Campus Ministry, Gender Relations to host LGBTQ retreat

first_imgA Campus Ministry and Gender Relations retreat geared towards LGBTQ students will take place Saturday afternoon at the Sacred Heart Parish Center.Open to the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross community, the six-hour retreat aims to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) students recognize that God is calling them to love others through the unique grace of being LGBTQ, Fr. Joe Corpora, the Campus Ministry chaplain to LGBTQ students, said.“​[My goal is] that students will leave the retreat being more convinced of God’s merciful love no matter what,” Corpora said in an email. “There will be presentations, discussions, time for quiet prayer and, of course, celebration of the Mass and dinner. There will also be an opportunity to go to confession.”Corpora said the retreat, which costs $10, is specifically focused on LGBTQ students and he expects its atmosphere to be a “prayerful quiet day” with time for presentations and discussion​.As the main speaker of the retreat, alumnus Matt Devine (‘15) said he will be discussing the idea that the Catholic and LGBTQ communities are not mutually exclusive despite some perceptions of it.“There is a difference between being a Catholic for me and being a Catholic within the institution of Catholicism and that’s something that I do find hard to reconcile and I understand how other people do as well,” Devine said. “But I have found such great peace; being Catholic is how I see the world as well as being a member of the LGBT community.”Devine said he feels lucky to be in a position in which he feels comfortable enough to come back on campus, share his experiences and “rewrite history.”“I‘m excited to see where Notre Dame has come over the even three years since I’ve been there,” he said. “Three years ago I could not have thought that 20 people would be on this retreat. As of Monday there was 17 people who had signed up and registered to come which is kind of baffling to me.”The idea of an LGBTQ retreat was started over 20 years ago out of Campus Ministry, Tami Schmitz, Campus Ministry’s associate director of pastoral care, said.“We wanted to give students from the LGBTQ community an opportunity to gather, pray and share stories of their lives within a faith context,” she said in an email. “The retreat has taken different forms over the years. Sometimes it’s over a whole weekend and sometimes it’s an afternoon of reflection.”Senior Liam Maher said he decided to register for this year’s retreat because as a gay Catholic, he appreciates opportunities to engage his faith in a holistic manner.“I think retreats like this are so important for LGBTQ Catholics because it gives us the opportunity to affirm our identity at a time when many exterior pressures can make it difficult to see the good in who we are as people,” he said.Maher said he doesn’t often get to speak about his life, spirituality and theology as someone different from “the heteronormative mainstream.”“I am so grateful to Campus Ministry for planning and executing such an inclusive and thoughtful event,” Maher said. “It gives me hope for the future of our church and the Notre Dame community.”Tags: Campus Ministry, Fr. Joe Corpora, Gender Relations Center, LGBTQ, LGBTQ retreatlast_img read more

OIT investigating phishing email scams sent to ND students

first_imgThe Office of Information Technologies (OIT) sent out an email Wednesday afternoon to the Notre Dame student body alerting it to phishing emails sent in the last few days.The phishing scam involves “an offer for employment or opportunity to participate in a work-study program, and requests contact and personal information,” the OIT email said.Students should not respond and delete the email, OIT suggested. OIT’s security team is currently investigating.To report additional information, contact the OIT Help Desk at (574) 631-8111 or oithelp@nd.eduTags: emails, OIT, phishing, scamlast_img

True Vidalias.

