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A progressive tax seems to be the answer to many problems. In the 50s we were a prosperous nation with a growing middle class and a 90% top bracket. Why not go back to what worked? This Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln. They abandoned that a long time ago, and with it they abandoned the American people.

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They have abandoned the idea of a democracy totally and thanks to death star, have crawled out from under the rocks to say and do heinous things. There seems to be a contest for who can be the most unfeeling and monstrous. I did laugh at an article about The Cracker Barrel adding a non meat option. Now they are "woke" according to the dimwits who love their biscuits and gravy, greasy breakfasts, fried foods, etc. and who wonder why they have health problems. I mean, don't order it. Full disclosure, I do eat meat, but buy it locally from small farmers for the most part. I grew up the midwest where quantity seems to trump quality for many people.

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

OMG, the Cracker Barrel Scandal! I laughed so hard I cried! Full disclosure: I love biscuits and gravy; my husband makes 99.9% of the sausage we eat, from scratch, and I make the biscuits.

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I knew someone here would love biscuits and gravy....I don't think I have ever had that. I do love pancakes, bacon and eggs, etc. I like the idea of home made sausage too and I do love biscuits, but seldom bake. We have a booth here at the Saturday Market called Scratch Meats (I think that's what it called). They make wonderful sausage and we have some in the freezer. I bet your biscuits and gravy is far superior to Cracker Barrel biscuits and gravy. I did grow up with creamed chipped beef on toast which was a regular item at our house.

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Greetings Animal Protein fads,

Until I was diagnosed with coronary artery disease and had my come to Jesus moment, I loved that breakfast concoction too. Then at sixty-eight years old, I had few options, so we changed our nutritional underpinnings and became non-animal protein vegans. It was quite an adjustment for two meat and spuds eating Irish folk. We lost a lot of excess fat weight, lower all the lipid level bio-markers and changed our behavior about eating anything with a face! I still eventually had to get the quintuple coronary bypass surgery so that I wouldn’t die from CAD, but I believe the conversion saved my life - seven years ago.

JPD

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I stopped eating garbage 20 years ago. Had my annual physical the end of June. Blood glucose 80; cholesterol 155; BP 120/65; weight 5lbs more than age 18 (a loooong time ago); PSA 0.95 (down from 6.9 when I started treatment back in 2007. Since I didn't get mauled by a bear like my sixth great grandfather, or stick a piece of uranium in the front pocket of my work pants for a week like my father, the chances are excellent I will live into my 90s with "all systems go" like the other six generations of males in my line I have records on.

I only wish all the MAGAts would have their massive fatal myocardial infarctions sooner than later and Make America Great Again - permanently.

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Go TC

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Great numbers! I was actually thinking of some of relatives in the midwest when I made that comment. Some of them are grossly overweight. My niece posts pictures of food items that look like a heart attack waiting to happen. One of my nephews already had one that almost killed him, but still smokes as far as I can tell. He is thin, but not because he eats well.

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You said it, I didn't , but the thought has crossed my mind a time or two.

Cheers.

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Several years ago my brother-in-law suffered a heart attack. He was in his early forties, I think. So he was put on a strict diet by his doctors, which kept him out of "trouble." Sitting at a restaurant one day, a couple of us ordered steak with all the fixins', someone else ordered fried chicken, still another a big ol' juicy hamburger w/ fries. My brother-in-law ordered skinless baked chicken with broccoli, and lemon on the side. After our server left the table, there was a slight lull in the conversation. I looked over at my brother-in-law and said, "You sure are gonna miss us when we're gone!"

Here's hoping Cracker Barrel gains many more diners to replace the un-woke crowd!

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“You sure are gonna miss us when we’re gone!” Now THAT must have been hilarious and brought the table some looks at the eruption of laughter!

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

🤣❤️👏 Hysterical. I have to admit, not once have I crossed the threshold of a CB.

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JPD, I'm glad you're here to tell us your story! Stay well.

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Glad you're doing so well after all those difficult changes!

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Congrats to you JPD!!! This Nurse Practitioner is proud of you both!!

Kudo's!! Used to work in an open-heart unit in California and I appreciate what you went through, being on the other end. CABG has come a long way since those days with stents, etc. Keep up the good work.

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J.P. - I just started reading a book by Mark Bittman called VB6- Vegan Before Six. He champions a vegan diet for breakfast and lunch and then allows meat at dinner.

He includes lots on info on the benefits of veganism from personal health to planetary health. What I really like is that he has a lot of quick and easy recipes and tips on making things in bulk, plus creative ways to use leftovers.

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Sharon, interesting book. I just downloaded it and started skimming it. One of the things I've eaten all my life, and am glad to see Bittman mention, is savory cooked cereals rather than sweet (I personally have never liked sweet cereals cooked or otherwise). Even as a kid I would put butter and pepper on hot cereal and leave the brown sugar or maple syrup to my siblings.

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This is true for many people, so it makes sense for a restaurant to offer a non-meat option. We don't load up on meat and do veg options often. My LMT fishes and we often have bounty of the sea from him. This week we had no meat, but some dairy. Since my spouse also has a heart condition and had quad bypass surgery among other things a few years ago, I do most of our cooking from scratch and do not add salt unless I happen to bake which is rare.

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Wish I had become a vegetarian many years ago. I sort of did since I don’t like meat, but had to cook it for meat-eating man. Hubby and I could share one meal often, Jack Sprat style

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In 2002 I read an article by Michael Pollan in the NY Times Magazine https://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/31/magazine/power-steer.html

in which he tells the story of his purchase of a steer who was destined for slaughter in the meat industry. His purpose in buying the steer was journalistic: he wanted to see first hand what the meat industry was like. After reading the article, I decided not to eat red meat or pork (generally not a part of my diet anyway) any more, and have mostly stuck to that decision ever since. Both the animals and I are happier for it. The only time I eat beef is if it is served when I am invited for a meal. I do eat poultry and fish. As a consequence, when, a few years later I had a carotid artery ultrasound because of a swelling on my neck, the technologist said I had the carotids of a 30-year-old (I was 69 at the time). Unfortunately I had thyroid cancer, which was treated by surgery, and here I am many years later, still apparently healthy. A come to Jesus moment indeed.

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My moment was a little more personal. I was with a friend and his 6-year old son out at the Chino airshow, back in the days when the airport was still surrounded by dairy farms. We were leaving and the boy saw a corral with cows in it and wanted to see them, so his dad drove over and we got out and went to the corral. The cows were all on the far side of the corral, but when we showed up first one and then another until finally all of them came over to check us out. My friend told his son it was because they thought we would feed them. But it suddenly struck me that they did that because they were curious. And curiosity is a sign of intelligence. And with that realization, after thinking about it for a week, I changed my diet. My doctor told me when I did my last annual physical that a 50 year old would be happy to have my stats.

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So, so glad to hear this! And, think of all the good you are doing to combat climate change! Yes, I was a devotee of Cracker Barrell and Bob Evans (bring on the Sunrise Skillet!!), until my medical records listed me as obese....so, I commend you !

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Stay healthy.

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You know what the other name for "creamed chipped beef on toast" is?

Sht On A Shingle, or as we used to call it in the Navy, "SOS." I haven't had any of that since the week before I got out, and I never will.

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I grew up hearing that from my dad, and he felt the same way!

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My mother made that exactly once and was utterly revolted by it; being about five, I didn't hesitate to say so.

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My dad loved Sh*t on a Shingle (WWII vet). To this day I'll make it one in a while as a comfort food treat, though I fancy mine tastes a bit better than was served in the army.

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A. nice beef/lamb/feral pig stew on toast - fantastic! - we do demean great delights with shitty names ... SPAM SPAM SPAM and eggs with SPAM. (no, I don't much like spam).

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Yeah but SOS was good😊

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Yes, I am aware of the alternate name. I grew up late 40s and 50s, so it was common fare. I heard the name from people who served in the military which my father did not do. His job was classified as essential to the war effort....the place made shell casings.

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So heartbreaking.

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OMG, creamed chip beef on toast. We had that a lot when I was a kid too! I loved that. Just so you know, I only make biscuits and gravy a couple times a year and always with sliced tomatoes on the side.

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I think I loved it too, but have never fixed it or had it since. People of a certain age had this experience. We have had a couple BLTs this summer after tomatoes became ripe. Mine are taking their time, but I am about to make ratatouille with garden produce that I have picked. No meat in that and I will freeze it for later when it is cooler.

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

BLTs fresh from the garden, nothing finer. We were the children of depression babies. A little tiny bit of meat stretched with a gravy would fill a lot of bellies. My grandparents passed their thrifty ways onto my parents.

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Yes, Daria, when I was a kid we had chipped beef on toast for dinner often. I loved it, and imagine I might still. But I'm not about to test that idea. 🤣

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

Yeah, Pam, I really am not in the market for a little jar of super salty meat these days either! And it was usually a dinner food at my house too.

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I think if you have something healthy like tomatoes on the side it doesn't really count as biscuits and gravy

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I totally agree.

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😹😹😹

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My college job was serving food in a women's dorm (where I also lived). Believe me, SOS was not a popular item on the menu, though I'm sure the finance office liked it--very, very inexpensive dish! I don't think I've eaten it since then.

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I have a feeling my mother's creamed chip beef was a bit different from your dorm's chipped beef. For starters, she made a proper bechamel sauce.😉

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My preference is on mashed potatoes w/shredded Cheddar mixed in and adding peas on top.

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Well, that sounds delicious. I adore mashed potatoes, cheddar & peas!

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Ok- I gotta get in on the biscuit conversation! If you think Cracker Barrel biscuits are biscuits, then you’ve never had biscuits! Biscuits should be tall and fluffy on the inside, lightly brown and tender- crisp on the outside. When ever I have had them at CB they are flat and undercooked- mushy on the inside. I vowed off CB 10 years ago. Being woke won’t even bring me back! Lol!!

Oops sorry - weren’t we talking about the history of taxation and the amazing week Biden has had??

Happy Saturday!!

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Sorry I did start the biscuit conversation, but the CB brouhaha made me laugh. I did imagine the the CB biscuits wouldn't pass muster.

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Do you have a good recipe for baking powder biscuits you can share?

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Yes I do! Let me know if you make these!

Sharon’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Comfort food at its best. Warm fresh-from-the-oven biscuits! All you need is a little butter and jam or honey. Biscuits will keep for...well, never mind. You won’t have to worry about that.

* 6 T very cold butter, grated

* 2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour (don't use self-rising flour)

* 1 t salt

* 2 t baking powder

* 1 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450.

1. After grating the butter, place in the freezer to keep cool.

2. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and whisk together well.

3. Get butter from the freezer stir in a bit at a time until incorporated. 4.

4. Make a well in the center and add buttermilk. Stir until just combined, it will look wet at this point but don’t over-mix.

5. Dump onto a well-floured surface and gently flatten and fold 5 or 6 times. The folding is what gives you a flaky biscuit. Use more flour if it starts getting sticky, but don’t ever do-it (you’ll learn with practice just how much flour to use)

6. Gently roll out about 3/4” thick and cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass. Gather dough and gently roll out and cut out more biscuits.

7. Place in a pan or a cast-iron skillet with sides of biscuits touching.

8. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

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King Arthur Flour and Sally's Baking Addiction both have good biscuit recipes. I've used both and mix white and whole wheat flour 50/50. Have fun, it's a great way to celebrate a great week for both the President and the country.

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Ahhh, Chipped Beef on Toast!! Does take me back...

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Haven't heard the words in ages or eaten it since I was a child.

