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The idea that Jared Kushner could be held to account one day for manipulating the federal government for personal gain leaves me smiling as I soon drift off to sleep.

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Dec 8, 2022·edited Dec 8, 2022

Given that I was completely unaware of the monetary exchange provided to Kushner by Qatar and the fact that it was done in the context of manipulating Saudi Arabia and UAE in conjunction with Kushner this letter is amazing.

However, the event occurred in 2018 and although I read quite a bit, I had no idea about it.

Now? It is four years later, and, Kushner roams around $1Billion dollars richer (plus the $2 Billion provided by the Saudi's not long back) based on his illegal use of his privilege in the White House.

I can gaurantee nothing will happen to Kushner from the standpoint of consequences.

Trump and his relatives totally understand how America really is and they totally exploited it.

Successfully I might add.

I only wish I could get my kids in the White House and then hold various countries hostage for ransom to make my kids fabulously wealthy.

Why not? No consequences. Maybe I will run for President against Trump.

My stump speech: "If Trump can steal us blind, so can I".

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Understandable that you might not have been aware of it. The extremely high price paid by Kushner for 666 was noted mostly in the financial press, and not well covered elsewhere. People in and around the business knew how top-heavy the debt load was for that building. The odds-on expectation was for a receivership, since Kushner's ability to roll the principal loan was very limited. And then, magically, the Qataris appeared, and bailed him out on terms well off market values. The deal stank to high heaven. I would love to see that young man in a prison jumpsuit.

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Dec 8, 2022·edited Dec 8, 2022

Sam,

Thank you for the details and context. Perhaps I do vaguely remember something about Kushner's debt but not how it was resolved. Or, I forgot the whole thing.

Kushner will never be in prison. They all completely, thoroughly understand America.

A guy as rich as Kushner, who is white, just cannot be put in prison here. Period.

BTW: Just saw that Peru arrested and jailed their leader for an attempted coup to stay in office THE SAME DAY THAT HE TRIED THE COUP.

**** Peru, a third world country, can arrest a guy leading an illegal coup, the SAME day he tried it, but, a first world nation built on White Supremacy like the USA? Hah.******

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/07/world/americas/peru-pedro-castillo-coup.html?unlocked_article_code=aFroRIWEjiyHv5KND9WhkuZRK_WOwZWTqw7rke_pnaQE_huXBwJJxgKNVg73w8HdpXW8wAscB_SNguLOrKzXtHJ_TzCRIfabO_daZaYo7Mr9HIygtm1uupXPL66cLkg1hGxWaG7Ch0WOm0xtalAIYfC6dps4toLOLjW2JOYlOlUIDOMWjLndnwwD0DIrtapPaZFmDoynAqFm3BNfnXXQubSDoY1iObosQvw0Xv0AC7Ed8Z57VveaOxk5lzTyNkOwC2l1CqpDsQ119-jd1qLjpCh6mzMfZ2kz5i-NYkr1eCCpX46-ze6Jq9ZiGCXjTITBP59a7gDWnPcrHrm9aLsaWQ-w_PuhxIdfkw&smid=share-url

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Hey, Mike. I heard/read about Peru, too. I was pea green with envy how justice, for them, was so swift.

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And, with a remarkable degree of perspicacity, they put a woman in charge.

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And some of the coup plotters in Germany were caught right away also.

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That one sounded a bit like a Jan 6 copycat, minus the Prince.

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Daddy Kushner (Charles) went to prison, only to be pardoned by chump. Payoff delayed but not denied…

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Don’t be so sure that Jared will not do time. If Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Mitchell can see prison from the inside, he can, too.

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Jon Margolis - What happened after Watergate was feasible then because even Republicans were outraged at the illegal maneuvers under Nixon. Now days, Republicans don't speak out about ANY criminal behavior in their own party. They are far too well paid and on the grift themselves within the corporate donation/election pipeline and Citizen's United.

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Absolutely correct, both about the Republicans of the 1970's (who can forget Howard Baker?), and about Citizens United (which my father predicted would be the demise of democracy; he was right).

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They convinced themselves, or at least their flock, that they ARE the law, and that the they, the party of the King "can do non wrong". They go ballistic at the very suggestion that they should abide by any law, while imposing self-serving laws to disadvantage others. Pretty much the core of despotism.

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Jon, my only argument against that is that the times were very different.

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and that is hugely important!!!

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And the difference in wealth between Kushner and the Nixon Gang is enormous. He can buy his way out of being jailed.

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Even with the difference in the value of a dollar, it is still a radical split. And we also live in a world in which money rules in a way it didn't in the Nixon years. I hadn't' considered this at all. Thank you for a new perspective.

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I know that's terribly frustrating, but consider today's Republicans. Do you think for one second that Hillary Clinton, Hunter Biden, and probably Joe and Kamala wouldn't be in prison today if the Repubs could swing it?

Frustrating as it is, our still at least somewhat extant rule of law and due process does provide some protection from that kind of abuse.

