Friday, January 29

Ep 583 The Professional Left Podcast


Links for this episode:

Two women in one day talk about the White Grievance Republican Party

Before Podcast, Knitting


Mixing three thin yarns into one magnificent swatch?  Yes please!   Making Stephen West's Penguono jacket for ME.  And yes I will post progress reports.  

Podcast will be up shortly and yes, we are modifying our content to only bring up white male Republicans in the context of great women Democrats.  (Seriously.)  It makes a difference, you'll hear it on the show.  

Friday, January 22

Ep 582 The Professional Left Podcast

Bernie's Mittens on the knitting website Ravelry
Links for this episode: Sheldon Whitehouse - Mistakes We Should Not Repeat, Part I

Saturday, January 16

Three Sweaters and One for Me

I took on knitting sweater for each of my three children this winter. None of them pure wool -- Junior Dude's needs to be machine dry-able, Middle Child is vegan down to her clothes, and for youngest child the cotton blend a podcast listener sent me was perfect.

Junior Dude's is top-down v-neck in a wool/acrylic blended yarn called CoffeeBeenz:

Middle Child's looks a little like chain mail. Perfect:
And Youngest Child's I added to my list as a challenge to get three done -- it's knit on size 11 needles in easy garter stitch. I started it last and finished it first:
Now on to a sweater for me in comparatively expensive merino slub yarn. Here's a swatch:
I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Thursday, January 14

What If All You Could Do Was Everything? #PostcardsToVoters


Writing postcards to voters today for a special election on February 9, when they will elect a new District Attorney in Georgia.  

I thought, what if the only good we could do was to make every District Attorney in Georgia a person who cared about racial and social justice?  

That would be a remarkable world-changing thing. 

And here's the thing: making an effort to do that for a few races isn't that hard.  Especially in races where it's a special election in effing February.  Get. Out. The. Vote. is what we have to do.  Every election.  Every time.  

Good luck, Dexter Wimbish, Democratic candidate for District Attorney in the Griffin Circuit, Georgia.  

Tuesday, January 12

Work (Chop Wood, Carry Water)


Before elections, chop wood, carry water.
After elections, chop wood, carry water. 

And after attempted coups?  Get to work.  

Monday was "Plough Day" in England, a traditional commemoration of the first Monday after the Twelve Days of Christmas, when everyone was expected to be back at work.  

"Hands on the plow," forgive the American spelling, is a good metaphor for keeping at work.  

It's a very tough period for us these days.  Of course I want Trump gone and this, all of this, is not supposed to happen.  We're supposed to have a peaceful transition, not oust a so-called president with days to go in his term because he's that dangerous to our democracy.  

Hands on the plow.  

I'm writing postcards to voters this week for a special state house election in Alabama.  

Hands on the plow.  pen.

Writing for Crooks and Liars, as always.  

Hands on the plow.  keyboard.

  Knitting, of course.  A very pretty swatch for a planned sweater for ME.

When I'm tempted to start handwringing about what really is the explosion of the Trumpian zit, I remember, that's not hands on the plow. needles. (knit knit knit)

And on the longer-range to-do list, adopt a flippable Senate seat (or ten) for 2022.  We really need to Joe Manchin-proof our Senate majority and keep the House.  

I won't be distracted from doing the work ahead.  

And a Bible verse for the sooner-to-be former President 

Best wishes to these workers.  Chop wood!  

Sunday, January 10

The Hi-Bear-Nation Read-Along and What I'm Reading in 2021 #BookHiBearNation

Banned books boxers via Out of Print

Joining a read-a-long via SavidgeReads.  And may I say, one good thing about 2020 was discovering a number of terrific bookish YouTube Channels.  (Hashtag BookTube?  I'm all for it.)

Read-Along runs from Friday 22nd - Sunday 31st of January 2021   [Ha.  Reading these books is going to take me all year, but it was fun putting this list together based on the prompts.]

Winter Book HiBearNation Prompts 

Basic Bear Prompts (and Blue Gal's personal selections)  

A book with an alliterative title.  

I'm currently reading Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz and I will still be reading it in twelve days.  It's got a full-on mystery book (the book that is a CLUE to a woman's disappearance) inserted in the middle of this mystery book.  Hefty!  


