511 Comments

Meantime, in Oregon, we have Senators Wyden and Merkley holding town halls in every county every year, in person or via Zoom. We have glorious vote-by-mail for every election. We get voter information pamphlets in the mail printed by local and state government with details about candidates and issues on the ballot. Most Oregonians work hard to defend and keep democracy in Oregon.

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Same in Colorado. Automatic Vote-by-mail . Information packets mailed to everyone. No proof of any election fraud. A great system.

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In VT, we have to request our mail-in ballots, but they work beautifully!

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Here in California (Orange County) have had mail-ballots for years and now can place in drop-off boxes within our local neighborhood and within 24 hours we receive an email from Registrar of Voters letting us know they have received our ballots. Isn’t it amazing that Red states “can’t” do that?

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

But that would just encourage registered voters to. . .vote. . .and trust the integrity of the election process!

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Deliberately “can’t”

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As a former Oregonian, where ballots are automatically mailed for every election, I must tell you that I have missed elections in my new state of Vermont because I cannot figure out which elections to request mail in ballots. Once registered, ballots come for some elections but not others. Please help me make this simple. (I have told county election officials, select board members Uncle Bernie, of my fraud-less Oregon experience, but there remains a belief that fraud will occur unless having re-registration.)

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What town are you in, Hope?

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Burlington x1 year.

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Well, welcome to Vermont! I have been here (from CA) for 34 years. I am not sure how Burlington does it, but in Putney you register to vote in your area, and then go to the poll, or town meeting to vote. Here, you need to can request an absentee ballot that will be mailed to you. They have a new, secure metal drop box in front of our town hall instead of the old trustworthy postal slot into a basket we used to use when the front door was locked It is a sad statement of our times that we have to worry about trust our any potential rascal neighbor to not meddle with voting ballots. Actually, I have never heard about any fraud here, but then again, I suppose that can be done very silently.

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Except somewhere in your state voters elected Lauren Boebert - close buddy and similar nutso of MTG. Sure hope there's a change in that District come November.

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And easily relegated (I fear) to the dumpster should the Big Arse Party take the election.

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As a fellow Coloradan, I wholeheartedly agree. In spite of "you know whos" making headlines...

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Don't know if there is a pay wall but this is for Georgia, definitely makes it harder to vote and Kemp legislators can throw out any ballot they decided isn't legitimate.https://www.ajc.com/politics/how-to-vote-absentee-in-georgia-printer-not-included/F6YCTXHGPJFJDNAHWFS5Y3NSOQ/?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_4075624

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Yep, paywall. Too bad.

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What’s a town hall? What’s voter information? Do senators do things other than showboat on tv? Wow.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

County Commissioners hold their meeting on the first Monday of the month at 9 AM. It is open to the public that for the most part is either on public assistance mostly because their brains have been fried while they are in high school or the elderly that have never been involved in any action of the community or have no means of transportation. Those that need to be at the meetings are working at 9 AM on the first Monday morning of the month. The County Commissioners can plan secretly to add a $25,000,000 plus addition to our jail until someone from the local newspaper happens to show up. We just happen to house ICE prisoners and the County Commissioners want to house more for the "money". The Republicans control our county. On the Primary Ballot in our county there are fifteen Democrats and 61 Republicans. This is Indiana. The only contested office for the Democrats is for United States Representative, District 8. They are running against one of our "Mr. No voters" uncontested Republican Larry D Bucshon. I don't believe I have heard anything from him since he won over Democrat Joe Donnelly a few years ago. I am on the ballot for County Treasurer. There is no Democrat running for the offices of Prosecuting Attorney, Auditor, Sheriff, Assessor, County Commissioner District 3, County Council District 1, 2, and 4. I now understand why. It takes money for advertising most of us do not have the money that it takes to win an election. Whatever I am able to spend it is doubtful that I can win. This has been happening for years. True Democrats have been pulling a Republican ballot because there is no one to vote for in the Primary. I want to "Win" for our "Democracy"! I am sure there are others like me in our county, but they can't leave their paying jobs to spend the time or the money that it takes. Thanks for listening to this 78-year-old scared woman!

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I am a ceramic artist and during the lockdown, I sold some work to a grandmother from Idaho. Somehow we got in conversation over the internet and it turns out that she, like you, was horrified to see what was happening in her state. I am haunted still by her comment, "I don't think there is a democrat left in Idaho and I am afraid for my grandchildren." This is not right. This is not fair. And this has to end.

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Amen! I have 2 daughters one here in Indiana and one in California and also only one granddaughter age soon to be 9 in July. The latest new is all Indiana Individuals that that reported for income tax purposes will have a $125.00 will soon be received as soon as May. It sure sounds like a Republican ploy to get the Republicans re-elected in November!

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I am sorry to read this, but not surprised since you are in my home state of Indiana. Sad to say even here in Oregon in my county, the commissioners are all wing nut Rs. None of them should be near a public office. One is also on the Salem-Keizer school board working hard to spread her hatred there. We also pay for three assistants, one for each, instituted a few years back to avoid public meeting laws. I once had an argument on Facebook with one of the former R commissioners who denied that he had ever held public office.

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Michele, both you and Laurie are right about Oregon. I once was a proud resident but lived in a county that, I swear, gave birth to the ridiculous radical right wing. I mean radical with beliefs based on racism, freedom to cut every tree that ever grew, and anti-abortion misogyny. At a school's parent conference for her child's truancy, the mother appeared in her robe and slippers. One county commissioner railed against civil unions (much less gay marriage) as being one step before homosexuals could marry their dogs and put them on their insurances. Trouble was, most residents agreed. I left.

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I can guess that county is not here in the Willamette Valley....sounds more like southern and eastern Oregon. I have to say that even here in Marion County our county commissioners are wing nuts who never saw a development they didn't love and have all the prejudices that hatred brings out. We belong to Marion County Friends, the local affiliate of 1000 Friends. The leading lights of the local group are land use watchdogs and the two of them keep track of everything including what's going on in enemy territory.

