Dec. 20, 2019
by Leon Irby (author's profile)


I hope someone gets my message... in the universe!!!
Reply ID: 3tf6

Hi Sista Beth:
Waiting - my dear!
One Love!
1 of 2 12-05-2019

Governor Tony Evers / Secretary Kevin A. Carr
Columbia Correctional Institution

DATE: November 15, 2019
TO: All CCI Inmates
FROM: Warden Novak
SUBJECT: Institution Lockdown

As most of you are aware, we remain in lockdown status. As we continue to evaluate recent events in the institution, we appreciate your patience and cooperation during this time. We realize that not everyone was involved in the recent events, and we are working towards restoring privileges when we can, and when it can be done safely. Starting this weekend, we will be getting people out for showers and provide clean clothing.

If you need to place money on your account for kiosk use, submit a disbursement to the Business Office. If you are approaching a court deadline, please notify the court of the current situation and use this memo as supporting documentation. There have been recent questions about television stations received at CCI. There has been a disruption to our normally available channels due to an antenna replacement project that the City of Madison is completing. They predict that all channels should be restored sometime in December. Also, our internal institution information channel is not working-parts are on order and when we receive them, repairs will be made.

As we evaluate our current situation, we will be reviewing the potential for additional showers and phone use next week. We are tentatively reviewing the possibility of restoring visits beginning Monday 11/25/19 and will provide notice when that is confirmed.

As we work through this process, we continue to evaluate information, concerns, and issues that have been brought forward by many of you. This process takes time, and there is no designated end date at this time.

cc: CCI Staff
2925 Columbia Drive | PO Box 950 | Portage, WI 53901-0950 Phone Number: (608) 742-9100
2 of 2 12-5-2019

to fall
asleep with
a dream
and wake
up with a




[image of October calendar]

Universal Mind
[aka Noos]
Update: Lori Loughlin
I fervently pray this at least is not "Fake News":...
"Loughlin hopes htat if she testifies jurors will remember her as the woman who's been in their living rooms for years most recently in Hallmark channel's When Calls the Heart but most notably in Full House and its 2016 revival, Fuller House."
"I want my day in court"
- Dec. 9, 2019, 36
Sings: she (woke) and God hears our prayers!!!
see below, p.3
1 of 4

By Lori Loughlin
The Fuller House star, 54, loves golf, cheese and The Bachelor! (Who doesn't?)
1. I love mac and cheese. Anything with cheese on it.
2. I'm remembered most for my laugh. My dad says I came out of the womb with a loud guttural laugh.
3. I modeled for teen romance novels. Looking back on the covers, it's embarrassing now.
4. Donny Osmond was my teenage crush. He followed me on Twitter and Instagram. It was a life highlight.
5. When I wrap presents, it looks like I had three bottles of wine.
6. My husband (Mossimo Giannulli, 55] and kids [Gianni, 27, Isabella, 20, and Olivia, 19) make fun of me because I love looking at homes online, and if a house is empty, I've been known to go over and snoop.
7. My favorite sport is golf. I'm terrible but still love to play.
8. I could probably win any bubble gum-blowing contest.
9. I didn't take any set pieces from Full House because John Stamos took everything before we could!
10. My favorite workout is Body by Simone. It really does the trick.
11. The best part about being a Hallmark heroine is there's always a happy ending! I love being in a feel-good movie.
12. I realized my daughter Olivia was YouTube famous when she showed me emails from a brand that wanted to work with her. I'm so proud!
13. My favorite movie is [1982's] Tootsie.
14. I remember being on the Seinfeld set [in 1997]. Julia [Louis-Dreyfus] had just had her baby, Jerry (Seinfeld) and Jason [Alexander) were so sweet, and Michael Richards kept to himself.
15. My favorite musical artist is Bobby Sherman.
16. Most people would think my designer husband helps me shop, but he doesn't.
17. My favorite actress is Michelle Pfeiffer. I'm a huge fan of her in [1985's] Ladyhawke.
18. My favorite reality show is The Bachelor. I'm excited about Colton [Underwood]!
19. I do still have all my wrap gifts from the show - like a robe and a coffee mug.
20. My golden retriever, Bianca, and I have very long snuggle sessions together.
21. If I'm free during the day, I love to see a matinee. I did that with A Stor Is Born - loved it!
22. My favorite place to vacation is anywhere with white sand and see-through blue water.
23. My favorite memory from Full House was (during] my first week with Bob(Saget), Dave (Coulier) and John. [We] were all laughing about something and David said, "I think Lori is going to be around for a long time." It was so sweet, and he was right!
24. My favorite book is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing [by Marie Kondo).
25. I was the biggest Charlie's Angels fan. I saw Jaclyn Smith in Bloomingdale's once and freaked out. My daughters convinced me not to run up and talk to her. Next time!
Hallmark's When Calls the Heart returns on Feb. 24 at 8 P.M.
FEBRUARY 25, 2019

Trial Lawyer Advocates 'Jury Nullification To Acquit the Unjustly Accused
by Derek Gilna

MARK BENNETT, A 22-YEAR CRIMINAL trial lawyer, argues that responsible citizens have a duty to serve on a criminal jury as a reasoned observer of the trial process -- and not as a pawn of a system meant to over-awe them into an emotionally driven conviction.
He also advocates that serving on a jury as an objective individual puts you in a position to practice the time-honored practice of"jury nullification."
According to that doctrine, "jury nullification" is "finding the defendant 'not guilty' regardless of whether the state has proven the accusation beyond a reasonable doubt."
This practice, he said, is "rooted in the principle that a juror can and should reach whatever verdict her conscience leads her to, and that there is nothing the government, or anyone else, can do to stop her beforehand or punish her afterwards."
"A jury is the entity that acts as the voice of the community, and serving as a juror allows you to contribute to that voice," he continued. "You may also believe that the law under which the defendant is being prosecuted is an illegitimate use of state power."
However, he said, neither the judge, prosecutor, nor the defense counsel will comment on the practice, despite the fact that all jurors serving on both six and 12-person juries have the power to decide a criminal defendant's fate regardless of the evidence presented or testimony given. The reason is obvious. All parties have a vested interest in the criminal justice system, but not necessarily in the "justice" part of that equation.
There are elements of American society whose sole contact with law enforcement is limited to minor traffic tickets, but for a significant segment of society, especially in areas inhabited by people of color, interaction with the police can be a daily and dangerous occurrence often resulting in detention and arrest, whether or not individuals are engaged in any criminal activity. A rising tide of hundreds of exonerations for botched or unjustified arrests and prosecutions have eroded many citizens' blind faith in the American system of justice, perhaps making them more receptive to the concept.
We all know that if a jury fails to convict, the defendant goes free. However few juries are aware of the fact that they are not obligated to convict, regardless of what the evidence does or doesn't prove. In the justice system, which the criminal generally recycles former prosecutors into judicial positions, and highly technical rules of evidence together with the reality that most defendants lack the resources to battle the government on equal footing that often prevent a defendant from presenting a robust defense, jury nullification is a powerful weapon to redress the defendant's relative lack of power.
However, if you reveal your skepticism of the criminal justice system during the jury selection process, it is unlikely that prosecutors will permit you to sit on the jury, and if you express any overt prejudice, you can be stricken from the potential jury pool "for cause." Jurors are generally questioned by a judge, by prosecutors, and defense lawyers who search for any prejudice, on any subject related to the police, the facts of the case, or any other potentially disqualifying attitudes. If you do not convince the questioners that you are not prejudiced, you will not be permitted to serve on the jury, and you will not be able to exert any influence on the jury or its verdict. “Keep your mouth shut” and “act ordinary” is the best way to be picked for a jury, according to Bennett.
Once on the jury, despite the statements of the judge or the lawyers in the case, you are free to weigh the evidence and use your argumentative and analytic skill to convince your fellow jurors of the righteousness of your opinion of guilt or innocence. In a federal criminal trial and in all states but one, a jury verdict must be unanimous. Thus, even if you cannot convince the other jurors of the righteousness of your position, your one vote means there will be no conviction—a mistrial followed by a retrial, but perhaps not. And, you might even be able to convince them to find the defendant not guilty. In any event, you will have struck a blow to redress the inherent imbalance of power in criminal proceedings.

What Some Prison Sentence Lengths Actually Reflect
by Ed Lyon

When a criminal convictee is sentenced, the number of months or years assessed does not always mean the convictee will remain in prison for that entire time.
Nearly all states and most other jurisdictions in the world have a parole system where prisoners are conditionally released into society, under varying levels of supervision after meeting eligibility and suitability requirements. Some jurisdictions have statutory maximums built into imprisonment periods regardless of sentence length, while others may use mandatory release to parole supervision schemes.
Thailand’s penal code has a sentence limit of 20 years built into its laws. Phudit Kittitradilok was sentenced to 13,275 years in prison in December 2017 for running a Ponzi scheme. The long sentence in his case served only the appearance of justice.
Norway did away with the death penalty in 1902. In 1981, the country abrogated life sentences. The maximum prison sentence in Norway now is 21 years.
To relieve prison overcrowding, Texas adopted a mandatory supervision release scheme in 1977. A prisoner would either serve a third of the sentence in violent cases or build a third with flat time, coupled with earned good time, to be mandatorily released from prison to parole supervision for the remainder of the sentence. A 60-year benchmark was used for the cap.
Texas courts used this guideline for sentencing, but by 1997 the state had built so many prisons it could not follow the legally required releases without shuttering a prison or three, so the prison and parole systems have been ignoring these mandatory release laws. Actual sentence lengths are now longer than intended.
Many states, including Texas, have enacted sentences of life without parole. One of
Criminal Legal News

Welcome back to the real word [aka "IRL"]!!!
Update: Olivia Jade (Internet) 12-3-2019
The cancel game is fake!!! Stand your stance!!! Be a winner!!!
11-15-2019, p. 16

Hollywood Genocide!!!
Is Hollywood killing black trans!!!
Hollywood insert black ("LGBTQ) trans ubiguitiously in pratically every scene...
Oscars, Emmys, Met Gala, on covers, TV, movies, bachlorette, red carpet, ad infinitum
Is this inticing murderous outrages insane minds throughout violent USA to murder vulnerable innocent black trans.

