740 Comments

The Washington Post needs a history lesson from Professor Richardson. The paper is featuring Trump press person Kellyanne Conway, the woman who invented “alternative facts,” in a Virtual Program event on April 24. This is the women who lied, misinformed, and lied some more when she worked for the previous president. The WaPo is normalizing and legitimizing her abhorrent behavior while she was representing American policy and programs to America and the world.

The Washington Post led the way to uncover the crimes and immorality of the Nixon administration, and yet apparently believes Conway is worth our attention now. She frequently attacked the WaPo and other respectable news media, so the paper appears to be endorsing someone who forcefully denigrated a free and fair press.

I’m beyond disgusted with what appears to be this shameless pandering to Trump world (or the WaPo shareholders). I encourage subscribers to tell the WaPo what you think of this! Email the Opinions editor at David.Shipley@washpost.com. Send your LTE to letters@washpost.com.

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Agreed! How different is this than NBC’s hiring of former Republican Party Chair Rona McDaniel?

WaPo is sucking up. Conway is a con, too. Asking for her opinion is giving an election denier credence. All who buy those “alternative facts” and promulgate those lies are fueling a fire that could well scorch our way of life in facist flames. Would Ben Bradley have stood for such insanity at The Post? I think not.

Thanks for your astute comment.

And as always, HCR?

Wow.

It’s true. Reads so well. And you make it look easy in part because you are so prolific and timely.

This American is grateful for your incredible depth of understanding of our nation’s history, capacity to analyze — contrasting and comparing the past and the present — and to put together these concise, joy-to-read reports. They are a joy to read not because of subject matter — much of what’s reported is hard to stomach and that makes us appreciate you even more, that you report and do not shy away from the heartbreaking and infuriating news — but because of your clear and matter-of-fact style.

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We here all agree 100+%

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Carey, Well said. Sometimes not easy to stomach but it is still the first thing I go to every morning to read. I know I can trust what I am reading to be the truth and I love learning more about the history of our country.

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Jeanne, I read it before I went to bed, probably a mistake, as i was awake for awhile. Although I do not usually wish ill or death to people, I have to make an exception here. And it is also clear that he has dementia which is getting worse. So if he does prevail, someone else will actually be making decisions. Every American who is not in the cult should work to see this does not happen. I see many here who are already doing what they can. Also I knew pols are afraid, but now we find out various other entities are as well.

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Jeri, I don't know if you've seen this link that another Oregonian shared with us:

https://open.substack.com/pub/thinkbigpicture/p/john-gartner-trump-cognitive-decline?r=3hlhv&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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This is the first thorough account of Trump's dementia that I've seen. It's obvious he's quite far gone, and that if he were somehow to end up in the White House, his presidency would have to be managed by others, the way President Wilson's was managed by his wife, after his stroke.

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Unfortunately, in the case of Trumps "others" they are a lot more dangerous than Mrs. Wilson---or Melania. This is terrifying.

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trump fell asleep in the courtroom today. Can you imagine the frenzy the right would be displaying if Biden fell asleep in a meeting??

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We didn't have the 25th Amendment then... I hope we don't have the opportunity to exercise that option with fpotus.

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I've been writing down some trump quotes. He is incoherent and delusional. A whole paragraph is a run on sentence. Trees which fall down after 18 months and explode when they get too dry. I guess he forgot about the Sequoias. Exploding trees maybe when they get struck by lightning.

Ding, ding, Ding, ding boom whoosh boom. This is the sound of a nuclear weapon.

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Recently, as he grows more detached and erratic, I have wondered--surely his supporters see this, but there is NO ONE that could replace him as a candidate who would get the obscene and blind support as Trump....Well, they are pulling an unthinkable and unforgivable "hoax" on the USA, all citizens, AND the rest of the world. EVERYONE share this as far and wide as you can.

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You're making a damn good point. I sent it out to my email list of 70-plus, and I've posted it in a few comments sections.

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His supporters are probably actually rejoicing. All the easier to take over the government.

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Thanks for the link, Ally. It's the scariest thing I've read in a long time.

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I posted earlier that trump fell asleep in the courtroom today. Imagine if Biden snoozed in a meeting....

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The horror!!! <sarcasm font>

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Thank you, Ally. We surely don't want this barely functional brain controlling the fate of the world!

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Thanks so much for posting this---I'm sharing it one at a time to as many voters I can reach.

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I read this the other day and found it to be quite scary. Even the people's expressions sitting or standing behind him noticed it. Yet...

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Thank you, Ally House, for this link. Very important information. Easy to understand.

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I’d like to see Trump dead (by any cause) but do not think it would help much. We would still have upwards of 74 million people who think the Trump way is the right way, plus a thousand or so billionaires who would buy enough votes to give some other kleptocrat a 50-50 shot at the presidency.

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Jeanne, I also read Professor Richardson first thing in the morning. Sometimes I have to almost OD on coffee to help me through the day, knowing that Donald Trump may become our president.

HCR quoted Kennerly- "I mistakenly thought we were better than this."

I have mistakenly thought this for 8 years and am just totally amazed and disheartened by the number of people who are NOT better than this.

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I was shocked when Mitch McConnell made it clear that his one focus was on making sure that Obama wasn't President for more than one term -- that made me realize just how arrogant the bigots were to dare to say such a thing out loud, let alone think such a thing in this time after we've been through so much in trying to repair our country's racist mistakes. All that happened regarding Obama prior to McConnell's statement seemed like excessively rough electioneering actions, but his statement revealed the actual evil.

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Evil indeed!

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You and me both, Jeanne. I saw this had come out before I went to bed, and I know better than to read it before trying to sleep.

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I can’t read this before bed! I get so mad I sometimes scream because of the ignorance of Magets😤

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A suggestion--instead of screaming and getting yourself more upset, maybe call a friend to discuss it.

