Friday Food. July.

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Yesterday, in the White House Rose Garden the CEO of Goya spoke in praise of President Trump. He can believe and say anything that he wants. This is America. By the same token however, the people can do the same, and what happened on Twitter yesterday from many prominent Latinx people was a call to boycott Goya products. Even if you don’t traditionally cook Latinx and Hispanic food, you will still know the Goya section in the supermarket: rows and rows of cans and dried beans and spices and sweets and drinks.

As part of the call were many people providing their own recipes for seasoning mixes that can be made at home rather than spending money on Goya products.

The first and most important thing I want to mention that should be remembered in any food boycott: Do NOT throw away food you have already purchased. If you simply can’t have it in your house any longer, donate it. Contact your local regional food bank or your local church, synogogue, or masjid food pantry.

You have tremendous privilege if you are even considering discarding food that is perfectly fine to eat for a political message.

Ana Navarro-Cardenas provided this photo on Twitter of alternative brands to use in place of Goya. (c) 2020

I’ve personally used Badia Spices and they are very good and very inexpensive.

Although they’re not Latinx in particular, my primary spice source is Penzeys Spices. They have stores around the country (most currently doing curbside) and online as well, and their politics matches my own. I’ve used their herbs and spices to mix my own taco seasoning, Italian seasoning and Masala for Chai Masala.

[Graphics of recipes below the cut.] If you have any of your own recipes or resources that you’d like to share, please add them in the comments and I will include them in a future post.

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Election Connection: 17 Weeks: Can Donald Trump Win in November?

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Not if we turn out and vote.

We must pay attention to the various voter suppression tactics across the country from now through Election Day.

One way to stay aware is to stay informed. Read this article, Donald Trump Has A Secret Plan To Win (Seriously) by Dan Pfeiffer.

Dan also has a new book out this year on how we can beat Donald Trump and Untrump America.

What is Treason and When Did It Stop Mattering? | Opinion

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“A republic, if you can keep it.”

As attributed to Benjamin Franklin when asked in Philadelphia if we have a republic or a monarchy.
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Election Connection – 20 Weeks – Media Sources

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As I did my morning news rituals – listening to What a Day and checking Twitter for headlines – I couldn’t help but see that the Vice President is lying about Oklahoma’s COVID-19 increases and downplaying the risks as the President plans on having his first rally since the pandemic in Tulsa.

Please pay attention to sources and double check things that sound incorrect, especially when coming from this Administration. Even when they’re not intentionally lying, they often get their facts wrong and need to walk back and correct their statements nearly on a daily basis and this inludes their surrogates.

Two excellent sources on Twitter are journalists, Soledad O’Brien, who calls out the media when they both sides and/or stammer their way through a headline and Yamiche Alcindor, who will add truthful context to anything she is quoting from her sources.

Use this helpful graphic to know which sources are reliable when researching or sharing information.

Media Bias Chart (c)2018

Election Connection: 23 Weeks: Democratic National Convention

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NEW DATES: AUGUST 17 – 20, 2020

These are the new dates of the Convention. They were changed from their original July dates due to the covid-19 crisis and it is still undetermined if the convention will be in full force or will be virtual or partially both. Click on the picture to go to the Convention website. To visit Joe Biden’s official website, click here.

Election Connection: 26 Weeks: Pick a Senate Race

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Winning the White House is immense and more important than anything we’ve faced in my lifetime, but if we want to get anything done, help Americans through this global pandemic and restart our economy, we’ll need to retake the Sentate. Mitch McConnell, instead of working on helping working class Americans survive is returning to DC to push through more unqualified judges. This isn’t about their being too conservative for my liking; many of them are literally unqualified. Some have never even tried a case before.

Pick a Senate Race.

Donate money.

Donate time.

Volunteer to make calls.

If you live in those states, VOTE THEM OUT!

We need to get rid of:

Mitch McConnell (KY)                    Lindsey Graham (SC)
Susan Collins (ME)                          Martha McSally (AZ)
Cory Gardner (CO)                           Kelly Loeffler (GA)
Thom Tillis (NC)                               Jim Jordan (OH)
Devin Nunes (CA)                            John Cornyn (TX)
Matt Gaetz (FL)                                 

Joni Ernst(IA) – Donate to Theresa Greenfield here

Election Connection: 28 Weeks: When We All Vote

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From the Website:

Michelle Obama and the other When We All Vote co-chairs are squadig up to make sure every single eligible voter is registered and ready to vote for the 2020 elections. But they need your help, too!

Visit When We All Vote, where you can register to vote, pledge to vote, and check your registration.

Election Connection: 29 Weeks: Save the Post Office

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All weekend my Twitter feed was the same thing. #SaveUSPS. I knew that the post office got screwed back in the Bush Administration, but I also knew that they would manage; they always did. What I didn’t know was that this White House refused any stimulus money to go towards keeping the Postal Service afloat. This made me angry in a weekend of anger caused by this incompetent and insensitive Administration run by an ignorant nincompoop.

Why should we care about whether or not the post office continues its mission?

