But on the bright side, I've gotten some quality Petunia-cuddles during breaks, and she's feeling a lot better now. So far, Pumpkin hasn't gotten sick, so I think we may finally be almost done with this cold.
Let's get to the links. First, the happy ones:
As I mentioned in my post on Wednesday... The Inconvenient God, a fantasy novelette by Francesca Forrest is now out! If you haven't grabbed a copy yet - get one. I think you'll love this story. Also, I'm running a release month promo for this book, so if you send me a picture of the book on your ereader (or in your hands, if you get the paperback) I'll send you a promo code to get Vanessa Fogg's The Lilies of Dawn for just $0.99.
Speaking of Vanessa Fogg... she posted about some much deserved recognition her stories are getting. Check it out, and then check out the stories, because they are wonderful.
And now, for the less happy links:
If you only have time for one link this week, read Peter Beinart on the limits of civility.
Amy S. Kaufman's essay on chivalry and why it is nothing to be nostalgic for is also really good.
I don't have any other links. I've been spending more time writing postcards and less time reading the news. I know that it is looking less likely that we'll flip the Senate. I know that is depressing to some people, but remember that flipping the Senate was always a long shot. The most important thing, in my opinion, is that we get one house of Congress, so that we can get subpoena power in the hands of people who actually care what happened in the 2016 election, care about whether Donald Trump's personal finances are influencing our foreign policy, and will provide some actual oversight on the Trump administration for things like the horrible policy of separating immigrant children from their parents. The House has always looked like the chamber we had the best chance of flipping, and so I have focused more on the House than the Senate in my donations and in my postcard writing.
If you want to join me in writing postcards, there's still time to do so! You can get addresses from Postcards to Voters or Postcards4VA. One of my unexpectedly favorite things about writing postcards is that so many of them go to small towns and rural areas. The addresses are all for registered Democrats. It is a good reminder that we are not fully "sorted" despite our talk of Red and Blue states. In truth, there are plenty of Republicans in California - even in urban areas! - and there are plenty of Democrats in so-called Red states - even in rural areas. One of the things that the people who run Postcards4VA found after their first round of postcard writing (in the 2017 state house campaigns) was that the postcards helped increase rural turnout. My theory is that this is because the postcards remind rural Democrats that they are not isolated points of Blue in a sea of Red - they are part of the great Purple mix of America.
Here's another story summarizing results of studies that find postcard writing to be an effective get-out-the-vote tool.
Other ways to get involved if you are not near to a race that needs in person canvassing (or if that's not your thing - it is not mine!) include phone banking and text banking. Both of these can be done remotely. You can pick a campaign and sign up there. The Cook Political Report's house ratings can help you find a campaign that could use your help. Or, you can read about @Pinboard's "great slate" of candidates he thinks have a chance to flip some unexpected districts. Or you can go to Swing Left and find some ideas there.
Whatever you pick, if you're worried about the health of our democracy under Trump, I encourage you to pick something to do to try to change the situation. We still have time to step back from the brink. And I can tell you that I always feel better after I write some postcards. Will it be enough? I don't know. But I feel better for trying.
In recommended listening:
Rebecca Traister has a new book about women's anger out, and she's been on several podcasts lately. I think her interview with Ezra Klein is the best of the ones I've heard.