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Ally, I have enough trouble falling asleep. I even had a weird dream about that crazy man the other night. I try to take it all in in short spurts. Otherwise my body reacts very negatively to it all. I stopped trying to hear his voice and look at his face for a long time. I made an exception with the links Jay Kuo provided and it seems so obvious now. Even without the expert's explanation. I will tell as many people as possible about this and have already sent it out to others. I told my girlfriend about it last night. She didn't say much after I told her so I will send it to her also. She probably won't read it because she told me she "likes" T. I will have to continue that conversation with her at a later date because my stomach was not up to it.

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Add me to that list of grateful Americans!

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Well said. HCR is an intellectual asset to our nation. Her calm tone even while delivering reports on dramatic events, coupled with her wealth of footnotes each day is invaluable to me personally.

Let me make a pitch to this Ike minded community of some thousands of readers for two books: “Democracy Awakening” by HCR, and “Prequel” by Rachel Maddow. In Prequel, the book based on the eight episode podcast “Ultra” we learn that the period of the late 30’s / early 40’s had fascism penetration across America, including extension to our elected political representatives. This current outbreak of fascism is equally concerning because of the recognition that fealty to the oath of office is absent from those trusted to govern the country. In Democracy Awakening, we see both the threats and the hopes for salvaging this great American experiment.

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HCR's book sounds good. I think it's important to get the hopes for salvaging at the same time one reads about the threats.

Incidentally, the Gartner article on Trump's brain shows that he is truly becoming demented, and in a major way. He is no longer competent to run the country, and frankly, I think it would be a good idea to have a debate between him and Biden, because it would become quite obvious to all watching that he's demented. But if Trump were to win, others would manage his presidency, the way Edith Wilson managed her husband's presidency after he had a stroke. The problem is that they'd probably do a better job of setting up a fascist government than Trump would.

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David, in Heather’s preface she writes:

“This is a book about how a small group of people have tried to make us believe that our fundamental principles aren’t true. They have made war on American democracy by using language that served their interests, then led us toward authoritarianism by creating a disaffected population and promising to re-create an imagined past where those people could feel important again. As they took control, they falsely claimed they were following the nation’s true and natural laws.”

“This book is also the story of how democracy has persisted throughout our history despite the many attempts to undermine it. It is the story of the American people, especially those whom the powerful have tried to marginalize, who first backed the idea of equality and a government that defended it, and then, throughout history, have fought to expand that definition to create a government that can, once and for all, finally make it real.”

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I actually have the book, and will read it probably as soon as I finish the other two books I'm reading. Thanks Gary!

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David Holzman, metro Boston: it’s my bad: UNC-CH, first public university in the country vs Johnny come lately tobacco money Duke, of course!🤣

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And for those who wonder how we got here: “Democracy in Chains” by Nancy MacLean, Duke University professor, who assured this INC-CH graduate that she couldn’t get Stephen Miller’s degree rescinded.

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👍👍

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Thank you for suggestions to read more

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If Trump acts up in Court, the appropriate response would be to handcuff him and gag him like Black Panther Bobby Seale was in Judge Julious Hoffman’s court in Chicago in 1968.

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

This is true. Even better would be, once the Orange Abomination violates the gag order, as he surely will, would be for the judge to recommend he be imprisoned (rather than a meaningless fine) then bring him into court in an orange jumpsuit.

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

I agree, James. There is no reason any judge in a criminal court should have to put up with Trump's shit. Clearly, 10-15 thousand dollar fines will not prevent him from misbehaving. Maybe 2 weeks at Rikers Island will get Trump's attention.

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I don't know this as a fact, but behind the scenes, I bet that Trump's lawyers are seeking pre-trial intervention.

Meanwhile we need to sweep. https://www.fieldteam6.org/mission

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Daniel, I'm not sure what you mean by "pre-trial intervention". Does that mean his lawyers will beg the judge to warn Trump to shut the fuck up when it's not his turn to talk? This while suggesting that he will have Trump locked up during the trial if he doesn't shut up? Or does it mean they will make some nth frivolous argument to get the trial delayed? I'm not a lawyer and don't know all the jargon.

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What is “pre-trial intervention”?

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1. Offer alternative means for people to pay their debt to society that avoid incarceration and aim to set them back on the right path. I never practiced in NY, but in FL, Pa, we had an equivalent system, E.G. Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program is supervised by the ARD Chief, who reviews criminal cases for potential admission. Approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, generally for first-time offenders who have no prior criminal convictions or prior ARD dispositions. Was limited to nonviolent offenders. Bragg knows that 33 counts are misdemeanors that combined may/may not constitute a felony.

2. https://ww2.nycourts.gov/pretrial-release-data-33136

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That would cook his goose 😊

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Oh no! Can’t do that, it would infuriate the maga cult! Says the wimps!

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You nailed it, Louis! They don’t really have values of any kind other than a distorted concept of being ‘safe' for the time being…. Not explicitly complicit, but aware enough of the evil being done and not even trying to get help, much less trying to be of help.

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We all would love to see that, for he more than deserves to be treated like anyone else with his track record.

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Just hand him his sentence... 3 weeks, 2 years, $45 fine.., whatever. Slap him with it, let the Press rerport it on page 44, and move to the next item. Sick of it.

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Better to let him watch the proceedings from jail via video than give him more opportunities to disrupt them.

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Sadly, he would never appear wearing jail issue clothing in a court proceeding when either a jury is present or he is being sentenced. Trial law prohibits requiring an in-custody inmate to wear jail issue clothing since it is prejudicial to a jury and to a judge (who should know better, but still...)

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That seems right. I was indulging in a fantasy.

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That's never going to happen.

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It appears that way. There's probably enough "appeals" to last him his lifetime. Let's just not see him re-elected. We're on the final lap. Time is now to: Step on the gas!

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clinkety klink..., wellcome to cellblock 13.

