402 Comments

I do believe our problem is a revenue problem, not a spending problem. After over 40 years of tax cuts, too much really is not enough? It seems that way. And why should we buy into any plan from a party that openly supports a criminal plan, to subvert elections and our government? I will take Joe Biden over President Fraud, any day. He is decent, honest, knowledgeable and more effective than I had hoped.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Jack,

"I do believe our problem is a revenue problem, not a spending problem". I agree however, there are (many) parts of the US budget, over the last 43 or so years, that have been wasteful spending.

1. I would argue that the Bush wars, based on lies, which resulted in spending of $2.3 TRILLION dollars directly, not including the long term costs of taking care of wounded veterans for the rest of their lives. Not including the extra funding that was sent out the Republican owned military contractors. Not including the Haliburton NO BID contracts.

https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/figures/2021/human-and-budgetary-costs-date-us-war-afghanistan-2001-2022#:~:text=Figures-,Human%20and%20Budgetary%20Costs%20to%20Date%20of%20the%20U.S.%20War,in%20both%20Afghanistan%20and%20Pakistan.

2. I would also argue that the massive increases in military spending the US has sponsored since 1980 are also wasteful and ridiculous.

3. The "stimulus", called PPP, that was passed by the Republican Congress under Trump was also filled with wasteful largesse. For example, the Paycheck Protection Program was one of the most abused government programs in history. People with no employees were paying their fake employees big salaries on the PPP. PPP was a joke of corruption. Members of Congress were laughing about how easy it was to game it and get free money. As far as I can tell, the PPP was mostly a big welfare giveaway to Republicans.

4. In 1987 or so President Reagan announced his "Star Wars" program to come up with lasers to shoot down incoming missiles and then, appropriated an eye popping ONE TRILLION DOLLARS of 1987 money to that program. And? That program never produced one functional laser that worked, BUT, ALL of the $1 Trillion was spent. No lie. Total corruption.

So, I agree we have a revenue problem. No doubt all those tax cuts on the wealthy who drive our roads, use our mail system on Sunday to deliver their profit, use our publicly funded rail systems were stupid.

But, those tax cuts DID garner campaign contributions which is how people in the US get elected.

We, the US, are not really a Democracy right? We are mostly a Social Democratic House of Prostitution.

And, therein lies the real problem.

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'Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught in N.Y.C. Eating Soros-Backed Hebrew National Hot Dog'

'NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s political future was in peril after she was caught on camera in New York City eating what her supporters alleged was a George Soros-backed Hebrew National hot dog.'

'Greene, in Manhattan to protest Donald J. Trump’s arraignment, was photographed eating the Judaic sausage in Times Square while en route to having her picture taken with Elmo.'

'After images of Greene seemingly enjoying the controversial beef product ricocheted across social media, the Georgia congresswoman took to Twitter to control the damage.'

“I take no responsibility for any meat I ingested while under the influence of the Rothschild banking family’s mind-control beams,” 'she tweeted.' (Satire, NewYorker)

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How to get media attention, say stupid outrageous nonsense. The decision to interview her on 60 Minutes was, speaking of stupid, a real faux pas. I might have thought that the producers of 60 Minutes had more sense than to give such an idiot more exposure.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Harvey Kravetz Writes Harvey’s Newsletter "I might have thought that the producers of 60 Minutes had more sense than to give such an idiot more exposure."

You are not alone:

"𝘓𝘦𝘴𝘭𝘪𝘦 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘩𝘭’𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸 𝘪𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘢 𝘰𝘯𝘦-𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺. 𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘴𝘺𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘰𝘮 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢 𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘺𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘢𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘴𝘮. 𝘐𝘯 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘙𝘦𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘥𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳, 𝘋𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘥 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘮𝘱. 𝘍𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘰𝘧 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘋𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘥’𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 21." --Mary Trump

https://okmagazine.com/p/mary-trump-declares-leslie-stahl-60-minute-interview-marjorie-taylor-greene-atrocity/

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NOBODY detests MTG more than me, as she is one of the representatives from my state, and we already get enough bad publicity. There was no way in hell I would've sat through that 60 Minutes feature. I'm of two minds about the Stahl interview. Yes, it smacked of being purely a "fluff" piece designed to get viewers to "watch the freak". However, it can also be said that it served to show America just how really unhinged she and the rest of her ilk actually are. Yes, Stahl could have taken MTG much more stringently to task for some of her lies and misinformation, but what would that have accomplished? A decidedly very small percentage of Americans take the woman seriously. An argument can be made that letting someone THAT off-the-rails crazy express their views in a cool, calm, and collected manner is actually more chilling and revolting. As I've maintained from the beginning, "give this woman enough rope and she WILL hang herself..." This type so often do eventually. (Please understand I am speaking metaphorically about "hanging" and am not suggesting suicide...) Yes, people like her crave publicity, BUT, in her case, that publicity can also backfire on her because she is off-the-charts loony. I honestly doubt having her in such a high-profile exposure is at all going to gain her adherents. Most likely, the opposite. And also, I can't imagine the viewership of 60 Minutes among right-wing extremists is all that high, considering what CBS and mainstream media represent to them.

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Good points. But, like you, I would not waste a good hour of my life listening to that nutcase. There are some really interesting, thoughtful people out there with interesting, intelligent, and imaginative ideas out there. Let's listen to them for a change.

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Here is unrolled tweets from Jeff Sharlet dissecting and commenting on the Stahl interview with Greene:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1642951765942489088.html

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Well said, Bruce!

Indeed, from a fellow Georgian.

Yes, we have received bad publicity since antebellum times (and even before); however, we have accomplished quite a bit in a short time recently. I wasn't born in Georgia, but since moving here in 1982 I have seen a lot of progress. There is a very long way to go, for sure, but I am seeing the potential of the people to get there.

This wasn't to disagree with anything you said! I just used your comment as an excuse to express my feelings about my adopted state....

Thanks.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Here’s Mary’s Substack where “okmagizine” got that quote. It’s well worth reading the whole thing.

https://marytrump.substack.com/p/the-weaponization-of-hypocrisy?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

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Thanks, George T!

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I have had it with the media. I don't watch it and you are all confirming why. I'm reading the biography of John Maynard Keynes. This baloney was going on in the US in the 1930s.

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Harvey, but, you already know:

60 minutes has to make money and MTG is a big attention getter.

That is why we also a 60 minute segment on a woman who claimed, with evidence, that Bill Clinton raped her in her hotel room back before he became President or just after.

Huge audience. big money.

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WITH evidence or WITHOUT evidence?

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Why not interview some really interesting people with something new on their minds for a change?

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So done with idiots.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Fern,

MTG is most definitely!

A prime example of our "governmental" election system. No doubt about it.

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Mike S,

Did you read the article about Stormy Daniels that I posted for you after reading your comments calling her a hooker and prostitute without information indicating such?

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Fern,

Yes, and thank you. You made an excellent set of observations.

However, I did respond: "No self respecting Porn Star would join Trump in a Tryst without payment." Something like that.

So, while it might be that Stormy was not routinely in play as a prostitute, I am sure that her time with Trump was compensated.

As for my use of the word "hooker", I probably do not associate that word with as much of a negative context as you appeared to feel the word "hooker" bestowed.

I view the word "hooker" like I view the term "engineer". To provide my own perspective.

Just another career Fern. Hooker. Engineer. Fireman. Cop.

A hooker is just working for a living Fern. Nothing negative about it.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Mike S,

You give yourself a great deal of rope. There have been no reports or statements that Stormy Daniels was ever a 'prostitute' or as you stated a 'hooker'. You then go on to write 'So, while it might be that Stormy was not routinely in play as a prostitute, I am sure that here time with Trump was compensated'. 'Not routinely in play as a prostitute', now that is at least good for a snicker or a hearty laugh to your face by me! You continue to make claims without any backing. On what basis, Mike S are you 'sure' that her 'time with Trump was compensated'? Your comments are highly prejudicial. 'Hooker' is another word for prostitute. You wrote it, and I quoted you. I am sure you do not know my 'feelings' about that word. Now, you just keep your long rope as you continue to make unsubstantiated claims about Stormy Daniels occupations, which by the way are as a actor and director.

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A hooker is also an Irish fishing boat. Look up Galway hooker.

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And she's very successful at what she does. There's an old joke that goes, "Who are you going to believe: the blond with the big boobs or Stormy Daniels."

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Clearly, she is auditioning for tfg's VP slot. The "bad attention is better than no attention" ploy. She is a perfect sidekick for him. White, loud, brazen, willfully ignorant on the ignorance spectrum, outrageous, racist, mean-spirited, and power hungry. And since it's absolutely clear that Republicans don't vet their political office candidates (also their Supreme Court candidates, but that's a whole other story), she'd be a shoo-in. Thoughts and prayers, people.

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Ick. That's all I can say in response.

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Ick indeed. She is a festering infection which is why I call her Gangrene. Rotten to the core.

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The festering infection is the electorate that put her in office.

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I wouldn't say the rightwing SCOTUS candidates are "vetted" by the secretive Federalist Society; more like those candidates--having already shown themselves to be right-wingish--are simply further indoctrinated and groomed by the ultra rightwing "judi-philes".

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

I don't know...she is busy being the perfect little toady-girl right now, but I guarantee she won't spend her time staring worshipfully at the back of drumpf's head as did Mike "the Fly" Pence. Empty Greene craves and thrives on attention as much as Drumpf does and she won't be shy about trying to grab some of his. Yam-face famously dislikes strong women, so that will definitely work in her disfavor. Also, her antics may make her the darling of the idiot MAGAs, but I doubt her brand will sell to a majority of sane, thinking citizens.

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I certainly hope not. Done with this bunch.

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And she displays cruelty, which is part of the Republican platform.

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I'm a bit lost here. I was following a Stormy Daniels thread, but I think we're back to MTG now, right?

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Andy Borowitz conveys truth as only the court jester can ;)

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Just a few moments ago, I saw a report with what is apparently the first (hopefully only) altercation in NYC: the giant TRUMP LIES banner is out, and two red hatted individuals attempted to tear it up. I swear, with the mob of police and media around one of them, my first thought was that it was MTG.

One of them is flashing a big smile, you know she is loving the attention she is getting. The other has an American flag wrapped around her shoulders, tied like a shawl. (Isn't that supposedly illegal?)

FERN--hopefully this is the extent of the crazies, but stay safe there, we value you!

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Thank you, Fern! That got my day started out with a LOL. Those are few and far between these days!~

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🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

I am wondering whether she will actually be here in NYC today. And if so, who is paying?

Pretty sure someone will cover it.

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K. McCarthy, the Republican Party, George Soros, The Pillow Man, V. Putin...?

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From what I heard on MSNBC, she showed up for about 5 minutes.

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Thanks, as always, Fern!!

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Did that nincompoop really say that? Give me a break. I knew she was not altogether on the planet, but what a total whack job. And some people take this person seriously?That is pathetic.

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Priceless! Truly, priceless!

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Hahahaha

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Comment deleted
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That it is a satire was indicated.

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You have to read the whole comment to see that it says satire at the end. It's always a good idea to do that before commenting. (I know from personal experience! 😆😆)

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We tell the truth in our jests.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

I mostly agree, but your label of our country as a "Social Democratic House of Prostitution" carries implications against Social Democrats who would never support most of the things your post speaks against.

I don't think you meant it that way, but I am a Democrat and a member of DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), and though I do not agree with their entire platform, your implication gives them a bad rap.

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Mike S. I agree with 1,2 and 4. Having personal experience with 4 I thought I should mention PPP was quickly pushed to prevent a dangerous economic downfall. Banks were charged with vetting the applications and some banks were more diligent than others. My company applied with our small bank of twelve branches. The funds came to us quickly and every penny supported our employees full employment. Since then I have read of large hospitals receiving money and subsequently laying off nurses. There are other disturbing stories, however, the PPP program did get the job done as designed. There is some reporting of claw backs and investigations into the worst offenders which we all should applaud.

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Frankom,

Thank you for sharing some of the good PPP did do. I am glad to hear it was helpful.

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Didn"t God call out God's own people for adultery [chasing after false gods] in the many years before Assyria destroyed the northern kingdom and Babylon southern kingdom of Judah. Why are we not reading the prophet Ezekiel, among others, today?

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Eleanor,

I have read the old testament. Twice. But, honestly, it is pretty depressing. Lot of folks fighting, taking over towns, and making off with the women. Repeat.

I do like Proverbs though. And Psalms.

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Republicans have no idea how to manage a budget, let alone a country. Republican members of Congress whose PPP loans were forgiven: Matt Gaetz, R-FL, $476,000; Marjorie Taylor Green, R-GA, $180,000; Greg Pence, R=IN., R79,441; Vern Buchanan, R-FL, $2.8M; Keven Hern, R-OK, $1,070,000; Roger Williams, R-TX, $1,430,000; Brett Guthrie, R-KY, $4.3M; Ralph Norman, R-SC, $306,620; Ralph Abraham, R-LA, $38,000; Mike Kelly, R-PA, $974,100; Vicki Hartzler, R-MO, $451,200; Markwayne Mullein, R-OK, $988,700; and Carol Miller, R-WV, $3.1M

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and they use all sorts of diversions to keep attention off their dirty deeds.

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If you could find number of employees it would put the numbers into context. In my case they used total payroll to figure the PPP to our company. I think some expenses were included such as utilities. Payroll was the big deal and if someone had two employees and received 180,000 I would be looking into that case.

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As a matter of fact, thanks to the Strategic Defense Initiative, aka Star Wars, the United States now deploys an array of advanced missile defense systems. And no, Star Wars wasn't just about "space lasers." But on that front, basic research on X-ray laser weapons spawned several advanced technologies, e.g. laboratory X-ray lasers for biological imaging and generating 3D holograms of living organisms, and enhanced techniques for early detection of breast cancer.

Oh, and did I mention that SDI was a key factor in the ending of the Cold War and the demise of the late, unlamented USSR?

But in the depths of the progressive fever swamp, Reagan = Evil. Right?

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Hardly anything is all good or all evil. Reagan is VERY responsible for the current state of dis-information in the media. Roger Ailes and Lee Atwater were his guys. Roger created Fox "News" after the fairness doctrine went away...and Lee recanted his "rat fucking" schemes on his deathbed and asked for forgiveness.

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Good riddance to the Fairness Doctrine. I can think of nothing more sinister, yet somehow hilarious, than the notion that the enforcement of "fairness," whatever that's supposed to mean, should be entrusted to a cabal of government bureaucrats. And I have no doubt whatsoever that your definition of "fairness" would be a megaphone for progressivism. Thanks but no thanks.

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Actually in the day of real journalists and news bureaus, they pretty much self regulated, because they were professionals...not partisan hacks and propagandists. I see that you're a Vet...many of the first generation of TV newsmen had been at the front lines in WWII, covering the D-Day landing, the war in the Pacific, the liberation of the Nazi Death Camps. When Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine we got the likes of Rush Limbaugh and the 24x7 propaganda of Murdoch's channel. I'm fine with progressive thought and policy. Who would you look up to today as an example of a good, fair, reliable news person? Just one example if you please.

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Reagan should have been impeached for the Iran Contra affair. It was treasonous. He and Nixon both escaped any real accountability for their crimes. Nixon, at least resigned. Reagan was protected by his people.

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Michael Moore devoted a podcast to treasonous presidents. Well worth a look

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Ah, yes, the Fat Bastard of American progressivism and admirer of Castrocare. I must give him one kudo, however: Back when everybody on the Left was laughing over the insane notion that Donald Trump could ever be elected president, Moore predicted that he would.

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How was it treason? Hint: To answer that question, you need to refer to your copy of the Constitution of the United States. You do have it handy, right?

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Reagan promoted the largest transfer of wealth this nation had ever scene from workers to the already wealthy.

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Oh yeah? How much did you lose?

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Thomas,

The key factor in ending the Cold War was: Gorbachaev.

Reagan just took credit for his work.

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all VERY true. I voted for W Bush the first time...boy do I regret that, but it would not have changed the electoral outcome...I was doing a lot of DC events in those days. Did 8 with Bush from election to the end. He went from glorified hero, to the guy nobody wanted to be seen next to. The last event I did with him was at the Building Museum. It was the Republican Governor's Association annual gala. Gov. Arnold S. of CA was there. He was never seen on the same side of the room as Bush. Even the Secret Service were lax. I got in without even going through a metal detector or being searched even though I was working 20' from the President. That's never happened on any other gig I've done like that.

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Mike.

"I voted for W Bush the first time". Very sadly, so did I Mike. One of the larger judgement errors of my life (not including my first girlfriend, THE largest one).

:-)

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Mike S, who we voted for in the past, is a reflection on a couple of things; how much real information the “news” provides us and at what level of social conscience have we evolved to at that point in our lives

I voted for GWB also, before I read Sec Tres Paul O’Neill’s book. Learning more changes belief systems, right?

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Dave the thing that put me off of Bush & company was their obvious ruthlessness and lies. When they outed Valerie Palme, that was the last straw for me. I may have to watch Fair Game tonight after I've had enough of the Trump story.

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Bush/Cheney’s takedown of Colin Powell’s trust in the information chain was an eye opener for me. Ruthless ditto. At a certain level, these “leaders” figure individuals are chattel to be sacrificed on the alter of their rights to rule. You see this in government, but also consistently in Corporate Backstabbing America where loyalty and service is a one way ticket to self destruction of the chattel class

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Thanks for the laugh. My early girlfriends were fine. The ex wife not so much. (my current wife doesn't like the term "1st wife" in regards to the ex). The ex was fine, until she wasn't. 15 years out of 20 isn't too bad...Bush and his cabal turned me off of the GOP, probably forever. Liz has regained a few points for the Cheney family....but the Trump worship gang is just too bizarre.

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Tell your wife not to be too concerned about terminology. My techie husband refers to me as wife 2.0. :-)

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We have a common regret.

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Amazing lack of accountability for the DOD, and other agencies. I noted today the DOD failed their 5 th audit.

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I agree there is a lot of waste. There is a revenue loss going back to the Eisenhower administration. Back then , for every dollar in taxes collected from payrolls, corporate taxes were $1.50. Today corporate taxes are 25 cents for every dollar that workers contribute. It took a long time but they got a reduction so that they pay only 1/6 of what they once did. Eisenhower paid for the Interstate Highway project with cash. No borrowing, no bonds, cash. We can’t pay our bills these day unless we borrow. Not that it seems to matter.

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I am sorry to say that I do know people who claimed to have employees when they did not in order to PPP funds. I am also sorry to say that I had an accountant who charged me 500.00 to get a loan, no big deal, you don't have to use it, but failed to inform me that whether I used it the loan or not, I would be liable to pay interest on the loan.

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Mike, your post is excellent. You mentioned 40 years of cuts, which is true but I think the specific timing of the cuts and subsequent spending is key. Please indulge my additional commentary.

Reagan cut taxes in 1981 and then began massively spending the next year on nuclear stockpiling. In 1983 he announced, and in 1984 layered on the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), aka Star Wars and further ballooned deficits after lowered corporate tax rates were already reducing Federal revenue. The massive missile buildup continued through both of his administrations and much of his successor's, Bush 41. SDI never became operational but didn't get the axe until Clinton in 1993. Reagan cut social net programs like food, housing and unemployment assistance, the cumulative effect of which being nowhere close to offsetting his defense increases. Poverty increased. Although Reagan reduced budgeted government spending, he never submit a balanced budget. He replaced the lost tax revenue to pay for defense largesse with borrowing and drove massive debt loads, adding future tax burdens to America.

Soon after his election, Bush 43 began scaring the country of a recession, even while the country was still growing from the Clinton boom years and enjoying a budget surplus. Then he and his party pushed through tax cuts in June of 2001. The nation was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Congress gave him broad, essentially unfettered, war powers and he sent forces to Afghanistan, the training ground of Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, to begin the War on Terror. Tax cuts weren't delayed, nor were any other significant expenditures slowed with the incurred costs of this military action. More borrowing began instead.

In 2003 Bush 43's administration, under false pretenses of imminent nuclear threat from Iraq, began military action there too. While our military was already fully engaged in war with the Taliban in Afghanistan, he launched an attack in Iraq in March of 2003. He landed on an aircraft carrier in May 2003, hopped out under a "Mission Accomplished" banner and prematurely claimed victory in Iraq. He was wrong. The ongoing conflicts on two fronts, however, didn't stop his need for more tax cuts. He and his cohorts passed another round of them later in the same month. Meanwhile, all of the war costs were kept off books and outside of the usual budget process, with he and his allies choosing instead to borrow the ~$2T over the course of both wars. Some estimates show the country's interest burden alone at about $6.5T through 2050 from just this war borrowing.

Today, Professor HCR meticulously detailed the next round of tax cuts for wealthy and corporations under Dolt 45. She also covered the subsequent spending for business and the eventually passage of temporary social net stimulus, after businesses cried that none of the laid off or furloughed could buy their products. More borrowing was needed for this too. I've said before, on this forum or another, if all of these tax cuts provide capital for businesses to thrive and create jobs, why were TARP, PPP, funding and purchase guarantees for vaccine production, stimulus payments and any other of the business giveaways needed after four major rounds of tax cuts for business over 40 years? If the savings they get provides the capital to build their businesses and create jobs, why do they beg the Federal government for welfare when the economy slows after every round of it? All of us reading here know these guys are running a con. How do we demonstrate these raw numbers to wake our fellow citizens up from trickle-down fairy tales and vote for their own preservation?

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Well, likely the deficit problem is a combination of spending and revenues. I agree more on the revenue side. Reverting some of the "Trump tax cuts" (in quotes because mine actually went up due to the elimination of the state and local tax credit), would help. Certainly raise capital gains substantially.

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Mostly a Revenue Problem. When fulfilling the promise to Seniors of WCare Part D costs the Budget $0.5T annually, and another W "mission accomplished" costs another $0.5T annually, we start off each Budget year $1T in the hole.

Combined with the Reagan, W & tRUmp Robberies From the 99.7% to give to the Upper 0.3% We the People end up with a $32Trillion National Debt ...

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Yup, Jack! Great Biden summary: “decent, honest, knowledgeable and more effective than (many of us) had hoped.

Revenue Problem - yeah, I always get a bit sarcastic at my car radio when one of those Optima Tax Relief ads comes on and a voice “claims” that the IRS is “after him” because he owes $80,000 in back taxes. And I know that there might be some good that comes out of Optima, but still....

Another thing - and here’s my slogan again: Government Investments Are Not Terrible - Let EVERY American Prosper - or GIANT LEAP!!!

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NATO! Finland today! And just maybe we will learn from Europe how to take proper care of US all.

No president since FDR has had such a need to take care of all of US, nor had a better example than much of Europe, and the compassion to do it, as President Biden.

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Jack, I agree! And would add that it’s not the problem of the lower 50% not paying enough, but the upper 10% paying too little. People making the equivalent to $145,000 in 1950 paid an incremental rate of 48%, compared to 24% today.

https://www.tax-brackets.org/federaltaxtable/1950

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/taxes/federal-income-tax-brackets

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Did you just fly in from the moon? Not a spending problem?

Do you always talk in leftist cliches?

Rates have gone from .025% to 4.75% in one year based on government spending.

Every dollar you print reduces the value of the previous dollar. We are spending our way into oblivion. This is exactly the path to being a Chinese satellite country. Devalue the currency, run the debt up to Greek levels, let politicians sell influence, and sell off of our resources.

Are we clear?

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Awwww, poor James A…. Do you always talk in rightist cliches? Tell us a couple of things:

1.) Raise the Debt Limit or Sabotage the US (and World) Economies?

2.) When will the Republicans present their Budget Proposal?

3.) What Spending REDUCTIONS would you recommend?

4.) What Tax Increases/Deductions (and for whom) would you recommend?

5.) Would you recommend the elimination of Trump’s Sunset Clauses from his 2017 TCJA?

(I am hoping that there will be no vitriolic statements from you, but I must tell you I am expecting some as well as mostly crickets on my five questions. Please prove me wrong. Thank you so very much.)

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President Fraud is a good one! You made me laugh. Thank you!

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Leftist just love cliches.

As I remember he was duly elected.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Let's cut to the quick here: people have internalized the falsity that to be responsible means to spend less. Nope. To be responsible means to spend **the appropriate amount necessary** to adequately deal with the issue at hand. You get what you pay for. If something in your house needs repair, and it costs $100 to fix it properly, but you either refuse to fix it because you don't want to spend the money, or you only spend $50 and do a slipshod job, that is not being responsible. That is being a half-assed penny pincher, and since it's definitely going to break again now, you've just wasted your money entirely. Such responsibility! As we would say when I was a kid "...NOT!"

Oh, and don't get me started on "running the government like a business." How about you run it like the thing that it is? Do you drive your car like a bicycle, or brush your hair like your teeth, or cook your oatmeal like your tater tots? Geezus, I hope not. No, folks who like the idea of treating the government like a business feel that way because they like the idea of business, and do not like the idea of government. Why not make the disliked thing more like the preferred thing? Well, guess what? Every damn developed human society has had a government for a reason.

This nonsense is triple hilarious given how big businesses never get accused of "recklessness" when pouring massive amounts of other people's money into complicated, evasive schemes to enrich themselves. No, no, no! That is what you call INVESTING! Perfectly sensible, and as the stakeholders of Silicon Valley Bank can attest, always a recipe for long-term stability and success!

I could go on and on, and get more and more sarcastic, but I am currently in my plaid pajamas and would like to maintain the midnight mood I am manifesting through this sartorial selection. So I will just say this: I'm a responsible adult. I'm a patriotic American. I am fine with paying my taxes, and I wouldn't mind a good deal *more* government spending, as long as my taxes get spent on *actual* responsible investments: fully-funded programs that will help make life easier in clear, direct ways for our citizens as a whole.

I would sooner spend a trillion dollars for universal childcare and eldercare, than spend one dime more on a fighter jet that cannot fly. I feel this way because I have altruistic values. How irresponsibly reckless of me!

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Will--thank you for making it possible for me not to post a similar comment! You have laid out the cognitive dissonance beautifully. Many years ago, in the previous century, when the L'il Newt-driven Congress was moaning about taxes and budget cuts, the Clinton White House actually asked for "regular folk" volunteers to get together and hash out models of how to make the massive budget slashing work. And guess what? People volunteered in large numbers but when it came down to trying to figure out how to do it, they couldn't. I am a big advocate of the idea of hands-on learning--it's obvious that the reason why we are in this current situation re: taxes and the debt ceiling is because the folks screaming the loudest are (as usual) utterly uninterested in expending any real energy to make stuff work. Is this a sign of infantile behavior? You betcha. Are we plagued with such infants all over the damn place? You betcha.

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Not just had to make the comment but do it so much better than I could!!

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Great rave Will from Cal but, you forgot ranting about buying property AND liability insurance especially if you are not altruistic. It's called 'transfer of risk'.

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Mitchells always speak plainly! Well said.

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We are very like minded Will from Cal. I never understood the businessman model being a desirable politician mentality, they’re opposites. A failed businessman as POTUS is a shining example of convoluted logic.

Everything on this planet is subject to proper maintenance if we expect it to last. We must be mindful of everything from our environment, our belongings, our health, government, and especially our future. Progress will always be made to better the human race. Technology advances in every area that meet needs benefits from maintenance. When I was little, if I wanted to talk to my grandma, I either waited for a visit, or called her on our stuck to the wall rotary phone. If my mother wanted to talk to her grandmother when she was little, she had to walk down the street. My grandson texts me if he wants to tell me something, I answer and communication is practically immediate. It’s why we don’t have a market for buggy whips, and why ICE vehicles are going away. Progress, innovation, changing societal needs. Repair or replace and always improve. That’s why we as a nation of our size will never tolerate the fascism Republicans have been attempting to force upon us for the last 43 years. Greed in the thinly veiled guise of fiscal responsibility and blaming their manufactured grievances on the poor, POC and women. Overturning Roe v Wade to show us who’s boss? Oops. That hit a nerve.

Republicans are doubling down on irresponsible and unpopular policies because greed requires a level of controlling the narrative. They’ve run out of narrative and are spewing nonsense.

I never had an active shooter drill until I was 42 years old and working in education. Now, you don’t know if your child’s school is doing enough to keep your babies safe. Republican lawmakers attitude is, “I guess we’ll find out...”. Public education is one of the biggest roadblocks to fascism. They’ve made it undesirable by slashing funds and dummying down curriculum. NCLB is horseshit. Since we still have a working public school system, they’re using death and fear as a deterrent. How well do you learn under the threat of a horrible death?

Returning our nation to what the PEOPLE need to foster progress, a healthy economy, society, and future is what I see trying to emerge from President Biden’s proposal to rebuild the middle class. Thanks Will from Cal, your posts are appreciated as well thought and spot on.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

As a lifelong Maine resident, it must be said that we've already elected Governors who promised to make *gummint* work like a business...and everybody involved got burnt: because government is not now and never was meant to work like a business.

Those who hold elective office cannot be fired and those who are appointed *should* actually be at least somewhat knowledgeable about the department they have been appointed to lead.

Unfortunately, it appears voters are perennially susceptible to the old repubbie siren song of "lower taxes" and "run government like a business, blah, blah, blah" even when they should know better.

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'Fully agree with you, TL. Since at it's heart, the only function of government is regulation, how could it possibly be a business? There's no "product" that can be sold for a profit. Even the functions seemingly sold as "services" are actually the function of regulation, like the "service" of issuing drivers' licenses. Free vaccines and public health "services" are, legalistically speaking, simply part of regulating public health.

In fact, "profit," the entire motivation in business, goes by the name of "corruption" when you put it into a government context. Charging more for a service than it costs of provide it, then pocketing the difference? That's the entire purpose of business, but is the very definition of an illegal kickback in government. When you hire a guy who's even corrupt by business standards to be your government official, like Trump, what else can you expect?

Sure, both business and government (and church, for that matter), should be run efficiently and honestly, but that's as far as it goes. After that, they require completely different goals, standards, and competencies. And electing someone who wants to "run government like a business" is either electing a fool who has no clue what to do, or is electing a crook who is looking forward to stealing taxpayer funds.

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The other functions of federal government are: to undertake projects too big for any one person or company or state to finance and/or coordinate (such as infrastructure: bridges, highway and train systems or massive social safety nets) and to conduct/coordinate military defense and offer diplomacy and official relations with other countries.

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An excellent description of the differences of the two- Governing and Business Enterprises.

Bravo.

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Right on.

A business is a money making entity. Government is an umbrella over its citizens. And Citizens are inhabitants of a piece of land that houses them while they live life, produce goods and services, and sometimes raise other human beings.

So conservatives need to get the distinction and stop playing around with silly ideas about how to run a County.

