Things that are bad for Democracy in 3 minutes or less.
Plus how you can support the labor movement with yarn.
Meet the new year. Same as the old year… but with elections and some pretty stark realities for democracy.
Hi everyone! And welcome to the wave of new subscribers from the clock app. Talk amongst yourselves in the comment section why don’t ya.
Two videos this week. The first is a brief and depressing recap of the hurdles democracy lovers face from this point forward. NGL, it sucks.
There were lots of comments asking what the F we can do about all of this, which is a really important question that I’ll address more going forward. The important thing to remember is that we are 100% capable of working together and turning it around. And it doesn’t have to be all-consuming or even complicated for one person to contribute. My own personal salvation is knowing what’s always been true of politics - that small actions done by lots of people over time add up quickly. So hang your hat on that.
All of us have at least one person in our circles that knows and trusts us and is also at risk of getting sucked into a far-right time warp. You may be the last lifeline to reason for that person. Slipping an exchange of political understanding into that relationship is one small and very powerful way to get started. There’s a fancy term for that now - relational organizing - but basically, it’s helping your friends and family off a ledge. More on that later.
Now, enjoy this hot fresh content!
An Election Outlook From 2022
Plans are being laid right now to decide elections before they happen and 2020 was a test run.
47 million Americans think the last election was stolen. 21 million of those say violence is justified to restore the loser. 7 million own guns. 6 million support extreme militias. 3 million are veterans. And 1 million either know or are members of far-right groups. Also, QAnon is as big as several major religions now.
The plans start with the Eastman memo which was a six-step plan to overturn the election that failed in 2020. Barely. The plan hinges on the Independent State Legislature Doctrine which says that the Constitution gives state legislatures total power over elections, and key statehouses are overwhelmingly Republican thanks to decades of their own gerrymandering.
Four Supreme Court justices support this doctrine, Amy Coney Barrett would make a majority. It's backed by a precedent set in Bush vs. Gore. It's being pushed by the Federalist Society and white-shoe law firms like Baker Hostettler.
Laws are being passed. At least 15 key states are working to shift control of elections to Republican-controlled legislatures. They're making it harder to vote and dangerous to protest. 45 states considered 230 bills criminalizing protests setting racial rebellion and violent leftists.
Poll workers are being threatened. One in six reported threats. One in eight of those threats meets the threshold for prosecution. No arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, all who stood up to Trump are being purged including key election officials in Georgia, Michigan, and Arizona. Candidates for Secretary of State who oversee elections in at least seven states have pledged allegiance to the Big Lie. Only 10 GOP congressmen voted for impeachment just days after being violently attacked. Two of them are leaving, the rest have lost party support.
On the campaign side, Steve Bannon called for an army and he got one. Of 65 key counties in swing states, 41 reported surges of Republican precinct captains. A total of 8,500 people. There was no surge on the Democratic side.
Odds are that Republicans win even more Statehouse seats and the Supreme Court is set to give them total control over presidential electors no matter how the voters vote. They'll have armed militias to back them up. And now generals are worried about the military.
1 in 10 of those charged for January 6 have service records. Three American generals say we now need to prepare for the potential total breakdown of military command on partisan lines and a possibility that rogue military units could organize under competing commanders in chief.
The Democrats could do something about all of this right now but are currently powerless against two of their own members who have more loyalty to a weird-ass Senate Rule, named the filibuster than to keeping American democracy or any of their promises.
But even if they did that tomorrow, it might not register with people because a new study of the not-so-liberal media shows that they cover Biden as bad and at times worse than they covered Donald Trump.
All of this is why you should get involved in politics. Like now. Find something you're good at. There's a transcript of all of this and sources in my newsletter at the link in my bio.
Special Metals Strike Gets National Press
And what you can do to help… it involves yarn.
Hello. There are important updates for West Virginia steelworkers who have been striking since October 1st for a better deal against a Warren Buffett-owned company in Huntington called Special Metals.
Bernie Sanders sent a letter to Buffett urging the billionaire, whose company made 10 billion in profit in the most recent quarter, to spare some respect for the workers who could face up to a $700 increase in insurance premiums.
Buffett punted to lower-level management as the workers go into the new year and their fourth month on strike. There's still no word or support from Joe Manchin. So if you live in West Virginia, call his office.
But you can support the workers directly. Their strike find is at the link in my bio and even better, you could buy this yarn, which is called picket twine, like picket line, and is handmade by my friend Kelley with an awesome small yarn business.
She's dedicated profits from picket twine to the special metal strike fund in solidarity. Buy it and maybe you could knit some mittens for Bernie Sanders or a sweater to warm Warren Buffett's called dead heart. The link is in my bio.