These last two years have had their difficulties, but the silver lining has been the privilege of meeting talented, creative activists. Each month we will focus on a specific issue and share the thoughtful perspective of our contributors. Our Eblasts are posted below.


Sajaa Ahmed is a host and co-creator of Spotlight 19, a podcast tracking all things related to New York’s 19th Congressional District. The podcast was an essential tool used by volunteers in 2018 to flip the district blue and will continue to be released monthly in 2019.

JT Compton spent fourteen years in finance before becoming a screenwriter and a political blogger.  He has an MFA in creative writing from The New School and has lived in Dutchess County for nineteen years.

Rep. Antonio Delgado spends every day in Congress focused on creating a vibrant local economy, working with local, state, and federal partners — regardless of party — to get results for the people here. From improving access to quality, affordable health care to expanding rural broadband to protecting our agricultural interests, Rep. Delgado is dedicated to working across the aisle and standing up for what residents need.

Karen Smythe, NYS Senate Candidate in 2018, was the 4th generation to run her family’s Dutchess County union construction business. Born and raised in Poughkeepsie, she is committed to giving back to the community through volunteer and nonprofit work. She currently serves as President of the Dutchess County Woman’s Caucus, is on the Board of the Bardavon Theater and a Trustee of Vassar College.

Assemblymember Didi BarrettGuest Contributor, After a dedicated career as a community activist, writer, and leader of non-profit organizations, Didi Barrett was elected to the NYS Assembly in 2012, where she is now serving her fourth full term. Didi continues to work tirelessly for our community as an advocate for women’s rights, local agriculture, environmental conservation, and all issues affecting the Hudson Valley. She is currently serving as the chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Legislative Women’s Caucus, and chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Welcome to intelligent life – Veteran’s issues (#4)

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

  • Melanie Whaley, Editor’s Message
  • Sajaa Ahmed – Spotlight 19 / Episode 39 Interview with Major Malia Du Mont
  • Karen Smythe / Thank You for Your Service
  • JTC / Day 921 / GOP Hypocrisy on Veterans
  • Rep. Antonio Delgado / Update on Work Done for Our Veterans
  • Assemblymember Didi Barrett / For Every Veteran, Dignity is an Essential Part of Services

Please email us ( with any comments; we would love to hear from you. Thank you for staying with us! If you do not yet receive our emails you can signup HERE

Welcome to intelligent life – THE ENVIRONMENT (#3)

Welcome to intelligent life – EDUCATION (#2)

Welcome to intelligent life (#1)

The theme for this month’s eblast reflects Women’s History Month.

46 Days – Another Ex-Insider Blasts Trump

Mike Pence’s top Covid deputy Olivia Troye resigned two months ago and gave a blistering warning about Trump in a video released yesterday. Troye, a life-long Republican, said that working in the White House was terrifying and stated that Trump failed in his response to the pandemic:

If the president had taken this virus seriously, or if he had actually made an effort to tell how serious it was, he would have slowed the virus spread, he would have saved lives.

She went on to recall a Covid task force meeting where Trump insulted his voters while talking about his rallies:

Maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people. 

The video, produced by Republican Voters Against Trump, went viral and was featured across cable news last night. Troye, an insider close to Pence, had a lot of contact with Trump, so her insistence that Trump is unfit for the job carries a lot of weight. And the life-long Republican is voting for Biden. Here’s the video:

We also learned yesterday that recent guidance on Covid from the CDC advising people with no symptoms that they didn’t need to get tested came not from CDC doctors but from political operatives at the HHS, who skipped the traditional CDC advisory review process. In other words, the American public has been receiving medical advice “from the CDC” that comes from Trump cronies, not highly respected doctors and immunologists. It’s an outrageous corruption of yet another vaunted American institution by the shameless Trump regime, especially disturbing and dangerous that it’s happening in a time of mass sickness and death. According to MSNBC, the CDC is set to release more bogus guidance today coming from political hacks groveling to Trump’s whims rather than experts trying to save lives.