first_imgBoyhan said the onion variety known in the United States asVidalia actually originated in the Mediterranean.”But Georgia is the perfect place to grow it,” hesaid. “It needs lots of water, and we sit on top of the Floridanaquifer. It needs mild winters, and we have them. It needs sandysoils with low sulfur content. And south Georgia’s sandy soilsare perfect.”Boyhan said growers actually have to add sulfur to the soilwhen growing Vidalias.Drought Affects Vidalias’ TasteAs with all Georgia crops, Vidalias have been affected by thestate’s drought conditions.”The amount of water they get determines the onion’s hotnessand pungency,” he said. “Last year, they were warmerfor this reason. When we get a lot of rainfall, they are muchmilder.”Although Texas and other states can grow sweet onions, Boyhansaid Georgia growers aren’t concerned over the competition.”Texas onions come in before Vidalias,” said Boyhan.”They are usually petering out when Vidalias hit the marketin April.”Unlike the days when Vidalias were the only sweet onions onthe market, today there is much more competition.”They used to be a specialty product, but now you canget sweet onions year-round,” Boyhan said. “In additionto Texas, we now get sweet onions from South America.”But Georgia growers still hold the rights to the name Vidalia.”If the bag says Vidalia on it, they have to have beengrown in Georgia,” Boyhan said. “Just ask Del Monte.Some of their Peruvian onions were mistakenly labeled Vidalia,and they had to pay a stiff fine.” Texas growers may be able to produce sweet onions, but theynever produce Vidalias.”In order to be called a true Vidalia onion, it has tohave been grown in southeast Georgia,” said George Boyhan,an Extension Service horticulturist with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Twenty Georgia CountiesThe rights to growing Vidalia onions belong to 20 Georgia counties.”Actually, 14 whole counties and parts of others are designatedas the Vidalia onion growing region,” Boyhan said. “Toombsand Tattnall counties are the heart of Vidalia onion country.”last_img read more

Garden talk

first_imgUniversity of Georgia horticulturist Allan Armitage will speak about the gardens of Western Canada on May 15 at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.A writer, speaker and researcher, Armitage is a member of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty and leads the Trial Gardens at the university.As part of “The World is My Garden” lecture, Armitage will present on Western Canadian gardens from 7-8 p.m. in the botanical garden’s visitor center and conservatory.The series began in January and has covered gardens in Ireland, Japan, Wales and Eastern Australia. The concluding presentation will cover New Zealand gardens on June 19.Each lecture costs $10 and tickets can be purchased by calling (706) 542-6138. The Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the Friends of the Athens-Clarke County Library cosponsor the series.last_img read more

Swiss Chard

first_imgIt seems that wherever I go, I see Swiss chard. This showy, cool-season plant, sometimes called a “beet without a bottom,” is showing up in the landscape, in mixed containers and in local grocery stores. Is it an ornamental or an edible? It is both. Do you eat it fresh or do you cook it? Again, the answer is both.It has been almost 20 years since the All-America Selections winner ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard showed up on the scene.Swiss chard: highly ornamental and wonderfully edible Swiss chard is known botanically as “Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris,” showing it is a leafy beet.But holy cow! Now you look at a catalogue and you’ll see ‘Bright Lights’ there, but also single colors like ‘Oriole,’ ‘El Dorado,’ ‘Magenta Sunset,’ ‘Ruby Red’ and the bicolored ‘Peppermint.’ The same thing can be found at your grocery store. There are probably three to four varieties to choose from for your culinary artistry needs.Swiss chard is ready to harvest at baby green – within 30 days – or at mature harvest in 60 days. You may cut the outer leaves when they are smaller and more tender or cut or break them off when they are 12 to 18 inches tall. Like many plants, it seems harvesting lengthens production.The stalks can be cooked like asparagus. Cut the stems into 2- or 3-inch lengths and simmer in boiling, salted water until tender. The leaves can be cooked or eaten fresh in tossed salads. Or you can simply enjoy the texture and color in the landscape or a styled container.If you find yourself in the frozen tundra right now, just know that you can use Swiss chard as a fall crop or spring crop. Actually with its heat tolerance, it has become a year-round crop in some areas, where it is grown in succession plantings. Space plants about 6 inches apart. In the garden, this would usually mean rows 18 to 30 inches apart. I think the flower bed is the real location of choice for Swiss chard. Here, you would still use the same 6-inch spacing, but plant in large, informal drifts where you might plant a couple of flats.Another good way to use ‘Bright Lights’ or your favorite variety in the landscape would be as a pocket planting of seven to nine plants clustered behind pansies or three plants at the center of a large mixed container. Feed the plants a diluted, water-soluble fertilizer every couple of weeks during the growing season.Here is hoping you have a little Swiss chard for your holiday dinners, but when the garden centers open back up and start bringing in fresh transplants, give them a try in your garden.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. For more information about the University of Georgia Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm, go to www.coastalgeorgiabg.org.last_img read more