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Another way of making Will's point is to use actual data showing that when US tax $ is spent on things that actually make American lives better, the economy Grows. I have seen many charts showing this over my life but here is just one that shows it graphically how the economy grows under each and every Democratic admin and how it Shrinks under every GOP admin. The reds give away massive tax breaks to their "investors" (they are Not donors because investors always expect ROI-return on their investment) that shrink the economy and drive up the deficit under the long disproven lie that it "trickles down". The blues consistently have to rebuild the economy after each and every wasteful term of the GOP. This chart is only thru 2016 but we know tfg's years were the worst with $2t wasted on giveaways to the rich

https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/309cc8e1-b971-45c6-ab52-29ffb1da9bf5/jec-fact-sheet---the-economy-under-democratic-vs.-republican-presidents-june-2016.pdf

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After 40 years or so of trying to get these points across, and obviously failing to do so, while education spending is cut, and the redpublicans continue to scream loudly about the positive effects of supply-side spending/trickle-down voodoo economics, our country is in a terrible state (even leaving aside the devastating effects of a global pandemic - and rump's criminal mishandling of it here in the US - and the follow-on results of supply chain shortages, oil/gas price increases (again, rumpy is much to blame here), and the ensuing inflation after people begin returning to work, which work demands both transportation of goods and the goods themselves). How do we get it across to the hard-of-thinking voters that supply-side/trickle-down economic policies DO NOT WORK, HAVE NEVER WORKED, and that trying to pretend a government is a business and therefore should be run like one DOES NOT WORK? Why can't we effectively counter these malicious lies - the evidence is readily available, so why can't we effectively get these points across, and do so NOW, before more pernicious damage is done?

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Your question, Lynn is one that goes thru this substack group fairly regularly. By their nature, Dems by always doing-the-right-thing handcuff themselves and end up often on the lesser end of a debate (whose answers are usually obvious) because they don't scream, shout, or lie like the opposition does. Nor do the Dems have an entire media network of not just one giant lie machine owned by the Murdochs but, hundreds of smaller more local lie machines owned and controlled by Sinclair whose extreme right wing views reach a reported 4-in-10 US households. Add to that social media's hate & conspiracy groups such as Alex Jones and now Elon Musk and you have very little to even come close to competing with it on the left or even center.

So, my own view is that until some one with $$$ is willing to step up and begin something similar based on truth, honest news that reports these things, change is going to be hard. Yes, there's MSNBC, the Bulwark and a few others but, nothing that competes IMO. I don't like being negative but, I believe your answer is in the country's fixation on screens dominated by negative info, none of whom are going to give any positive coverage to Biden's current "Investing in America" tour. (see link)

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/03/31/president-biden-continues-investing-in-america-tour-with-visit-to-minnesota/

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I wonder if even then, with a George Soros, or other zillionaire with a social conscience, funding a new media empire designed to counter the "alternative facts" a/k/a lies of the RWNJ, whether the message would get through.

I agree with TLMills that the emo-manipulation crowd may be beyond hope, but there have to be other people out there who try to base their choices on what they think are facts - but because they get their "news" from the RWNJ media, they are manipulated by the "alternative facts" put forth by the RWNJs. Thus, they are trying to be reasonable, but do not realize, or cannot accept, that they are being lied to for monetary gain by the liars. How do we get THAT message across? How do we effectively communicate that "alternative facts" are in fact lies? We will never get them voting in their own interests - and those of the rest of the country - by continuing our pallid (by comparison) messaging. We have to change their minds.

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Up late and just ckd in to see your reply. I agree with yours and Mills' thoughts in general. The next point after my previous post is my own interpretation of "emotional manipulation" is really just "Hate". The people you and Mills refer to, thru the firehose of negative media they are addicted to have been taught to simply hate. It really doesn't matter what the subject is anymore. Their cult now believes that hating the other side, Owning the Libs or however you define it is all that matters. No one issue or policy is the focus as they have no policy. They cannot tell you what they believe in. Otherwise, as you rightly point out, no sane person would "vote against their own interests".

Your last sentence, "how do we change their minds?" I do not know. I suspect they will be with us for at least a generation or two. But, history does tell us that authoritarian figures like TFG do not fare well, long term. Hitler committed suicide and Mussolini was executed around the same time. While Stalin & Mao both survived they supposedly both suffered great paranoia thru their lives from having to look behind them every step, bite they took or drink they sipped. Even Bolsonaro had to escape Brazil.

Also, some have left the cult and openly admit how crazy it was to believe the lies plus almost none of TFG's supporters came to protest his arrest in NYC today. That says to me that, while they privately may still watch the Faux "news" channel, they know it is all fake by the Dominion law suit and that 1000 Jan 6 insurrectionists have been arrested. That gives me hope.

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Because facts don't matter to people who only respond to emotional manipulation.

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Thank you!!! A really great reference and graphics. Makes the point very clearly. It would be even better if it was updated. Maybe you should write to Blinder and Watson to see if they have added more recent data.

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Thanks! Absolutely agree this is what Democrats have to talk about! Hakeem Jeffires needs to do one of his alliteration speeches, and every Democratic member of the House has to get on the same page.

Paul Krugman had a piece today on why red state citizens have an increasing shorter life expectancy than those in blue states.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/03/opinion/red-state-life-expectancy-death.html

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Thank you for that link, BK, and goodness thank you to Heather's readers who add so much wisdom.

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Will, thank you for this. My tiny window into "running this agency like a business" was in the late 90's/early 00's. The county elected a Sheriff who turned our patrol division over to a buddy of his that was a bean counter with the rank of Captain. Lets just say that was 8 years of misery for a lot of us. We had just exited this time (and mostly recovered) by the time the 2016 election rolled around, and lots of my buddies were all for running the government like a business. I really wish I'd had these words of yours to present them with. My "you saw how well the department ran with Captain Bean Counter, do you want that for the nation?" didn't work.

One lesson I learned early on from my Dad was about tools. His mantra was "buy good tools and take care of them" and his stated opposite was "or, buy lots and lots of cheap tools that you lose/break/destroy". He also threw in "use the right tool for the job".

Thankfully, I share your "irresponsibly reckless" altruistic values. When I was asked why I voted "yes" on school bonds when I had no kids in school, my reply was "I want smart people running the country when I'm in my old age." I had no clue how prescient I was going to be.

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Will, I always appreciate your views and your reasoning. And your examples are always helpful. I'm so glad you are here! Thanks!

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I have said for years that running the government like business was nonsense, you have captured that truth very effectively. Thank you for posting!

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And the only thing I would add to Will's wonderful comment is that businesses are mini autocracies, not democracies. So a business CEO for President means putting a "my way or the highway" type of person in power. Someone who can admire Xi or a Putin, because "they get things done!"

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Great rant! Have cut and pasted it into my important history documents. And history majors, didn't this whole government debt thing start with George Washington? It's what we do. Good C-Span dialogue yesterday claimed its not about eliminating the debt, but balancing debt and GDP to keep the machinery of government humming.

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Will, regarding running government as a business. Logically a business’s goal is to maximize profits, putting all competition “out of business” so they have the market to themselves, at which point they hold their customers hostage, Jay Gould style

Right? Careful whatcha wish for

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I've missed reading your comments, Will, and I'm so glad you're back! Please keep 'em coming--

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Great explanation, Will from Cal. And don't get me started on the way "business" model has infiltrated such systems as education. Teachers are now expected to measure all kinds of activities and performances to maximize efficiency. Puh-leeze! I don't disagree with accountability where and when it makes sense, but trying to structure education like a business has caused a ballooning of administrative staff, steep increases in the cost of education, inadequate spending where it is most needed and more. I realize that what I am highlighting is only a partial picture, but it goes along with the idea of modeling that couldn't be more off the mark!

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👋 👋 👋 👋 👋 👋 👋

Bravo, Will!

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Fascinating! Coolidge said "After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world." A la capitalism. Since the majority of Americans fall into the Consumer Class, (I want to say "are reduced to living in the CC), what else fills the vacuum but business? If a market opportunity exists, it will be responded to by a business. Advertising creates markets, and people spend good money on goods and services they didn't know they needed. Viz. the garages and storage sheds, off-premise storage lockers for the "collectibles" that accumulate. A corollary to Parkinson's Law is that goods ownership expands to fill the space allotted to it. In my mind, things purchased and soon stored were overvalued; the glow of ownership faded repidly. It does not matter whether folks do or do not know about the workings of government on a large scale when they 1) have no concept of the future value of money, 2) or of compounding interest,3)or what goes on in their localities, 4) basic economics 5) or the value of critical thought. Someone I know equates his opinions with scientific fact, by which I mean the facts that are outside the province of opinion, and when asked what world he is living in, he answers "the real one." Good luck to him and his group. I was asked years ago what my then-spouse did, I responded that she's a chemist, she takes good money and turns it into shite.

