Indivisible postcards to U.S. Senators

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OF LEAD GRAFFITI have always been politically aware, and given the current political climate along with the fact that we have a press, it is especially satisfying to bring the 2 together. 

One of Lead Graffiti’s favorite let’s-put-some-ink-on-paper projects is a 6" x 4" postcard every 3 weeks or so that we send to all members of the U.S. Senate. We also include some other people who are important to us or who follow our work with a touch of obsession.

We usually produce the cards on the spur of the moment using handset metal type when a good topic, a good line, or a good idea pops up. We do not know what happens when the postcard gets delivered, but we imagine smiles and frowns with a bit of eye-rolling. 

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To special recipients we contribute an extra 4¢ to the sentiment with an original 1958 “Freedom of the Press” stamp.

We print and we vote.

AND A LITTLE SOMETHING for history buffs who got this far.

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Join, or Die is a political cartoon, drawn by Benjamin Franklin and first published in his Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754. The original publication by the Gazette is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by a British colonist in America. It is a woodcut showing a snake cut into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initials of one of the American colonies or regions. New England was represented as one segment, rather than the four colonies it was at that time. Delaware was not listed separately as it was part of Pennsylvania. Georgia, however, was omitted completely. Thus, it has eight segments of snake rather than the traditional 13 colonies.

CARDS

The main element of the card is always done with handset metal type. The logos on the later cards are printed using photopolymer plates as I needed to make them just a little smaller and couldn't make the necessary adjustments using the limitations of metal type. We've never particularly been a purist about this, but we like the idea of doing the cards by hand.

The cards are in the reverse chronological order that we printed them. Newest ones are at the top.

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↟ Given that it seems as though some polititians aren't acting in the best interest of the position to which they've been elected, I thought a good, basic card to send all of the Senators was the oath they made when they took office.

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↟ I watched the movie Woman in Gold a week or so before getting the idea for this card. It got me to wondering how Germany felt as Hitler started to rise in power. It seems that some normally accepted American traditions are being trampled on and it has me clearly concerned.

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↟ I watch the news for probably a minimum of 2 hours a night. I don't feel like it seems that most Senators have much to do. At least they don't seem to be accomplishing much. I also don't count "going to a meeting" as accomplishing something. It is what you do with what comes from the meeting that is an accomplishment. Mainly with this card I wanted to make point #1 to the Democrats.

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↑ Ray's daughter, Terre, is currently moving to Austin, Texas from Brooklyn via Key West. Along her drive she went to the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. The museum and accompanying memorial is a project sponsored by the Equal Justice Initiative to focus attention on the history of racial inequality and economic injustice in the United States. Terre took us on a walking tour via her phone and the experience was overwhelming.

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↑ During a news broadcast one of the panelists said something to this effect and it caught our attention.

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↑ The Wells Fargo account fraud scandal was a controversy brought about by the creation of millions of fraudulent savings and checking accounts on behalf of Wells Fargo clients without their consent. Various regulatory bodies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), fined the company a combined $185 million as a result of the illegal activity. Losing that strikes us as a real blow.

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↑ In Alabama, Democrat Doug Jones won a special election over his scandal-scarred opponent, Roy Moore Democrats won and the Republicans didn't have to sit with Moore to remind them and the media of his past.

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↑ Most of the time I find people and companies that provide lots of money for political causes to be for things I generally oppose. The NRA has become one of those. Potential connections to Russia as a funnel for political donations is particularly bothersome. Generally, I would say that if Russia is for something, when I don't know which way to go, I would want to go the other way.

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↑ A news report on the financial support of the Koch brothers and the NRA left us with the impression that after taking such large amount of money It was hard to imagine how members of Congress could avoid being beholden to those donors. The idea was that Congress were slaves on those ships.

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↑ Trump's pledge to drain the swamp cannot possibly be ignored, given the clear nominations of so many persons of questionable character.

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↑ I'm not against guns or people's rights to own them. Even lots of them. The types of military-related and automatic guns bothers me. The inability to stop lunatics from getting them bothers me. The notion that you need to be able to fire dozens of rounds in one reload bothers me. Losing those options just doesn't seem like a major price to pay for the general right to bear arms.

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↑ I was starting to have the sense that there was no republican that I could vote for. It just seemed that ever path Trump went down I didn't want to follow.

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↑ Trump stated to Nato in 2018 that the U.S. was paying for anywhere from 70 to 90% of the cost but the actual amount is 22%. There are a 1000 like this.

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↑ Back in our early letterpress days we produced a greeting card series we called "Not" cards which were derived from words ending in "NT" where we would add an apostrophe between the letters. Ancien't & Distan't were two of them.

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↑ This card was fairly soon after category 5 hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. Trump barely mentioned the storm in the first few days and even attacked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz after she cried on television, “We are dying and you are killing us with the inefficiency.” Trump also said the mayors and “others in Puerto Rico…want everything to be done for them." There was also little acknowledgement of the scale of the death toll.

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↑ A recent poll recently stated only 61% of Americans knew the name of our national anthem. We wonder who they voted for.

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↑ This was card #1 and it was generally written about the Republican effort to abolish Obamacare and the apparent lack of concern for how to improve the lives of people who would be negatively affected with its removal.

The cards are in reverse chronological order. This was the first one written about the republican obsession with Obamacare while not providing a decent counter argument. I liked the detail if adding the rule under mean. I need to start doing that again.