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I wonder if you ever were involved with the Oregon Land Use Laws of the late 1990's. I participated with Edward Sullivan's assistance in several LUBA contests. A wonderfully educational experience.

Instilled an even greater love of Oregon as the best state in the nation!

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Our commissioners are something else. You should have heard them supporting themselves and how they could shut public comments up! The local radio station was live on Facebook at a recent meeting. They had a deputy that is running for Sheriff escort one of the people that voice their objection out of the room and would not let her come back into the room. That was hard to watch!

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We have had certain political bodies try to do the same....the SK school board when it was run by regressives and now several school boards around the state firing superintendents who will not follow their decisions based on hatred. A lot of this last year was about mask mandates, but it also included policies targeting diversity.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_black_exclusion_laws

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/racist-history-portland/492035/

I had read years ago that Oregon was founded as a "whites-only" state -- which surprised me, since I, too, had always heard of Portland as very "progressive." So from its founding (as a state) onward, there has apparently been a strain of the purest-white of white racism in Oregon.

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Joseph, Oregon tried to enter the Union as a slave-holding state when it was formed. The county that I mentioned above had a 24hr mandate for any person of color to leave. That was informally maintained into the 1990s. It also cleared out Indigenous people by removing them to reservations, despite there being small salmon-dependent tribes which had never molested a white settler let alone began warfare. In another county there was at least one episode of an attack on a settler family— a doctor and his wife— who were murdered during an outbreak of measles which had severely infested the tribe. The doctor was blamed for the previously unknown disease.

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In my home county in Indiana, black people could not stay overnight in the county seat, so Marian Anderson, when she came to sing at Goshen College, had to stay in Elkhart. The same was true in places in Oregon. For black students on their way north to Willamette U here in Salem, there was a caution about stopping in a certain town along I-5.

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Yes, it is progressive in places now, but not everywhere and not always.

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"We also pay for three assistants, one for each, instituted a few years back to avoid public meeting laws." How does this work to avoid public meeting laws? Assistants can't vote on issues before the Commission. Here in CA with legislative elective boards, there are aides assigned to meet with constituents on topic areas assigned to them. But the aides don't determine how the elected official will vote although there's probably influence "at second hand".

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No they can't, but they can meet to discuss without the commissioners and then come to an agreement and then the commissioners can meet with the outcome already decided and vote. They didn't have them before they got called out for having meetings with each other that were not public.

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In Indiana, could voters bring an initiative to have the time of the meeting changed to the evening?

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I am not sure! I will ask at our meeting on Tuesday evening next week!

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Good luck!

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Thank you!

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Democrats do.😊

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Indeed; hardly controversial, why does it seem like we're the exception rather than the rule?

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Maybe it’s our water?

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We are lucky indeed to live in Oregon. When I read this am's letter, I was glad that I was here and not in Missouri or Texas or any other regressive R state. R politicians proving every day that they are the party of death and destruction.

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Indeed they are, I smell them from my perch in FtW

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Lots of good hard work organizing in Oregon and great people —but, respectfully, you individually take home $1,827 each year in Oregon while places like New York where I hang my hat this year SEND you (individually broken down per capita) about $1,200 - so maybe if we weren’t working extra to subsidize your nice state, we could organize better too. NOT to suggest we become a house divided, but rather to call out smugness like “maybe it’s our water” when most of us are in the same struggle but laboring under vastly different conditions.

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Laura, as someone living between NY and OR, I could use an explanation of how you send money to OR. Perhaps you speak of money from federal taxes which is distributed to states? And how does this apply to the voting system in a state other than your own? Thank you.

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Hi Laura. I'd like to make a friendly request that you explain a little more. Where does the $1,827 figure come from, that you say Oregonians individually take home? Are you saying that that is the net per capita inflow of federal dollars into Oregon? Are you saying that New Yorkers alone (rather than all surplus federal tax-paying states combined, divided per capita) contribute about $1200/year per capita via their federal taxes, just to federal subsidies to Oregon, rather than to federal subsidies to all states that receive net federal subsidies, combined?

Would you share your sources for these numbers?

Cordially,

Elizabeth from Massachusetts

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I can give you a quick answer for this: 53% of Oregon's land is owned by the Federal government.

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Thank you and of course, that accounts for it. And I do not believe for a second that we have vote by mail, for example, because we receive federal money.

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Hi Laura, I'm sorry to learn from your other comment that as a recent transplant to NY State, you have not yet been able to get an in-state ID. I gather you've already looked on state websites to see if they offer a way to submit a selfie and utility bill or similar, without having to show up in person. Another thing you could try would be to phone the constituent services person in the office of your town's rep to the NY state legislature. They are there to untangle problems with state bureaucracy for constituents.

Re net payer vs net taker states with respect to federal dollars, here's why I questioned your numbers. You said the average NY resident pays about $1200 in federal taxes that go specifically to the state of Oregon. That seemed unlikely, so I looked it up. The controller who manages the budget for New York State says that per capita, NY residents have a federal taxes deficit of $1363.

https://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/2020/01/new-york-continues-send-more-federal-tax-dollars-washington-it-gets-return

That means NY residents pay $1363 more per capita in federal taxes than they get back in payments and value of services from the federal government. So the net per capita contribution of NY residents specifically to Oregon would be some much smaller fraction of $1363. Using numbers accurately and carefully helps all of us keep our stories grounded in facts.

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I wish all states could do what Oregon does to engage its residents and promote informed and easy voting.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

All Alaska residents who apply for the Permanent Fund Dividend are automatically registered to vote. Current Republican governor and legislature trying to revoke this. And everybody does it and it is online or in person.

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Ooooh..boy!! Let's just keep our eye on the ball here...geezzz.

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It is the opposite here in FL...with DeSantis as Governor...a true Nightmare...

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Same here in WA state. All of which tend to result in high voter participation, the one thing Republicans are adamantly against even if it reduces the number of Republicans voting. Maybe the Republicans power-holders are afraid even Republican voters are ready for responsible changes.

