537 Comments

I love that your 2 major stories were Finland and Wisconsin. And “in other news” was TFG’s arrest.

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I chuckled…..my thoughts exactly!!!! Waiting for the day the Orange Overcomb is just a footnote…. Hooray for Finland and the election results in Wisconsin!!!

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And the results in Chicago. Power to public schools, the backbone of democracy! Brandon Johnson’s election has the potential to save a major American city

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Maybe the hated "lets go Brandon can be used in a good way in Chicago

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Funny you should write that! Ever since the beginning of the mayoral race how to make “Brandon good again” has been playing around in the back of my head. Thank you, William Whitman. (Are you kin to Walt?)

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Potential

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Dear Virginia, you could not be more wrong. Mr. Johnson's election spells peril for a once great city. Mr. Johnson is bought and paid for by the Chicago Teachers Union. Have you studied or even looked into this organization's during Covid. Students were irreparably left behind. Mr. Johnson has never run any organization let alone a city with Chicago's complexities. He has said he will defund the police in a city rife with crime. He hopes to raise taxes a great amount in a city that already imposes heavy tax burdens on its citizens. Corporations are likely to continue to leave the City. The question is: What has Chicago done? Have a good day.

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Dear Mike Davis, I wrote you a lengthy reply, but neglected to put your name on it. Perhaps it will appear elsewhere.

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You do realize that "Defund the Police" means taking social services OUT of Police duties, right? Also, our poor teachers (including school boards) were in a horrible position - keep children and employees safe and still present lessons. This was new and uncharted areas. Hindsight, they could've been better. In the mean time you can blame Betsy DeVoss and Trump for the failures. I personally can add DeSantis.

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Hi Valerie. Thank you for your comment which although condescending in its first sentence is at least civil. "Defund the Police, " as you know, is a slogan that has many meanings and is used for a variety of purposes. For many, it is code. We are better off if I leave it there.

Chicago schools did a terrible job during Covid. Just terrible. And Chicago public school students have been irreparably hurt. Compare Chicago public schools to City private or parochial schools. Somehow they figured it out. They managed to provide in-school instruction safe for student and teacher. And parochial schools have a fraction of the resources that Chicago's public schools have.

Many instructors struggle, sadly, and many qualify for your empathetic statement "our poor teachers." Not here in Chicago. Among the 50 largest districts in the U. S., CPS teachers' pay ranks No. 1 for teachers with a bachelor's degree and five years' experience, No. 2 for first-year teachers with a bachelor's degree. and No 3 for first year teachers with a master's degree. And what did and do Chicago's public students get from all of this funding? Fewer than 30% of CPS students can read at grade level, yet 100% of teachers are rated Excellent or Proficient. How does this happen? And it is easy to blame DeVoss and Trump, who I despise, but they, as you know, are not the fundamental cause for Chicago's public-school failures. Thanks much. Have a great day.

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"Overcomb"? Delicious, Barbara!

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Jon Margolis, I received your reply via email but it won't process onto this page. Here's what you said: "I can hear the Mango Mussolini channeling Pete Seeger: 'We shall overcomb, We shall overcomb…'” to which I reply: LOL!

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It's beginning to look a lot like a large rusty piece of Brillo.

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Bill, you made me laugh!!! Sooooo true. Thanks!

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Rusty Brillo. I LIKE that name for T****. Thank you, Bill.

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When dumpster goes to prison (hopefully ) who will do his hair and makeup? Does his own "artists " have access to him or what ! Inquiring minds want to know !!😅🤣😂

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I don't think his "artists" will be able to serve him while he's in the hoosegow, even if it's one of those white-collar resort prisons.

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In need of a dye job!

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I do love that too. Today my nickname for him is mafia don.

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Russian mafia don as they hold all his loans

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Defendant Mafia Don.

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Morning, Michele!

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Morning to you too, Lynell!

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Great contribution for the occasion of the Gilbert and Sullivan rebirth. Please, somebody(ies) out there, write it. It’s what we need for getting through the summer! The trial scene can be added when the time comes.

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Someone call Randy Rainbow.

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Went to his fan website. Asked him to write, using “We shall Overcomb” and G&S tunes. Suggested he can make history.

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This was his latest as of this morning...brilliant as usual,,,"Donald Jessica T***p", indeed...not G&S, but as good or better..."Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" as the inspiration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ues8ycOxXKM

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I think it is his best one.

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hows about just 'shithead'?

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Ah, Gus, that old standby...said with pinky up, don't you know!

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Didn’t mtg lead the trump faithful at his arraignment protest yesterday in that classic trump spiritual “ We Shall Overcomb”?

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Eerrr ahh or was he con-dummed con-demmed or just tossed into an alley like a con-dom? Puts more color to the expression "blown away". And, meanwhile the drip drip drip of legal fees and court appointments and the cost of running that big shiney Boeing Airplane (jet fuel, tires, eng inspections, etc), guzzle guzzzle. Ugh.. and let's not forget the cost of this creep to all taxpayers. Welp.. that's what happens when one let's their rhinocerous mouth, overload their hummningbird butt.

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"...and let's not forget the cost of this creep to all taxpayers..." ✅✅✅✅

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Seeing all the limos and all the police and thinking: $$$$$$$$$$!!!!

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Yep, Judy, and we taxpayers are paying the bill for all of that security for DJT. My husband was in a snit about it all day.

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He could have been arraigned over Zoom but chose not to be!

