Tuesdays and Fridays. (added 3/13/20)

The Rachel Maddow Show from February 27, 2020. The first 45 minutes focuses exclusively on the coronavirus.

Rachel Maddow’s show transcript from March 11, 2020 or listen to the same on her podcast (added 3/13/20)

Rachel Maddow’s show from March 12, 2020 (added 3/13/20)

Transcript of Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s interview on CBS’ Face the Nation (added 3/9/20)

CDC (Center for Disease Control)

CDC-Coronavirus 2019
NIH (National Institute of Health)

Scientific American: Preparing for the Coronavirus to Strike the US
Coronavirus Symptoms

Wash Your Damn Hands (from Vox)

Take Smart Steps to Slow the Spread of the coronavirus (added 3/9/20)

Preparing for an Outbreak (Coronavirus) (from Vox)

Explainer: Coronavirus reappears in discharged patients, raising questions in containment fight

Cancel Everything (Social Distancing) from The Atlantic (added 3/13/20)

Flattening the Curve, Isolation, Quarantine (from Vox) (added 3/13/20)

How Fox News Misled Viewers about Coronavirus – important to keep up with and recognize the misinformation (CNN Business) (added 3/13/20)

How Trump Set Up his White House to Fail (relates to information access) (The Atlantic) (added 3/13/20)

9 Charts that Explain the Coronavirus Pandemic (from Vox) (added 3/13/20)

Coronavirus Live Update Website (added 3/5/20)

Follow on Twitter:

Dr. Celine Gounder

Ronald Klain
Dr. Scott Gottlieb (added 3/9/20)

Dr. Abdul el-Sayed (added 3/13/20)

CDC

CDC-Emergency
NIH
WHO (World Health Organization)

Richard Engel

Epidemic Science & Health list on Twitter compiled by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo (added 3/5/20)

As more information comes to light, I expect to either add to this post or create new ones. I will put a link on my home page so the information can be easily found.
[Originally titled: Coronavirus – SARS-CoV2-COVID-19 with latest update 3/13/20]

Not Quite Everything You Wanted to Know About Impeachment, But It’s Something

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​Whether you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat, Independent or any other political designation, I hope that you believe, as I do that the impeachment of a President (or Cabinet member or judge) should be considered as a last resort, taken with the seriousness and gravitas that it deserves.Unfortunately, with this President and his Administration flouting the rule of law, ignoring subpoenas, and its blatant public acts of corruption and solicitation of foreign election interference, he, Mr. Trump has given Congress no choice.

And all of that was before this quid pro quo with Ukraine and giving the green light for Turkey to invade the Kurdish territory in Syria.

The G7 at the Doral Resort was just another cherry on the top of the ever growing Trump Corruption Sundae.

It may be hard to wade through the Republican lies and disinformation campaign. Personally, I am disappointed in Republicans who in the past at least pretended to be pro-America. They’ve truly shown their true colors and loyalties especially McConnell, Graham, and Meadows. I’m less surprised by Pompeo, Mulvaney, Jordan, and Nunes. This couldn’t have been proved any better than their deliberate and illegal interruption of impeachment testimony in a secure room in the House just yesterday. The President’s involvement in their stunt is another impeachable offense.

However, my opinion doesn’t mean anything without the facts to back it up.

This post offers sources to read, follow, and listen to as they lay out the impeachment case and continue to offer reasoned perspectives. As new information comes out or readers suggest other sources, I will update this post. I will also add it to my Home page.

Please comment with any of your own recs.

Podcasts (I provide links through Player.FM which is where I listen to my podcasts, but you can listen anywhere you already listen to podcasts.)

Rubicon: The Impeachment of Donald Trump from Crooked Media

Impeachment Primer – Amicus 

Article II: Inside Impeachment from NBC hosted by Steve Kornacki 

Impeachment, Explained from Vox hosted by Ezra Klein 

Rachel Maddow Presents: Bag Man A series on the corruption of Vice President Spiro Agnew 

Twitter

Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi 

Preet Bharara 

Neal Katyal 

Richard Engel – on the ground in Syria 

or On Assignment with Richard Engel

Your own Senators and Representatives

Books and Other Publications

Neal Katyal is an attorney who served in the Justice Department, was the Acting Solicitor General during the Obama Administration from May 2010 until June 2011, taking over the position after Elena Kagan became Supreme Court Justice. He was born in Chicago, and has argued more Supreme Court cases than any other minority lawyer. He seems to always have cases before the Supreme Court. He drafted the Special Cousel regulations in 1999, and those are in continued use, and used to assign the parameters of the Mueller Investigation. He was one of Al Gore’s co-counsels before the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore and teaches at Georgetown.

