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Walk to work music

Chill, warm latte, looking forward to the day…

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20 Reasons.

I’ve been rolling a thought around in my head for the last couple of days. We have roughly 20 days left before the election. There are good reasons to flip the House and Senate that nothing to do with Trump and one reason that is directly related to Trump.

Voters should know that they have a choice in how their lives will shaped. They get to decide what kind of government will work for them. But maybe, just maybe, they need to see how their choices affect them directly. It’s low hanging fruit to go for issues that divide us. But what affects each of us, regardless of party affiliation?

So, I am proposing 20 Reasons to Flip the House in the run up to the election. Each day represents a specific reason that affects each voter and presents them with a choice. But I need your help. It’s going to take a bit of research to fill out an essay a day for the next 20 days and I don’t want to miss anything. Can you think of 20 Reasons with me? Put your suggestions in the comments below.

Here are some of the reasons I’ve come up with so far:

1.) Net Neutrality

2.) Pre-existing conditions

3.) Energy Independence

4.) Infrastructure

Put your reasons in the comments below.

Go!

Murder on 5th Avenue

Today, I learned that if our intelligence agencies discover a plot to kill someone, they are supposed to warn the target. This did not happen with Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and permanent resident of the United States. Mr. Khashoggi was also an opinion writer for the Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder and richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos.

The short story is that Khashoggi’s fiancé is a Turk living in Istanbul. After their wedding, they planned to split their time between turkey and the US. To marry her, he had to obtain some documents from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. When he tried to get them last week, the consulate told him to come back in a few days. In the meantime, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince flew an assassination squad to Turkey. When Khashoggi returned to the consulate with his fiancé, he had her wait outside for him while he retrieved his documents. Three hours later, he still hadn’t come out.

CCTV cameras in Istanbul show Khashoggi entering the building and some time later, a black van was seen exiting and driving to the home of a diplomat.

The Turks say they know where the body is buried.

We may now have a clue as to what made Nikki Haley resign so precipitously. Her resignation letter had a “please don’t hurt me” feeling about it when she mentioned she was going back to being a private citizen and really, REALLY wouldn’t be running for president in 2020. Oh, and Jared Kushner is a “hidden genius”. I thought she meant a cunning trickster in the Descartes tradition but she may have meant a diabolical fiend. Jared is supposedly tight with the Saudi crown prince.

In any case, I suspect the circumstances of Khashoggi’s death and the expected presidential response had something to do with Haley leaving. Because how could the UN ambassador from the United States defend the actions of a president or his administration that lead to the death of a journalist? Even for Haley, that must have been a bridge too far.

So, what did the president know and when did he know it? Did he blow off a PDB where his national security advisor tried to show him in pictures what the Saudi’s were planning? Did he get the heads up and just forget about it? Or did he decide that he would teach Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post a lesson? The truth will come out.

At this point, what can the Washington Post do? They have seen that Congress in the hands of Republicans will not make Trump accountable – for anything. Nevertheless, the leaders of both parties have started a procedure that would trigger the Magnitsky Act on the Saudis. The president has 120 days to respond. But this president and his family consider the Saudi’s friends and allies. And so far, Trump has done and said nothing on the matter officially.

Well, Khashoggi was only a Muslim citizen residing in the US. Had it coming to him after he started writing for WaPo. That’ll learn’em, is what I expect to hear from Trump’s defenders. But this is much more serious than Trump’s reprehensible treatment of strangers in our land. Khashoggi was a journalist working for an American paper. Allowing him to be assassinated is crossing a sacred Constitutional line.

I only hope the press stands up courageously. We need it now to do its job as it didn’t before the 2016 election or we will enter our own Dark Age.

Khashoggi’s fiancé said, “I have this strange feeling like I have failed to look after something so dear,”

We may all have that feeling before this administration is over.

Book Review: Good and Mad

Omg, just go get this book by Rebecca Traister. You will not be sorry. Buy copies for your friends. It is the best thing I’ve read all year and it’s timely AF.

It will blow your mind.

More: I’ll try to write a more lengthy review later, as well as one for the chilling The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis, also a must read.

Traister’s book has so many quotable passages it’s hard to narrow them down.

Walk to work music

It’s just one of those days.

Last day to register

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Rebecca Traister gave another interview about her book Good and Mad to friend and journalist Chris Hayes. Traister is a must listen no matter what format but this podcast is especially poignant because it was recorded before Christine Blasey Ford testified last week. In that context, what Traister says will blow your mind.

About anger, am I angry? Yes. I’m as angry as a Bacchae. It has been a struggle to not start screaming and not stop until I burst some eardrums. I don’t get that angry very often but if you push me year after year without let up, I lose it eventually.

The trouble is, and this is a problem regardless of what sex you are, it’s very difficult to canvas when you’re not in control of your anger. You can’t just show up at peoples’ doors like some Tasmanian Devil with a flyer in your hand. It tends to make voters nervous.

So if you can control your anger for a few hours a weekend, please consider channeling it in some productive way for a campaign near you. For various real life reasons, I’ve been putting it off but now it’s crunch time.

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Here’s a real life reason. I went to a goat run last Saturday. Turns out most of these people were Democrats who were furious at what happened with Kavanaugh. They’re all planning on voting in November. But first, a beer:

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Walk to work music:

A little ditty to sing on the way to the polls

Pass it around: