366 Comments

As a Pennsylvanian, I know too well the consequences of Operation Redmap. Our state legislature was deemed one of the least effective in the nation. But because of our state’s judicial system, we were able to correct that state government gerrymandering in 2020. We finally have a very slight majority in the state House, and we should see a bigger change in the state senate after 22. It gives us hope that the entire PA State government becomes more effective in the new competitive atmosphere.

I hope WI can win back electoral fairness. The effects of Operation Redmap has and will take decades to erase.

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Jane, Because state legislatures are subject to regulations of Congress, upending the impact of gerrymandering would not take decades were Congress to use its power to pass federal voter protection safeguards. We came very close in Jan. 2022. Accordingly, in 24, we need to take back the House, add at least 1 Senate seat to render the likes of Manchin and Sinema irrelevant, and hold the Presidency.

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Barbara What are your thoughts about the Stench Court and federal voting rights? The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was gutted by the SC, which is even stenchier today.

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Keith, While the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act—which would have passed in Jan. 2022 had Manchin & Sinema not joined the 50 Senate Republicans who filibustered it—was an edited down version of its predecessor For the People, it, nonetheless, afforded decent protections. Still, I imagine, were it to pass, it would be challenged and the present High Court conceivably could have it overturned.

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Sadly, I think your rt about the SC overturning it.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

@G Chabraya, Notwithstanding my prior reply, theoretically, were we to have the leadership needed to pass decent federal voter protection safeguards—a Democratic House Majority, 50 Senators receptive to modifying the filibuster to allow legislation to move to the floor for debate and an up or down majority vote, and a Democratic President—this same leadership could vote to expand the Court. We all should bear in mind that in 1869 Congress increased the Court to 9 justices, one assigned to each of the 9 federal district courts. Today there are 13.

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Barbara FDR, after his smashing 1936 re-election and a large majority in Congress, was defeated on his Supreme Court-packing proposal.

I consider it extremely unlikely that the current Stench Court will be diluted by ‘packing.’ (I believe, over it’s history, that SC membership has ranged from 5 to 10.)

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Yes! Barbara Jo Krieger! Packing SCOTUS is essential.

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An Appeals Court today (4-4-23) denied TFG's request to block Meadows from testifying. However, given TFG's penchant to keep fighting, I expect he'll next go to SCOTUS. Will they go along w/him? I wouldn't be surprised if they did...

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Jane, as a fellow Pennsylvanian, I agree with you about our state. Democrats have the thinnest of majorities right now but I feel the tide may be in our favor. The changes in Wisconsin didn't occur in one election and it will take a few cycles to bring back a balance of power.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

Yes,

It is interesting that Republicans were able to effectively organize something called "Operation Redmap" and then, even more interesting that they were able to execute that plan. It was mostly successful.

It is odd because I even remember reading about it at that time.

Question: Why did Democrats not run Operation BLUE Map? Why are only Republicans seemingly able to take over school boards, local towns, the library, the state and in 2020, almost the Presidency by cheating?

I think Democrats should get with this American program of cheating to win and get with it before its too late.

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Our successful Voters Not Politicians campaign in Michigan created an independent commission for districts. It's fair for everyone. After the November election last year, we have the first Democrat-led state congress in 40 years.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

EDIT: Michigan was most successful in changing its fate after REDMAP. But take a look at NC, where, as long as you couldn’t prove gerrymandering was race-based, it was perfectly legal. Lawyers have tried many avenues to overturn gerrymandering without success. They argued that it violated the Voting Rights Act, only to hear that it is a state, not a federal issue. And unless the federal government permanently bans gerrymandering, NC will never get out from the big GOP thumb.

Ohio FINALLY got a constitutional amendment that outlaw’s gerrymandering, only to watch R legislators refuse to adjust maps after over a year of negotiations with their independent commission. So for all their promises, OH remains as gerrymandered as ever.

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Wow...so even if voters chose an independent citizens redistricting committee, the state constitution could overturn it?

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Good question. What did we do differently in Michigan to assure we would succeed?

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

Their biggest misstep was that the election districting committee was comprised of 2 Reps of the OH House, 2 Reps from the OH Senate, (one from each party - good so far),the Gov, the Secretary of State, and the state auditor - it was neither independent nor equal, putting only 2 Ds on the committee. It was the flaw that gummed up the works, and it is written into the constitution that way.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

Operation REDMAP was something Frank Luntz used to congratulate himself for on talk shows. It was a way to use Americans’ negative sentiment over the passing of the ACA to do the following:

1) Change the majority in state governments - specifically PA, OH, NC, MI, and WI, where the Democratic Party was in decline, and people voted less for the party than the candidate. (Remember those days?)

2) Since it was 2010, use all those freshman state legislatures to reset all the maps to strengthen the Republican Party’s majority to a point, where it was fixed. That would change the makeup in Congress. PA, for example is 55/45 D to R, and yet in the 2010s Ds had only 5 congressmen to the 14 R congressmen represented.

3) With a supermajority of Rs in the state legislature, NOTHING GOT DONE! NOTHING! And in PA, it was all about keeping regulators and the tax man from knocking on the frackers’ door.

It’s funny that now, if you look at Frank Luntz’s Wiki bio, REDMAP is the one project he no longer associates himself with anymore; not his unethical practices he used in his polling, and not that he as awarded “Lie of the Year 2009” award for his term “government takeover” referring to the ACA.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/REDMAP

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Luntz

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Jane,

Thank you for the detail. Redmap was used to build on American's negative sentiment about being able to get health insurance?

Now there is a bit I had not realized. Americans where whining about being able to access health care.

Or, employed/rich white Americans were whining about the abject poor being able to get access to health care?

Americans, as I have said before (and been castigated for saying):

The problem with America is Americans.

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Oh honey, it was insane! The ACA caused such a backlash from the Fox News crowd. You had Sarah Palin calling out the “Death Panels” who were going to tell you when you were going to die. Then there were giant protests with banners depicting Pres Obama as a witch doctor, (so racist!), and Republican reps, some of whom wanted to vote for the ACA, gather in lock-step to refuse any support. They used the uncertainty Americans had about how it would all work, to sow fear of an “overreaching government”. It spawned The Tea Party, and to this day, state governments STILL refuse federal subsidies that would greatly improve the health of their citizens.

PS - A Wyoming constitutional amendment made at that time that guarantees privacy between a doctor and his/her patient was the basis for overturning their most recent anti-abortion law. ;-D

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News flash - Good thing to know —- the ACA covers gender care, medication, surgery et al. This is true in Colorado - so certainly true in all states. How do I know this? Because it’s well-known in my state that the small town of Trinidad , CO provided gender care for decades with one physician-surgeon for close to 50 years. They recently lost their doctor. But the fact remains: ACA covers gender-affirming care.

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The only purveyors of death are the Rs who continue to support measures or withhold moneys that would actually help their citizens. They use every source to stir things up. Yesterday I looked briefly at a thread on next-door about public restrooms in restaurants and other businesses. The few that I have been in seem to be fine, but apparently it's more than just graffiti. One of things that I noticed was many comments from a local wing nut who had been or still is on the school board. As you might guess, she was using this forum to stir the pot about more than just restrooms. She also got involved in a thread a while back posted by one of our wing nut neighbors and once again was busy stirring the pot when she had no real knowledge about the situation.

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Jane,

I was still working 10-12 hour days and raising my twins back then. To say that I was unplugged would be an understatement.

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Hahahaha. Karma.

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Before the ACA, there was “Thelma and Louise” in response to HRC’s attempt to get universal health care. Oh, we are stronger and better than Europe because you have to work hard to be equal.

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Or was it that it was called "Obamacare" and after that, political rationalizations were retrofitted for all those who didn't want to see a Black President achieve something so significant?

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I’m happy to give Obama ALL the credit he’s due. People complain about him but what DOthe want? More war-wrangling Neocons? Trump? I DONT!!!

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Remember Kentucky renamed it so that people would sign up. They were quick to say, ‘We don’t have Obamacare, we have this other plan.’

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Those racists really wanted to stick it with the Obamacare moniker, thinking ‘how could could a plan be if it were created by a black guy?’ AND ‘are you going to trust a black guy with your healthcare?’

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Seems like I remember reading about the phrasing of the polling questions - what do you think about the ACA? what do you think about Obamacare? - offered wilding differing responses from the same (R) people.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

I just rewatched Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine released 20 years ago. I had forgotten that it was the same message: Guns don't kill people, Americans kill people.

(I'd like to add that that's why you shouldn't give them guns).

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Just rewatched it, too. Since then, we now have 20 million assault weapons sold and in private hands all over the country. Besides their value for killing school children, If someone was going to arm an unregulated militia for seditious takeover, I couldn't imagine a better plan.

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On the other hand, why not make it a requirement to serve in the state militia (the National Guard) in order to acquire a gun? In other words, a "well regulated militia", as the Constitution stipulates. Second Amendment rights would be protected and some crazies might be taught some responsibility connected with gun ownership.

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You're in good company with your last line; Jim Wright has used it. He also says "If you want a better country, be a better citizen".

Oh, yeah the FoxNuts thought that the ACA was the end of the world; my father-in-law was screeching about the "death panels". It was because the scary Black guy in the White House signed it.

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Anti-tax Republicans used fear of Blacks (Obama), to attempt to kill common sense legislation.

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We are in a post-Obama world now tho, so now the message is that Democrats are "evil".

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Democrats still favor fair treatment black people (and all others). Republicans favor continued oppression of black people. It’s as simple as that. When trying to understand any element of US politics, look first to race

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How ironic that the people who have ACA covg now, do not want that taken away!

Guess it was a good decision.

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I had an ex-classmate that I was emailing with which was fun as long as we talked about the good old days. She turned out to be a R racist wing nut living in Naples, Fl. and treating me to all caps emails and she actually told me at the last that she didn't care what the facts were. The ironic thing that she did at one point was to cite KBOO which is far left slit your wrist radio in Portland. I did enjoy explaining this to her.

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"The problem with America is Americans."

And the strength of America is Americans.

Sometimes, I think the ID 'Mike S' may be a Tucker Carlson provacateur bot.

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Not at all, lin+. He grew up in East Texas (near where a good friend of mine grew up, and the way he relates his experiences of growing up there are identical to hers.

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I thought that too, for awhile, but see Ally's note.

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There should be some kind of concept called "political distance". We might notice a difference of opinion between someone who lives in Texas and someone who lives in Wisconsin or Maine. But it's nowhere near the distance between someone on the Left and a magabotperson. Mike S commented on something I wrote here today. My instinct is to defend what I wrote, but I think I will just let it stand. Getting Lefties to agree on everything is like herding cats. In any case, I am glad for your comment -- my "bot detector" is always running in the background. The comment from Ally House is enough for me to let the conversation stand as is.

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❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Even with a strong majority, Ds in the last session were hamstrung by Rs walking out here in Oregon. So far this session with less of a majority that hasn't happened. We live in a district that with the map, went from D legislators to a Senator who actually voted recently the right way for the wrong reason. Our rep is truly a wing nut who is totally worthless. I think this happened, so that Ds could get a favorable map for the new Congressional 6th district which is represented by a D. The new governor is a D who used to be speaker of the house. So she knows the drill. She just signed a bill that is designed to help with homelessness and low income housing. Now the fight will be where this will occur. Everyone wants these problems solved, but are adamant that they are not solved in their neighborhood or towns. Clackamus County (also known as Clackastan) recently reversed buying a motel as transitional housing. The chair, the infamous Tootie Smith, changed her vote to no because she heard complaints from among others, businesses nearby.

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Jane, I think people forget the long reach that the Republicans took on the ACA.

I remember watching Frank Luntz on Face the Nation years ago and thinking this guy is insane. Something deep down made me be very concerned and I had that very uneasy feeling about what he could do down the road.

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Let’s not beat Democrats up too badly. We were occupied with things like electing and re-electing Barack Obama, passing and defending ACA, defending democracy around the world, and a few hundred (or thousand) other matters.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

I think is was the uncertainty surrounding a brand new program, and disruption it was supposed to cause. It was a backlash to a president that caught the blue wave after Republicans (once again) destroyed the loan industry with their deregulation. Those first 2 years were about cleaning up as big a disaster as the 2020 pandemic disaster was that Biden met when he was sworn in.

See, when it’s time to solve all the nation’s problems, Americans have no problem voting for Democrats.

(And we didn’t fall for their s#!t this past mid-term. That backlash vote never materialized for Rs in 22.)

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No Mike. Democrats can play smart without playing dirty.

Racist right wing religious extremists took over the GOP - with a lot of Koch et al money - by running for every office. It took decades but they stuck with it. With their eyes on the prize of government power. This is called strategy.

Meanwhile, those to the Left of the GOP, chased pipe dreams of third parties, followed Pied Piper independent candidates, and indulged in purity tests. Handing offices to the GOP. As in 2016. Their motto seems to be Vote Your Gut, Not Your Brain. This is called stupid.

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lin+ you are spot on with that. The Democrats do indeed demand "purity" and it was never more evident in 2016 when the Bernie Bros stayed home or voted 3rd Party because they didn't like how Clinton got the nomination or even that she got the nomination.

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Yup. So many of them did. I'd voted for Sanders in the primary, but it was obvious to me trump would be a disaster, and I did a fair amount of trying to convince such people to vote for Clinton.

