I live in the Village of Williamsville. It is a tiny (just over one square mile and 5000 people) village just outside the city of Buffalo. It is a great location — we can be in downtown Buffalo in one direction or a farm in the other, in less than 15 minutes. We moved here over a decade ago because the village means we have walkability (a farmers market, library, coffee shop, many parks) but also space (real yards).
We also moved here because it is a relatively blue area. Not big city bright blue, but purple-ish blue. We vote for Biden and HRC both over trump by over a 60-40 margin.
When you hear about campaigns trying to get those white women suburban voters, those are my neighbors. That is where I live.
We elected a Mayor a couple of years ago who is a Trump supporter. She ran unopposed (Mayor of a tiny village is not a great paying or sought after job). I knew her (it’s a tiny village) and supported her as much as you can support (or not support) someone who runs unopposed. Honestly, I was kind of happy to be able to support someone with whom I disagreed on national politics. We are all so divided and so it seemed like it would be fine to support someone for a position that mostly focuses on maintaining parks and making sure that street signs are accurate.
I was super wrong.
At first she seemed ok. But when COVID hit she started to use the village to further her own right wing agenda. Rather than focusing on issues that the village had control over, the wrote statements arguing against mask mandates. She became a darling of right wing talk radio. She bragged about being unvaccinated. She refused to wear a mask even during the mandate and drew a fine for it. Then she tried to hire a lawyer (at Village expense) to fight the fine rather than just pay it. She wanted to use our tax dollars to fight against common sense COVID protection measures.
She was able to handpick two of the Trustees on the Board (in part because she was so toxic to work with that one Trustee stepped down) so she had a majority for voting (there are four Trustees plus her for every vote).
This past Tuesday, there was an election for those two Trustee positions. We had two reasonable candidates running on our side. The other side had far right candidates who compared COVID rules to the Holocaust and argued that Antifa was responsible for the insurrection.
I was confident that we would win but they were also confident of victory. The day of the election, my confidence plummeted and my panic grew. What if they won? What if the far right took over my little village? If it would happen here, it could happen all over America. We had reason and common sense, but they had right wing radio and slurs about our candidates.
And then we won. We didn’t just win — we won in a landslide. An almost 3 to 1 ratio. We buried them.
Turnout was at record levels.
People showed up. Not just those in the village on the left. We are not a 3 to 1 left village. We are a blue shade of purple.
People in the middle showed up and voted for sanity. They voted against overreach. They lined up. They waited to vote. And they made a difference.
Why should this matter to you? Because this can happen all over America.
The majority of Americans did not want Roe overturned. The majority of Americans don’t want the Supreme Court to tell Blue states what we can and cannot do about guns.
The majority of Americans are on our side. We see that in poll after poll after poll.
What this week taught me is that the far right is overstepping. They are overconfident. They are overreaching.
Yes, the consequences are gutting. But the pendulum is about to swing back in our direction.
Are you furious about Roe? I know am furious about Roe. Seeing red mad.
I took my kids to the amusement park Friday morning so I was there when I found out and had to bury my rage while I was with them. My FIL is in the hospital so I had to bury it while I went to sit with my MIL. Then I came home ready to burst.
I wrote “I Dissent” on a posterboard and went and stood on Main street in my little village and just seethed for half an hour with my sign in front of me as cars drove by. Like a lunatic. Some guy yelled "trump" at me and I murdered him with my gaze. Some guy gave me thumbs down and I melted him with my stare. I got a lot of thumbs up and thanks and honks and I didn't smile or move for any of them. I was and am beyond furious. All I wanted was to let as many people as I could know that this is not normal, this is not OK, and we will not sit down for this.
WE WILL MAKE THEM PAY. We will not give up. We will not stop fighting. We are only angrier and more ready.
One thing we can do is focus on November. We need to make sure that people get how important this election is — how much is at stake. And if we do that WE CAN WIN and we can protect basic rights at the federal level.
If my tiny village can mobilize everyone from the left to the middle to fight against the far right, we can do that as a nation as well. I know we can.
Think about it: my village showed that people from the center to the left will fight hard (and win) over public safety overreach from the far right, think about how hard all of us will fight (and win) over losing the right to choose. WE CAN DO THIS. My village proved it.
What can you do?
I set up a place where we can donate and the funds will be distributed evenly between the tossup House and Senate races. Think of it as a one stop shop for using your $$$ to save democracy. Here is the link:
C’mon. Do it now.
Here are some other things you can do:
Want to donate to Planned Parenthood? Sure, that's great. But, people who have been in this fight for a while will tell you that PP is decently well-funded, whereas independent clinics, which provide nearly 60% of all abortions, are really struggling. So, if you are looking for places to donate, you can consider supporting these independent clinics directly at KeepOurClinics
And don’t lose hope. Together, we can do this!
