The Election Connection series will be a bit more sporadic, posted on a need-to-know basis now that we have an Administration that cares about its citizens in all the important and even in the most mundane ways. I still feel waves of PTSD at moments and then I see Press Secretary Jen Psaki swatting stupid questions, not arguing with White House correspondents, and offering experts to give briefings and answer questions, and I remember that it’s all going to be okay. It’s like the last four years were a dream, and I’m Pamela Ewing.
Unfortunately, the last four years weren’t a dream, and as nightmarish as it was to live through, it wasn’t a nightmare either. It was very real.
We need to take that same energy from the last years, the same energy brought to the Georgia Senate race, the same energy brought by the summer protests, and we need to focus it unrelentingly on the next two years, and then the two after that, and then the two after. We can never get complacent again.
Complacent = Complicit
We came very close to losing our republic. As it was, we witnessed a coup attempt, an insurrection that struck at the heart of our democracy. Five people died, including a Capitol police officer, but hundreds of others were injured. Two members of law enforcement have committed suicide. And still, there are Republicans who refuse to comply with law enforcement requirements to go through a magnetometer before entering the House floor. I mean, let’s be realistic and honest here, they’re also refusing to wear masks despite common sense and Executive Order, putting their colleagues and staff at risk (four members of Congress plus one spouse became covid infected because of Republican negligence on January 6th, and that was without their obvious complicity in the attack on the Capitol).
So, it’s time for a Civics lesson, and I will go extra slow as if I were speaking to the newly elected Senator from Alabama (this one) who doesn’t know the three branches of government (see below*) or a Supreme Court justice (this one) who doesn’t know the five rights guaranteed in the First Amendment (see below*).
Some things are etched in stone – the Constitution including the Bill of Rights is one of those things. The Constitution may be amended, and there are procedures in place to do that. In fact, we have amended the Constitution twenty-seven times, most recently in 1992.
Some things are not – Number of Supreme Court justices, the use of the filibuster. Supreme Court justices were based on the number of circuit courts, which have increased to thirteen. This is why many experts feel that the Supreme Court should be expanded to cover each circuit court with its own justice (as established in 1869 with what is known as the Circuit Judges Act).
The filibuster is not part of the Constitution, which makes it easier to change than amending the Constitution would be.
A couple of points:
Unity does not mean to continue to allow ourselves be abused or gaslit.
Unity does not mean giving in to bullies.
Unity does not mean power sharing when Democrats have a clear mandate.
Below the cut are Twitter follows of the Biden Administration, the House Managers of the Impeachment Trial, a selection of podcasts, and other accounts that I follow regularly and find are very informative and honest. Add your own in the comments and I can include them in the next Election Connection.
*Branches of Government
| | |
Legislative Executive Judicial
*5 Rights Enumerated in the First Amendment:
1. Freedom of Speech
2. Freedom of Religion
3. Freedom of the Press
4. Freedom to Assemble
5. Freedom to Protest the Government
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.
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.
Chef Jose Andres, immigrant, restauranteur, activist, and advocate started a hashtag on Twitter during this quarantine: #RecipesForThePeople. He’s been posting recipes along with videos of he and his daughters cooking, showing how easy cooking for your family can be. It can also be fun, and a way to get closer to your family. One of the first recipes that I saw was Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato Sauce. According to Chef Jose, it takes less than four minutes to make, and so I got the ingredients I was missing (we already had most of these basic ingredients in our pantry) when I went to the grocery store for my next scheduled trip, and had my son help me make it, along with help from Chef Jose himself (through Twitter-video!)
It was amazing!
It was fast; it was easy.
The whole family loved it!
You can find the link (along with his and others’ recipes) as part of the Food, Isolation Style post, but I will also include the direct link to his Twitter here with a list of the ingredients.
1 box (16oz) angel hair pasta
1 bag fresh spinach
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
Salt, pepper, sugar to taste
A larger pan than I used initially – LOL
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.)
Article II: Inside Impeachment from NBC hosted by Steve Kornacki
Rachel Maddow Presents: Bag Man A series on the corruption of Vice President Spiro Agnew
Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee
Richard Engel – on the ground in Syria
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)
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.
Including arguing about whether the writiing is relevant to the non-writing and whether the argument about whether the writing is relevant to the non-writing is relevant fodder for a third party’s writing. Or none of those things..
This, posted at 6:17pm EST on the 15th of February, 2019 was the tweet heard ’round the world. At least the world of food blogs everywhere. Before historian Kevin M. Kruse tweeted this, innocence had hung over the Twitter world, that global place for the polite exchange of ideas, but after… after, the cacophony that some wanted to laugh at while others were weeping shook even the most innocent of bystanders.
I don’t know who I’m making fun of, although I include myself in that. Never have I felt the both sides of an issue as I did with this tweet and the responses that followed.
Having “enjoyed” Twitter since 2009, I laughed at the original tweet. Not a haha good one laugh, but a what have you done FTLOG laugh. I could see what was next a mile away and it didn’t take long for my foreknowledge to be realized.
I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist of it was mostly how fucking dare you?!?!
I saw this storm form quickly as the clouds darkened and the winds gathered. As I said, I can see both sides because I am both sides.
I’m a writer. I want people to read my writing and with most writing, every word has its place, its function. I want it all read.
I also blog about food, share recipes, and post food pics here and on Instagram. It’s one of my, let’s call it niches.
I also search for recipes online.
There are days, like last week. In the middle of cooking dinner, our oven broke. I needed to finish baking the cornbread. I searched online and when I found a microwave recipe, I skipped over everything to get to the very end of the directions for how long to microwave it. It took a little longer than stated because our microwave is older and smaller than the average microwave available today.
Other times I read the narrative to get clues as to taste and texture; what needs to be followed perfectly; what can be tweaked.
And there are times when I post a recipe that I post a narrative alongside it. Some kind of how I discovered this or my daughter came up with this or some other family story or anecdote that I find relevant.
For Christmas, in fact, I wrote a ten recipe cookbook for my church’s food pantry/Christmas basket program. One of the most often compliments that I’ve received about the booklets was about the accompanying narrative that I included for some of the recipes. These included origins, where some were adapted from, links. Next time, I’ll add photos, but the narrative was received just as well as the recipe itself. In fact, one of the gentlemen who I’ve always thought of as dour, smiled, thanked me, and informed me that he sent copies to his two daughters. This was high praise indeed.
So while it would have been easy to be pulled into a Twitter fight between (favorite) historian and a band of incensed food bloggers, I stayed far away, but still checking in to see how both sides held up and where the argument would end. I mean, it is Twitter after all. I did leave one tweet, and I’m sure that I didn’t help anyone on either side.