And I loathed Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who I saw as responsible for getting Clinton the nomination. I still have a Bliss cartoon up in my front hall, Dad driving, the two kids in the back seat fighting, the dad saying, "Julie! Stop calling your brother Jeff Sessions! And Kyle, you're not helping by calling her Debbie Wasserman Schultz!"

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As did I. My biggest argument was that the election wasn't about who was president, but SCOTUS. I had two of my targets tell me that I had been right just as Justice Handmaiden was being sworn in.

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Justice Handmaiden! I like that!

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LOL! But, sadly, true.

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They also couldn't admit that Clinton would have been a far better president than Sanders. There's so much more to being president than giving impressive stump speeches.

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Thank you.

I too think the solution is to strategize like the Koch brothers began many many decades ago.

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If Dems act like Republicans they will become the same type of people. Win clean, win without cheating, win without lust for domination, or move to Canada.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

Mike, follow the money. Operation Redmap was funded largely by the Uihlien family, billionaire owners of the Uline corporation, along with the Koch brothers and a few others. Wisconsin is a big state, still mostly agricultural, and still mostly white folks in the rural areas, with people of color concentrated in the cities, particularly Milwaukee. The cities are run by Democrats and the resentment in rural areas can be palpable. Operation Redmap took full advantage and worked to deepen that resentment and anger. The Uihlien family has long funded hyper conservative candidates and issues; they are truly frightening in their near-fascist view of how the world should work including dramatic Union busting efforts to keep their employees from being able to organize themselves.

Minnesota is not much different geographically or in terms of population. The biggest difference is the culture that was created by our scions of industry at the turn of the 20th century.

In the Twin Cities, the folks who started some of the biggest companies here, Target (the Dayton family), General Mills, Pillsbury,- which was absorbed by General Mills, Cargill - which remains the largest privately held company in the world, got together snd decided that, in order to attract qualified employees, they needed to build a world class city. Music (The Minnesota Orchestra), art (The Minneapolis Institute of Art), sports teams, good neighborhoods, etc were part of their thinking.

To support their ideas, they created the 1% Club. Any company that wanted to join had to pledge 1% of their pretax profits to charity. Rather than some Darwinian view of a dog eat dog world, they worked to build a healthy community. It worked fairly well and continues to influence the way Minnesota works. Its hardly perfect but it is clear that Operation Redmap has been far less successful here in MN because of that vision.

Its always about the money and how its wielded. For the common good, in full support of a democratic society, or for personal gain. I strongly prefer the former.

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From: ‘Expensive court race will decide future of abortion in Wisconsin.’ The Washington Post, 4/03/23 (excerpts)

‘Conservatives have controlled the court for a decade and a half and in recent years have had the final say on important issues in a state that has a Democratic governor and a Republican-dominated legislature. If liberals gain a one-vote majority on the court, they are expected to redraw the state’s legislative districts, watering down Republicans’ strength in the statehouse.'

'The race exemplifies how judicial elections have become infused with politics and suggests that trend could intensify as state courts deal with more volatile issues. Four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that left partisan gerrymandering cases to state courts. Then, last summer, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling that had ensured access to abortion across the country for nearly half a century.'

“I think you’re sitting on the first explosion in a series of explosions that we’re likely to see across the country as the public reacts to the Dobbs decision,” said Charles Geyh, an Indiana University law professor.’

‘Twenty-one states directly elect justices to their high courts and another 17 require them to stand for retention elections after they are initially appointed. More than two dozen states held elections for their top courts last year in the months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs. The results were mixed, with Republicans taking over the North Carolina Supreme Court and an incumbent justice who was appointed by a Democratic governor fending off a Republican challenger in Kentucky.

The dynamic in Wisconsin’s race is different than last year’s elections. The Wisconsin Supreme Court race is at the top of the ballot, unlike in November, when court contests around the country were overshadowed by races for governor and U.S. Senate. A raft of other states will hold court elections next year and abortion could prove to be a dominant issue during a contentious presidential race.’

‘Eric Holder, who served as attorney general under president Barack Obama and now leads the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, spent Saturday campaigning for Protasiewicz. He said in an interview after a stop in Waukesha on Saturday that Wisconsin’s race showed that political parties now recognize how important court races are.’

“I’d like to go back to a place where they don’t need to get as much attention and the decisions are made more on traditional bases, but I suspect that’s not going to happen for a while,” he said.

'Although there is no public polling on the Wisconsin race, Democrats for weeks have sensed momentum, saying record turnout in the February primary bodes well for them. They have attributed interest in the race to abortion, redistricting and the possibility that the state Supreme Court could be called on to resolve disputes over the next presidential election.’

“Even though the headlines have died down about the overturning of Roe v. Wade, for people in their own lives the fury and the fear has really not changed at all,” said Ben Wikler, the chairman of the state Democratic Party. “Once a voter hears about the stakes and the immediacy of its impacts on abortion in Wisconsin, voters commit to voting on the spot and start thinking about who else they can convince to cast a ballot.”

‘Conservatives hold a 4-3 majority on the court, but one of their members, Justice Patience Roggensack, is not seeking reelection. That opens the possibility that they could lose control of the court for the first time since 2008.’

‘Abortion providers in Wisconsin shut down their clinics after the Dobbs decision was issued because an 1849 law bans abortions unless one is needed to save the life of the pregnant person. The Democratic governor and attorney general have sued over the ban, and a judge in Madison is now considering the challenge. The case is expected to make its way to the state Supreme Court in the next year or two’

Where the candidates stand is in little doubt.'

“I can tell you with certainty that if I’m elected on April 4th, I’m sure that we will be looking — I am sure we will be looking — at that 1849 law,” Protasiewicz said at a campaign stop in March at a resort in Elkhart Lake in eastern Wisconsin.’

‘To erase any doubt about her views, she added: “I believe in a woman’s right to choose.”

'Protasiewicz defended such comments in an interview, saying voters deserve to know how candidates view the world. She said she hadn’t prejudged the abortion case and would rule based on the law.’

“One of my personal values is that people should have a right to make a decision in regard to their reproductive health-care decisions and choices,” Protasiewicz said. “What I tell people is that’s my value. That’s my personal opinion.”

'Kelly has said his opinions would not guide how he rules on cases, but his stances are easy for voters to discern. He has been endorsed by antiabortion groups, done legal work for Wisconsin Right to Life and argued in a 2012 blog post that abortions take away lives but are supported by Democrats because they want to “preserve sexual libertinism.”

‘Appearing alongside Protasiewicz in Elkhart Lake, Kelly criticized his opponent for telegraphing how she would rule on abortion if she had the chance. He insisted judicial candidates should refrain from broadcasting their opinions to maintain an air of impartiality, saying he stopped talking about politics once he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court in 2016 by Gov. Scott Walker (R).’