Merchants Bank wins ‘Best of Show’ for VermontMatters.com Website

first_imgA key ingredient to success – in banking and in business – is building personal, face-to-face relationships with people. And the goal of the VermontMatters.com Website has always been to celebrate some of the many meaningful banking relationships Vermont’s only statewide independent bank has nurtured over the years.Apparently, this approach rings true with more than just Vermonters. It has struck a chord with the leading financial marketers in America. At the 16th Annual FCS Annual Portfolio Awards, held on Thursday, May 13, the Financial Communications Society (FCS) recognized 28 financial services providers for excellence in their marketing.From the hundreds and hundreds of entries, the winners list included an impressive array of the largest and most successful financial organizations in America. Fidelity Investments, MetLife, Allstate and American Express were among those recognized.Standing out from the crowd of nationally recognized firms was Merchants Bank.The VermontMatters.com Website was recognized with two prestigious awards at this black-tie affair attended by over 400 industry experts.VermontMatters.com was awarded a Gold in the category of Website in the Corporate Image category.And then, the big surprise of the night was unveiled. VermontMatters.com was awarded “Best of Show” in the Interactive Media category.Thomas S. Leavitt, Merchants Bank Executive Vice President commented, “These two awards are another piece of validation for our efforts here in Vermont. As a bank, we strive to provide products, service and delivery that rival any offered in the country. We believe these two awards reinforce the fact that we can compete, and win, against anyone.”VermontMatters.com was conceived and developed by Hinesburg-based Cottage 10. Cottage 10 has been working with Merchants Bank since early 2009 on a number of strategic marketing initiatives.Vermont Matters®. Merchants Bank strives to fulfill its role as the state’s leading independent community bank through a wide range of initiatives. The bank supports organizations throughout Vermont in addressing essential needs, sustaining community programs, providing small business and job start capital, funding financial literacy education and delivering enrichment through local sports activities.  Merchants Bank was established in 1849 in Burlington. Its continuing mission is to provide Vermonters with a statewide community bank that combines a strong technology platform with a genuine appreciation for local markets. Merchants Bank delivers this commitment through a branch-based system that includes: 34 community bank offices and 42 ATMs throughout Vermont; local branch presidents and personal bankers dedicated to high-quality customer service; free online banking, phone banking, and electronic bill payment services; high-value depositing programs that feature Free Checking for Life®, Cash Rewards Checking, Rewards Checking for Business, business cash management, money market accounts, health savings accounts, certificates of deposit, Flexible CD, IRAs, and overdraft assurance; feature-rich loan programs including mortgages, home equity credit, vehicle loans, personal and small business loans and lines of credit; and merchant card processing. Merchants Bank offers a strong set of commercial and government banking solutions, delivered by experienced banking officers in markets throughout the state; these teams provide customized financing for medium-to-large companies, non-profits, cities, towns and school districts. Merchants Trust Company, a division of Merchants Bank, provides investment management, financial planning and trustee services. Please visit www.mbvt.com(link is external) for access to Merchants Bank information, programs and services. Merchants’ stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Source: Merchants. 5.25.2010last_img read more

