For me, 50 weeks today

That’s how long our house has kept itself in quarantine so far.

And today I got my first shot of the Moderna vaccine here in Colorado. Mr. J isn’t eligible yet, so we’ll keep ourselves in quarantine until we both have as full immunity as we can get.

Guess who else got her shot today? Dolly Parton.

She is such a lovely person and I can’t thank her enough for helping to fund the vaccine I received today. Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine…

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Deb Haaland for Interior Secretary

“I acknowledge that we are on the ancestral homelands of the Nakochtank, Anacostan, and Piscataway people.”

Above is her opening statement. Tom Udall and Mark Udall say, in USA Today:

Rep. Haaland’s nomination is both historic and long overdue. If confirmed, she would be the first Native American Cabinet member. Her record is in line with mainstream conservation priorities. Thus, the exceptional criticism of Rep. Haaland and the threatened holds on her nomination must be motivated by something other than her record.

Of course as a woman she gets more scrutiny, even more so as an indigenous woman.

Today she will continue her time in confirmation hearings. You can follow along on C-SPAN, or read the live blog at Indian Country Today.

I can’t think of anyone better to steward our public lands.

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So far, so okay

The election of Biden and Harris was a relief, but I didn’t feel jubilant as many did. I was exhausted of course, from four years of bullshit, and worn out by days of waiting for the election to be called. But more than that I did not trust the situation. I felt sure that Trump would try to beat his way out of this somehow, even though it seems unlikely he can. I was right.

So here we are, happy to have won the election, but also watching Trump thrash about and refuse to acknowledge reality. His enablers in Congress are doing their enabling thing, as they put our democracy in danger and pretend there is doubt about the outcome of the election even though there is not. It’s a dangerous situation, and an embarrassment for the entire country, but it can be survived. I hope. We shall see.

In the meantime we have one huge task before us, an important one. And that is the runoff vote for two Senate seats in Georgia which will take place on Jan. 5, 2021, before the next Congressional session begins. It’s possible that we could bring the Senate to a 50-50 tie, where VP Kamala Harris would be able to vote for the majority. And on her vote would balance the entire Biden/Harris agenda for the next two years. So as I say, it’s important.

The two Democrats to back are Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Rev. Warnock is running neck and neck with the currently appointed Senator Loeffler, while Mr. Ossoff is running a bit behind current Senator Purdue. Everything is going to depend on turnout.

Luckily for all of us, Fair Fight, the organization founded by Stacey Abrams to fight for fair elections in Georgia, is already involved in fundraising and get-out-the-vote work for this special election. You can donate to either candidate through the websites linked above, or use Fair Fight’s ActBlue link which collects donations for both.

If you have some extra time to spend, check out the grassroots organizations I linked in my earlier post. I know Vote Forward is planning another letter-writing campaign, and I suspect a lot of the others will get involved as well.

If you are a voter in Georgia, or if you know some, remember that election day is January 5. You can already request an absentee ballot now. You can register to vote through December 7. And in-person early voting starts December 14.

Let’s keep ourselves useful and work on this final piece of the 2020 elections, even as we watch warily to see what new shit Trump is going to pull every day. Trust me, he will pull shit. We still have to keep our eyes on the task at hand.

Let’s keep hoping that we’ll soon see a happy finish to this election cycle, and let’s keep working to make it so.

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It’s official…

I endorse Joe Biden! And so do all these politicians, including many of my most admired like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Not that I expect to swing a lot of votes here. But Mr. J and I turned our ballots in today at an official Colorado dropbox (the local library). And on Saturday we will mail out our letters for the Big Send, trying to get voters to the polls in swing states.

And then we wait, along with everyone else who has already voted, to see what our country decides to become.

At least from Oct. 23-25 we can distract ourselves by attending the virtual version of MileHiCon that is still going on this year. Thanks to everyone who will work so we can have that pleasure at least.

Do take care of yourself in this terrible waiting time. I don’t know how you’re doing, but I am pretty stressed, and trying to stay relaxed as I can. I will be on Twitter regularly, and back on the blog once we reach the other side.

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If you run into armed groups at the polls…

Georgetown Law has a division called the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, and they have put together information for all 50 states concerning unauthorized militias. Since Trump has threatened the election and the country by calling out armed vigilantes, it’s possible you could run into some of these people when you vote in-person.

Addressing the rise of unlawful private paramilitaries

ICAP has created fact sheets for all 50 states explaining the laws barring unauthorized private militia groups and what to do if groups of armed individuals are near a polling place or voter registration drive. Select a state from the menu below to view the corresponding fact sheet.

They also offer advice on what to do if you encounter intimidation at your polling place (.PDF document).

Be aware. Stay informed.

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