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In the spirit of true freedom, I'd like to see the option offered for everyone 18 or more years to request an American Citizen Voter Registration Card whereby anyone, based solely upon their current mailing address, may request a ballot to vote by mail or electronically or in person. All others can continue to jump hurdles, show proofs of residence and citizenship, and stand in line. An oldman can dream, can't he?

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Nice to hear of a vestige of American exceptionalism; it is being stomped into oblivion elsewhere. Be on the alert. MAGAts are metastasizing…

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Safes are for cracking.

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Virginia is easy too. As long as you have a valid ID it’s easy.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

Ah, there’s the rub. Middleaged white citizen moved to NYC March still don’t have my govt plastic ID from state because I work for a living, got a concussion, can’t get my body in space to photo id center. I’m not rich but am privileged by education, English-speaking ability, and more flexible time than some. If I can’t get one in a month and a half with my luck, how about those with more obstacles (like maybe jail time) who are now disenfranchised? System blows in most states and Rs are rolling in the tanks to make it worse. We need a Tank Man in every state as brave as Stacey Abrams in Georgia.

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How few think “there but for the grace of God go I” these days. It’s often, I got mine, screw you. True in Texas, on this day. Maybe not forever… go Beto

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Oh, God, yes! Republican attacks such as Hawley’s and Abbot’s strike me as being inspired by Putin’s decision to move on Ukraine.

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Possibly that, but also a lot of stupid and, since at least 2015, support and praise to finally run around in their pick-ups carrying their guns into Walmart. I was born in central Alabama and grew up in Georgia and these good old boys have been waiting a long time. It's a very terrifying situation.

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Yes, it is. Lots of stupid, as you said, also spite and malice. Reminds me of how Mark Twain portrayed such people in Huckleberry Finn, bringing guns to church in case their foes show up. I couldn’t believe it when that was legalized in this century.

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Every Senator holds a "Tank Man" badge. Too many seem to have lost it or are just too frightened to use it. Or.. are considering joining the little turds in the fishbowl.

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Latter

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Laurie Caplan

I am an Oregon Fighting Duck!

MY HAIR IS ON FIRE!

I am so very frustrated that the R’s are so successfully adept at making up their pure stinking bullshit lies about Democrats.

Every one of the R’s lies, (including the lies of the three supremely crooked “supremes” that do not belong on the BENCH), ALL further convinces the non-functioning globs of putrefying fat floating around in the rock hard cranial helmets of the growing number of voters who will stupidly vote against Democrats this November 8!

Why!?

The R’s are superior at grabbing the approval of their constituents who ALL lack….

While the Democrats are superior at creating benefits for ALL Americans!

Oddly Democrats choose to announce their triumphal successes with less than a modicum of their fanfare which is loss in the fog of the concerted deceitful efforts of the R’s most powerful strategies to defeat/block every Democratic legislation/nominee because the Democrats fear that anything more ostentatious might be offensive to their constituents!

WAKE UP DEMOCRATS!

WAKE UP AND SHOUT OUT LOUD ABOUT ALL OF THE R’s lies and efforts to block legislation that would alleviate the problems directly caused by the R’s lies and negative attacks upon Democratic efforts to come to the aid of ALL Americans.

SHOUT OUT LOUD REPEATEDLY, OFTEN, GRAPHICALLY, IMPACTFULLY.

Make use of the current nationally recognized “Voice” of authority, the most trusted commentator, announcing constant revelations thereby impeaching the “Honor” of the hypocritical R’s.

Engage every R in all various legal processes, making sure of full press coverage, e.g. “Trial By The Press”; specifically: enforce a prosecutorial civil action against R’s almost indiscriminately to stop them, turn public opinion against them repeatedly. November is only seven months away…What are “WE” waiting for!?

American Democracy is under besiegement by every lying, hypocritical, bigoted, loud mouth, rich, old, republican man!!

WHERE IS THE FIRE! WHERE IS THE LOVE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY!!!???

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Yes, we all need to fight including us old Oregon Ducks. I have tried to suggest to the Bernies locally that they need to point out the good things that Biden has done and is doing. Instead today we have 25 plus pages of donations on record for two of the D candidates for the new House district 6. Not going to read them. I will be interested in their legislative records and their policy statements. This focus on absolute purity makes me want to scream.

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Oh George, if only more Americans shared your passion for democracy, if not your passion for capital letters. You could adapt your comment nicely into a letter to the editor (LTE) for your local paper and the Oregonian. More of us need to be writing pro-democracy LTEs! Letters to the Editor in the Astorian (Astoria, Oregon's local paper) are among its most widely read features.

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George, don’t set your hair on fire 🔥 please. Your passion is admirable but a little extreme. Maybe you should move and try a new place. It might be therapeutic.

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Commendable indeed. I just hope they find time to encourage other 'leaders' to do the same.

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Isn’t it time we confront the uncomfortable truth that the Supreme Court has been taken over by extremists who are ignoring norms, precedents, and amendments to the Constitution? Their goal is to unravel the United States by ignoring decades and in some cases more than a century of settled law.

This majority is a clear and present danger to the hard-won rights that protect people everywhere. And to what end? Creation of authoritarian white “Christian” states?

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These extremists are NOT Christ followers. They are “Christian” in the sense that they are not Buddhist, Hindu, or another religion. I deplore the word “Christian” because it has been used a cover for so many hate fueled actions.

Question: who would enforce the SC decision to reinstate the stupid tRump era rule stopping states from protecting their environment? If a state ignored such a shadow docket decision, then what?!

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$10,000 rewards for armed citizens? The craziness of this moment is sad. We can't pass federal voting rights, we can't get rid of (or even tweak) filibuster, we can't add to the Supreme court...yeah, we need more noise to drown out the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, brain washing corporate talking heads.

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I am not sure that more noise is going to help anything. The Republican minority seems to be winning this culture war. They have become disruptors of the establishment at every turn in order to appeal to their biblical conservative base. Biden and other Democrats keep trying to appeal to the Republican base's sense of reason and to demonstrate that government can accomplish things that will improve living conditions. However, are the Democrats really listening to this base? Do they know what it is that they really want? Is the solution to this culture war just a case of educating this pathetic benighted minority community?