Hollywood silence on black trans screams out "heartless" elite racism!!!
Targets of hate: Police requested FBI assistance this week in response to a plague of violence targeting black transgender women, after a third trans woman since October was found murdered..."
- The U.S. at a glance... June 14, 2019, p.7
- See also: Bev.: 11 trans killed in June 18, 2019. 6-18-2019
One black trans burned beyond recoginition!!! (
Billy Porter
From behind his secure GLITTER gated community proclaim "LOVE" he got an "Emmy Award 2019" and "No Rules"
"I want everyone to wear dresses"
But not a damn word about IRL targeted murdered black trans.
"Magazine Cover"
Ru Paul
In drag on cover of Holiday 2019/2020
Picture this a southern white "red neck" murderous enragement over a so-called "n-word" attack upon his manhood and culture!!!
What's your verdict.

Take The World In A Love Embrace

Who needs a hug!!
"Guyer trial: Was forgiveness deserved?"
-see below, p.3

Forget all those BS impassioned intellectual's rote viewpoint
What It Is Is Plain Sight?
Young Brandt Jean, 18, were in stages of deep grieving for the sudden death of his fervid beloved older brother Botham Jean, 26.
See below, p.4

Chuckel's The Clowns Funeral...
Mary Tyler Moore Show/ChuckelsTheClown 10-4-2019 1:pm CST

He Suffered A Severe Emotional Breakdown!!!
See "Coping With Loss," below, p.p. 5-6.
His obvious uncontroble clouded judgment is common to deep grieving process in young soulful men, like Brandt. Id p.p.

He Deserved Hugs!!!
So, it was Brandt, whom need that hug!


Guyer Trial: was forgiveness deserved?

"It was one of the most christlike acts we'd ever witnessed," said David French in National last week, Brandt Jean, 18, descended the witness stand in a Dallas courtroom and embraced the white former Dallas Police officer, Amber Guyger, who'd been convicted of murder for fatally shooting Brandt's unarmed brother Botham, an accountant and black immigrant from St. Lucia."

For the rest of the BS see: Oct. 18, 2019 p.18 news
See also: "we can't hug away injustice Bront Jean's embrace of the officer who killed his brother Botham was touching - and also frustrating," by Tracey L. Rogers

Guilty verdict: A white former police officer who fatally shot her black neighbor in his own home was convicted of murdering this week and sentenced to 10 years in prison..."
Amber Guyger, 31.

For the rest of the story see U.S. at a glance... October 11, 2019, p. news 7

see also how

Coping With Loss
The loss of a loved one is life's most stressful event and can cause a major emotional crisis. After the death of someone you love, you experience bereavement, which literally means "to be deprived by death."
When a death takes place, you may experience a wide range of emotions, even when the death is expected. Many people report feeling an initial stage of numbness after first learning of a death, but there is no real order to the grieving process. Some emotions you may experience include:


These feelings are normal and common reactions to loss. You may not be prepared for the intensity and duration of your emotions or how swiftly your moods may change. You may even begin to doubt the stability of your mental health. But be assured that these feelings are healthy and appropriate and will help you come to terms with your loss.

Mourning A Loved One
It is not easy to cope after a loved one dies. You will mourn and grieve. Mourning is the natural process you go through to accept a major loss. Mourning may include religious traditions honoring the dead or gathering with friends and family to share your loss. Mourning is personal and may last months or years.
Grieving is the outward expression of your loss. Your grief is likely to be expressed physically, emotionally, and psychologically. For instance, crying is a physical expression, while depression is a psychological expression. It is very important to allow yourself to express these feelings. Often, death is a subject that is avoided, ignored or denied. At first it may seem helpful to separate yourself from the pain, but you cannot avoid grieving forever. Someday those feelings will need to be resolved or they may cause physical or emotional illness.
Many people report physical symptoms that accompany grief. Stomach pain, loss of appetite, intestinal upsets, sleep disturbances and loss of energy are all common symptoms of acute grief. Of all life's stresses, mourning can seriously test your natural defense systems. Existing illnesses may worsen or new conditions may develop. Profound emotional reactions may occur. These reactions include anxiety attacks, chronic fatigue, depression and thoughts of suicide. An obsession with the deceased is also a common reaction to death.

Dealing With A Major Loss
The death of a loved one is always difficult. Your reactions are influenced by the circumstances of a death, particularly when it is sudden or accidental. Your reactions are also influenced by your relationship with the person who died.
A child's death arouses an overwhelming sense of injustice — for lost potential, unfulfilled dreams and senseless suffering. Parents may feel responsible for the child's death, no matter how irrational that may seem. Parents may also feel that they have lost a vital part of their own identity.
A spouse's death is very traumatic. In addition to the severe emotional shock, the death may cause a potential financial crisis if the spouse was the family's main income source. The death may necessitate major social adjustments requiring the surviving spouse to parent alone, adjust to single life and maybe even return to work.
Elderly people may be especially vulnerable when they lose a spouse because it means losing a lifetime of shared experiences. At this time, feelings of loneliness may be compounded by the death of close friends.
A loss due to suicide can be among the most difficult losses to bear. They may leave the survivors with a tremendous burden of guilt, anger and shame. Survivors may even feel responsible for the death. Seeking counseling during the first weeks after the suicide is particularly beneficial and advisable.

Living With Grief
Coping with death is vital to your mental health. It is only natural to experience grief when a loved one dies. The best thing you can do is allow yourself to grieve. There are many ways to cope effectively with your pain.

- Seek out caring people. Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses.

- Express your feelings. Tell others how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process.

- Take care of your health. Maintain regular contact with your family physician and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief.

- Accept that life is for the living. It takes effort to begin to live again in the present and not dwell on the past.

- Postpone major life changes. Try to hold off on making any major changes, such as moving, remarrying, changing jobs or having another child. You should give yourself time to adjust to your loss.

- Be patient. It can take months or even years to absorb a major loss and accept your changed life.

- Seek outside help when necessary. If your grief seems like it is too much to bear, seek professional assistance to help work through your grief. It's a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help.

Remember: It takes time to fully absorb the impact of a major loss. You never stop missing your loved one, but the pain eases after time and allows you to go on with your life.

Helping Others Grieve
If someone you care about has lost a loved one, you can help them through the grieving process.

-Share the sorrow. Allow them — even encourage them — to talk about their feelings of loss and share memories of the deceased.

-Don't offer false comfort. It doesn't help the grieving person when you say "it was for the best" or "you'll get over it in time." Instead, offer a simple expression of sorrow and take time to listen.

-Offer practical help. Baby-sitting, cooking and running errands are all ways to help someone who is in the midst of grieving.

-Be patient. Remember that it can take a long time to recover from a major loss. Make yourself available to talk.

-Encourage professional help when necessary. Don't hesitate to recommend professional help when you feel someone is experiencing too much pain to cope alone.
Copyright Mental Health America 2015

MHA Mental Health America of Wisconsin
Phone: (414) 276-3122 or (866)948-6483

No amount of regret
can change the past.
No amount of worrying
can change the future.
But any amount of gratitude
can change the present.

'Always end the day
with a positive thought.
No matter how hard
things were, tomorrow's
a fresh opportunity to
make it better.


Recognize when a phase,
a job, a life stage, or a
relationship is over and let it go.

Allow yourself to gracefully
exit situations you have outgrown.
Moving on doesn't have to be a
catastrophic or dramatic event. You can simply choose to move forward
with peace and clarity.

Finish this sentence:
I know I'm strong enough
to handle whatever comes at me,
because I've survived a lot,

Train your
mind to
see the
good in

1. Complete this sentence: Today I am thankful for
2. Write your response on the DOC-643 (enclosed) attention Dr. Persike, PSU.
3. All submissions must contain appropriate words and content.
4. All appropriate submissions will be published throughout the month of November in the Friday Fun Packet.

[word bubble of 'thank you' in different languages

I am thankful for my struggle
because without it I wouldn't have
stumbled across my strength

What are you thankful for?

Be thankful
for what you are now
keep fighting
for what you want to be

"If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get."
-Frank A. Clark

Did you know
- Shields you from negativity
- Makes you at least 25% happier
- Rewires your brain
- Eliminates stress
- Heals
- Improves sleep
- Boosts self-esteem & performance
- Enhances the Law of Attraction
- Improves relationships

Real politics!

Update Prez Donald Trump
Follow his money (aka taxes)

Real Politick!!!

Suspend! Suspend! Chairman Schiff

Real Politick!
Kamala Harris: Her 2020 pitch

Your CA. attorney generals' record pre-doomed your ended (12-03-2019) your run!!!

Biden's record too shall fail 2020!

See for the rest of the story... the Feb. 8, 2019, p. 17


[political cartoons of Joe Biden and other politicans]

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[image of Bill Miller]
Bill Miller is an accredited journalist at the UN for the television Washington International and has written extensively on
UN issues.
He is the Principal of Miller and Associates International Media Consultants, which created the Global Connection Television concept.
Bill developed an interest in international issues and the UN when he served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. In his first year he worked as a community developer in a remote rural area; his second year he was Professor of Social Work at the Madre y Maestra University in Santiago, the country's second largest city.

GCTV features in-depth analysis within a wide scope of current issues, topics and events including:
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development, global partnerships, renewable energy, technology, culture, education, food security, poverty reduction, peace and security, and gender issues.
Episodes are broadcast worldwide through cable, satellite, public-access television, and the World Wide Web. GCTV provides inside perspectives from the United Nations and other important organizations that showcase how these groups impact the daily lives of people around the world.