Four Corners: Long Island Barbers

first_imgTHE BLESSED BARBERThe voices of SportsCenter mix with the whirring of buzzers at Rockabilly Barbers North in Huntington where, for eight years, Katie Pope, 30, has used children, teens and middle-aged men as her personal canvas, trimming beards, cutting hair and mastering her craft. Sporting a festive fedora and holiday-themed earrings during an interview, Pope (“like the guy with the hat,” she says) got her start after offering a free haircut to a homeless man who sneaked two $1 coins onto her workstation and mysteriously disappeared. The coins, tucked away in a jewelry box, serve as a heartwarming reminder of generosity from a man who didn’t have “a penny to his name,” she says. For her, cutting hair can be cathartic. She takes joy in lifting a person’s spirit with clippers and a razor—baptizing them with powder and rubbing alcohol. “I have a great feeling knowing he left the barber shop feeling better about himself,” she says of the homeless man.188 New York Ave., Huntington. 631-673-1750. www.rockabillybarbers.com[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/71726597″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]HIS FATHER’S SONIt’s a few minutes before 8:30 a.m. and Joseph Mazzeo is already in his Sea Cliff barber shop soaking in 19th Century classical music as a cold wind climbs over the hills of the idyllic North Shore village. Mazzeo took over his father’s shop after he passed away in 1980 and transformed the place into an antique barber shop with modest charm. His father’s death instilled in him respect for the fragility and fleeting preciousness of life, so he decided to cut his own work week to four days. “You only have so many heartbeats,” he says. Now 70, Mazzeo works—and lives—at his own pace, collecting items given by customers and friends and proudly hanging them on the wall. Mazzeo treats all his patrons the same, and that includes Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman, who wandered in one day in search of a mohawk. He came close to selling his small shop seven years ago, but decided to hold on. “It didn’t work out,” he says of the sale, “and I’m happy.”272 Sea Cliff Ave., Sea Cliff. 516-676-9770.[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/71985234″ params=”” width=” 100%” iframe=”true” /] HAIRCUTS FOR HEROESZoia Wilhelm admits that her thick Ukrainian accent has hindered her along the way since she landed in New York two decades ago. But that’s okay—the 52-year-old Glen Head resident lets her hands to the talking. For three days a week Wilhelm blissfully occupies the barber shop at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center, treating her hero patients from several wars to warm shaves and well-earned haircuts. “Life is so beautiful,” she says. Wilhelm is proud of her work and believes a higher power has played a role in shaping her own life. “I believe in God, and I think it’s maybe my path here to help people,” she says. Despite the misfortunes these brave American soldiers may have weathered, she says they are thankful for all she does. Her job isn’t about the money, she says, her customer’s appreciation is her reward. “I work to make people feel better. I love to do this.”79 Middleville Rd., Northport. 631-261-4440. www.northport.va.gov. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York center_img THE STYLE ARTISTIt was a simple, yet easily answerable question posed 14 years ago to James Kiley: Would he want to flip burgers at McDonald’s or learn to style hair at a salon? The Wantagh resident considers himself an artist (even though he jokingly says he can’t draw a stick figure), and jumped on the opportunity. Now 29 and a hair stylist at Beautiful People Salon in Merrick, Kiley’s living his dream. For him, styling hair is very much an art—a client will come to him with an idea, he’ll consult, and then stylist and customer will find a happy medium. Kiley cares deeply about his work. “My biggest concern for any client I have is the integrity of the hair and making sure I don’t damage or ‘F’ it up,” he says. Judging by the amount of clients he shapes per day (15 when it’s busy), he’s doing all right. “I grew up in the field,” he says. “At 15 I ended up with a career.”145 Merrick Avenue North, Merrick. 516-341-0276.[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/71715645%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-h2R5l” params=”” width=” 100%” iframe=”true” /]last_img read more

California Man Convicted in Slaying of Estranged Wife’s Boyfriend

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Nassau County jury on Tuesday convicted a California man for the November 2015 slaying of his estranged wife’s boyfriend in Valley Stream.Deon Ewers, 51, was found guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. He faces 25 years to life in prison.Prosecutors argued that Ewers killed 34-year-old Majid Morris in cold blood, pumping five bullets into the man while he lay in bed.Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Ewers was in a “fit of rage” when he flew from California to New York on Nov. 6. After arriving, Ewers went to his estranged wife’s home in Valley Stream under the guise of surprising her and their son, but instead turned the house into a crime scene after shooting Morris multiple times and fleeing the scene.Ewers’ teenage son called 911. Morris was pronounced dead about an hour after the shooting. Ewers was arrested the next day in Oceanside.Ewers claimed he was defending himself, but he did not convince the jury, which deliberated for less than a day.Prosecutors said investigators recovered five shell casings, bullet fragments in the bed, the victim’s DNA on Ewers’ pants, blood smears on the sheets, and a bullet-ridden pillow.Ewers will be sentenced May 4 before Acting Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Meryl Berkowitz.last_img read more

The Supreme Court hands Trump a small victory in Pennsylvania’s vote count.