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Understood, Cheryl. Which is why AG Garland did not rush because we still have the rule of law; though, now I think it's time.

Another aside. I learned several years ago that there are lawyer-lawyers and then there are litigator-lawyers. Lawyer-lawyers pore over law books, reticent to rush to judgment - AG Garland? Litigator-lawyers litigate - Jack Smith? I'm hoping so.

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I read an article by I think, Lawrence Tribe, who says that Garland is thorough and in this case, he and the prosecutors want an case that some lawyer cannot undermine as lawyers often do to get people off. Tribe also thinks that death star will be indicted. I want a case that sticks to death star like super glue.

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Thank you, Ms Cardran, for your hopeful perspective. If we can keep the current crowd in office for another six years, there is hope. It is just barely possible that enough Americans have been awakened to what autocracy would mean, to bring enough of US to vote intelligently for the true democrats among us.

All of us who understand this have a responsibility to work at whatever level we can to save our country “for the children.” Speaker Pelosi has it right!

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Germany just arrested coup conspirators and cracked down on national terrorist (white supremacists)...

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I worked in a maximum security prison as a teacher for twenty - two years and although most folks were there for some pretty serious crimes there were those that served hard time for some grand larceny which came nowhere to the magnitude of Jared’s so called crimes, yet he’ll probably never pay one bit for what he’s allegedly done. And some served time for crimes they didn’t commit. It’s a travesty.

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It is a travesty, but so easy for people, particular rich white people, to get a pass.

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Yes. And most folks in prison are black.

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Michele&henri, to borrow a line from Bob Dylan, which he stole from someone else, “Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king.” Obviously, Bob got a Nobel Prize and $300M for his song book, so he knew whereof he spoke.

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It DOES clearly raise the reason our founding fathers included the "emoluments" clause in the constitution. What it DOESN'T explain is why that clause has never (?) been used successfully to prosecute financial misdeeds in the Whitehouse. Do lawyers fear juries won't understand what an emolument is?

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Just as an aside, 666 is a number I have come to associate with evil. "There are three main reasons, that I know of, that the 'devil’s number' is considered to be 666. In actual fact, it’s technically not the 'devil’s number' but that of a 'man'. Rather, this 'man', who is attributed to the number 666, is under the guidance of the Devil."

But if you research it, you will get conflicting information about it.

https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/what-does-666-mean/

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Dec 8, 2022·edited Dec 8, 2022

Lynell,

I was raised in East Texas so, of course I have heard of the number 666. However, that number can only be found in the Book of Revelation of the Bible. A book which was almost excluded from the Bible in the fourth centry Conference of Nicea.

It really is too bad it was included. The entire book reads like the random ravings of a drug addled mind. Which, it probably is honestly.

But, some of those old preachers in East Texas thought that mentally rabid raving was related to "future" predictions of the "end of times".

So, someone nutty wrote some nutty stuff way back, then, later in time, folks even nuttier interpret that nutty stuff in a nutty way.

Just a mess really.

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Leave it to religious nuts to hound us with putrid ravings from our ancestral nuts. I remember going to a tent revival as a youngster in NC and thinking that they were crazy. I was right.

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Think about the Book of Revelation this way: It is poetry. It describes an ideal of beauty, a city made of gemstones, shining, clear. It also describes ultimate evil who lives in Babylon riding a ferocious beast, threatening everyone and everything. The words are stark and surprising. People misread it all the time because they are literalists. They miss the point. Don't join them. Read it as the visions of an insightful human being who is writing from exile because he was a danger to the political order. He is writing to the communities of the church to give them courage to hold out against the powers that mean to tear them apart. It's a good read for our time. For all times.

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Hi, Melinda, I'm not sure about the writer but you're right to see it as a kind of visionary poetry using the language and images of the political and religious times. Thanks for joining the discussion with this. Another thought about the "evil" that has occurred to me is that, in keeping with the hero mythology of so many cultures, the message is that to reach the ideal of beauty we must overcome obstacles, be courageous, take risks, and work very hard.

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I'm not an expert on Jewish writings, but have been informed, both personally and through my readings, that traditionally they used metaphor as a framework for expressing principles as well as history. As for the Bible as constructed by Christians, the contents are pretty arbirtrary depending on who was doing the compilations and why. Revelations is not in all Bibles, and even biblical scholars argue about what the heck it is doing there. It may be an interesting read, and seems to have particular attraction for some people, but there is still that baffling question about what the heck it really is, and what its provenance was.

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interesting. Will revisit with your interpretation in mind.

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Let's not limit it to this book of the bible, since much of the bible is fantasy written by people over 2000 years ago, and still people in the 21st century revere it and consult it for guidance.