On a positive note, a Federal Judge yesterday issued a temporary injunction against the USPS and Postmaster Louis DeJoy ordering him to reverse the changes he’s made since taking office that have slowed mail delivery. The Judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service.” It’s notable that many of the most significant slowdowns have occurred in locations in swing states where vote margins are expected to be thin and mail-in voting is expected to play a large role. In other words, the slowdowns seem intentionally calculated to disrupt the 2020 election in Trump’s favor. The scope of the Judge’s injunction is national. Here’s coverage in the Washington Post:

Joe Biden held a town hall on CNN from Pennsylvania last night and his performance was excellent. He gave a lot of great, nuanced answers and seemed to have a great grasp on the important issues of the day. He also did a good job of aligning himself with working people and distancing himself from wealthy elites like Trump.

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

Have a peaceful and relaxing weekend. Autumn is in the air…

47 Days – Trump’s Bag Of Dirty Tricks

Election week is less than two months away, and the Trumpublican strategy is coming into view. A big part of their plan is to suppress as much of the vote as possible in swing states, and one way they’re already doing this is by suing to stop mail-in-voting and its mechanisms. For example, in Pennsylvania the Trump campaign is suing to stop the use of drop boxes to deliver absentee ballots. If successful, the move would force voters to pay more to mail their ballot and run the risk of it not arriving on time (because Trump has sabotaged the USPS) or force voters to risk going to the polls in person to vote, which some voters may be reluctant to do. Here’s an excellent article in The Nation on Trump’s legal assault on voting:

Notice that I used the phrase election week because it’s likely that we won’t get a certified result the night of the election, but rather will have to wait for at least a few days while absentee and mail-in ballots are counted. We need to adopt the phrase election week to properly frame expectations and not let Trump get away with the bogus and self-serving claim that the election has to be decided ON election day.

It’s also becoming clear that the Trump regime is planning to pull a double October surprise from their bag of dirty tricks. The first part will be orchestrated by corrupt AG William Barr, whose justice department will likely release–against department policy and longstanding tradition–an interim report by prosecutor John Durham on his investigation into the origins of the Mueller investigation. Barr has previously said that this report would contain “surprising and damaging” information, though at this point it will mostly serve as a blatant political stunt for Fox to rile Trump’s cult.

More alarming, however, is the growing likelihood that the Trump regime will soon release it’s long talked-about healthcare plan, Trump’s “beautiful plan” that’s supposed to replace the ACA (“Obamacare”). God only knows what kind of garbage it’s filled with, but it will serve as a powerful talking point for Trump in the conservative media bubble. This plan can’t be instituted by executive order. It would have to be funded and would require approval by both chambers of Congress, so the release of any “plan” would be pure election-year propaganda, so be prepared to engage with voters on the faults and deficiencies his “plan” will surely have. If the incompetent cronies who write his speeches and his legal filings are involved, it will be the usual dumpster-fire of a mess.

Corrupt AG Barr really went off the deep end this week, calling his own lower-level prosecutors at the DOJ “headhunters” for going after high-profile prosecutions in an effort to “amass glory.” Barr made clear that he has absolute power over all prosecutions in the DOJ, but his views are clearly those of a radical who considers the presidency above the law (as long as its filled by a Republican). He also said this week that protesters who engage in any sort of violence (a nebulous concept at best) should be charged with sedition, and he suggested that prosecutors look into charging the mayor of Seattle for her handling of protests in that city. Barr seems to be hoping to intimidate protesters in advance of Trump trying to steal the election. If Trump loses but refuses to leave, it’s likely that tens of thousands–perhaps millions–of protesters would show up in Washington, and Barr is looking for some way to forcefully thwart them. Throwing around the term sedition is an ugly move by an already disgraced partisan hack. As former prosecutor Joyce Vance noted last night on Twitter, “Voting against Trump isn’t plotting to overthrow the United States.”

Judging by the recent behavior of Trump and Barr, the next two months are only going to get more stressful and enraging. But we have to do everything in our power to get out the vote and make sure every vote counts.