“This is why we don’t talk about politics,” he said. “This is why we don’t talk about personal values. There has to be a commitment to the actual work of the courts. And if you can’t confine yourself to that, maybe you’re running for the wrong office.”

‘Polling reveals another reason he might not want to dwell on his views. A November survey by Marquette University Law School found that 55 percent of Wisconsin voters opposed the Dobbs decision and that 84 percent believed there should be exceptions for rape and incest.'

'The Wisconsin case on abortion comes as courts in other states wrestle with the issue.'(WAPO) Gifted link below.’

https://wapo.st/3m2WvwR

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Thanks. I intend to share your reposting to friends w/o WAPO.

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The things we learn from one another! Thanks for sharing.

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Yes for sure, Sheila.

And from Walker's own mouth his philosophy was "Divide and conquer."

And WI has paid dearly for 13 years.

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Well said.

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Fingers crossed for tomorrow, Fred. I’ve texted, and sent postcards and $$. Wish I could do more!

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Thank you. I work at polls, Sheila. Expect it to be busy.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

It seems to me that Democrats tend to focus on federal elections more than on state and local elections. Republicans make sure they win state and local elections. Once they have name recognition at that level, and appeal to the grievances of Republican voters, the power moves upward.

Democratic voters also have grievances, but Democrats don't reach out to them at the local level the way Republicans do. This has to change.

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Gail The latest sample is school board elections where, here in NJ, a few crazies, taking advantage of low interest in school board elections, get named to these boards and commence their book banning blasphemy.

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I wondered the same.

Then I thought about what my father used to say - 2 wrongs don't make a right.

I feel weary. I stay more or less informed and I did not know gerrymandering was this bad in WI. Sheesh.

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Marj, your father was correct.

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Operation BLUE map ;-)

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

Exactly. I updated my post. Doh!

Honestly, if you are in a fight with a guy (or I better put woman here too) who has a knife, are you going to be thinking about being fair and honest while he tries to slit your throat?

Let's recognize what Republicans are and fight accordingly.

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Yes. Republicans have been savvy strategists.

Let's stop the violent metaphors and exhortations to cheat. And instead get out and work smart for as long as it takes.

John Lewis, Martin Luther King et al, and their smart heirs Corrie Bush et al did not win by imitating Bull Connor.

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Republicans don’t need savvy. They rely entirely in one stategy: the Southern Strategy, which works in much of the North, too, as George Wallace discovered and Richard Nixon picked up on. Republicans don’t need strategy. They just need one catch-phrase to get all the votes it’s possble for them to get. Right now, that phrase is “woke.” In Reagan’s day it was “welfare queen.” In all elections since 1968, Republicans have used one catch-phrase or another to remind their voters of what’s at stake: the preservation of white supremacism. It’s easy for them. They don’t have to be clever or smart. The Democratic message requires nuance and analysis of complex phenomena. Getting their points across requires a great deal of intelligence and insight. Catch-phrases don’t cut it.

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Apr 10, 2023·edited Apr 10, 2023

In Idaho Rex the “welfare queen” is still with us and is the usual way of closing a conversation which covers up the fact that they are too lazy to think. Real issues are beyond the attention span. That smug retort is the sum total. This populace has never gotten past Reagan. Limbaugh created the Obama image as a supporter of welfare queens who would take your paycheck. Dumb and Dummer ate that up like syrup on honey.

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______

... seems to me,

per the All-American principle/myth of freedom,

those who choose to cheat and lie in order to 'win'

contribute to the cultural dissolution we are seeing today.

Lies upon lies over lies.

and more lies ...

Fire fighting fire with fire ...

'Eye for an eye ...,

leaves every body blind.'

Do you know what it does to your gut?

To live a lie ...? Core integrity turns

to mush ... you/we may 'win', but what

have you or I become in the process?

And how long does anything last

in the long run, anyway - especially

if built on a lie... however well

justified it may seem to be?

... if anything stands, it is truth ...

whatever that is, however perceived

reflected, directed and projected ...

I would much rather stand with truth

than support the broken soul of deception

with my own lies (however well intended

they might be.)

And for sure, one time or another,

we come to days where it must be

'a good day to die' - at which time,

we can give thanks for a multi-dimensional

universe, because life goes on ...

energy goes somewhere ..., so do we ...,

by what we choose ..., and how ...

Ultimately, lies bind and blind us

and in time, go 'slip-sliding away' ...

Carrying with them all whose lives

are built on lies ... which says to me,

all American people are called to question

the veracity of our own assumptions and

presumptions - as the wealth and advantage

we fight to control comes from stolen land

and resources that never were, and never

will be ours to buy, sell, own or control

In truth, our prosperity ... is a lie.

Do we stand on durable grounds of truth?

Is it time for a fresh start?

Plant the seed, turn the compost,

tend the garden and keep on growing?

As life winds keep blowing through

and waters of life continue to flow ...,

Can we now choose to cultivate

fertile grounds of truth

where love can flourish,

peace, and harmony prevail ...?

I ask with all my heart ....

https://tahomahome.weebly.com/glory-be.html

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Here’s what’s wrong with “we need to fight like Repubicans.” You can not out-fascist the fascists. They will always cheat and lie and destroy better.

https://terikanefield.com/frequently-asserted-rage-inducing-simplifications/

#13

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Thanks! I love Teri Kanefield! She has talked me down from some of my angriest impulses. :)

I get where Mike S. is coming from. I often am angry enough at the other side to feel exactly what he expresses in his posts.

People like Teri Kanefield help me understand why lashing out in rage isn't such a great idea, even though it always seems like a good idea at the time. ;)

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MIke You raise a great question—‘Why didn’t the Democrats have an effective Operation BLUE Map to counter the Republicans’ Operation Red Map?;

Also, why didn’t the Dems have a counter to the Reps’ Federalist Society in grooming candidates for federal judiciary posts? In bare knuckled politics, it looks like the Dems often are wearing 16 ounce gloves.

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If not feather pillows...

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Psychologically people are more fired up when something is being taken away than when they don't get something that they want. So all that fear that the media pumps into the R's about D's taking away their religious rights and their country and whatnot gets them moving. Now, hopefully, this new reality-based fear of losing our bodily autonomy and our democracy will get the D's moving.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

Becky Good point! White male Trumpites seem fearful of losing ‘white male supremacy.’ Especially for less educated white males, that boat appears to have left the dock long ago.

In fact, by about 2040 whites will be a minority in the United States.

Another psychological crutch appears to be ersatz evangelical ‘Christianity,’ to which Jesus Christ would not belong.

Perhaps I should reread Don Quixote about attacking fantasy windmills.

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This is the key point: "Why did Democrats not run Operation BLUE Map?" The Republicans have been playing the long game for many years, taking over state legislatures, and more recently local agencies such as school boards. The story is told in "Democracy in Chains" by Nancy MacLean. The Dems have been asleep at the switch, likewise in their public messaging, as I and others have said many times in this forum (and to my congressman).

