Real Quick Fundraiser Update

I just posted this over on GoFundMe and thought it would be a good idea to post it here too:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING (a couple of days early)! I hope that all of you are having a grand time with people you love and doing things you like! It’s been a minute or a few since my last update. The last couple of weeks have been hectic with a half dozen Congressional Hearings, a few rallies, and a pretty severe depressive episode when I failed to time my meds properly. Don’t worry, I am okay. 🙂 I’ll be writing about all of it, of course. Right now I have about a dozen blog posts in varying stages of completion in the queue and hope to have them all published by the end of the holiday weekend. THIS update (way to bury the lede, self) is to let you know that I *finally* have a Google Form ready for you to fill out so you can get some fun rewards! I did make a slight change to one of the rewards. Originally, I had planned to do monthly snail mail letters in November, December and January. Since I’m just getting this up now and November is almost over (oops), I’ve pushed out the delivery of the monthly snail mail letters to be December, January, and February. This way there can be Valentines! Anyway, here’s a link to the form for you to fill out if that is a thing you’d like to do: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfn8jMR4BF__VCNBgm0DZnV8MOonFI187JBOu2Soqx6_3fqWg/viewform?usp=sf_link Thanks for reading and supporting! I love you all to pieces!

PROGRAMMING UPDATE

Wednesday: Congressional Hearing in the AM

Thursday: Trump rally in the PM

Friday: Congressional Hearing in the AM

It’s gonna be a busy rest of the week, folks. Which one of you hid my Wheaties?

Trump Rally: Monroe LA (11/6/19)

You might notice that it has taken me a touch longer than usual to get this particular post up. That’s because I was struggling with how to approach it. 

Obviously, last night there was a Trump Keep America Great rally. Trump invaded the Monroe Civic Center and, about 45 minutes after he was scheduled to start speaking, he actually took the stage. 45? Get it? 

The speech itself was more of the same. Lots of lies and bull-pucky talking points. Most of the first 2/3 of his speech seemed to be improvised, though he did bring a visual aid. Nothing forces home your message like holding up a computer printout, amirite? 

It was at around the 2/3-finished mark that it started to become very clear that Trump was not feeling well. His words started to become increasingly slurred. He started sweating off his makeup. Near the end of his speech he had even begun to complain about the temperature in the arena, flapping his suit jacket open and saying that it felt like “it’s 120 degrees in here!” His face was also an alarming shade of red. By the time he was done? He looked like this:

Photo credit: Haaretz.com
Photo credit: WAFB.com
Photo credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Now look, I am clearly not a fan of this man. I think he is the worst thing to happen to our world in ages. Still, it felt (and feels!) gross to make fun of a man who was so clearly in distress. I stopped live-tweeting toward the end, instead watching fearfully as he speed-read through the speech that was on the prompter, worried that he might not make it all the way through.

Thankfully he made it through his speech without passing out from heatstroke or whatever was happening and will live to be mocked another day.

If you want to read the twitter thread, it still exists and you can find it here, but re-posting it feels more like punching down than anything else. 

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to help support my work, I’m running a fundraiser over at GoFundMe. If GoFundMe isn’t your thing, you can find other ways to send support here

And now? SHONDALAND. And after that? The other blog posts I’ve been promising! 

Trump in Kentucky: What’s With the Shirts?

Trump held a Keep America Great Rally in Kentucky today. The official reason for the campaign stop was to stump for the GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Bevin and the other Republicans running down-ticket. 

Before we get into that, though, can we talk about how everybody on the dais behind Trump is wearing the same shirt? In many instances, the shirt has been put on over other clothes. Because there’s no way that was a planned stunt, right? I mean look:

Photo credit: The Hill

Okay, back to the “substance” of the rally:

For those who aren’t familiar with Bevin, Vox has dubbed him “among the country’s most unpopular governors.” Bevin seems to hate teachers and Medicaid recipients but loves him some Trump. During today’s rally, Trump returned the love by describing Bevin as “a total pain in the ass, but that can be a good thing!” 

In terms of substance, this rally wasn’t all that different from Friday’s rally in Mississippi. He hit all of the same talking points. I am slightly bitter that we didn’t hear anything about California’s Governor refusing to fight forest fires by “cleaning up the leaves.” For me, that’s right up there with his previous explanation of clean coal: “They take the coal and they clean the coal and you have beautiful clean coal!”  We did hear about how Trump is saving us money by yanking us out of the Paris Accords (it won’t) and how he (not his team, he) defeated ISIS (he didn’t) and how he saved Iran and made it into a totally different country (nope). 