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

48 Days – No Chance For Meaningful Action

Major news agencies yesterday picked up and corroborated reports that a nurse from an ICE detention facility in Georgia had filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that the facility had routinely sent women to a gynecologist who performed unnecessary procedures on them, including at least four–and perhaps many more–hysterectomies. The nurse and her lawyer appeared on several cable news shows and reporters covering the plight of detainees found other sources who confirmed that many of the female detainees were not fully aware or properly informed about what procedures they had been given by the gynecologist. Social media was outraged by the report, with some comparing the news to Nazi concentration camps and others lamenting how our nation had sunk so low that it was not only ripping children away from their mothers and caging them indefinitely, but was also forcing detained women to have hysterectomies. We will surely be hearing more about this abomination today.

It was also reported yesterday that HHS communications head Michael Caputo may lose his job in the wake of his unhinged rant against government scientists on Facebook. Among other things, Caputo told his “followers” that some scientists at HHS are in a secret resistance group and actively trying to kill him. He also insisted that Democrats would engage in armed revolt when Biden loses, so they should go out and buy ammunition. It’s hard to believe that such talk in Trump’s administration would lead to being fired, but Caputo isn’t out of a job yet.

We also saw the initial stages of the gulf coast landfall of hurricane Sally last night from the Florida panhandle into Alabama and Mississippi. The slow-moving storm is predicted to bring record rainfall and flooding to the three states, while record drought and high temperatures are still causing massive wildfires on the west coast, including horribly polluted air, some of which reached the Hudson Valley yesterday casting the sunset in a blood-red shade I’d never seen here before. These weather extremes are the latest indications that climate change is making every weather event worse. In addition, we learned this week that the ice shelves protecting massive glaciers in Antarctica are quickly melting and losing their structural integrity. Researchers say it won’t be long before the shelves fail and allow their giant glaciers to slide into the ocean, a process that could raise global sea levels by ten feet in a relatively short period of time. Meanwhile, Trump continues to deny global warming and make light of questions on the subject–as his regime moves at a frantic pace to sell oil and gas leases on public land. There will be no chance for meaningful action on climate as long as Trump remains in office.

But there is good news. Reports continue to circulate that the Trump campaign is short on cash. They’ve pulled back substantially on their TV advertising as Biden and his supporters are ramping up their ad buys in swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida. As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, Michael Bloomberg is spending at least $100-million in Florida to help Biden and groups like The Lincoln Project are focusing their social media efforts on the Latino community in Florida. The Lincoln Project also released an amazing ad mocking Trump for his recent Nevada rally. Here is a link:

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

49 Days – Cronies Creating Chaos

Assistant secretary of public affairs for HHS Michael Caputo, the mouthpiece of the organization, falsely claimed on Facebook that government scientists were members of a resistance engaging in “sedition” (by spreading facts and telling the truth, no doubt) and warned that Democrats are planning an armed insurrection when Trump wins, saying “when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin.” He urged his Facebook followers, “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to get hard.” Caputo went on to talk about being alone and seeing the long shadows on the ceiling of his apartment, saying his “mental health has definitely failed.” This is a truly dangerous form of projection the Trumpublicans are embracing, conjuring violent fantasies and stoking fear and division within their heavily armed, aggressive and paranoid ranks because they are losing the national debate on Covid, climate, and law and order. And of course Trump is the head cheerleader (he’s certainly not governing, spending the bulk of his time Tweeting, golfing and watching the Fox network in between his grotesque super-spreader hate-rallies).

At the same time it was reported that Trump crony Postmaster Louis DeJoy’s former company was given multiple non-competitive contracts by the USPS that may have overcharged taxpayers by $53-million versus contracts would have been competitively bid. DeJoy’s tenure has already been marred by the mail-slowdown scandal that persists to this day, and any legitimate president would have fired him long ago. An excellent investigation into the mail-delivery delays caused by DeJoy was published by the New York Times yesterday and shows just what an instant and dramatic negative effect DeJoy had on the efficiency and effectiveness of the USPS:

RawStory reported yesterday that the DeJoy slowdown has taken a huge toll on small businesses. A report from Michigan Senator Gary Peters noted that his office heard from more than 700 small businesses hurt by the slowdown. One small business owner said packages that used to take two, three or four days to be delivered were routinely taking three weeks and sometimes four, which is a devastating blow.

