I don’t care what’s next for Donald Trump. I don’t want to think about him at all

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Donald Trump blocked me on Twitter in 2013. Well, I think that’s when it happened. Trump was talking smack about Jon Stewart, who then encouraged his legions of followers to start tweeting about Trump with the hashtag “F*ckFaceVonClownstick.” I obliged. It was a throwaway tweet but sometimes people still find and like it so I remember the date. That whole episode enraged the Apprentice host so I assume that’s when he blocked me. I had never followed him in the first place so I didn’t notice a lack of Trump in my life after it happened.

From then until he descended a gaudy golden escalator in 2015, I lived a largely Trump-free existence. I knew he had evolved from 80s Greed Icon to Angry Old Birther Guy but that was the extent of my knowledge. He was irrelevant to me. …


Because we can't time travel to whatever day the results will be finalized

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Election night is coming. For everyone who cares about the outcome of the election, the night looms ahead like a cross between the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and an illegal cockfight. It’s going to big, it’s going to be close, and it is probably going to be bloody and nasty.

And if you are a Democrat like me, this the night you have been waiting for since 2016.

In normal years, election night parties are a fun way to manage the stress of awaiting outcomes. Having friends nearby is good for celebrations and disappointments alike. …


I know get-out-the-vote texts are annoying but I don’t care

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Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash

Hi! I’m the person who has sent you a text from a political campaign. I’ve been joining text banks every week since September because I really, really, REALLY want a new president elected. Doing voter outreach is my way of being part of the solution.

I’ve noticed that as we get closer to the election, voters don’t want the outreach. And I get that. I really do. But I’ve done the mental math and I’ve decided that I’m willing to annoy hundreds of people if it means I can help just one person get to the polls this year.

And I do mean hundreds. I send texts via rapid dialer apps that protect the privacy of both the text-er and the text-ee. I only see a name on the screen and never use my personal phone to contact voters. The apps mean I can send out texts in batches of 300 at a time and field responses for days afterward. I’ve texted thousands of people since September. The people who do text back run the gamut from excited and positive to hostile and obscene. …


If only hiring managers loved working mothers the way Senate Republicans love Judge Barrett and her kids

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Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead (public domain image)

For two weeks now, I have heard Republicans talk about motherhood. Not motherhood in general. The very specific motherhood of Amy Coney Barrett. Her confirmation hearings were a pep rally for parenthood. She took center stage in the theatre of the culture wars to talks about her kid as the GOP fawned over her abilities as a mother.

Because whoa Nelly! Is she ever a mother! She has seven kids! She gave birth to some of them! She adopted others! From another country! And they’re a different race than she is! One of her kids has special needs! …


We need more than just a couple of liberal Justices

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Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

There is a lot of talk about “court-packing” by adding seats to the Supreme Court. That sounds like a good, quick solution to the problem of an overly conservative judiciary, but it’s not enough, in my opinion. Adding personnel to the top court in America won’t solve the bigger problems we have in the judiciary.

It’s important to remember that the lower courts have also been manipulated and need rebalancing. Moreover, the confirmation process requires reform. Mitch McConnell turned it into a power struggle between the Executive and Legislative branches and we need dramatic measures to make sure that changes.

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and the unseemly haste with which the President and Senate are replacing her — begs us to examine how we put judges on the federal courts. Or, rather, how we don’t put them on the courts if the Senate leadership doesn’t want to do so. …


If the ACA is struck down, pre-existing conditions will make getting insurance harder. And nearly everyone has a pre-existing condition.

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Photo by Brandon Holmes on Unsplash

Last week, Americans watched Donald Trump get bespoke medical treatment for covid-19. The president is entitled to personalized, world-class care at taxpayer expense and he took full advantage of the privilege. But millions of other covid survivors got a radically different kind of care — if they got care at all, thanks to overcrowding in hospitals. What’s more, the covid diagnosis will follow them for the rest of their lives as a pre-existing condition.

Pre-existing conditions are on the brink of becoming a big deal in American health care this year. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in a case about the Affordable Care Act. Sometimes called Obamacare, the 2010 law provided sweeping reforms to the health insurance industry that made the process of getting coverage it much friendlier to patients. One of the big changes was to make it illegal for insurers to consider pre-existing conditions when selling policies to individuals. …


These are the books that I couldn’t stop thinking about

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Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

You know when you read a book so good that, when it ends, you can’t bring yourself to start a new book? You keep thinking about the characters and the story and wondering what would happen next if the author hadn’t been so inconsiderate as to stop writing. You don’t want to begin a new book; you want to dive back into that book you just finished and keep living in that world.

That’s a book hangover. Every reader has them from time to time.

The excellent news about book hangovers is that are a side effect of really good books and who doesn’t love really good books? The bad news is that they only happen when the really good book ends. Unless there is already a sequel that you can pick up immediately, there is nothing you can do to make the book keep going. …


POLITICS

Are You Ready For Life After Obamacare?

What Americans should do to protect their insurance access

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Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

On November 20, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the validity of the Affordable Care Act. The basics of the lawsuit have been hashed over ad nauseum and you can read good analysis from many good scholars on the issue.

What they aren’t telling you is what to do after the law goes down. Americans need to understand what is at stake if the Court overturns the ACA and they need to have a plan for clawing back at least some of the protections it guaranteed us all.

The ACA, or Obamacare, was a once in a generation effort to impose sweeping reforms on the health insurance industry. The reforms, in my opinion, were badly needed. Prior to 2010, “health insurance” was an undefined product. Policies ranged from Cadillac plans that covered everything under the sun to junk plans that took your premium dollars every month but covered almost nothing. There was no standard definition of what insurance must cover, how it was priced, who could buy it, or when a company could rescind a policy. …


Why Mystery Novels Are Perfect Pandemic Reading

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Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

At the beginning of the pandemic, everyone I know was searching for ways to escape reality. Video games, Netflix series, and tenderly coaxing sourdough starters to life were all popular pursuits. I turned, as I always do, to books. I joked with my friends that I was reading all the time but the only topics I wanted to read about were wizards or murders.

As the weeks wore on, I drifted away from wizards because, let’s face it, a lot of fantasy novels are about young wizards in love. I’m kind of old and cranky so I don’t have much bandwidth left for stories about teenagers in love, even if they also summon the sun or anchor the world in positive magic. …


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Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

As I am writing this, I can hear my son’s alarm going off. It’s been going off for almost half an hour and he hasn’t woken up yet. What's more, it’s not a normal alarm. It’s the opening eight measure of “Down With The Sickness” by Disturbed.

Do you know how many times the opening eight bars of “Down With The Sickness” can repeat in thirty minutes? Me neither but it’s a lot. And it’s just one of the distractions I will face before I finish writing this post.

In the time before coronavirus, I was a part-time freelance writer who worked entirely from home. That is still my job description but now my home feels more like a busy office with several demanding co-workers around all the time. …

About

Rebekah Kuschmider

Feminist + GenX. Politics, feminism, reading books, and parenting are what I do best.

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