Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

Yesterday Drew and I had a whole day to ourselves. Both kids were in school, Drew took the day off, and we had our babysitter pick up the kids from school and take care of them til we got home, shortly after their bedtime. We spent the day wandering around Manhattan, being spontaneous in a way you cannot be when you’re with kids, and eating really good food. It was like being on vacation, but a lot cheaper. Drew suggested we not look at our phones or follow the news, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that, and it was over lunch that I was holding my phone to my ear, listening to Susan Collins’ speech and her announcement that she’d vote yes on Kavanaugh, all but confirming his seat on the highest court in our land. I ordered bourbon.

Today it will be made official and my thoughts are with all my fellow Americans who feel angry, depressed, and betrayed by this vote, especially victims of sexual assault who have likely been triggered AF these last few weeks, and who have had some of their worst fears confirmed by a system that continues to dismiss them in the cruelest, most degrading ways. You are not alone. This is a monumental setback for our country and the great experiment that was our constitution and our democracy. It’s a huge battle to lose, but it’s not the last one and we have to press on. Midterms are one month from today.

In the meantime, here are 12 Self-Care Tips If You’re Struggling To Deal With Everything Today (I also suggest wandering around your city aimlessly and spontaneously with someone you love.) And Anne Lammot has a new book coming out in a few days all about “the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined,” especially important in periods of national or global despair.

37 comments… add one
  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 6, 2018, 9:21 am

    I’d hold a funeral for America. But fuck it — why bother?

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    Kate October 6, 2018, 10:20 am

    It’s a setback, but America was never meant to belong to “proud to be white” men and it won’t. It. Won’t.

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      Kate October 6, 2018, 10:26 am

      Or so-called “Christians” either.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 6, 2018, 10:47 am

    Just for the rest of our fucking lives. DC best pray for my long and unwavering good health. The very minute I come down with a fatal disease — watch out.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy October 6, 2018, 10:55 am

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      ktfran October 6, 2018, 11:15 am

      That article articulates the thoughts that have been running through my head since the day Trump announced his run. Maybe even before. Maybe since Obama was elected president and the Tea Party crazies came out in full force.

      What also runs through my head is that the United States has to self destruct before we can truly rebuild. Or maybe China will take care of that for us when we default. Can you imagine?

      Of course, I hope none of this is true. Every week looks more bleak than the last though.

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine October 6, 2018, 11:15 am

      It really is.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 6, 2018, 12:22 pm

    Honestly? At this point, I wanna witness America’s complete collapse. Good riddance. Chaos, devastation, and death? Fantastic! Bring it on. Can’t wait.

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  • juliecatharine

    Juliecatharine October 6, 2018, 12:35 pm

    Yeah…I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with you on that.

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    ron October 6, 2018, 1:07 pm

    I worked for Gene McCarthy for president. He lost in the primary. Hubert Humphrey wasn’t a bad guy — as V.P. he was trapped in LBJ’s shadow, but he was a dedicated, old-school progressive in the FDR mold. We got Richard Nixon as president that election. Why? One reason was that so many of my peers didn’t vote at all or wrote in Pat Paulsen, loudly stating to anyone who would listen that they didn’t see an ounce of difference between Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon. That sort of cynicism elects Nixons and Trumps.

    The majority of Americans don’t support Trump. The majority of older white Americans adore Trump. They fear change and see him as their defender. These people vote. They can be defeated if those who oppose Trump also vote. Unfortunately the most anti-Trump constituencies: young voters, minority voters, unmarried women don’t vote in as great numbers as older, white Trump voters. They especially don’t vote in off-year elections. Had they bothered to vote in 2010, the Rs wouldn’t control the House today, because they wouldn’t have had absolute freedom to set election districts, as they did in so many states. The cynicism which keeps progressives from the polls is what allows older white voters to maintain the level of control they do. Don’t be cynical — Vote!

    Trump is president today because of the cynicism of the most progressive Dems. They couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton — swore that Clinton wasn’t any better than Trump, she wouldn’t prosecute the bankers. Clinton was an awful candidate. She was also WAAAY better than Trump. It didn’t take many Dem defections in my home state of PA to swing the election to Trump.

    This too shall pass. It will pass a lot quicker if cynics on the left actually vote. The untapped pool of non-voters is roughly as big as the pool of those who actually vote, even in this emotional an off-year election.

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      Kate October 6, 2018, 1:10 pm

      Yup.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark October 6, 2018, 3:26 pm

        So sick of this bullshit malarkey that THIS THIS TOO SHALL PASS. It’s what everybody said about Trump. NEWSFUCKINGFLASH; it hasn’t — instead it only gotten a billion times worse. The time has come to take swift, radical action.