Because it is Easter week and we are talking about the Republican base's desire to create a "Christian state", it might be of interest to read about one progressive nun's experience of trying to listen to those across the political divide in order to find out what it is that they are looking for, how are they actually processing the craziness of the moment, and how possible is it to find common ground which, she assumed, is something we are all looking for. Is it? Here is what she found: https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/what-ive-learned-lenten-practice-listening-people-who-disagree-me?utm_source=NCR+List&utm_campaign=e69d08aefa-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2022_04_11_10_07&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6981ecb02e-e69d08aefa-230532518

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That is an interesting read. I have had moderate "success" in talking with people who know me, and I am able to say that "when you vote with the intention of overturning Roe v. Wade and Obergfell v. Hodges, you are voting to tell me that I am less of a person because of who I am, and less deserving of the ability to live my life. On the occasions that I have engaged with people who either don't know me well, or dislike me, there is no success at all. What I have come to believe is that their world view is so influenced by their news sources and "belief space" that there is no way to reach common ground. I cannot negotiate with someone who does not see me as a valid person with the expectation of equal protection under the law.

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Won't let me like this, but one up vote for you this am. I watched some of the video of the regressive protesters this week in front of one of the school district buildings and they were full of arrogance and self-righteousness and determined to be as offensive as possible. I heard the person filming who was a counter-protester say don't touch me.

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Hearts, Ally, many hearts!

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Ha.. PM, re: "the biblical conservative base" ....! Good article, you've summed it up in so few words. No wonder so many young people are questioning the "religious" nonsense. "under god"..(?)..YGTBSM! Huh?

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Like this mad Russian, from mad texan

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The cult has no ears

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The good Sister’s efforts are applauded however the pastor interviewed wants to impose his version of Sharia law in our country! No compromise n in that person’s mind!

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Thank you for posting this, though it makes my heart break a little more.

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Thanks pm.❤

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Their moral high ground is Rupert on stilts, but with a Megaphone that is a siren song for greed and power.

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Easy now JennSH, "they" are truly (ask one) christians, and wholly 'under god' where they find clear reason for their action(s)...aaarrrrghhhh! Like you, I too deplore the word. But, the Big aRse Party see's the use of religion to obtain their goal(s). The implications are insidious.

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Ah Jenn… a River in one state only flows to the border of that state then stops!! Every right wing nut knows that! 🥺

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W/Dickie knew that

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Hope some do it

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I completely agree. Before the 2016 election I thought Democrats should have emphasized what electing Trump would mean for the USSC - never dreaming he would get three confirmed thanks to McConnell. And call today’s Court ‘Alito’s Revenge’ for 2005.

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That was my argument to everyone; the Bernie Bros who proudly sat out the election and still today want to burn it all down and start over. It was my argument to my "I just don't like her" friends.

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Yes, they do and when I said something to one of them, I was "toxic". They want everyone they support to check all the boxes and yesterday one of them was upset because a person running who has a splendid progressive record had the support of a fellow city council member that she does not like. To his credit the candidate answered that he was running on his record, not someone else's.

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It's important to remember that the conservative justices are all Catholic either by family of birth or conversion (Justice Thomas). A wealthy conservative Catholic fringe is very much behind their nominations. That is not to say all Catholics are conservative or blinded by their beliefs. Nevertheless, the justices are heavily prone to be anti-abortion, pro-authoritarian (as in "Constitutional Originalists")and absurdly in fealty to this movement. Opus Dei figures heavily. To me, this is an egregious attempt to move our government and country in a direction most of us think is undemocratic and unAmerican.

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Well said. You may be interested in the report at this link:

https://www.christiansagainstchristiannationalism.org/jan6report

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

Thanks for the link. The following is from the introduction and makes clear that these so-called Christians want to take away the freedom of millions of people: "Standing against Christian nationalism is standing up for everyone’s religious freedom — the freedom to practice any faith or no faith without unnecessary interference by government."

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exactly the plan man, Mitch made it so, with apologies to none

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You hit several nails right square on the head. But, those "extremists"? What 'bugs' them?

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He needs a megaphone, we have fighters, but they have liars, money, no scruples, and a white “god” on their side.

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White? Are you sure?

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I heard Beto o’Rourke speak today. I am supporting him however I can even though I live in Oregon. He needs to replace Abbott!! Full Stop!!

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Thanks, we need the help. It’s hard waking up every day in the State of Texas

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You inspired me to donate to O’Rourke. Thanks!

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That means a lot. He is a good guy, I have been following him since his 2018 campaign against Ted Cruz. I voted Republican until then. Hard to admit but it’s the truth. Beto change they way I see things and I listened to every Town Hall I could tune into. Thanks 🙏

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Wow, that’s an amazing story!

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Each day my email is filled with requests for donations to various Democratic candidates' campaigns. The two to which I send $$$ to are those of Beto O'Rourke and Val Demings, whose Republican opponents must be voted out of office.

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So many, so little money, Beto, Val, Mark K., and the list goes on. Texas has a slew…

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

Abbott & DeSantis are in a race to the bottom! I'm supporting Nikki Fried for Governor and she'll need all the help she can get!

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Part of the problem is bad policy on the Democratic side. (We don’t always get it right!) Greg Abbott is pushing back against ending Title 42, the ability to send border jumpers back into Mexico for good reason, even if he’s going about it in a terrible way. The NYT reported March 29 that Customs and Border Protection said that it expects to encounter as many as 18,000 illegal border crossers a day once Title 42 ends. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/29/us/politics/title-42-us-border-crossings.html

That’s 180,000 every ten days, 1,000,000 (one million) every 60 days, and 6 million annually, with probably at least half coming into Texas. This is a great way to make both American workers, and current immigrant workers suffer. An oversupply of cheap labor—which this would quickly generate—would cause workers’ wages to tank, and would kill our (Democrats’) chances of retaining the House and Senate.