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I have no problem with people revering sacred texts written long ago. it is their misuse that is the problem. Also sacred texts usually contain something about how to treat others well. Sacred texts like religion and anything else created by humans can be used for ill or good. Unfortunately, those praying loudest in the Temple, which Jesus condemned, are busily trying to undermine our secular state, destroy public education, and any number of other heinous things. Quite a number of the people behind Oregon's new gun law which passed, are from the religious community. Personally, i doubt it will come to fruition because one federal judge has upheld the magazine limits and a state judge in eastern Oregon (chose your judges carefully) has put the whole thing on hold. Slightly off topic I know, but I refuse to condemn every religious person and every line of sacred texts.

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The Bible was written to keep humans alive and flourishing. It is a psychological tract from Genesis though Revelations. Read as a book, taking from

It what is of value to you is, I think, the intention of the writers. I read a version when I was eight (Hurlburt’s with phonetics for pronouncing names) which, coupled with my mother’s frequent repetition of “The love of money is the root of all evil” and the story of the worship of the Golden Calf, have given me a perspective that is currently very useful.

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There are many sacred texts around the world. People do or don't use them in their lives. But they are all a great read.

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Well, not quite. The Book of Revelation is a goldmine for Loony interpretation but is, in fact, fairly representative of a type of religious literature called Apocalyptic. In the particular case of Revelation, there are two ways of reading it that are fairly straightforward and place it firmly in the context of its time and place--one is to research and grasp the major images and "foretellings" in the world in which the Roman Empire controlled and tormented any and all under its sway. The other is to put it into the apocalyptic traditions and actual passages of the Hebrew Scriptures (which were, of course, the only "bible" that whoever wrote Revelation would have known). Sorry to be indulging my Bible as Literature schoolteacher self so early in the morning. Belatedly, good morning, Mike.

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Dean! No need to apologize at all for graciously and interestingly sharing your perspective.

I have no background other than my own reading and your context is fascinating.

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That applies to the entire bible. It was written by myth makers hundreds of years after Jesus was claimed to exist.

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The OT was written before the birth of Jesus and part of his teaching has to do with how the those in power were misusing the Temple and teachings for their own road to wealth and power. Mark was written within memory of when Jesus lived. The first three Gospels also have a common source called Q which we do not have. A lot of the NT are letters from Paul to various Christian communities. It helps to view the Bible, both old and new, within the historic context when these texts were written. First century Palestine is the context for the life of Jesus. The OT reflects in part the temptation to worship many gods as other locals did instead of one god.

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Thanks, Mike. I heard about its "evil" many, many years ago and it stuck with me all this time!

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I love your description of Revelations. But as poster below suggests it can be read as something different and not something literal. However, its language gives present day wing nuts a lot of ammunition.

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A nutty mess indeed.

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Lynell, I'm with you on this, and maybe it's why Jared Kushner changed the address, finally, to 660 (or maybe it's just known as 660). Wikipedia also has this to say about the number:

"In modern popular culture, 666 has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the Antichrist or, alternatively, the devil. Earnest references to the number occur both among apocalypticist Christian groups and in explicitly anti-Christian subcultures."

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Thanks, Judith. Whether you believe in it or not, if I ever encounter that number - say, through an address change or random lottery ticket - I would quickly change it...just to be on the safe side!

And as to the 666 Fifth Avenue being changed to 660 Fifth Avenue, here's an article that confirms my suspicions as to why that number got changed!

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/this-manhattan-high-rise-has-changed-its-devilish-address

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I have to chuckle. About 15 years ago, I had just started a new job and there was a weekly lottery pool there. They asked me if I wished to join and I thought, what the heck, trying to ease myself into the culture. Well, imagine my shock when about 5 months later, we won $500,000! Don't get too excited, there was a couple dozen people in the pool, so none of us were about to retire! And after taxes, as our checks came in the mail, we were all surprised to see that SOME of our checks were literally ONE PENNY more than the other's checks.

About half of the group check: $6,666.66 NO JOKE

My check was $6,666.67 I must have made it onto the good list?

;)

PS--too long of a story to get into, but this incidence had some remarkable insights into human behaviors. Very interesting reactions/choices/comments made both of winners and those who did not participate.

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A P.S. -- Turning back a lottery ticket might be different -- if I were to win big with a ticket with 666 in it, I would immediately give it all away to the homeless, or to food banks, or whatever. What a great opportunity! (No chance for this to happen, as I don't buy lottery tickets. :-D

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Thanks for the interesting link, Lynell.

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An aside… on the aside.

666… is a deliberate part of a personal ID number.

And I have a very personal connection with the church…

Determined to debunk random “ Biblical Facts” attributed to a collection of stories.

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The irony was stunning to read then of the street #. Definitely a sign

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Here is another case for blaming superficial coverage by the press.

When he appeared in the Trump administration I read several articles admiring his “incredible,” brilliance and how he an Ivanka imparted depth to the comic lead.

Then a year or so later while he was supposed to salvage the mid-east stories of Kushner’s mediocrity emerged. Evidently he was so poorly qualified his father bribed his path to and from Harvard to a law degree.