Within the goal of providing important perspectives and initiatives from the UN and other organizations, Global Connections Television is provided to broadcasters, satellite systems, media outlets and educational institutions at no charge subject to terms and conditions found on our website. GCTV believes that by providing this invaluable content, the public can learn more about the world, its issues, and the men and women making a difference. WWW.GLOBALCONNECTIONSTELEVISION.COM

Letter From Washington

Joe Biden's disastrous legislative legacy
By Andrew Cockburn

In the heart of the US Capitol there’s a small men’s room with an uplifting Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt quotation above the door. Making use of the facilities there after lunch in the nearby House dining room about a year ago, I found myself standing next to Trent Lott. Once a mighty power in the building as Senate Republican leader, he had been forced to resign his post following some imprudently affectionate references to his fellow Republican senator, arch-segregationist Strom Thurmond. Now he was visiting the Capitol as a lucratively employed lobbyist.
The bathroom in which we stood, Lott remarked affably, once served a higher purpose. History had been made there. “When I first came to Washington as a junior staffer in 1968,” he explained, “this was the private hideaway office of Bill Colmer, chairman of the House Rules Committee.” Colmer, a long-serving Mississippi Democrat and Lott’s boss, was an influential figure. The committee he ruled controlled whether bills lived or died, the latter being the customary fate of proposed civil-rights legislation that reached his desk. “On Thursday nights,” Lott continued, “he and members of the leadership from both sides of the House would meet here to smoke cigars, drink cheap bourbon, play gin rummy, and discuss business. There was a chemistry, they understood each other. It was a magical thing.” He sighed wistfully at the memory of a more harmonious age, in which our elders and betters could arrange the nation’s affairs behind closed doors.

[image of Joe Biden]
Vice President Joe Biden, 2014 (detail) © Alex Majoli/Magnum Photos

I don't know that Joe Biden, currently leading the polls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, ever frequented that particular restroom, in either its bygone or contemporary manifestation, but it could serve as a fitting shrine to all that he stands for. Biden has long served as high priest of the doctrine that our legislative problems derive merely from superficial disagreements, rather than fundamental differences over matters of principle. “I believe that we have to end the divisive partisan politics that is ripping this country apart,” he declared in the Rose Garden in 2015, renouncing a much-anticipated White House run. “It’s mean-spirited. It’s petty. And it’s gone on for much too long. I don’t believe, like some do, that it’s naïve to talk to Republicans. I don’t think we should look on Republicans as our enemies.”
Given his success in early polling, it would seem that this message resonates with many voters, at least when they are talking to pollsters. After all, according to orthodox wisdom, there is no more commendable virtue in American political custom and practice than bipartisanship. Politicians on the stump fervently assure voters that they will strive with every sinew to “work across the aisle” to deliver “commonsense solutions,” and those who express the sentiment eloquently can expect widespread approval. Barack Obama famously launched himself toward the White House with his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention proclaiming that there is “not a liberal America and a conservative America,” only a “United States of America.”
By tapping into these popular tropes—“The system is broken,” “Why can’t Congress just get along?”—the practitioners of bipartisanship conveniently gloss over the more evident reality: that the system is under sustained assault by an ideology bent on destroying the remnants of the New Deal to the benefit of a greed-driven oligarchy. It was bipartisan accord, after all, that brought us the permanent war economy, the war on drugs, the mass incarceration of black people, 1990s welfare “reform,” Wall Street deregulation and the consequent $16 trillion in bank bailouts, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, and other atrocities too numerous to mention. If the system is indeed broken, it is because interested parties are doing their best to break it.
Rather than admit this, Biden has long found it more profitable to assert that political divisions can be settled by men endowed with statesmanlike vision and goodwill—in other words, men such as himself. His frequent eulogies for public figures have tended to play heavily on this theme. Thus his memorial speech for Republican standard-bearer John McCain dwelled predictably on the cross-party nature of their relationship, beginning with his opening: “My name is Joe Biden. I’m a Democrat, and I loved John McCain.” Continuing in that vein, he related how he and McCain had once been chided by their respective party leaderships for spending so much time in each other’s company on the Senate floor, and referred fondly to the days when senators Teddy Kennedy and James Eastland, the latter a die-hard racist and ruthless suppressor of civil-rights bills, would “fight like hell on civil rights and then go have lunch together, down in the Senate dining room.”

Clearly, there is merit in the ability to craft compromise between opposing viewpoints in order to produce an effective result. John Ritch, formerly a US ambassador and top aide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, worked closely with Biden for two decades, and has nothing but praise for his negotiating skills. “I’ve never seen anyone better at presiding over a group of politicians who represent conflicting egos and interests and using a combination of conciliation, humor, and muscle to cajole them into an agreed way forward,” Ritch told me recently. “Joe Biden has learned the skills to get things done in Washington. And I’ve seen him apply it equally with foreign leaders.”
The value of compromise, however, depends on what result is produced, and who benefits thereby. ­McCain’s record had at least a few commendable features, such as his opposition to torture (though never, of course, war). But it is hard to find much admirable in the character of a tireless defender of institutional racism like Strom Thurmond. Hence, Trent Lott’s words of praise—regretting that the old racist had lost when he ran as a Dixiecrat in the 1948 presidential election—had been deemed terminally unacceptable.
It fell to Biden to highlight some redeeming qualities when called on, inevitably, to deliver Thurmond’s eulogy following the latter’s death in 2003 at the age of one hundred. Biden reminisced with affection about the unlikely friendship between the deceased and himself. Despite having arrived at the Senate at age twenty-nine “emboldened, angered, and outraged about the treatment of African Americans in this country,” he said, he nevertheless found common cause on important issues with the late senator from South Carolina, who had been wont to describe civil-rights activists as “red pawns and publicity seekers.”

[image of schoolbus with kids]
A police officer talks with students who were riding a school bus that was stoned in South Boston on September 17, 1981. An initiative to desegregate Boston public schools was implemented in the fall of 1974 and was met with strong resistance © Bill Ryerson/Boston Globe/Getty Images

One such issue, as Branko Marcetic has pitilessly chronicled in Jacobin, was a shared opposition to federally mandated busing in the effort to integrate schools, an opposition Biden predicted would be ultimately adopted by liberal holdouts. “The black community justifiably is jittery,” Biden admitted to the Washington Post in 1975 with regard to his position. “I’ve made it—if not respectable—I’ve made it reasonable for longstanding liberals to begin to raise the questions I’ve been the first to raise in the liberal community here on the [Senate] floor.”
Biden was responding to criticism of legislation he had introduced that effectively barred the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare from compelling communities to bus pupils using federal funds. This amendment was meant to be an alternative to a more extreme proposal put forward by a friend of Biden’s, hall-of-fame racist Jesse Helms (Biden had initially supported Helms’s version). Nevertheless, the Washington Post described Biden’s amendment as “denying the possibility for equal educational opportunities to minority youngsters trapped in ill-equipped inner-city schools.” Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, then the sole African-American senator, called Biden’s measure “the greatest symbolic defeat for civil rights since 1964.”

[image of Bill Clinton & Joe Biden]
President Bill Clinton hugs Senator Joe Biden after signing the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act © AP Photo/Dennis Cook

By the 1980s, Biden had begun to see political gold in the harsh antidrug legislation that had been pioneered by drug warriors such as Nelson Rockefeller and Richard Nixon, and would ultimately lead to the age of mass incarceration for black Americans. One of his Senate staffers at the time recalls him remarking, “Whenever people hear the words ‘drugs’ and ‘crime,’ I want them to think ‘Joe Biden.’” Insisting on anonymity, this former staffer recollected how Biden’s team “had to think up excuses for new hearings on drugs and crime every week—any connection, no matter how remote. He wanted cops at every public meeting—you’d have thought he was running for chief of police.”
The ensuing legislation might also have brought to voters’ minds the name of the venerable Thurmond, Biden’s partner in this effort. Together, the pair sponsored the 1984 Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which, among other repressive measures, abolished parole for federal prisoners and cut the amount of time by which sentences could be reduced for good behavior. The bipartisan duo also joined hands to cheerlead the passage of the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act and its 1988 follow-on, which cumulatively introduced mandatory sentences for drug possession. Biden later took pride in reminding audiences that “through the leadership of Senator Thurmond, and myself, and others,” Congress had passed a law mandating a five-year sentence, with no parole, for anyone caught with a piece of crack cocaine “no bigger than [a] quarter.” That is, they created the infamous disparity in penalties between those caught with powder cocaine (white people) and those carrying crack (black people). Biden also unblushingly cited his and Thurmond’s leading role in enacting laws allowing for the execution of drug dealers convicted of homicide, and expanding the practice of civil asset forfeiture, law enforcement’s plunder of property belonging to people suspected of crimes, even if they are neither charged nor convicted.
Despite pleas from the ­NAACP and the ­ACLU, the 1990s brought no relief from Biden’s crime crusade. He vied with the first Bush Administration to introduce ever more draconian laws, including one proposing to expand the number of offenses for which the death penalty would be permitted to fifty-one. Bill Clinton quickly became a reliable ally upon his 1992 election, and Biden encouraged him to “maintain crime as a Democratic initiative” with suitably tough legislation. The ensuing 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, passed with enthusiastic administration pressure, would consign millions of black Americans to a life behind bars.
In subsequent years, as his crime legislation, particularly on mandatory sentences, attracted efforts at reform, Biden began expressing a certain remorse. “I am part of the problem that I have been trying to solve since then, because I think the disparity [between crack and powder cocaine sentences] is way out of line,” he declared at a Senate hearing in 2008. However, there is little indication that his words were matched by actions, especially after he moved to the vice presidency the following year. The executive director of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, Eric Sterling, who worked on the original legislation in the House as a congressional counsel, told me, “During the eight years he was vice president, I never saw him take a leadership role in the area of drug policy, never saw him get out in front on the issue like he did on same-sex marriage, for example. Biden could have taken a stronger line [with Obama] privately or publicly, and he did not.”
While many black Americans will neither forgive nor forget how they, along with relatives and friends, were accorded the lifetime stigma of a felony conviction, many other Americans are only now beginning to count the costs of these viciously repressive initiatives. As a result, criminal justice reform has emerged as a popular issue across the political spectrum, including among conservatives eager to burnish otherwise illiberal credentials. Ironically, this has led, in theory, to a modest unraveling of a portion of Biden’s bipartisan crime-fighting legacy.
Last December, as Donald Trump’s erratic regime was falling into increasing disarray, the political-media class briefly united in celebration of an exercise in bipartisanship: the First Step Act. Billed as a long overdue overhaul of the criminal justice system, the legislation received rapturous reviews for its display of cross-party cooperation, headlined by Jared Kushner’s partnership with liberal talk-show host Van Jones. In truth, this was a very modest first step. It offered the possibility of release to some 2,600 federal inmates, whose relief from excessive sentences would require the goodwill of both prosecutors and police, as well as forbidding some especially barbaric practices in federal prisons, such as the shackling of pregnant inmates. Overall, it amounted to little more than a textbook exercise in aisle bridging, a triumph of form over substance.
In the near term, it’s unlikely that there will be further bipartisan attempts to chip away at Biden’s legislative legacy, a legacy that includes an inconsistent (to put it mildly) record on abortion rights. Roe v. Wade “went too far,” he told an interviewer in 1974. “I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.” For some years his votes were consistent with that view. He supported the notorious Hyde Amendment prohibiting any and all federal funding for abortions, and fathered the “Biden Amendment” that banned the use of US foreign aid for abortion research.
As the 1980s wore on, however, and Biden’s presidential ambitions started to swell, he began to cast fewer antiabortion votes (with some exceptions), and led the potent opposition to Judge Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Then came Clarence Thomas. Even before Anita Hill reluctantly surfaced with her convincing recollections of unpleasant encounters with the porn-obsessed judge, Biden was fumbling his momentous responsibility of directing the hearings. As Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson report in Strange Justice, their book about the Thomas nomination battle, Biden’s questions were “sometimes so long and convoluted that Thomas would forget what the question was.” Biden prided himself on his legal scholarship, Mayer and Abramson suggest, and thus his questions were often designed “to show off [his] legal acumen rather than to elicit answers.”
More damningly, Biden not only allowed fellow committee members to mount a sustained barrage of vicious attacks on Hill: he wrapped up the hearings without calling at least two potential witnesses who could have convincingly corroborated Hill’s testimony and, by extension, indicated that the nominee had perjured himself on a sustained basis throughout the hearings. As Mayer and Abramson write, “Hill’s reputation was not foremost among the committee’s worries. The Democrats in general, and Biden in particular, appear to have been far more concerned with their own reputations,” and feared a Republican-stoked public backlash if they aired more details of Thomas’s sexual proclivities. Hill was therefore thrown to the wolves, and America was saddled with a Supreme Court justice of limited legal qualifications and extreme right-wing views (which he had taken pains to deny while under oath).
Fifteen years later, Biden would repeat this exercise in hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito, yet another grim product of the Republican judicial-selection machinery. True to form, in his opening round of questions, Biden droned on for the better part of half an hour, allowing Alito barely five minutes to explain his views. As the torrent of verbiage washed over the hearing room, fellow Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy could only glower at Biden in impotent frustration.