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Cost doesn't mean shit to him. He's already raised $24 million from the suckers off this appearance alone. An amount that would go a long way toward ending hunger, paying for school lunches, reuniting immigrant children with their parents, etc etc etc

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He's not paying for hardly any of it. Not the police, not the security....idiot supporters are paying his legal expenses. Trump is the most expensive President we've ever had. ....and a very bad deal. His Secret Service detail pay top US tax dollars to stay in his residencies.

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Or for those folks to pay their power bills, or mortgages or ... lots of other real-world life expenses. Instead, they send their money to DJT, then ask the government (aka us taxpayers) for help from FEMA when their FL homes are damaged from hurricanes. Right?

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I won $60 in a pool predicting how Orange's arraignment would go. Quiet seething on the inside and a recitation of every grievance when he got home. Easy money.

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There is a new Randy Rainbow and another guy with songs for the occasion.

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Do not, do not miss the YouTube link someone published this morning. Very clever and lots of fun.

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😃

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"Orange overcomb" - best tfg nickname yet!

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I refer to him as “Cheeto”

He is orange

He is full of hot air

He displays no value to most people

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And he leaves prints on everyone who touches him.

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He is junk food and the kind of empty calories that ruin people's health.

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I like Cheeto Jesus, which I wish I'd thought up.

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YEAH, I have seen that too and it's perfect since some want to worship him as their golden idol!

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Good to have some fun with you and clean up afterward.

Cheers, Pat! 🎯(★‿★)

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I've been calling him Donnie-do-wrong. I like Orange overcomb.😀

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Well said Barbara. The Finland, Wisconsin & Chicago stories are historic while the TFG 'event' is well below the fold and just the beginning of the consequences of his illegal activities.

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BK: The Wisconsin election is the beginning of the BLUE tide which is rising steadily.

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And from some pictures I saw it sure looked like he was having a bad hair day! LOL He must have forgotten his hairspray!

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as well as a very dirty suit collar day...

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"Waiting for the day the Orange Overcomb" is replaced with a military-style cut in prison....

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The Orange Overcomb? Priceless 👍.

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Orange Overcomb. Love it.

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Karen,

That's exactly what I was struck with. Once again our Professor paints the picture with a critical historical perspective. Finland joining NATO has enormous implications - physically and symbolically. They have a very strong military and they are another direct neighbor who is saying "No way, Vlad".

And Wisconsin !!! That was the last thing I read before floating off to dreamland. And I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. I grabbed a coffee, opened up the trusty Chromebook and...it is not a dream. Way to go, Judge Janet!

People in the center of the country are rejecting government overreach and want voting to be fair. They want their kids to be safe. Duh. They are disgusted with GQP BS.

Do you suppose there is a Republican strategist somewhere who now gets that his/her party is on the wrong side of every issue?

Those two events and that other one made it feel a lot like Christmas :)

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I share your glee! I was dreading the Wisconsin vote while praying for the youth turnout...actually all of yesterday's events are answered prayers (Finland's government is my favorite where corporations pay their taxes). What I still can't digest is that roomful of fools at Mar-a-Lago whooping it up and openly giving their money to this degenerate felon....

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Sweden HAS TO be admitted as well!

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Turkey is still holding Sweden up. I heard on NPR yesterday that most likely after their current election, Turkey will agree to Sweden joining. All a big bluster from Erdoğan in an election cycle trying to look like he's strong.

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To boot, Turkey under Erdogan is borderline NATO these days. Likewise Hungary, check out the little love affair GOP right has with Orban's government and its failure to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The tendencies of both of these states to move towards greater autocracy is behind the Sweden delay - political comment over Hungary, and the presence of Turkish refugees in Sweden, I believe.

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The irony of a dictatorship led country standing in the way of Sweden's entrance into NATO! Turkey shouldn't even be in it.

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“Queens man arrested...”. Queens Eagle

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

Had to look it up because I wanted the headling to be real. It is:

https://queenseagle.com/all/2023/4/4/queens-man-arrested-as-trump-faces-felony-charges-queens-goes-about-its-daily-life

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

Eagle eye Annie, thank you, Special thanks from Queens contact 🙏

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from Jamaica in Queens 😉

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I posted right before your comment was!

Great minds…..

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Whenever I hear or read that phrase, this gem from Kentucky Fried Movie plays in my head:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoYazAAScOE

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Laugh Outloud funny, Derek! I was one of the stars in the movie...the court stenographer!

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Just watched it. How very hilarious! Thank you.

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A break in the weather! We need to laugh. Thank you!

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Remember "Will be wild"? I think the headline in the NYT should have been "Won't be wild".

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As a long time NYC resident, I knew there would be no J6 repeat....Besides New Yorkers intolerance for anything "trump", those Magas wouldn't even know how to cross the streets.

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https://twitter.com/MichaelRapaport/status/1643288461657493505?s=20.

"Get the f*ck outta here!" 🤣

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EXACTLY! Also, a black guy giving her a piece of his mind. something like: "go back to Washington and do your job!"

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Trump is going to have many "in other news" days as indictments pile up. Heather deftly shows how understatement can cut like a knife.

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'His' post arraignment speech was one of depressive, repetitive anger and altogether low-key for Trump. Several party goers screeched their support above a relatively quiet and unimpressive gathering. Might one of the 'cuts' be an ever more deflated orange balloon?

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His fragile, extreme narcissistic personality is like a voodoo doll. Yesterday saw the first pin stick. Many more on the way.

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Short-term, Michael, he's making out! The following from NY Times DealBook. (sorry no gifting at this time)

Trump Finally Has His Day in Court

__Criminal charges are usually kryptonite for a politician, but Donald Trump has so far succeeded in transforming Tuesday’s arraignment in connection with hush-money payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels into a platform to grow his power base.