It was also reported yesterday that a whistleblower complaint alleged that an ICE detention center gave its female inmates “mass hysterectomies” for reasons that did not seem legitimate. This story has not yet been picked up by major media outlets, but if it proves accurate, it’s yet another grotesque and outrageous chapter in the inhumane and unAmerican scandal of our treatment of people at our borders, this time with a hint of Doctor Mengele. Keep an eye on this.

Biden’s edge in the FiveThirtyEight poll-of-polls predictor rose one point yesterday to a 76% chance of winning the election. Despite shrieking a message of panic and fear, Trump hasn’t been able to improve his polling since the Republican convention. Meanwhile, he was massively out-raised by Biden in August and had to pull TV ads from the air in Michigan and Pennsylvania, presumably to double up on the must-win state of Florida, where Bloomberg is now throwing his $100-million behind Biden. This is good.

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

50 Days – Violent Rhetoric and Demonizing

Trump held several rallies over the weekend and each was more disgusting and disturbing than the last. He started with an outdoor affair in North Carolina where he urged voters to vote twice, which is a felony in North Carolina. The NC State Attorney General even had to issue a warning later for voters to ignore Trump’s statement. Then yesterday he held a profoundly irresponsible indoor (“Super Spreader”) event in Nevada that was packed with supporters and went off the deep end in spewing hatred and spreading fear. Trump claimed the Democrats were going to “rig the election” and “destroy the suburbs,” and that they wanted to “lock law abiding Americans in their homes” and “indoctrinate your children with poisonous anti-American lies in school.” He also claimed he was “probably entitled” to get more than two terms because of the way “we were treated.” He called Joe Biden weak and pathetic and insisted Biden was controlled by “left-wing puppet masters.” He then insisted that Biden would “allow violent mobs to burn down your business.” He also talked about the man who the police killed in Portland who had allegedly been the killer of a right wing counter-protester weeks ago, saying “…the U.S. Marshals killed him. And I will tell you something, that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution when you have crime like this.” In other words, our police should pursue retribution in the form of extrajudicial killings rather than follow the law and work for justice.

Trump’s playbook is old but the tone is getting increasingly extreme. He’s openly stoking fear and hatred, and it’s not hard to imagine him soon insisting that Democrats have horns and forked tails. His kind of violent rhetoric and demonizing is exactly what happened in Rwanda and in Pol Pot’s Cambodia. I hate Trump and I despise what’s become of the Republican party, but we simply can’t cast the entire right wing of America as evil or irredeemable or less than human. That’s what Russia and China want us to do. That’s what every despot and dictator have done through human history. It’s wrong and deluded and unAmerican. And just because Trump is going there and demonizing huge swaths of America is all the more reason we must resist this kind of generalized dehumanization. It’s easy to fear Trump and his supporters but can’t let his sickness and Rupert Murdoch’s greedy fearmongering force us to embrace hatred. Otherwise, America is lost.

In addition to pushing back against hatred, we must also reckon with Trump’s other election strategy–setting the stage for a contested election. Trump is plainly saying that the only way he can lose is if the election is rigged by Democrats, but this flies in the face of months of polling data showing Biden in a consistent lead. has the most comprehensive polling aggregation system and they have Biden with a 75% chance of winning versus Trump with a 24% chance. Keep in mind that, unlike the 2016 election, there are far fewer undecideds to push those numbers around, so Trump will have a harder time changing the percentages. But 24% is still WAY too big for my comfort. More importantly, we have to use our social networks to talk about Biden’s lead and beat back on the unfounded and desperate fiction that the election will be rigged or that Trump is somehow ahead.

One bit of good news comes from the battleground state of Florida, where Biden holds a slender 3 point lead in the polls. Trump has already spent $35+million in TV ads there while Biden has only spent $20 million, and the Latino vote has shifted slightly toward Trump. But yesterday billionaire Michael Bloomberg announced that he was going to spend $100 million in Florida to defeat Trump, developing ads and messaging in English and Spanish. This has to have Trump and his team quaking in their boots. If Trump loses Florida, it will be nearly impossible for him to win the election.

Rep Delgado is having a “50 Days Out, All Hands on Deck Phone Bank” tonight from 6-8, which is an easy and impactful way to get involved and help our local congressional rep, so please join him if you can. Info and sign up here:

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”