The era is a study in after-the-fact revelations.

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The most common method of entrance into Harvard is Daddies money.

Look at George Bush II.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who missed the connections here! OMG, WTF, etc., etc., etc. Thanks, Sam, for providing more context. There was so much crazy stuff going on in 2018, and in addition to supporting myself I was active in the run-up to the midterm elections. Plus I'm not a regular reader (to put it mildly) of the financial press. Some days I think I could drop most of my newspaper and magazine subscriptions and get by on a handful of Substacks, whose authors and commenters collectively know a helluva lot that doesn't get into the papers.

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"I get all the news I need from the weather report"

Simon and Garfunkel

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I heard it from somewhere. Jared was/is the spawn of mafia evil. He was well-trained and positioned. What’s a poor “In Over his head” guy to do? And he ain’t done yet.

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Dumber than bags of rocks, the both of them.

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And Kellyanne can talk circles around anyone and everyone... while sounding like she's making sense. Neither she nor McGahn is dumb. Quite cunning and clever and simply unprincipled, is how they look to me.

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Just like his father

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Sam, thank you for the clear and detailed reporting. In today's world of instant headlines that disappear overnight, this kind of summing up by someone who was there with the intelligence and the experience to have watched it unfold is important and rare. Reading it is exciting but I have to say that there's a deep sadness that it's so unusual. Thank you

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Ironic that Jared used his access to UAE and Saudi to pressure Qatar for a personal business matter with no consequences yet Hunter is under the microscope.

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Cheryl. The noose for Jared may now be swinging in the breeze with the Department of JUstice moving to spring the trap. As for Hunter, with his drugs and other peccadillos, he has major problems, but I believe that President Biden is not involved.

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Dec 11, 2022·edited Dec 11, 2022

Keith

Agree. Biden has been meticulous about keeping work and family separate.

Goes without saying Jared (and Ivanka) used their positions for personal gain. Some of it obscenely overt (remember Ivanka hawking Goya beans). In return for WHAT??

Was totally inappropriate for them to be part of administration.

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Sam Darn We just bought my daughter a condo. My only link to the Arab world was Gamal Abdul Nasser (died) and Anwar Sadat (assassinated). Besides, Egypt was always borrowing rather than giving money. Also, my camel friends wouldn’t consider a few hundred thousand worthy of a quick glance.

I had to find the cash with no government benevolence. Is that the price of being a Democrat?

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Very apt that the address of Kushner's building is 666, the mark of the devil, as I recall.

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J They have renamed the building 600 Fifth Avenue, but the devil remains in the building, now with a Qatari essence. Perhaps this is a result of Jared’s Middle East ‘solution,’ reflected in this Jewish/Arab building.

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Like his father.

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Of course Jared and his wife never took a salary. Altruism? They knew they could make a lot more money, than any government salary would offer, by making their own deals. I’m okay with looking into Hunter Biden, if warranted, but let’s get after Jared as well.

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But the repubs are laser-focused on nude pics of Hunter Biden; great distraction from their “family crime of unprecedented proportions.”

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Naw. Guys like Ted Cruz just like porn. Simple.

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Perhaps MBS dropped $2Bn into Kushner’s account in exchange for classified and top secret documents.

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"Trump and his relatives totally understand how America really is and they totally exploited it." Ain't it the truth.

But these narcissists felt no need to be discreet.

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I agree with you, Mike, and I can hear the MAGA GOP response: “But WHATABOUT Hunter?”

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Well, and what about Hillary's emails??

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Jim Folsom ran for re-election on that basic stump speech and won by a landslide. It ran something like, "Folks are saying I stole while I was in office, and I've got to confess that I did. And if you re-elect me, I'm gonna steal again. But this time I'm gonna steal for you."

Mike, you'll have my vote.

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Mike, I share your anger. And trump is just another example of elitism.

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As Trump said, at the 2016 Republican convention, "I alone can fix it." (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/trump-rnc-speech-alone-fix-it/492557/)

As in, "the fix is in".

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I didn't know either and this is quite disturbing to learn. I feel a tiny bit guilty laughing out loud at your stump speech title!!! But I will get over it!! Thank you, Mike S!

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Can I be your vice?

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Ouch!

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Dec 8, 2022·edited Dec 8, 2022

It’s unbelievable that Dump is still roaming around causing trouble. Bad trouble 100%. Ugh! I guess Peru is way ahead of us.....

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Dec 8, 2022·edited Dec 8, 2022

Both Germany and Peru arrested coup plotters.

I posted both stories by the NY Times as gift links. You can read them.

It is a sad day when a third world country is more effective at stopping coup attempts than the USA.

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Not so surprising. Most third world countries have far more experience with coups than the USA. They know "it can happen here".

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Mobiguy, coups often happen with the “help” of the CIA and US State Department. Let’s not forget that. Germany is hardly “third world”….

