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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Let’s just cut to the chase: Trump and the Republican Party are trying to overturn the election and permanently damage electoral democracy by disenfranchising Black voters.

They won’t be successful in overturning the election. But it is important to look at how racism subverts democracy.

Voter suppression morphs to vote suppression

In addition to engaging in voter suppression through a myriad of means, all of which make it harder for Black people — and many others — to vote, they are now pivoting to attempt vote suppression — throwing out legally cast ballots in counties where the Black population is the majority or significant.

Let’s be clear, Republicans and Trump have produced no credible evidence or even credible allegations of widespread voter fraud, illegal voting or rigged elections. There are many conspiracy theories, disinformation and rumors but no evidence. Even one of Trump’s top security experts joined others in refuting the president’s lies. Trump fired him. …

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Lake Michigan sunrise photo by Teresa Albano.

The sun still rises. Let’s slow it down and take a breath.

Then let’s make sure every — and I do mean EVERY — legitimate ballot cast in 2020 is freaking counted!

Would we have wanted a landslide? Yes, of course. But a win for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on the scale of Trump’s 2016 win (a squeaker in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) would be OK by me too.

And here’s the thing: the totals are not even in from these states and may not be for a while. Yet Trump threatens to shut down the legitimate vote count! What is being reported in many states is in-person Election Day and in-person early voting. The mail-in ballots and provisional ballots take longer. …

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A Minnesotans for Biden-Harris campaign sign in support of Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President ahead of the 2020 general election in a front yard in Hibbing, Minnesota. Photo by Tony Webster/CC

In the last debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, one of the most significant moments for me came when Biden, visibly angry and upset, talked about the 545 migrant children “ripped from their [parents’] arms and separated” at the border as per Trump administration policy.

Trump jerkily danced around moderator Kristen Welker’s question on whether he had a plan to reunite the 500+ children with their parents, claiming so-called “coyotes”and “lots of bad people” brought the children. …

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Sticker sent to author as part of her vote-by-mail ballot.

Here’s the good news: as of Oct. 28 almost 75 million people have early voted. That is 54.2% of the total votes counted in 2016, according to the University of Florida’s U.S. Election Project. Of the states that record party affiliation, some 7 million more Democrats early voted than Republicans. There are 20 states that have party affiliation data available, including the battleground states of Arizona, Iowa, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Here’s the bad news: Republicans are slightly ahead of Democrats in early in-person voting. Many more Democrats than Republicans have voted via mail-in ballots.

That’s one reason why the president and his lackeys are attacking vote-by-mail. Liar-in-Chief Donald Trump is spinning conspiracy after conspiracy about so-called voter fraud and rigged elections faster than you can say Rumplestiltskin. …

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Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

An unexpected “tell” about the depths of Vice President Mike Pence’s anti-woman decay came about an hour into the debate.

Before then, Pence interrupted his opponent, Sen. Kamala Harris, multiple times and filibustered the debate moderator, USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, by ignoring time limit rules. Every woman watching this behavior recognized their own experiences with men interrupting and talking over them, which is why Sen. Harris’ firm, no nonsense “I’m speaking” comeback resonated widely.

While this display of “mansplaining” was beyond frustrating, (I yelled at the television twice and tweeted multiple times my thoughts about Pence’s disrespect) it was somewhat par for the Republican course. …

Biden appealed directly to the American people during the debate, Trump couldn’t fathom why

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There were three times when Vice President Joe Biden looked directly into the camera and spoke to the viewers of Tuesday night’s Presidential Debate. (Or shall we say, quasi-Presidential Debate?) During those brief moments, Biden’s eyes met the unseen voters’ eyes. He appealed to the sensibilities of the American people. He spoke directly to us.

And we listened. But amazingly, so did President Donald Trump. Well, maybe he didn’t listen but he actually “shut up, man.” He closed his incessant pie hole, if only for a few blessed moments.

He may have been too stunned to speak because Biden was doing something alien to Trump. Biden was talking to all Americans, all of US. This is something Trump has never done, nor does he even know how to do it. …

How the Christian Right would rather “reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n”

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Creative Commons/Ted Eytan/Physicians News Digest

A few weeks ago, I received a mailer from the Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC). I was surprised because I am one of the “radical left Democrats” against whom this far-right, pro-Trump organization rails. This group attracts the kinds of people who put figurines of Barack Obama in urinals, which happened at their 2014 conference. Very Christian. (Not.) Organizers did remove them after a reporter from Huffington Post tweeted a photo of one.

I read through the FFC letter, signed by Ralph Reed, a fixture of rightwing extremist, pro-corporate politics. …

Conspiratorial thinking is dangerous to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Where to begin with the conspiracy theories? They are all around us. There is a conspiracy of conspiracy theorists trying to drive the ideal of America off the cliff, smashing it into a million pieces and install Donald Trump as dictator for life.

OK. No.

But there seems to have been a dangerous proliferation of conspiracy theories, and Donald Trump, along with being the Divider-in-Chief, is the Conspiracy-Theorist-in-Chief. He started his political career with the biggest conspiracy theory of the last decade: Birtherism. …

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The Union Miners Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Ill., has a monument to the great labor leader, Mother Jones, and the miners who died in the Battle of Virden and the little-known Illinois coal mine wars. (Photos by author.)

Author’s note: This article was originally for a series on pandemics and literature. A funny thing happened on the way to publishing this piece. It got rejected by the editor because, according to the series curator, the editor said that having a book by a white author would be a step “backward.” It was late in the series, and apparently, the editor didn’t want any more books by white authors. But nobody told me that.

I wrote about the erasure of class from our discourse and how that erasure affects all workers, Black, brown, white — immigrant and U.S. born. I wrote that this pandemic offers an opportunity to amplify diverse working-class voices now that people are beginning to see at least some workers as “essential.” I centered it on a novel about a little known piece of labor history: the Illinois coal wars and the war — not on coal as Donald Trump would have you believe — but on miners, their families, communities and most critically, their unions. In rejecting this piece, I believe the editor has proved my point. I find it short-sighted, calling an essay that addresses class and pandemics a step “backward” because the novel is by a white author. …


Teresa Albano

Writers interpret the world in various ways, the point is to change it.

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