BAN #255: Time to turn the Senate blue

21 September 2020   Issue #255

[Spiral Galaxy M81 image credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona]

Subscribers need to vote until the Senate is blue on its face

Politics

As Dave Barry said, “Poli” = many and “tics” = blood-sucking parasites

[I am not a political analyst, but I read a lot and have thought about these issues. However, in the end, I’m just another citizen trying to do what’s right. What follows are my opinions. I urge you to do more research see what others are saying, and go over the facts for yourself.]

This weekend brought terrible news, with the death of SCOTUS justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Her history on and off the bench is available for all to read, and I encourage you to do so.

We know just how vile and loathsome Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is, and how he brings a new level to hypocrisy so deep that we don’t even have a word for it. He is so terrible that he issued a statement about filling Ginsberg’s seat within hours of her death, despite her literal deathbed wish she not be replaced until a new President was inaugurated. I know her statement has no legal power, but the fact that he said what he did so quickly after her death speaks volumes about what a horrid person he is.

There may be some good news; it’s possible that if Democrat Mark Kelly wins the election for Senate in Arizona, he’ll be seated rapidly enough to be in on a vote for a new justice (this is a special election, since Martha McSally — who is just awful — was appointed to temporarily replace John Kyl, who resigned after being appointed himself to replace John McCain after his death). If that’s the case, only two Republicans need defect to deny a SCOTUS appointee a seat. That still may be out of reach, but at least it’s closer in that case. Kelly is leading in polls, but it’s no guarantee, and if you want to contribute to his campaign, please, be my guest. Read up on him, too: He’s a former NASA astronaut, married to Gabby Giffords, and I know many people who know him and say he’s the real deal.

There are other races that could flip the Senate too, if you wish to focus your money and attention to those. I will. Please read that article; it’s very interesting and will give you some good ideas.

I expect Susan Collins of Maine knows her seat is vulnerable, and if she sees the writing on the wall for Trump losing the general election she may very well vote against a Trump SCOTUS appointee. Note also that, for what it’s worth, Alaska GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski has said she wouldn’t vote for a SCOTUS appointee, either. This could get interesting.

And there’s been some other heartening news. In the hours after Ginsberg’s death, donations to the Democratic fundraising organization ActBlue skyrocketed, bringing in a shocking $100+ million by Sunday afternoon, and it’s still going. They also have a special Flip the Senate page targeting money to campaigns that have a good shot at tossing out the GOP candidate.

Justice Ginsberg’s death is a terrible thing, and it’s unclear what will happen next. But it has energized the left, and could very well increase determination by significant amounts in the 43 days left before the election.

We need Trump to not just lose, but to lose by such a vast amount that any attempts by him and the GOP to steal the election are drowned. We need the Senate to flip blue, we need the House majority to increase, and we also need that to occur in states down the ballot line, too.

I urge you to watch this impassioned plea by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the hours after Ginsberg’s death. She understands that people may be feeling helpless, and has calls to action that make sense and will hopefully help inspire others.

The biggest call: Check to make sure you’re registered to vote. I have been doing this on the first of every month — I literally set my calendar — and have tweeted every time about it to urge others to do so. I will now increase this occurrence to every Monday. I do not trust the GOP… no, wait, scratch that. I do trust the GOP to take every chance they can to suppress the vote, to purge the rolls, to cheat as much as they possibly can to stay in power. I trust them to do this because we have overwhelming evidence this is exactly what they’ve been doing. Lying about mail-in voting, slowing the Post Office, purging the rolls in Georgia, and on and on.

Check to make sure you’re registered, and vote early if you can. Get this done.

Again, we need to turn up in numbers unprecedented, just overwhelming, to make sure we can save this country. Simply voting blue won’t do the trick, of course. We’ll need to make sure our duly elected representatives in government obey the will of the people. But they have to be in the government first to do that. If Trump wins, or the Senate stays red, we absolutely won’t get that chance. And we may never again.

I wish this were hyperbole. It is not. This could happen.

Make calls. Send postcards. Contact your state’s Democratic party HQ and see what you can do to help.

And vote.

Vote.

Blog Jam

What I’ve recently written on the blog, ICYMI

[Jupiter (and its moon Europa to the upper left) captured by Hubble in visible light on 25 August 2020. From Friday’s article. Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), and M. H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley) and the OPAL team]

Monday 14 September, 2020: So, astronomers *may* have found evidence of life on Venus

Tuesday 15 September, 2020: Better take a look at NGC 6357 now before its stars blow up and disintegrate it

Wednesday 16 September, 2020: How active will the Sun get this cycle? Scientists make their prediction.

Thursday 17 September, 2020: Astronomers find the first intact planet orbiting a white dwarf… and it's far bigger than its star!

Friday 18 September, 2020: Hubble sees storms on Jupiter big enough to swallow Earth!

Et alia

You can email me at thebadastronomer@gmail.com (though replies can take a while), and all my social media outlets are gathered together at about.me. Also, if you don’t already, please subscribe to this newsletter! And feel free to tell a friend or nine, too. Thanks!