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Not really. The reason we have requirements we do is ensure that there is due process for all. As slow as it can be, it keeps this kind of instant response to get rid of someone for convenience or revenge. It tends to start a cascade of competition for power. Look at what happened in France in the late 1700s, or, more recently in Iraq, thanks to our overreach. We are in a painful period as we work through the legal and Constitutional system to deal with the problems, but if we are persistent and insistent, it will make our system more stable and more responsive, not less.

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I keep reminding my "he should have been arrested yesterday" friends of this, but at the same time -- the U.S. has its head in the sand about unchecked economic power, like the billionaires and corporations bankrolling the right, religious and otherwise. I don't see our system becoming "more responsive" to the non-rich citizenry until that is dealt with, and under the circumstances "more stable" may not be a good thing.

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Susanna, when I use the term "more stable" here, I am talking about a system that is not constantly being yanked here and there on nonsensical grounds, but one that retains the capacity for responding in a more reasoned manner to the threats to democracy. Stable does not mean moribund.

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No, but it doesn't necessarily mean reasonable or democratic either. There are plenty of times in history when the U.S. government has been "stable" because so many people were excluded from it. In fact, I could argue that this has been the case for most of U.S. history.

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Good points.

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I am feeling my head starting to explode like Glen Kirshner said last night. What a slap in the face regular decent Americans take every minute with this boring and nauseating subterfuge of the so called “elite” power mongers. Thank you Mike for adding the article info.

Keeping up with the blizzard of crime leaves very little time for Christmas!!

The saddest part is as you mention, the reputation of this country around the world. “Oh come all yea faithful who love to cheat and lie”... oh come to America!

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And it seems the German plotters were influenced by QAnon conspiracy "theories," which helped them get around the German laws against hate speech. Not one of the U.S.'s more commendable exports. Zeeshan Aleem's column for MSNBC: https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/qanon-germany-arrests-coup-rcna60550

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I agree, Michael. That scoundrel and criminal must be brought to justice!

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Jeez, don’t stop with him. The whole crew needs to be “brought to justice”...including his wife for he Chinese operations.

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Or that one day, maybe all corrupt opportunists in positions of public reponsiility could held accountable. It's only a dream, but why not?

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"reponsiility" is a typo, or maybe a Freudian slip.

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Maybe a new word: responsillyty.

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👍🏻🥳🏆 Remember the SNL sketch when Baldwin/tfg ajolopized for his evil ways? The manbaby is not immune from anything because they did not want a king. He and his minions should have been jailed long ago. Way to go, Peru.

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And Germany. I am not talking about socccer.

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I have believed for a while now that there is a select group in this country, founded by Oliver North, headed by Mark Zuckerberg, and including in its membership such public figures as Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Mike Pence. They can be easily identified by their entire lack of affect. They are robots and I attribute the fact that their facial expressions never change to a flaw in the original design. Someone ought to fix that; it's a dead giveaway.

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Zombies??? 😊

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HCR comments on Jared Kushner recently focused on his new job of managing $2 billion in funds from the Middle East. But that is just worth tens of millions of $. In contrast, the 666 building bailout is worth $1 billion for a loan good for 99 years. And so that is rightly the focus of the investigation.

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Gaelic is such a rich language. Dr. Heather is diplomatic to refer to some of doings of some of the gang as shenanigans, as if they were just a mob of mischievous old boys. But when it affects a whole nation, including the gutted middle class and everyone below on the totem pole, I use "mailíseach"(malicious). Russia isn't the only country with a kleptocracy.

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Is there not some irony Kushner’s actual real estate address on Fifth Ave being “666”?

(“In modern popular culture, 666 has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the Antichrist or, alternatively, the devil.”)

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Likely a coincidence, but maybe that is partly why they bought it?

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How happy the foxes must have been to be loose in the henhouse for four lucrative years. With apparently no oversight???

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And let's never forget that Kushner, like his criminal father-in-law, is responsible for untold thousands of deaths from Covid. He didn't just mismanage pandemic relief efforts, he's also suspected of corruptly handling funds.

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But, but...Hunter's laptop!!!

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Jared Kushner and network working with impunity and outside the law, with little legal action against them, are a clear and present danger to the world. I recommend:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnSWZDM7SVE

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Not so uncommon where large amounts of money are hoovered.

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There is so much criminality on the part of Trump and his family, hundreds of millions (maybe billions) of dollars related to Jared Kushner, trade patents for Ivanka (during a China trade embargo) and who knows what else in Trump Corp (which was just found guilty of massive tax fraud).

So the Republicans revert to the tried and true political tactic of 3-Ds: Divert, Distract, Deflect. Look, over there: Hunter Biden! Drag Queens! Communism!

And the loudest voices in this whole charade (Jim Jordan, MTG, Gaetz, Boebert) are themselves up to their ears in accusations of some very nasty things.

America is supposed to be the shining city on the hill, the lighthouse of democracy, showing the world, leading the world; this is how it's done.