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        ron October 6, 2018, 3:53 pm

        So, BGM, what is your suggestion? It only starts to change by winning the House in 2018 and retaking the presidency and senate in 2020. Did you actually think that the Dems could do anything to stop any of this before 2018 elections with the Rs holding the whole government.? That’s crazy. Bottom line, too many members of the Obama coalition sat on their asses on election day any time Obama himself wasn’t on the ballot. There is no upside to going all cynical and hoping the nation totally self destructs. That makes as much sense as hoping the sun supernovas tomorrow, because there aren’t other nations in the world eager to take in disaffect American liberals.

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        Kate October 6, 2018, 3:54 pm

        We always knew it was going to get worse before it got better. It got a lot worse. It will still get better. I understand the arguments about the rigged system, but 2/3 of the country is NOT on board with this shit. …But if it’s in your heart to go blow something up, do it.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark October 6, 2018, 7:19 pm

        Violence. I suggest violence. And lots of it. Another revolution where the rich and corrupt are swiftly dealt with. That — or perhaps more covert acts.

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      • meadowphoenix

        meadowphoenix October 8, 2018, 9:25 am

        Good revolutions are actually quite difficult. You need to have a structure in place ready to go as soon as you topple the previous government. Most don’t, foreign agents (typically the US) back whoever they want, and that’s how you get dictators. How many revolutions have “worked”?

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      anonymousse October 6, 2018, 9:03 pm

      I really hope people vote.

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    keyblade October 6, 2018, 1:16 pm

    Im on my phone, so forgive me my spelling mistakes. I have a lot of spaghetti noodle thoughts on all of this. I’ll share them because I feel really isolated. This thread is one of the few places that validates That something big is happening. Everywhete else life matches on as usual.

    A conservative mom posted a meme about why moms should be afraid for their sons if one accuser can now ruin a life. That is the right’s spin on this. Never mind that men and boys get bullied and assaulted, too.

    I think a lot of people are on the cusp having spent a huge part of their life in the pre-smart phone era. It is difficult to imagine the consequences of their own indiscretions from 30 years ago on display. With more and more records people no longer have the adaptive benefit of shrugging and saying who can truly remember the childhood antics in the past? Parenting comes under so much scrutiny, with a million pages of web safe dedicated to every flaw and diminsion imaginable. We no longer have a freedom of speech problem, we have a freedom from speech problem and who gets to set the parameters and on which platform. Forget a library banning book. We are debating about advertisers sheer scale at organizing how an unlimited amount of data must be organized and presented and who gets to decide what is fact versus opinion.

    The freedom everyday people once had to be assholes and mistakes at a terrible expense to someone else is no longer free from peer review. People are less free to move on, and therefore less free to act with the entitled abandon some once so throughly enjoyed on their way to fearless elitism.

    Now the world they grew up in without cameras everywhere doesn’t exist anymore. The world where their personal opinions aren’t collected and sold and personally targeted to exploit cultural and political insecurities no longer exists. dome people are anxious that spin and manipulation can’ make a single bad moment go viral and reap misproportionate consequences. Others want to live their life in front of a selfie phone. Or on a Facebook feed with an avatar of their best thoughts and memories.

    Some people are naturally unempathey. They aren’t concerned with fooling people with no power, either. These are people with a piece at stake in hearings like Kavanaugh. They are invested in keeping their power and beating back potentials for checks.

    All this knowledge forces us to all be more self-focused with the inevitable impacts of obtrusiveness.

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      keyblade October 6, 2018, 2:07 pm

      And people resent it. People want to feel free to think thoughts another person might find offensive. People want to maintain their own sense of proportion about problems and grievances. People want freedom from identity politics that they have no personal identification with, and people want to feel free to push for their own quality of life without feeling punished for not pushing on behalf of other people’s aggrievience.

      But the planet and democracy had no time to wait on other people’s timetables.

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      keyblade October 6, 2018, 8:55 pm

      Yikes on all the existential dread. I don’t know why I post things like this while my wheels are spinning.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 6, 2018, 2:55 pm

    People suck. Now more than ever.

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      keyblade October 6, 2018, 8:43 pm

      I doubt it. People are just reminded of it more frequently.

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      keyblade October 6, 2018, 8:52 pm

      Also, everyone (including Dr. Ford) knew that it would be extremely difficult to prove a trauma occurring thirty six years ago, allegedly by an extremely intoxicated minor.

      This isn’t really a surprising conclusion even if it feels very emotional.

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      ron October 6, 2018, 9:00 pm

      I seriously doubt it. Not all that long ago their were for-real Nazis who ruled half of Europe and murdered 6 million Jews. There was Stalin who killed even more of his own people. There were deliberate fire storms from bombings of German cities, intended to cause maximum civilian casualties, and two atom bombings. After he helped Britain survive by breaking the German military codes, Britain persecuted Turing for being gay. We gave France back its colony of Vietnam and British rule of India continued as did South African apartheid.

