Sunday, May 30, 2021

Weekend Reading: The Better Late than Never Edition

Friday was my birthday, and I decided to take the day off to make an extra long weekend. In fact, I'm taking Tuesday off, too. I am trying to recover from the burnout I've been feeling, or at least recover enough to make it to the "real" summer vacation we have planned for later. I am feeling a little less stressed but I am also still waking up with the last dream I remember being about work... so let's call itmixed success.

I guess work dreams are better than dreams about the other thing that has been on my mind lately, which is the fate of American democracy. It is frustrating and exhausting that after working so hard to win the presidency, House, and Senate in 2020 we can't just kick back and relax a bit but instead are still facing scary threats to our democracy. Frustrating, exhausting, but not really surprising when I think about it. 

And to be honest, I did kick back and relax a bit. I swore before the 2020 election that I'd keep writing postcards until Republicans stopped being a threat to democracy. They have not stopped - if anything, the voter suppression laws and anti-democracy behavior has intensified - but I haven't written a postcard or letter to a potential voter all year. I can truthfully point to the exhausting pandemic situation as part of the reason for the extended post-election break, but it doesn't really matter why I became less active. What matters is that my anxiety about the situation is high, and I know from the past that the best way to feel less anxious is to do something. 

So I went to look to see which of the organizations I've written for in the past have active campaigns. The best option right now is probably Postcards for Virginia, but Postcards to Voters has at least one active campaign, too (also in Virginia). Vote Forward doesn't have anything active. I will choose one of the postcard campaigns and write some postcards next week.

I haven't been listening to Pod Save America as often these days - I prefer in depth interview podcasts and have other ways to get my news - but I saw that their most recent episode was in part about how we can respond to the current threats to democracy, so I listened to it yesterday. It was indeed a good summary of the situation, with a hefty dose of reality about whether anyone can change Joe Manchin's mind. He seemed genuinely upset that the January 6 commission vote was filibustered. To be honest, Lisa Murkowski sounded pretty disgusted, too. Will that matter? Who knows. And it is not something I can change, so I need to focus my attention elsewhere. 

The Pod Save America podcast referenced this post from Dan Pfieffer with ideas for where to send your money. I'm going to pick a few and donate today.

If you'd like a less partisan podcast to alarm you about the state of our democracy, Ezra Klein's interview with historian Nicole Hemmer fits the bill.

If you'd like to read an article with a deep dive on one of the disturbing things going on right now, here's a good article about the "audit" in Maricopa county.

In other topics:

If you've ever wondered why you get certain ads on social media, this thread is for you:

And this unusual perspective on juggling made me smile:


Here's your bunny for the week:


And with that, I am going to get back to relaxing. Have a good weekend, everyone!

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