He has written his first book, Impeach: The Case Against President Trump, which is coming out on November 26th, just in time for those family dinner conversations, explaining impeachment to those of us asking the questions. It can be pre-ordered

It is also helpful to read the following:

Mueller Report (this link will automatically download to your device)

The opening statements of the testimony of Marie Yovanivitch, former Ukraine Ambassador (this link will also automatically download to your device)

The opening statement of testimony by Bill Taylor (this link brings you to google docs)

Mental Health Monday – What Are Your Go-To’s?

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If you search through my tags or have read me for some time, you may notice that my mental health go-to’s will sometimes change. That. Is. Normal. What helps you, what soothes you, what centers you will change over time. And if there is no change…well, that’s normal too. Not any one thing will work for every one person. That is why it is so important for us to talk, to eliminate the mental health stigma, and to share what works for each of us so that the rest can pick what might work for them and give it a try.

My top five go-to’s:

  1. Writing. I am currently in a memoir workshop but it will come to an end. My plan for the next two weeks is setting up a writing schedule and a list of topics so I always have something to go to with pen and paper or keyboard and kindle.
  2. Supernatural. As I’ve mentioned this is the last season for the long-running series, and it is my heart. It is comfort for me.
  3. Prayer. I’ve been studying labyrinths and having that focus is a positive thing for my mental health. I read a daily Thomas Merton devotional that starts my day. I’m searching for prayers, I’m writing prayers, and I’m praying in new ways. For me that means the labyrinth, the rosary, and upcoming retreats.
  4. Podcasts. Two in particular. Stay Tuned with Preet BhararaLovett or Leave It. I have several other podcasts (Pod Save AmericaPod Save the WorldAnn Kroeker – Writing Coach), but they aren’t mental health go-to’s for me.
  5. Reading. I have my public library on my kindle, and I am constantly borrowing e-books from my library. I have three on my kindle at the moment of all variety of genre.

    Please comment with your go-to’s and I’ll put together a future post with your responses.

    Crisis Intervention Resources Page has been Updated.

    Have a good week!

    This Land – A New Podcast Series from Crooked Media

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    Beginning tomorrow on Crooked Media is an eight episode podcast with Rebecca Nagle about two murders, a Supreme Court case and the land in Oklahoma. I can’t wait to hear what this journalist and Cherokee Nation citizen has to say about this compelling story.

    You can subscribe now and then get notified when it’s available for download and listening. I’m already subscribed on PlayerFM, and can’t wait for it to be downloaded. 

    Find it wherever you regularly get your podcasts.

    ​This is how Crooked Media describes it: 

    “An 1839 assassination of a Cherokee leader. A 1999 small town murder. Two crimes collide in a Supreme Court case that will decide the fate of one man and nearly half of the land in Oklahoma. Hosted by Rebecca Nagle, Oklahoma journalist and citizen of Cherokee Nation, This Land traces how a cut and dry homicide opened up an investigation into the treaty rights of five Native American tribes. Tune in, beginning June 3rd to Crooked Media’s 8-episode series to find out how this unique case could result in the largest restoration of tribal land in US history when it answers one fundamental question: Who owns this land?”

    This Land 

    Mental Health Monday – Avoiding Politics

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    Politics are everywhere these days. I’m a political junkie, and even for me it can be a little exasperating. In the US we have an unhinged narcissist who can’t control his Twitter fingers and the media who used ot have journalistic integrity churning out pieces on his nicknaming habits, no follow up questions for outrageous lies, and more twattle than I thought humanly possilble. In the UK, Brexit is a disaster, no one gave a thought to Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Theresa May has resigned. The EU is in the middle of elections and fascists are everywhere. The Austrian government has basically fallen apart. And of course, there’s Iran and North Korea.

    Amid this frenzy, I offer five ways to bring your blood pressure down and cope with the news of the day, no matter your normal comfort level:

    1. Turn it off. Turn off the television, turn off your phone notifications, take a break from Twitter.

    2. If you must stay on Twitter, only read Lin-Manuel Miranda exclusively. He is positive and uplifting and always says the one thing you needed to hear. Monday through Friday, he has Good Morning and Good Night tweets for his followers.

    3. Read a book. NOT The Handmaid’s Tale. NOT 1984 or Lord of the Flies. Try Bill Bryson. Or James Martin, SJ. Or Becoming by Michelle Obama.

    4. Treat yourself to a movie. Avengers: End Game is still in theatres. Other options: A Dog’s Journey, Aladdin, Detective Pikachu, and in the coming weeks: Men in Black and Toy Story 4!

    5. Try a new podcast: The Hilarious World of Depression with John Moe wherever you get your podcasts. I listen on Player.FM.

    Writing Advice – Podcasts

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    The Write Life has compiled a list of 20 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to right now. I’d recommend giving them a try before subscribing, but it’s easy enough to unsubscribe if a particular podcast isn’t for you.

    The one podcast I listen to on a regular basis is writer, Ann Kroeker’s Writing Coach. I use PlayerFM and I am very fond of their platform.

    Look for a special bonus Writing Advice later on this afternoon to finish out the series!