first_imgA similar case in Michigan was thrown out.In Nevada, the Trump campaign has sued to stop the processing of mail ballots, claiming that its monitors had inadequate access. A judge denied the request, citing a lack of evidence. Another Republican suit claimed lax authentication of ballots; a judge dismissed it.An Arizona lawsuit claims that ballots filled out with felt-tipped pens were being discarded; state and federal officials say that is false. A case in Georgia claims that a few dozen late-arriving ballots — which the state does not allow, even if they are postmarked by Election Day — were not properly set apart, raising the possibility that they would be counted. A judge threw out the complaint, saying there was no evidence that the ballots in question had arrived late. Nearly a dozen lawsuits filed by President Trump and his allies are working their way through the courts in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, trying — so far unsuccessfully — to stop ballot counting and invalidate enough votes to erase Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s leads there. Here is a look at those cases.In Pennsylvania, the biggest fight has been over ballots that were postmarked by Election Day but arrive later. In September, the state Supreme Court ruled, over Republican objections, that election officials could accept ballots arriving up to three days later. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to intercede, but left open the possibility that it could revisit the question. – Advertisement – One of several other Pennsylvania disputes involves people from both parties who observe the tabulation in Philadelphia, where they were told to stay 10 feet away from the vote counters. Some Trump allies have claimed, falsely, that no observers were allowed. In response to a Republican complaint, a judge ruled on Thursday that they could stand within six feet, but refused to stop the counting.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img Separately, the Supreme Court did grant the Trump camp a minor victory in Pennsylvania on Friday evening, when Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. ordered election officials there to keep the late-arriving ballots separate from other ballots, and not to include them, for now, in announced vote totals. But the victory was essentially in name only: Pennsylvania’s secretary of state had already given that instruction.The entire dispute over the late-arriving ballots could be moot, because Mr. Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania even without them. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Trump overperformed the polls twice. Could this be the reason why?