Bear in mind that Biden gets his worst marks policy-wise on immigration, and that Trump gained Hispanic votes in 2020, because of worries about ***too much*** immigration flooding the cheap labor market.

In fact, there is new book out on this very subject: Back of the Hiring Line: A 200-year History of Immigration Surges, Employer Bias, and Depression of Black Wealth. This scholarly, yet highly readable book—which I mailed to HCR several months ago, and which an eminent economist told my brother is solid—not that he needed to be told, as it’s obvious from reading it—covers the relevant academic economic history, along with statements by Black leaders, beginning with Frederick Douglas, whose sons were downwardly mobile because of mass immigration, Black periodicals, and government commissions on immigration reform—all of which recommended substantial reductions in immigration to ensure decent wages (296 footnotes). (The book is $9 on Amazon.)

Six Democratic Senators, including Mark Kelly (AZ), Maggie Hassan (NH), Raphael Warnock (GA) and Jon Tester (MT), as well as Manchin and Sinema have pushed back against lifting Title 42. Kelly, Warnock and Hassan are up for re-election this year. Chaos at the border is certainly a great way for the Democrats to shoot ourselves in both feet.

Of course, Title 42 isn’t a great way to stem the flow. So Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Cal.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have introduced mandatory E-Verify bills into the House (H.R.78) and Senate (S.71) respectively.

E-Verify would stem the flow. If they can’t get jobs, they won’t come. There is no good reason not to pass E-Verify. It is mandatory in a handful of states, and millions of companies use it voluntarily. The only reason not to pass it is so that illegal immigrants can get jobs. Our failure to address the problem contributes to making it less likely Democrats will maintain control of the House and Senate.

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I wonder, if Title 42 is lifted, won't there also be more people to fill private prisons and detention centers? When himself came to rally in Arizona, the meeting was held in Florence, Az. I wondered why not Phoenix, when I remembered, and re researched who was doing a lot of funding for he and their candidates...Florence is prison central.

Mainstream media rarely, if ever, connects these dots. Arizona has one of the highest number of prisons, it next to the lowest in funding education. Jan Brewer, ex governor and her cronies were all hooked into the prison industry and got HB 1070 passed. Sundt and others built detention centers all over the state. They seemed to have faded from public view, but this story seems to me to be a big one.

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I don't know. I've heard a lot of times people who cross the southern border sometimes get flown or bussed elsewhere in the country, but have not kept up with that. There certainly is a huge prison industry, but I suspect it's aimed more at Americans than illegal immigrants. The people responsible for their gettign let in don't want them imprisoned.

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He’s on my revolving donation list

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Can you share,a link to donate to Beto?

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Karen beat me to it! There's a lesson here somewhere. Hope others visit that site and donate! Defeating Abbott is a job for ALL Amerians ... as will be defeating DeSantis, once Florida's usually bumbling Democrats decide on a candidate among Fried, Crist, or Taddeo, all fine alternatives.

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https://betoorourke.com/

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Donation done! Thank you!

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Do Texas residents know what Abbott is doing? Are Texas journalists reporting on his cynical use of government power? If people are siloed in the news they take in, how can Abbott's opponents get their message out? Most important, do Texans care?

Same questions for Missouri residents about Josh Hawley.

Same questions for Americans supporting Boebert, Gosar, Greene, Cruz, and other conspiracy promoters and demagogues in office.

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Laurie, many Texas residents are in "Belief Space". In that space, three or four things are true and easy to believe.

Abbot stands for Christianity and family values.

Abbot stands for white people who are under attack.

Abbott stands for no state taxes.

Abbott is a Godly white man.

Now, it matters not what Abbot actually does because exactly ZERO of that information will penetrate the folks in Texas "Belief Space".

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Blammo., good shot Mike.. you blew that empt jar of pecans right off the fence-post.

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Texan here and, yes, those of us who pay attention know what Abbott’s real motive is. He’s after TFG’s base. The ones who watch only Fox, NewsMax and OANN for their “news”.

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How can ANYONE support Josh Hawley? I mean, in sufficient numbers to elect him?

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75 million for Trump. 81 million for Biden. It’s a cat fight. The people holding on for dear life to the society where whites and men and straights and Christians stay in charge will vote for anyone on their side, including the psychos like Hawley and djt and all the rest. And Putin. Another psychopath holding on to the past, the old Soviet Union.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

Just an observation about statistics:

Straights will, just by basic statistics, be the majority in government because they are, statistically, the vast majority of the population.

UNLESS, non-straights decide to do like Hawley and prostitute themselves for corporations and THEN?

They can be 100% of the government.

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Make no mistake...,the "old Soviet Union" built on Communist repression is still with us, but unlike The Hotel California, you can't "check out"...ever.

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Money. Josh Hawley is well funded by rich corporations who very much like him because he is a true prostitute.

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Mîke,

Perfect word choice.

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Maybe it's time he really got F....d..., in public. Sorry, just had to throw this in since you called him a "true prostitute".

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Don’t forget he’s doing it in the name of god!

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Missourian here, although I don't shout that proudly. How in the hell did he beat Claire McCaskill! He wasn't so "out there" as he has been since elected when running. God and white people, that's his platform. Ever since he was elected, he's been running for president! He needs to crawl back under the rock he came out from under!

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Hawley's election is an example of the Achilles heel of democracy. All across America, Republican campaigns are aimed at that target. That's how these people get elected by voters who, to use a quote from an old professor of mine, 'can't tell the difference between beans and split popcorn.' That has to be fixed, and to prevent that from happening, Republicans try to weaken public schools in many States. Without education, democracy is kaput.

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How can the democrats fix it? The republicans aren’t a political party anymore, they’re a cult. Their members are brainwashed. Unless the Dems do a “Jim Jones” on them, there’s no getting through. Even though a great majority of them enjoy the fruits of social programs, they think they’re against social programs. Brainwashing at its finest!

