IUY Weekly Journal Vol. 2 No. 10 – September 19 – 25, 2020

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, September 19 through Friday, September 25, 2020 [Vol.2 No.10]

Get Rid of the Ballots

The Week’s Most Notable

[This was an exceedingly item-dense, significant, and complicated week. Even media professionals were left gasping by the weekend. There should be sympathy for the engaged citizen.]

“We’ll want to have – get rid of the ballots and you have a very – we’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.” With this word-salad began the most threatening Trump-meme of the week. He all but said, he can’t lose. Like almost all such memes, this one was designed to jab liberals and the media into a knee-jerk response. In other words, at least part of it was intended to be a distraction from Trump’s ongoing coronavirus and other failures. On the other hand, it was part of an orchestrated gaslight-the-vote barrage coming not only from Trump but from AG Barr and others. The intent is to set up a moment, post-election, when Trump can cry “Rigged election!” As White House Coronavirus Task Force escapee Olivia Troye said, “When you’re the president, words matter.”

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a double shock: Her death is a palpable loss for the court and for women’s rights (among others things). It also produced a naked power-play by the GOP to immediately replace her with a Ginsburg antithesis. To the very core of his twisted ego, as Trump desires to undo the entire Obama legacy, so the conservative right yearns to undo the entire Ginsburg legacy, which is essentially the legacy of the once liberal court, including but not only Roe v. Wade. The Democrats will not be able to stop it; the question is what will they do afterward?

Saturday, September 19

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases – 6,997,444; Deaths – 203,845

[Election – 2020] RBG’s Passing Prompts Massive Democratic Donations – As one measure of the response to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, donations to ActBlue, the Democratic Party’s donation-processing site, broke all records with $91.4 million from 1.5 million donors in 28 hours. During the week the total exceeded $160 million, also a record. The significance: Most of this money, according to officials, will be targeted at down-ballot contests – especially Senate.

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IUY Weekly Journal vol. 2 No. 9 September 12 – 18, 2020

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, September 12 through Friday, September 18, 2020 [Vol.2 No.9]

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

The Week’s Most Notable

What comes next is about a woman who made her mark and is now history, but her legacy is for all women. That’s what the men with power, in this case U.S. senators, may woefully underestimate. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, lately known as RBG, made legal history for women as a lawyer and a judge. she went to the Supreme Court and made more history becoming the doyenne of dissent and eventually an icon of so much that women aspire to be – authentic, powerful, effective. By the end she was even labeled “a rockstar,” which was okay with her. More than anything she wanted women to strive for, to achieve, to enjoy the maximum of their abilities. Her death, though not unexpected, will carry waves of emotion through millions and millions of women voters across the country. These millions will instantly recognize whether her memory is respected, or not. Her dying wish was that she not be replaced until after the next swearing in of a president. Millions of women voters, if the polls are right a majority of women voters, will know this is more than sentimentality. They want the next justice to follow the path of RBG, if not her exact steps. The men of the Republican Senate may fail to understand this and taking up positions or even votes under the banner of power-hungry hypocrites, and will risk well justified defeat in the coming election, if the Democrats don’t miss the opportunity.

Saturday, September 12

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases – 6,680,563; Deaths – 198,251

[Wildfires] Dozens of Fires Continue on West Coast, At Least 35 Dead – The smoke plume from the western United States will soon be arriving in Europe, one small measure of the scope and impact of the record fires in Washington Oregon and California. During the week the fires ebbed and grew with the variations in weather, but they did not fully come under control. Keep in mind that the fire season in the West is only about half over.

[Election – 2020] Bloomberg Puts up $100 Million to Help Biden Campaign in Florida – Fulfilling his campaign promise from the Democratic primaries, Bloomberg’s contribution, which is said to be targeted for Latinos, represents a substantial boost for Biden in a habitually close race.