And here we watch this ugly parade of opportunist (Tucker Carlson & Co, Mike Lindell, Rudy G) peddling endless lies (for their own advantage, America be damned), but what roils me the most - they do all this anti-democratic stuff self-righteously wrapped in the flag.

Some have called me alarmist, but I believe America is flirting with fascism, which is simply the lust for power for power's sake. And the route to fascism is through attacking and destroying democratic institutions (the press, the judiciary, the electoral process itself).

Luckily the mid-term Red Wave was beaten back, and Georgia showed the true spirit of democracy this week, but Madeleine Albright said that "fascism has always been a latent force in American politics" and all these un-democratic activities, all these lies and cover-ups and deceit and name-calling, all of this Republican deflection and headline grabbling, it's all the face of fascism.

And they're gonna have a field day in the House of Representatives for the next two years.

Jared Kushner? Never heard of him.

But Hunter Biden, oh, they're out for blood. Jim Jordan will slay the Great Satan and Save America and it will be all JimJo all day, except when MTG screams something outrageous and steals the headlines. If the Jan.6 mob chanted Hang Mike Pence, imagine what they'll do to Hunter Biden.

What a said remnant of the Republican Party we're witnessing.

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And I as I wake up, with coffee in hand.

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Trump, et al was in office to line his pockets. He didn’t give a hoot about the US or it’s people.

HE didn’t appoint the three stooges, the Federalist Society did. Gerrymandering has to go. Or at least be made fair to all.

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The Federalist Society may have pulled the strings, but the whole Fricking Republican Party supported it. Plutocrats may own today's "GOP", but the "GOP" is not complaining.

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J L, you need a truckload of ❤'s for that observation!!!!!

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We came close this election cycle to taking all 3 branches. Little by little we will rid our government of this rot. Hopefully McCarthy, Taylor/Green etal will spend time witching and bitching and our new majority senate with Our wonderful President can continue to govern. The Supreme Court is the next big mess to be cleaned!

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Better hurry

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The three stooges are there because of Moscow Mitch. The Federalists are like a funnel feeding him the fodder of religious extremism, white supremacy, oligarchal entanglement, general bigotry, hate, and therefore, anti-Americanism. Mitch is the Kohemini. The Federalist Society is his church and tool. The deplorables are his gun carrying Taliban.

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Exactly. Good analogy

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...and it seems today that the Iranian public, Iranian women, are giving Ali Khamenie sufficient difficulties that he has deployed executions to douse their ire, ire expressed at their administration's founder Ayatollah Khomeini as well. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/the-real-reason-iran-says-it-s-canceling-the-morality-police/ar-AA150uYj

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Well put Bill. We are in a bad place and these parallels show that. The wheels of justice are grinding far too slowly but maybe just maybe they are speeding up.

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Thank you and don't hold back Bill. Well said.

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If the Opus Dei members of SCOTUS could apply the ISL theory to only Republican- majority state legislatures, they would do so in a heartbeat. The only thing that may save us would be their inability to figure out a way to do this. 

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Yes what disturbs me is that the partisan hacks appointed by GOP Presidents are looking for a 'middle ground', allowing for an opportunity to revisit the issue when the can figure out how to better benefit the GOP. This is the beginning of 'slicing the salami' (Supremacy Clause of Constitution) until none remains.

Article VI, Clause 2:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

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Thank-you 100Panthers. I posted a short rant about the 'middle ground' today. Thanks.

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The entire case illustrates what we already know: the radical right will do anything it can get away with to weaken majority rule to gain and hold power. As for the court’s majority, I expect it will do what it can get away with in the North Carolina case.

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Important distinction you made there Michail - "... the radical right....". I might add the radical right 'coalition' and enablers; And / also, "follow the money."

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During ACB's sham-configuration, Sheldon Whitehiuse used his question time to layout The Scheme. It's now a book whose subtitle is: "How the right wing used dark money to capture the Supreme Court."

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I listened to 13 of his videos about the Scheme. I can only hope that more than me paid attention to him when he spoke.

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It is accessible on his website - this is the first:

https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/speeches/the-scheme-1-the-powell-memo

All follows from this one.

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Thank you for the link.

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listened to Jane Mayer interview him about this book... on Politics & Prose i think it was.

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The Wall Street Journal reviewed Whitehouse's book yesterday. If you would like to see an alternative universe:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-scheme-review-yet-another-conspiracy-theory-11670281150?mod=itp_wsj&ru=yahoo

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The review is pretty much what you'd expect from the WSJ.

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Unfortunately, "the radical right" is 73 million voters.

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Following the money, as in lager societal trends, and the details of certain transactions, along with circumstances and events connected to them, would likely explain a whole lot.

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As an NC voter, I cannot begin to tell you how corrupt a case Moore v. Harper is. Tim Moore, Speaker of the NC House began that lawsuit to get the decision about egregious gerrymandering overturned. It is a power grab, pure and simple. Tim Moore, Phil Berger, NC Senate leader are ruining NC. If they endanger the country, so what?! To them, that's a bonus.

