It’s a real mess out there vol. 1

Note: The daily BlueRootsRadio Today Show plays at 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. EDT

I’m back as you can tell. I’m flip=flopping back into posting the relevant stories I find and trying to emphasize positive stories or at least stories that point to a brighter, safer future.

I’ve added some new sources from Anand Giridhardas and David Sirota into the usual mix from The Correspondent, The Guardian, The Intercept, The Nation, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Current Events and Jacobin and more.

Biden/Harris 2020

Trump/Pence Dustbin of History

175 thoughts on “It’s a real mess out there vol. 1

  1. “. . . ballots “Postmarked” on, or before Election day. . . ”

    Has anyone noticed mailed letters no longer have postmarkings on them !

    You know? the red or black inked stamp with the zip code and date , in a circular pattern
    with waavvy horizontal lines that is stamped OVER the paper postage stamp placed in the upper right corner?
    Something that has been done with outgoing mail for decades, maybe centuries?

    I just realized a few days ago that all the mail I have received in the last few months have no post-markings on them! I have no idea what date they were mailed on , or where they came from? !
    Will all mailed ballots be rejected ?!

    Are these letters the ones mailed from a post office where the sorting machines were ordered removed by L. DeJoy whatever the F*ck his name is?

    A HUUUGE mess imo.

  2. Thursday’s under the headline’s stories

    Kavanaugh’s grand faux pas, Lincoln Project grifters have a problem, Breaking Big Tech’s bubble


    One too many beer bongs?


    A supreme screw-up

    Vermont’s Secretary of State issued a zinger of a letter to Justice Kavanaugh for his gross errors in his recent “comment” citing Vermont’s election law.


    Being able to piss off Trump is about all the Lincoln Project has accomplished

    Liberals love to read the tweets and watch Lincoln Project videos, but when you pull back to see what LP has done, there’s not much there there. Sure they can flip Trump’s switch, but in the end they basically solidify Trump’s base while giving those who would never vote for Trump something to laugh at.

    No one can doubt their formidable PR skills but face it, if/when Trump loses they will have nowhere to go. If their goal is to return to traditional Republican values then they will turn their guns at Joe Biden and the Democrats if Biden wins. If the Democrats take both Houses of Congress you can be sure LP will come running with guns a-blazin’.

    These are the folks who created such gems as the ad that tied triple amputee Max Clelland to Osama bin Laden. <There is no low to where they will not go.](https://newrepublic.com/article/159980/will-lincoln-project-trump)


    Is Silicon Valley about to go “pop!”? – Podcast

    It finally looks as if Big Tech may face some breakups. Lawmakers are interrogating tech C.E.O.s on Capitol Hill while the Justice Department pursues a landmark antitrust case against Google. For decades, tech giants have avoided such scrutiny — hiding behind the idea that their products are free, beneficial, even beloved.

    Lina Khan says this is no excuse for a monopoly.

    Listen to the podcast


  3. Wednesday’s Picks

    What journalists need to learn to do, Daydreaming your problems away and a new idea for old instruments


    The trend – a fancy version of daydreaming – is all over the internet. Photograph: SI Photography/Getty Images/iStockphoto

    To protect democracy, journalists need to learn to think like hackers and spies

    In theses days in America where the President is making “autocratic attempts”, we find ourselves with a wounded 4th Estate, the press. Journalism, to a large degree has been hobbled by capitalism and government. Capitalism has ravaged the journalism landscape by killing local newspapers, radio and TV by massive consolidations that close news outlets not making it financially and creating conservative networks of local TV stations. Government started the transformation with the death of the Fairness Doctrine.

    The way to fix it is for journalists to use the same process government uses called “Threat Modeling”. It’s something journalists are perfectly trained to do. Jay Rosen explains how in seven minutes on The Correspondent.