Senator Joe Biden huddles with Senator Strom Thurmond after the Judiciary Committee voted 7–7 on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, September 1991 © AP Photo/John Duricka

Biden’s record on race and women did him little damage with the voters of Delaware, who regularly returned him to the Senate with comfortable margins. On race, at least, Biden affected to believe that Delawareans’ views might be closer to those of his old buddy Thurmond than those of the “Northeast liberal” he sometimes claimed to be. “You don’t know my state,” he told Fox as he geared up for his second attempt on the White House in 2006.* “My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state has the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything [but] a Northeast liberal state.” Months later, in front of a largely Republican audience in South Carolina, he joked that the only reason Delaware had fought with the North in the Civil War was “because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the South. There were a couple of states in the way.”
Whether or not most Delawareans are proud of their slaveholding history, there are some causes that they, or at least the dominant power brokers in the state, hold especially dear. Foremost among them is Delaware’s status as a freewheeling tax haven. State laws have made Delaware the domicile of choice for corporations, especially banks, and it competes for business with more notorious entrepôts such as the Cayman Islands. Over half of all US public companies are legally headquartered there.
“It’s a corporate whore state, of course,” the anonymous former Biden staffer remarked to me offhandedly in a recent conversation. He stressed that in “a small state with thirty-five thousand bank employees, apart from all the lawyers and others from the financial industry,” Biden was never going to stray too far from the industry’s priorities. We were discussing bankruptcy, an issue that has highlighted Biden’s fealty to the banks. Unsurprisingly, Biden was long a willing foot soldier in the campaign to emasculate laws allowing debtors relief from loans they cannot repay. As far back as 1978, he helped negotiate a deal rolling back bankruptcy protections for graduates with federal student loans, and in 1984 worked to do the same for borrowers with loans for vocational schools. Even when the ostensible objective lay elsewhere, such as drug-related crime, Biden did not forget his banker friends. Thus the 1990 Crime Control Act, with Biden as chief sponsor, further limited debtors’ ability to take advantage of bankruptcy protections.
These initiatives, however, were only precursors to the finance lobby’s magnum opus: the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. This carefully crafted flail of the poor made it almost impossible for borrowers to get traditional “clean slate” Chapter 7 bankruptcy, under which debt forgiveness enables people to rebuild their lives and businesses. Instead, the law subjected them to the far harsher provisions of Chapter 13, effectively turning borrowers into indentured servants of institutions like the credit card companies headquartered in Delaware. It made its way onto the statute books after a lopsided 74–25 vote (bipartisanship!), with Biden, naturally, voting in favor.
It was, in fact, the second version of the bill. An earlier iteration had passed Congress in 2000 with Biden’s support, but President Clinton refused to sign it at the urging of the first lady, who had been briefed on its iniquities by Elizabeth Warren. A Harvard Law School professor at the time, Warren witheringly summarized Biden’s advocacy of the earlier bill in a 2002 paper:
His energetic work on behalf of the credit card companies has earned him the affection of the banking industry and protected him from any well-funded challengers for his Senate seat.
Furthermore, she added tartly, “This important part of Senator Biden’s legislative work also appears to be missing from his Web site and publicity releases.” No doubt coincidentally, the credit card giant MBNA was Biden’s largest contributor for much of his Senate career, while also employing his son Hunter as an executive and, later, as a well-remunerated consultant.
It should go without saying, then, that Biden was among the ninety senators on one of the fatal (to the rest of us) legislative gifts presented to Wall Street back in the Clinton era: the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999. The act repealed the hallowed Depression-era Glass–Steagall legislation that severed investment banking from commercial banking, thereby permitting the combined operations to gamble with depositors’ money, and ultimately ushering in the 2008 crash. “The worst vote I ever cast in my entire time in the United States Senate,” admitted Biden in December 2016, as he prepared to leave office. Seventeen years too late, he explained that the act had “allowed banks with deposits to take on risky investments, putting the whole system at risk.”
In the meantime, of course, he had been vice president of the United States for eight years, and thus in a position to address the consequences of his (and his fellow senators’) actions by using his power to press for criminal investigations. His longtime faithful aide, Ted Kaufman, in fact, had taken over his Senate seat and was urging such probes. Yet there is not the slightest sign that Biden used his influence to encourage pursuit of the financial fraudsters. As he opined in a 2018 talk at the Brookings Institution, “I don’t think five hundred billionaires are the reason we’re in trouble. The folks at the top aren’t bad guys.” Characteristically, he described gross inequalities in wealth mainly as a threat to bipartisanship: “This gap is yawning, and it’s having the effect of pulling us apart. You see the politics of it.”

From left to right: The US ambassador to Iraq, James Jeffrey, Vice President Joe Biden, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, during the playing of the Iraqi and US national anthems at Camp Victory in Baghdad, December 2011 © AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed
From left to right: The US ambassador to Iraq, James Jeffrey, Vice President Joe Biden, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, during the playing of the Iraqi and US national anthems at Camp Victory in Baghdad, December 2011 © AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed

Biden’s rightward bipartisan inclinations are not the only source of his alleged appeal. In an imitation of Hillary Clinton’s tactics in the lead-up to the 2016 election, Biden has advertised himself as the candidate of “experience.” Indeed, in his self-estimation he is the “most qualified person in the country to be president.” It’s a claim mainly rooted in foreign policy, a field where, theoretically, partisan politics are deposited at the water’s edge and Biden’s negotiating talents and expertise are seen to their best advantage.
He boasts the same potent acquaintances with world leaders that helped earn Clinton a similar “most qualified” label on her failed presidential job application and, like her, has been a reliable hawk, not least when occupying the high-profile chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. An ardent proponent of NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, an ill-conceived initiative that has served as an enduring provocation of Russian hostility toward the West, Biden voted enthusiastically to authorize Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, was a major proponent of Clinton’s war in Kosovo, and pushed for military intervention in Sudan.
Presumably in deference to this record, Obama entrusted his vice president with a number of foreign policy tasks over the years, beginning with “quarterbacking,” as Biden put it, US relations with Iraq. “Joe will do Iraq,” the president told his foreign policy team a few weeks after being sworn in. “He knows it, he knows the players.” It proved to be an unfortunate choice, at least for Iraqis. In 2006, the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, had selected Nouri al-Maliki, a relatively obscure Shiite politician, to be the country’s prime minister. “Are you serious?” exclaimed a startled Maliki when Khalilzad informed him of the decision. But Maliki proved to be a determinedly sectarian ruler, persecuting the Sunni tribes that had switched sides to aid US forces during the so-called surge of 2007–08. In addition, he sparked widespread allegations of corruption. According to the Iraqi Commission of Integrity set up after his departure, as much as $500 billion was siphoned off from government coffers during Maliki’s eight years in power.
In the 2010 parliamentary elections, one of Maliki’s rivals, boasting a nonsectarian base of support, won the most seats, though not a majority. According to present and former Iraqi officials, Biden’s emissaries pressed hard to assemble a coalition that would reinstall Maliki as prime minister. “It was clear they were not interested in anyone else,” one Iraqi diplomat told me. “Biden himself was very scrappy—he wouldn’t listen to argument.” The consequences were, in the official’s words, “disastrous.” In keeping with the general corruption of his regime, Maliki allowed the country’s security forces to deteriorate. Command of an army division could be purchased for $2 million, whereupon the buyer might recoup his investment with exactions from the civilian population. Therefore, when the Islamic State erupted out of Syria and moved against major Iraqi cities, there were no effective defenses. With Islamic State fighters an hour’s drive from Baghdad, the United States belatedly rushed to push Maliki aside and install a more competent leader, the Shiite politician and former government minister Haider al-Abadi. (Biden’s camp disputed the Iraqi official’s assertion that the United States pressed for Maliki in 2010. “We had no brief for any individual,” said Tony Blinken, who served as Biden’s national security adviser at the time.)
Biden devotes considerable space to this episode in Promise Me, Dad, his political and personal memoir documenting the year in which his son Beau slowly succumbed to cancer. But although we learn much about Biden’s relationship with Abadi, and the key role he played in getting vital help to the beleaguered Iraqi regime, there is little indication of his past with Maliki aside from a glancing reference to “stubbornly sectarian policies.”
Promise Me, Dad also covers Biden’s involvement in the other countries allotted to him by President Obama: Ukraine, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Anyone seeking insight from the book into the recent history of these regions, or of actual US policy and actions there, should look elsewhere. He has little to say, for example, about the well-chronicled involvement of US officials in the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government in 2014, still less on whether he himself was involved. He records his strenuous efforts to funnel ­IMF loans to the country following anti-­corruption measures introduced by the government without noting that much of the IMF money was almost immediately stolen and spirited out of Ukraine by an oligarch close to the government. Nor, for that matter, do we learn anything about his son Hunter’s involvement in that nation’s business affairs via his position on the board of Burisma, a natural gas company owned by a former Ukrainian ecology minister accused by the UK government of stealing at least $23 million of Ukrainian taxpayers’ money.
Biden’s recollections of his involvement in Central American affairs are no more forthright, and no more insightful. There is no mention of the 2009 coup in Honduras, endorsed and supported by the United States, that displaced the elected president, Manuel Zelaya, nor of that country’s subsequent descent into the rule of a corrupt oligarchy accused of ties to drug traffickers. He has nothing but warm words for Juan Orlando Hernández, the current president, who financed his 2013 election campaign with $90 million stolen from the Honduran health service and more recently defied his country’s constitution by running for a second term. Instead, we read much about Biden’s shepherding of the Hernández regime, along with its Central American neighbors El Salvador and Guatemala, into the Alliance for Prosperity, an agreement in which the signatories pledged to improve education, health care, women’s rights, justice systems, etc., in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid. In the words of Professor Dana Frank of UC Santa Cruz, the alliance “supports the very economic sectors that are actively destroying the Honduran economy and environment, like mega-dams, mining, tourism, and African palms,” reducing most of the population to poverty and spurring them to seek something better north of the border. The net result has been a tide of refugees fleeing north, most famously exemplified by the “caravan” used by Donald Trump to galvanize support prior to November’s congressional elections.
Biden’s claims of experience on the world stage, therefore, cannot be denied. True, the experience has been routinely disastrous for those on the receiving end, but on the other hand, that is a common fate for those subjected, under any administration, to the operations of our foreign policy apparatus.

Given Biden’s all too evident shortcomings in the fields of domestic and foreign policy, defenders inevitably retreat to the “electability” argument, which contends that he is the only Democrat on the horizon capable of beating Trump—a view that Biden, naturally, endorses. Specifically, this notion rests on the belief that Biden has unequaled appeal among the white working-class voters that many Democrats are eager to court.
To be fair, Biden has earned high ratings from the AFL-CIO thanks to his support for matters such as union organizing rights and a higher minimum wage. On the other hand, he also supported NAFTA in 1994 and permanent normal trade relations with China in 2000, two votes that sounded the death knell for America’s manufacturing economy. Regardless of how justified his pro-labor reputation may be, however, it’s far from clear that the working class holds Biden in any special regard—his two presidential races imploded before any blue-collar workers had a chance to vote for him.
It is this fact that makes the electability argument so puzzling. Biden’s initial bid for the prize in 1988 famously blew up when rivals unkindly publicized his plagiarism of a stump speech given by Neil Kinnock, a British Labour Party politician. (In Britain, Kinnock was known as “the Welsh Windbag,” which may have encouraged the logorrheic Biden to feel a kinship.) Biden partisans pointed out that he had cited Kinnock on previous occasions, though he didn’t always remember to do so. Either way, it was a bizarre snafu. It also emerged that Biden had been incorporating chunks of speeches from both Bobby and Jack Kennedy along with Hubert Humphrey in his remarks without attribution (although reportedly some of this was the work of speechwriter Pat Caddell).
Another gaffe helped upend Biden’s second White House bid, in 2007, when he referred to Barack Obama in patronizing terms as “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” The campaign cratered at the very first hurdle, the Iowa caucuses, where Biden came in fifth, with less than 1 percent of the votes. “It was humiliating,” recalled the ex-staffer. (The “gaffes” seem to take physical form on occasion. “He has a bit of a Me Too problem,” a leading female Democratic activist and fund-raiser told me, referring to his overly tactile approach to interacting with women. “We never had a talk when he wasn’t stroking my back.” He has already faced heckling on the topic, and videos of this behavior during the course of public events and photo ops have been widely circulated.)
Further to the issue of Biden’s assurances that he is the man to beat Trump is the awkward fact that, as the former staffer told me, “he lacks the discipline to build the nuts and bolts of a modern presidential campaign.” Biden “hated having to take orders from [David] Axelrod and the other Obama people as a vice-presidential candidate in 2008. Campaign aides used to say to him, ‘I’ve got three words for you: Air Force Two.’” My informant stressed that Biden “sucks at fund-raising. He never had to try very hard in Delaware. Staff would do it for him.” Certainly, Biden’s current campaign funds would appear to confirm this contention. His PAC, American Possibilities, had raised only two and a half million dollars by the end of 2018, a surprisingly insignificant amount for a veteran senator and two-term vice president. Furthermore, although the PAC’s stated purpose is to “support candidates who believe in American possibilities,” less than a quarter of the money had found its way to Democratic candidates in time for the November midterms, encouraging speculation that Biden is not really that serious about the essential brass tacks of a presidential campaign—which would include building a strong base of support among Democratic officeholders.
Other organizations in the Biden universe behave similarly, expending much of their income on staff salaries and little on their ostensible function. According to an exhaustive New York Times investigation, salaries accounted for 45 percent of spending by the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children in 2016 and 2017. Similarly, three quarters of the money the Biden Cancer Initiative spent in 2017 went toward salaries and other compensation, including over half a million dollars for its president, Greg Simon, formerly the executive director of Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Task Force during the Obama Administration. Outside the inner circle of senior aides, there does not appear to be an extended Biden network among political professionals standing ready to raise money and perform other tasks necessary to a White House bid, in the way that Hillary Clinton had a network across the political world composed of people who had worked for her and her husband. “Biden doesn’t have that,” his former staffer told me, “because he’s indifferent to staff.” It’s a sentiment that’s been expressed to me by many in the election industry, including a veteran Democratic campaign strategist. “Everyone else is getting everything set up to go once the trigger is pulled,” this individual told me recently. “I myself have firm offers from the [Kamala] Harris and [Cory] Booker campaigns. The Biden people talked to me too, but they could only say, ‘If we run, we’d love to bring you into the fold.’”
At the start of the new year, Biden must have been living in the best of all possible worlds. As he engaged in well-publicized ruminations on whether or not to run, he was enjoying a high profile, with commensurate benefits of sizable book sales and hundred-thousand-dollar speaking engagements. Even more importantly, Biden found himself relevant again. “You’re either on the way up,” he likes to say, “or you’re on the way down,” which is why the temptation to reject the lessons of his two hopelessly bungled White House campaigns has been so overwhelming. Regardless of the current election cycle’s endgame, though, it’s safe to assume that his undimmed ego will never permit any reflection on whether voters who have been eagerly voting for change will ever really settle for Uncle Joe, champion of yesterday’s sordid compromises.



80th - Anniversary Listening Party









Suffer the Children
Trump's EPA chief has trashed a ban on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that harms kids' brains.
[image of a kid saying 'You are LITERALLY lowering my IQ." and Donald Trump saying "No more smarty-pants elites!" while an airplane sprays chemicals over crops in the background]

Ending the clean power plan will likely cause a spike in childhood asthma attacks
[cartoon with a kid saying "I-CAN'T-BREATHE!" and Donald Trump saying "Why do you hate coal workers?" A factory and a pile of coal can be seen in the background.]

Millions of kids would probably lose health insurance if the affordable care act were replaced.
[cartoon with kid saying "My mom can't afford my medicine anymore." Donald Trump says "Your mom is a loser."]

Meanwhile, Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad has brutally attacked civilians with chemical weapons.
[cartoon of Donald Trump saying "God forbid innocent children are hurt by their own president!" Missle strikes can be seen on a TV in the background.]

Mad! Mad! USA!!!
Trumpedo Affect
President Trumpedo has driven mad elite "opinion head"!!! 2016-

The Madness!!!
"Is America ready for Mayor Pete" July 2019
The "mod headed" pundits treat mayor Pete (Buttigieg) as though "IRL" (aka the real world) The American voters would swing from a first lady president "glass ceiling" to elect two white gay men into the whitehouse in January 2021!!!! See gen. NBC 12-01-2019 10: A.M. CST
Too soon!!!

Too PC!!!
"Elite Pete"
- by Nathan Robinson
For the story see August 2019, p.12

The Democrats "elites" are in full panic mode, not over the current primary candidates - but the wholly false (a la Hillary 2016) polls in Iowa and New Hampshire placing mayor Pete at the TOP!
Way too soon!!!
Too PC!!!


