Sunday, October 25, 2020
Here's how to check if your mail-in ballot has been received and counted
From Mashable https://mashable.com/article/how-to-check-if-mail-in-ballot-received-counted-presidential-election/
To check on the status of your ballot, click the link for the state in which you're registered. If your state supports it, the link will explain how to check on your ballot. Otherwise, the link will take you to your state's elections page which will explain how to reach out to local election officials with any questions you may have.
There's also a littler reminder by each state about its particular deadline, because in this country a late ballot decidedly does not make a sound.
Alaska — Anyone can vote by mail in Alaska, but you have to request a ballot. Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3.
Arkansas — Anyone can vote by mail in Arkansas, but you have to request a ballot. Your ballot has to be received by Nov. 3.
California — Anyone can vote by mail in California. Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3.
Colorado — Anyone can vote by mail in Colorado. Your ballot has to be received by Nov. 3.
Hawaii — Voters in Hawaii were automatically mailed ballots. Your ballot has to be received by Nov. 3.
Maryland — Voters in Maryland were mailed applications. If you applied, and are voting by mail, your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3.
New Mexico — You have to have requested a ballot in New Mexico. Your ballot has to be received by Nov. 3.
Oregon — All voters were mailed ballots. Your ballot has to be received by Nov. 3.
Puerto Rico — You have to request a ballot in Puerto Rico, and not everyone is allowed to vote by mail. Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3. Notably, Puerto Rico doesn't get any Electoral College votes, even though it is part of the United States.
Rhode Island — Voters were mailed applications. Your ballot has to be received by Nov. 3.
Utah — Voters in Utah were sent ballots. Your ballot has to be postmarked by Nov. 2.
Vermont — Voters in Vermont were sent ballots. The Vermont Secretary of State says the following about return deadlines: "All ballots must be returned to the town clerk's office before the close of the office on the day before the election, or to the polling place before 7 p.m. on the day of the election, in order to be counted."
Washington — Voters in Washington were sent ballots. Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3.
Washington, D.C. — Voters were sent ballots in D.C. Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3.
Friday, October 16, 2020
COURTESY OF CAROLINE ROSE GIULIANI.
I have a difficult confession—something I usually save for at least the second date. My father is Rudy Giuliani. We are multiverses apart, politically and otherwise. I’ve spent a lifetime forging an identity in the arts separate from my last name, so publicly declaring myself as a “Giuliani” feels counterintuitive, but I’ve come to realize that none of us can afford to be silent right now. The stakes are too high. I accept that most people will start reading this piece because you saw the headline with my father’s name. But now that you’re here, I’d like to tell you how urgent I think this moment is.
To anyone who feels overwhelmed or apathetic about this election, there is nothing I relate to more than desperation to escape corrosive political discourse. As a child, I saw firsthand the kind of cruel, selfish politics that Donald Trump has now inflicted on our country. It made me want to run as far away from them as possible. But trust me when I tell you: Running away does not solve the problem. We have to stand and fight. The only way to end this nightmare is to vote. There is hope on the horizon, but we’ll only grasp it if we elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Around the age of 12, I would occasionally get into debates with my father, probably before I was emotionally equipped to handle such carnage. It was disheartening to feel how little power I had to change his mind, no matter how logical and above-my-pay-grade my arguments were. He always found a way to justify his party line, whatever it was at the time. Even though he was considered socially moderate for a Republican back in the day, we still often butted heads. When I tried to explain my belief that you don’t get to be considered benevolent on LGBTQ+ rights just because you have gay friends but don’t support gay marriage, I distinctly remember him firing back with an intensity fit for an opposing politican rather than one’s child. To be clear, I’m not sharing this anecdote to complain or criticize. I had an extremely privileged childhood and am grateful for everything I was given, including real-world lessons and complicated experiences like these. The point is to illustrate one of the many reasons I have a fraught relationship with politics, like so many of us do.
Even when there was an occasional flash of connection in these disagreements with my dad, it felt like nothing changed for the better, so I would retreat again until another issue I couldn’t stay silent on surfaced. Over the years other subjects like racial sensitivity (or lack thereof), sexism, policing, and the social safety net have all risen to this boiling point in me. It felt important to speak my mind, and I’m glad we at least managed to communicate at all. But the chasm was painful nonetheless, and has gotten exponentially more so in Trump’s era of chest-thumping partisan tribalism. I imagine many Americans can relate to the helpless feeling this confrontation cycle created in me, but we are not helpless. I may not be able to change my father’s mind, but together, we can vote this toxic administration out of office.
Trump and his enablers have used his presidency to stoke the injustice that already permeated our society, taking it to dramatically new, Bond-villain heights. I am a filmmaker in the LGBTQ+ community who tells stories about mental health, sexuality, and other stigmatized issues, and my goal is to humanize people and foster empathy. So I hope you’ll believe me when I say that another Trump term (a term, itself, that makes me cringe) will irrevocably harm the LGBTQ+ community, among many others. His administration asked the Supreme Court to let businesses fire people for being gay or trans, pushed a regulation to let health care providers refuse services to people who are LGTBQ+, and banned trans people from serving their country in the military.