    I’m gonna think my way out of this mess

    There probably hasn’t been a better time for a craze to “manifest” itself like the Covid era’s newest. Conveniently it’s called manifesting and the idea is, wait for it, we can think our way to a better even perfect life.

    If only, Arwa Mahdawi explains in this quick read.


    A broken circle can be mended again

    I don’t think you’d call this idea “manifesting” but Country Music Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young was inspired by the Chicago Aquarium’s live streaming of penguins running free inside the closed to the public aquarium which quickly went viral. This random act of creativity gave him the idea to put the instruments of Country and Bluegrass legends in the hands of some of today’s best contemporary artists. The results were well received by the lucky players.


    Marty Stuart performs with Lester Flatt’s Martin guitar for the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Big Night fundraiser. Courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum


    Notable Reads

    Brooklyn has a plan to fix decmocracy

    Everything in today’s Jacobin

    Rhiannon Giddens Best Day/Worst Day, the artist talks and sings about her life during Covid times on NPR Morning Edition. Includes her new song.


          1. Cooking at 900F blows my mind. I’ve learned the secret to these pizzas is taking the maximum amount of time to make the crust. Will require lots of planning.

            A really cool oven is the Stadler model made in The Netherlands. The oven is pricey and the shipping would be 94lbs from Europe to here. That would take a lot of dough. YES I MADE A BAD PUN! Sue me. ;-). It is true, however.

  4. Voting ends next Tuesday

    On Tuesday 10é27é20

    Conservative papers endorse Biden, Former Facebook moderators spill the beans, Progressives in Congress are trying to herd their cats


    Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., left, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., hold a news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C., on May 17, 2019. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    It was the first time in more than 100 years the paper had backed a Democrat

    I can’t remember another election where there was so much party flipping. That includes the Reagan years and especially 2016. I mean everyday I see/hear multiple stories of voters flipping to Biden. This one really surprises me that it happened the day of his visit to New Hampshire. But wait, there’s more:

    At the weekend in Kansas, a solidly Republican state set to back Trump for president, the Topeka Capital-Journal also went for the Democrat.


    FB pays moderators $15/hr to be subjected to perpetual mental cruelty

    I’m no long a FB user and never plan to be again. I’m still amazed something better has not come along to replace the democracy destroyer, but here we are. Thanks to the courage of former employees we see the results of the contractor/gig economy that puts people in dangerous job and paying them peanuts to wreck their mental and physical health.

    “We’re just over a week out from the most important US election in generations, and Facebook still won’t get to grips with lies and racism run amok on its platform,” said Cori Crider, co-founder of UK-based tech justice group Foxglove, who organized the event with moderators and the Real Facebook Oversight Board.


    Now 100 strong, Congressional Progressives are trying to self-discipline

    Since 1991 the Congressional Progressive Caucuss has been a loosely knit group of liberals and moderates using the progressive label to attract themselves to the left side of the party. Moderates are willing to pay to be members to use the label to get much needed votes but then go on to never or rarely vote with the caucus.

    Now this all could be changing with the new plans to tighten up the caucus by streamlining the bureaucracy and demanding members tow the line. While it may cost the caucus some members, it will finally create a solid force to take to the party leadership.


  5. Meatless Monday

    Clean beef is like clean coal: more an oxymoron than a practical solution.
    Return of the Chicago 7


    JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

    Don’t worry meat-eaters, beef is not going away despite the dire warnings of the Meatball in Chief. There is, however, an undeniable truth that massive meat production is harmful from the birth of a cow to it’s final destination on your Big Mac. So, what to do?