___Round-the-clock media coverage has been a fund-raising boon. Jason Miller, a Trump aide, tweeted that the former president has raised a record $7 million for his re-election campaign (a claim that has not been independently confirmed) since he was indicted last week.

___Mr. Trump’s standing in the Republican Party seems to be improving. A few months ago, the former president was considered a drag on the party after its lackluster performance in the midterms. But the indictment has forced Republicans to weigh in on Mr. Trump’s case — and most are publicly siding with him.

____The latest polls show Mr. Trump expanding his lead for the Republican primaries. He is still well ahead of the field in New Hampshire, which votes early.

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No doubt. It's hard to see any other candidate dominating the GOP primaries. And I say this as someone who was convinced last year that Trump wouldn't win the nomination. Yet, his appeal in the general election continues to weaken because he's losing more ground with independents and suburban women. It's hard to see any scenario where he wins back these voters given the likelihood of more criminal charges — and more serious ones.

While I greatly admire what Biden has accomplished, I hope a younger more dynamic candidate with broad appeal will emerge to excite Democrats. Gretchen Whitmer?

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A respected, dynamic, experienced person who could awaken and inspire enough Americans, that is the rub Michael. The time is close; the blank is still blank.

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I noticed that too and I also love it When I posted it on Facebook, I mentioned as third, oh yeah, that court arraignment. I also noted that Chicago elected the better candidate as mayor. And I repeated the admonition from the end of letter to keep working to keep MAGA from being successful in their undermining of democracy.

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I had precisely the very same thought!

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Me, too. The more the press ignores DT the better. Just simple facts that are newsworthy, please.

And a Big Thank You to Wisconsin voters.

Now if we buy Ohio could see the light.

Finland joining NATO is good news. Hopefully Sweden will be able to join soon.

Thank you for keeping us so well informed.

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‘Republican Knodl wins 8th Senate District race, giving Republicans a key majority’

‘A Knodl's win again secures a two-thirds majority in the state Senate for Republicans, allowing them to remove state officials impeached in the Assembly.’

‘The Wisconsin Constitution allows lawmakers to remove state officials "for corrupt conduct in office, or for crimes and misdemeanors," but Knodl has said he would consider launching impeachment proceedings for criminal justice officials "who have failed" at their jobs.’

‘Knodl said he would support invoking the that power against Janet Protasiewicz, the Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge who won a race for a vacant seat on the state Supreme Court. Knodl did not immediately say he would consider voting in favor of impeaching Protasiewicz if she is elected.’

‘State law allows a two-thirds majority in the state Senate to hold impeachment trials for state officials accused of corruption or crimes and misdemeanors if a majority of Assembly members vote to introduce impeachment articles, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau.’

‘Republicans now have a 64 to 35 majority in the Assembly. Now that Knodl is leaving the Assembly, his win Tuesday would lift the Republican majority in the Senate to 22-11. (MilwaukeeJournalSentinel) See link below.

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2023/04/05/8th-senate-district-election-results-wisconsin-2023-dan-knodl-vs-jodi-habush-sinykin/70061705007/

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So, a win that isn't really a win. I'm sorry, Wisconsin.

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Apr 6, 2023·edited Apr 6, 2023

Thank you for sharing the info re the WI election that may well imperil Judge Janet's ability to serve as WI State Supreme Court justice.. I've shared it to my political FB groups. Given the R's tendency to abuse their power, regardless of whether it's an appropriate/legitimate use, it's very likely that will happen.

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An pivotal loss for the democrats in N. Carolina!

'A North Carolina state lawmaker elected as a Democrat is defecting to the GOP, handing Republicans a veto-proof supermajority in the state’s legislature.'

'Rep. Tricia Cotham’s party change gives the GOP increased power over key issues like abortion and elections.'

'Announcing the flip Wednesday, Cotham cited her treatment by Democrats as her motivation. “They have pushed me out. They’ve made it very clear they do not want me,” she said at a news conference at the North Carolina GOP headquarters in Raleigh.'

'Cotham, wearing red and standing in front of NCGOP signs, said the turning point in her decision was when she faced backlash for using the American flag and a prayer-hands emoji in her social media handles and on her vehicles.'

'She said she’s been “bullied” for not toeing the party line and accused Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and the state Democratic Party of demanding she follow the lead of top state officials.'

'Reports first surfaced of Cotham’s switch on Tuesday, prompting North Carolina Democrats to call for Cotham’s resignation for her “deceit” and “betrayal.”

'The change, first reported by Axios Raleigh, comes in the middle of the legislative session during which Cooper signed into law bipartisan legislation expanding Medicaid and tried to use his veto to stop a Republican bill expanding gun access. Cooper called Cotham’s move “disappointing.”

“Rep. Cotham’s votes on women’s reproductive freedom, election laws, LGBTQ rights and strong public schools will determine the direction of the state we love,” Cooper said in a statement to The Washington Post. “It’s hard to believe she would abandon these long held principles and she should still vote the way she has always said she would vote when these issues arise, regardless of party affiliation.” (WAPO) Link below. Sorry, no gifting option.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/04/04/north-carolina-tricia-cotham/

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Disturbing news in NC and Wis legislatur politics

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

Examinations of NC's Democratic Party operation as well as Cotham's reasons for leaving the Party are called for by governor Cooper and Jaime Harrison (Chair Democratic National Committee).

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Hard not to think Cotham will be richly rewarded, just like Sinema.