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Your “sartorial selection” is the icing on the cake of your excellent post! ❤️

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OMG! I completely agree with you! Thank you for saying it way better than I ever could have!

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Agreed 100% Will.

I've posted clips from "Beau of the Fifth Column" a number of times. He does longer clips on his second channel called "The Roads with Beau" and he addressed school security just a few days ago. THIS COULD BE DONE.

This is a long clip compared to most of his, it's 22 minutes long, but I truly think it is worth watching. As a parent who 25 years ago led a GS troop that met at the school, and for whom the janitor would prop open the back door so I could drag in all the stuff I brought to each meeting, I think this is a great idea. (I was REALLY into GS and threw myself into providing the best meetings, crafts, projects, etc! Plus snacks!! LOL)

I would absolutely vote for increase in taxes to do this.

Please watch!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d1zkx8JGek

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Hear, hear!

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

‘‘Twas the night before arraignment, and all through Trump Tower

The old POTUS was stirring

His tummy was sour

The proof was in folders all stacked on his desk, while visions of GUILTY dances in his head

And Jill in her kerchief, and Joe in his cap, had just settled down COVID’s great wrath…

(Add on at will.)

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👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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😄😄😄😄😄

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Professor Heather Cox Richardson the Boston College historian nails it again. She’s on a roll.

Read every word and run for local office.

Read Professor Timothy Snyder ASAP and follow his guidance.

These two publish here. Thank goodness.

Substack writers could use editors, but HCR and Tim do not need editors. They need readers.

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Couldn’t agree more! I read, listen or watch everything I can find from Dr. Richardson and Dr. Snyder. As an individual, the only way I know to increase the attention of the public to their work is to forward their substack entries and YouTube videos to as many friends and acquaintances as I can. If anyone reading this has other suggestions for further disseminating their important voices, please let me know.

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Write to the major newspapers and tell them to contract with her to run her letters regularly on their opinion pages.

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George Fisani k - NAME ONE. has 1 newspaper, just one, printed 1 substack FREE entry from Heather or Tim to your knowledge. JUST ONE.

No contract is required. Substack writers publish their work for FREE. Circulation is FREE.

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Yes but not everyone reads substack and I think the NYTimes has a way bigger readership that people are already paying for.

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Yes, and NYT runs specials for $1 a month for a year to new subscribers ( online) so call them and see if they have that going now.

I am loving the games too!

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Georgia, that’s a good idea. I didn’t know newspapers run HCR’s “Letters...” in their opinion pages. I live in Los Angeles. What desk/office (or whatever the approximate term is) of the LA Times would I contact to see if they would be interested?

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Include Lucian Truscott IV Substack as well

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"For not obeying in advance is not a passive step, it is an active one. It is a choice, an action, a postcard written, a protest joined, a candidate contribution given, a tweet tweeted, a Substack read, a call made to Wisconsin to turn out more voters for Judge Judy. It is about going on offense, telling our story, and getting to the point that we don’t feel that our politics is solely about responding to the daily torrent of horseshit they pump into our discourse every day. It is about getting loud. And there seems to be a lot of it going around these days….." Simon Rosenberg, today from his substack. He is talking about Snyder's "Do not obey in advance" from On Tyranny.

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And they’re free.

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Hi Sandy, you recommended "On Tyranny" to me here in the comments 2 or 3 years ago. Many thanks. He has put his Yale course on Ukraine on U-Tube.I'm sure you know this. I forward Heather often and have probably brought 30 to 50 new readers in. I agree that there is little hope with the newspapers, but we, her current readers, can achieve exponential gains.

"On Tyranny" is a fabulous little book and is also now a graphic novel. I haven't seen it but it

seems a good idea and may reach more younger readers.

Heather and Tim are "The Greatest" of our time.

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Tim Snyder’s graphic design is fabulous. We gave these to 10 grandchildren and to other children. On Tyranny should be donated to 70,000,000 Republicans and 100 million Russians and to 1 billion Chinese.

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Just ordered the graphic edition. The 70,000,000 copies to the Republicans might move more quickly if something on the order of "A Rush Limbaugh Favorite" was printed on the cover.

But seriously, a great gift for middle schoolers and up.

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How many do u think will read it? I post LFAA letters, parts of, on fb pages & either they are not read or willfully misread. I would fear they would use the books to pile on to their burn stack

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Civil Discourse by Joyce Vance- also very good. ☺️

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I couldn't agree with you more, Bruce Murray. They are the greatest! I also love that little book, On Tyranny, and am presently listening to Timothy Snyder's course on Ukraine. He is a gifted teacher and I have learned so much history from him that I wouldn't otherwise have known.

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I have the graphic edition of On Tyranny on my Kindle. I read it occasionally just to remind myself what to focus my energy on. Actions- getting out the vote! The thing that matters most!

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I have Snyder's "On Tyranny" in the graphic novel (many thanks to my sister!), and it is excellent!

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S B, good point! I haven't noticed any comments or flights of fancy word associations by Libor Soural today!

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Again, so good to see you back, Sandy!

I'm not sure how long you might have been reading, so pardon me for repeating what perhaps you have already seen. Besides this letter, every day I check out YouTube for two channels, one by "Beau of the Fifth Column" and another by Brian Tyler Cohen "No Lies"

Their approaches are a bit different, Beau speaks slowly and pauses to think. Brian fires off his speech like the automatic weapons he criticizes. Beau posts mostly about political issues but also will put up clips about environmental issues that don't get much press, I think you'd enjoy them.

You must be one of the busiest 84 year olds in the US, but if you have time, please check them out.

I will definitely look for Prof Snyder! I am very impressed by the many learned people who post on this forum, they have educated me!

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Miselle, I, too, have learned much on this forum, both from Heather and, delightfully, from the many commentators. I much appreciate the varied background & sharing of their experiences & knowledge. I love the “squirrels” that folks post here, and like any attentive dog, I chase them down the rabbit hole!!!! Like others, I have highly recommended this (and other sites learned about here) to friends & family. “The more you know” meme is SO true!

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Thank you again, HCR, for the broad summation.

Biden and congressional Democrats need to publicly, loudly, keep the Republicans’ feet to the fire on producing a budget proposal. The Democratic response to Republican denigrating the New York DA, and every other diversion, should be a loud,

“Yeah, right. Where’s your budget?”

To every idiocy from the mouth of MTG or Lauren Boebert,

“Where’s your budget?”

Rinse and repeat, over and over.

“Where’s your budget?”

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"Show me your budget!" is more along a soundbite that the "beer class" GOP would understand.

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Ralph, I would add "Show me your income stream! Show me your donor's list! Show me who you REALLY work for!"

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There's a reason that all publicly funded workers, including politicians, must have their salaries published.

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I would posit that their total income would be more revealing information to enlighten us most accurately. That of course needs to include ALL SOURCES used to further their pollical career. As we often say: "Follow the MONEY!!

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John, when I worked on staff at a Cal State Univ, there were salary classifications & descriptions along with salary ranges w/in each classification that were (and still are I presume) available to the public—just had to know where to look for it. I reviewed and used these to bolster my several years-long effort to get a group of staff reclassified to a level that accurately depicted what they actually did (not a quick result, but very worth the effort). It elevated level and pay rate as well. I always appreciated this transparency & access to the info. Wish this was more generally the status quo, but certainly, as you say, for anyone paid by taxpayers!

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I sympathize, but Dems should keep the focus on the Republicans’ budget, which they can’t produce, because they don’t have one. Creating a real federal budget proposal would require real work and entail real political risk, both of which Republicans avoid at all cost, including an economic meltdown. That is what must be made readily self-evident. If the Republicans are willing to take the world over the economic brink over the debt limit, make them own it; all of it.

Thanks for responding to my comment.

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I think the Republicans are desperately hoping to provoke the Democrats into proposing a budget instead of them. That way, they only have to object, not think.