Today’s Tweet Thread is a little short. I was a few minutes late to the live feed of the rally. Then, near the end I got a phone call. Before writing this post, though, I did go back and watch the tail end of the speech that I missed and here is what I would have tweeted:

Trump is praising Lou Dobbs for saying that he [Trump, not Dobbs] is the greatest President in the history of the country including George Washington and Abe Lincoln. I call BS.

Did…did Trump just claim he invented the word “loophole”?

We will always protect you with pre-existing conditions and we will protect you with pre-existing physicians! I’ve never said that before! I just thought of that! It’s true!  Hooooo boyyyyy.

Democrats have launched an unrelenting assault on people of faith! *Goes on to brag about how he made it okay for adoption agencies and foster programs to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ parents. 

Trump is bragging that he “fixed” Iran. Oh honey.

Trump: We’re going to land on the moon so we can go to Mars! $10 says dude thinks that’s where Astronauts have to stop to use the bathroom.

Trump: The people who founded Kentucky loved their families, loved their country— Me: The country they ran away from? That one? 

Oh! Also, I figured out Wakelet and was able to turn today’s rally thread into a “story” over there. Here it is for those of you who want to read the thread without having to deal with Twitter. 

Finally, I want to send shout outs to Chris, Josh, Glenn, and Jim for donating to my fundraiser! I love you glorious humans to pieces and am incredibly grateful for your support!

If you’d like to contribute to my fundraiser so I can keep writing these things and taking care of stuff, here’s a link to the GoFundMe page I set up for it. If GoFundMe isn’t your thing, I also take Kofi, Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal. Those links are over on the support page

Thanks for reading!

Trump Rally: Tupelo

There was a MAGA/KAG rally in Tupelo, Mississippi today. Trump was scheduled to start speaking at 8pm EST. He didn’t actually start speaking until about 8:45pm EST. This is not unusual. He almost always starts speaking late. I know that running a little behind schedule is typical for big events like this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if these speeches started so late because of tantrums or because dude wants to really hammer home the “45” thing. Or both! Probably both.

Originally I was going to copy my live tweets over here for a blog post because I know that not everybody loves going to Twitter, but wow. There are a lot of tweets.

The short version is: there was nothing new in this speech. It was his usual complain, lie, lie, lie, complain, lie, lie, forget where he was, forget what he was talking about, try to riff, lie, lie, lie, LOCK HER UP, lie, lie, brag about himself while lying, forget where he was, forget what year it was, forget who his opponent was in 2016, decide he ran in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and potentially 1988 and won every last one of those races “easily, so easily”, lie, lie, lie, lie, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, wander around clapping for himself. [End Scene]

If you want to read the tweet thread, you can do so on Twitter. You don’t need an account or anything to read through the feed because my account is public–though if you wanted to create an account for yourself and then follow me, I wouldn’t be sad.

Hopefully by Monday I’ll have time to find a good Storify replacement. Remember Storify? I miss it. I’ve heard good things about…Wakelet? Is that what it’s called? I’ll play around with it a little bit tomorrow and see if I can figure it out.

Oh, and before I forget, thank you to Taylor, Kelli, Kevin and my Mom for donating to my fundraiser! I appreciate it so much!

Help Me Write More Stuff?

TL; DR: I do not have enough work to cover expenses and my ability to focus on multiple projects is likely to get worse before it gets better.

I’m doing a fundraiser over at GoFundMe. Here’s a handy link!

If GoFundMe isn’t your style, or you’d prefer to donate directly, I also accept PayPal, CashApp, Venmo and Kofi! Here are handy links for those!

***

Hi there. For those of you who are new here, my name is Erin. I’m trying to raise money to cover expenses for the next couple of months while I try to help you all make sense out of the increasingly chaotic mess that is our government, impeachment(s) happening within it, and work with my doctor to get my mental health back on track (as on track as it can be, anyway).

Here’s the long version (or you can skip ahead to the plan and the rewards info):

I adopted the politics and policy beats during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. The goal was to inform and analyze in a way that readers would find entertaining…and, okay, I wanted them to understand the policies at play behind all of the shouting. After the election I turned my attention to the administration that took over the White House and did my best to keep up with all of their shenanigans so that people who voted for them could understand why the rest of us were freaking out so hard. 

It didn’t take long for the administration to spin so far out of control that keeping up with them was near impossible, especially when I had to do it around my freelance writing/editing schedule and school.