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S*** on a Shingle is the beef equivalent of Biscuits and gravy which, for the record, I like too. Local sourced is the way to go and it's often sustainably produced and organic just without the expensive certification.

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Agree, locally sourced is best. We use primarily locally sourced meat. We grind our own beef for hamburger, make all of our own sausage. We don't put any preservatives or additives in what we make, so we're not earing someone else's mystery concoction. We make our own pastas and breads as well.

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Kudos. I have never made pasta, but used to make bread. We just stood in line for the local bakery (Albany OR) which does fine bread. Market opens at nine. We were there at 8 and the line was already curling around to the next aisle. Picked up some veggies and fruit too.

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That's awesome. I haven't tried pasta yet but have been baking my own bread for years. I've ground beef from time to time and like being able to control the fat content and flavor profile although I've cut back recently due to the absurd prices for beef. I haven't found a good local source although I'm sure there's one around. Just finished eating a locally grown peach; summer is wonderful even when the humidity is high.

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When we buy meat, it is locally sourced and sustainably produced which gives it a better nutritional profile. I do love heritage pork and we will buy some pork chops at the Saturday Market this am.

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Usually gives it better flavor too. Enjoy the chops.

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When I lived in eastern N.C. I was privy to some hilarious stories. A yankee ordered breakfast in this small town restaurant.

You want grits with those eggs?

No, I would like home fries.

You eat grits or you get out.

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LOL. I do love grits and prefer them to home fries.

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

Hi Nancy,

When we began doing the 6&6 lifestyle between MA and FL, we learned about grits and how wonderful good grits tasted with a pat of butter melted on them and then mixed with your sunny side-up egg yolk. Those were the pre-vegan dairy days before coronary artery disease and a desire to live longer intervened by not piling on a lot of animal protein to clog up our vascular system further.

For thé first six months after the vegan conversion, we’d whine, "Damn, I really miss those breakfasts with grits and biscuits. " Eventually, the craving for the fat in the dairy products subsided, but thé craving has been described by some folks as being as difficult and quitting smoking or alcohol.

Looking back, it is not the beef, pork or lamb that we really miss. It’s the grilled cheese or fried egg sandwich for lunch or thé hard boiled eggs in the potato salad. It’s interesting what different vegans recall fondly when they get together and start that memory lane discussion about their likes and dislikes before their conversion.

Most primary care docs don’t even have the dietary discussion with their overweight patients any longer because the docs know from experience that converting anyone to a plant based nutritional program is close to impossible, so the docs don’t go there. The docs know the science, but the majority of them ignore it too. Most converted vegans have had a medical slap upside the head that causes their reassessment to occur. When the cardiologist says something like, "You have multiple coronary blockages in your heart that may cause a major adverse coronary event (MACE) at any time, so you should consider every option to stabilize your lifestyle or begin getting your affairs in order.." only a dope doesn’t listen carefully.

JPD

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Eggs and cheese are my Achille's heel.

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😂

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Creamed chipped beef on toast!!...I grew up in Pa. Passed that traditilon on to my kids.

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Michele, if you ever made creamed chipped beef you can make sausage gravy! I think mine tops what restaurants make.

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I haven't and I don't think I have ever made gravy of any kind either. On Thanksgiving, we share with our neighbors and she always makes the gravy.

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It is really easy! I learned very fast after I got married in 1961! I fixed mashed potatoes....and didn't make gravy! After that experience...I learned! uquet Milk gravies you use flour and milk and it is best with the drippings from fried meats. Brown gravy you use corn starch and broth from roasted meat, beef boulillon cubes and I add Kitchen Bouquet to get a rich brown color. These items I only make for company which is not very often!

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It's easy, and the second time you make it will be great; the first time is sometimes best viewed as a learning experience.

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Most restaurants make theirs by opening a can; the only place to find really good biscuits and gravy is in a place where they save the grease from cooking their morning bacon and sausage and use that as the base for their gravy. If they make their own sausage that's a bonus. Then it's just a matter of how much pepper you like and how fluffy your biscuits are. I don't doubt for a minute that yours are better because anyone who says they're proud of the food they cook usually has good reason.

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I too like the IDEA of home made sausage, but full disclosure requires the confession that I'm from Georgia and Alabama. I love the sausage and biscuits my mama made hut in a pinch I'll any old trashy version that's available. Really, where s&b are concerned, worse is better--look for doughy biscuits and tasteless gravy. Heaven.

p.s. I haven't heard anybody mention cream chipped beef on toast in a long time. Delicious. And how about pigs and blankets. My grandmother made those as a special treat6.

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

And let me play checkers or the golf tee wooden triangle at the table or look at the old fashioned games and candy in their store while I wait for my plant based sausage to be served next to pancakes bigger than a dinner plate.

Hahahahahahahahaha. My kids have fond memories of stopping at Cracker Barrels on road trips. But now the Cracker Barrel is “woke”so pass them by for McDonalds. There are plenty laughing at this one!

Salud, fab Daria. 🗽

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OK, people. My husband and I love ourselves an occasional Cracker Barrel breakfast. Just because CB has many “unhealthy” choices doesn’t mean you have to eat them and all in the same sitting. Everything in moderation…

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"Everything in moderation," including moderation.

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I just love their waffles. Once a year or so, usually at a horse show in Kentucky, for dinner on a day when we don’t need to drown our sorrows!

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Christine, right? Load up on stick candy to counteract the goodness of a sodium loaded plant-based sausage patty...every cardiologists nightmare,😉

Salud, my dear Christine!

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"every cardiologists nightmare" or dream, if you're a cardiologist who wants to make easy $$?

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DAMN Daria! Not only are you WOKE but you also eat SAUSAGE??? 😂😂😂

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They're definitely not "woke" when it comes to religion or LGBTQ+ people. I will never ever eat at a Cracker Barrel. Or a Chik-fil-A, which pretends to be inclusive and actually is the same toxic combination of homophobe and antisemite in its ownership (and I have advocated for removing them from my university's on-campus food options but apparently the fact that they won't hire LGBTQ+ people and are unpleasant to people whose religious perspectives are different from management's aren't enough for them to lose their contract). They are the Hobby Lobby of the commercial food world.