    Not bad but not all that real

    It took me until yesterday to get around to finishing Aaron Sorkin’s made for TV Netflix movie. I started it 5 days ago and gave up in the first five minutes because the main characters seems a bit too cartoonish. I finished it on the instance of a good friend and don’t regret watching it but having done so, it feels more like fiction than a fact based documentary. Jacobin’s review is here


    Still from The Trial of the Chicago 7, 2020 (Netflix)


  6. Biden gains in key demographics, Journalists challenge Barrett nomination

    Nine days out from election day, polling shows the Democratic nominee with big leads in key demographics


    An elections employee checks ballots before dropping them in a collection box as participants in a parade of over 300 golf carts supporting Joe Biden cast their ballots in The Villages, Florida. Photograph: John Raoux/AP

    This is not 2016 2.0

    Joe Biden’s hopes of reaching the White House could rest on two crucial demographic groups that appear to be deserting Donald Trump: elderly people and suburban women.

    They would join a broad coalition that includes strong support among African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, the LGBTQ community and young people. With the gender gap potentially bigger than ever, the president appears more reliant than ever on white men.

    Little more than a week before election day, Biden enjoys a double-digit lead in almost every national poll and is ahead in the crucial battleground states. More than 52 million people have already voted, according to the US Elections Project.

    In the past four presidential elections, Republicans have led among the elderly by around 10 points. But about four in five Americans killed by the coronavirus were older than 65 and a majority of Americans say Trump has mishandled the pandemic.

    The president trails among elderly voters by more than 20 points, according to recent CNN and Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls. This swing could prove critical in states such as Arizona and Florida, which have a high number of retirees.

    Suburban women, will you please like me? Remember? Hey, please, I saved your damn >neighborhood, OK?
    Donald Trump

    “In terms of voting blocs, there are two that are absolutely dooming Donald Trump,” said Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota.

    “He won the senior vote by seven points in 2016; that was very important in Florida and a few other states. He’s now losing that bloc and the polls differ about how much, but the fact that he no longer has an advantage among seniors is really crippling for him.

    “And then he has so alienated suburban women that it’s put a whole number of states in play, including states you wouldn’t expect, like Georgia. This kind of macho presidency has gotten the ringing rejection by women, particularly educated women who are so tired of the 1950s.”

    Read more


    More Than 70 Science and Climate Journalists Challenge Supreme Court Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett

    “Judge Coney Barrett has displayed a profound inability to understand the ecological crisis of our times, and in so doing she enables it.”

    We are science and climate journalists. We are researchers and weavers of information, creating a fabric that explains the work of scientists who themselves are working to describe our natural world and universe. We are published in the nation’s leading outlets, both large and small, including Scientific American, Nature, National Geographic, MIT Technology Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and many more. Over decades of reporting on the threats and now deadly and devastating harms of worsening climate change, we have succeeded in at least one respect. The vast majority of the world’s people, including those in the United States, not only acknowledge the scientific certainty of climate change, but also want action taken to address it.

    Read the whole letter


  7. Saturday Oct 24

    Podcasts for local news?


    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    R.I.P. local papers

    I stopped taking my local paper in the early 00’s because of it’s conservative bias. Endorsing Bush 2 times was a bridge too far for me. I’ve watched it shrink over the years and just found out from my neighbor who has hung on to it out of civic pride that the paper is no longer printed in Columbus OH, it’s trucked in from Indianapolis 200 miles away.

    She lamented to me that it’s probably time to cut the chord but worried how would she keep tabs on local news. I of course being biased suggested listening to the radio. We have two local NPR stations who do an admirable job covering the city beat.

    Then today I found this story in The New Republic about a new effort called City Cast that is trying to fill the void with podcasts. There’s a lot of muscle behind this venture. I’m optimistic it will fly. You can sign up at City Cast to be notified if/when it’s coming to your town.


  8. Finally Friday

    The debate: Biden’s BFD, Springsteen’s Letter To You, Amy Coney Barrett: Being nice isn’t enough

    The best thing said at the debate

    Whew, I’m glad that’s over. I only lasted through the first hour but all indications that was enough. I was shocked that Trump was able to restrain himself and actually had a few good moments but the thing that made me sit up was something Biden said.

