Grandparent magic, blatant voter fraud, and more: This week’s Picks from the Daily Kos Community

Happy happy Saturday, dearest Daily Kos Community! You keeping it together over there? Between this president’s antics, the ever-intense Democratic primary, and the fear of a potential pandemic gripping not just the nation, but the world, there’s a lot to be anxious about. All eyes are also on South Carolina this Saturday, as voters hope their candidates do well and fear what comes next if they don’t.

This week’s Picks aren’t a full reprieve from the issues that are haunting us today. All the same—come on in and enjoy ten great stories from our magnificent cadre of Community scribes that you might have missed!

This week’s stories, as always, cover a wide range of topics, and while some of them already have hundreds of recs and comments, most have far fewer. Dig in and see if I found a story that slipped by you. We’ve got two first-time diarists in the mix as well! Let’s hear it for the newbies, and for everyone else! 

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Without further delay, let’s get to it!

The Mass Psychology of the Religious Right By psychusa

This fascinating analysis of the psychology that keeps the religious right obedient to all the wrong people is a must-read as November speeds towards us.

Doctors Are Examining the Vaginas of Unconscious Women Without Their Consent

By ZawnVillines

Yes, really. And if the patients push back, they’re told to go elsewhere for treatment.

Oldest plant fossil ever found: Green plants were already big and multicellular a billion years ago

By skralyx

Science is amazing. This story not only explores a discovery of something (extremely) old, it also celebrates an exciting new discovery!

White Parents Force Suspension of 'Whiteness Studies' High School Course

By herbinchi

A Wisconsin school shut down a class that explored “American Diversity” after white parents called it “indoctrination.” Again: yes, really.

Vote fraud, the old-fashioned way: Philadelphia 1972

By afmeyers

A remarkable look back at the Nixon campaign’s manipulation of the race for president—from someone who was on-the-ground for team McGovern.

Republicans searched the world to find an 'Anti Greta,' and found a hard-right German teen

By The BigotBasher

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right? Even when it comes to the rightwing hunt for a teen sensation.

Another ex-GOP conversion story...a slow evolution in my case

By Joe Btfsplk

Another ex-Republican—and first-time diarist—shares a more-common-than-you-might-think journey from the hard right.

Jesse Jackson Explains Democratic Socialism

By whiffleberry

Regardless of who your preferred candidate for President may be, check out this dismantling of the seemingly inescapable fear-mongering about these two buzzwords.  

In Honor of my Grandfather - and ability itself

By Rogerwolfson

Another first-time diarist shares a loving and relatable tribute to his grandfather, and challenges us to think of the ways our own grandparents and elders have shaped us.

Burning Coal in the USA

By RustyRobot

A snackable, accessible, and must-read primer exploring the coal industry’s rise—and its collapse.

That’s it for this week, friends. How’d I do? As always, feel free to send your recommendations my way all week long, and don’t hesitate to sound off below if I overlooked some of your favorite writing this week. Most importantly, KEEP WRITING. Reading your work, and hearing from such a diverse array of voices is absolutely my second-favorite part of my job! (I cannot lie: Collaborating with my cherished Community Contributors team is my most-favorite task!)

Till next week, dearest ones! 

Love at first sight, using music to activate young voters, and more—this week’s Community Picks

Oh, dearest Community. It has been A. Week. I feel like it’s A Week every week, but this week was a horrible week. Iowa. That SOTU circus. The cowardice of every Senate Republican but one. The coronavirus. What. A. Week. 

Yet still we must fight. We must fight for those who come after us, and we must fight for ourselves. I’ll get to this week’s great writing in a moment, but first I want to talk about persistence.

I still remember the first time I became aware of politics. It was the 1988 election, I was 8 years old, and I remember seeing Jesse Jackson on the debate stage, and SNL’s brutal “Dukakis After Dark” parodies. I remember the Gary Hart scandal, though I was far too young to understand it. We had family over for a Democratic debate watch party, and I remember my mother telling me that I could make history in 2016 if I wanted to ... by becoming the first black, Catholic woman president. The men in the room laughed. 2016 seemed so far away at the time, but we did get our first black president after all.

I digress. 2000 was the first presidential cycle where I was eligible to vote; I was devastated by the “hanging chad” debacle and genuinely worried for our country under Dubya’s leadership, even before 9/11. By 2004, I was almost old enough to rent a car and definitely ready to help defeat Bush II; I joined Sean “Puffy” Combs’ “Vote or Die” movement, and learned how to leverage both my blackness and my youth to engage first-time voters who looked like me. 