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Is McCory somewhere in the mix. Is Art Pope still around? These vipers started this mess.

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Certainly there is a very consistent pattern of the more they manage to get away with, the more corrupt they become.

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Or like an onion, JL, the corruption keeps getting exposed, layer by layer. AND they keep getting more and more corrupt. 45 + Jared Bin Lyin’s incredible ability to cheat is quite dizzying.

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“Jared Bin Lyin”. I love it.

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It's in his DNA.

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Anybody who has ever taught middle school knows exactly how THAT works.

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Exactly why my public school supported fist fighting among us boys as conflict resolution methods.

That was absolutely the best way to get everyone on board for behaving.

Somebody said something stupid? Well, you could solve that problem right then and there.

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They don’t have to figure out a legal way to do it. All they have to do is do it. That’s what they did years ago with the Hobby Lobby decision and more recently with Roe v. Wade and Kennedy. Right now Scotus is hearing the North Carolina gerrymandering case and it’s very likely that they’re going to side with North Carolina. I love it when the talking heads, when referring to the Roe v. Wade decision, say the decision was based on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the constitution. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Supreme Court didn’t even consider the constitution. The only thing that’s important to them is their Christian nationalist ideology .

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Agree. I call it the Stench Bench because those religious ideologues stink to high heaven.

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lol.... "Stench Bench" ! I could not agree more, and 'you' have provided yet another useful, colorful phrase that I 'must' borrow ! Thank you Ellen ~ I do so love following this group !

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Heard they're giving up their robes for Crusade gear.

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Ooo Yvette... I love that reference - " the Opus Dei". I'm gonna' borrow that !

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Opus Dei is a real organization. Better read up on it before you throw it around lightly.

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I have Meredith, and with considerable personal interest.

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I know that Bill Barr is Opus Dei and that ACB was a member of a religious cult. Certainly the six conservative justices are Christofascists, but are they Opus Dei?

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They don’t have to figure out a way, meaning legal, to do this, they can just do it. That’s what they did with Roe v. Wade, with Kennedy, and the Hobby Lobby decision. They are hearing the SC gerrymandering case right now, and they will most likely rule in favor of South Carolina.

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I noticed that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have laid low of late, clearly not wanting to be dragged into any more of Donald's schemes. Perhaps they thought if they laid low no one would think to look at their dealings. Out of sight, out of mind. I guess not! The implications of what they may have been involved in smacks of treason to me. It is basically a bad idea to go along with any plan of Donald Trumps if you do not want to be dragged into illegal doings. We are taught that there are 3 branches of government which act as checks and balances in school when we are children. What we learn now that this idea is only as good as the people carrying it out. Let us hope that the good outweigh the bad. That seems to be shinning through at this moment. I am grateful for the moral leadership Biden is providing us. I don't mean in the day to day life things, but in the big picture of how to behave in the presidency. I was in a continual state of shock when Trump was president. It was not intellectual disbelief as much as just great discomfort in a constant state at everything he said and did. Maybe others feel this way too and are also relieved to get a break from that great discomfort by having Biden as president.

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Linda, I don’t think they’re laying low because they want to. They have had to hire a slew of attorneys to represent each of them in the lawsuits that have been filed against them. So sweet that Ivana stated she would not be involved with politics these next two years. Gosh, one can only hope that her wardrobe will be a little drab while she is in her suitable prison cell.

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Orange work out OK back in the day for papa Trump (his stage makeup anyway) but with the prospect of presidential pardons dimming, there are portents a new rank of exposure.

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Well, if I had pulled $3 Billion dollars out of thin air while my father in law was President I would disappear too.

That ought to be enough money for quite a while. Even for someone as dumb as Kushner.

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but what about Hunter??

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Too funny.

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Linda Ivanka currently is focused on her kids [a real stay at home mom!] and a $32+ million Florida property. Jared has salted away the $1 billion from Qatar and has been staffing up to invest the $2 billion that Mohamed bin Salman ordered the Saudi Development Authority to provide him personally, before he even had an investment company.

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Ivanka and Jared also seemed to be ignored at the World Cup games in Qatar where they are with their kids. An article sarcastically said that Jared did not seem to have brokered a peace with the Muslim countries who are not in direct conflict with Israel which he is claiming was such a momentous deal, because all of them are shouting pro-Palestinian slogans making his claims seems fatuous!

https://theintercept.com/2022/12/04/world-cup-qatar-jared-kushner-israel/

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Linda Might Qatar be feeling that they were flimflammed in dumping $1 billion to rescue Jared from 666 Fifth Avenue financial collapse. Remember that multi-faced Jared often spoke of Netanyahu coming to his family’s home and sleeping in Jared’s bed. Jared has had diverse bed fellows, including MBS.