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Ethics, political philosophy, self-interest...who does she support? Time will tell rather soon, Pat Cole.

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I agree!

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Exactly my thought.

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Heather's Facebook Politics Chat had the same order of discussion.

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Today was an amazing day. Why? Because once again, I believed in the rule of law. I believed in our Constitution. I believed that the rich and powerful and the everyday citizen, if they are corrupt,

can be held to the same laws. That Truth is more powerful than repubs who would shelter a criminal just to win an election. Or for money and power. And that Professor HCR has patiently and brilliantly built this case by showing us how History and Justice are teachers and we must pay attention. Now, I can breathe and be grateful, for today. No matter what happens in the months to come. And I thank Poet Wendell Berry, for reminding us of the importance of the real world around us. For today.

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry

“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

Wendell Berry

from New Collected Poems (Counterpoint, 2012)

Copyright

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Resistance is definitely not futile, and some things must have no price.

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Love the Borg analogy!!!!! Dare we suggest that the MAGA cult are similar to the Borg? 🙃

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Yes, they are certainly locked into letting a collective do their "thinking" for them.

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

They LOVE Big Bother.

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Thank You, Irenie, especially for reminding us of Wendell Berry's poetry. I'm going to search for my copy of one of his books.

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Yesterday was indeed amazing! Donald J. Trump was arrested and Hillary Rodham Clinton was honored at the Lotos Club in NYC. I just had to post its president, John Sussek III's quote in the NYT:

“You may recall what Donald Trump said in 2016, that if we voted for Hillary Clinton we’d have a criminal president under constant investigation and who would soon be indicted.

And you know what? Trump was right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and ended up with a criminal president under constant investigation and has now just been indicted.”

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So true, Sophia. But did anyone else have that feeling in the pit of your stomach that we are moving closer to proving that our election WAS indeed stolen by a corrupt “Manchurian Candidate?” We have no recourse but to howl at the moon and work to expose the flaws in our system and in our human psyches that allowed it to happen. I suppose that’s a good thing, but tell that to all those who were the casualties of this disaster. I followed a Covid Twitter thread today that was brimming with conspiracy theories about the vaccines causing the deaths, etc. Trump hath murdered Truth.

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

Me too! And, I cried!

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Supreme irony, but in spite of rather than because. Lock him up.

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Me too!

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And tfg will continue to take up oxygen at least through this year and most of 2024. It would be wonderful if he would just float away. I want to hear more about Joe and his accomplishments and much less about the criminal tfg and that shows up on the last page of the NYTs instead of headlines on the front page!

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Alas our nervous systems are easily drawn to what is aberrant and grotesque more so than what is sane, functional, commonplace. There are some good reasons for that, but when out of balance, it is easily used against us by pickpockets jostling the crowd, and despots distracting, terrorizing, and dividing and conquering our short and precious lives. Our media has a responsibility to serve us better and so do we.

What Trump does and what now becomes of him is newsworthy whether we like it or not, but modern news organizations to seldom seem to have the courage to go for what is critical. We need to demand better. Recall the in-beddedness of the GWB Iraq War. Also, a great deal is existentially threatening is this era, but Trump vividly presenting some of the most florid symptoms of something much deeper. Trump would just be another nasty, grotesquely self-centered rich brat without those who enable and promote him.

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Heather and Irenie (just finishing "The Unsettling of America" Culture and Agriculture by Wendell Berry) Thank you!!!

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Wendell Berry is considered one of America's greatest poets, novelists, and writer of non-fiction. To me he is as important as Rachel Carson.

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Irenie...thank you!

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Beautiful. True.

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That poem gives me such peace. Thank you, Irenie for posting this!

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I hate telling you HCR that you have it wrong, but you have it wrong tonight, unfortunately.

Finland did not "opt" for neutrality in 1949. They were informed that if they chose otherwise, the USSR would finish what they accomplished in 1944, and Finland would cease to not only be independent but to exist. Finland has had to "choose" neutrality - buying a Western airplane for their air force followed by a Soviet airplane (and for all the rest of their armed forces) since then.

As to Wisconsin, last week the Republican leader of the State Senate said that if they won the State Senate seat tonight (which they did), which would give them a 2/3 majority, that Republicans would impeach judge Protasiewicz if she won, for her "transgressions" in her previous office. He stated that with a 2/3 majority in the senate they could convict her after the Republican majority in the lower house impeached her.

Anyone who thinks these scum wouldn't do it didn't notice what they did to the governor's powers after a Democrat won but before he took office. These scummy fascists won't stop until they have been "terminated... with extreme prejudice... "

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TC, too true. I was just savoring our new Wisconsin Supreme Court majority, but now I'm back to feeling the great depression again. Our Wisconsin Republicans could impeach our newly-elected Justice Protasiewicz. But there would be a cost. The 45th president boasted that he could murder somebody on the street in front of many witnesses and get away with it, like he's untouchable. Many of us have been forced to remain calm and civilized as we watch the ReTrumpLickANS systematically dismantle our democratic norms. Despite the simmering rage, we don't rise up to do battle with those who are foisting legal shenanigans on the citizens of Wisconsin. But we can only take so much. They survey the crowd of calm citizens, and conclude, wrongly, that we are calm because we are weak. We are calm because we are civilized, and we live by the rule of law. But if our fellow citizens seize power unjustly, we will have little choice but to attempt to respond in kind. Somehow. Considering the record-setting amount of money that flowed into Wisconsin's Supreme Court race, perhaps there would be more money available that could tie up the ReTrumpLickANS in court for the next few years. How, or what, I don't know. We swarmed the Capitol in Madison in 2011 when Scott Walker was governor. I think many people would be moved to action if Justice Janet is unjustly impeached.