A book with an icy blue cover (or part of its cover) 

A book with a feather on the cover.   I noticed my adult stepdaughter's Instagram showed she was reading Hamnet so I started it -- hard to read because in it, children die of the plague.  They are kids in Shakespeare's immediate family, but STILL.  But the book is beautifully written so I will persist.  PS the British edition of this book does NOT have a feather on the cover, but that edition was SavidgeReads Favorite Novel of 2020.  

A backlist book of an author you’ve read before and want to go back to   (I've read Bel Canto.)  

OR read an author you’ve never read before.  This is a first novel:

Daddy Bear Prompts 

Read Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield (covers all the basic prompts)  Yes it even covers, for me, the "author you've read before" as I just finished her Once Upon a River.

Read a book with winter/snow/ice in the title.   (Highly recommend Winter's Tale by Mark Helperin)(Not Halperin)

 Read a wintery poem.   Perhaps one of these.  

Not meeting the prompts but on my list, and both by women of color:  Such a Fun Age by Kiely Reid and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.   


I'm Back to Writing Here

Hey guys, writing that post yesterday made me feel accomplished in a personal way. So do I go back to illustrating these personal posts with disembodied panties for clicks and giggles, or nah? Don't expect a lot of politics as I'm paid to do that at Crooks and Liars.

Saturday, January 9

We Get Letters

When we get a third letter on a topic, I do something about it. 

 And three readers have written in complaining about the tone of Episode 580.

RE:  Why the hell are you so giddy?


Did you take magic mushrooms before you taped your show Friday??? 


RE:  I was totally offended by your last podcast.
Why are you celebrating and laughing so much in these scary times? Have you totally lost it?  I was shocked when your podcast began with your usual solicitation for monetary contributions (Even the PodSaveAmerica guys knew better than to begin their podcast with their usual ads.) ...This sounded so hollow and petty at the end of such a terrible week. I was terribly disappointed in you two. I hope you can explain your behaviour.

And then we get other comments saying "Perfect Show."  And quoting Conor Lamb from deep into the episode about working government.  "It worked.  MAGA lost."   

You can't offend everybody, I guess?

And I guarantee we've never ever before been accused of fundraising more than the PodSaveAmerica boys, whose podcast has a literal trust fund.  My minor children are on Medicaid.  The opening of our show is the same every week.  

I do wonder if the listeners above listened past the 2:50 mark, where I specifically say we are not going to review the history that we all lived this past week.  Yes, there was a lot of laughter opening the show as we warmed up - not sorry.  Driftglass makes me laugh even, and especially, during the darkest times.  We wouldn't still be podcasting after 11 years if that were not so.

Right now, feelings are running high.  I cried all the way through this on Wednesday night, and I was not going to cry on the podcast.  We're not a soap opera, where it's about "how is Fran taking it all?".  Because it's not about me and my feelings.  It's about defeating Republicans and their racism.  

We made a conscious decision about Friday's show that we would NOT review the riot, which everyone saw and everyone else was likely to cover.  We wanted to celebrate the win in Georgia and also the triumph, yes, triumph, of our Congress in certifying the election in the wee hours of Thursday.  Defeating Republicans and their racism means celebrating the win.  

We also wanted to point to keeping our eyes on the prize - a working government moving towards progress.  That's why I quoted Conor Lamb, and once again mentioned my Postcards to Voters work and also encouraged our listeners to check out the list of Senate races for 2022.  Chop wood carry water is about work.    

Our podcast has always been about mainstream media and we also felt it was important to capture how the MSM was covering the week -- there is adjacency bias in DC -- perhaps there is in Springfield Illinois, too.  

I realize the violence and chaos of Wednesday is newsworthy.  It also marked the worst day ever for MAGA.  Worst. Day. Ever.  They have lost the propaganda war.  Forever.  That is also worth celebrating, again, despite the horrible collusion with Capitol Police, that the rioters were pushed back and are now being arrested.  The top three officers of the Capitol Police have resigned.

Did you know Marsha Fucking Blackburn changed her mind after the events of Wednesday, and "voted for Joe Biden" in the Electoral College certification?  

Perhaps Friday was not the day for long-range thinking.  I'm a trained historian, and I took the long view.  Listeners are well within their rights to say "too soon."   

I really appreciate hearing from you.