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Given all the new info about his deteriorating mental state (and likely dementia), perhaps a judge could order a mental health exam if Trump violates courtroom rules & gag order. Jay Kuo's interview with Dr. Gartner highlights numerous specific behavioral indicators of Trump's cognitive decline. Worth reading the interview and readers' comments. See the April 11 Status Kuo newsletter- https://thinkbigpicture.substack.com/p/john-gartner-trump-cognitive-decline

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A family member was diagnosed with dementia after he had a serious wreck and totaled his truck. He could not remember how to get home and was driving in the opposite direction. Further testing, observation, and a very detailed medical history revealed he had been dealing with dementia for longer than we realized. He was always obstinate and cranky, and everyone just put his behavior down to Tom being Tom. (Sound familiar?) Often, families don't or won't recognize that a person has dementia unless an event happens that makes the situation impossible to deny. Clips of tRump from the past compared to the present show his marked decline. His dementia makes his narcissism even worse. His dementia makes him totally unfit for any kind of office.

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He was totally unfit even before he was demented. If there was such a time.

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Monied repubs have a VP candidate already picked out.

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Agree JennSH. His decline is quite noticeable if anyone is paying attention....Palmer is (and i say this with the admonition that if people look up Palmer, they will get an inaccurate description). I often see there examples of death star's inability to make sense. In this sense, the trial will be interesting because he is likely to spout off and it may be nonsense.

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This is certainly worth a read. In the past week, I have learned that two friends— one in her mid-eighties and another just turned seventy—have confirmed dementia. As Dr. Gartner demonstrates, once pointed out, the symptoms are recognizable. And with Trump, they should have been called out long ago.

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Saturday’s rally speech in PA could be used as further evidence of decline.

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Oooo...now this is an excellent suggestion! It would avoid Trump's clear desire to be a martyr!

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Referral for psychological examination in the context of his ability to assist in his own defense, instead of make a shambles of it, could be an effective early consequence to violating a gag order, paired with a fine. Time out (removal to another room where he has a video feed and audio connection to his lawyers, but no connection to the outside - i.e., no phone) for a specified time could be a standard approach that would minimize the gain he experiences from violations and misbehavior. There might be a humiliation factor in being treated like an eight year old.

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That would be a reasonable thing to do. Never going to happen.

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I've been advocating the judge- ordered mental health exam for a while. As a way for a judge to exercise some power of restraint. Trump would definitely "pass" it, because he's not psychotic. (No. He's not. Be realistic.) But it would cramp his style and interrupt the appearance of invincibility.

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Not psychotic, but of diminished capacity, including the common symptom of loss of self control.

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I just meant he is oriented x3, able to stand trial. Not delusional in the medical sense. Can't prove loss of self control if the behavior in question benefits him. If he claims intention.

My person opinion of him notwithstanding, and my professional assessment of probable cognitive decline, won't be relevant to anyone but me. But he is competent to stand trial.

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Then let him stand it, Susan, if he can. I want him on trial. I want him held accountable. I hope they find a jury dispassionate enough to convict him of the felonious distortion of business records to conceal his attempt to influence the election. There's a mountain of evidence to support Bragg's case.

He'll prove my case that he can't control himself, but like you, that's only relevant to me. Let him disrespect the court and the law. Hopefully that will influence Merchan when it comes to sentencing.

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thanks for this. We all need to share this article far and wide!!!!

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Laurie, add to that an MRI of his brain. That is more substantial evidence than a subjective assessment, nonetheless.

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Yeah.. and call Atty Aleena Habeena to start his application for a Disabled Card to hang from the rear view mirror.

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Thanks for the link, Laurie. Well worth the read.

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If Tubby acts up in court, one response that would be well within the judge's purview is sentencing Tubby to Community Service. Donny feels safe from being jailed, and monetary fines don't really mean much to him, but he'd just hate picking up trash in Bedford Stuyvesant! Worse yet, if he doesn't apply himself the judge could very well extend his sentence another week.

And just wait till he has to deal with a probation officer!

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This is another great suggestion...in fact, I had to laugh at the mental image of Dumpy spearing trash with a pick and a bag, making faces of disgust. Love it!

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The judge would have to direct that his Secret Service detail not help.

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Is this a cheap shot to Bed Stuy? Sounds like it, my son used to live there, it has its own trash collection service, would not be fair to make them associate with Cheeto Benito and his rants.

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Do you think he'd like picking up trash (other than his white house staff) any better on 5th Ave?

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A judge can find him in contempt, but without a conviction, he cannot be sentenced for anything.

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I remember when Eichmann was placed in that glass cage. For my parents, it was seeing justice served on behalf of so many of their relatives dying.

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Nah. Too stylish. Too see-through.

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Transparency is everything.

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Yeah, that cage needs bars.

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Unfortunately, that's just what he wants and what judges like Loose Cannon and DJTs lawyers want are for Mr. Smith to make one tiny legal misstep so they can declare "mistrial" and delay, delay delay until November 4th or one day after the election.

Don't just write WaPo. Write up your opinion and email it to letters to the editor of ALL the major news outlets. That's what these computers and social media are GREAT for. Just do it!!!

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Dallas Morning News stopped printing any of my letters about a year ago. Guess I, all of a sudden, couldn’t put a sentence together.

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“ NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—Judge Juan M. Merchan reprimanded Donald J. Trump on the first day of his hush money trial after he rejected a number of prospective female jurors as “not my type.”

https://open.substack.com/pub/borowitzreport/p/trump-rejects-several-female-jurors?r=fqsxl&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email

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haha

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When Stormy testifies, I pray to God that one of her boobs pops out by accident, of course. And to make matters worse, being in the courtroom, I stood up and yelled something very nasty at Trump. That autta make it a truely Fredriquo Fallini moment.

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How much better if she were totally buttoned up, looking like a respectful and honest witness? As much as I love irreverence, in this case I'd leave the cheap theatrics to the orange menace. Let our side be dignified.

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I know I know I know I’m just being funny. Court decorum is important.

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It's all a bunch of funny business, Bill. I enjoy your sense of humor, hope you enjoy mine. It's very dark.

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Trump's big lies have his cultists believing that he is being persecuted not prosecuted. Why do so many need to believe all the lies of the likes of TFG?

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Groupie thinking is better than individualism. I guess.