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“In this age, in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions.” - Lincoln

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Fox and repubs know this and have for decades. It’s emotional, not rational…

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Yes, but shouldn't they experience some fear at our youth rising up against them? Shouldn't they feel some type of negative emotion at continually losing instead of practicing the definition of insanity--continuing to harp lies while expecting wins?

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Sophia,

I think we lack a popular narrative sufficient to be widely spoken about and written about and performed and represented in various media, so that the craven hallucinating lunatics getting attention from the press and lots of people will be deprived of "oxygen" and will wither away for lack of the sustenance they crave. And that uplifting popular narrative will not be a run-on sentence! It will consist of easily-remembered phrases, or epithets, or aphorisms.

One of my current projects is some version of "HUMble HUMan HUbris" -- it reminds me that as a human, we can be too unsure of ourselves and we can be too sure of ourselves, and the sweet spot is in the middle somewhere. I know I am a fallible human, but I am confident that I am on the right track pursuing kindness and generosity and good humor.

The constant outrage of the Far Right -- (we need to change their name, because it is too easily confused with their being "right" about anything) -- their outrage garners headlines, but they have no legs, nor ground to stand on. Our new public narrative can safely ignore the ReTrumpLickANS as long as the rest of us are working hard to fix the things that need to be fixed. So much of what they are saying and doing is unsuitable for a civilized society. I've stopped arguing with them -- I feel like I'm feeding them and making them stronger when I spend my precious time trying to persuade them that they are on the wrong path. Instead of wasting my time on the right wingers, I want to say to them "lead, follow, or get out of the way". I know they are not going to lead the way to a progressive vision of the long-term future. So it's just "follow, or step aside".

Cheers

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"I know I am a fallible human, but I am confident that I am on the right track pursuing kindness and generosity and good humor. "

Awareness of one's own limitations seems to me to be the doorway to wisdom. That and a never-ending honest effort to try to work it out. Caring about the goals, needs, and experiences of others (including other species) seems the starting point for respectable ethics. Perhaps we need to find ways as a society direct greater focus to both. We have an ego for a reason, but it can be very deadly when it runs the whole show. Trump is a cautionary object lesson.

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The children in the red state of Tennessee give me hope that your optimism will be right. 🙏❤️

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I could not believe my eyes when I saw that crowd - including elementary age children. Such a reminder of what’s ahead for Republicans when these 10 year olds are 18….and vote. PBS NewHour had a Brief interview with the Democrat state rep who, along with two colleagues, was silenced when they joined the students in their efforts. (“Just like Fox” is a comment my husband and I snarkily utter when we see this kind of coverage on PBS…)

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How was interviewing them "like Fox?"

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It’s an exchange between us that has developed over the last 5-6 years. “Just like Fox” - loaded with sarcasm, because of course Fox News is not known for producing “news” programming with thoughtful and informative background work (in this case, an interview with one of the reps who was silenced) that is an extension of the basic headline often seen on Fox - and soften delivered by Fox talking heads in a sped-up, breathless tone.

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What isn't getting mentioned enough is that the heavily Republican TN House of Representatives is moving to expel the three Democratic reps who addressed the students. It's a telling parallel to rumblings in the WI state senate about impeaching Judge Protasiewicz.

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“When you can’t get anyone to help you....ya gotta do it yourself”. Bless those “children”! Maybe we need a mass movement of like minded kids. Maybe they will be this decade’s “Frances Perkins.” ❤️

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We need a national strike for an assault weapons ban.

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Greta Thunberg and the Climate Crisis!

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I hope you will. I also hope that the idiots will think twice, but for them, this is "existential," because not to get rid of her is to lose their power, and they will do anything to keep it. So it looks like you good folks are condemned to continue living in "interesting" times. (Which is neither ancient nor Chinese, but is certainly a curse.)

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My Representative in the Wisconsin Assembly is the Assembly Minority Leader. It's getting to be a long time since we had a chance to chat. It will be interesting to hear what she has in mind. Her father also served in the Assembly, years ago. And her mother, Lisa Neubauer, is an Appellate Court Judge who ran unsuccessfully for the Wisconsin Supreme Court a few years ago. My Representative, Greta Neubauer, graduated from Middlebury College, where Bill McKibbon was her mentor. While in college , Greta organized a nationwide movement to persuade colleges and universities to divest their holdings in fossil fuel companies. As far as I know Greta has not yet joined the newly-formed Progressive Caucus, which initially consists of two Representatives from Milwaukee. I predict that caucus will grow. Wisconsin produced one of the original Progressives, Robert "Fighting Bob" LaFollette. It may turn out that the MAGA people will reignite the passions of those of us in Wisconsin who cherish the idea of Liberty and Justice for All, or whatever good democratic slogan would be appropriate.

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I really really hope she can deal with this. You guys have "had your mellow harshed" every election since 2010. They bragged openly last fall about suppressing 35,000 nonwhite votes in Minneapolis, which defeated Barnes. They're totally and completely shameless. And given that this is "existential" in that the court decision on gerrymandering could end them, I don't think I'm saying "the sky is falling" that they're capable of this.

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I think that "liberty and justice for all" is one of those amazingly compact bits of shorthand that packs a universe of relevance, complication, and nuance, like E=MC², if you take it seriously and try to work it out.

Individual and collective liberty cannot meaningfully exist without justly applied universal rights and responsibilities, and justice is meaningless without individual and collective an expansive scope of responsible choices. The devil (and angel) is in the details.