first_imgThere’s nothing “shy” about these people or their support for Trump, yet pollsters aren’t catching them. They turn out for Trump, but they didn’t turn out for Republicans in 2017, 2018, or 2019. Remember, last year Democrats picked up governorships in the blood-red states of Louisiana and Kentucky. xTrump on Nov. 4 in KY, regarding the election of a Dem Gov. “[Y]ou can’t let that happen to me!” per @voxdotcom Result: Dem electedTrump Thursday in Louisiana: “You got to give me a big win, please, O.K.” per @nytimesResult: Dem re-elected#SundayThoughts #VoteBlue— Stay Home or Mask Up (@MnMarches) November 17, 2019No amount of personal begging and pleading from Trump could get Republicans to the polls in those red states, nor did his extensive campaigning help his party during the 2018 Democratic wave year.- Advertisement – From the start, let’s dispense with the notion of a “shy Trump voter.” These people aren’t shy, yet they certainly exist. They’re the assholes trying to run the Biden campaign bus off the road in Texas. They’re the anti-government militias in Michigan. They’re these people: xA Fox News anchor briefly paused mid-segment on Saturday after a sign carried by a demonstrator at the so-called “Million MAGA March” in Washington, D.C. appeared on the screen bearing a racist threat. “Shows their a Bunch of Racists!”#DemVoice1https://t.co/NhGwL0nSmc— Mexi-‘Can’ Marine💪🇺🇸🇲🇽(F🖕U TRUMP!) (@Jay_USMC2) November 15, 2020- Advertisement – The hidden deplorables aren’t Republican. They aren’t even conservative. They’re apolitical, otherwise ignoring politics, because their lives legitimately suck. They live in meth country, with dim job prospects (in fact, those two factors are highly correlated). Institutions have failed them—corporations abandoned them for cheaper labor overseas, government seems and feels distant, and it’s certainly not improving their lives. Cities feel like walled gardens—unattainable, unaffordable, yet that’s where all the jobs are, the culture, the action. These deplorables have been left behind. So their attitude? “Fuck them all.” Trump shows up in 2016 and gives them hope for change, saying the quiet part out loud—that their lives suck not because of their own choices and that of those decamped corporations, but because all that sweet, sweet government money is going to “illegals” and “thugs” in those cities. He puts uppity Black and brown people and women in their place. He offers them hope that, if he can’t improve their lives, that at least he’ll hurt all those others. “I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” she said of Mr. Trump. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”Their lives suck, but Trump was supposed to be bringing everyone else down to their level. That’s why all that nonsense about “economic uncertainty” was such bullshit. None of these people ever thought Trump would bring back the factories, paying good middle-class wages. They can do the same math that the corporations have. But it would all be worth it if Trump would just hurt the people he needed to be hurt.And then he did. He put brown kids in cages. He sent federal troops against the Black Lives Matter “mobs.” He nominated judges hostile to a woman’s right to have agency over her body.And above else? He destroyed. He tore shit down. Norms, traditions, entire agencies. So 2020 rolled around, and Trump no longer offered hope of economic revival in these economically devastated meth counties. Instead, he was the personification of their rage made real, in the Oval Office itself. We saw this in Georgia, where Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins were locked in a battle to make it to the January runoff in the state’s special election. Loeffler was originally chosen to try and appeal to the very white moderate college-educated suburban women that were abandoning the GOP and endangering the party’s electoral chances. Collins is a right-wing ideologue, a staunch Trump ally, and the clear favorite of the Freedom Caucus wing of the GOP. So how did Loeffler fend him off? By moving to Collins’ right, like this ad that claimed she was “More conservative than Attila the Hun” and had a ”100 per cent Trump voting record.” Loeffler literally said she was worse than a king best known for raping, pillaging, plundering, and extorting the Roman Empire into near insolvency. There are no Hun ruins you can visit today because they built no civilization, created no lasting art or culture. So truly, Loeffler couldn’t have picked a better representative of the modern Trumpian Republican Party—destructive, barbaric, and corrupt. Now given their hatred for institutions like government and the media, is it any wonder that these hidden deplorables wouldn’t answer pollsters’ questions? Any attempt to survey them would likely be met with a middle finger and a “fuck you.” So the last four years have shown us that they only turn out when Donald Trump is in the battle. We’ll have an early test of my Hidden Deplorables theory in January, when the two Senate seats in Georgia are decided. Given the essentially tied result in the presidential race (we won by a sliver), that special election will come down to the party that suffers the last amount of drop-off from their November turnout. Trump got a remarkable 369,000 more votes in the Peach State this year compared to 2016, when he won the state by 5%. That should’ve been enough to seal the deal again. Yet Stacey Abrams, her volunteers, and an army of allied organizations did the near-impossible: Biden got 594,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. That is beyond mind-blowing!If I’m right, Republican turnout among those new Trump voters could very well be catastrophic for the GOP. Now to be clear, no one should expect this. We assume they get every single one of their voters out. We need to out-hustle them, and they’ll be working their assess off to turn those people out. So to be 100% clear, this isn’t a prediction, nor is it even a hope. If Republicans can get these hidden deplorables out, then the political picture the next few cycles will be rough—more closely fought elections, control of Congress and the White House balancing on a razor’s edge. Making progress will be a tough slog. On the other hand, if the hidden deplorables only come out when Trump is on the ballot, then that gives us some breathing room in the next few cycles ahead. That is, until a Trump ends up back on the presidential ballot in 2024. Now this is an evolving theory, and it may be bolstered or undermined as additional data and information emerges (not to mention the Georgia runoff results will reveal a great deal). But regardless, Trump is likely the single greatest campaigner in modern presidential history. Hillary Clinton didn’t lose because she was a terrible candidate, she lost because she faced a political prodigy, someone whose ability to tickle the darkest recesses of the white American’s lizard brain is unparalleled, in a country that doesn’t elect its presidents by popular vote, but by a system that overrepresents white rural states. Joe Biden cobbled together enough of a coalition to defeat Trump, but the damage was deep down-ballot precisely because so many of the House, Senate, and state legislative battles were fought in disproportionately white and rural states and districts—the places most excited by Trump’s candidacy. So take a man who has criminally mismanaged the country, enriching himself at the expense of its people and his donors, killed a quarter million Americans due to negligence, leading to the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, and didn’t even bother to have a campaign platform because neither he nor his party cares about issues anymore … and he gets 10 million more votes than the last time? That number is a testament to his power as a vote-getter. Let’s hope no other Republicans reverse engineers that formula anytime soon. And let’s pray that these hidden deplorables, seeing their vote cast for a loser (and a loser who claims the vote was stolen!) decide to return to whatever dark crevices they emerged from.  Yet with the national environment only worsened from the COVID-19 pandemic and other Trump self-inflicted wounds (like his failed trade war against China), Republicans stormed back this year, dealing Democrats painful down-ballot losses in the House, Senate, and state legislatures. Not only will those loses hamstring a Biden administration, even if we win both Senate runoffs in Georgia in January, but Republicans will have a free hand to redraw U.S. House and state legislative maps to their enduring, decades-long advantage. All because Trump was at the top of the ballot. So again, who are these people who only vote for Trump, otherwise ignore the Republican Party (despite Trump’s pleading), and don’t talk to pollsters? – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more