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Popular Democrats (Klobuchar, Schiff, Bennet, Booker, even VP Harris) must get out on the road, speaking to large groups, getting media coverage, shaking hands and touting the Democratic programs that benefit all Americans. Not just once in a while, but everyday from now until Nov. 8. Simply reacting to Republican anti-democratic behavior isn't enough.

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But any opening act will scream inflation and dirty, lazy immigrants. It’s not just Fox anymore

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How is he a senator from MO when he doesn't even live there?

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With the "president" that came from under the same rock.

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That's what it looks like from here, that he intends to make a run.

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Money

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Apr 15, 2022·edited Apr 15, 2022

I so agree, yet he seems to me to be a very dangerous candidate. There is huge money supporting him in Missouri out of Columbia alone. He attacks on the premise that we aren't doing enough for the Ukraine, yet right now, he is funded in part by the cronies of the Federalist Society, the Koch network, while the Koch team refuses to pull out of Russia. Ugh. This really should be called out by at least NPR. But the Koch foundation donates to their programming, so maybe their "hands are tied"

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Yes we know what Abbott is doing. He, Paxton and Dan Patrick are evil SOB’s .

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Oh we know but believe me its a strange place in NORTH TEXAS.............

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I concur. I ditched the Ft Worth Star Telegram when they crowed about hiring six new conservative opinion writers. Surprisingly, the Dallas Morning News is more like The Houston Chronicle which I knew and loved from years ago.

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Seems the Kardashians get more attention, puke

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I would encourage everyone in Texas and elsewhere to support Beto O'Rourke for Governor of Texas. And vote the Republicans out of the state legislature so Beto's administration can move forward and restore the rights of Texas women and LGQBTs.

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It’s a no-brainer. Unless you’re a brain dead Republican, and all you care about is keeping whites and men in charge. Then you’re going to vote for any old garbage, as long as they’re in your camp. That’s why the Republican party has the most stupid people in the country. Don’t take my word for it, just notice who the pollsters identify as supporting the Fred Flintstone society.

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Hi, Roland! I’ve missed you recently. Hope all’s well.

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Why didn't they support him last time? He's a good man. Isn't that what they want? Or don't they know what that means?

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Beto came within 3% of beating Cruz so there were plenty of people who voted for him and a huge number of highly motivated and fired-up people who worked their asses off town by town to get out the vote. So please don't make generalizations/accusations like Texans don't know what a good man is. So very unhelpful.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

I second that. I spent much time in Texas driving a big truck to every city and town big enough to use toilet paper and eat Tony’s pizza. You will never meet kinder more hospitable people anywhere in the nation.

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Thank you SO much for helping us out. I am not a native Texan (I'm a proud Virginian) but I lived here since 1985 and I intend to give Beto's campaign as much time and energy as I can! I think we can do it this time.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

Yer welcome and I wish you Joy. Like the old song said : They’ve plowed and fenced my cattle range and the leaders now are all so strange.

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Joy, that's not what I said. I am a friend.

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Our definition of "good" is too tolerant and forward thinking for bigots and haters. No, many of them don't want our version of "good". We have relatives in Texas who I fear for.

But here's the thing. Our wonderful open minded relatives are not alone. And maybe, just maybe the silent folks will have had enough of Abbott's insanity. Somebody should buy a little island for Abbott and DeSantis to live on - they can compete at the annual bigotry fair.

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Beto came so close to beating Cruz that he made people feel it was possible to beat Republicans in a Texas moving toward purple. He pulled up a lot of candidates with his strong showing and helped a few win their races. I congratulated him and told he was just one election away from a purple Texas where he would win.

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Yes. Perfect analysis.

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This is about maintaining the American caste system. It is pure and simple. The top dogs are doing anything to take full, blatant power now. As Fiona said, this has been in the making since Reagan.

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❤️

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Last time Beto was running for senator. He almost won... Almost sadly

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And his demeanour was impeccable.

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Also the Republicans in this state REALIZED they had problems so THEY GERRYMANDERED DISTRICTS HERE IN TEXAS to solve those democratic issues

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That is what I am wondering—they are not beyond rigging or buying votes with favors. Remember those "hanging chads" in Florida many years ago...Betcha Gore really won. He behaved like a gentleman, despite. Time for non-rethugs to speak out loudly to save this country. Time for justice to be served promptly. ...or our bell will be cracked in two by the Party of Sedition.

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More whites, fewer Mexicans, only straights. That side votes Republican. That side will not vote for Beto.

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No hope, then?

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Our side has already won the battle. Texas is just one of the laggards, they’ll get there. Give it time. If he hangs in there, Beto will be their governor eventually.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

Roland, I wish I could agree with you. I really do.

But, it will be a slog for O'Rourke among native Texans. Texas has one of the largest international populations in the world in Harris County though.

But, post Gerrymandering I think Harris county counts as 1 voting block.

So, I doubt, very much, Beto ever wins a statewide office in Texas.

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So get yourself down here and work for Beto. That would be more helpful for us than negativity on this comment board. Beto is at 40%, Abbott at 42%. That's why he's pulling stunts like ordering Texas inspections of trucks at the Mexican border.

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He's young. (And thanks for the smile).

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Hope! Recent polling shows a competitive race, 42-40%. Cruz beat O’Rourke 51-48, and that’s very close against an incumbent, even if the incumbent is as unlikeable as Cruz. Looks like O’Rourke’s numbers are climbing (and maybe that’s why Abbot pulled this stupid stunt, which will hopefully backfire on him). They can’t gerrymander statewide races. These polls and results show that even states we think of as deep red (my own Ohio comes to mind) are really purple, even if the divide is really urban/rural. Simple demographic trends are on our side, as cities gain population. Maybe not this time, but soon, an O’Rourke will win. If we still have free and fair elections, that is.

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Anne-Louise,

"They" THINK they know what that is, without a doubt. And, in their belief space, the "good man" is Abbott.

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I'm hoping that the economic losses inflicted on so many businesses in Texas by the governor's idiotic "inspection boondoggle" at the border will turn more than a few toward Beto. I live in CA but donating to Beto's campaign.