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IUY Weekly Journal – September 5 – 11, 2020

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, September 5 through Friday, September 11, 2020 [Vol.2 No.8]

The Woodward Tapes

The Week’s Most Notable

Will the “Woodward Tapes” have the impact of the “Nixon Tapes” that dramatically tipped public opinion against Nixon? The revelations from Woodward’s recorded nine hours from 18 telephone conversations with Trump provoked the obvious question “Will this, finally, move the needle for voters?” After all there is, for example, Trump’s admission that he knew about the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in January, did nothing, and in fact lied to the American public by claiming that it was a hoax. The Trump-GOP-right wing media can scream the usual “fake news,” but there are those recorded statements in Trump’s own voice. All true. However, keep in mind approximately 40% of voters will hear little or nothing about Woodward’s book or the tapes. Much of what they do hear will be defensive propaganda. In any case, most of them are not inclined to believe anything but their tribal media and Trump himself. So, no, this “smoking gun” won’t have the same impact as the Nixon tapes. Marginally, that is among the approximately 5% of voters who are still undecided, the Woodward book (Rage), the tapes, and up to two weeks of media coverage might be influential. Overall, Woodward’s work sings with the Democratic choir, which right now is a good thing.

The conflagration-nation: The look of climate crisis apocalypse. As anyone knows who has had to breathe smoke from a fire, even a campfire – watery eyes, choking, and coughing follow.  Imagine this being the condition all day, for days on end. The images of orange skies and towering columns of flame are now daily background to news from the West Coast. Imagine living this, as across the west millions now do, and make that very small step toward imagining climate change as it affects weather in environmental conditions around the world. Could there be a more dramatic representation? (E.g., Will hurricanes in the East and South become more devastating?)

Saturday, September 5

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases – 6,429,148; Deaths – 192,818

[Racism – Protest] New York AG Starts Grand Jury in Daniel Prude Case – Nearly 6 months after the incident in Rochester, New York – where the police arrested Prude, covered his head with a hood,  and his subsequent death from the effects of suffocation – New York AG Leticia James announced a grand jury would be convened to investigate. Revelations this week concerning the case sparked street protests, highlighting yet another city where police violence triggered public outrage.

[Wildfire – California] California Wildfires Burn 2.1 Million Acres, Trap 224 Campers – As the state erupts in a record number and size of wildfires, campers at Mammoth Pool Reservoir had to be rescued by helicopter. The official fire season begins in October.

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IUY Monthly Meeting – September 2020

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone Monthly Meeting
ONLINE via Zoom – Wednesday September 9, 2020 6:30 PM

If you wish to participate, please RSVP by email using either this message or 
We’ll send you the login for a zoom conference session the day of the meeting.
With a little less than two months to go to the November 3 general election, people with any political pulse at all marked the last 3 1/2 years as one immense trial, our trial. A trial by outrage; a trial by moral decay; a trial by watching the obvious rot of corruption, a trial by degradation of the rule of law and democracy; a trial by the ugliest of people performing in the most self-serving ways. And we know at least 1/3 of the country mirrors the feelings of our trial, mirrors as in reversed and inside out. Sometimes their reactions seem manipulated, but not always. In the election season at hand, from the earliest voting, to the mail-in ballots, to the risky voting in person, to the days and possibly weeks of vote counting and verifying – we hope all Americans will be counted in this clash of cultures (if it can be called that). And we surely hope 2/3 of American voters, our voters, show up. Let’s help make it so.
Topics for the meeting:
– Counter-demonstration in Livingston
– Violence in the election season
– Postcard campaign
– Voter registration ideas
– Ads?
See you in 2-D.
Nelson and Dixie
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IUY Weekly Journal Vol.2 No. 7 – Aug. 29 – Sept. 4, 2020

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, August 29 through Friday, September 4, 2020 [Vol.2 No.7]

‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

The Week’s Most Notable

The credibility of Trump’s disdain for the military. As a man who avoided service during the Vietnam War on the strength of five deferments (one medical, four college), Trump has said and done many things over the years that make him unpopular with the military, or more specifically the officer corps.  The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has tied together all of the bits and pieces, anecdotes and observations, from many incidents and many people that make it clear the Commander-In-Chief does not understand military service or service to the country. While some items of evidence have been challenged (“fake news”), it doesn’t seem to matter – Trump’s antipathy for the military and his inability to understand why people do things that don’t make them rich, famous, or powerful – are credible. However, as usual, even this will probably not shift voter opinion appreciably – except – potentially except – among the millions of military service people, their families, their friends, and people associated with them. That is the cause of what appears to be a real panic in Trump’s campaign and its desire to move beyond this as quickly as possible.