How equitably do we form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity? We as a society, and as curious individuals, might want to take a much higher definition look at that.

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I was told it was an ancient Chinese curse as a child, but have since suspected it was apocryphal (along with much of the prevailing folk wisdom I encountered in my youth). When I heard it about maybe age 10, I thought it made no sense at all. Now I understand.

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But what would happen to that seat after they impeached her? Then what? Another election, or an appointment by the governor? Even in heavily gerrymandered states, statewide elections can (despite voter suppression) sometimes reflect the reality of the state of the state.

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Can Judge Protasiewicz be impeached and removed? Is this a realistic possibility?

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I just did some quick research, and it seems like a real possibility. There was a special state senate election that Wisconsin Public Radio is predicting as a Republican win (https://www.wpr.org/election-results-wisconsin-8th-senate-district-special-election-dan-knodl-jodi-habush-sinykin). With that seat, Wisconsin Republicans would have the power to impeach and remove those holding statewide offices without requiring any support from Democrats. That means that Judge Protasiewicz is at risk of being impeached and removed from office. Also the governor. Any Wisconsin-ite political experts here?

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I'm not an expert on Wisc law, but know a number of Wisconsinites- and they are ready to kick butt from the sounds of things. , Someone above who lives there points out what Wiscosinites did during the Walker governorship. I think those feelings are even stronger now, particularly with a judgeship being in the center. I suspect that the Republican leaders in the Senate might need to rethink their threats against the democratic election based on political retribution ala Trump. It might backfire big time on them.

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Data point says 1.8 Million folks in Wisconsin Voted on 4/4 about 600K to 700K more Voters. Energized!

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I wonder how they could pull it off .

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In a special election yesterday -- "special" due to resignation, death, etc -- the Republican candidate won, creating a "supermajority" in the Wisconsin Senate, thereby gaining the ability to override the two-term Democratic Governor's veto, which figures into an impeachment proceeding. The Wisconsin Legislature has been controlled by the Republicans for years. They pass bills and Governor Evers vetoes them. A few non-partisan or bi-partisan bills have been passed. Essentially, the Legislature has been deadlocked for years whenever there is disagreement. With a supermajoriry, the Rs can begin to pass vile legislation again.

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And you know they will.

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They'll do it like this: "Actung you followers! Ve vill now vote to kick out the stin kin lib'rul. On three! Vote!" and they will.

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Yes, Republicans will surely remove Protasiewicz from the court. If Protasiewicz were to remain on the court, legislative district boundaries probably would be redrawn, and many Wisconsin Republican legislators would lose their seats. If she is removed from the court, Republican legislators will retain their seats. Therefore, Republicans will remove Protasiewicz. Probably, the situation is even worse than it appears because any case brought before the Wisconsin Supreme Court that results in an order for redistricting will be appealed to the US Supreme Court, which is controlled by a supermajority of white supremacist “Justices” (one of whom, ironically, is black) who know that gerrymandering is necessary to preserve white domination of government. Therefore, the US Supreme Court almost certainly would overrule the Wisconsin court, and gerrymandering would remain in place even in the unlikely even that Protasiewicz is not removed from the court by the Republican legislature.

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Retraction:

A blurb by Charlie Sykes in The Atlantic (Apr 7) rates removal of Protasiewicz from the Wisconsin Supreme Court by the Republican legislative supermajority as somewhat unlikely. Sykes knows a lot more than I do about Wisconsin politics, so I defer to him on this.

Sykes thinks Dobbs was the driving force in Protasiewicz’s 11-point victory. I think he’s right about that. Republicans, nationwide, will probably lose many (but, unfortunately, not enough) elections that they would otherwise have won because a significant majority women, including women who voted for Trump, don’t like being treated as broodmares.

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Of the people, by the people, for the people; all the people.

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Dang,

TC, I highly recommend the book "People Skills", by Bolton. I read this book long ago, and, it was a game changer for me, an engineer who grew up in a rural environment where folks were pretty direct.

Telling anyone that they are "wrong", TC, well, that is sort of a way to start a conflict not a conversation.

I recommend the below kind of language if you think you can add to a conversation being led by someone else (like Dr. Richardson).

"Dr. Richardson, to add to your excellent note on Finland (which it sort of was TC ), I would also like to add that Finland was in a tight spot before, during and after WWII, and, in some ways, their neutrality was partly forced". (then describe why and how the tight spot occurred).

Here you provide extra information while simultaneously recognizing the other person for their real contribution.

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

Mike, I think TC's point -- about Heather neglecting to mention that Finland's decision to be "neutral" was their only reasonable response to a menacing USSR at the time -- is well taken. And, for her to suggest that Finnish concern about Putin's belligerence results mainly from his recent invasion of Ukraine leaves too much unsaid. Another line or two of explanation would have been useful.

That said, I also figure Heather can take a little criticism from a loyal and engaged reader of her letter without letting it bother her too much, and she could certainly respond if she thought it important to do so.

As for TC's tendency to end his comments with overly emphatic suggestions as to what should be done to the GOP, I think we are privileged to have among us an artist of hyperbole, one who will not sacrifice his instincts and fine writing skills to the need of the herd to feel good about ... themselves.

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

good points David.

Thank you.

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Good job, Mike S. Agree. These are osme of the techniques I found most useful in my career. I wasn't trying to make headlines- just to get people to sit down and talk with respect. TC has a problem with that, and prefers to win points instead. Too bad, because I think he does have some things to contribute. I just don't want to have to carry his venom through the day.

