We're watching the ABC town hall and I'm already annoyed at ABC for treating the vote and ensuing years like an exciting adventure they're covering breathlessly. This isn't sportsball, you assholes.
First question is about covid. Biden frames Trump hiding important facts from the community as cowardice and panic, which feels clever: turn around that "strongman" image Trump likes to project.
Stephanopoulos wants to pin Biden down on a lockdown yes/no. Biden is laying out guidance, money, protections, and George just wants a simplistic yes/no soundbite. SIGH.
Biden is pointing out there was a plan to send PPE to students and teachers that FEMA/Trump scrapped. He talks about upgrading ventilation systems in schools and how old they are.
He's laying out real (and correct) numbers and statistics, and thanking the questioners. Second question is from an Undecided Voter about whether he'd take a vaccine if it came out this year. (It's a bad question.)
Like, the questioner was trying to dig at Kamala. "Obviously it's not President TRUMP'S vaccine, he's not making it HIMSELF." 🙄 Biden is politely and gently reminding her of the time Trump encouraged people to inject bleach.
Biden is talking about how to distribute the vaccine, how to prioritize it, that there's still no distribution plan. He says he won't mandate the vaccine until we see clear numbers on how safe and helpful it is. "It depends on the nature of the vaccine."
He admits that he can't mandate a vaccine, but he can encourage people. This is true. (Businesses on the other hand can mandate their employees to take one or be fired, which is why we should be concerned about Trump rushing one out.)
Biden says presidential words matter and that it's important--that Trump mocked masks for long time and it was detrimental to public acceptance. He points out (THANK YOU) that children are getting the virus.
Biden points out that masks will save more lives than a vaccine coming out right now. Stephanopoulos bull-dozes on and Biden politely interrupts to tell the woman he hopes he answered her question. He has a GREAT manner with people.
Third question is from a Republican who wants the "Trump tax cuts" to be extended. Biden pulls out a card he carries with him and explains that he's not eliminating ALL the Trump tax cuts, just the ones that affect that top earners.
Oh, wow, Biden came with MATHS. He's laying out math clearly. Percentages, amounts, number of Fortune 500 companies not paying-- he's DOING MATH IN HIS HEAD. Jesus, I'm a DM and I can't do that.
Stephanopoulos, who is acting so unhelpful, asks whether taxes are wise when the economy is so weak right now. Biden is patiently explaining that taxing the rich HELPS the economy.
The Republican looks so miserable that his question wasn't a gotcha, but then Biden got him to smile. Impressive.
Biden is talking about building highways, charging stations- ooh, is he talking about the Green New Deal? I'm not quite sure.
Biden points out that he needs votes to do things in the Senate. Blasts executive orders and doing things by presidential fiat.
Fourth question is about young Black voters who may swing the election by not voting at all and not participating in a system that fails them. It's a good question.
Biden says that Black people have been deliberately hurt through a wealth gap that begins early. Talks about preschool, about day care, about education. Not sure he's landing this one. Number of words, social workers, counselors; same answers we've heard him give before.
If I can gauge the questioner's face, I don't think this is the answer he wanted, either. Idk if young Black voters are thinking about preschool choice as much as police brutality. There's a Maslow hierarchy of needs here.
Now he's talking about business start-ups. Talk about police, Joe! Talk about reparations! Gonna have to hit the phones after this.
He got a smile from the questioner. Talks about the SAME HOUSE, built in a white neighborhood vs. a Black neighborhood will cost different, will have insurance cost differences.
Stephanopoulos tries to cut Biden and asks the questioner if he "heard what he needed to hear". Questioner sounds disappointed. Biden waves Stephanopoulos off and tells a personal story. "The vast majority of people of color are behind an eight ball."
Talks about how if a Black man goes into a bank, he's going to be discriminated against. "We bailed those banks out, but they won't lend you money!" Stephanopoulos cuts him off.
Sixth question is about the Crime Bill and whether he'd stand by it today.
Sorry, you're right. This live-tweet will henceforth just be 47 tweets going YAY JOE.
Biden talks about how the Crime Bill has resulted in racial disparities where Black men are given harsher penalties and white men are given softer sentences or not charged at all.
Stephanopoulos asks how to change policing and the existing system. Biden wants a national study group made up of Black community and brown community members to create significant reforms that need to take place.
"Most cops don't like bad cops!" *wince* But he says cops won't turn in bad cops because they're retaliated against when they do. Talks about de-escalation and not shooting to kill. Neither I nor the questioner look thrilled.
Ten points for talking about how police are a danger to mentally ill people; minus several points for using the term "mentally off" which is kinda stigmatizing, Joe. Says we shouldn't defund cops, should mandate better policy.
Well, that was a flop for me for that answer, but:

(a) no surprises there, I think.
(b) it wasn't MY vote he needed to win.
(c) gonna hit the phones and PUSH HIM LEFT after the election.
I do like that his answers feel honest, even when they're not what I wanted to hear. I don't feel like he's promising people anything they want. These feel like the policies he intends to, yeah, implement. Which is one more reason I want to hit the phones.
Oh goody, we have a Supreme Court question. What will it be about? Questioner brings up ACB being pushed through at the last minute. Asks about "safeguards to ensure longterm balance" and about queer Americans. Bless him.
Biden points out that ACB has answered basically no questions and that the queer community has reason to be concerned, and that healthcare is in jeopardy. Yes.
He's right; it feels good to have it acknowledged on television. Stephanopoulos asks if a president is president for 4 years or not, and honestly shut the fuck up George? Are you The Republican Whisperer????
Biden points out that people are already voting and ACB's nomination should've been held. Stephanopoulos demands a yes/no on "court packing". (Expansion. Protection.)
Biden points out there are a LOT of options to constitutionally change and protect the court. He says he hasn't previously been a fan of packing because it's an expanding problem over time but that he needs to see how this goes and won't rule expansion out.
Stephanopoulos is just being awful.
Biden is slamming Republicans for having time to rush ACB through while Americans are starving for lack of covid relief. Stephanopoulos keeps trying to push him and Biden refuses to give him a pat answer.
"So you'll come out with a clear position before election day." Yes, once this ACB thing shakes out. Biden is handling himself well. Points out to the audience that he needs THEM to vote; "presidents come and go, justices stay."
I've lost count of questions, and this one was convoluted enough that I am not sure what the question was.
I think it was about how to "restore decorum" and whatnot. This is aimed at Republicans and Never Trumpers; *I* don't want decorum at all. I want Republicans to be treated like persona non grata.
Biden talks about how he'll need Republicans willing to work with him, and that's technically true until we get rid of gerrymandering, so okay. Yeah.
Stephanopoulos wants to know whether a "Biden DOJ" will go after Trump. Biden tells him, CLEARLY AND LOUDLY, that the DOJ is not his personal attack dog to go after HIS opponents and that he'll let the DOJ make their own judgments about who to go after.
I actually shouted YES and paused to rant that the DOJ is not the president's personal attack dog. Biden is tearing into Trump. "Oh, that woman accusing me of rape. Represent me. Represent ME." Yes.
"Personally represent me in the state of New York over my own tax returns. What's that about? How is that okay?" YES.
Next question is re: environment. A voter is laying out, clearly and correctly, how dangerous fracking is. Biden is listening intently. I do appreciate that.
Biden says he doesn't propose banning fracking, but acknowledges that it's dangerous and needs to be "managed very very well". Says the future rests in renewable energy.

(The President himself probably *can't* ban fracking. Like, unilaterally.)
Biden says renewable energy and new technologies for carbon capture are all his priorities. Seems to be implying that if we do that well enough, we don't NEED to frack. He wants net zero emissions of carbon from energy creation.
Reiterates that climate change and global warming is real and that we need to invest in jobs. Clean, new infrastructure. Energy transmission across the country so that everyone has energy, not some.
Stephanopoulos basically calls him a liar and says he's gonna ban fracking despite his denial. I- The president doesn't have that power? It's- okay.
Biden says no more tax breaks and subsidies for oil.
oh! Yes! Talks about setting aside land for conservation and carbon-capture. Or whatever the term is; he's excited and talking fast enough I can't type as fast as he's talking, lol. You can tell he cares about the subject.
He's very hyped about electric vehicles and Stephanopoulos cuts him off for adverts.
The next question is from a Trump voter. "Peace is breaking out all over the world." UH?
"Does President Trump's foreign policy deserve some credit?" THAT'S YOUR QUESTION?!?!?!
Biden explains all the many ways Trump's foreign policy has failed. "We're not trusted around the world." Brings up Trump is less trusted than Putin in international surveys.
Points out that the rise of totalitarian regimes all around the world, and Trump being "best friends" with authoritarian dictators isn't actually peace breaking out. "I would respectfully suggest NO."
Republican Guy looks miserable, as well he should.
Last question is from a first time voter. Her youngest daughter is trans. Oh. Oh. Oh. I'm crying.
She talks about all the many ways the Trump administration has endangered trans people. Biden: "I will flat out change the law. Eliminate his executive orders [that discriminate against trans people]". *sobs* yes. yes.
The WAY he said that. It- It's hard to explain, but he sounded outraged with her. "There should be ZERO DISCRIMINATION against trans people." Talks about trans women of color being murdered.
"There is no reason to suggest that ANY right should be denied your daughter." Says both her daughters (cis and trans) should have the same rights.
He doesn't get all the terminology perfect, but just hearing a presidential candidate say that, PROMISE, that we should have the same rights? I'm sobbing. Crying my eyes out.
I'm so glad they ended on that question. I'm so glad. Giving him a chance to promise us on television that WE. WILL. HAVE. THE. SAME. RIGHTS. AS. CIS. PEOPLE.
I can see why he has the America's Grandpa title locked down. He really does feel like a loving guy you could swap stories with at Thanksgiving and he might not know all the latest trans terminology but goddamn he will dance at your trans gay wedding. heh.
Wait, the townhall is still going-- oh! I guess that was the "last question" before commercial. Sorry! I'm still here!
"Hypothetically, if you lose" how will he push Trump to be a better person. Biden hesitates. "To be honest with you, I think that's very hard." I mean. Yeah.
I don't really understand this question. Does anyone seriously think Trump would take advice from a "loser" he beat? I'm puzzled so much.
Biden says he'll probably withdraw, go back to professoring, and go live in a diverse community in Delaware. Stephanopoulos asks what it means if he loses. "I hope it means I'm a bad candidate." He says he hopes it doesn't mean white supremacy has won, basically.
Says the country is populated by people who were brought here as slaves, indigenous people, "and everyone else was an immigrant." Is dancing around calling white supremacy shitty as fuck without using those exact words.
Stephanopoulos asks whether Biden will "demand" Trump take a covid test before the next debate. Biden carefully flips the framing: says HE took a test TONIGHT because he didn't want to get anyone HERE sick. THANK YOU.
(Stephanopoulos, do fucking better!)
Biden says it is basic decency to determine whether you're a threat to others. Talks about the guys at the cameras, the secret service members, he doesn't want to get them sick!
The town hall is over. I'm relieved to be done with Stephanopoulos, but actually weirdly disappointed--I was liking Biden's answers, overall. That was... I needed that. My heart is lighter than it was.
God. He swore up and down he would protect trans people and make sure we have the same rights as cis people. He did that. Yes. Please. Please. Please. Please.