    I have accepted Biden as the candidate by convincing myself that his boredom would be the perfect antidote to Trump’s chaos. By accepting that I was also accepting Biden’s old school economic thinking but then Joe blew the lid off all that when he said to get the country back on track the government would have to spend whatever it takes, which is why only the federal government is able to have deficits.

    Deficits can be a good thing when the money goes to the people and services who really need it and not to the people and corporations who already have more than enough. Funneling money to the bottom will create a flow from the bottom to the top which will create demands for goods and services which will create jobs and in the end it will flow up to the rich because they control the top of the economy. The big difference is the rich really have to work again to get their wealth rather than the government just piling more on what they already have while the poor/middle/working classes wait for the trickle down that anymore produces gig and other low paying jobs. Read all about it here


    Springsteen’s new album drops today

    I’ve been playing the 2 cuts released early on BRR Today and have been curious, no anxious to hear the rest of the album. I’ve seen/read/heard several of Springsteen interviews and look forward to playing it start to finish later today. If you like to read a review before you listen to an album, here’s your chance


    Why Republican’s Are Rushing Amy Coney Barrett

    Her record speaks for itself but some in her extended family say she’s not right for the job. Anand Ghirdhardas shares an essay by a relative of ACB


    Photo: Leah Millis/Getty


    Have a great weekend, be kind, stay safe.

  9. Thursday, still not the weeked

    No one believed Linda Rondstadt, Tonight will there be a debate or Trump Temper Tantrum 2.0?, The plight of liberal journalism in America


    *The Grand Rapids Reporter is just one of the conservative news sites in Brian Timpone’s network. Photo credit:OLIVIER DOULIERY/Getty Images *

    Mexican Americans are always made to feel invisible

    For all of her career Linda Ronstadt has touted her Mexican heritage which she inherited from her Mexican father, but no one wanted to accept it. While she has always been labeled as a rock/pop crooner, Linda has always considered herself a Mexican singer. Now days she no longer sings on account of Parkinson’s Disease but she has not stopped helping others to share their voices. For almost 30 years she’s been working with the Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy, which helps Mexican American kids learn the music and dance of their ancestors. She has just released a documentary “Linda and the Mockingbirds” detailed a trip to her father’s boyhood home in Mexico. You can read all about it here. It’s currently available on Prime Video.


    Biden’s best tactic for the last debate

    Who knows what will happen during the final Presidential Debate which starts at 9:00 EDT in Nashville? It’s a given Trump will try to steal the show. The only hope of injecting any civility hangs on the effectiveness of candidates mics being muted for the two minutes the other candidate has to make his initial response to each main question.

    In reality the Reality TV show hack will prevent any semblance of a debate, so what should Biden do? John Nichols, at The Nation magazine, suggests Biden should turn it into a trial prosecuting Trump for his disastrous handling of the Covid crisis. Here’s a pdf just in case


    Liberals make you pay for quality journalism while Conservatives make their news free

    Liberal journalism is in a bad situation these days. With local newspapers disappearing at an extinction rate, magazines being forced to raise subscriptions and corporate media dancing with the devil, it does look bad but it’s not yet over for pro-democracy jounarlism. Alex Parene lays it out in detail at the New Republic, which of course relies on it’s paywall to pay the bills. You should be able to read it here for free.


  10. Woke Wednesday

    Why we don’t take care of our sh*t and why it matters, On an asteroid far far away, What? You haven’t voted yet?!?!?!, The false equivalency of “both sides are right”


    A mosaic image of asteroid Bennu taken by the Osiris-Rex spacecraft from a range of 15 miles (24 km). Photograph: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/EPA

    Learning to maintain

    In a world that has become obsessed with innovation, we have turned our back on maintaining what we already have. Bridges, walls, dams, roads and other infrastructure is falling apart and we don’t notice until there’s a disaster because our heads are buried in our smartphones.

    Today’s main article in The Correspondent teaches us the joy of maintenance is a noble pursuit.