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Well, just take him with a grain of salt.

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“Real contributions” are often bull Schitt. So sick of dancing around in the crap.

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Jeri,

Yes, there is a fair bit of BS no doubt. But, dancing is a good way to deal with (anything)!! Especially if it is Friday night, and, two step and waltz are the featured music!

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Just purchased the book!

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It is truly a great book. Life changing for me when I read it at age 26 or so.

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TCinLA, stop talking about how killing Republicans is the only way to move forward. Give the Wisconsin democratic organizers some of your time and money. Find the most unreasonable local politician in your city, county, school board or voting district and help find and support someone better to oppose them. Connect to some people who share a non-political hobby and increase your focus on immediate experience. This all or nothing, apocalyptic thinking worries me - do you usually have mood swings this time of year? Do you need an antidepressant? I mean, whatever course Finland followed decades ago, the point is their current leadership looked at the options and picked democracy now. That’s a good thing, right?

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

Meredith,

I agree the referencing violence is not a good way to represent. The folks in Wisconsin, having been trod on for 10 years, did not take up violence, they took up Democracy.

However, I will note: If you listen to AM radio or Fox or many Republicans, you will hear this kind of reference to violence. More and more.

Just last evening, at my amateur radio club, which, is all Republicans but me, a guy mentioned that the only way out of the "mess" we are in (meaning a Democratic President who I think has performed extremely well) is a "war". I responded by saying: "The only people who think war will solve a problem are those who don't have to fight and die in it".

Why do I point this conversation out? Do I think there will be a war?

Not really. Most of those I hear reference violence are too out of shape to participate in a long, physically difficult slog through repeated violence. Or to participate even for one day.

However, we could end up with a Republican President who will decide to use the US Army against its own people. Then, we have a problem.

The Republican side of things is talking up war more and more. Especially if you listen to AM radio.

Completely ignoring that talk would be unwise given the pre-history of Nazi Germany.

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While I deplore violence, your reference to a US President using the military against our citizens reflects my fear here in Florida with Desantis’ push for a Florida Guard, separate and apart from the National Guard. His authoritarian tactics cannot be ignored.

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You are right about that! Every day DeSantis pushes for more authoritarian tactics to run this state, and the Republican legislature gives him anything he wants! Feeling the impossibility of change in such a cruelly gerrymandered state, many of us are leaving, including educators, librarians, and health care workers who cannot do their jobs anymore without fear of retribution from the governor if his fascist way is not followed. It is sickening.

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❗️ ❗️ ❗️

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They have won when we resort to the same behaviors as the worst of them. Maliciousness is infectious. Adherence and accountability to the common rules that keep us all safe is a disinfectant

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You are correct, the exhortation to violence and intolerance seems to be the fall back position of the GQP when they have no reasonable argument to stand up with. My husband recently attended a "wild game" dinner fund-raiser which is held annually by a local hunt club, and which he has attended for years. Right before they were ready to eat the president of the hunt club stood up and said "for those democrats amongst us there is the back door, you are welcome to use it." My husband still gets livid when he talks about it and he will not be going back to the wild game dinner. WTG when you are trying to raise money for your club and you alienate people because of their politics.

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“Democrat” has become the enemy, if you doubt it, you are the problem. Be aware or WOKE if you dare…

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I had seen a couple of former colleagues post up about the

"deranged t...p haters" and how misguided and uninformed we are. They see nothing wrong with any of the criminal conduct of fpotus. These two were civil, but I know they believe themselves ready to take up arms to defend the "integrity" of the US. I am gobsmacked.

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They're okay with Drump's criminal conduct? Huh...I'm betting they would scream bloody hell and be all for immediate punishment should similar evidence of the same crimes of which Drump stands accused, had been committed by Obama or Biden or any Dem, for that matter. Those folk may be civil and sincere, but they are rank hypocrites as well.

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TC talked about killing Republicans, not fighting a war. When reasonable people get sucked into extremist rhetoric, the extremists have won. I have ancestors and relatives who have fought tyranny and autocracy in the War of Independence, the Civil War, and World War 2. I am also a very good shot with a hunting rifle, and have no interest in being shot at by some fanatic with an AR-15. I would rather outvote these criminals and buy them in jail for their crimes, than shoot anybody. I think Clint Eastwood and Indiana Jones have narrowed our idea about the range of solutions to a problem. Why not call those Wisconsin fascist bastards what they are and sue every one of them for failure to perform the job they were elected for? If you haven’t spent time writing a lot of letters to the extremist legislators in your own state, you need to start doing more productive things to combat this nasty phenomenon. I think Dr. Richardson might appreciate you reposting letters you sent to specfic bad actor Republicans more than just venting here in this safe place, you know what I mean?

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I understand free speech, but at what time does the FCC review the content on the airwaves (although radio might be old school, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones and Steve Bannon have caused incredible harm while enriching themselves)?

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AM radio is the lifeblood of the rural areas of the country.

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Yes,

I used to listen to AM radio at every lunch break and then, catch "The Rest of the Story" at 3pm with Paul Harvey.

But, that was 1976 and AM was mostly about crop news, livestock prices, weather reports (which were awful),

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I listened to a lot of overnight AM radio in the 80's and 90's. Mostly Art Bell (he was an entertaining dude) while doing graveyard patrol. By the 00's we had FM radios and I listened to either classical or ESPN radio.

