Chop Wood, Carry Water 1/4
Another world is possible.
Hi, all, and happy Thursday!
A reader sent me an exquisite poem by Aurora Levins Morales this morning; in lieu of an opening I’m going to share the first couple of stanzas with you.
It starts like this:
Say these words when you lie down and when you rise up,
when you go out and when you return. In times of mourning
and in times of joy. Inscribe them on your doorposts,
embroider them on your garments, tattoo them on your shoulders,
teach them to your children, your neighbors, your enemies,
recite them in your sleep, here in the cruel shadow of empire:
Another world is possible.
Thus spoke the prophet Roque Dalton:
All together they have more death than we,
but all together, we have more life than they.
There is more bloody death in their hands
than we could ever wield, unless
we lay down our souls to become them,
and then we will lose everything. So instead,
imagine winning. This is your sacred task.
This is your power.
It goes on, and I very much encourage you to read the whole thing. But wow. WOW! Imagine winning. This is your sacred task. This is your power.
Indeed. Let’s imagine winning today, and every day going forward. It is absolutely our sacred task. It is our power. It is our duty to our grandchildren.
And, combined with action, it is EXACTLY how we will win.
Call Your Senators (find yours here) 📲
Hi, I'm a constituent calling from [zip]. My name is ______.
I’m calling to ask Congress to fully fund WIC by January 19th. If you don’t, and instead continue WIC’s current funding level for the rest of the fiscal year, WIC will face a roughly $1 billion shortfall in 2024. States will need to reduce WIC participation by about 2 million young children and pregnant and postpartum adults nationwide, with harm falling disproportionately on Black and Hispanic families. This is unacceptable. Congress needs to fully fund WIC! Thanks. [H/T and more info]
Call Your House Rep (find yours here) 📲
Hi, I'm a constituent calling from [zip]. My name is _______.
I’m calling to ask Congress to fully fund WIC by January 19th. If they don’t, and instead continue WIC’s current funding level for the rest of the fiscal year, WIC will face a roughly $1 billion shortfall in 2024. States will need to reduce WIC participation by about 2 million young children and pregnant and postpartum adults nationwide, with harm falling disproportionately on Black and Hispanic families. This is unacceptable. Congress needs to fully fund WIC! Thanks. [H/T and more info]
Extra Credit ✅
Let’s send a letter like the below—which was inspired by this excellent Margaret Sullivan Op-Ed in the Guardian—to whichever major news organizations we can. We can reach the New York Times here, the Washington Post here, the Wall Street Journal at email@example.com, and CNN here. (Obviously there are many other places to contact, but I only had the time to look up these four. Google can get you information on reaching any other organization.)
I’m writing as a subscriber/reader/viewer who has great concerns about your “horse race” coverage of this year’s Presidential elections. I have a specific request for you:
When Joe Biden talks on Saturday about US democracy on the brink, there’s no doubt that it will be a campaign speech. But the speech will be more than that. It’s intended as a warning and a red alert, delivered on the anniversary of the violent January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
Will your coverage get that reality across? Or will your addiction to “horserace” coverage prevail? Because the choice for voters will not simply be between competing philosophies of government. The choice will be about protecting our democracy and every American’s fundamental freedom.
Journalists have an obligation to get beyond delivery and appearances, to get beyond poll numbers and approval numbers. They need to get across to voters what a second Trump presidency would mean.
So as you think about how to cover Biden’s speech, please remember that being in favor of democracy isn’t a journalistic crime. In fact, it’s a journalistic obligation. I expect you to meet it. Thanks.
Get Smart! 📚
This is a bit last minute, but what a great opportunity to learn how to convince your elected officials to protect our democracy!
The Stand Up America coalition is holding a virtual training later today on how to write letters to the editors of your local newspapers to say that we need an end to the ongoing attacks on our freedoms.
A strong letter to the editor will catch the attention of the local paper, other members of your community, and your elected officials — many of whom continue to rely on local news to understand the issues that matter the most to their constituents.
Spread the Word! 📣
The Biden folks are asking us to amplify the below article as much as we can, please!
Washington Post: There’s a reason the U.S. economy soared and others were mediocre
There’s only one appropriate word to describe the U.S. economy in 2023: “miracle.” Many experts said a recession was inevitable. They said there was no way inflation would ease without massive job losses. They were wrong. Not only was there no recession in 2023, but growth accelerated as the year progressed. Inflation cooled sharply (from 6.4 percent to 3.1 percent), and the economy added more than 2.5 million jobs. This doesn’t mean everything was perfect, but it’s important to celebrate the economic equivalent of an underdog athlete winning gold.
Someone wrote me yesterday to ask me if I knew what postcarding campaigns were happening right now. I happen to keep a list, and I’ll be adding stuff to it all year. It’s here, and if you know of other campaigns I’ve missed please let me know and I’ll add them!
Chop Wood, Save the Planet 🔥
The federal government just published the new list of EVs eligible for rebates under the Inflation Reduction Act, based on the latest guidance from the Treasury Department. Exciting! The below graphic sums it up nicely—and you can get your rebate taken off of the purchase price at the dealership now! Read more in this short and helpful article.
The Senate is preparing to vote on the confirmation of Joseph Goffman as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation of the Environmental Protection Agency. I urge you to vote YES.
The EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation plays a critical role in protecting families and communities across our country from harmful air pollution, stabilizing our climate, and advancing environmental justice. Strong leadership is crucial to ensure the office can continue its vital mission.
As a parent, I urge you to confirm Joseph Goffman, who has both the expert knowledge and a proven commitment to public health and the environment, to serve in this important role.
Thank you for your time.
OK, you did it again! You helped save democracy! You’re amazing.
Chop Wood, Carry Water is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.