On Election Day 2004, I took off work and drove elderly people to their polling places all morning. In the afternoon, it became my job to protect voters in line at an understaffed polling center on the east side of Cleveland. I paced the long line for hours, giving people free umbrellas to help them stay dry, and as it got colder, I handed out paper cups of hot cocoa and coffee, all in an effort to encourage people to stay in line, and make it worth the wait to exercise their right to vote. Eventually, I dropped my car at home and cabbed downtown to watch returns at the Democratic Party’s official watch party. I switched hats yet again, and interviewed politicians like Dennis Kucinich and Sherrod Brown for our local NBC affiliate. I binged on hors d’oeuvres and free booze.  Then … John Kerry was not elected president. The ballroom filled with despair, then cleared out long before all the returns came in. I lingered waiting for a surprise that didn’t come until 2008.  By then, I lived in California, and I was in grad school, so burdened by academic obligations that I barely had time to vote, much less donate my time to the Obama campaign. My polling place was at the bottom of the Hollywood hill where I lived, and it took two hours to cast my ballot. But oh, what a delightful two hours it was. People were so excited to vote for Barack Obama. People passed out water and sweets, much like I passed out cocoa and umbrellas four years earlier. We sang songs and played goofy games with our neighbors. Suddenly, in a city where nobody makes eye contact, we were a community! 2016 was brutal. My polling place in Berkeley, where I lived at the time, was a ghost town. At the watch party at my office, the joyous “first woman president” vibes quickly turned dark as we realized the impossible had happened: Donald Trump won the Electoral College. It was then that “closeted” Trump supporters back in Ohio posted jubilant “coming out” treatises to their social media, suddenly spewing Trumpian rhetoric that they’d secretly embraced. “I voted for Trump! Deal with it,” they crowed. 

I still haven’t forgiven them.  But 2018 brought the Blue Wave. 2020 must be a Blue Tsunami. A Blue Deluge. A Blue Eagre, which is a word I just learned today. We must foster community in the party, and persist in getting out every vote we can. We must unite behind the nominee—blue no matter who—and come together as the inclusive party that we are. As Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said time and time again during Friday’s debate, “We’re the Democrats.” We are the Democrats, dearest ones. Let’s do what we do.  Thanks for reading all of that. Let’s get to this week’s stellar stories for you, that show who we are and what we can do. Why is Taylor Swift the lead image? Because she’s using her platform to get out the youth vote, much like Puffy did when I myself was a young voter. You’ll see. Without further delay, here are this week’s Community Picks!  

Diary of a recovering Republican By WastedPotential

“The way our country looks now, I can’t imagine ever casting another R vote.”  There are people without a party out there. Let’s bring ‘em over to Team Blue.

Clemson University honors our white supremacy heritage

By Thoth777

This look at the well-documented racist vitriol of Ben "Pitchfork" Tillman will make you wonder how one of the nation’s top universities can continue to honor him. 

The Trump recession is already happening

By voidstuff

Trump is touting the supposedly great economy every chance he gets … but like almost everything else that comes out of his mouth, it’s a lie.

Silencing corporate bullies

By Tom Conway

Union-busting is alive and well in Ohio.

GOP admits climate plan is messaging to appease voters, not policy to reduce fossil fuel use

By ClimateDenierRoundup

True to form, Republicans have crafted “a plan that doesn’t actually address climate change by reducing fossil fuel use, but merely sounds like it would while in fact promoting fossil fuels.”

The urgency of remembering the Holocaust

By eclift

Ignorance of the Holocaust is rising right alongside acts of anti-Semitism. Both must be confronted.

Fifty years ago today as I stepped onto the balcony barefoot, something incredible happened

By FishOutofWater

This adorable story of love at first sight will warm your heart, even if you’re braving a winter storm. 

Let's remember the heroes of the Greensboro sit-ins on its 60th Anniversary

By AKALib 

They just wanted a cup of coffee, but they ended up making history.

Taylor Swift is working hard to get out the youth vote

By progressive2016

The Christian-country-pop superstar stopped singing about high school a long time ago … but now she’s using her talents to activate her huge and devoted fanbase of young people.

Broken jaw, Johnny Bright, football helmets, and this impeachment is just like the good ole days


This amazing and appalling story of Jim Crow bigotry in college football will blow your mind.

That’s it for this week, friends! How’d we do? As always feel free to share great writing we may have missed, and sound off on pretty much anything, really, in the comments. I say it every week, but it feels truer than ever this week: Thank you for being a part of the Daily Kos Community. We’re so glad you’re here. 

Anything but impeachment … again! This week’s Picks from the Daily Kos Community

Hello, dearest Community! Somehow it’s Saturday again and we’ve made it through another week of the Democratic presidential primary, Trump doing terrible things, a terrifying new disease, and the absolute failure of our democracy at the hands of Senate Republicans! Plus an NBA legend, his teen daughter, two of her friends, plus five other people died in a helicopter crash. What a week.

Our nation is hurting, and the purported leader is reveling in it. Yet through it all, you, fearless Community, kept writing, kept interacting with each other, and helped each other face another day in Trump’s America. And that’s something I really want to honor. I won’t lie: It was EXTREMELY hard to find content that fit the Picks of the Week bill. It wasn’t just hard to dodge the subject of impeachment, which of course moved almost too fast to follow this week; wiith the Iowa Caucuses less than 48 hours away, it was hard to avoid primary talk and the pie that comes with it. 

But I did it! Ten stories await you on this week’s reading list.

Before we dig in, I must be honest: One story does discuss a Trump rally, and another was written by a Warren supporter. That doesn’t make the stories any less important. 