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I think we need a judge to outlaw cheating through Gerrymandering!

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That is one of my most fervent wishes!!

That, and to have all elections federally funded.

Getting the money out of politics would do SO MUCH to clean things up.

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Karen What a shocking proposal that all federal elections be federally funded.! Would that require the Supreme Court to reverse its Citizens United ruling that corporations, as ‘citizens,’ have a legal right to contribute unlimited funds to political parties and candidates?

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The Supreme Court had a chance last year to limit gerrymandering. To nobody’s surprise, the declined to do that. A supermajority majority of “Justices” want to preserve white supremacism in the US, and they, like all astute observers, know that can only be done through gerrymandering.

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Democrats didn’t pay attention to Operation RedMap until the next election—when millions more of Democrats voted than Republicans and Democrats lost seats. The gutting of State government under Obama, unfortunately

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How did Obama, or the Obama administration, gut state government?

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Lack of attention and funding to State races. Obama was the head of the Party; he and his people and The DNC ignored (DNC still does) State politics activities to a great degree in non-Presidential election years.

That the Democrats as a whole missed seeing what was happening—money flooding into State legislature and governor races at census time—means no one, including the Party’s leadership, was paying even minimal attention.

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Democrats don't need to cheat to win in municipal elections -- what they have to do is *run for office.* Until recently they've been really bad at this, and at turning out to vote in local elections. Republicans, OTOH, have been focusing on this for decades.

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As a fellow Pennsylvanian, I agree. And I watched in horror at the dismantling of democracy for the last 10 years in Wisconsin.

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If it can be…

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Massachusetts also has one of the least effective (and least transparent) legislatures in the nation, and I wish I could blame it on Republicans. Democrats have a supermajority in both houses. (There are only 3 Republicans in the 40-member senate, but the house is the big problem.) I'm still holding out hope for our new Democratic governor, but so far she's acting a lot like the so-called moderate Republican she replaced.

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Thanks Heather, while the focus is on Trump , this is the real issue for Democracy.

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Absolutely! Power corrupts absolutely and money corrupts it all

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Money is a form of power. You can buy anything, even treason from a willing seller. I see other forms of power, and political office and violence are among them. The more corrupt the government, the more freely these three forms are exchanged for each other.

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Yes,

And it is WAY past time for Democrats to get in on that party. Or else, Republicans will be in control of everything. Wait.

They already almost are.

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Not everything ... our digital Community, HCR's built Community, looks clear through noon Eastern after my first scan. 👍Saw & reported the skiiny troll above.

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Absolutely and WI is the bellwether. I worked on large construction projects in the late 90’s in WI Unions were strong and the overall sense was one of equanimity. The repugs capitalized on racism and anti union sentiment offered up by MAGA bs. A beautiful state with outstanding colleges and smart people. Vote blue.

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Both are important.

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Today's LFAA presents an excellent overview of what we who reside in Wisconsin are dealing with politically. It has been, to say the least, very frustrating.

I would amplify the point about Democrats winning state-wide races, such as Governor and Attorney General, despite the gerrymandered Assembly and Senate districts. Many of us believe that it demonstrates that the prevailing sentiment here generally leans toward the Democrats. But we lost a heartbreaker in the race for the US Senate when our very bright young progressive Lt. Governor, Mandela Barnes, received fewer votes than Senator M T Suit, who was re-elected for his third term.

Our State Assembly Majority Leader, Robin Vos, lives at the other end of the county where I live. He was fond of saying "Republicans in Wisconsin win elections because we field better candidates" to which I replied to the TV "If you run superior candidates, then why not allow fair districts?!" Somebody must have said that to his face, because he quit saying it. On his face he wears not a smile, but a smug sneer.

Brian Tyler Cohen had Ben Wikler, the Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, on his show recently. It aired on Youtube about a month ago. Ben Wikler referred to a "Doom Loop" if Judge Janet is not elected on Tuesday. If the majority of people in Wisconsin can't be represented in the Wisconsin Legislature, and if the State Supreme Court is controlled by -- let's face it -- Republicans -- there will be no legal recourse to restore fairness in our electoral process. Doom Loop -- no way out, other than to persuade people who tend to vote for Republicans to vote instead for Democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x-j2d174eU

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David, I'd urge you and any you actually reach, to 'not' ignore in any way Independents / undeclared. What I find is that their numbers are growing because more and more folks of both parties having been growing bitter with both 'official' parties. jmho

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Hi, D4N -- I'm still thinking about our "Internet Democracy Platform".

I grew up in rural SE Wisconsin. Almost all of my friends and neighbors were farmers. When you look at the electoral maps of Wisconsin, it looks mostly red. But we are so evenly divided that the maps don't really tell the story. I know that some of my old friends vote for the Republicans. I also know that they are good people. I worry about the people around the country who are white nationalists and "christian" nationalists, and anyone who was born in the US who did not learn our history growing up. But for the most part, I believe people are basically good. I believe that at some point a large majority of people will repudiate the lifelong criminal who was our 45th president.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

David,

"was our 45th President".

And might be again.

"But for the most part, I believe people are basically good."

Humans do not have a long history of "basically good". Rather, they have a long history of falling behind a very nasty demigod who punches their button, then, marching with that Demigod across wide swaths of land to kill people, and take their land, who do not share their exact religion, skin color, language, whatever.

There are so many examples of the above behavior in history that it is mind numbing.

In fact, up to the point where John Adams wrote his Massachusetts Constitution, that was the norm in human government and behavior. But, John Adams representative government did not slow down the march across what would become the United States killing the natives. Not at all.

Go read about Constantine if you want to figure out how Christianity spread. Sure, in the early stages of the story of Christ, that story spread through women who felt a connection to the new way of thinking (forgiveness, no condemnation, etc.) compared to the harsh Judaic system that they were in.

But? The reason you and I know about Christianity? Constantine marched across great swaths of land and, well, if you did not believe in Christianity, it did not go well for you.

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Mike, while I mostly agree with you, that reference to “harsh Judaic thinking” is an anti-Jewish slur. While Jesus was alive, he and his followers were all Jews. Most of his teachings are consistent with teachings from the Hebrew Bible and the rabbinic tradition, including many rabbis of that era, for example Hillel.

All 3 Abrahamic religions have traditions emphasizing compassion and caring for the vulnerable. All 3 also have opposing traditions of strictness (at best), and a history of misuse of power.

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And all are patriarchal, which does NOT bode well for women at all. Ever. So I read Mike’s comment not so much as a slur, as a frustration with this truth.

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Here is the thing about the Abrahamic religions: they are all male dominated and set rigid standards of behavior based on their interpretation of godhood. So much evil has been done in the name of the Christian and Abrahamic god that Christ has been lost in the perception of those of us both targeting and being targeted by these harsh beliefs.