      Even in my lifetime, in this country, we had de jure segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, anti-sodomy laws, McCarthyism, women barred as students or professors from many universities, rather extreme censorship, the obscene Vietnam war. Conditions have been worse in America in my lifetime. A huge step down from the Obama administration, but all in all things were worse, if prosperous and tranquil, under Eisenhower, not to mention Nixon.

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        ron October 6, 2018, 9:04 pm

        I certainly remember when abortion was illegal in this country and that many years after the pill was on the market unmarried women (and previously married women in many locales) could not obtain it.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark October 7, 2018, 4:39 pm

        NEWSFLASH: in many states it soon will be once more. Just wait.

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        ron October 7, 2018, 9:23 pm

        NEWSFLASH: that’s still better than things were in the early 1960s. Rights have to be constantly fought for, unfortunately. I never expected this administration to be pleasant. I expected setbacks. I’m not going to roll over and play dead or hope the whole country implodes. Seriously, what did you expect was going to happen. Do you think giving up and losing again in 2018 and 2020 is going to help? It is looking now like the Rs are fairly certain to lose the House, but your sort of cynicism could pull them through. All they need to win is for enough members of the opposition to not vote.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy October 8, 2018, 6:07 am

        Their plan is to wear us down and make us give up so they can continue holding on to their power. Don’t let them!!

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    anonymousse October 6, 2018, 9:15 pm

    I’m incredibly disheartened. Not that I ever thought he wouldn’t be confirmed. I knew he would. Even though he clearly lied under oath, he will be sitting on the Supreme Court. He’s 53. He could be there for decades.

    I do believe things are going to get worse before they get better. The question is, how much worse? Who will be the sacrificial lambs at the slaughter?

    I truly worry about what legislation and covert actions are being done behind these big stories that distract and occupy our time and attention.

    What will be left of our “democracy” when DT is gone?

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      LisforLeslie October 8, 2018, 5:59 am

      I heard something over the weekend that didn’t quite relieve all of the heartbreak, but made me feel a glimmer of hope. It was a guy, a storyteller, who was saying that all of this is like looking at a compost heap. You’ve got nothing but gross, smelly stuff, but it’s kicking off a chain of new life and I think we can see that. In communities across the country, people who would not normally run for office are running … and winning. That’s where it starts. They run, and then they win and then they move to higher offices.

      I feel that we will be set back, but we will move forward too. It will just take longer.

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        anonymousse October 8, 2018, 6:54 am

        I agree, I am just worried about the casualties on the way. There was a pretty good piece on medium about how in the end, maybe it’s better that this happened, because the GOP has sunk so low, there’s no coming back. (Although, DT? Wasn’t he the worst they could go?) Kavanaugh might be impeached.

        People really, really need to vote.

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    Kate October 7, 2018, 3:45 pm

    OMFG “A Star is Born.” I’ve never heard so many people crying at once. It was incredible.

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark October 8, 2018, 10:44 am

      Really? I thought it was dreary schmaltz. Gaga was solid. But that last act was a hot mess of bad writing. NOTHING was motivated. And Gaga’s clothes were FUCKING ghastly through out. Just dreadful — that stylist who got her very iwn credit should never work again.
      .
      It was INTERESTING how Bradly Cooper was RIGHT when he was supposed to be terrible. She was AWFUL on a certain tv show. Embarrassingly so. Like dlist Britney in her dimmest days. This was deliberate. But the point was muddled. That said — she only SHAMELESSLY ripped off Madonna three times. 😉

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        Kate October 8, 2018, 11:49 am

        It’s melodrama, but I loved it. I thought their duets were fire, and they had chemistry. She is a great actress, at least in that role. And yeah, I think the point was that her manager was making her into something artificial, and Jack didn’t trust him and was kind of frustrated about what he was doing to her. Then at the end she went back to her natural look.

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    quark October 8, 2018, 11:08 am

    My fear is that voting won’t be enough. The gerrymandering and voter suppression has all but ensured that republicans will retain the Senate. Democrats have to fight so much harder for a lesser outcome. Republicans don’t even have to work all that hard to retain their seats while democrats have to fight tooth and nail to pick up an extra seat or two. It will be so, so difficult to unseat republicans and tip congress toward democrats.
    I will still vote but it feels like my vote matters less because of how the maps are drawn, than someone living in Wyoming or Montana.

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    • Boobs Magee

      Boobs Magee October 8, 2018, 11:41 am

      @quark – We have to believe that our votes DO matter. What worries me is the many, many people with the mindset that it doesn’t matter, and they decide not to vote because it “won’t change anything”. If all of those people actually get off their asses and make the effort, things will change.

      I have to believe that.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy October 8, 2018, 12:01 pm

      That’s all true. It’s like how black people have to work so much harder and perform so much better than white people for less and women have to work so much harder and perform so much better for less. Democrats have to work like four times as hard or half the success. What other choice do we have? Until all these old white people die off, this is our reality.

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