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Ah yes, "cut all those horrible taxes...just not for the things I like." I remember well, when I lived in Washington state at the turn of the century, when such a thing happened with state taxes there. People (mostly in suburban and rural areas) decided to "cut taxes" in an off-year referendum. Suddenly, what HAD been a, frankly, European-level-awesome suburban bus system (I lived in west Olympia, on the edge of town and country) disappeared. Overnight. People were OUTRAGED: "Where did my buses go?" Well, they went away, because you voted to not pay for them anymore. What, you mean tax money doesn't go into some government vacuum cleaner or politician's pockets? Rush told me it did! You mean, it actually PAYS for things? Who knew?

Beatings will continue until morale improves.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

Tim Kaine is still reviled by the right for closing a large number of Virginia’s highway rest stops in 2009. The horror!

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“My Bus!! Oh the Humanity!!”

Yeah, right. “ Cut from thee but not from me”

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'Why Poverty Persists in America' (excerts)

A Pulitzer Prize-winning sociologist offers a new explanation for an intractable problem.

By Matthew Desmond, Published March 9, 2023, Updated April 3, 2023

'In the past 50 years, scientists have mapped the entire human genome and eradicated smallpox. Here in the United States, infant-mortality rates and deaths from heart disease have fallen by roughly 70 percent, and the average American has gained almost a decade of life. Climate change was recognized as an existential threat. The internet was invented.'

'On the problem of poverty, though, there has been no real improvement — just a long stasis. As estimated by the federal government’s poverty line, 12.6 percent of the U.S. population was poor in 1970; two decades later, it was 13.5 percent; in 2010, it was 15.1 percent; and in 2019, it was 10.5 percent. To graph the share of Americans living in poverty over the past half-century amounts to drawing a line that resembles gently rolling hills. The line curves slightly up, then slightly down, then back up again over the years, staying steady through Democratic and Republican administrations, rising in recessions and falling in boom years.'

'What accounts for this lack of progress? It cannot be chalked up to how the poor are counted: Different measures spit out the same embarrassing result. When the government began reporting the Supplemental Poverty Measure in 2011, designed to overcome many of the flaws of the Official Poverty Measure, including not accounting for regional differences in costs of living and government benefits, the United States officially gained three million more poor people. Possible reductions in poverty from counting aid like food stamps and tax benefits were more than offset by recognizing how low-income people were burdened by rising housing and health care costs.'

'The American poor have access to cheap, mass-produced goods, as every American does. But that doesn’t mean they can access what matters most.'

'If we have more than doubled government spending on poverty and achieved so little, one reason is that the American welfare state is a leaky bucket. Take welfare, for example: When it was administered through the Aid to Families With Dependent Children program, almost all of its funds were used to provide single-parent families with cash assistance. But when President Bill Clinton reformed welfare in 1996, replacing the old model with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), he transformed the program into a block grant that gives states considerable leeway in deciding how to distribute the money. As a result, states have come up with rather creative ways to spend TANF dollars. Arizona has used welfare money to pay for abstinence-only sex education. Pennsylvania diverted TANF funds to anti-abortion crisis-pregnancy centers. Maine used the money to support a Christian summer camp. Nationwide, for every dollar budgeted for TANF in 2020, poor families directly received just 22 cents.'

'We’ve approached the poverty question by pointing to poor people themselves, when we should have been focusing on exploitation.'

'Those who have amassed the most power and capital bear the most responsibility for America’s vast poverty: political elites who have utterly failed low-income Americans over the past half-century; corporate bosses who have spent and schemed to prioritize profits over families; lobbyists blocking the will of the American people with their self-serving interests; property owners who have exiled the poor from entire cities and fueled the affordable-housing crisis. Acknowledging this is both crucial and deliciously absolving; it directs our attention upward and distracts us from all the ways (many unintentional) that we — we the secure, the insured, the housed, the college-educated, the protected, the lucky — also contribute to the problem.' (NYTImes)

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/09/magazine/poverty-by-america-matthew-desmond.html

Published March 9, 2023. Updated March 13, 2023, Updated April 3, 2023

Subscribers help: I do not have a gifting opportunity for this piece, if you do, please lay that link down here. Thank you.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJDk-czsivk

John Oliver's program on TANF and some of the more egregious examples of misuse of TANF funds.

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Excellent, Georgia!

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Further proof that Slick William was the Worst Democrat Ever in the 20th Century.

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We were bound to get poked from all that triangulation.

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I Like that description, Will.

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Unintended consequences, maybe??

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Family homelessness exploded in the early nineties in Hennepin County (includes Minneapolis). This says it all:

1986 - Fair Market Rent for a 2- bedroom apartment: $480

AFDC/TANF: $621

1997 - Fair Market Rent: $621

TANF: $621

2005 - FMR: $928

TANF: $621

2022 - FMR: $1329

TANF: $782

The census in Hennepin homeless shelters was doubling every 22 months. Meanwhile, states less generous than Minnesota were spending their TANF block grants on marriage incentives, drug testing recipients and monitoring the onerous requirements placed on recipients, the “Welfare Queens”

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Sharp & telling data focus Marge. 🙏

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I read Matthew Desmond’s excellent NYT article before his book came and WAPO recently had a podcast with him as well. Now time to buy the book!

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Fern, as always you drive us to the root, dense information, we desperately need in order to gain the proper perspective regarding inequality in America.

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

I just finished reading Matthew Desmond's "Evicted" from 2015. Powerful, heartbreaking and informative to say the least. I haven't had a chance to read Poverty, but I know it will be equally good.

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Juanita, reviews of Desmond's 'Poverty, by America' indicate that it is a different kind of book than 'Evicted', which I also read. 'Poverty, by America' is not based on portraits of people but a serious examination of the underling as aspects of American society as the foundation of poverty in the country. The following is an excerpt from Alec MacGillis in The New York Times, last year.

'The sociologist Matthew Desmond stands in stark opposition to this prevailing trend. What made his previous book, “Evicted,” such a powerful depiction of low-income housing in American cities was, in great part, his decision to show how tenants in Milwaukee were struggling not only as a result of larger forces but as a result of specific acts of exploitation by those a rung or two up the economic ladder — the landlords, trailer park owners and payday lenders who were profiting from others’ desperation. In Desmond’s Milwaukee, there were good guys and bad guys and gradations in between, which lent “Evicted,” originally an academic dissertation, a compelling novelistic drive.'

'The insistence on personal agency is even more explicit in Desmond’s new book. “Poverty, by America” is a compact jeremiad on the persistence of extreme want in a nation of extraordinary wealth, a distillation into argument form of the message embedded within the narrative of “Evicted.” And the central claim of that argument is that the endurance of poverty in the United States is the product not only of larger shifts such as deindustrialization and family dissolution, but of choices and actions by more fortunate Americans. Poverty persists partly because many of us have, with varying degrees of self-awareness, decided that we benefit from its perpetuation. “It’s a useful exercise, evaluating the merits of different explanations for poverty, like those having to do with immigration or the family,” Desmond writes. “But I’ve found that doing so always leads me back to the taproot, the central feature from which all other rootlets spring, which in our case is the simple truth that poverty is an injury, a taking. Tens of millions of Americans do not end up poor by a mistake of history or personal conduct. Poverty persists because some wish and will it to.”

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A lot of poverty is due to the GOP tax cuts for the wealthy, that have shunted wealth to the wealthy, beginning this go-round with the REagan Administration.

Mass immigration is another factor to be added to the ones you cite. It has been used by companies to depress workers wages. In 1980, most meat packers were Black, making good middle class wages, having organized themselves since the '20s. But by 1990, most meat packers were immigrants, making barely above minimum wage, toiling under atrocious conditions where maimings were common.

Similar changes were going on in the rest of the economy. You can read about it in Back of the Hiring Line: A 200 Year History of Immigartion Surges, Employer Bias, and Depression of Black Wealth.

Beck backs his thesis with a thorough, yet highly readable survey of the relevant academic economic history, along with statements from Black leaders beginning with Frederick Douglass, and articles from Black periodicals. (296 footnotes)

Beck emphasizes that immigrants should not be blamed. The fault lies with Congress, for legislating mass immigration, despite multiple government commissions that all recommended reducing immigration, including the Barbara Jordan commission under President Clinton, in the mid-‘90s. Had her recommendations been followed, Trump, whose signature issue was immigration, would never have set foot in the White House.

