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Happy Veterans Day, Dad!

With midterm election recounts underway and lawsuits pending in Arizona, Georgia and Florida, I remain viceroy of nothing. Not that I’m fit to govern but I just might rule at legislating.

I’m an Army brat who was born on Veterans Day. And for my birthday I would like to give the gift of some of my insomniac ideas to improve my country.

I offer you what I would like to call the Colonel Edwards Constitutional Amendment. Rather than one more holiday hijacked to hawk slashed-price whatever, what if employers were required by law to give Veterans the day off on Veterans Day? …

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Senj, Kroatien. All rights © Ante Hamersmit

We will never achieve equality if moms are telling their daughters, You can be anything you want to be when you grow up. Every generation this becomes more true. But it will never be universal if the workplace changes but the homefront never does.

Dads need to model for their sons, You need to do half the household management and half the housework. Our shared cultural values need to reflect that a “real man” pulls his weight at home. Every man has to balance his professional ambition with his family obligations — just the way women have since the 60s.

Otherwise, we’re just collectively telling women, you can *also* take on a full-time job. …

Journalists, editors — check your headlines

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All rights © Elliott Stallion

This week The New York Times, CNN, USA Today, the LA Times and many other outlets used inaccurate terminology in their objective reporting.

The California Republican Party is acting in violation of the Secretary of State and County Elections offices when they purposely set up dummy dropboxes — even if they’re ostensibly to help “transfer” ballots to official elections offices.

This is nefarious.

This is unconscionable.

It is illegal.

And depending on your state, it can also be a felony.

The reported news angle should be that (otherwise?) law-abiding citizens deliberately interfered with democracy and created diversionary tactics to steal ballots. This is right out of the gerrymandering playbook. …

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I’m not sure what kind of Win you think it is that a supreme court justice nominee had zero notes during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings today.

I gave a presentation to my own Rotary club tonight via Zoom. It was about branding and online outreach. And I had notes to make sure I didn’t forget anything. The stakes couldn’t be more different. But you can be damn sure I brought notes to every job interview I’ve had since college.

Amy Coney Barrett’s smug performance with blank paper doesn’t read that differently than Trump’s pitifully staged photo op when he appeared to be sharpie-ing his own name onto a blank piece of paper at Walter Reed last week. …

Only two words of Burr’s SNL monologue were controversial

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All rights © Sincerely Media

Bill burr’s SNL monologue wasn’t that controversial — save for just two teeny tiny words. Two mere syllables with too much history.

My bitches.

He’s absolutely right. When Burr called out white women for hijacking the “woke” movement he wasn’t wrong. He wasn’t saying anything controversial. He asked how white women jumped the line and how so many have hijacked the fight for equality when so many of us enjoy so much more privilege than women of color.

Our grotesque history of white women accusing innocent Black men of rape needs to be known by all. It needs to be taught and believed and understood for its role in our past and present. And Burr should’ve also called out the vigilante white men who took no convincing to commit heinous murders just based on accusations. …

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All rights @ roya ann miller. Edits mine.

The Cockwomble in Chief continues to politicize science as though it were a partisan conspiracy just to undermine him. As though science were something he could argue.

Yet he doesn’t want to participate in the only public appearance he should because the debate commission reformated it to keep him from breaking every blessed last rule. Even when suddenly pandering to “vulnerable” seniors, when he miraculously uttered the words “And so am I”, his pride simply will not allow him to accept responsibility for anything.

No one should be surprised that he’s refusing to participate in a virtual debate. …

Let’s not acquiesce by exhaustion

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All rights © Aarón Blanco Tejedor. Utö, Finland.

The Democrats say the Republicans no longer have a platform. But if there’s one thing the Trump administration and the Trump family consistently excel at it’s outrage fatigue. Outrage is their strategy and their 2020 platform. Our society has a famously short attention span but the news cycle has shortened and accelerated even more.

Remember that famous episode of I Love Lucy? With the chocolates speeding up on the assembly line?

2020 is like that. But instead of bite-sized chocolates, it’s crises. We just can’t keep up.

Every talk show, every pundit panel and all of print media could’ve spent Tuesday night through Friday morning deconstructing the debate — the flagrant untruths, the old-school bullying, the boorish disregard for parliamentary procedure and basic turn-taking, and the unconscionable mocking of Biden’s deceased son only to move on his son recovering from addiction. …

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Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale. All rights © Hulu.

Trump and the Senate Republicans are changing the lyrics from their 2016 greatest hit to rush the confirmation of an Aunt Lydia to replace RBG before the election.

A woman! He promises. We can forgive a little hypocrisy if we’re promised someone female, right? Surely a woman will have our best interests at heart.

A woman who will take very good care of her girls. A righteous woman who knows what’s best for us. And like a good Christian mother, she will do what’s best for us whether we like it or not.

So by all means, grab that pious woman by the pussy and put her on the bench before the election! We promise to be good girls. …

And why I will politely ignore knee-jerk conservatives who tell me how to grieve

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All rights © Morning Brew. Edits mine

My first post was apolitical, but deferential. I was still numb.

“RBG. An incalculable loss. Thank you for holding on as long as you possibly could. Thank you for devoting your life’s work to serving this country. You will be deeply dearly missed.”

Much to my surprise, an admonishing cut-and-paste response from a European friend (who now has her green card) was to the above post. Not to this, my subsequent post: “NOTORIOUS. To the brilliant woman who never retired, who worked until the day she died trying to save this country from its own self-destruction.”

I assumed her generic obituary-type blurb was another repost. It concluded with…

We are our own inheritance

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Grass fire, Mounty Beauty, Australia. Circa 1940s. All rights © Museums Victoria

I’m sweeping ash under the hydrangeas. There is no point as it continues to fall, will continue to fall. It’s chalky grey and beige with small curls of singed black. This powdery confetti used to be enormous trees towering an hour’s drive from here. Maple. Alder. Western hemlock. I’ve lived here most of my life but I can only name some of them by sight. And suddenly these magnificent beings are just clouds of dust, small plumes billowing up around my ankles and burning my eyes.

James kissed me in a clearing of these trees once — along the river more than twenty years ago. He woke me up with a kiss in the forest. Sure, we were in a tent with his dog but still very Sleeping Beauty for a couple of beer snobs who stayed up late debating politics among the cedar trees and Douglas firs. He couldn’t understand why I didn’t love the Grateful Dead or Hillary Clinton as much as he did. …


Heather M. Edwards

twitter @h_m_edwards unsplash @heathermedwards

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