    OK, innovation is cool too, like landing on an asteroid

    Yesterday, 200 million miles from here, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft made contact with the asteroid Bennu. The asteroid lacks the mass to create enough gravity for a landing so the spacecraft had to get close enough to punch the surface with it’s probing arm to get a sample. Don’t hold your breath for the results of the analysis of the same, it’s a 3 year return trip!


    The time to hesitate…is not now

    If you wait to mail your ballot until Election Day, you are playing with fire — since this new Supreme Court is very likely going to be eager to stop counting votes that are in any way out of the ordinary. We’re already getting some indications from the Republican packed courts they will be looking for the same “hanging chad” minutiae used in 2000, to tip another election towards their party. So don’t wait to vote


    Why Conservative Arguments Are So Worthless

    When liberal uppity up’s tell us to bend towards conservatives they often are telling us to throw reason out the window and just play along with those whose thinking includes phlogiston theorists, phrenologists, and flat-earthers. Reality tells us the “no labels” or “third way” thinkers are really advocated of convincing liberals they are wrong and need to get onboard their ship (which could sail over the edge of the world). Nathan Robinson has a cure for this problem.


  11. Tuesday Topics

    Oh noes! Bolivia elected a socialist, AGAIN!,


    Demonstrators hold flags with the face of former president Evo Morales ahead of presidential elections on October 14, 2020 in El Alto, Bolivia. (Gaston Brito Miserocchi / Getty Images)

    Bolivia’s Back

    Last year’s right wing coup in Bolivia was rebuked by voters returning Evo Morales’ party to power. As it turns out most Bolivians don’t equate democracy with liberal capitalism. and see a more socialist approach to be better democratic government.

    I get that after having watched the episodes in “Long Way Up” the Apple TV+ series following the motorcycle trek of Ewan MacGreagor and his best friend from Tierra del Fuego to L.A. The duo passed through Bolivia making lots of contact with the indigenous Bolivians, who make up 43% of the population, and also spent some time in La Paz, a city they fell in love with.

    This is encouraging news when a right wing populist is deposed so quickly. American’s perception of socialism is perverted because those who have the most to lose, the rich elite, spend billions to make socialism evil. Yes, there are many examples of socialism gone wrong but there’s never been a better time for democratic socialism to take root.

    If you get the chance try to watch Long Way Up. You’ll see the beauty of the Bolivian people who are doing such great work to benefit those with the least so they will have a fighting chance for a better future. If you want to know more read this in Jacobin.


    Building a coalition of the decent

    Oh what a difference 4 years make. I can’t find the right adjectives to describe the changes since Super Tuesday that have brought us to today. In order to understand what’s happening you have to tear down the walls around your political comfort zone. A good example is the coalition that has coalesced around Joe Biden: “ranging from Bernie Sanders, Barbara Lee, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the left, to “Never Trumpers” John Kasich, Cindy McCain, and Bill Kristol on the right.”

    It’s not breaking news that I would never have seen this coming but I really am glad it’s come to this. No, you don’t have to jettison your beliefs to accept the reality that people who hold radically different positions can be allies in terrible times. Sure, this will change after the election and if Biden wins, there’s no certainty things will return to normal either. We can never go back to the old normal without having to face the fact that it would most likely bring as back to something like Trump again. What we can hope for is a return to a less divisive government at all levels but that’s a tall order that we cannot act on until the current regime is toppled.

    Authoritarian populist governments are being replaced and denied around the globe. Examples are Bolivia, New Zealand and Belarus where governments were replaced, kept democratic or are in flux. All across the media we are seeing unity in support of Joe Biden. Here’s Rolling Stone’s endorsement making their Presidential pitch.


    That’s it for now, try to be kind and have a good day. -cj


    Wait! there’s one more thing worth sharing: (be sure to read the whole thread on Twitter).