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Agreed. As a member of the LGBTQ community, frequently the best I can do is vote with my wallet. And I most assuredly do. No Hobby Lobby, Chick-fil-a, Cracker Barrel. Although I admit, if it’s the only restaurant available, as has sometimes been the case, I will eat when I’m traveling. But I really try to avoid supporting them. Same with Wal-Mart but for different reasons. I think they contributed more than any one company in hollowing out the American middle class with their insistence on lower and lower prices, encouraging companies to move overseas. Would they have done it anyway? Maybe, but I think Wal-Mart accelerated it before people fully realized what was happening. And then we come to taxes!! The tax code encouraged our jobs to leave our shores! What kind of idiot politicians thought THAT was a good idea?! I’m a tax auditor so don’t even get me started!

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Dianna I have the same feeling about WalMart. I hate them--because as the Walton family became billionaires, they handed new employees applications for food stamps because they paid so little the suckers were eligible for them. So the Walton family (WalMart is a privately held company) has become filthy rich by abusing the subsidy system and enriching themselves on the backs of poor people. But of COURSE they spend millions supporting the worst kind of right wing nut candidates because they rely on Democratic initiatives to enrich themselves but god forbid they should pay taxes. I lived for too long in an area where I was forced to be a Walmart customer, unless I wanted to drive 100 miles each way to get better options. I am happy to live in a city where WalMart has been banned by law from opening stores in the middle of the city--they are restricted to the city edge and the suburbs. I wish Home Depot had been the same, but at the time they acquired their midtown location, the city was desperate (but not enough to open the space to the Waltons). And, weirdly, our local HD employs almost all underrepresented minorities (including nonbinary people) in the midtown store--although the suburban ones are whiter than white of course. So even though the politics of the HD ownership and management is appalling, here in KC they actually support our community. But I still hate shopping there.

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WMT, current price 126.58. Definitely not privately held.

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I am a former HD guy. Back in the day, it had a very positive culture. Then the founders walked away and handed it to the bean counters. There were three founders. Arthur was a Democrat, Bernie a Republican, as was Ken. Ultimately, Ken renounced TFG, but Bernie has gone fascist. Until year 2000, HD was retail nirvana for employees and customers. Now, it's just another big store.

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My husband works at a local hardware store, part of a smallish CA chain. One of his coworkers had worked at HD but was terminated when he left his aisle to walk a customer to the aisle where the item they needed, at the other end of the store, was located. The customer could find no one else on the floor. Terrible customer service and horrible working conditions for employees. Thank goodness I never need to go to HD again!

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On the subject of Walmart they can be heard loudly condemning the welfare state and all the "welfare queens" (just another racist trope) while at the same time, they pay such low wages that their employees can't afford to buy groceries so they go on welfare and apply for food stamps. Talk about hypocrisy!. They are one of the major companies whose people are dependent on welfare.

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I have talked to people who really prefer other fast food, but will sit in the long Chik-fil-A line to be “patriotic”. I just laugh. So ridiculous. As is the cute spelling of their name. 🗽

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The opening of a Chik-fil-A in my Bay Area city was quite controversial, with protests from both sides. It was ultimately built and after several years, the traffic it creates is still considerable. My apolitical son went there after he worked out the other day and raved about the chicken sandwich and waffle fries. I sometimes think I should try it just once, but my conscience and my belief in the dignity and equity all people deserve gets the better of me. Fortunately, I don’t ever have the dilemma of having to eat at Cracker Barrel, unless I travel to TN or such, which is highly unlikely.

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I’ve never eaten at one either and intend to keep that streak alive!

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I will never darken their door. And normally we don't do fast food.

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Couldn't agree more.... I stay far away from all you mentioned....

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How does someone actually say I don't want to be awake to injustice - without essentially verifying that they LIKE injustice?

Me, I love the catfish and grits - with a ton of butter. Yum.

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Those people who use the word woke as a pejorative do like injustice as long as it doesn't apply to white folks. And yes, I do like both catfish and grits, but seldom have either. After viewing the comments about the CB, I did think about grits and how I like them.

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Somehow I've missed all of the kerfuffles over Cracker Barrell! But my life has been just a treasure, nonetheless ....

Well, I awoke long about 1974 and am living testimony to eating nothing but plants and their like. For nearly 50 years, and of course I weigh the same as I did 50 years ago, and without all that hair I had in high school!

Long about 20 years ago my wife and I realized how much our free ranging breakfast eggs just LOVE to be eaten with steamed vegetables and the side of gluten-free toast! Thank goodness here along the coast of Maine there are plenty of free ranging morsels!

But I have to say, I've NEVER had shell fish; no lobstah even! I pain when I see them tied together in little tanks, frightened together. I just get a sense that somehow a human ingests that horror

Well, I'm off to free range a bit, and then our stroll to the Saturday farmers market

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Lobster are safe from me. They are one of the few things that I do not like.

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Seriously, the backlash against The Cracker Barrel for offering non-meat options reveals how absurd the right-wing has become. Do the MAGAs not go to the doctor? Do they not have their cholesterol checked? Eating less meat, especially red meat, isn't "woke," it helps you live longer. What's next? A backlash against using sunscreen to prevent skin cancer? Or drinking scotch instead of bourbon because bourbon is made with mostly corn instead of barley?

I swear the buildup of C02 in the atmosphere is creating a decline in brain function.

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Here's a fun fact for you. The Catholic Church invented the Holy Inquisition basically to use against the group they called the Cathars (aka the Albigenses), who called themselves the Perfecti, in 1215. The worst sin of the Perfecti? They were vegetarians. there were specific theological reasons for their vegetarianism (mostly because they seem to have believed in the transmigration of souls, a la Plato), but this is what sent the Catlicks into a frenzy.