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CULT thinking

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

That's never going to happen. Listen to Rachel Maddows Bagman podcast. The DOJ was so worried about prosecuting Nixon and Agnew...they almost didn't.

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

The problem is if the Judge did order a short respite in jail for Trump's outbursts and bad behaviour (in and out of the courtroom)--which WE all would all understand as just--would bestow upon Trump the cloak of a martyr, which he very clearly wishes to display and wear for his cultists. He is purposefully baiting the Judge to do exactly as you suggest.

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Exactly. This is a psychological game. Let's not let our moves get trumped by the (R)ss-holes.

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This is an awful idea. Judge Hoffman was declared unfit to preside on the bench. This is still America and we as a people have the duty to behave as civil, human, reasoning beings. To encourage lawlessness is a MAGA response beneath contempt

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Well said, Jean. Thank you.

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LaurieOregon, thank you for this information. I just canceled my subscription to WaPo and wrote to David Shipley to tell him why. My subscription was due to renew on the very date of this so-called Virtual Program, and I took it as a sign. I said to Shipley, apparently democracy dies in darkness but shining a spotlight on the author of the term “alternative facts” is ok? I told him how disappointed I am in the Post. Scraping up $120 this month was going to be difficult but I was going to do it because I wanted access to good reporting in this election year. But if they’re spotlighting that skanky liar (sorry, I can’t think of a better description of her) my money won’t be buying me accurate reporting, just more BS.

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Susan, I love that you reminded him of the "democracy dies in darkness" motto! I'm getting weary of being disillusioned by people and organizations that should know better. "Skanky liar" is way nicer than what I've called her, though not out loud.

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Very neat description, though.

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The WaPo is actively contributing to the darkness that will kill democracy.

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WaPo lit some fires. People who canx their subscriptions will do so at their own risk. WaPo won't notice. And, "people" will also 're-subscribe' as WaPo staff evolves. Better to voice ones opinion in a coherent manner.., or just sit tight with what you have already paid for. Besides, you won't need to rely on 'hear-say', because YOU KNOW you'll be curious. Deal with it.

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I just don’t read Ross .Douthat in The NY Times. We can go on ignoring the pallid blonde.

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Yeah.. agree. Pallid.., :)) That's civil enough.

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I will follow your lead this week. Done with them too.

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Watch 60 minutes story of the corporate purchase of our news media. The majority of large and local community newspapers have been purchased by media giants who are funneling the same news across the nation. It's devastating for local news as they no longer report on local news events and they pick and choose the news they publish. Thus, narrowing the scope and tenor of the reported news. Our media is/is being hijacked.

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Our media *has been* hijacked. 2 of my 3 local TV stations are Sinclair stations. My once award-winning local paper is now a Gannett rag, 25% of its former size with no editorial page, no letters to the editor, and a local "reporting" staff of maybe 15.

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Just like our universities, our food, our medical care and anything else corporate greed can find to appropriate.

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Declared from a female commenter, the ‘honorary degree’ of skanky liar is searingly damning! I have read or thought of the work skank for a long time! Brava!

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I just cancelled NYT and am considering cancelling WaPo.

The Guardian is now my newspaper of choice.

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Thank you!

I wrote exactly the same comment in my letter to him.

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Skanky..? In my mind the letter "C" appears. I think her daughter referred to her using that.

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Sounds like the right thing to do and while I’m add it and would encourage anyone else of such mind, to cancel their subscription as I will do. Thank you for the suggestion LaurieOrwgo

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I cancelled my subscription years ago when they banned me for being to graphic with what I would do in front of cameras on the day Trump would pass and be laid in state and I suggested to crap on the front steps of the Capital. The Post never forgave me and tough T-ies.

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Bill, what agency do you represent in the press? Can you say?

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Free lance and I wrote a book on topic.

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It would serve me better and any anyone trying to read “what I meant to say” rather than what I actually typed. My apology and thank you for being forgiving.

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Agreed! After years of subscribing to both the WaPo and the NYT I canceled my subscription to the NYT for the same reason...I am so disgusted with both of them!

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Me too! I am done with them both too! We can get double the great reporting by supporting substack readers!

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Bezos, who owns the WA Post, like most of the billionaire class is mistaken. They still think TFG will simply cut their taxes. He probably will, and then he will ask for that amount to go into his checking account, similar to Putin. Refuse, and he will just take over your business and install his crony CEO. Cry foul, and you might fall out of your office window.

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"Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is a Latin maxim meaning 'false in one thing, false in everything'. At common law, it is the legal principle that a witness who falsely testifies about one matter is not credible to testify about any matter." Juries are so instructed. WHY is she appearing?!?!

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Exactly why shouldn't any newspaper or journalism outlet air the opinions of a TFG insider? I detest Conway, but I believe in the first amendment. As Evelyn Beatrice Hall summed up Voltaire's stance on free speech, "I will disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

We shouldn't fall into cancel culture traps by silencing those we disagree with. There is no such thing as an alternate fact, and everyone who insists on rationality and logic knows it. If Conway and MAGA followers don't know it, they are simply not rational. We can ignore them or dispute them, but we can't defend democracy and silence them. That would be hypocrisy and irrationality on our part.

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

Respectfully Lauren, I agree with you to an extent regarding free speech, but I feel you are missing the bigger picture here (or even most of the picture). Freedom of speech does not equal freedom of reach. While the 1st Amendment protects American citizens from governmental persecution and punishment over expressing unpopular opinions, it does not grant entitlement to spread those opinions on a platform of your choice. Like any other constitutional right, it has also been historically subject to reasonable limits. Libel laws, permits to protest, "fire in a crowded theater," editorial discretion, yadda yadda etc. etc.