Saturday, August 29

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases – 6,124,984; Deaths – 186,829 [25,000,000 cases worldwide]

[National Security] ODNI to End In-person Congressional Briefings – In a blatant pro-Trump maneuver, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced there will be no more verbal briefings to Congress – which means congressional committees will not have the opportunity to question Director John Ratcliffe or other ODNI officials. The briefings will be in written form only. The blanket move was “justified” by alleging congressional leaks of sensitive information.

[Racism – Protest] Portland Protest: One Shot and Killed – This apparent murder of a right-wing Patriot Prayer member by someone from Antifa lingered as an open issue for most of the week. The initial cause was a clash between a caravan of armed right-wing militia groups and BLM protesters. The incident was fodder for media coverage, especially right-wing media. [Update: The purported perpetrator was shot and killed near Olympia, WA on Thursday during an arrest attempt.]

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Trump campaign and GOP file Montana suit 

On Wednesday (9/2/20) the Trump campaign and three GOP groups filed suit in Helena Federal District Court to block Gov. Steve Bullock’s directive that counties are permitted to hold the November 3 election by mail ballot..

This is a blatant partisan effort to obstruct and obfuscate the voting process to the benefit of Republican candidates, and especially the campaign for Sen. Daines (which is specifically named in the lawsuit.)
Bullock responded, in a statement, that “this template lawsuit appears to be part of a pattern of lawsuits across the country by Republican party operatives to limit access to voting during the pandemic. Voting by mail in Montana is safe, secure, and was requested by a bipartisan coalition of Montana election officials seeking to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and keep Montanans safe and healthy. This is the same directive that the Republican President of the Senate and Republican Speaker of the House said was the right thing to do for the June primary. Today, we have many more active cases of COVID-19 than we did back in June.”
Daines is trying to have it both ways

The response from the Dames campaign:
Campaign spokeswoman Julia Doyle said that “the senator strongly supports giving Montanans the option to vote by mail” — which is what Bullock’s directive does. She said Daines supports the lawsuit because Bullock did not work with the Legislature, repeating the lawsuit’s contention that the directive is an overreach of power.

We need everybody to persistently call Daines’ offices
We need everybody to call upon Daines to uphold his support for voting by mail, and demand the Trump-GOP lawsuit be withdrawn.

Remind him of his support to vote by mail, including the mailing of ballots and complete voting by mail that was carried out for this year’s primary elections. Mention that governor Bullock’s directive was a result of bipartisan approval by the majority of Montana Clerks and Recorders.

Senator Steve Daines  406-587-3446 (Bozeman)  202-224-2651 (DC)  

Urgent – do it now – and keep it up, please.

Nelson and Dixie
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IUY Weekly Journal Vol. 2 No. 6 – August 22 – 28, 2020

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, August 22 through Friday, August 28, 2020 [Vol.2 No.6]

Alternate Reality Convention

The Week’s Most Notable

Propaganda vs reality. To paraphrase Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, “We are now engaged in a great civil war testing whether this media, apotheosis of mendacity, or that media, conceived in honesty and dedicated to facts, can long endure.” Has it come to that? Prime evidence: The Republican National Convention. The gavel-to-gavel propaganda forces us to confront a world constructed by Trump-Fox News-right wing media, the only significant source of information for roughly 40% of Americans. In this world Trump was utterly successful in controlling the COVID-19 virus and the pandemic is now behind us; he arranged the  support for a dramatic economic recovery; he has identified violence in the streets as the preeminent national emergency; warned of the destruction of suburbs by people of color; and claimed that his Democratic opponent is led like a slave with a ring in his nose by radical left-wing Democrats. Without apology, it feels absolutely right that mockery and sarcasm is the appropriate coin of return for this inverted fantasy world.

Vigilante kills in Kenosha. Similar to the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis, the big impact of this incident began with a recording of a white policeman grabbing the shirt of a black man attempting to enter his car and pumping seven rounds into his back. Whatever the context, and it was complicated, this looked like murder and was more than enough to touch off rioting. Protests continued for several days and involved a shooting by a 17-year-old self-appointed vigilante who killed two people and injured a third. The facts of the event-sequence will probably take years to disentangle, but one salient observation is that while “mainstream media” continued to cover the origin and motivation of the protests, Fox News/right-wing media covered mostly the rioting (a.k.a. violent protests). From the Republican National Convention to routine right-wing pundit coverage, the incessant emphasis was on protester violence. By Tuesday this was headed toward a profoundly polarized perception of what was happening in Kenosha. Then the National Basketball Association entered the picture and, by causing a cascade of game cancellations in several leagues, forced all media to recognize the athletes’ emphasis on police violence and shooting of black men. It was a perfect media epitome for clash of cultures: Black man’s grievance versus white man’s defense. We knew this was coming. Unfortunately, In the short run, it can only get uglier.