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These people are looking for every little thing that they can link to "woke" as it is one of those words that they love to hate even though it means being a decent person. Already they probably don't use sunscreen. I confess to being a single malt neat drinker, but only because I prefer it. The people in question probably drink Four Roses or moonshine. After dealing with my relatives in the midwest, they seem to be suspicious of anything that might be healthier.

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Morning Michael,

I have a chemical conspiracy theory for this decline. Think the Romans and their lead drinking vessels. It's a cocktail of CO2 and mercury in the air mixed with equal parts lead and PFAs in the water. It all works to reduce the size of the brain so the smallest shake of the head creates concussions. I should do a YouTube and monetize this, eh? I could title it "Shaken not stirred".

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LOL.

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The thing that has hit the hardest at my sense of confidence and hope that we might make it through this is the cruelty. And since the Roe decision, they seem to not only have stopped trying to pretend but they seem to be prancing and bragging about it. I am, and have always been, afraid of people like that. Of all people, George Will published an article today about fascism and comparing Mussolini and Putin. One line has stuck with me all day. "Fascism isn't violent; Fascism is violence." We see that in nearly every corner of our world. TFG was a caricature of the weak man in love with violence. What I'm afraid of is that we have finally caught up with where we started. Can a nation founded in genocide with a long love affair with cowboys and gangsters and a concept of manhood that is both shaky and aggressive, come through intact? Not too very long ago I would have said there was a good chance. Today I would't say there's no chance but we will need the passion we just saw in Kansas every single day for a long time. I'm a very old political warrior and my health keeps me mostly in my apartment, but signed on for one more fight the day I watched what that group of old white men did to Justice Brown.

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From one old warrior to another, let's give it all we got until we can't. What strikes me about all these "weak" and frightened gangsters is just how shallow they are. How little depth of compassion. How they act like wounded tigers. How afraid they are of truth. How hollow their hearts are. They remind me of the zombies on The Walking Dead.

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The film that gets at the essence of the poisoned masculinity in our peculiar culture is on Netflix, "The Power of the Dog."

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An unusually revealing film. Good example, for sure.

Cumberbatch extended his acting range and Smit-McPhee was haunting.

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Yes and just as film making it really was flawless. I don't think I found a single imperfection and I watched it three times. Every single scene, every detail of cinematography, dialogue (or the absence of), acting, music, was co-ordinated precisely. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like it. Reading commentary from all the people involved with putting it together is amazing. I dom't know if you watched it more than once but the first time I was caught completely off guard by the ending. The second time I saw this incredible trail of clues that led straight to the conclusion. To this day I don't know how I missed them. But the big thing about the film, of course, is the most courageous and intricate depiction of a particularly American reality and one that is so encompassing that too many of the people who ought to know better (and do know better) support or bend to this horrid authoritarian rule because the chest-baring pathetic masculinity looks like an effective maleness and because they are afraid of any hint of ambiguity in their own. It's a toxic mix and hard to tease apart all the threads that got us here.

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Dean, thoughtful, truthful post.

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I must have missed that story about Cracker Barrel! Did someone really call it “woke” to introduce a non meat option!? Years ago a colleague brought me to a Cracker Barrel and I couldn’t find anything on the menu I could eat.

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When they announced the non meat option, you would think the world had ended. The howling has been long and loud when all these people have to do is not order it. I don't think I have ever darkened the door of a Cracker Barrel. Some people here this week camped out to await the opening of Chik-Fil-A in Salem. Puke.

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I don’t go to any of these places. Not a big fan of chain restaurants.

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We try to do always do local.

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Heaven forbid a child plays with a non-binary Potato Head at a Cracker Barrel!

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LOL.

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But of course they did. Sigh.

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I think I ate at a Cracker Barrel once when away for training with a co-worker who was crazy for their menu. (He died of a massive heart attack at age 57, up on top of his off the grid mountain cabin; his wife told me it took 5 hours for EMS to get up there in snow machines.) I will not ever eat at that f-ed up chicken "restaurant", nor will I eat at Cracker Barrel. If I want biscuits and gravy, I'll go to Black Bear Diner. I, too, buy meat from local farmers and have the bounty of a brother in law who runs a sport fishing business in Alaska, and get a good supply of free halibut every year.

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Oh, there was a Black Bear Diner in Colorado Springs. Yummy. Yeah, the chicken place and cracker barrel certainly have a lot to answer for...halibut, I am jealous.

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Yum, halibut. Never have been to Black Bear. Our breakfast spots are local.

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Black Bear was started in Mt. Shasta in the mid 1990's, and has grown (especially in the past few years). I've eaten at the Black Bear in Wilsonville, and it is pretty darn true to the original. Karyn and I discovered it on a motorcycle trip we'd taken into California one year. They had a tri-tip salad that was fabulous. They are great about modifying dishes for food allergies/sensitivities.

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Thank you for the mention of Mt. Shasta…I grew up in Dunsmuir and spent 27 of my laters years there! Black Bear was a favourite but portions really big, always ordered the senior or “lite” items.

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Any in Florida?

😂😜

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I don’t think so. I’ll check next time I go.

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I have gotten a vegetable plate there before…. “Have they been “woke” for awhile?

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I think this is a fake meat option.

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Went to Cracker barrel last night. Most of the patrons were grossly overweight, many were on canes and walkers, probably in need of knee replacements doctors don't want to give them because they are so grossly overwegiht. Young people too for the most part were overweight and boy were they scarfing down the huge portions.

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I am not surprised. I am from the midwest where the portions are huge. In the old days when farming was hard physical labor, people needed lots of calories to do the work. Now they don't and you observed the result. When my niece was here with my sister, she was worried that I was feeding them organic food and brown eggs...horrors.