Any linguist or psychologist worth their salt will tell you that unfortunately letting a liar hang themselves doesn't work. Most people are neither informed enough nor purely rational enough to spot the lie for what it is, so allowing repetition of a lie just makes it stickier in most people's minds. Therefore, when you ask "Exactly why shouldn't any newspaper or journalism outlet air the opinions of a TFG insider?" the answer is clear. Ms. Conway has a history of peddling to the public obvious and malicious falsehoods, and it is not too much to ask that a newspaper of record - an entity whose ostensible reason for existing is to give verified facts to the public on a wide scale - not completely invert its own mission statement by giving such a person more oxygen, let alone unprompted and on her own terms. Ms. Conway can speak her mind in her home, in front of a Walmart, in the middle of a park, and all over Twitter, like any other American citizen. No silencing here! However, she is not entitled to, does not deserve, and should not have any further forum of expression not granted to me or you, especially given her reputation.

Oh, and "cancel culture" isn't real. There is no jail in the court of public opinion. It's a boogeyman made up by people offended by the notion that their words and actions have consequences in the form of others' reactions. Challenge: name me one famous person who lost something actually significant via "cancel culture," ouside of a self-inflicted wound to that intangible we call "reputation." I wait with bated breath.

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Thank you, Will from Cal. This was very well expressed.

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Journalism is a profession. They (should) filter out the bogus for us. We ask that of all the other professions we rely on.

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

Thank you, Will. Well stated and calm reasons of exactly why "the skanky liar" should NOT be spotlighted by a major 'paper of record'.

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Unfortunately the First Amendment seems to eat through any semblance of truth saying in public rhetoric in American politics, esp if it seems to get electoral results. American now has a thoroughly polarized public. I think it went outsized following Obama's passage of Obamacare. Republicans went incendiary. In 2010 all but one state switched into Republican governorships and many went Republican majority, and then proceeded to gerrymander as much as possible. Social conscience Dem policies became even more anathemized than ever. Socialism - communism - godless.... on and on.

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Frank, it wasn't Obamacare that did it; it was the audacity of the American voters to elect a Black man President.

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Well said, Will. I'm glad I read your response before attempting to add my own (which wouldn't hold a candle to yours!)

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Kevin Spacey.

But who loses what owing to cancel culture was not my point, and neither was giving Conway an outlet for her ridiculous and pernicious views.

I defend the Post's right to publish whatever they see fit. The First Amendment doesn't only protect individuals' right to freedom of expression, it also protects the free press. I don't personally care if WaPo loses all its subscribers or if I ever hear another word about Conway. I care that we live in an open society.

I am against censorship.

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Apr 18·edited Apr 18

I know this is a few days late, but I just wanted to say thank you for your engagement on this. I think we are in agreement philosophically, if not definitionally. For the record, I too abhor censorship of all types. When I worked as a library page, I personally deplored many of the books in the politics/current affairs sections, but I still shelved them and never would have tried to get them removed. It was a public establishment, and if members of the public want access to what I viewed as hatemongering, so be it.

The Post has a right to publish whatever they see fit, but readers also have the right to push back on what they see as the paper not doing its job well as they see fit. That is the push-pull of open society. Bandwidth and column inches are limited, and the paper must make choices of which stories or whose views to give priority to. Not every Letter to the Editor gets published, but that does not mean that the ones who do not are being silenced. The same applies to more well-known voices. If the Post uses precious space on someone who has a history of factually lying, they are doing a poor job of being a newspaper, as much as if a plumber charged you for making a bigger leak. Pushback is not out-of-hand.

P.S. Kevin Spacey appears a good answer at first glance, but his career - and only his career - was stymied by credible accusations of physical abuse by dozens of people. That does not comport with the definition I am aware of for "cancel culture," in which someone's life is taken apart merely over unpopular opinions, associations, or a singular perceived transgression. It's all in the definitions, isn't it?

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Will, that is the message I was trying to convey, but you said it so much better and more completely than I did in any of my attempts. Thank you!

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Lauren, please consider the paradox of tolerance: "Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.... We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. " -- Karl Raimund Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies

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That needs to be writ large somewhere (or, perhaps , everywhere).

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That's how Hitler came to power and once there ruthlessly suppressed opposition, making Trump's version of the Big Lie almost small potatoes - plus concentration camps, lots of concentration camps.

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True, although the notion of "tolerance" is generally applied to harmless behavior that someone might, for their own reasons, object to. Nevertheless, behavior that denies human rights to others cannot be tolerated. Child sex trafficking, or other predatory or dangerously irresponsible behaviors that are clearly not harmless.

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I feel you, Laurie. Maybe I'm naive, I just don't trust censorship. It leads to the conundrum of who gets to decide what's okay and what's verboten.

I also worry about defeating the enemy by using his tactics. If one of the worst predictions of Trump 2.0 is state run media, how can we advocate for dictating who publishes what?

Believe me, I find just about everything on the right execrable and profane, just not as dystopian as 1984 or Handmaid's Tale.

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Who gets to decide is what it's all about, isn't it! My concern is that by giving her this mainstream, widely respected WaPo platform for spreading lies, she gets to spread more lies. The WaPo is a privately owned newspaper, not a government agency, so it's not Putin's state-run media, even though Trump and MAGA funders wish it were. The paper makes choices all day every day about who, how, and what to cover. If it's really interested in presenting political wisdom, there are many, many experts who would not use the platform to lie.

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Lauren, you are well intentioned, please further consider this thought. Conway is entitled to her own opinion and WaPo should allow and report her opinions. NO ONE is entitled to their own FACTS! Intentional lying to mislead people, making up false crap to hoodwink the less informed and calling it FACT is NOT AN OPINION. It is propaganda. It is a disinformation operation. It is the opposite of 'informative'. E.g. Neo-Nazi's marching to support white supremacy is 'an opinion' worthy of protection and thus the ACLU litigation to protect this free speech. Knowing the truth but falsely claiming the Holocaust never occurred is not an opinion, it is Kellyanne Conway's 'alternative facts', it is simply lying, disinformation, a form of propaganda! The law distinguishes between the two and so should WaPo.

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

I read an article recently about a study which seemed to indicate that about 40% of adult Americans cannot properly distinguish between a fact and an opinion. Period. This is beside the fact that political toplines these days are hugely value and cause laden, likely always have been. eg Civil War. Jesus talked about blessing the Righteous. But be careful what you wish for! or I might as well say, the kind of thing human beings in social causes are laden with.