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Abbott is sure walking it back as the economic impact made so many people mad at him. The publicity stunt backfired on him. Good!

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Right on, Cathy! Thank

you for being completely invested in bettering TX 💙 and beyond. Beto has my support.

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!!!!!!! Beto is my choice..

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Cathy,

O'Rourke's wikipedia page does him no favors. He must not be managing it well.

From that page, it looks to me like he is just one more rich, white, party boy trying to avoid real work by going into politics.

I would say he has no chance in Texas having grown up there. At least not with native Texans.

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Mike, Texas is changing. Native Texans are now in the minority. Lots of Californians coming here to flee the fires. The Hispanic population was 95% of the population growth in Texas in the past 10 years. Even with gerrymandering I believe O'Rourke can win. O'Rourke is going to have the Second Amendment folks against him, but Abbott will have all the non-subserviant women against him most especially if SCOTUS decimates Roe v. Wade. Abbott in response to the "heartless" anti-abortion bill said his top priority was to eliminate rape in Texas. Would love to get on one of his Townhall's and ask him how that's coming! In my opinion, the only effective punishment for rape is penectomy.

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Wikipedia is not an authoritative source because anyone can write a Wikipedia article. As a school librarian, I knew it was big trouble. Students started quoting it immediately and staff had to stop it. How I wish for the days of the old ad-free non-commercial internet! Gophers, spiders and all.

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Gigi, I suspect Mike's point about the Beto O'Rourke Wikipedia page that casts him in a bad light is that his campaign should fix it because too many Americans and Texans don't have the critical thinking skills to understand that Wikipedia is not a reliable information source. Beto's campaign shouldn't be neglecting his page and letting Abbott trolls turn it into propaganda.

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I absolutely agree Elizabeth M. I assumed that someone on his staff or maybe Beto personally reads LFAA since they are such savvy campaigners. Then I got lost in a good-old-days reverie. Thanks to you and Mike for making the point.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

That, Mike, in my opinion is a ridiculous response to Cathy who is one our leading “Texas” voices.

Go Beto. Go Spirit of Ann Richards!

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I am saying this tongue-in-cheek (and if Wiki is accurate). All the rethuglican "rich, white, party boys trying to avoid real work by going into politics" made it into top levels of our government and SCOTUS. By those markers, Beto, should fit in...maybe he does not like beer? What do you think it is? ;-)

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"Hawley is not the only Republican these days operating in bad faith."

These days?

At least, ever since Mitch McConnell branded the GOP as the Party of No, Republicans have been operating in bad faith. One can also argue that all GOP justices embracing 'originalism' are operating in bad faith. As strange as it sounds, Richard Nixon may be the last Republican president to act in good faith regarding the functions of the executive branch.

That accounts for all three branches.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

Ronald Reagan routinely operated in "bad faith".

In fact, he was the first American President to laugh at the truth openly and blatantly.

Remember: Reagan broke a congressional law by selling weapons, ILLEGALLY, to Iranians while we were simultananeously selling weapons to Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war.

Then, he routed that money (probably to himself) and some bloodthirsty dictator in Latin America someplace (I don't remember).

And, he got off scott free with his rosy faced babbling.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Contra_affair

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Exactly! Trump is Reagan writ large and writ vulgar. RR cynically dog-whistled racism, Trump celebrates racism.

GHW Bush was complicit in Iran Contra. And Bill Barr made his GOP bones burying the bodies and getting the crooks off the hook. The reason we got Barr as GOP retread to clean up after DT.

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I had horrible financial experiences when Reagan was president

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😅😣😖😫😩

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Nicaragua

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I believe it was Newt Gingrich who first openly proclaimed the Republican party’s only job was to say no. His contributions to accelerating the rot too often get drowned out by more recent crimes against democracy.

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I'm so nostalgic for Nixon when I think about these modern jokers, uh, GOPers

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Strange world, and Roger Stone’s stated goal is that no other Republican president has to suffer like Dickie did.

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I heard he was a convicted felon soon to rejoin trumps troupe at the carnival.

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I’m sitting in my living room reading today’s Letter filled with rage over the malevolent, baseless and deliberate sabotage of our government and society and even more anger over my sense of impotence to do anything about it!

I read articles and blogs, not the least of which is Letters from an American, where cooler heads and well-informed voices tell us all is not lost, there is a path out of the morass we are drowning in. But, every day brings to light new Republican shenanigans and with Russia seeming to push as hard as it can to start WWIII, there is no end of delight the Republican “Squad” has in using the worst news to their best advantage.

Just as the world watches in horror as Russia commits heinous genocide and feels helpless to actively engage inside Ukraine, I feel equally helpless. I can attend protest rallies. I can organize events with speakers to inform people of the danger our country is in. I can try to raise money for my Congressional candidates. But, what can I do in my small state to mitigate or, preferably, stop the evil behavior of lawmakers in other, bigger states? I have no more money to donate to worthy candidates and causes. I am not in good enough physical health to be able to march or protest or even make a significant impact at an office organization.

Here I sit in my living room enraged with my helplessness and hopelessness, fearing that in my lifetime I will watch my beloved United States be trashed and destroyed by political malcontents.

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Fellow Americans, tonight’s excellent Letter features the trashy racism of Governor Abbott and Senator Hawley, the Supreme Court’s racist majority including the weird racist Black Justice married to a white racist cultist that supported the One Six eruption coup which he supported 1-8 attracting attention for his particular racial psychosis. Please note the adjective racist. All of it is about the 14th and emancipation. Our racist nation lynched Blacks till 1960 and only now has passed a law on lynching. Senator Hawley is well detailed in tonight’s Letter. That man, if that’s what he is, is a perfect white Black hating shit. He has feelings about endocrinology, too. Gender stuff gets votes from those whose own sexuality is apparently an issue, so they torture kids that are born with confusing status, much like wildlife affected by plastics and others that seem to lead to weird sexual identity in life, too. For dear Josh fist pumping Hawley, sexual orientation issues play well as he seeks sinecure among his fellow racists as legless Gov. Abbott seeks political dominion in a border state where well planned dysfunction can screw up the national economy of two nations, and that stuff, too, tickles the racist funny bone of racist Texas Republicans that want more Black economic slaves no matter what. For them abortion is an abortion and Oklahoma’s white racist governor is dancing to the same.