Women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and people of color are all also under attack by Trump’s inhumane policies—and by his judicial appointments, including, probably, Amy Coney Barrett. Trump’s administration has torn families apart in more ways than I even imagined were possible, from ripping children from their parents at the border to mishandling the coronavirus, which has resulted in over 215,000 in the U.S. dying, many thousands of them without their loved ones near. Faced with preventable deaths during a pandemic that Trump downplayed and ignored, rhetoric that has fed deep-seated, systemic racism, and chaos in the White House, it’s no surprise that so many Americans feel as hopeless and overwhelmed as I did growing up. But if we refuse to face our political reality, we don’t stand a chance of changing it.
In 2016, I realized I needed to speak out in a more substantial way than just debating my dad in private (especially since I wasn’t getting anywhere with that), so I publicly supported Hillary Clinton and began canvassing for congressional candidates. If the unrelenting deluge of devastating news makes you think I’m crazy for having hope, please remember that making us feel powerless is a tactic politicians use to make us think our voices and votes don’t matter. But they do. It’s taken persistence and nerve to find my voice in politics, and I’m using it now to ask you to stand with me in the fight to end Donald Trump’s reign of terror
If being the daughter of a polarizing mayor who became the president’s personal bulldog has taught me anything, it is that corruption starts with “yes-men” and women, the cronies who create an echo chamber of lies and subservience to maintain their proximity to power. We’ve seen this ad nauseam with Trump and his cadre of high-level sycophants (the ones who weren’t convicted, anyway).
What inspires me most about Vice President Biden is that he is not afraid to surround himself with people who disagree with him. Choosing Senator Harris, who challenged him in the primary, speaks volumes about what an inclusive president he will be. Biden is willing to incorporate the views of progressive-movement leaders like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on issues like universal health care, student debt relief, prison reform, and police reform. And he is capable of reaching across the aisle to find moments of bipartisanship. The very notion of “bipartisanship” may seem painfully ludicrous right now, but we need a path out of impenetrable gridlock and vicious sniping. In Joe Biden, we’ll have a leader who prioritizes common ground and civility over alienation, bullying, and scorched-earth tactics.
Speaking of scorched earth, I know many people feel paralyzed by climate despair. I do too, but something still can and must be done. As climate change begins to encroach on our everyday lives, it is clear that our planet cannot survive four more years of this administration’s environmental assault. This monumental challenge requires scientifically literate leadership and immediate action. Joe Biden has laid out an aggressive series of plans to restore the environmental regulations that Trump gutted on behalf of his corporate polluting friends. Biden has a transformational clean-energy policy that he will bring to Congress within his first 100 days in office, and perhaps most crucially, he brings a desire and capability to reunite the major nations of the world in forging a path toward a global green future.
I fully understand that some of you want a nominee who is more progressive. For others the idea of voting for a Democrat of any kind may be a hurdle. Now I have another confession to make. Biden wasn’t my first choice when the primaries started. But I know what is at stake, and Joe Biden will be everyone’s president if elected. If you are planning to cast a symbolic vote or abstain from voting altogether, please reconsider. It is more important than ever to avoid complacency. This election is far from over, and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen.
We are hanging by a single, slipping finger on a cliff’s edge, and the fall will be fatal. If we remove ourselves from the fight, our country will be in freefall. Alternatively, we can hang on, elect a compassionate and decent president, and claw our way back onto the ledge. If I, after decades of despair over politics, can engage in our democracy to meet this critical moment, I know you can too.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
In 1948, General Dwight D. Eisenhower released an expansive memoir that transcribed his personal account as Supreme Allied commander in Europe during World War II, the single most important American military official in the war. He chronicled the travail of the war in its bitter totality: men sunk beneath waves of bullets and unbroken battle; the immeasurable sorrow levied as hundreds-of-thousands perished for their country; the fateful decisions he took in which he accepted complete responsibility—most importantly the decision for the D-Day invasion. At the same time, Eisenhower also wrote of what was indomitable about Americans, how the country overcame and rang freedom’s bell for a world enveloped by the forces of darkness.
Eisenhower titled the memoir Crusade in Europe. Now I acknowledge, the word crusade may hold conflicting definitions and interpretations, some of which may refresh stories of the medieval. But used as a verb, according to the most basic dictionary definition, to crusade is to “lead or take part in an energetic and organized campaign concerning a social, political, or religious issue.”
There is a reason Eisenhower did not title his book “War in Europe.” Beyond the bayonets, bloodshed, and carnage, Eisenhower declared to America that what they had just done—the stand they took together against evil, despite any internal divisions—was something much more elegant and profound than could be carried by the word “war.” It was something noble.
I know it’s difficult for so many of us to feel hope in this moment, which seems so incomprehensibly dark. We are a nation deeply wounded from a liberated virus. We’re struggling with systemic racism. And we’ve endured lashing mental abuse, time and again, from the president of the United States. But it is not a darker moment than what Ike saw when he looked across the English Channel on June 6, 1944 at the continent of Europe, dominated by the Nazis.