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Thank you, No Child Left Behind with the standardized tests that do not teach how to think.

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I'm surprised it's only 40% that can't differentiate between fact and opinion, Frank. I'd have thought closer to 90%. I've been a champion of critical thought for decades... I make a big distinction between what I think, what I believe, and what I know. I hardly know anything, I believe a few things, and I think a whole bunch. I'd like to believe I know the difference between a fact and an opinion.

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only going by what the study indicated, Lauren.

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

Of course no one is entitled to their own facts, Panther. I love Moynihan for coining that prescient and resonant saying. I said, and I meant "there is no such thing as an alternate fact..." That's just Orwellian newspeak for opinion or propaganda or lie, depending on the context.

It's up to WaPo to choose what they print. It's up to us to decide what we read.

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Lauren, thanks for prodding me to think more about this. What comes to mind is if someone offers me rotten food to eat. Do I eat it to be polite or tolerant of her bad cooking even if it makes me sick, or do I choose to eat food that's safe and not spoiled? Kellyanne Conway is a purveyor of rotten food for the brain- i.e, lies and more lies.

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Of course don't eat garbage, Laurie. And you're right to call it out as garbage; I just don't want to see our side going too far in the direction of their side. I had a friend who defended our actions at Abu Ghraib by saying they behead captives publicly. We were wrong. There's no excuse for what we did.

I want us to defend democracy, which includes free speech, with vigor and courage.

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Still happily married to her contrary minded husband who helps run the Lincoln Project? It must be a very interesting "agree to disagree" relationship.

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They split a while back.

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ok, didnt bother to google it

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Not. Divorced last year.

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Reporting on newsworthy material is one thing, providing a forum for an untrustworthy political spokesperson, is something else.

This from the pages of the WAPO in 2020:

''Kellyanne Conway undermined the truth like no other Trump official. And journalists enabled her.''

Former columnist Margaret Sullivan

August 26, 2020 at 12:33 p.m. EDT

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I'm not saying she's truthful or worth listening to... I'm saying freedom of speech means she can tell lies, even ones that are heinous. Our remedy is not to listen and to cancel our subscriptions to outlets that publish her, not to silence her.

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There is a distinction here you fail to appreciate.

No one is limiting her right to speak freely, even to having that speech reported.

Providing her a worldwide forum is a choice – a choice that amplifies and legitimizes - and not a choice I support.

Deciding not to invite her to speak is also a choice and it is not a limit on free speech.

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I'm sorry to be so disagreeable, R Dooley. I'm a lifetime activist - marched and sat in against the Vietnam war, went to Selma, was in Chicago in '68, blah blah, blah.

I believe the Post is also free to publish whatever they think is news. I don't want to see the press censored any more than I want individuals silenced. We have the choice not to subscribe to WaPo, to expose and denounce Conway's lies. I just don't think censorship is the right tool.

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Please don’t think I consider your comment disagreeable, on the contrary, I welcome civil discussion – it is vital to our system. I also understand your concern; I share it.

However, where we seem to part ways is on our understanding of the words censorship and free speech. As a retired attorney, my focus is perhaps a bit narrow and I believe the word censorship attends when an authority – normally a government or agency of government – attempts to stifle speech either published or spoken. That is not the case here.

The Washington Post is free to invite, or not invite, a particular person or group to participate in an online broadcast, which is the case here. Their choice not to invite, should they have made that decision, would not constitute censorship.

They chose to invite a speaker whose record is rich with examples of falsehoods and disinformation. I object to that and have made my voice heard. I don’t expect them to cancel the broadcast, but I do expect they will consider the wisdom of such choices in the future.

Free speech is not an unfettered right. There are limits, defamation being the most obvious example. One could argue that knowingly spreading disinformation could also merit sanctions, particularly if that disinformation is harmful to others.

Finally, I do not believe I should be required to cancel my subscription to a news source I – for the most part – respect and trust and on whose pages I express my opinions – my free speech. They are fully within their rights not to publish something I contribute should they find it in violation of their rules or guidelines – I understand and accept that.

That’s about it. I think we can agree to disagree and be grateful we have the freedom to do so. Thank you for your engagement.

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Yeah, Lauren, but I don’t need to spend my hard-earned $120 to read more stupid Trumpian lies, either. I can get those for free from any number of generic drunk uncles on Facebook. Why are Conway’s fictions worth my attention? They aren’t even particularly clever. Didn’t she declare that the Battle of Bowling Green was a horrific tragedy or something?

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Unsubscribe, by all means, Susan. I don't endorse reading Conway's opinions about anything, or paying for them in any publication. I only say she has a right to hold them and speak them.

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Indeed she does, and no one is stopping her from sharing them across the planet. I just don’t have much confidence that the people from WaPo hosting this “event” will hold her accountable for the lies she spews from that firehose of a lie-factory she calls a mouth. Fact-checking that woman in real time would take a staff of hundreds of fact checkers, and I doubt that the Post would devote that kind of resources to this. Thus, a previously reliable news source like the Post will become yet another source of Trumpian misinformation.

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Kellyann is not to be trusted as she is an accomplice to Leonard Leo and to Ginny Thomas. Her alternative facts can kiss my a*s!

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It is generally accepted in the US that "no one is above the law."

But, let's face it, if that were true--

Justices Thomas, Alito and Roberts would be indicted for income tax evasion. And Justice would mean that Thomas's wife would have been indicted for January 6th PLUS income tax evasion.

And when we they go after the "illegal alien" Melania for income tax evasion. She had to sign their individual returns.

Why do these Republican women get a pass?

And Leonard Leo? How did he suddenly become rich? Has anyone looked at his and his wife's tax return?

This is the reason the Republicans want to defund the IRS. They want to protect the guilty Republican tax cheats as well as their donors.

No one is above the law -- what a crock of excrement.