Dear Leon,
Thank you for joining the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) with your recent contribution of $25.00.
Your generous support is deeply appreciated and is crucial as we prepare to take advantage of next year's elections, which present big opportunities and big challenges. We'll have the chance to unseat Trump loyalists like Mitch McConnell and flip the upper chamber back into Democratic hands.
In 2020, we'll be defending 12 Democratic-held seats, against the 22 Republicans that are up for reelection. That makes 2020 a real opportunity to send a clear message that Donald Trump and the Senate GOP leadership's destructive and divisive policies have no place in America.
But we'll also face an onslaught of spending from the Koch network and other right wing super PACS - as well as more of the shameful voter suppression tactics that we saw in November 2018.
That's what makes the grassroots support of members like you so important. With your support, our Party will be able to register millions of progressive voters, gather the most skilled strategists and grassroots organizers to recruit candidates and find the best challengers to go toe-to-toe against Republican incumbents in every part of the nation, including Mitch McConnell. But we can't afford to wait until the last minute, we must pull out all the stops right now.
The DSCC is the only committee dedicated to the sole purpose of electing Democrats to the Senate, and our success depends on the continued commitment of Democrats like you. So please stay in the game by continuing to support the DSCC in our shared fight to put the Senate back in Democratic hands.
Thank you again for your critical support this year. Our work would not be possible without you, and I look forward to working together in the future.
¡La lucha sigue!The fight continues!
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto,
DSCC Chair

P.S. Please consider making an additional gift today to help Democrats take back the Senate in 2020. Thank you for all your support.

120 Maryland Avenue NE - Washington, DC 20002 •
Paid for by DSCC,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


YES, Catherine! I will make an additional contribution today to support the Democratic Party's efforts to retake the Senate from the Republicans' control. I understand how important it is to help our Democratic senatorial candidates win, and that's why I've enclosed an additional gift of:
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Kanye West
Jesus is King
Update: Def Jam

Is the way
To the black


Our Best Life Together
A daily devotional for couples by Joel and Victoria Osteen
(c) 2018 Faith Words Hh Adelle Books Group
Available now in hardcover, e book, large print and audio wherever books are sold


Founding suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton (left) and Susan B. Anthony met in 1851. In
1902, Anthony wrote to her friend. "We little dreamed ... that half a century later we would be compelled to leave the finish of the battle to another generation of women."

[photo of Ida B. Wells]
Journalist Ida B. Wells helped found the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs and crusaded against lynching and other forms of oppression, including disenfranchisement.
[photo of Mary Church Terell]
Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) championed racial equality and women's suffrage, saying she belonged to "the only group in this country that has two such huge obstacles to surmount."

elected to Congress-opened debate on the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which would prohibit states from discriminating against women when it came to voting, On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify it, and the 19th Amendment was promulgated on August 26.
Many histories of the suffragist movement end there-but so much more was still to come. Some states disenfranchised women-particularly black and immigrant women-by instituting poll taxes, literacy tests and onerous registration requirements. And many women didn't yet see themselves as having a role, or a say, in the public sphere. People "don't immediately change their sense of self." says Christina Wolbrecht, a political scientist at the University of Notre Dame. "Women who came of political age before the 19th Amendment was ratified remained less likely to vote throughout their entire lives." The debate over the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which at first addressed only racial discrimination, included a key moment when Representative Howard Smith, a powerful Virginia Democrat, inserted "sex" into the bill in a way that led many to believe he was trying to tank it. The gesture backfired-and the bill passed. "Women get equality on paper because of a political stunt." says Jennifer Lawless, Commonwealth professor of politics at the University of Virginia. In 1964.

[image of suffrage party penant]
A pennant from 1913 proclaimed a mission that gathered force after that year's parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. and the near-riot that followed.

[photo of Mary McLeod Bethune]
As a child, Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) picked cotton. As an adult. she was an educator and a fierce advocate for racial and gender equality, braving attacks during voter registration drives.

women outvoted men numerically—37.5 million men versus 39.2 million women—and the trend continued.
By the 1970s, as a result of feminism and the movement of more women into the workplace, women finally understood themselves to be autonomous political actors. And in 1980, the fabled gender gap emerged: For the first time, women voted in greater numbers and proportions than men, and began to form blocs that candidates ignored at their peril.
Women’s representation in office remained tiny, though; to date, just 56 women have served in the Senate and 358 in Congress overall. But as of this writing, a record 131 women are serving in Congress, a woman wields the House speaker’s gavel, and five women have announced plans to run for president in 2020. True, the officeholders’ numbers skew strongly Democratic, and full parity for women will depend on the election of more female Republicans. And yet, something has changed, something real, says Walsh: “We’re in a new era of women’s engagement.”

by Mark Seal

Fall of 2019

Dear Friend:

I know I harp on this a lot. However, I am so worried about our country and world right now, I am going to repeat myself. Something has happened here in the USA. We have become so divided. We have lost the ability to understand that someone who is of a different religion, race, culture, political bent may also be a very good person with some valuable ideas. So we paint them bad or even evil.
What this world needs now more than ever are people who will reach out to others even if they are different. From all of you, I have learned how simple gestures of caring or concern can make a difference in another's life. I truly believe that a smile can change the environment. Many of you tell me that even a simple card or note has helped you. If we are a person of faith no matter what religion, isn't the core issue to really care and serve others?
At the same time, I have been hearing from several of you how hard life in prison is. You tell me about the harshness of your day to day living and how it affects your very being, your soul. You say that you can make so few decisions about your life and that of your loved ones. You tell me about the many difficulties you face every day.
I also hear from some of you that you just want to get out of prison to help others. What I want to say is look around you. There are all kinds of people you are living with who are hurting deeply. You have family members who would be touched by a note, a prayer, a call, a message of "I love you".
Yes I know that you have to be careful not to make yourself vulnerable when living in those negative environments that are our prisons. I know you have to choose with great care who you trust.
However, you are smart, resourceful, creative people. You can figure out when a simple act of caring is needed. You can learn how to be kind and yet keep yourself safe. I really believe you can. You may never know how the rippling effect of that kind gesture affects many others.
Well, that is my ranting for today. So many of you are inspirations to me. Thank you for gifting my life. May you be blessed in wonderful ways today. May you be a blessing to someone else.

Take care,
Jana Minor

journeynotes companions journeying together
Fall 2019

Kindred Spirits Fundraiser Results

In August, we held a truly wonderful fundraiser at the Irish Times Pub in Brookfield, IL for our Aunt Mary's Storybook project which serves the children of prisoners. Great food, wonderful sharing and conversation, and an extensive silent auction made the event fun. And we raised $6,113.62, about $1,500 more than last year's event.
Thanks to Libby and Angelina who did the majority of planning, our sponsors: Grand Appliances, Barco Products, two anonymous donors, everyone all who recruited and donated silent auction items. We also would like to thank our two jazz musicians, Harry and Jerry, who provided great music, as well as all who attended and those who contributed in any way.
During the event we honored our Volunteer of the Year and a Facility of the year. This year, Ashley received our Volunteer of the Year award. Ashley started with us in April 2017 as a Storybook mailing volunteer, then as a Storybook volunteer inside the Cook County Jail, and now leads our Cook County Jail session in Division 5, the women's division. Our Facility of the Year Award went to Centralia Correctional Center and Counselor S. Walker who do a great job in making sure the Aunt Mary's Storybook project operates smoothly in the facility. Specifically, Counselor Walker goes above and beyond by helping the participants choose great books for their children, and encourages the participants to record a great reading for their children.

Thank You for your Kindness
Kindred Spirits Fundraiser pg. 1
Cards & Wrapping pg. 2
The Public & Connect with Kids pg. 3

- Board members
- Postage stamps
- Tyvek/bubble envelopes
- New books/funding
- Opportunities to speak
- Prayers

Christmas Cards! Christmas Cards! Christmas Cards!
By the time you read this many thousand Christmas cards will have been delivered or mailed to thousands of prisoners in our state prisons and a few county jails - adult and juvenile. Hundreds of people signed cards with caring messages, provided unsigned cards and lots of postage stamps, and helped prepare these cards for delivery. Each card reminds a person who is incarcerated that there are people who care and that they are remembered this Christmas season.
This year one of our pen pal groups signed cards for each person imprisoned at Centralia Correctional Center - 1,300 in all. Four churches had preparation events: two Catholic, a Presbyterian, and a United Methodist Church in Glen Ellyn, Naperville, and Woodridge.
[photo of Christmas cards]
Gift Wrapping Continues in Springfield
Our gift wrapping fundraiser at the Chicago Ridge Mall was such a gift to us. We raised a lot of money over several years creating festive packages to be put under the Christmas trees of the shoppers. Two years ago it was clear we did have the volunteers to continue this fundraiser at that mall.
However, Jenny and Donna, our two planning volunteers, were able to do a few days wrapping at the Springfield Mall in 2018. They have contracted with the Springfield Mall to offer a gift wrapping service in exchange for donations for our Aunt Mary's Storybook Project on Dec. 16-20th, the 23rd and 24th 2019. If you are anywhere near the Springfield Mall during those days, they would welcome your help and/or you could have your gifts wrapped for a donation. We are so grateful to these two women.

I don't think the public knows
(Written by: Tyrone)

I don't think the public knows of the levels of inhumanity that prisoners must endure while being incarcerated in a maximum security prison. For example, when society says, "if you can't do the time don't do the crime." Is society saying it's acceptable for you to be served food in unsanitary trays that can lead to food poisoning? Is society saying it's acceptable for you to be confined in a cell with no running water for you to use to wash up or flush the toilet? Is society saying that it's acceptable for you to live in a building with mold growth everywhere that causes cancer?
Losing your freedom for being convicted of a crime (whether you did the crime or not) does not mean you're supposed to lost your humanity. Society must know inhumane treatment of prisoners is a reflection of the society and not punishment for crimes.