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Unfortunately I have to count myself among those fortunate to be sitting in a comfortable place commenting on the customers at Malmart and CB, but I can't let myself off the hook without saying that the weight and health problem has a deeper cause. The cheapest food at any chain supermarket is the unhealthy, fattening food. A lot of those overweight people are overweight because they can't afford the healthy stuff and have little to no access to the kind of education that would help them make choices. It's a trap for all of us in one way or another and, although I'm as poor as the proverbial church mouse, I do know how to learn enough to realize there are options. We have created a terrible maze in this culture that is practically a caste system and we just go around and around.

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Agree and to me this is such a travesty. I wish good food was cheaper and more available. We are lucky to be able to afford to shop at the Saturday Market (which does accept food stamps I think) and the natural and organic food store. I don't assume everything there is healthy either, so I always read labels. It is a caste system.

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Thanks, Michelle.

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

I liked hearing about the history of income tax and the slice of time when citizens asked to support their federal government even more by paying some more. People feeling good about doing their part….however small or big. The size of the part mattered because it represented the part they could contribute to make sure our country “worked”. You know, what they say about freedoms. We pay for our federal government structure. I liken it to a warranty. I liked hearing the story from Professor Richardson. It made me think of the pride I have felt writing the check to IRS every year or waiting for a refund. Just grateful that I contributed to this country for the fortune of being one of its citizens. When I write a check for anything, I always write “Thank you” on the memo line. I want the Universe to feel my abundance. Yep. Thank you for this Letter, Professor Richardson. Your stories are full of grace that lives in history.

Unity. 🗽

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I, too, appreciate the Professor's letter on the history of taxation in the US. Taxes are an interesting thing. I have voted for every school levy that has been proposed, and I have friends who say, literally, ""you don't have kids, why do you support the schools?" My reply is "How can you not? I want the people running the government in my later years to be educated, honest people. I want the people who will be caring for me in my failing years to be as smart and creative as they can be." I do not object to paying for national defense (even as we engage in unlawful wars) and I do not object to paying for the government to run, either at the state or local level.

I fear that the only thing that could bring us back to that time where "doing my share" is patriotic is an assault on our country from without (alien invasion comes to mind) that would cause us to band together as a nation. I don't see it any other way.

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I think that the word "tax" has become so toxic (taxic?) that people don't stop to think as you have done, Ally. Perhaps we should use the word "bond." We are buying bonds for our mutual home and its people. When "payroll bonds" are accounted for every year, a citizen should get a certificate showing items that they have purchased. They may even get to choose what they pay for, i.e., "defense," "health care" "sustainable energy" "infrastructure," etc. In other words, have taxation appear to have purchased something of value to the payer.

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It IS an investment in Democracy!

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Years ago, when I was working with the PTA in my county, people who no longer had children in the schools also said, "Why should I pay taxes, I don't have kids in school." I remind them that the cycle changes for all of us. There was a time WHEN you had children in schools and those without students were paying for YOUR children. That is how society becomes united and works together for the good of all.

I love your explanation of having educated people running the government, hospitals, everything.

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Agree. Agree. Agree. As usual.

Unita. 🗽

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Well, said, Ally! Hope your friends see it the way you explained it to them.

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Morning, Christine! I liked hearing about our early Americans treasuring (pardon the pun!) their country in this way. I can't say I ever wrote "Thank you" on the memo line, but tried to be as punctual as I could to send my check in. These days, it's done by EFT (or equivalent). Long gone are the days of the personal!

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Hahahahaha. A sleeve of checks used to last a month or so. Now, I have the same sleeve that I started last year or before. But I continue to write “thank you” on the memo line even when I “pay bills” electronically through my bank. I recently was in the pet food store and there was a ruckus at the cash out line. Their system had gone down and they could only cash customers out with cash or personal check. I think I was the only one in line to pull out a checkbook and leave a check with them. People in line were 😤 or 😳. I made sure to ask my kids later if they had some cash or a paper check on them at all times. They also were….”Mom, that’s old school.” 😂😜 So much for them getting pet food in a timely fashion.

Its like clocks or cursive writing. Many young people do not have a cursive signature. Nor can tell time with automaticity from an analog clock. It’s not taught anymore. It always is in my classrooms, informal or formal.

Unita. 🗽🙋🏻🙋🏼🙋🏽🙋🏾🙋🏿

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Christine! What a great way to get to the head of the line! Old school or not, I'm sure your pets were grateful for your checkbook-keeping ways!

I love my analog clocks, too. Every one of them is set to a slightly different time, off by two to three minutes, give or take. It can be quite an exercise throughout the day as I look at one and try to guess whether it's 26 minutes after the hour, on the money, or 24 minutes before the hour. (I'm easily entertained 🕝🕜🕧

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Mine are the same way. One I have to set every few weeks: it has been responsible for me being late too many times. I suppose I could buy a new one, but it would have to tic-toc. I'm too used to the sound. It's kind of comforting, reminds me of my Grandpa and his old weighted mantel clock.

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Hey, Annie. Just read your comment re the clocks. Made me smile in remembrance. Being retired, it doesn't much matter knowing what the exact time is, except when I want to catch one of HCR's chats on FB!

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Christine, I have read that keeping one check in your wallet is a very bad idea, as if your wallet is stolen, it can be used. I think I saw that on the AARP website at one time. However, I'm glad you were able to feed your pets on time!

I finally joined what my three kids do--I have pet needs on repeat delivery. I was forced into doing so when the preferred food of my cat herd became more and more difficult to find in stock.

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That is a good idea. I just checked my primary check book, and the top check in the duplicate bunch was written in November last year to pay my property taxes. I have half than bundle left.

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Christine I love your comment. Stories, that's it exactly. I start my day with Professor Richardson's stories. I am an old English teacher and a writer and I believe absolutely in the redemptive power of story. Thank you for reminding me.

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So beautifully said Christine FL! Thank you!

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

What is the Republican Party good for? Absolutely nothing.

