The Election Is Over. The Nation’s Rifts Remain.

Posted On Nov 20 2020 by

first_imgThat is, when people used to go to church. Before the coronavirus.“I just don’t think it’s ever going to be the same,” Ms. Graham, 65, said. “Because I felt like it was beyond political. It was personal.”On the other side of Pennsylvania, 300 miles to the east in Monroe County, a cellphone salesman named Austin Garone said he was exhausted by the thought of telling an ex-girlfriend which way he had voted. By Sunday morning, a semblance of serenity had returned to Maplewood. Mr. Kurland, a digital designer and a musician whose garage loudspeakers had rocked his neighborhood, mowed the lawn. His wife, Ms. Kumar, a psychologist, walked the family’s two black Labradors.That the president of the United States was tweeting again about a stolen election did not perturb them. They had already danced for joy in their driveway.Contributing reporting were Mike Baker from Seattle; Campbell Robertson from Mercer County, Pa.; Sabrina Tavernise from Monroe County, Pa.; and Will Wright from Louisville, Ky. The sounds of something unleashed — banging pots, honking horns, primal shouts — burst from all directions in Maplewood, N.J. And as another Queen song boomed from the muscular loudspeakers in his garage, Zack Kurland stood at the edge of his driveway, arms raised like Rocky.We are the championsWe are the championsHis wife, Neena Kumar, came running and leapt into his arms. News had just arrived that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had been declared the winner of the presidential election of 2020, and now the two were twirling in an impromptu public dance of triumph.- Advertisement – It has been a hard four years for Ms. Graham, with various political disagreements, including with sons who went from supporting Mr. Obama to supporting Mr. Trump. Especially difficult was the brutal mocking of Democrats — in other words, people like her — on social media by members of her church. Their disdain was so vitriolic that she had trouble attending Sunday services. These small moments reflect the sizable fissure in the collective American psyche that Mr. Biden sought to begin closing in his speech on Saturday night. With a stand of American flags behind him, he said the time had come to restore the nation’s soul; to embrace the first three words of the Constitution: “We the people.”Mr. Biden knows from experience how difficult such simple sentiments are to attain. Another historic moment not long ago — the 2008 election of the country’s first Black president, Barack Obama, with Mr. Biden as his vice president — also prompted dancing in the streets. And it, too, was framed as a moment of healing unification. The feeling did not last. MAPLEWOOD, N.J. — A late-morning stillness had settled over a November Saturday in a cozy blanket of suburban serenity. Suddenly, at stadium-level blast, there came the shattering rock ’n’ roll roar of victory:We will, we will rock youWe will, we will rock you- Advertisement – “Whether certain of my family members will elect to not attend certain events because my husband and I are there — that’s possible,” she said. But Mr. Biden still recognized a need to sound the call, once again, for the nation to come together. “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric,” he said. “To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again.”His words seemed directed as much to the individual American as to the nation at large, as if to recognize the gaping rifts created over the four tumultuous years since Mr. Trump was elected. Friendships have fractured. Workplace relationships have cooled. Family gatherings have been altered by fears that a request to pass the salt might somehow lead to a political brawl.In Trump-solid Mercer County, Pa., a retired special education teacher named Beverly Graham, a Democrat, celebrated the big news on Saturday by pouring a glass of honey whiskey. She drank it in quiet toast, then tackled the chore of cleaning the bathrooms. – Advertisement –center_img Updated Nov. 8, 2020, 8:15 p.m. ET The moment evoked an iconic American image: a World War II sailor spontaneously kissing a woman in a nurse’s uniform in Times Square after the news of victory in Europe. Only instead of V-E Day, this was V-B Day: Victory for Biden. But not everyone was dancing. Triumph in a foreign war unifies a country; triumph in an election has the lurking potential to further divide. And by Sunday morning, some of the celebration and grieving had melted away to expose a difficult question for divided families and a divided nation:Now what?- Advertisement – Mr. Garone ultimately decided that the president had not done so. But he is not volunteering that he voted for Mr. Trump in 2020.“If she asks, I’ll tell her,” he said. “But if not, I won’t mention it.”And in Louisville, Ky., a lawyer named Dustin Meek said that she had spent considerable time trying to navigate the political schism between herself, a self-described progressive Democrat, and her family in her Trump-supporting hometown of Ashland, 190 miles to the east.“We’ll start out the evening saying, OK, no discussion of politics,” Ms. Meek, 54, said. “But inevitably, a joke will be thrown, or something will come up and people will poke, and honestly, I have to say, it has strained the relationships.”“It’s hard,” she added.She and her family members cannot seem to even agree on what constitutes “fact,” she said. They follow right-wing news websites, while she favors more traditional news sources that Mr. Trump has encouraged his followers to distrust.Ms. Meek expressed hope that the less inflammatory rhetoric of a new president would ease things. And she said that she would not allow politics to get in the way of attending future family gatherings. They had broken up in 2016 over politics, mostly, after he voted for Mr. Trump — a choice, he said, she found incomprehensible. This time around, she had been calling, texting and sending long Facebook missives, all to persuade him not to vote for Mr. Trump again.“People just hate Trump so much,” Mr. Garone, 26, said. “It’s an emotional reaction and they lose their sense of reason.”He said he had told his ex-girlfriend, still a close friend, that he would not vote for Mr. Trump if she could demonstrate that he had infringed upon her rights as a bisexual woman. True, a record number of more than 75 million Americans had voted for Mr. Biden, the Democratic challenger, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, the first woman elected as vice president. Also true was that more than 71 million others now had to grapple with the concept that their candidate — Donald J. Trump, the Republican incumbent — would most likely be branded by his own worst epithet: loser. If Trump loyalists were honking their horns at all on Saturday, it was probably to clear rejoicing Biden supporters from the streets. And the only hope being offered by their leader was a vow to challenge in the courts what he asserted, without evidence, was a fraudulent election.By refusing, for now, to publicly accept the election results, Mr. Trump was all but inviting dance-interrupting discord. And some accepted his invitation.Trump supporters held “Stop the Steal” rallies outside state capitols across the country, though their cries of electoral corruption sometimes came as news of Mr. Biden’s declared victory was lighting up smartphones everywhere.In Sacramento, Calif., videos captured confrontations that devolved into physical assaults; some in the scrum wore the black-and-yellow polo shirts often associated with the Proud Boys, a far-right, pro-Trump group not unfamiliar with violence. Another video, from Salem, Ore, showed a man in Proud Boys apparel discharging what appeared to be pepper spray, after which a crowd battered a vehicle with fists and a baseball bat.last_img read more


