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    • Reasons For Hope (1): The Solutions Are Known
      Ok, this place has mostly been about how fucked we are, and how we’ve fucked up. Blame is more on our leaders than us, but as a species we’re on the hook. But there is cause of hope because mostly we know what we have to do. We know we have to reduce CO2 and Methane emissions. We even know mostly how. We pretend we don’t, because the how will involve changin […]
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Altogether now: Awwwww

Senator Elect John Fetterman on Election night with his kids, Gracie, August and Karl.

It doesn’t get better than that.

For more pics of Jawn, Gisele, ghe kids and dog Levi, check out Gisele Fetterman’s Twitter account @giselefetterman. Gisele is known as the SLOP. You figure it out. 😉

There are some repeating themes with the Fetterman photos like cropping Jawn’s head in group shots and that Gracie is the renegade, frequently standing off by herself and refusing to smile for the cameras. The whole family is too freaking adorable.

Reactions to a Surprisingly and Mostly Good Election

I wanted to write a post expressing my various thoughts about the midterms, but they are not decided yet! Obviously, I am very happy about what looks like Democratic control of the Senate. But the amazingly close, but likely not quite enough, House result is disappointing, if Republicans gain control. There was about a half hour on Tuesday night, when I thought that we might actually win the House! That would have meant a Voting Rights Bill, and so much other positive legislation, which would have had the impetus of the voting results, to get passed.

If Republicans do take the House, even by one vote, they will do just what we expected, they will hold endless hearings designed to satisfy their fanatics, and to attempt to damage Biden. They will pass a bunch of bills which cannot possibly be enacted, but will just grab headlines. And they will, even with a very small majority, threaten not to raise the debt ceiling, maybe not just threaten it, but do it. They will cut or eliminate aid to Ukraine. They are bad people, and they do not care about public perception or the state of the world, they just want their way. There is still a chance for Democrats to hold the House, and if they do, it would be momentous. But we would have to pull off wins in a number of close California races.

The very upsetting thing is the gerrymandering that Republicans did, and the Democrats mostly did not do. DeSantis simply ignoring the Florida Supreme Court drawing of districts, and in an unconstitutional action that he knew he would get away with, drawing the districts himself. Something similar in Ohio. Meanwhile, so many Blue states had put redistricting into the hands of bipartisan commissions, and the result was reasonably fair districts, while Red states stole seats by their completely partisan gerrymandering. One hopes that finally Democrats will learn that unilateral disarmament in this political war is not only immensely foolish, but lets down the voters who depend on Democrats to represent their interests.

We could also talk about New York; some blame Cuomo for putting conservatives on their Supreme Court; some blame Hochul for a bad effort to gerrymander; the result was that the map was thrown out, and the Court drew a map which helped Republicans win the seats which will win the House for Republicans, unless California, which was so proud a few decades ago that they put redistricting in the hands of a neutral commission, and thus gave up the right to gerrymander, can come through in these very close races.

Back to more positive things, there have been some great state victories. Most impressive is in Michigan, where the wonderful triumvirate of Whitmer, Benson, and Nessel swept to victory; and Democrats now control the entire state legislature for the first time since 1983! Evers winning the governorship in Wisconsin was very important, but do note that Wisconsin, described by Symone Sanders as the most gerrymandered state in the Union, has so made a mockery of fairness, that they came within two seats of having a veto-proof majority in the legislature, which would have rendered Evers irrelevant. Consider that; the Democrat wins the governor’s race by 2.5%, and yet the districts had been so gerrymandered, that the people’s votes were siphoned into Republican wins in the districts. Voters have to learn to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot, as in the days when you just pulled a lever to do it!

The most disappointing loss for me was that of Elaine Luria in a redrawn district in Virginia. She has been so impressive in the House January 6th Committee hearings, with her intelligence and class. I don’t know how she can return to office in a district like that. I was very happy to see Abigail Spanberger win her race in Virginia.

Pennsylvania had great results, with Shapiro and Fetterman winning. The “Blue Wall” of PA, MI, and WI all have Democratic governors, so important. Now if only Katie Hobbs could somehow hold on to win in Arizona, this would be wonderful, as we would have a great chance to win all of those states in 2024, and not face the awful prospect of having the popular vote thrown out in any state which had an election denier in control.

Right now, the best part of the election, besides holding the Senate, is a general shift in the sense of things. The media which kept saying that Republicans would win big, were wrong, glaringly so. The pollsters were mostly so wrong that one begins to suspect chicanery, a system set up to benefit Republicans and big money donors. That will be very much in need of exploring further. This was not just bad polling or unfair articles, it seems like a deliberate attempt to affect the elections by discouraging the Democratic vote. Great respect is deserved by Simon Rosenberg, Tom Bonier, and Christopher Bouzy, the latter of whom I had not known about, but who did an incredible job in predicting, backed by in-depth computer analysis. Those three gave hope to many people, and were so important in keeping hope and enthusiasm up in the many people who followed the run-up to the election.

The relatively high turnout by the so-called “Generation Z” was so important, not just for this election, but for upcoming ones, if they can only keep this up. They probably made the difference on Tuesday. Also, of course, the votes of women who came out strongly for Democrats in state after state.

Right now, the public perception, even on the media, is much more respectful of Democrats than it has been. But that could well dissipate, to go back to the usual cliches. However, Biden is being viewed with new respect, and Democrats have gotten some of their mojo back, as the saying goes. Unfortunately, if the Republicans control the House, there will be no important bills passed for two years. But Biden can appoint judges if Democrats control the Senate, and if somehow one of the Far Right Justices left the Supreme Court, he could replace him.

And a Senate where we are 51-49 might hold up in 2024, despite a more difficult Senate map. And a House deficit of five or even seven seats, likely less, can be made up in 2024, if Biden is re-elected, which will of course be a battle. So given what it looked like a week or even four days ago, this is a very encouraging result. I Just wish it could be even better, in the ongoing battle we are waging to save the democracy and the planet.