Saturday, August 22

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases – 5,797,599; Deaths – 179,200 [World deaths surpass 800,000]

[Post Office] House Passes $25 Billion USPS Bill – In addition to the money, which was originally requested by the USPS Board of Directors, the House legislation requires reversal of measures that slow down mail processing. The bill passed the House with some Republican votes, but in the Senate, McConnell rejected the bill before it even arrived. In any case, the Senate is not yet back in session. The Democrats contend the Trump linked USPS leadership has created a deteriorating Postal Service; the Republicans call it “a baseless conspiracy theory.” The Postal Service continues to have significant mail delivery delays. Expect news and political focus to move away from this issue during the week.

[Climate Crisis] Record California Wildfires to Grow with New Storm – A new “dry thunderstorm” weather system will increase the threat of fires for the next several days. [Update: Trump declared a major disaster for California fires; however, by the end of the week cooler, wetter weather allowed better control of fires.]

[Racism – Protest] Clashes Between Police and Protesters in Portland – The situation is complicated by armed far-right military groups such as the Proud Boys. There’s almost a rhythm to the ebb and flow of protesting crowds, confrontation among groups, and either police passivity or police pushback. Whatever the level of violence, it provides fodder for the right wing “chaos in America” campaign.

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IUY Weekly Journal Vol.2 No. 5 – August 15 – 21, 2020

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, August 15 through Friday, August 21, 2020 [Vol.2 No.5]

The First Virtual Political Convention

The Week’s Most Notable

The Democratic National Convention, held electronically from everywhere in the country, wound up demonstrating so many advantages for the format that presentations of convention events such as roll call of the states, support speeches, and testimonials may never again be done in the old convention hall tradition. As a mode of presentation, it was both intimate and yet conveyed the sense of isolation appropriate for the coronavirus era. It allowed for more cohesive storytelling, a focus on a long list of individuals, and an element of variety or even surprise that made for, improbably, mostly entertaining political theater. Whether it has significant impact on voter opinions remains to be seen. In this highly polarized world, no event is likely to move the needle very far; but certainly, this did no harm to the Democrats or to the Biden-Harris team. For the most part, it also made Democrats feel very good.

Under the circumstances (conventions, post office scandal, coronavirus crisis, etc.) the final Senate intelligence committee report on Russian interference in the 2016 election seemed like a muffled blast from the past. What it actually did was to provide the evidence and rationale for proving that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. To a certain extent “collusion” is in the eye of the beholder. As a legal term, the Mueller report had difficulty establishing criminal cases. This report augments criminal grounds for collusion, but more amply lays out the broader story, with evidence of the many, many times the Trump campaign knew about and actively encouraged Russian interference. By itself the report should present a post-election guide for investigation. However, in a month or so, AG Barr will present the Durham Report impugning the origins of Mueller’s investigation. These two documents, along with their actual or implied indictments, will then set the stage for both pre- and post-election legal wrangling. Who will care?

Saturday, August 15

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases – 5,533,733; Deaths – 173,157

[Coronavirus] FDA Authorizes COVID-19 Saliva Test – Issued on an emergency authorization basis, the new test developed by the Yale School of Public Health and with the participation of the National Basketball Association, does not require a swab or any specific collection device. It will cost around $10, turnaround time about 24 hours, with an accuracy range of 88-94%. It’s already being used by the NBA and, so far, appears to have a good track record. If that holds up, as the NBA would say, it could be a game changer.

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Save the Post Office Demo – Sat. Aug. 22

National Demonstration called by MoveOn.org
Save the Post Office
U.S. Post Office, Livingston Montana
Saturday, August 22 11 AM – 12 Noon
The Livingston Post Office streets are all torn up.
Come early to find parking.
We have to stay on the sidewalks as much as possible.
The weather should be okay at that time in the morning.
IUY-Uncle Sam-2020-08-19 - 0013.jpeg
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IUY – Demo – Save Our Post Office – Save Our Election

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