Well, that's not quite true. It's adept at supporting a coup, trying to destroy democracy, lying about everything under the sun, dividing the country, trying to control women's bodies, trying to destroy the planet and in the process causing untold suffering and deaths, trying to destroy affordable health care and the social safety net, performative governance...I could go on all night. But why bother.

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I hope I live to see the day that I look at campaign posters and see not one boasting “conservative Republican.” It is a sign of the traitors in our midst…

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And of course Jeri, these monsters are no more conservative than I am. They are radical right-wing mobsters, bent on chaos, violence, and destruction. I sometimes think the lot of them have sold their souls to something more evil than I want to imagine. And the marriage of that ideal of government and extremists within the Evangelical Christian movement is a force that I don't even want to try to imagine. Bad all around.

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

The favorite slogan in this West Michigan county, where right-wingers defeated most of the competent, conservative county commissioners, is "Faith and Freedom." (Only as defined by them, of course)

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Well, given the outcome of the Kansas referendum, with lots of support from independents, it's interesting to think about a new, more moderate party possibly emerging.

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Then McConnel needs to croak!

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I lived in Kentucky for 12 years and I can tell you that croak is what it will require. He will never be voted out.

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Seriously?

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Do you mean it isn't going to happen or that you think it's a bad idea?

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I agree, a few TV Reps are openly saying how they are not like...it definitely is happening.

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Don’t forget offering thoughts ‘n’ prayers -

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Try to see it from a billionaire's perspective.

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If ever I draw the winning ticket for a PowerBall billion...I'll give a go at trying that perspective thing. But I doubt I'll ever be able to work up much empathy for the dreadful struggles of billionaires having to pay their fair share of taxes.

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This is kinda closer to the way I really feel.

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"the dreadful struggles of billionaires having to pay their fair share of taxes"

Yeah, it's a heart-breaker.

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Twitter had Repub after Repub last night lying about what is in the Inflation Reduction Act, including my two professional liars, Blackburn and Hagerty.

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No, Michael, Please bother! Everyone should be reminded over and over….

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Our home, our planet......we need to bother.

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Which is why I call them the party of death.

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Aug 6, 2022·edited Aug 6, 2022

Why not go back to what worked? Good question. If you are rich and powerful, and greedy (gotta have that combination), then the notion of spreading wealth over the entire population doesn't sound good. Nor does paying out according to ability to pay. Such a notion is not "what works" for you, even though you'd do just fine. Certainly in the short term anyway. If you are not well off and struggle to get by, if you see inequities that put you at a disadvantage, you are going to like this idea. Today, the former category is the Republicans (and there seems to be no shortage of rich powerful greedy people), and the latter category the Democrats. Just that simple. There is more - the former category, in their zeal to protect their riches, have successfully gamed the system to have more power than they ordinarily would (thanks to our imperfect system of government, which needs reform to prevent such things, but won't because the bad guys have too much influence), and have very importantly taken advantage of the gullibility of the average Joe and turned truth on its head with propaganda of one kind or another to help cement their grip with the vote. At no time is that more true than today.

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This Republican Party has never been for anybody or anything other than themselves and what's in it for them.

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Make no mistake Congressional Republicans are lemmings willing to sacrifice supporting equality, climate etc and democracy in our country for party support to get re-elected. Their first rule is support TFP if it gets them elected or re-elected even if the TFP tried to destroy our democracy. However the Congressional Republicans are now beginning to splinter over that support and Republican voters are beginning to do the same with respect to abortion, same sex marriage and generally the conservative majority on the US Supreme Court, the inflation reduction act and TFP.

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I think there's a lot of evidence that TFG's stock is falling. I don't think that's good news because there's are worse in the wings. Mike Pence is my current favorite for most dangerous.

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In no particular order, it’s hard to know where to start. In either party.

Face it, the Republican Party today is no more than a fascist collection of button pushing racist Big Lie liars pandering to America’s growing worst.

Sadly, Trickle down was unadulterated garbage. Nixon and Agnew were convicted criminals. Silent Majority was the lede to today. Grade B Hollywood buffoon Ronald Reagan was the trickle down David Stockman clown. GHWB’s Voodoo economics was true.

GHWB was a gutless joke kissing up to Reagan and Nixon, both driven out. Son W was a forgettable ignorant draft dodging drunk.

Speaker Newt General was as evil as Trump and far smarter.

W’s Iraq was war crime leading straight to Afghanistan.

Barry Goldwater threatened mutually assured destruction and was the most stupid.

The last decent Republican presidents were gentle Speaker Gerald Ford installed as Nixon resigned and five star general Dwight David Eisenhower.. leader of Allied Forces on D Day in WW II.

President Biden should declare very soon his intent to rest after his first term.

Read Maureen Dowd today in The New York Times. Read my comment if NYT runs it. The NYT is mismanaging its OpEd and Opinion efforts reflecting a weak publisher born to the job.

AG did not earn his position. Editor Bennett never should have been fired. His Colorado brother would be a good president.

Our nation is experiencing a crisis in leadership. We have no obvious choices in either party.

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There are competent Democrats who could run. As to the president, he is actually doing some amazing things under dreadful circumstances. He should see how he feels and what the mood of the country is before deciding.

Everyone I know will vote blue no matter who.

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Let us please give Biden his due. He's done some really courageous and amazing things during what has been a hellacious time. Let's help him out and stop sticking pins in him. Please let's just do that much. It just might help us all.

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All of which is true, so where do we go from here? We can do better, but we need an engaged citizenry who takes their responsibilities seriously enough to stand up. It's been done in other countries--Iceland and Norway are examples. Let's look for good examples moving forward. If we allow ourselves to despair, we'll never get anywhere.

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The IRS is funded inadequately and only going after the "easy" cases meaning the little fish, and not the big complicated ones. Hopefully it is going to change with this bill.

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Annabel:

Why isn't a progressive tax essentially confiscatory?

