For real. What even is this election season?
If it feels like the fate of the republic hangs in the balance that's because it does.
If it feels like Wyoming is the unexpected firewall against autocracy and/or theocracy that's because it is.
Our best advice to you?
Vote in the Wyoming Republican primary.
Make sure your friends vote in the primary.
Make a plan to vote (that's the best way to make sure you actually cast your vote on or before August 16th).
And then make sure you are well fed and well rested and well supported and have a game plan for the long haul. Because we're a long way from resolution, and we need each and every one of you to come along for the long, hard journey ahead.
The Necessity of Hope by Rebecca Traister | "Today is the day that this nation sees, with eyes that are briefly clear, exactly how bad things are, and exactly how bad they will become. No clouds today where I live. Only a stark and chilling truth in a bright blue sky: Roe is overturned, and so is Casey. ... So today is surely a day to weep and mourn and rage and be very, very afraid, and to understand that many of us will not live to see today’s calamity reversed. And in so acknowledging, we go forward with the will of those who came before, and those who have never stopped putting one foot in front of another, to some finer tomorrow, distant but always possible."
In Defense of Losing by Lyz Lenz | This essay predates the official release of Dobbs. But is no less relevant—probably more, probably more—in view of the full repeal of Roe and Casey. This "ode to staying and fighting in a red state" is really a manifesto about how to be in community and defend who and what matters. Because your state will not save you now.
Against Transphobic "Moral Flounce" Behavior by Kate Manne | We have a friend from Philly and when she says nice things, the Philly is still there and they don't always sound that nice. Her hub is from the Midwest, the land of people who can say mean things that always sound nice. How does that work? We don't know. But we do know that there was an opinion piece in the NYT that was that second thing: It sounded nice—all dulcet tones of protecting women—and was actually a deeply dark and hateful piece creating an imaginary threat and targeting trans people. The best and smartest of all the good and smart takedowns is this one. As one would expect. It is Kate Manne, after all.
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers | We're not all the way through this nearly-800 page tome, but we're excited about it from its first words: "We are the earth, the land. The tongue that speaks and trips on the names of the dead as it dares to tell these stories of a woman's line. Her people and her dirt, her trees, her water."
Fight Like Hell: The Untold Story of the Labor Movement by Kim Kelly | In an interview in Vogue: "How are you feeling about the future of the labor movement? I am so stoked, man. I am so proud of us, and I’m so certain that we’re going to win. It’s going to take struggle and time, and things aren’t where they should be yet, but they used to be way worse. We’re in a position where more people are interested in unions and organizing and taking their power back. That is nothing if not its own revolution."
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict | Summed up well in this Kirkus Review: "An intriguing, if thin, reimagining of one of the strongest intellectual partnerships of the 19th century." It is summer, so..."intriguing if thin" seems just fine.
The Bear | Yeah, the protagonist is a dude. Yes, restaurants and restaurant kitchens in particular are hotbeds of sexism and harassment. (Read this about the ways in which the tipped minimum wage perpetuates a culture of sexual harassment. And this about the culture of male-dominated restaurant kitchens. Also this and this and especially this.) Yes, we still wholeheartedly recommend this series. Diverse and complicated people being fully, messily, gloriously, strugglingly, occasionally triumphantly human. (We happen to believe this is because of the number of women writers and producers on the show, something we don't talk about and interrogate nearly enough.)
Borgen | Danish political drama with women in politics, women in business, women in journalism. Here's what Lauren Collins had to say in the New Yorker back in 2013 when it premiered, "Denmark’s progressivism also makes for surprisingly good television. More than seventy per cent of women in Denmark work; ninety-seven percent of children between the ages of three and five attend day care. Denmark’s Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, of the Social Democrats, actually is a woman. Like Birgitte Nyborg, whose inauguration preceded hers by a year, Thorning-Schmidt has strived to keep her complicated family life from diminishing her work."