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Yes and: along with the awfulness in all three, each has had teachers and teachings on behalf of kindness.

Examples from Christianity: Jesus, St.Francis, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, Dorothy Day

Examples from Judaism: repeated injunctions in scripture to love your neighbor, take care of the widow, orphan, stranger; house the homeless, free the oppressed (eg Isaiah)

Better informed people than I will know examples from Islam, and more examples from the first two.

My claims are that the harshness can easily be found in all 3; and that the awfulness is not the whole story, there are also traditions on behalf of kindness and justice. The first matters because casual repetition of stereotypes, however unintentionally, feeds the current rise in hating and hate crimes. The second matters because many people find strength to work for justice and kindness in those traditions.

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Another way to express the idea that "people are basically good" is to say that people are not fundamentally evil. A hammer can be used as a building tool, or it can be used as a weapon. The reason for expressing the idea that people are basically good is to assert the possibility that the political winds can change. If we don't see the politics changing, it is not because people are fundamentally evil and stupid, and cannot change. It is because the right conditions in society have not yet developed to get us out of the mess we're in. We lack imagination, inspiration. The fact that we have not yet fixed it should not lead to the conclusion that it is impossible to fix it.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

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“I believe people are basically good.”

The story of the two wolves is an ancient tale that has been a part of the Native American tradition for generations. Although the exact two wolves story origin is unknown, historians typically attribute the tale to the Cherokee or the Lenape people. The story of the two wolves also has several alternative titles, including “The Wolves Within,” “Which One Do You Feed?”, “Grandfather Tells” and “The Tale of Two Wolves.”

The story features two characters: a grandfather and his grandson. The grandfather explains to his grandson that there are two wolves fighting within him, which is an image that serves as a metaphor for the man’s inner sense of conflict. The conversation between the two men goes like this:

“I have a fight going on in me,” the old man said. “It’s taking place between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

The grandfather looked at the grandson and went on. “The other embodies positive emotions. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. Both wolves are fighting to the death. The same fight is going on inside you and every other person, too.”

The grandson took a moment to reflect on this. At last, he looked up at his grandfather and asked, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee gave a simple reply. “The one you feed.”

“The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. Early experiences affect the quality of that architecture by establishing either a sturdy or a fragile foundation for all of the learning, health and behavior that follow. In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second.”

We can be pro-social or anti-social. It’s up to us. But, the key is that we’re all on the same mother ship.

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"...the key is that we’re all on the same mother ship..."

reminds me that John Lewis said "We all came here on different ships, but now we're all in the same boat."

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I love John Lewis. Always think of him and lately revisit his book when I become weary. ❤️

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I have not yet read John Lewis' book. As we grew older I began to appreciate him more and more. He had so much courage, and was so persistent. I feel great admiration for such a fine human being. Thank you for the book rec.

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My faith is in the grandfather

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❤️ Thank you Pat. My hope is in the grandson.

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Hi David ! Reading you just now. *Please know, that I am ever conscious and respectful of how much space I will ever occupy on our gracious and learned host, HCR's platform. More later after I read your comments, if necessary. Salude friend (I hope sincerely) *edit in, post read > Ditto, ditto all your statements and love your intents - ditto, or amen. Sad truth, "History" for many is just perfunctory, boring requirements - even our dear HCR admits to the same attitudes and actions. That is till a fire lit up inside her. I'm forever indebted for that helpful 'fire' and motivation to put "thoughts and prayers" into constructive, critical 'actions' sharing her 'light', as opposed to 'hand wringing' or worse. Thank you sir; please remain steadfast and don't forget to *breathe* - I and we need your good heart and actions.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

D4N Writes D4N’s Substack "David, I'd urge you and any you actually reach, to 'not' ignore in any way Independents / undeclared. What I find is that their numbers are growing because more and more folks of both parties having been growing bitter with both 'official' parties."

As pointed out here:

https://www.nolabels.org/

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Fat chance of that last sentence happening.

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We agree. It's extremely frustrating to watch the slow-motion train wreck -- the train is still technically on the tracks, but we can all see the obstacle up ahead -- the bridge is out, or somebody has ripped up the tracks, or there is a giant 747 parked on the tracks, or whatever. Unless we can dream up some way to retore the integrity of the system, we'll see gloom and doom on the horizon.

As unlikely as persuading people who like to vote for "republicans" to vote instead for democracy, is persuading TFG, after his convictions, that he can stay out of jail as long as he never lies again. To put a finer point on it, the first time he misstates the truth, he will spend one day in prison. Each time he fails to communicate truthfully, the length of his sentence will double. The power of two -- at about eight or nine, if it is still alive, it would be a life sentence.

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People are excited by and drawn to the demonization of others and the formation of a tribe that supports them. Further, having formed said tribe, humans often, then, go and try to kill the people who are not in the tribe.

Sort of the most common repeated history of humans.

So, Republicans are following a long human history of scripts on how to take control. After they do, then, the next step is to kill everyone that does not agree with them.

If history is a guide.

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? What am I doing is the only rational and correct next thing I can do within 'my' control. It's delusional for me to entertain any expectations of others, places, and things. I can only move myself to 'do' what I can do. (Hi Jeri ! ) *edit > Oh my Jeri. Yep I agree with you, but... maybe ? (I followed the 'correct string' back to David. Beg your pardon...)

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This is the fight for democracy and as always follow the money. We have got to find a way to get money out of our elections. I would like to see federally funded elections with a cap and a federal election board

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^^^^^THIS!!!!^^^^^ Oh, and a much shorter election ‘season’ as well…not the perennial one we seem to have now. How I would love it if our congresspersons could actually attend to their jobs instead of having to continually spend precious time raising campaign donations.

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Ellen, yes! And ranked choice voting would nudge us back to center in ideology, I believe.

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Here here

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Ellen, Barbara, Mary, Jeri ---- all of the above!

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Frightening! The Founding Fathers and the Framers must be rolling over in their graves because of what’s happening in Wisconsin. Please get out and vote to restore some semblance of fairness there.

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It is clear this is the national game plan for the current Repugnant party. They do not want democracy to survive in the U.S. PERIOD. We , all of us who value democracy, need to work night and day on moving the needle away from this disastrous bastardization of our treasured system of checks and balances. There must be at least two healthy democratically focused parties to achieve this balance. Patriotic Republicans, or whatever they chose to call themselves must be a part of this solution. or we are going to remain on a rapidly growing authoritarian collapse into oblivion. I'm sure this is clear to most readers of this letter, and even many on the "other side of the isle. I'm afraid that most in the general voting public do not see this coming, and that's how we got to where we are now. Personally, I see Citizens United as the primary cause of this mess. We MUST remove this cancer from the body politic.