  12. Monday’s Mess

    Jerry Falwell Jr.’s escalating self-destruction, Republicans run for their lives, Tech tooketh away and not tech giveth back


    Big audience … Laura Marling performs to an online-only audience from London’s Union Chapel in June. Photograph: Lorne Thomson/Redferns

    Holy Smoking Rollers

    Normally I steer clear of all things evangelical except in those rare cases where they actually do some Christian act, but this account from Rolling Stone shines a blinding spotlight on the man who turned Liberty University into an annex of Trump U.


    Donald Trump Who?

    Speaking of two-faced popular figures. Several Republicans in Congress are trying to put some distance between themselves and the worst President in American history. Forget they have been defending the dolt for his entire administration, but some are claiming they no longer know the national embarrassment that is the current GOP candidate for President. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse made his pitch recently and now John Cornyn (R) from Texas is making his pitch in a last ditch effort to hang on to his seat while watching Texas turn blue as a blue bonnet along a Texas highway.


    When Tech Does Something Good for Music

    The suits in the music biz have never had the best interests of their artists in the forefront. Artists forever have been increasing screwed by the MBA’s and lawyers legal mumbo jumbo that allows them to take the lion’s share of an artist’s earning. Here’s a phrase you don’t often hear in a positive light, but thanks to Covid-19 artists are using their creativity to self market their wares by streaming.


    And so it goes, hang in there and listen to the AM Quickie for Monday 10/19


  13. Sunday Edition

    ‘The Next Wave’ With Congresswoman Katie Porter

    The California Congresswoman on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s incompetence, how the government has dropped parents flat, and the best way to roll out a vaccine

    Sunday’s should be a day of reading the funnies and just good news after suffering through another humorless week of bad news on top of more bad news.

    Katie Porter is a gift we all should cherish. No matter where she ends up in government it will be a net plus for the country. I haven’t watched the video above yet but I have read the story in Rolling Stone

    Here’s to a better week ahead for everyone.


  14. Saturday

    Reclaiming your time, Arden sweeps in New Zealand in a Labour Landslide, Libertarians and Feral Bears


    * NZ election 2020: National party leader Judith Collins (left) and prime minister Jacinda Ardern. Follow live results after New Zealand voted in an election dominated by coronavirus. Composite: Getty *

    Reclaiming your time

    The first step to beating an addiction is admitting it’s real. Personally I fight the information demon everyday with a little success. I find reading articles like this one can help control your usage of smartphones, social media and other digital media and regain control of your life.


    An unstressful election

    God is it ever refreshing to read about an election not mired in the mud and blood of divisive politics. Jacinda Arden has won a landslide victory in New Zealand’s elections with a near 2 to 1 victory for her Labour Party over the National Party led by Judith Collins.

    You can see live election results being posted at The Guardian here.

    In a veiled jab at US president Donald Trump Ardern in her speech said that elections “do not have to be divisive.” There are other ways in which the New Zealand election has been different from the US elections so far: no long voting queues.


    Let’s all move to Free Town…or not

    As Majority Report host Sam Seder has asked, “Where is the great libertarian utopia?” Sam often debates Libertarians on his daily show “Majority Report”, but here’s an article where a group of 200 libertarians tried to overtake a tiny town in New Hampshire and the fun that ensued in a town of self -regulated free individuals.


  15. Good morning,

    I watched 90 minutes of the Biden townhall last night and was impressed with all of it. Sometimes his command of facts and figures probably were too wonky for some folks but that is much preferred over the rantings of the “crazy uncle” on NBC.

    I shouldn’t have made as many snarky remarks about NBC yesterday on Twitter, but even with Savanah Guthrie’s handling of Trump’s interruptions and lies, NBC still should have not created a competition between two events. On the other hand I see now they really did Biden a favor giving people a chance to flip channels between a serious candidate and a blathering clown. I refuse to give Trump any time finding it better to read condensed accounts of his ridiculous ramblings.

    I find the less I see or hear from Trump, the better I sleep at night.

    Have a good day. Be kind.

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