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There is a psychological phenomenon called social loafing, where an individual lets everyone else in a group do more than he or she does. Taxes pay for roads and schools and the Post Office, air traffic controllers, pandemic vaccines, and the defense of this great nation, among other things. Are you not proud of our country? What do you consider a reasonable contribution to the upkeep of the country for someone who makes however much money as you do? In my personal experience, individuals who use this term, confiscatory in relationship to taxes, are seldom patriotic, and often resent being expected to do their fair share in many circumstances, not just paying taxes. But maybe I am jumping to conclusions, here. Do you think a progressive tax in confiscatory?

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Because a progressive tax levels the playing field. Progressive means that you pay more only on the portion that makes you richer than the next guy. Which is fair.

It also lifted up the middle class and brought unprecedented prosperity to this country.

Fair taxation is not confiscatory. It is the price you pay to enjoy the benefits of living in society.

Libertarians are confused about how this works.

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Annabel, beautifully written explanation. Thank you. Perfect.

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Very well explained! My response sounds judgemental- yours is better!

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Senate Majority Leader and Whip Kyrsten Sinema certainly held the Senate hostage for $5 billion in drought money and narrowing the carried interest loophole. Not sure why such a tax is of interest to her. Business interests. It was suggested private parties were after her to stop it from going into effect.

By her lonesome this time. Can't blame Manchin. Instead, Democrats added “a new 1 percent excise tax on stock buybacks that will bring in $73 billion, far more than the $14 billion raised by the carried interest provision, according to a Democrat familiar with the deal.”

Ok, that is sweet as it reduces the deficit. MMT proponents would argue, "who cares, we are sovereign."

We need a few more Senators so we can take away Sinema and Machin's temporary title of Senate Majority Leader.

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I read an article today about Sinema. She is really strange as far as I am concerned. I did read that she was irked that she wasn't in on the deal in the first place. This is a woman who doesn't say anything much or explain her views and she wants to be calling the shots. I hope she goes down in 2024 and will certainly donate to a D opponent.

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I find Sinema offensive in many ways. But let's just celebrate that she's not blocking a fundamentally strong piece of legislation, paving the way for another major victory for a Democratic administration intent on helping its citizens and the planet.

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I will celebrate two more real Dem senators.

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Indeed! There's a whole lot of other things we can do that she stands in the way of.

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I too am glad she came around. And all the money she got for Arizona will not alter the problem of too many people using water in a place where they should not be nor stop the drought which will only get worse in the West.

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That's what "pork" is for, wherever it gets put into a bill. Sinema cannot do much to ameliorate Arizona's main water problem -- the Colorado River water division occurred when Arizona had half the population it does not. That was well before the drought. Ironic, given geography.

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What gets me too is that she is so clueless that she wasn't even subtle about being bought and paid for. Clueless about what the people of her state are up against, and clueless about thinking that nobody notices her blatent angling to be where she thinks the power lies. I hope AZ voters take a look at what is starting to happen in other states and use that as an example. My family AX branch has been gone for a while and it's a whole lot worse than it was then.

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I think AZ will be a bit of a swamp for a while. That's where the bogus "recount" by the firm owned by a Trump supporter that had never before audited an election was approved.

It's on the cusp, but not sure anyone knows of what.

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No she can't. Our neighbors take their RV and spend a few months in the Arizona area. They always comment on the low level of Lake Mead. Our other neighbors have their house for sale, so that they can live most of the year in Arizona. Know some others who have moved there and I do wonder about the wisdom of doing that because I think major water problems are not far in the future. One piece of good news here in Oregon, a developer who was wanting to build a water sucking resort near Bend and Redmond has given up the project. He would have walked off with sacks of money leaving the locals with waterless bags. Also the state of Oregon has a cooperative deal with some Native American tribes in southern Oregon to manage the natural resources. This is another place where people should not be ranching and growing potatoes. The state also developed a new wildfire risk map and sent notices to property owners as to what they had to do. The howling from areas like southern Oregon has been long and loud. I think it is mostly about insurance which they will be lucky to get at all in the near future.

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And while I'm disappointed the Hedge Fund Manager Welfare hasn't been eliminated yet, I am very pleased on the tax on stock buy backs. Clever girl.

Now if we can just get a 5 cent "fee" on each and every financial transaction--regardless of its size--we can get rake in more billions toward the reducing the deficit, etc.

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I think the excise tax on stock buybacks was Hickenlooper's suggestion.

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thanks. He's good -- hope Colorado keeps him.

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I disagree on the 5 cent fee on every financial transaction. Of course that will be passed on to consumers, just like credit card fees are now being passed on by many places.

The city of San Francisco imposed a fee/tax like this, and companies started moving out of the city. It is short sighted.

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Didn't happen when Britain imposed the 1 cent "fee" on all financial transactions on the London Stock Exchange. $11 Billion in revenue to Britain's general treasury (or whatever they call it) on Year 1

Who are the "consumers" on Wall Street? Traders & Hedge Fund Managers & Stock Companies

It's not 5 cents per share; it's 5 cents per transaction--even if it's a billion dollar transaction.

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I guess it's a matter of definition: "each and every financial transaction" vs financial transactions on the stock exchange. Words matter.

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Sinema is a political chameleon and opportunist open to the highest bidder.

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Soul is sold

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I'm a little miffed that no one every offered me any money to be a political whore. Any body else getting these big bucks bribes?? I have to ask myself what I'm doing wrong.

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Aug 7, 2022·edited Aug 7, 2022

You have too much class to be a political whore.

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I'm pretty sure she has a "for hire" sign on her office door.

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Yes. And a pimp who manages the traffic flow.

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She and Lindsay Graham, twins separated at birth.

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Exactamente. Perf descriptor.

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Yep. I remember when she first ran....sure fooled a lot of people.

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Michele, I do as well. She became our Marjorie Taylor Greene.

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The only difference seems to be that Gangrene's mouth never stops.

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