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Sad to say I feel the term “patriot/patriotic” has been usurped by the MAGAs and their ilk. Living in Germany for over 20 years now, I’ve often wondered why Germans react negatively to the terms. I’m starting to see the light.

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Thank you for your response, Dave. Patriot is a much abused term, yet I still see the intent as a positive. The Repugnants soil everything they touch, but it sill holds meaning that is worth reclaiming for me.

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Last observation is definitely on mark Craig. It's vitally important though to be clearer on one of your first declarations, re., the gop party as one general decisive entity - that brush is too wide. More focused, it's the repulsive 'Leadership' of the gop 'and' it's repulsive, corrupt 'coalition'. Think about that if you will. Hope that's helpful..

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D4N, Thanks for the thought. I now use the term Repugnant party instead of MAGA, as I feel it's more appropriate. The term "patriotic Republican" is for those who have not left the party yet (heaven knows why) to show them respect as people who still embrace democratic ideals; they include folks like Liz Cheney and other voters. I agree your examples are more specific and some readers may miss my meaning. I'm always open to different ways of looking at this morass we must confront daily and welcome your input.

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average citizens are tapped out…. And the money keeps rolling. Wish it weren’t so

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Yes, the money.... dark and dirty.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

fran,

Who knows what the Founding Fathers might think about a country where it is now legal for black folks to vote (in some states at least), illegal to sell slaves (although corporations, the modern stand in for Plantations, do manage to get a low minimum wage) and legal for women to vote, and where equal rights are promoted.

Because, the Founding Fathers did exactly none of that legislative work. Zero.

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Operation Redmap was well documented in an NPR podcast some years ago. The implications are frightening. Now we are seeing applied to even local elections.

I believe it was first employed in your state of Maine, if l am correct. The fabricated report that the incumbent was against 4th of July fireworks was used to flip a state senate seat.

How easy it is to erase years of hard earned voting rights! The will of the people is being trampled by the greed of the monied.

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Deliberately, all over the land…

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As usual, astute Jeri

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Dems control the state of Maine now.

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With thanks to Ranked Choice Voting 👍🏼

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Herb Klinker (FL and Umbria) "Operation Redmap was well documented in an NPR podcast some years ago."

Found either here:

https://www.npr.org/transcripts/616212383

and/or here:

https://www.npr.org/2016/06/15/482208994/congressional-gerrymandering-operation-redmap

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

I write not to diminish the stakes of Wisconsin’s State Supreme Court’s election, but to underscore the consequences of our no longer having meaningful federal voter protection safeguards whose provisions would supersede state law in conflict with any of its stipulations. I understand that the Freedom to Vote Act, which would ensure eligible votes, nationwide, are cast, counted correctly, and certified without interference and without their being diluted through partisan gerrymandering, will be re-introduced in the 118th Congress. While, in my view, it will not pass, contrary to its failure to pass in Jan. 2022, due to Manchin and Sinema joining the 50 Republicans who filibustered the bill, this time, it is incumbent upon all of us to call out every Republican and Democrat who blocks these minimum criteria for assuring free and secure elections.

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Barbara,

Good post: "I write....to underscore the consequences of our no longer having meaningful federal voter protection safeguards"

So, in addition to Operation Redmap, the Republicans have also taken over the federal judiciary by cheating.

When are Democrats going to get with the cheating program and start playing to win? The Federalist Society began its program of taking over the judiciary way back. We have known about it for a while.

Why can we not form a Federalist Society to buy judges and pay off people to do our bidding?

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I understand your anger, Mike. But turning into them is not the answer. Right now we are trying to allow them the benefit of the major principals of our democracy, though we know they do not deserve it as outright criminals. To become them would be to lose our souls as well as a true democracy anyway. But boy, do I understand your anger and frustration. Because we are not the party of fascistic white power over minorities, we do not have the corporate-backed money and hostile foreign entity support, nor do we want to behave like them. Our weakness is in not prosecuting the bad boys and girls when we should. Consequences matter. We do have that power right now, very slimly.

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Thank you, Pensa, for responding to Mike S in the way I was thinking about doing. We must not stoop to their level to accomplish what we want. If we do, we are contributing to the death of the democracy we all hope to have. If we wish to evolve as human beings, cheating like them is not going to get us there.

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Pensa,

"To become them would be to lose our souls as well as a true democracy anyway"

IF the only way to avoid becoming them is to cheat like they do (become them), which, might be true now given rigged courts and gerrymandering, then,

I am not going to worry much about my soul. Because, I have a bad feeling about how things will go when my vote literally does not matter anymore.

Just look at how the disenfranchised fared in America's past.

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I totally get it, Mike. And in my depths of exhaustion I feel the same way. But we do have a system and we do have the power to protest loudly on the streets--that is taking the higher road to stop their corruption. To protest their corruption....like we see in many other countries. I am not sure why America is so damned passive right now. I have protested with others during the pandemic and only 6 people show up. One time only 3, but that does not stop me. Unfortunately, I live in a mostly blue state but there are wackos here who have walked down our village street draped in a trump flag and carrying Ak-47's. That fear-based crap is surely is a deterrent of our free speech for The People, in my book.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

Mike, Having just read @ Pensa_VT’s reply, I recognize that I failed even to try to empathize with your anger and frustration. Frankly, because of how I’m built, I wasn’t even sure you were serious. Either way, I do apologize and hope I was perhaps somewhat effective in explaining myself.

In the event I haven’t lost all credibility, I would note that contributing to decadence, in my view, only would have an increasingly devastating impact. Accordingly, I subscribe, instead, to strengthening our messaging to ensure we win increasingly more contests up and down the ballot, hence positioning ourselves to shape a more generous, just future. As for the Court, I advocate expanding it, not to pack it, but to re-balance it, so that its approach to resolving disputes more closely represents the people affected by its decisions.

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Barbara Jo,

First, thanks for your kind reply. Your credibility is safe with me. I thought your original note was well written to be honest. No need for apology. Your observations and note were fine.

First: I am serious. I have been on the losing end of parts of America and know what that means. The culture Republicans foster, long part of the American landscape, leads to losing for many.

Second: I know from experience that in situations where the low road is significantly advantaged relative to the high road, and the outcomes will be really nasty staying on the high road, then, get low and go. Otherwise, you will regret the high road.

IF you have not really lost to someone cheating, lying, kissing up, coddling favor, etc. and then paid the price for that for a decade, then, you may not understand the consequences of the high road.

I was a high road guy and, internally, still am. But, I am perfectly willing to not lose the entire game just to keep my honor in place. That is, in a word: Dumb.

When George Washington ordered the Irish Immigrants and the Hessians cut up the British with their knives, in Delaware, while they were sleeping, he did not lose sleep about that.