Bravo Stars’ Quotes About Having Kids

Posted On Nov 20 2020 by

first_imgReady to grow! Vanderpump Rules stars have been very vocal over the years about their plans to conceive.Stassi Schroeder told Andy Cohen in January 2019 that she was ready to have kids with Beau Clark, six months before the commercial casting director proposed.- Advertisement – “Everything’s in the cards and I don’t even care about the order,” the Next Level Basic author said on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen at the time. “I don’t know when the moment was [I knew he was The One]. I can’t even remember when the moment was. There was something that just, like, switched.”Clark proposed to Schroeder in July 2019, and Us Weekly broke the news the following year that she was pregnant with their first child. When the couple tied the knot in September 2020 in a secret backyard ceremony, the former “Straight Up With Stassi” podcast host showed off her baby bump in a white gown. After kissing the bride, Clark knelt down to kiss his wife’s stomach.- Advertisement – The Florida native exclusively told Us in December 2018 that she was too busy for children, explaining, “I feel like I have way too much stuff I’ve got to do, you know? I’ve got to travel the world, I’ve got to be a successful businesswoman, I’ve got to put out a series of cocktail books. I gotta go to outer space. I want to go to outer space so bad.”Keep scrolling to see the reality stars’ quotes about their future family plans. Brittany Cartwright and Lala Kent both announced pregnancies that same month with Jax Taylor and Randall Emmett, respectively. Scheana Shay shared her pregnancy news in October 2020.The “One More Time” singer had frozen her eggs multiple times before conceiving naturally. “I honestly don’t even know if I do want kids,” the California native exclusively told Us of her decision in January 2019. “I would only have kids if I found the right person who wanted to have some with me, and where my life’s at right now, I don’t see it going in that direction. But things can change, you never know! I just wanted to do this as a backup option because my AMH levels were extremely low, like almost zero. … I’m not getting any younger. My numbers aren’t getting any higher.”While Katie Maloney has been vocal about trying to conceive with Tom Schwartz, Ariana Maddix and Tom Sandoval aren’t planning to start a family anytime soon.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more


Congress has 14 working days to keep government funded, provide COVID-19 relief

Posted On Nov 20 2020 by

first_imgAlready, House Republicans are resisting an omnibus bill, and raising questions about whether Trump would even sign one. It’s also a question whether he’d sign another CR or a coronavirus stimulus package, when it comes down to it. If Trump really wants to upend the nation and the election (states have to certify the election by Dec. 8, the electoral college votes Dec. 14, the formal joint session of Congress to declare the official results is Jan. 6) he can refuse to fund the government. Whether enough Republicans in Congress would be nihilistic enough to refuse to override his veto is an actual question. Because it is 2020 and anything, absolutely anything, could happen.On coronavirus relief, McConnell has yet to budge in his rhetoric and he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi haven’t had any recent talks. Trump did tweet out one of his usual exhortations on Saturday: “Congress must now do a Covid Relief Bill. Needs Democrats support. Make it big and focused. Get it done!” Never mind that “big” and “focused” are in direct opposition right now—Pelosi wanting “big” and McConnell wanting “focused.” Who knows what Trump wants, other than to magic away election results and pretend like he’s not going to be vulnerable to prosecution in New York State in 64 days.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Who knows at this point what any of this means for the next month. The only thing certain is that as cases and hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus surge, as states increasingly have to shut down again, the economic pain increases even more. Thousand upon thousands of people face hunger, eviction, and financial ruin. And the obstruction of McConnell is making it worse. “More businesses will be at risk of permanently going out of business, which would dampen labor demand and potentially spur new rounds of layoffs. This suggests the labor market recovery could meaningfully slow or even reverse in coming months as the country tries to get the virus under control,” economists at Bank of America warned last week.That apparently is a feature and not a bug of McConnell’s plan to obstruct assistance. He wants to hamstring the Biden administration before it even begins. He doesn’t care who—or how many—suffer in the offing.last_img read more