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People ought to give a read to “Adventurers of a Bystander,” by Peter Drucker, if you want a whiff of what repubs have in store for us. Pages 164 and 165 will make your blood run cold. They have studied Goebbels and the tactics of control. Ostrich’s are not survivors

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Violence should be the absolute last resort. But when it is necessary, we must be prepared - as the people of Ukraine were prepared and we cheer them on in their response to unprovoked war being brought upon them by an untamed aggressor. Let’s not lose sight of how many guns are in the hands of MAGA supporters. We don’t want violence, but we must be prepared if it comes to war.

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pinning your reasoned observations

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Thanks for your perspective, Mike.

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TC does not ignore or pretend where treason is on the March. The threat is real, at our door, and malicious to the extreme.

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Meredith, I no longer read his posts. I am so tired of hearing his constant references to killing Republicans.

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Now we have to fight to terminate them at the ballot box. If we even get to vote at all.

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There are still a vast reserve of un-utilized votes out there to potentially bring to the fight.

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

JL, do you have any valid data on the Age Goups of actual Badger Voters? Looking for the voting activity data of young Badger Voters. Ages 18 to 30.

Any early but, soundly collected data? Thanks in advance.

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Big IF in Texas

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It is looking like a 1.8% spread between Knodl (R) and Sinykin(D) in the State Senate race or just 1300 votes out of 75700 cast . Statewide Protasiewicz won by 11% but was down by -4% to -33% in the counties in the 8th State Senate district. So Sinykin outperformed Protasiewicz significantly in those counties. even though she lost the local race This brings home the point that ALL politics is local.

I wonder how much money got spent on that State Senate race. The devil is in the details. But clearly every vote counts and the grass roots organizing is essential if we are beat back one party rule.

The State Senate supermajority and its potential knock-on effects could easily undo the potential good that could come from Protasiewicz win.

https://www.wpr.org/election-results-wisconsin-8th-senate-district-special-election-dan-knodl-jodi-habush-sinykin#:~:text=The%208th%20Senate%20District%20in,Germantown%2C%20Mequon%20and%20Menomonee%20Falls.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/04/04/us/elections/results-wisconsin-supreme-court.html

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

Georgia,

Great and informative note adding good detail to Dr. Richardson's letter.

Thank you. I guess I better temper my optimism a bit.

at the npr link: "With Knodl's win, Republicans will secure a two-thirds majority in the state Senate. While they still lack a veto-proof majority in the Legislature, holding the 8th District means the GOP's senate majority is now large enough that they have the power under the state Constitution to impeach state officials for "corrupt conduct in office or for the commission of a crime or misdemeanor" without having to secure any votes from Democratic senators. Impeachment would remove the official from office."

Nice. Since Republicans think that being Democratic is "corrupt" they will go after her for sure. Ugly gets uglier.

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Actually there are some positive take-aways from the analysis. Sinykin did way better than the headliner Democratic candidate in her State Senate District so the local Democrats picked a strong, highly competitive candidate. She lost by only 1300 votes--that is a really narrow margin in a suburban county that has been moving towards purple from strongly red. So yes, there are potential major bad consequences, but this is in the heartbreaker category, and heartbreakers can be swung the next time if there is a hard analysis of the precinct by precinct data and attention and money from the state party.

So let me keep making my pitch to those who are feeling depressed (or not). Wherever you are , whatever you financial means or health status get online and contact your local party organization ask how you can get involved and help. ALL politics is local.

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Is there anything that can be done to subvert that dangerous "super majority"? Is there a State Senate Republican who is hiding criminal behavior? Are there legal tools available to disable such a Super Majority?

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Good questions.

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"contact your local party organization ask how you can get involved and help. ALL politics is local."

Have done (long back) but will keep following your advice!

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So grateful for your analysis this morning. Have been searching for such and can now move on. ❤️🙏

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Montana is in similar circumstances with several Bills in the Super majority Leg. One is to let the Gov appoint Supreme Court justices & another if to stop/block our only D senator from being elected. There are a raft of others as well.

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All across the land…

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How can they pass a bill to stop Tester from being reelected? I mean, what does the bill say?

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Good god dont let these bills pass.

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Thank you very much Georgia, Data Dependent in the Bay Area otherwise Sleepless.

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TCinLA, I always look forward to reading your comments in our group. I appreciated the information you countered today’s LFAA post with, -right up until “terminated...with extreme prejudice.” Sorry man, I wont allow myself to go there. We are in for very difficult, nasty times because of the “manufactured mindf*ck” the extreme right is boiling in on am radio/fox/etc. I do get that. But they are being lied to. Some willingly accept it to feed dark holes of inadequacy and impotence. Others are believing it because everyone they want respect from believes it. But these people are my friends, family members, neighbors. I suspect they are yours also. Terminating them.....? I cannot go there even in frustrated comment-section-talk.

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Today's HCR post of some really Good News between Finland and Wisconsin has also brought a wide range of comments from her usually more-aligned readers. Yours MLR seems a good place to insert my own which IMO I would like to think are among the more centered. While I am elated at the news in HCR's post, my own reading includes a few writers whose work I find always intelligent and well-researched. One of those, Chauncey DeVega of Salon used last night's bloviating at Mar-a-Gulago as reason to post a piece I submit is worth reading. It is not so much as for a fear of what on one end of our forum as TCinLA suggests or as for those on the other end of our spectrum. It is for what I believe we all have in common which is,... What-We-Are-Up-Against.

Ms Devega's skills are similar to HCR's as she follows and assembles info from sources I would not know so, gives a deeper perspective on the level to which the "cult" has risen. For me it is knowledge for us to begin organizing ourselves on what we have in common.

https://www.salon.com/2023/04/05/treating-like-jesus-indictment-proves-maga-is-a/

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