Beck also draws on his own reporting, which gives the lie to the notion that there are jobs Americans won’t do.

Plant managers in the poultry industry claimed immigrant workers had a superior work ethic to American workers of either color, but Beck reported that "the foreign workers often didn't last a year on the job. Many employers didn't seem to hold that against them because there always was a fresh supply of new foreign workers to take their place at the same wages and working conditions, or lower."

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"We’ve approached the poverty question by pointing to poor people themselves, when we should have been focusing on exploitation."

Thanks, Fern.

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You are exactly right, and I appreciate your calling out the disingenuous and dishonest prevarications of the Trickle Down remnant. Unfortunately the ahistoricity and anti-intellectualism of America is catching up with its ability to bluster convincingly. Not only the emperor, but the entire kingdom, has no clothes.

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Anti Intellectualism”;

“If I can’t be bothered to learn, those of you smarter than me should not be allowed to learn. This is “Equality in School”. Apologies to Bob Dylan

https://youtu.be/rGEIMCWob3U

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Damn right!

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The debt ceiling issue is looming. Democrats need to talk about why we need a federal government loudly and frequently.

The climate disaster story of the drained Lake Tulare basin in CA now refilling and flooding a huge section of highly valuable farmland is going to require major disaster relief and will also push inflation higher because of higher food prices. Scientists are estimating it will take over two years to drain the long term inundation due to more rain and massive snow melt.

Parts of Tulare County are in Kevin McCarthy's district.

I think it is time for Joe Biden to go to the people of Tulare County and talk about what the government social safety net can do to put their lives and livelihoods back together.

Maybe this is a chance to get McCarthy voted out. The flood water will still be there in 2024.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/02/us/tulare-lake-california-storms.html

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Tulare County is full of farmers. I went there , on a bus, with my Congressman’s people a few years back. Devin Nunes represented people not so far away from Qevin’s territory. Some real winners there. That area is as red as red can be. Sickening.

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Brava, Georgia!

Thanks for this.

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It must be so confusing and eventually painful for repub voters to believe their party’s claim of the current administration’s “overspending and waste and threats of future economic collapse, yet want everything, yes everything that we all need for healthcare, housing, adequate food security, education, social security, even technological advances. And the list goes on.

As David Firestone put it today in the New York Times: “Cutting spending…might sound attractive to many voters until you explain what you’re actually cutting and what effect it would have.” Republicans cut taxes and then complain about deficits “but don’t want to discuss how many veterans won’t get care or whose damaged homes won’t get rebuilt...” so who to believe and who to vote for will determine the outcome people want or not. Voters need to get smarter fast.

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Stay calm, turn off fox tv and read the whole story not just headlines to mindlessly repeat is one way to get smarter.

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While I'd love to believe your first paragraph, the last 7 years have convinced me otherwise. I initially thought that there would be some cognitive dissonance in some of my cop friends (especially around the Muller Investigation and the FBI) but when they were parroting the Faux and further reactionary information sources ("information" sources? information "sources"?) I did not see an ounce of cognitive dissonance OR complex thought. It is my firm belief that they are well and truly brainwashed and members of a cult intent on destroying American democracy. (Admittedly, what they really, really want is a white, male, cis-gendered, heteronormative, Christian led society, at least based on the counter-arguments that I get from them whenever I break my imposed non-engagement rule.)

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What I have learned over time of being frustrated, and getting upset when trying to 'educate' some on the other side of politics, is that a real life example works well. Something that will 'flush their toilet' as I like to say. Gather them up and have ready when the opportunity presents itself.

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When you read "The Deficit Myth" by Stephanie Kelton, you'll learn that when Congress does "deficit spending", they are spending money mostly into our American economy. President William Jefferson Clinton managed to balance the budget, which meant that Congress was not spending into the economy at the rate they spent in the past. A recession ensued.

When Congress spends money into our economy, we are investing in America.

When we buy and hold US savings bonds, we own our so-called "debt". That's a good thing. Our savings are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. We will always be willing and able to redeem those savings bonds, with interest.

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Thank you, David. That makes perfect, responsible sense (cents).

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1. How do REPUBLICAN'TS explain to their constituents that all these positive things they want are a bad idea? Answer - critical race theory

2. I am asking my representatives to pass a law that says that all Senators and Congressfolk that say nothing can be done about gun violence must meet face to face with the victims parents or relatives and tell them that.

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It is my opinion that those who say “Oh well, nothing can be done.” or “Criminals are criminals.” need to have a person point a gun to their heads and see what they’d say then!

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JAIL ! + BUBBA! = ADJUSTED !

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Make them attend the funerals.

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Wish that expiration of the extended medical coverage was a bad April Fools joke. Unfortunately, the Republicans in this country are so evil minded, aided by Republican Lite Democrats like Joe Manchin that it seems like we cannot move our country in the right direction. It does seem to be pretty clearly the forces of good vs evil. It is exhausting to have to watch to see whether they will successfully destroy the good that has been done. It is like dealing with a tantruming child all the time, who is willful and you don't know what damage they will wreak. You just know that you are starting to feel TSD (traumatic stress disorder) there is no P because it is ongoing so you never get to post.

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CSTD !! Untll the Jails are LOADED ! With LAW Breakers ! BUBBA ! Will give Them ! EXCELLENT Service .......

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Joe Biden has acted like an adult. He has shown the value of what he has learned in a career of PUBLIC SERVICE. I don't agree with everything he's done through his career...I'd probably give him a B...but as President he gets an A from me in this moment. The other guy...the one who can't lose, no matter what, is getting just what he deserves. To be publicly humiliated over hush money to a porn star. R's can defend and deflect all they want. He's a sad human being in so many ways. I told my conservative friends who worshipped him, that he'd be a one term President. That he wanted to be dictator. They called me all kinds of names.

I don't wish anyone evil...but I'm going to enjoy the spectacle of the next few days...and watch how the right...no they aren't "right" about much these days...and they certainly aren't the Grand Old Party...what do we call them that fits ?

On this day in 1865 the leader of the GOP, the Republican President entered Richmond VA. The shattered capital of the Confederacy. He was greeted by cheering former enslaved people, that his pen had freed from bondage...after the horror of Antietam's 23,000 casualties in one day...on land owned by pacifist Dunkers...with a US Army led by a General who didn't believe in abolition. Who thought the President was the "original gorilla". Truth is much stranger than fiction...

On this day in 2023 a man claiming to have some form of lineage back to Lincoln...who had the nerve to stage an event in front of the memorial to the Great Emancipator and compare himself favorably to Lincoln...is going to leave the gold plated tower with his name emblazoned on the top in ALL CAPS...and be arrested and booked...say that again. I didn't see his wife or daughter traveling with him yesterday...fawning over him as they did in June a few short years ago when he threw his hat in the ring at his tower of glitz and gold. How the mighty have fallen.

Now, his worshippers need to catch up with the truth...it may take awhile...but the day will come that DJT has an 80% disapproval rating. The hard core will continue to love him...because they do. Cue Leonard Cohen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q

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Mike; composing the perfect chord, its really been a Hard Day’s Night”, huh?

https://youtu.be/AMSiHdrHl0g

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That was the first album I bought with my own money. I wanted to be Ringo...playing drums. Here they are doing it live. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjyj8qnqkYI

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Ringo has always been my favorite Beatle. Watch him any time he performs, he radiates absolute JOY at doing his chosen work. That alone makes me happy.

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Ringo is a real "peacenik" I have a drumhead signed by him on my office wall that I bought at one of his gigs. The money was going to a charity he supported. I also have a 1971 Ludwig drum kit that I bought new and played in bands with in the 70's that was identical to his Ed Sullivan kit except his was black pearl and mine is blue pearl. Peace

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I bought a Blue Sparkle Ludwig Ringo kit way back when. One of my kids has it now

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