As if Thursday’s Grounds for Optimism were not enough . . .

The days are getting longer!

(For those in the Northern hemisphere.)

Parkinson’s protein blueprint could help fast-track new treatments!

Aaron Sorkin’s Being The Ricardos is streaming free!

(For Amazon’s 147 million “Prime” members here in the U.S.)

And it’s great.

Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball?  Amazing.

The picture it paints of America when some of us were growing up — where you could not say the word pregnant on TV, let alone show someone pregnant?  Powerful.

People are waking up to the threat!

Per the Associated Press:  ‘Slow-motion insurrection’: How GOP seizes election power

. . . American democracy has been flawed and manipulated by both parties since its inception. Millions of Americans — Black people, women, Native Americans and others — have been excluded from the process. Both Republicans and Democrats have written laws rigging the rules in their favor.

This time, experts argue, is different: Never in the country’s modern history has a major party sought to turn the administration of elections into an explicitly partisan act.

Republicans who sound alarms are struggling to be heard by their own party. GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming or Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, members of a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, are often dismissed as party apostates. Others have cast the election denialism as little more than a distraction.

But some local officials, the people closest to the process and its fragility, are pleading for change. At a recent news conference in Wisconsin, Kathleen Bernier, a GOP state senator and former elections clerk, denounced her party’s efforts to seize control of the election process.

“These made up things that people do to jazz up the base is just despicable and I don’t believe any elected legislator should play that game,” said Bernier.

. . .

. . . In Arizona, state Rep. Mark Finchem’s bid to be secretary of state has unnerved many Republicans, given that he hosted a daylong hearing in November 2020 that featured Trump adviser Rudolph Giuliani. Former news anchor Kari Lake, who repeats Trump’s election falsehoods, is running to succeed Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who stood up to Trump’s election-year pressure and is barred from another term.

Elsewhere in Arizona, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who defended his office against the conspiratorial election review, has started a political committee to provide financial support to Republicans who tell the truth about the election. But he’s realistic about the persistence of the myth of a stolen election within his party’s base.

“Right now,” Richer said, “the incentive structure seems to be strongly in favor of doing the wrong thing.” . . .

This is “good news” because the first step in steering clear of the iceberg is seeing it up ahead and growing alarmed in time to turn the tiller.

Happy New Year, everybody!



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