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You may be right, Susan. I prefer to wait to see how Scherer challenges her bullshit before deciding he won't or can't. And if he doesn't It will be a shutting the barn door after the horse has fled situation. In Conway's case, after the ass has run off [her mouth]. It's a risk, for sure. Maybe I'm the mule here, stubbornly holding on to the principles of the 1st as I understand them.

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There’s a guy named Mark Jacob who writes a Substack called Stop The Presses who is one of my favorite journalism critics. It’s like auditing a really well done college journalism class—and that’s my bachelor’s degree. He has a great Substack today called “5 reasons journalists accept being lied to,” which is so relevant to our discussion. I highly recommend him. Anyway, one thing he said is to never give a know liar (such as the well-known one we are talking about) a live forum. Do a taped interview and fact check every statement, preferably immediately following each statement. I don’t know how anyone could talk to this woman without a constant live fact check so I’m hopeful that if you attend, you’ll report back on how it went. My subscription ends on April 24, so I’m out. :)

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If you were a teacher and had a student in your classroom who was spreading the lie that the cafeteria food was poisoned, would you have a duty to stop that child from telling lies that clearly were harmful, or should you permit the child a platform on the grounds that he had a right to say whatever he wanted? Responsible entities have a duty to provide an atmosphere which is safe. A newspaper which contributes to public confusion is more interested in capitulating to that element of the public who will succumb to the circus atmosphere,than to truth.

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I would ask the kid why s/he thought the food was poisoned. I'd take the class to the cafeteria storeroom to show them the food's ingredients. I'd advise that they find out if something is true before spreading it around. If the student knew it wasn't true, I'd talk to the class about ethics. I'd talk to them about the First Amendment, its guarantee of free speech, and its limits. I'd ask the class if scaring everyone about lunch was equivalent to yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater. I'd make sure the kids I taught acquired the skills to determine for themselves what to believe. I'd make sure they learned that censorship is the antithesis of a free press.

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I still like to read Jennifer Rubin regularly. I wonder how many reading the WaPo would be swayed by Kellyanne.

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Me too, Cameron. I like Rubin, both for her writing skill and for her background in law. She helps me understand the legal ramifications of judiciary decisions and of criminal acts. I don't always agree with her opinions, but that's between Jen and me.

I doubt that anyone anywhere is swayed by Conway - there are those who have already drunk the kool aid and those who recognize the idiocy of the concept, "alternate facts."

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Like it or not, MAGA, which has consumed the topline of the GOP, is knowingly pushing Trump"s Big Lie, i think more for fear of what telling the truth would do in breaking up the GOP itself, and this has led so many to fall back in obeyance, having seen how those publicly resisting Trump, esp Cheyney, get removed or simply pushed aside - i also can't dispute the outright "fear factor" deriving from populist and administrative retaliation. Heather last fall did admit, outright, that she thinks the modern version of the GOP is irredemiably lost, not just going through another of its cyclic shifts.

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Frank, you just illuminated why New Hampshire Governor Sununu is the lede for this particular Letter.

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"Hypocrisy and opportunism, above political principles"...the campaign slogan of the new MAGA party and those cowed repubs who choose to wear its colors.

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Loving propaganda is a dangerous position

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The Voltaire quote was taught to me in middle school and is a great one, though I have read it was not actually said by Voltaire. Many of the lucid, memorable quotations I was taught in school turned now appear to be misattributed, but are compelling statements nevertheless.

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It wasn't said by Voltaire, J L, it was said about him by his biographer. She coined the expression to encapsulate how Voltaire viewed free speech.

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No one is “cancelling” anything but they are holding entities responsible for either what they choose to print or who they choose to hire. Actions have consequences but calling such actions being part of a cancel culture is inaccurate.

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I agree that no one has been canceled. My stance is that media outlets should publish whatever they see fit, we should end subscriptions to organs we don't approve of, and that we should be careful NOT to slip into cancel culture. The danger for our side is to slip into left wing autocracy.

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You are trying to work both sides "fairly" but come across as biased towards the rumpos. Beware the thin line that , once crossed, leads to fascism.

Because you sound like you have crossed it. Hemming and hawing won't mitigate the truth.

Thank heavens for our Prof HCR and her clearsighted historical writings.

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I'm on one side only, Rachel. The constitution's. You may think I'm a fascist, not knowing me at all. I have known myself for nearly 77 years. I stand up for the disenfranchised (went to Selma when I was 17). I protested the war in Vietnam. I have advocated for women's reproductive rights and against the draft all my adult life - for the same reason: everyone's right to own their own body.

You may disagree with me, but I believe suppression of speech, the press, assembly, are the tools of fascism. The cost of those freedoms is the free expression of ideas odious to us.

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Brava for all your activities, Lauren!

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We are almost the same age and we were probably on many of the same marches.

If you have not noticed how biased the NYT has become and often the WashPost as well, then I am surprised.

It behooves us all to call out false information being sold as fact. Just call it out - FAKE NEWS is drowning out real news. These are our times now and I hope to give my grandchildren a decent future.

Enuf FAKE NEWS- will you be content in your living room with your high standards and MAGA cult running the country? Call out and stand beside Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid, and the MSNBC group that said NO to another dispicable purveyor of FAKE NEWS.

Just my point of view.

Kind regards

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'Trump Rejects Several Female Jurors as Not His Type'

APR 15

'NEW YORK' (The Borowitz Report, Satire)—'Judge Juan M. Merchan reprimanded Donald J. Trump on the first day of his hush money trial after he rejected a number of prospective female jurors as' “not my type.”

'The judge declared Trump out of order when he commented that one of the women was '“a 5 or a 6 at best.”

“This is what happens when Joe Biden controls the justice system,” Trump said. “He doesn’t know how to pick women. I ran beauty pageants.”

'Looking at the panel of jurors, he added,' “This should never be allowed to happen in this country.”

'Trump’s legal woes worsened further when his entire team of attorneys suddenly pleaded insanity.'

'The lawyers said they were claiming to be insane' “on the grounds of expecting to ever be paid.”