I’m currently a student at Penn State, majoring in Law & Society. Okay, technically I’m a student on hiatus for the fall term because it turns out I couldn’t quite swing the tuition in time to start classes. But hey, that just meant there was more time to churn out freelance stuff and keep up with all of the Trumpian hoopla that has exploded all over our government, right?

You’d think, but you’d be wrong.

As Trumplandia has gotten more intense and chaotic and life has gotten more expensive, freelance work has been slowing down. This always happens at this time of the year. I’m still doing as many projects as I can, but it’s not nearly enough to cover the bills on a good day and it’s even worse now that my brain chemistry has gone wonky again.

This is the part where we take a minute to talk about brain weasels. 

I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in 2015 and started on a medication regimen right away. For the most part, the medication did its job and I was able to wrangle my brain weasels successfully without hampering my productivity. 

I’m not exactly sure when my meds stopped working. My doctor and I have adjusted my dosage level but it’s clear that I need to switch to something new. Doing that involves multiple trips to the doctor, a referral to a psychiatrist, testing, all sorts of time and energy consuming stuff. 

Yikes.

So. What does this have to do with you?

THE PLAN

I need to prioritize if I’m going to make it through the rest of the year. What I’d like to do is focus on two things for the months of November and December.

  1. My Mental Health
  2. My Political Writing

In order to do this, I need help. 

Professionally what I’d like to do is focus on being awesome for the couple of regular clients I have right now and put the rest of my work energy toward building a portfolio of current political/policy writing that I can use to help bolster my marketability next year when the clients are hiring again. (And, yes, build that Patreon some of you have been after me to start for years.)

Personally, I’d like to have the freedom to be able to schedule doctor’s appointments and tests and give whatever meds we try a chance to really work so that I can be a productive member of society again. 

To accomplish these goals, I need to find a way to pay for my bills over the next couple of months. This is where I’m hoping you can come in. 

THE MATH

In order to stay financially in the black through the end of 2019, I figure I need to raise $2500. Obviously, a percentage of that (I figure it will be around 4%) will go toward GoFundMe fees. The rest will cover the rent for my storage unit, my car, gas, and insurance payments, and my phone bill, with a bit of a cushion in case of emergencies or expenses that pop up (like changing the oil in my car, which I forgot about until just now). Here’s how it all breaks down:

Obviously, since it’s the end of October, this is going to be a rolling fundraiser. That’s one of the perks of using GoFundMe—I don’t have to have a definite deadline. If I can get $300 by the end of Halloween (that’s today!) I’ll be able to jump into the work 11/1 and start showing you some progress toward my goals. The more I bring in up front, the more of the project will be committed to the books for those who might want to wait a bit before investing/donating.

THE WORK

If I actually reach my goal, here is what I can promise you:

Tweet threads of all of the rallies, Congressional hearings, floor debates, official speeches and pressers I can get access to.

Consolidation Blog Posts for those of you who don’t want to deal with Twitter

3x week Political/Policy Blog Posts through the end of 2019

2x week Personal Blog Posts through the end of 2019

However many Videos get commissioned

YOU GET STUFF!

I don’t want you to just give me money. I want you to get something in return. When I’ve done fundraisers in the past, I’ve had good luck with offering rewards like doodles, haikus, etc. I’d like to do some of that again, but I’d also like to involve you in my writing/publishing process as much as possible. I’d like you to feel more like investors than donors. What does that look like?

Rewards

3 x 5 B & W Doodles 

  • Electronic delivery: $5
  • USPS delivery: $7

Haikus (electronic delivery)

  • Written: $5 
  • Written & Illustrated $10 

Haikus (USPS delivery)

  • Written: $6
  • Written & Illustrated $12

Snail Mail Letter $5

Monthly Snail Mail Letter (November, December, January) $10 (Limit 10)

Investments (each comes with a bio and a link to a site/cause of your choosing)

Blog Post Sponsorship: $50 (Limit 30)

Blog Post Commission (topic of your choosing, though I’m retaining the right to veto): $100 (Limit 15)

Video Blog Post Commission (5 minutes max): $200 (Limit 6)

FULFILLMENT

Everything will be mailed by 12/31/2019 (except for the January monthly snail mail letter, which will be mailed by 1/10/2020)

Finally:

THANK YOU for reading all of this! Thank you for any help you can spare to send me. The world is literally on fire right now and you choosing to support me when there are so many others who are in worse predicaments is humbling and I will be forever grateful.

 Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

THANK YOU!