We Are The Majority
in fact — Alaska Airlines, Dick's Sporting Goods, JPMorgan, Disney and others covering travel costs for abortions
Justice is Coming
Jan. 6 probe expands with fresh subpoenas in multiple states
Federal agents investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday dropped subpoenas on people in multiple locations, widening the probe of how political activists supporting President Donald Trump tried to use invalid electors to thwart Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.
Expectations about prosecuting Trump may be shifting
Many Republicans and mainstream media commentators have intoned that the House Jan. 6 committee’s hearings wouldn’t draw ratings or change voters’ minds. That was wrong. In fact, the evidence presented thus far has been far more impactful than the punditocracy predicted.
One poll from Democratic firm Navigator Research found that “the House investigation is garnering attention from the public, with 63 percent of respondents saying they have heard ‘a lot’ or ‘some’ about the hearings." Even more telling: “An increasing number of Americans believe that it is important to uncover the truth behind the attempted coup; respondents said that the hearings were important by a 15-point margin, up five points from April.” That increase is largely driven by independents, 45 percent of whom now say the investigation is important, compared with 26 percent who say the opposite.
GOP Arizona House Speaker, Under Oath, Refutes Trump’s ‘Rigged’ Election Claim
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican who supported former President Donald Trump’s reelection in 2020, claimed on Tuesday that Trump lied about their past conversations in a statement Trump released just moments before the fourth Jan. 6 committee hearing. “In November 2020, Bowers thanked me for getting him elected,” Trump wrote in the statement. “He said he would have lost, and in fact expected to lose, if I hadn’t come along. During the conversation, he told me that the election was rigged and that I won Arizona… Bowers should hope there’s not a tape of the conversation.” Bowers, who testified Tuesday that Trump and his allies pressed him to reject Joe Biden’s electors, refuted Trump’s claims under oath. Acknowledging that he did have a phone call with Trump after the 2020 election, Bowers said it “would not be true” to say he ever said the election was rigged. “And when the former president in his statement today claimed that you told him that he won Arizona, is that also false?” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked. “That is also false,” Bowers responded.
Democrats do great things
Biden administration approves student loan forgiveness for another 45,000 public sector workers
he Biden administration has approved the cancellation of federal student loan debt for another 45,000 public sector workers over the past few months, according to the Department of Education, on top of the 100,000 borrowers previously deemed eligible.
These workers qualify for student loan debt cancellation due to the changes the Department of Education made to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program in October.
Since then, the administration has approved the cancellation of about $8.1 billion in federal student loan debt for close to 145,000 borrowers under the new waiver.
Other Good News
The ‘Fucking Hammer to the Head’ That Could End Putin
As the war enters its fourth month, and with sanctions packages slapped on Moscow and Russian troops dying daily in fierce fighting in Ukraine, rumors have bubbled up that Putin’s closest cronies are plotting his ouster. Talk has come and gone that Putin is dealing with health crises and cancer, too.
“Nobody’s gonna ask, ‘Hey Vladimir, would you like to leave?’ No. It’s a fucking hammer to the head and he’s dead. Or it’s time to go to the sanatorium,” Hoffman told The Daily Beast. “They schwack him for it. That’s what they’ll do.”
Three key members of Putin’s inner circle to watch, according to Hoffman, include Nikolai Patrushev, the chief of Putin’s Security Council; Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the FSB; and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Even watching those three, predicting Putin’s political future—and particularly trying to get inside his head to determine what his plans are—is impossible. But the writing is on the wall. Vladimir Lenin died. Nikita Khrushchev was ousted. Leonid Brezhnev died. Mikhail Gorbachev was booted in a surprise ouster. The list goes on.
“They either drop dead in office or someone comes knocking on the door and says, ‘Vladimir Vladimirovich, guess what, it’s time to go. You’re gonna love that dacha down there,’” Marks said.
And while Putin’s pared down his inner circle, if Russia’s economy takes a turn for the worse, unrest grows to unmanageable levels, or the battlefield losses start spiraling, Putin will be walking the plank.
another reason to always read the GNR:
Optimists Don’t Just Live Happier—They Live Longer, Study Finds
A number of studies have shown that optimists enjoy higher levels of wellbeing, better sleep, lower stress and even better cardiovascular health and immune function. And now, a recent study has shown that being an optimist is linked to longer life.
those who had the highest levels of optimism were more likely to live longer. More importantly, the optimists were also more likely than those who were pessimists to live into their nineties. Researchers refer to this as “exceptional longevity,” considering the average lifespan for women is about 83 years in developed countries.
What makes these findings especially impressive is that the results remained even after accounting for other factors known to predict a long life—including education level and economic status, ethnicity, and whether a person suffered from depression or other chronic health conditions.
I can’t do the lighter side today. Sorry. But here are some beautiful images of strong women to keep you motivated
I am so lucky and so proud to be in this with all of you ✊🏼✊🏾✊🏽🧡💚💛💜✊🏾✊🏽✊🏻