Russian Doll | "One of the big draws is just how perfectly Natasha Lyonne embodies Nadia. Her giant red curls telegraph her manic energy, her raspy voice denotes her world-weariness. But it’s really Lyonne’s vibe, her cool-girl essence, that makes the character so compelling. When she speaks nonsense or makes crazy decisions, it feels believable for her and surprising." Check out the rest of the review here.
Epic fail: We've watched exactly one movie recently. (No, it was not Top Gun: Maverick, nor will it be.) It was a hoops movie with mostly male characters focused on the all male sportsball league of the NBA. But it did have Queen Latifah and lots of rad daughters and a whole arc of redemption set against a Philadelphia backdrop. If you like hoops, check out Hustle. We'll try to catch some movies before the next QK.
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg | Rabbi & author. Next ON REPENTANCE & REPAIR, preorder now. Scholar in Residence @NCJW. Bylines NYT, WaPo etc. Bible/justice newsletterOpinions mine. she/her
Sherrilyn Ifill | Civil Rights Lawyer. former President & Director-Counsel of LDF (NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund). Tweets are my own. RT ≠ endorsement
Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation | Our Interpretive Center shares the legacy of Heart Mountain, where over 14,000 people of Japanese descent were incarcerated during World War II.
Melting potatoes | Via Smitten Kitchen.
Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake | For real. We make this constantly. If this is a repeat recipe, it is because we make this. Constantly.
Balsamic vinaigrette | Ingredients:
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Jam jar with lid
Place it all in the jam jar, screw on the lid, shake shake shake. Then put it on all the summer things. Tomatoes! Salad! Any green vegetable! Roast peppers! Pasta! Hard boiled eggs! Melting potatoes!
We are absolutely huge fans of the idea that 3/5 Executive Branch roles could end up with women 40 and under, all born and raised here in Wyoming! You know our mission here at WWAN, and you know it includes women's representation. Imagine if you were your younger self, growing up in a state where three women occupied three of the most visible and powerful elected offices in the state. Voters in Wyoming's August 16th Republican primary are poised to make that happen.
Party primaries are a market failure. Not to mention a waste of taxpayer dollars. (Seriously, when else do we use tax dollars to pay for the proclivities of private clubs and then pretend said private clubs are advancing democracy? When else? We'll wait.) And the way they are set up right now incentivizes exactly the kind of behavior that most people we know want to see as a distant memory of a tumultuous time in the history of this here Constitutional republic. (Listen to Sarah Longwell talk with folks who simultaneously want us to be less divided, and then also revert to the polarization perpetuated by the primary system.) We'll say it again: This is a market failure. It is time for a new system. All eyes on Alaska, another frontier state, trying out something that works for voters—not for politicians or parties.
All that notwithstanding, you should ABSOLUTELY vote in the primary. Too many people sit it out. That's true across the nation and no less true here in Wyoming. Because we live in a supermajority state (0/5 Executive Branch Dem/Republicans and 9/90 Legislative Branch Dem/Republicans), that means participating in the Republican Primary. All primaries in Wyoming are on Tuesday, August 16th. (Early voting is open now.) By law, you have an hour off of work to go to the polls. You'll need your ID. If you are currently registered Libertarian, Constitution, Dem, or Unaffiliated and want to take the Republican ballot, you'll need to change party affiliation. And, as mentioned, early voting is open now. Head into your County Clerk's office and vote early! Want to know who is running? WYVote has a handy website and League of Women Voters is hosting candidate forums and will publish county voter guides. Get out and vote, Wyoming!
P.S. We're still running the occasional Quarantine Kit as your occasional reminder that there is still a virulent virus running amok on the planet. BA.5 is now the dominant variant of COVID in the U.S. "BA.5 may be uniquely adept at evading vaccine protection, experts told NBC News." The CDC's Nowcast COVID Tracker has all the data for you data nerds. Get the shots. Wear a mask. Be safe out there.