When Trump Came to My Town

By maisey

DJT’s campaign events awaken the worst in people—and the filth doesn’t end once Trump leaves.

The ABC test was designed to protect workers, but its having the opposite effect

By kimkavin

Attempts to protect workers in the new “gig economy” might come from a desire to do good, but they’re actually doing a lot of harm.

Sir Nicholas Winton - the Hero who rescued 669 Jewish children on the eve of WWII


The heroes of the Holocaust are many. This is the story of one, but check the comments for even more people who risked it all to do what was right. 

New Emails Show Trump Admin Exploited Wildfires to Help Logging Industry

By ClimateDenierRoundup

The Trump administration suggested that trees were to blame for past California wildfires, in support of chopping them all down. Yes, really.

A dog offers lessons on how be a better guy

By dogsbody

You can find wisdom in the most expected places. Also, dogs are lovely and we don’t deserve them.

How James Baldwin changed my life

By Chitown Kev

A scared and aimless 19-year-old finds “marching orders” for his future in the words of a literary hero.

The Inoculation Project 1/26/2020: Ozobots and Science Labs

By belinda ridgewood

The education crowdfunders are at it again, this time helping kids in Kentucky learn to code, while Missourians get to explore space.

A Safe Place To Camp Is The First Step In Getting People Housed

By RachaelRoseLuckey

 A Los Angeles activist makes the case for managed, intentional tent cities to help provide safe, clean shelter to those waiting for something more stable or secure. 

I phone banked for the first time today

By sujigu

This dispatch from a terrified campaign volunteer will inspire you to get to work, no matter who your candidate is!

On Medicare For All, From a Ford Retiree

By Enoch Ro0t

Once upon a time, Ford’s healthcare plan was all-inclusive, and this retiree and his family got used to it. Then everything changed.

That’s it for this week, friends! How’d we do this week? Did we miss any gems among all the impeachment coverage? Let me know in the comments.  

As always, I’d love to hear how you’re doing this week! Also, here’s a shameless plug for the new Community Contributors Team! Give our blog a follow and see what we’ve been up to so far in 2020! Till next week, cherished Community, keep on writing! This place wouldn’t be the same without your voice …. we are so glad you’re here.

Anything but impeachment: This week’s picks from the Daily Kos Community

Hey, Daily Kos Community! I don’t know about y’all, but it feels so good to not be watching the Impeachment Trial of Donald J. Trump this afternoon. I can’t be alone in that mood. I won’t waste any more of your time talking about that which has consumed us. Instead, I’ll go on ahead and send you into this week’s dreamy collection of great Community writing—a list that’s entirely free of impeachment content.  Enjoy!

Indigenous youth occupy office of B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

By Dan Bacher

Need another reason to be in awe of today’s young people? Here’s further proof that the kids are determined to save the world and save us all.

Happy Birthday, Michelle Obama


Forever FLOTUS is just so gosh dang pleasant and delightful. There’s never a bad day for a nice collection of some of her finest moments, but her birthday was definitely a good day for it.

There was no place for a Muslim journalist in 1980s America

By YasminaReality

A look back at life as a Muslim in America, by someone determined to tell the world’s most important stories since the 1970s.

Supreme Court to review "faithless electors" case

By ptalbert

As resistance to the Electoral College grows, four 2016 electors who didn’t reflect the wish of the voters they represent are headed to the nation’s highest courts.

I came back from "death"

By Eihenetu

This is not the story of a near-death experience. This is a story of redemption.

A country funeral

By Christopher Bauer

My gosh this story is beautiful. Just read it.

The 2020 “everything terrible Trump has done” year end summary report

By smallch

The Trump Omnibus has grown so large, it’s becoming overwhelming to the average reader. The heroes who collect the Popular Vote Loser’s bad deeds created this accessible summary of 2019. Take a look just for the scandals you may have already forgotten thanks to the most recent scandals (or the ones before that).

"It's local elections, stupid"

By kid oakland

Without local victories, there is not progress. It’s just not possible. 2020 is about registering voters, organizing locally and challenging for every seat that we can win, and some we can’t.

GOP Rep introduces a bill to let Christian jewelry company profit off Bible and military

By ChrisRodda

Florida man abuses his position of power for the benefit of one company that got busted using U.S. military insignia without permission.

Indiana legislators propose making abortion murder, arresting judges who strike down law

By ZawnVillines

Indiana’s newest forced-birth legislation is extremely draconian and unreasonable, just like anti-choice activists like it.

What happens when it's your town's turn?

By xaxnar

“When Anderson Cooper is late to your local disaster, you know something is wrong.” The media mostly ignored a horrific flood in Nashville back 2010, which impacted the resources the community received. As such natural events of devastation become ever more common, can society keep up?

Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day: Roy Moore

By republicinsanity

There is so much wrong with Roy Moore. The Daily Kos Community supported the fight to keep him out of the U.S. Senate in a 2017 special election, but he’s running again! 

That’s it for this week, friends. How’d we do? Let me know in the comments!  As always, feel free to drop a line in my Kosmail if you’ve got suggestions and submissions. Most importantly, keep writing! I love reading your work every day. We’re all so lucky you’re here.