For one thing, the post office has been operational since 1775, BEFORE the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin was its first Postmaster General. When our family visited Philadelphia several years ago, one of the stops I insisted on making was to the Ben Franklin Post Office. We waited in line to get envelopes hand-stamped as souvenirs. We still have them. For another thing, the mail doesn’t discriminate. If you have an address you get mail. No matter how far from the center of town or across the water. In Alaska, mail is delivered in some places by seaplane. Without the post office, those services would cease to function. FedEx and UPS hand off their nonprofitable items to the United States Postal Service for the last leg of the trip to get the items where they need to go. And that leads into the third thing about why we should care about the post office:

The post office isn’t supposed to make a profit. It is a public service, delivering mail to everyone regardless of status or wealth. It’s in the Constitution. Right there in Article 1, Section 8, it states that “The Congress shall have power to establish Post Offices and post Roads;” The implication being that Congress is the one that has the power to disestablish; not the White House. Congress also controls the purse strings through taxes and distribution of monies. And one other thing: the post office pays its own way. Until that Act (under Bush) requiring them to pay into pension plans for fifty years in the future (which no other department or business does), it was making a PROFIT.

Is the Post Office really all that important?

You tell me – how do you feel when you receive a Christmas card from someone you don’t hear from? A wedding invitation that you then hang on the bulletin board? I visit my local post office weekly to mail something, to pick up something, to check out the new stamps. I’ll be back their in two or so days to mail my taxes. To send them certified mail, it will cost me $6.40. If I sent the same via FedEx, it would cost a minimum of $13.75, and it’s not certified mail. It does not count for the legal system according to a 2018 ruling.

For me, from a personal standpoint, I grew up in the back of the post office. Both of my parents worked for many individual branches as clerks until they both retired. My mother also did bookkeeping. They sometimes worked in different offices, and sometimes in the same office. (Would not recommend.) I remember sitting in the back waiting for my Dad to finish up after visiting the eye doctor down the street. He had to count his drawer and return the stamps to the safe in the postmaster’s office, and I spun in the spinny chair, stamped dozens or more of scrap paper with Air Mail, Postage Due, Fragile, Perishable, and whatever else was there on Gloria’s desk. She had a whole box of stamps. The back smelled of stamp ink and cigarette smoke. Everybody smoked back then. Sometimes I would sort the mail (but don’t tell anyone!) I also skipped many a line going in the employee door. It was supposed to be locked, but it almost never was; not then. If it was, someone would buzz me in. Everyone knew me. At one job I had, my “status” was raised when the assistant manager recognized my father from his local post office in Queens, NY. My Dad always helped him, and he remembered the personal service.

When I was younger, actually older than I’d like to admit, I used to think that one of the perks of working for the post office was free postage. I was wrong. I would leave letters in the hinge of the bathroom mirror for my parents to take to work. I didn’t realize that they were paying for the stamps. My parents also collected stamps as I also do, but not as extensively. When my son was small, we decorated his room in framed stamps ranging from comic strips to dinosaurs to baseball players to DC Super Heroes. I’ve made special trips to the post office to get Mr. Rogers, Harry Potter, Star Trek (which I keep framed, and even gave a set as a gift), Star Wars, and most recently, Gwen Ifill’s Forever stamp for the Black Heritage series.

When I took defensive driving, I was the only student who knew that postal trucks have the right of way even over police and fire vehicles, although I don’t imagine they use that law to get by a stop sign or red light. I know that you can’t put anything in anyone’s mailbox unless it has a stamp on it, and I know that opening someone else’s mail is a federal offense.

The mail is probably one of the most important things we have in this country. The United States Postal Service delivers to all areas, regardless of profit margin. In fact, as I said above they weren’t supposed to make a profit. They are self-sustaining (until the Bush Admin and Republican threats to privatize.) As a public service, they should be supported by the government. In its entirety. From birthday cards to pen pals across the globe, magazines, letters to and from Grandma as well as medicine deliveries like I get. I’m always excited to see what the mailbox has in store for me on a daily basis. I can hear when the mail carrier delivers the mail, and I often run out (or send my kids out) immediately. Yesterday, in fact, I got a check from the state for unclaimed funds.

Twenty-five dollars!

They are also the largest single employer of veterans and people of color. Their offices and routes are filled with diversity, women, and veterans.

Why do Republicans want the post office to fail?

Simple. Mail-in voting. They lose when we vote. They rolled the dice in Wisconsin. They made the rules. They forced people out into long lines to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic instead of postponing and extending vote by mail or absentee ballot deadlines. The Democrat won. Now they are crying foul. They made the rules. They forced the vote, but somehow when the Democrat wins it’s unfair.

When I saw the headline about the White House’s refusal to bail out the post office in The Washington Post, I was disturbed, especially after last week’s debacle in Wisconsin!

Some threads to read:

The Debate over a Post Office Bailout, Explained (Vox)

Thread on USPS

Congress is Sabotaging Your Post Office (from May/June, 2019) (Washington Monthly)

Ben White of Politico: A reminder that the USPS funding “crisis” has nothing to do with what it charges Amazon or others and everything to do with a massively burdensome congressional mandate.

How Congress Manufactured a Postal Service Crisis and How to Fix It

Facts about USPS (from USPS)

Twitter thread (long but well worth it) from a Mail Carrier

NOW, call Congress and the White House, and tell them you want the postal service to survive. Tell them you want the bailout.

You want to vote by mail. When we vote, we win. And this election is like no other in our lifetimes.

Call Congress. Call the White House. Make your voices heard.

Anything less is unpatriotic and undemocratic because undermining democracy is what they’ve been doing for the last three years (more if you include Republican Senators) and we will not stand for it.

Call your Senators at: 202-224-3121

Call the White House at: 202-456-141

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.