So I see a light ahead. Just days away, a unified and electrified coalition of Americans, coming together like our country did in World War II, standing united to send a message that will be heard around the world to all those who look with expectant hope to the America that led the crusade more than half a century ago: That America has not succumbed to a demagogue and would-be autocrat. That we have overcome. And that Donald J. Trump is not who we are.
In just a short time, America will go from its darkest hour to its finest hour.
Very seldom in American history have there been periods when people can nobly wage a crusade to create real and lasting change. But when these crusades do occur, when those moments arrive, what we do to vanquish the threat to freedom builds something everlasting into the framework of our society.
The American Revolution, the Civil War, World War II, Seneca Falls, Stonewall, and Selma, were all historical flashpoints where Americans displayed their patriotism against oppressive forces in a resounding way. These movements overthrew an empire, ended slavery, staved off totalitarianism, and paved the way for the establishment of fundamental civil rights and liberties for women, LGBTQ+ and black Americans.
We find ourselves again at such a turning point. Donald Trump’s authoritarian presence behind the Resolute Desk is amongst the gravest threats America has ever faced from within. And Americans have risen to meet this threat.
This resistance has created its own seismic shift. Look at the rallying cries for racial justice coming from Americans of all colors, who have joined in arms to speak out. Look at the willingness of voters to wait for hours in lines in Georgia to exercise their democratic right to the franchise. Look at the coalition that has been formed, from Republicans to Democrats to activists, who are determined to stand up to this threat.
We are constantly told that America is too divided, too hopelessly stricken by tribalism to come together anymore. Well, I’m here to proclaim that this received “wisdom” is just plain wrong. If you were to run a cable wire through the heart of America right now, you would see an image of an exceedingly diverse coalition of people who challenge that assumption at its core. You’d see suburban woman from a once-Republican stronghold in Maricopa County, Arizona, standing alongside a retired grandfather in Florida, a college student in Brooklyn, a Latina mom in Raleigh, a Black computer programmer in Houston, and yes, standing alongside even a former Trump voter in Wisconsin who has now changed his mind. This coalition is exactly why an incumbent president is on the precipice of a catastrophic defeat.
Because this is more than a campaign. This is a crusade for America.
Long after Trump has gone, this unity forged in his opposition should be remembered.
My participation on this site, which is operated by many of my former Republican rivals, is evidence of this unity in and of itself.
This article, posted right here, is evidence that this is a moment that carries extraordinary consequences much more profound than victory or defeat for a candidate.
Like the majority of people that read this news site, I am white and affluent and—you know what else?—I love my country. Collectively, what I know to be true among so many like us, is that we understand we have existed on an advantaged and privileged perch in our slice of America.
But if you’re like me, you have been haunted by the fact that because of this privilege, many of us have never, in the late John Lewis’s words, made enough “good trouble,” or fought hard enough in the good fight.
Now, maybe that’s because, quite frankly, many of our own backs have never really been against the wall. What this moment has done for all of us—for all those who have sat on the sidelines of history or never were presented with something that held as much gravitas—is that it has given us, for one fleeting moment—the moment we’re living right now—a sense of common purpose. Common purpose of which we will be able to recall forever: that when our country and our Republic were on the brink of collapse, when our fellow Americans needed us, we took a blow torch to our past differences, our former conflicts and our old rivalries, and we fought together.
In less than two weeks, I will be 76 years old. I was a boy raised near some of the poorest banks of the Mississippi River and I’ve now had the overwhelming honor to help elect senators, governors, and my dear friend Bill Clinton as president of the United States. I’ve seen my face flash across the silver screen too many times and have flown around the world twice over practicing the profession I love.
All of this was wildly unimaginable to that little boy skipping rocks in Louisiana 70 years ago. But as I sit here, wonderstruck in retrograde, I can say with certainty that in all my years, joining in this crusade to take America back from the brink of destruction is the greatest thing I have ever been a part of in my life.
This crusade is something noble.
James Carville is a Democratic strategist who helped engineer Bill Clinton’s victorious 1992 presidential campaign. He is co-host of the podcast 2020 Politics War Room. Twitter: @JamesCarville.
"... John Cassian, a monk and theologian wrote in the early 5th century about an ancient Greek emotion called acedia. A mind 'seized' by this emotion is 'horrified at where he is, disgusted with his room … It does not allow him to stay still in his cell or to devote any effort to reading.' He feels:
"'such bodily listlessness and yawning hunger as though he were worn by a long journey or a prolonged fast … Next he glances about and sighs that no one is coming to see him. Constantly in and out of his cell, he looks at the sun as if it were too slow in setting.'
"This sounds eerily familiar. Yet, the name that so aptly describes our current state was lost to time and translation. ..."
More here: https://theconversation.com/acedia-the-lost-name-for-the-emotion-were-all-feeling-right-now-144058