'In a nightmare scenario for Trump, Rudy Giuliani has volunteered to defend him.' (Borowitzsubstack) See link below.

https://substack.com/@borowitzreport

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Thank heavens for the court jesters!! This was a welcome morning guffaw. Perhaps he has, and I have missed it, but I would love to see Borowitz take on our lofty SCOTUS and some glaringly apparent failures to judge themselves fairly and transparently. I'd love to see him dig into the twists and turns they make rationalizing the irrational "Originalism". Many thanks to Senator Whitehouse for "The Scheme" and his dogged work in this arena. Thanks always to Borowitz for reaching the funny bone of irrational human behavior.

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Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun, it shines everywhere.

—William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (3.1.39-40)

We have all seen how an appropriate and well-timed joke can sometimes influence even grim tyrants. . . . The most violent tyrants put up with their clowns and fools, though these often made them the butt of open insults.

—Desiderius Erasmus, Praise of Folly

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Excellent quotes!!

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Good writers, yea.

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Haha! Good one!

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Heather’s coverage of 4 of the things I find to be among the most reprehensible. George has to deal with stupid network choices and making Sununu look like a slavering Neanderthal isn’t much of a stretch to begin with. Go George.

I canceled WAPO & NYT about 2 years ago. No loss there.

Kellyanne is a lying sack of rotting horse manure. She’s turned her back on democracy 8 years ago for a fraud.

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Laurie. Thanks for the links

“Kelly Ann on the 24th?

Dear Editor

Dear Editor

Really? All the lies fit to print? Democracy Dies at Your desk?

Inviting the Propaganda Goddess into your space as if your publication wants to further normalize her behavior for your readers?

Have you no one in your employ that read a history book or took an elementary PoliSci course?

You do America and your subscribers (me) a great disservice

Dave Dalton”

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I choked on my coffee! WaPo featuring Conway as a "Key Player"? Thanks for the easy email link. I fired off a not too polite message that if she actually is featured on April 24th, my subscription will end. This is indeed a McDaniel moment.

The choice for any journalist today is simple but apparently difficult. Reporting about Conway is important because she is a factor in the march towards fascism. And for the same reason featuring her as an "attraction" - sponsoring her as a speaker is a betrayal of democracy. Conway is part of the cabal that would eviscerate democracy.

I encourage everyone to scream to the Washington Post to withdraw its support for this enemy of our nation. Report about her - don't endorse her!

I wonder how the many hard working employees of the WaPo feel about this. Will there be an NBC moment?

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Will George ask that she not use his name anymore

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I suspect she views her name as her "brand" and would refuse. I don't know how they lived together for so long.

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One dumped the other, not sure who did what...

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Done- Thank you

TO: David Shipley

You are betting on the Sinking Ship tRUMP

Shame on you and your $$$$ hungry board.

Soon to be x-subscriber.

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My concise comment to Shipley in an emai “ Why give a forum to a person who created and perpetrated the foundation lie of her former boss’ existence, Alternative Facts?

She made lying great again!”

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Done

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A Profile in Cowardice, Gov. Sununu: Earlier in the interview, Sununu explained that he could swallow all of Trump’s negatives because he wanted a Republican administration. “This is about politics,” he said. If saving our democratic republican form of government is politics, Sununu is right. But he's dead wrong about how to do it. IMO, what we're dealing with here is someone who is literally stupid politically. If Sununu fears Trump's supporters now, he has no clue what to fear from Trump's goons should Trump regain power. It's stupidity.

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

Future historians will write of the cowardice of Republican office holders who seemingly have two great fears: 1) that 45 will turn on them and threaten their families, and 2) that they will be primaried by a candidate endorsed by 45 and lose their seat. It matches the spinelessness of those German citizens who walked past their Jewish friends being arrested, knowing that they would disappear forever.

Just as Sununu chooses to go all in for 45, we must go all in to help elect Democrats up and down the ballot.

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I am appalled at Sununu's dangerous pragmatism, but it you look at his career and views overall, you find a remarkable assortment of both progressive and pro business views. He did support Haley despite Trump's vociferous opposition, then pragmatically switched as a party loyalist. His views of Trump have been quite variable over the last 8 or so years, and you can be sure i Trump and its ism implodes he'll be there to pick up whatever GOP then morphs into. His policies seem to indicate he's basically more like a traditional pro business Republican, but has also espoused social conscience policies. Wiki has an interesting write up on him, including his latest quote. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Chris_Sununu

If you want to get some insight into New Hampshire swing-like nature, also read up on his Democat predecessor, John Lynch, about the most popular government ever. "live free or die"....hmmm

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Apr 15·edited Apr 15

A few weeks ago Sununu sent 15 number of NH National Guardsmen to Texas to ‘protect the border’ at a cost of $850,000 to New Hampshire residents. A performative act to show his fealty to Trump and the GOP’s lies about the “invasion of illegal immigrants” coming into the USA.

Echoing Trump and the GOP Magats he said Biden admin is failing to ….stem the tide of immigrants at the border and the resulting drug smuggling, terrorism and street crime.

https://indepthnh.org/2024/02/13/sununu-seeks-850000-for-nh-national-guard-to-help-secure-texas-border/

https://indepthnh.org/2024/02/16/party-line-vote-approves-850000-for-southern-border-help/

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That's very interesting, considering he was against that "not so long ago"... pure opportunistic tribally aligned kind of guy without a doubt

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I have to say that the use of the word 'invasion' is so immensely inappropriate since February 24, 2022. The world ignored the 'invasion' after 2008 in Georgia, the invasion in 2014. When the press uses the word, they enable the user and the intent to deceive, to polarize, to cause fear.

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But he's not being pragmatic. If Trump gets in, the economy and everything else will be a shambles. Hes an uncontrollable wrecking ball. Even his wealthy "pragmatic" " friends" won't be immune when he brings the whole thing down.

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How many of the people like Sununu are VP hopefuls, hoping to become vp & hoping that T will not make it thru the next 4 years, maybe a declaration of incompetence?

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Interesting early morn thought…

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