I'm trans. My husband is trans. We need these protections.
Okay. Back to the text-banking. Sign up here for Texas, if you want to help me. joe.link/TXGOTV
The trans woman whose story Joe shared has endorsed him. 💕

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More from @AnaMardoll

16 Oct
I was supposed to work today but I have a sinus infection? I can't sleep because I have to be ready to answer the door for Reasons, so I'm going to do another #AnaWatches.
#AnaWatches It's tricky finding just the right movies for this sort of thing because I want something bad but, like, an actual movie that *tried* and wasn't just a parody like Sharknado. Not that I dislike Sharknado, by any means.
#AnaWatches I was going to try another movie about the Countess Bathory but alas the only other movie about her on Amazon isn't Prime-free. I would've expected more movies about her, to be honest.
Read 37 tweets
16 Oct
I have a lot of feelings about how one terrible person has so shaped our popular culture.
Things like how capital-T Trump has changed my feelings about the use of the lowercase-t trump word. I'll obsessively reword sentences to try to avoid the word.
Or we'll be watching an older movie like BACK TO THE FUTURE or SUPER MARIO BROS and Kissmate will be like "is this villain Trump??" and I'll explain how many 80s villains were deliberately modeled after the celebrity. (@AlexandraErin has talked about this!)
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
Having some sick and sad feelings this week about my bio family.
One of the things we ask in text banking is if folks could reach out to a few friends and family to remind THEM to vote. I was a little surprised by the question.
Because my family are all- well, we'll get there, and I don't have a lot of In Person friends because my disability hinders my social life. But a LOT of the people I've texted are very responsive to the question.
Read 9 tweets
15 Oct
Text-banking is fun but you get the occasional MAGA jerk and phew.
Like, on the one hand they're nothing compared to twitter trolls. But on the other hand, the woman who just gloated at me that she's going to take away my reproductive rights was... I needed a minute to breathe.
My "favorite" are the men who threaten to vote for Trump if "ya'll don't stop texting me" when there are multiple Get Out The Vote campaigns going on. Sorry our reproductive rights are blowing up your phone, Bob.
Read 6 tweets
15 Oct
Alright. I'm waiting for the text-bank to open, so it's time for an #AnaWatches a shitty Amazon Prime movie.
#AnaWatches This one is called THE BLOOD QUEEN. "Based on the story of Countess Bathory, a serial killer in 16th century Transylvania who supposedly killed hundreds. Yet, nobody knows of the terrible crimes being committed in the castle of the famous royalty." Nobody, huh?
#AnaWatches In addition to the movie summary, we get a wall of text when the movie opens: "What you are about to see is based on the true accounts of Countess Bathory, suspected of being one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. Immensely powerful,
Read 78 tweets
15 Oct




My god, I really did live my entire life thinking that Dark Ages people were different from us for believing they could stop plagues with magic, and here we are.

People think "outside" is a magical charm against covid!
"but my 1500-attendees superspreader event was OUTSIDE, I don't understand"
Read 4 tweets

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