He understood the consequences of losing.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

Mike, Thank you for taking the time to write so honestly and in such detail. I suppose, because my wars for justice have all been for redistributive justice not retributive justice, I’m not as sensitive as I could be to those on the receiving end of brute indifference to their welfare and their claims of justice. Suffice it to say this morning has been a learning experience for me.

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Mike, I just re-read your brutally honest comment with far greater appreciation than previously and re-thought my reply. Still, I would note my revisions in no way measure up to your authenticity.

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Hee hee! This is why Dems are better than Republicans! I love that you two are falling over each other in your apologies for not understanding each others' perspectives. That's so WONDERFUL. You're both right, and you're both great people.

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Support states that are critical to our country remaining a democracy.

https://www.grapevine.org/giving-circle/1XQhnyD/Tending-to-Democracy

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@MLMinET, I agree. Accordingly, I am fully engaged with every battleground state: letter writing, postcarding, phone banking, and the like.

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Mike, I write to let you know, having just read @ Pensa_VT’s reply to you, I was struck by the inappropriateness of my reply. To that end, I revised my reply to include both an apology and an attempt to explain myself.

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No worries Ms. Krieger. Your note was well written and find and well within a normal diversity of thought comment.

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Neither does Mike. He is playing devil’s advocate again.

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Pat, I would note your comment, combined with my revised reply, replete with an apology, to Mike, has left me doubting my judgement.

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Ms. Krieger,

doubting your judgement is not something that nasty, thoughtless people do.

your original note was just fine. honestly.

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Apr 3, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023

Sometimes Barbara Jo we are who we have to be, not necessarily who we want to be. Your judgement if you want to call it that, has always been relevant. Your inner voice is good to go. TY. Mike is always a complex read. He elicited that response.

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Pat, Thank you both for your reassuring words and also for the added insight regarding Mike.

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Gerrymandering is as corrupt as hell, but A-OK with SCOTUS. If the vote is the beating heart of our constitutional governance, and a right worth dying for, what is the degree of corruption that winks at it being stolen from massive numbers of Americans?

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Absent threat of actual 'justice functioning' why would they give a damn JL ? Like that old song about having no cares as I lay on my sack of seeds ? (reference was to at the time, illegal marijuana)

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Boy are those judges on state Supreme Courts critical to our democracy….as usual special thanks to Heather for pointing out just how painfully true that is on April 4th in Wisconsin….and Boy do we need Heather’s ‘heads ups’ on these fair election matters in every state in the nation….if we want our democracy to survive!

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And activism to match Heather's efforts - if humanly possible. I suspect she (HCR) is superhuman - on top of the advantage of being female.

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Completely agree!

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WISCONSIN: There is an even more important State Senate race on Tuesday in thd 8th District of Wisconsin between Dan Knodl (R) and Jodi Habush Sinykin (D). If Knodl wins, the Republicans will gain their supermajority. They will then be able to override any Governor Evers veto. They've indicated they will start impeachment of the governor and a list of other democrat officials. God help Wisconsin.

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Republicans in the legislature wouldn't be able to override the governor's veto without also having a two-thirds supermajority in the State Assembly. They are not quite there right now, but they're only two seats short.

HOWEVER, Republican Dan Knodl has said that he would seek to impeach constitutional officers and potentially even judges like Janet Protasiewicz, if Republicans were to achieve a State Senate supermajority. It seems crazy, but they keep talking about it, so we need to be taking it seriously.

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Add that to my watch list.

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In addition, Republican-appointed members of various boards have refused to leave their seats when their term ended. Wisconsin also had fake Presidential electors who were not charged. Republicans are totally crooked and will do anything to screw justice and retain control. Their “$ponsor$” pay them well for serving the rich. —Wisconsin voter.

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All the way up from local dog catchers to state and federal elections. Yep

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Just amazing to me, how much of a contribution to political public discourse Professor Richardson provides - almost daily, week in week out - during this fraught period in American history. IMHO she deserves the Medal of Freedom.

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The issue here that is most troubling to me is how little traction critical issues like these in Wisconsin are getting in the media. Republicans have been playing their long game and are now so close to bringing it to its ultimate conclusion--entrenched single party rule. That is a BIG THING. Way bigger than Trump being indicted.

Grover Norquist should be called out to the American public as the chief strategist of new American Fascism. The media blares out the "news" every time Republicans point at George Soros for funding advancing democracy but you don't hear callouts about Koch for funding single party rule.

The Republicans have no trouble calling Democrats communists and getting it reported and amplified when it is a lie. Why hasn't national Democratic leadership been calling out the fascists in the Republican party when it is the truth?

Can anyone enlighten me?

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I guess it is all about who owns the media outlet... Money talks. The average middle class citizen doesn’t have the money to fund every grassroots effort asking for donations, especially when the election cycle is years long!

Why aren’t articles or reports like Heather’s part of the educate and inform role of news outlets?? Maybe, if nothing else, we should see such information in every newspaper’s “letters to the editor.” What is happening in Wisconsin is criminal.

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My local paper, formerly a family owned paper for over a century then sold to Gannett, got rid of its op ed/letters to the editor page because it was frequently cited as the main reason for cancelling a subscription. I am torn between continuing to support this paper (who has about 25 local people still working for it) and cancelling because they stopped the op ed page. We get maybe 2 or 3 local stories, maybe another 2 or 3 regional stories, and the rest is USA Today or other national "news" sources. I pay only for on line, since the actual news paper has shrunk to maybe a 18-22 page paper and I cannot see paying three times the amount for delivery.

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I donated til it hurt to pitch out Ron Johnson, along with a flood of money to oppose the Texas trio. Money flushed due to gerrymandering and the destruction of democracy in Wis and Tx. Wish there was some way to oust Grover Norquist from the human race.

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Thank you, Professor Richardson for highlighting republicans efforts to destroy Wisconsin’s two party system,

“In the 2022 election, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for governor, Tim Michels, promised, “Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I’m elected governor.” In plain sight, the repubs’ Operation REDMAP has openly created a Repub stronghold, thanks to Big Money Koch Brothers and gerrymandering and changing election procedures. And courts. Journalist Dan Shafer, “notes that Supreme Court terms are for ten years” so if they aren’t shifted in the election, the court and the maps remain. No checks and balances. What can “We the People “ do in the short and long term? This is another warning about repubs intention to destroy our Democracy. One state at a time.

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Is it too late, Dems have slept through several decades of Grover’s agenda. Bill Moyers outed him decades ago…

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Why on Earth can't the US have an independent, apolitical, electoral commission like most Westminster based democracies?

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Because it's not in the Constitution, and our Constitution is too hard to change, and our founding parents never imagined how corrupt our leaders might.become. To oversimplify....

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Even Afghanistan had one!

It's such a simple process to eliminate these ridiculous shenanigans...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_commissions_(United_Kingdom)

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One would think...

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People like Grover Norquist…

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