"Incarcerated connect with their kids through stories"
In September, a reporter from the Cook County Chronicle spent a day observing Aunt Mary's Storybook in action at the Kane County jail. The reporter interviewed volunteers, CUT Executive Director Scott McWilliams, and dads recording books for their daughters and sons. The result is a moving account of the program, full of quotes from CJT founder Jana Minor and incarcerated dads who participate at Kane County Jail.
"I appreciate volunteers coming here and doing this," Quinton Robinson told Chronicle reporter Kevin Beese. "The Companions volunteers wake us up. We are not all bad people. We made bad decisions. The volunteers do proactive things for us. They work magic."
Bennie Ross chose a book about Barack Obama to read to his eight-year-old daughter, who is big fan of the 44" President.
"I love you so much, Baby," Ross said into the recorder held by volunteer Neil R.
"People in prison can't buy their children a toy or a book from Amazon," McWilliams said. " The project gives them hope."
The article, "Incarcerated connect with their kids through stories," was published in the Cook County Chronicle on September 19.
To read the entire article, please visit, or county-news/incarcerated-connect-with-their-kids-through-stories/

Companions, Journeying Together, Inc.
P.O. Box 457
Nonprofit org
PERMIT #6060
Western Springs, Illinois 60558-0457

• To bridge the gaps between the free and the unfree worlds in our society.
• To implement programs that foster the personal growth of incarcerated people and their families.
• To promote family literacy, lifelong learning and positive parenting techniques
To recruit and educate volunteers about the criminal justice system and restorative justice.
LEON IRBY #033802 A
PO BOX 900

Journeynotes is a publication of Companions, Journeying Together, Inc.
Visit us at

30 YEARS OF COMPANIONS! The Companions staff would like to hear from you. (Executive Director) (Founding Director)
Call at (630) 481-6231

Find us on Facebook
An electronic version of our JourneyNotes publication is now available! Please visit our website at to sign up!

• Board members: We have a dedicated group of board members, but could use more. Would you consider joining us?
• New Books / Funding: As we grow, our need for funds becomes critical. Would you, your family, or your group organize a big or small event, to collect money or new books?
• Invitations to speak: At your church or organization gathering.
• Postage stamps: For Christmas cards and Mothers Day projects. WE mail about 80 birthday cards per month. Letters are mailed to prisoners hungry to hear from someone in the world, outside the fences that confine them.
• Tyvek / bubble envelopes: (9x12, 10x13, 12.5x15.5)
• People to help with computer projects: We are constantly in need of people to prepare packages for Aunt Mary's Storybook, and keep records.
• Prayers: Your prayer support is valuable!

The answer to cow burps may come from the sea.

One day in January 2014, police rushed to a farm in Rasdorf, Germany, after flames burst from a barn. They soon discovered that static electricity had caused entrapped methane from the flatulence and manure of 90 dairy cows to explode.
Headline writers had a field day. But the incident pointed to a serious problem: Ruminant livestock, mostly cattle, account for 30 percent of all global methane emissions, pumping out 3 gigatons of the gas every year in their burps, farts, and manure. Methane is an especially potent greenhouse gas: During its 12-year lifespan after being released, it traps 84 times as much heat as carbon dioxide, and its effect on global warming over a century is 34 times that of CO2. According to the United Nations, reducing methane emissions from cows could be one of the quickest ways to slow climate change.
The United States government has done little to curb this potent pollution, which makes up 36 percent of the country’s methane emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency’s AgStar program trains farmers to turn animal waste into biofuel using anaerobic digesters, but it is optional—8,000 farms could implement it, but only about 250 have done so.
Ermias Kebreab, an animal science professor at the University of California–Davis, has spent 15 years studying alternative ways to reduce livestock effusions. Three years ago, he heard that researchers at Australia’s James Cook University had mixed bacteria from cows’ digestive systems with red seaweed and discovered a drastic decrease in methane production. Their lab experiment suggested that reformulating a cow’s diet to contain 2 percent seaweed could reduce its methane emissions by 99 percent.
Kebreab tried to replicate those results with actual animals. His team mixed varying levels of Asparagopsis armata, a type of red seaweed, into the feed of 12 dairy cows over a two-month period. The results were shocking: When the cattle’s chow consisted of just 1 percent seaweed, their methane emissions went down 60 percent. “In all the years that I’ve worked in this area, I’ve never seen anything that reduced it that much,” Kebreab says.
These are preliminary results, but they offer exciting prospects. Seaweed doesn’t require precious freshwater, fertilizer, or land to grow. It can reverse ocean acidification by absorbing carbon dioxide. We’d have to grow quite a bit of seaweed to rely on it for sequestration: One study suggests we could remove the equivalent of 42 percent of all current global CO2 emissions by covering 4 percent of the world’s oceans in seaweed farms—but that’s a lot of ocean.
And as a review published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization notes, if aquaculturists remove rocks or native sea grasses to plant massive seaweed farms, they could disrupt ecosystems and even alter coastal currents. But responsible seaweed cultivation could be a boon to marine habitats, providing nurseries for fish and snails, argues Paul Dobbins, a senior specialist at the World Wildlife Fund and former president of a kelp farm in Maine.
[drawing of a cow]
The need to rein in methane emissions is especially urgent in Cali­fornia, home to 1.8 million dairy cows. A 2016 law requires the state air resources board to implement a strategy to reduce these emissions by 40 percent from 2013 levels by 2030. In hopes of helping farmers meet those goals, Kebreab and his team launched a larger version of his cow study in March, using 21 steers that he monitored for six months. So far, the results mirror the first experiment’s, but a full analysis won’t be ready until December. Kebreab’s biggest hurdle has been finding enough seaweed; the variety that’s useful for cows isn’t domestically available.
Massachusetts-based Australis Aquaculture hopes to cultivate red Asparagopsis on ropes anchored off the coast of Vietnam. CEO Josh Goldman is excited about feeding his underwater crop to cows: “You don’t have to rebuild 10,000 power plants in the world. You basically create a modest feed additive that has a big leverage effect.”
WWF’s Dobbins says seaweed farming can be a “triple win”: a way to grow nutritious food for both cows and people, provide coastal jobs, and improve the marine environment. “Everything you do in food production has pluses and minuses relative to the environment,” he says. “Seaweed farming, if done correctly, actually comes out more on the plus side.”

I just love this kid!

South Africa
Trevor Noah
Seriously Funny
by Eliana Dockterman

Trevor Noah wasn’t supposed to be here. Before the 33-year-old South African comedian took over hosting The Daily Show in 2015, the list of obvious successors to Jon Stewart included alumni of the show Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver, as well as Saturday Night Live veterans Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Chris Rock. “It was ridiculous. There was no way I expected to get it,” Noah recalls, sitting in an office about The Daily Show’s studio, now his studio, at the edge of midtown Manhattan.
And yet Comedy Central made the risky choice to install a host little-known in America but famous around the world in the hopes of reaching young people, especially international young people. His debut wasn’t exactly smooth for an audience used to 16 years of Stewart. “When I started there was a lot of criticism around me not being angry. But what was there to be angry about? Progress was being made. Unemployment was dropping. Gay people were getting marriage equality. I refuse to be a part of an outrage machine,” Noah says, pausing. “And then Donald Trump was elected.”
In the months since, Comedy Central’s bet on finding a more global audience for The Daily Show had begun to pay off. Noah’s viewership has yet to reach that of Stewart’s last season—though topping Stewart’s goodbye tour, Noah says, would have felt disrespectful in a way. But the network says international viewership has risen drastically since Noah’s debut (The show is now watched in 176 countries, up from around 70 before.)
“Donald Trump has made everyone interested in everything, everywhere. He’s a worldwide phenomenon,” says Noah. “And with everything that’s going on—the Muslim ban, threats to women’s rights, the environment—I feel like I can finally say the show has a purpose.”
Noah was born in Johannesburg, the son of a white Swiss father and a black South African mother, during apartheid, when it was illegal for mixed-race couples to procreate. His parents never married. The comedian writes in his memoir, Born a Crime, that he spent much of his youth playing alone indoors so that the police wouldn’t spot him and take him away. Noah, whose Netflix stand-up special Afraid of the Dark premiered Feb. 21, jokes that on family outings his father would have to walk across the street and wave at him, “like a pedophile.”
The decision to have a half-white, half-black baby perfectly encapsulates Noah’s mother’s view of authority: She doesn’t think much of it. When Noah was growing up if Patricia Noah didn’t like a rule, she would break it. A deeply religious woman—Noah and his mother would visit three different churches every Sunday—she always maintained that Jesus would protect her and Noah. Still, life was difficult. He writes in his book of being a chameleon, forced to choose between playing with white kids or black kids on the playground, code-switching with different groups but never really fitting in.
Many comedians make light of tragedy. Noah’s case is extreme: Noah, his brother and his mother once leapt from a moving minibus after the driver intimated he would kill them over their ethnicity. When Noah was in his 20s, his stepfather shot his mother in the head. She miraculously survived and, when she woke from surgery, told Noah not to cry because he was now the best-looking one in the family.
“I inherited a sense of humor from my mom, the ability to laugh in the face of danger, to mock it,” says Noah. “My friends always say to me, ‘I hope I’m never kidnapped with you because you’ll probably get us killed by making fun of the kidnapper,’ which is true.”
By his 20s, Noah was one of the first popular comedians in South Africa to have both white and black fans. He’d come up selling illegal CDs in high school and deejaying parties before finding his way to radio and stand-up. He hosted a South African late-night show in the 2010s and was the subject of the documentary, You Laugh But It’s True. He toured the world as a standup comedian, sometimes taking aim at America, eventually getting invited on The Daily Show by Stewart.
He found himself in the awkward position of turning down one of the world’s most powerful comedians. Noah was on a world tour and didn’t want to give up international gigs for a spot on an American television program. “I just didn’t have time,” he says. The two kept in touch and Noah eventually became a recurring correspondent on The Daily Show, using his segments to call out American ignorance and hypocrisy. In 2015, he earned one of the most coveted perches on U.S. television.
Noah may have begun his career on The Daily Show playing an outsider, but now he chafes at that label. Noah was one of the few talking heads to predict Trump could win the presidency, a suggestion his Daily Show writers found absurd when he made it over the summer. Many critics have attributed Noah’s clairvoyance to his outsider status, and in part they’re right. “Americans by their very nature think they’re exceptional,” he says. “And it’s true: America is an idea that shouldn’t work. But I come from a place where I’ve seen that kind of rhetoric work, where I know people aren’t immune.”
He says what really convinced him Trump could win was touring at least forty states, performing everywhere from El Paso to Sacramento to Erie, Penn. “I sometimes think I’m more of an ‘insider,’ than most people here [on the East Coast] because I was on the road for six years traveling America. I was never famous, so I was performing in was tiny little towns, tiny little clubs,” he says. “I would talk to people who liked Trump, nice people, people who’d come to my shows, and I’d ask them why? I could see why they liked Trump. What I really saw is people really hated Hillary Clinton.”
Ask Noah about his own political views, and he speaks in metaphors, often citing the Bible or old proverbs. Noah couldn’t watch much TV growing up, so Sampson and Noah were his heroes. He can still quote chapter and verse. One of his most effective adages is a play on the Chinese parable, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” Noah points out that what’s missing from that story is whether or not the man can afford a fishing pole. Growing up poor, Noah internalized the idea that those who did not have the means to lift themselves up—the ability to afford college, the money to start their own business—could never climb the socio-economic ladder.
If Noah still considers himself a “citizen of the world,” it’s less a reflection of his background than it is of his age. “Younger people are connected by the Internet, and that means we’re communicating with people from halfway around the world. It means we’re not brainwashed to think every immigrant is a bad person because we can talk to them,” he says. “You look at global warming—of course old people don’t care about the planet because they’re not going to be here for the consequences. “
Noah points out millenials have grown up creating change by swiping on their phones. It took Trump getting elected for them to step into the streets and protest. He maintains they will be as much a force for change as the generation before. “People who say millenials are the ‘me, me, me’ generation—I think an older generation has a ‘me, me, me’ attitude when it comes to issues like the environment. The older generation tries to maintain the status quo, and the younger generation pushes ahead.”
That’s not to say all millennials agree. Noah’s most viral interview to date was with Tomi Lahren, a young conservative firebrand with an online video series whose popularity rivals The Daily Show. The two butted heads over Black Lives Matter, among other topics. Although many praised the way Noah handled the interview, others criticized him for giving Lahren a platform for what some called “hate speech.”
Noah contends that it’s possible, and indeed more important than ever, to engage with people whose political views differ from his own. Especially, he says, in a “post-Trump, divided America with people yelling across the aisle at each other.”
“The question you need to ask yourself,” he adds, “is the person willing to concede? Is the person willing to walk away with a significantly different view? And, more importantly, are you willing to do that?’”
In that vein, Noah is even willing to draw a comparison between himself and his chief target, Trump. Because despite their differences, he does relate to the president—at least as a performer. “When I watch him, I see a comedian. I see somebody who loves an audience. Someone who likes to be liked,” says Noah. “You see the standing ovation in front of you, and yet the newspapers are writing that you’re not doing well. And the performer’s mind goes, ‘This is a world that’s clearly lying because I’m doing well, and it is against me.’” It’s a feeling Noah knows well. Which may be why The Daily Show feels so relevant right now.