So, tonight’s Letter, Americans, is about the N word, about American racism, about the banal treatment of Judge now Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Hannah Arendt’s Banality of Evil applies.

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Feeling helpless and hopeless is understandable, but this, too, shall pass. Take a breath, then join a community of progressive action.

Here's some "medicine."

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=Awr9IkxU3VdiEGoASZJXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNncTEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3BpdnM-?p=you+raise+me+up&fr2=piv-web&fr=crmas_sfp#id=32&vid=47ddbd3412b5ed7483e1878f2654c131&action=view

Here's some Hubbell uplift:

"In response to my entreaty yesterday that Democratic fundraisers stop predicting the end of democracy in 2022 if Republicans take control of Congress, I received many thoughtful comments from readers. Here are two of my favorites:

'As my favorite Tang Dynasty poet, Du Fu wrote, “The country is broken but the mountains and rivers are still here.” Similarly, even though Trump was president, we went to bed at night, got up in the morning, ate our meals, and did what we had to do in our lives. We kept going. That’s how we defeated Trump and how we will defeat the GOP.'

Upon reading the line from Du Fu’s poem, my immediate reaction was, “We are the mountains and rivers.” If the nation suffers a period of instability, we must be the unchanging features on the landscape of democracy. We can do that, in part, by recognizing that most Americans will continue to live their lives in a decent and productive way despite political turmoil. Another reader wrote in the Comments section that

'We face neither the end of the world nor the end of democracy should Republicans and even DJT return to control of Congress or the White House. Would it be bad? Certainly, but the sun will come up the next day and resistance to authoritarianism and poor governing philosophies will continue.'

We will win if we have the fortitude to endure difficult times. Each of us can recall a time in our lives when we overcame adversity by putting one foot in front of the other until we had the strength to rise above our challenges. If we can do that in our personal lives, we can do that in the life of our democracy. Let us be the mountains and rivers that persist during tumultuous times."

https://roberthubbell.substack.com/p/persisting-during-challenging-times?s=r

Everyone has a talent to contribute. Ask Joe Trippi and The Union.

https://jointheunion.us/take-action/

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Hey, Ellie. Thank you for your perspective! Here's some more "medicine."

Climate: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/13/young-people-montana-fossil-fuels-climate-crisis?utm_term=6256b43a15ee68bda0b8e5be40c8f6b7&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUS&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTUS_email

More Climate: https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/weekly-planet/

Marc Elias' Democracy Docket: "At the exact moment the Associated Press called the election for Joe Biden, Rudy Giuliani was standing in a landscaping company’s parking lot ranting that the Pennsylvania election was 'a fraud, an absolute fraud.'

Just days later, appearing before a federal judge he was more circumspect. 'This is not a fraud case,' he admitted.

"After months of hearing Republicans cry fraud in parking lots, in legislative chambers and on Fox News, judges are now asking, 'where’s the fraud?'

"In my latest piece, 'Where’s the Fraud?' I show how, so far, the courts have held firm in rejecting these false claims of voter fraud. We saw this in Montana, Florida and Arkansas. They debunked the Big Lie and, at least for now, that is a victory for democracy worth celebrating: https://www.democracydocket.com/news/wheres-the-fraud/?emci=e16650be-a1ba-ec11-997e-281878b83d8a&emdi=c84e5040-21bb-ec11-997e-281878b83d8a&ceid=17269876

The "A" word: https://messaging-custom-newsletters.nytimes.com/template/oakv2?campaign_id=4&emc=edit_dk_20220412&instance_id=58253&nl=dealbook&productCode=DK&regi_id=103820600&segment_id=88193&te=1&uri=nyt%3A%2F%2Fnewsletter%2F3f1fe562-2ab1-56a5-8f41-3d27a741a043&user_id=c2f4f50a36dc90a23a014672d0f1f5b5

Unions Anyone?: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/apr/10/chris-smalls-amazon-union-staten-island

There's more good news around to share, but tomorrow's another day!

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Oooo. Ellie And Lynell right in a row with some well needed optimism with good ideas attached.

Salud!

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Hey, Christine! Who can't use a little optimism these days. Wishing you well.

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❤️

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Expect the unexpected. George Floyd was unexpected, and he awakened the world. President Zelensky was expected take the ticket out of Ukraine offered him by President Biden but he stayed in Ukraine. He and the Ukrainians have changed the world.

Change the world.

Life is a miracle. Existence is a miracle.

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"I need ammunition, not a ride" The quote of 2022, and an outstanding battle cry for the rest of us.

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Yup! That, and "Russian warship, go f*** yourself!"

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Agree dear Ally.

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Oh, Ellie, thank you for your beautiful and helpful words and deeds.

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Thanks Ellie. I just joined the Union and am excited to see where this might lead.

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Thank you.

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You're so not alone in what you're feeling, Betsy. And I appreciate the other respondents pointing out the reasons to keep hope's light alive, I really do. A good chunk of my despair is grounded in the situation of having a young teenage girl who, along with the rest of her generation. will soon inherit this sh*t show and have to negotiate a world that was already challenging for her gender and identity, and that's the tip of the iceberg of my dread. To sooth myself for ever briefer periods of time I map States where sanity and inclusiveness are hanging on by their fingernails, and that will be more survivable as climate change rolls over us even harder. SC is certainly NOT one of them. Its hard to widen my focus many days when I feel like I'm trying to defend myself and her from people who certainly aren't thinking of anything but greed, power, and dominance.

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And we need to get all the youth 18 and over to vote. This is their world and they can help change this trajectory. Adults need to support and encourage them for Change.

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That means, getting them registered to vote and teaching them how to vote. I know teens who do not know how to address and mail a letter. This is on us. To save our democracy "Teach your children well." (Sounds like it could be a song, no?

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