Dear Friend,
For a guy who spent 25 years in the Navy and launched into space on the space shuttle four times, I've learned a thing or two about what a "mission" means.
A mission is something that has an important purpose. A mission is something that requires a team - dozens, hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people working together and united behind a set of values and a common purpose.
I'm personally asking you to make a donation to Mark's campaign today. Together, we can win this critical U.S.
Senate race. -- Gabby Giffords
I'm writing to ask you to join me in a critical new mission – to win a U.S. Senate election in the battleground state of Arizona. Together, we can flip this seat from red to blue and pave the way for a Democratic Senate majority.
I never expected my journey to bring me here. My wife, Gabby Giffords, was the Member of Congress in our family. But our lives changed forever in 2011 when a gunman opened fire at a public event in Tucson.
Since then, we've fought with thousands of passionate Americans like you against the gun lobby and for commonsense gun safety laws. Along the way, Gabby has taught me everything I know about how to use policy to improve people's lives.
She also taught me what it takes to win a tough election. It starts in this race by building up the grassroots strength to take on special interests, Republican Senator Martha McSally, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump as they try to tear our campaign down with misleading attacks.
Over, please.

Mark Kelly for Senate 3104 E. Camelback Road, #924 + Phoenix, AZ 85016 @ShuttleCDR Kelly Capt.MarkKelly
Mark Kelly is a retired member of the U.S. Navy. Use of his military ránk, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Navy or the Department of Defense.
Paid for by Mark Kelly for Senate

Will you join Gabby and me as one of the newest members of our grassroots team by making a $35, $50 or even $100 donation today? Will you help us hit our goal to raise $50,000 from this mailing?
I'm running for the U.S. Senate because, like you, I'm frustrated with what I see happening in our nation's capital.
What angers me is that Washington isn't even trying to solve our nation's biggest problems.
We have a system that is broken because politicians like Republican Martha McSally and Mitch McConnell are more focused on rewarding their corporate PAC donors and waging war against political opponents than they are on getting things done.
Change cannot come soon enough. Our country faces big challenges that need immediate attention.
Mark Kelly and Martha McSally Are Neck and Neck [In the Polls] Already
We need to make sure everyone has health care that they can afford and that covers them when they need it the most. It's time to build a modern economy that works for everyone and raises wages for the middle class.
We've got to do more to protect Social Security and Medicare and lower the cost of prescription drugs. Climate change will continue to ravage our planet unless we act now. And Washington can't keep turning its back on the situation at the border. We need to fix our broken immigration system.
Making progress on these critical issues won't be easy. But let me tell you something - our nation is at its best when we're taking on huge challenges: like landing on the moon, creating bold programs like Social Security and Medicare, and defending democracy around the globe.
Next page, please.

And Gabby and I know all about overcoming big challenges from our work on gun safety.
The solutions to end gun violence have been obvious. We've known what to do. We just needed to elect more leaders with the courage and the will to do it.
We've taken on the powerful gun lobby for years, and thanks to wins in the 2018 election, today we're finally making change to make our communities safer. Are you ready to win this U.S. Senate seat and finally start addressing the issues that impact our families the most? Then come on board this mission by making a donation of $35, $50, $100 or whatever amount you can give today. Please mail a check in the enclosed envelope or give at
I'm also asking for your help because Martha McSally, the president, the special interests, Washington Republicans and their wealthy supporters have launched an extensive, coordinated effort to defeat me,
Donald Trump tweeted glowingly about McSally and how she has his "complete and
(AZ CENTRAL Donald Trump Endorses Arizona Sen. Martha McSally)
total endorsement." Billionaires like Betsy DeVos' family have filled McSally's campaign coffers with hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The chair of the Arizona Republican Party has
used unacceptable rhetoric in this race, saying the GOP is going to stop me, "dead in my tracks."
And a Mitch McConnell Super PAC just spent an estimated $500,000 on an ad funded by dark money to boost my opponent.
Their all-out assault shows this will be one of the most competitive Senate races in the country and that our people-powered campaign is working, Republicans are terrified that our victory will lead to a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate and release Mitch McConnell's iron grip on power.
Over, please

The attention we're getting confirms one other thing – this election will be as close as it gets. We're already tied with Martha McSally in the polls, and a Democrat won the last U.S. Senate seat here in 2018 with just over 50% of the vote.
So every supporter who joins this campaign will make a big difference, especially since I won't take a dime from corporate PACs. Grassroots donors like you fuel everything that we do.
Please join Gabby and me and pitch in whatever you can today. With you on my team, this mission will be successful.
Thank you for your support.
Full speed ahead,
Mark Kelly

P.S. I've flown in combat 39 times and into space four times. Not once did I fly
alone. This is about our shared mission to make sure that people are put before partisanship and special interests in Washington. Please join this campaign by making a donation of $35, $50 or $100 today. Please help us hit our goal to raise $50,000 from this mailing. Thank you for working to move our country ahead!

Halloween - Autumn Haiku Challenge Thank you to everyone who submitted a Haiku.

Inferno on sky
Autumn sunrise glows brightly
Wolf moon shines coldly
Ms. Curtain, PSU

This is Halloween
Everybody yell and scream
People in Costumes
Dr. Norge, PSU

It scares many hands down
He wears terror as a crown
Kills all rich or poor
Mr. Fredrick Morris, RHI

Time for festive joy
Why does life turn into death?
Live for faith, for love
Mr. Gardner La Marche, HU6

Spooky ghost come
This autumn Halloween
Say so inmate Green
Mr. Norman Green, HU7

My porch light is on.
Come one come all trick or treat.
Here are sweets for y'all
Mr. Sophea Mouth. HU4

Halloween shines bright
Flammoxed, serene, chaotic
Disappears to cold
Social worker Beckwith

Warriors drop like fall leaves
Wind roars wet and crisp over bones
I love this earth's season
Mr. Jeremy Schraufnagel

Zombies feast on brains,
Vampires feast on blood, gross!
Kids love candy. Yum!
Mr. Butts, PSU

Earlier sunsets
Cool air, crisp leaves and costumes
Autumn has arrived
Dr. Persike, PSO

The trick is the treat
All the candy I can eat
Welcome to my feast
Mr. Jeroski Franklin, HUS

Tonight's Halloween
When trolls dance around their queen
While their king eats treats
Mr. Randolph Melsness, HU4

[2019 November calendar]
Printable Calendars by

Friday Fun Packet
Hello November

Fun Thanksgiving Facts
The presidential pardon of a turkey became a tradition in 1947 by President Truman

The heaviest recorded turkey was 86 pounds.

Thanksgiving became a national holiday by 1863

Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to replace the eagle as the national bird

The first Macy's Thanksgiving day parade was held in 1924

Male turkeys are called Toms

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving too, just in October

Can you solve?
Find number of rectangles contains dot.

12-05-2019 Thurs, 9:07 p.m.
Between the Bars
2885 Sanford Ave SW # 30428
Grandville, MI. 49418
Re; http:/ "URL"
Mail pick-up 9:30 p.m.

Dear team,
Please post my enclosures,
Thank you!
Happy holidays!!!
Leon Irby
DOC # 033802-A
P.O. Box 900
Portage, WI, 53901-0900


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