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It certainly does not sound like Qatar gave money willingly from what Professor Richardson is saying. It sounds more like extortion. Thus the arrogance of the Kushner-Trump duo. Thinking it is okay to show up there when they basically held the country for ransom to get its wishes fulfilled. How the K-T couple had leverage over Saudi Arabia and UAE to broker the deal with Qatar is unclear to me. I understand that there have been implications all along the Kushner might have revealed private US documents to the SA and UAE leaders. If you read this article it sounds like SA has no respect for Kushner's knowledge or behavior in his role as senior advisor. They recognize the downsides of this nepotistic appointment for the Arab world. It also discusses him negotiating with Chinese Financiers close to the Chinese government.

https://www.justsecurity.org/69094/timeline-on-jared-kushner-qatar-666-fifth-avenue-and-white-house-policy/

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/02/jared-kushner-real-estate-qatar-blockade/

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/02/jared-kushner-real-estate-qatar-blockade/

https://www.citizen.org/news/somethings-rotten-here-trump-kushner-and-qatar/

Sayings like, "Chickens have come home to roost!" comes to mind. Is this what is going on? Kushner's behavior, which might seem like normal business to him and others with no moral compass might not be acceptable to everyone else.

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Oh, Ivanka was complaining somewhere (or maybe it was parody) that no one likes her now and they were not invited to the Met Gala. Desperation is one of the distinguishing features of wannabes compared to the true truly rich. Pulling financial stunts that are easily discovered with an audit is one thing. Manipulating governments and thinking no one will care, takes criminal hubris to a whole different level, doesn’t it?

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Meredith Ivanka once was the cream of NY and DC glitch society, but this cream has soured and she is struggling with climate change on a Florida island. Morals and ethics? For her, only when hell freezes over.

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Couldn’t agree more, having chump as “president” was like living in hell. Every single day. I thought republicans would notice. Silly me…

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Dec 8, 2022·edited Dec 8, 2022

Jeri From what I know about lemmings, they don’t recognize that they are lemmings, even when they go to an evangelical church and brazenly sing about Jesus Christ, who would be blackballed on the Trump Commandments.

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Judge Luttig liked how Ali Velshi explained the independent state legislature. He tweeted “ I sheepishly admit that Ali did a far better job explaining the case and its importance than I've yet been able to do.” on December 3 at 12:58 am. This is what he was referencing:

https://youtu.be/Au25qwRaGo8

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I really like Luttig. Such a principled, sensible former judge. Ali is just brilliant at everything he reports on.

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Velshi has followed up his mobile team live-in-and-near-the war in Ukraine with quality work anchoring Weekend time slots.

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Fantastic link, Mary. I enjoyed every minute. The so-called states rights will be the downfall of democracy. So insidious….

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Spot-on Mary & Elizabeth

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Thank you.

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Thank you MisTBlue; I need to check-in later this am to scotusblog's "follow it" & edit my comment when appropriate.

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Thanks for the youtube link, Mary. Very informative!!!

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Does anyone else ever feel as though the "Independent State Legislature" Theory is just another way to refight the Civil War through the courts? Essentially, they're saying that the State Legislature is Supreme over the Federal government. It's not much of a stretch from there to making the rest of their laws take precedence over Federal laws and government.

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"just another way to refight the Civil War through the courts?"

Well put.

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I agree Laura until I remember Occam’s Razor. Then I believe the simplest answer is the gop’s 2-3 decade long realization that they are so reviled, and so untrustworthy, that they can no longer win electoral majorities without changing the rules and cheating.

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Technically, no. They are saying there are no checks or balances against the (narrowly defined) state legislature within the state, in regard to conducting federal elections. They allow for congressional action, knowing that the filibuster protects them from it actually happening.

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Exactly, they never surrendered. Lee tried, but It was a ruse.

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I listened to part of the SCOTUS oral arguments today for the first time. It was mind boggling and numbing. The bulk of the arguments were about interpreting individual words in terms of of what the Founders intended. It is clear that the liberal justices are having to play by the "originalist" rules. There was, at least to me, shockingly little about what the impact on the electoral system would be, or how it would impact an individual's voting rights.

Bottom line, it was eye-opening, scary and sickening. Judge Luttig was right when he said this case was the most important for American democracy in 200 years--but that big picture view was nary in evidence.

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OK, color me totally puzzled everyone:

*******************************************************************

"but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations"

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So, I am not quite understanding something. IF Congress is the final arbiter and overseer, why are we even talking about the possibility that states can do whatever they want?

I thought we cleared all that up with the Civil War and the above sentence seems perfectly clear.

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If the state legislature could change voting rules at will, the argument is that they could change the way Presidential electors and congresspeople were chosen. So the President and Congress would be ultimately controlled by the state legislatures, not the voters. They could, in theory (and probably practice) subvert the will of the people.

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BINGO

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Thank you.

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Because the Republican Party switched sides on the Civil War, and the GOP fundamentally thinks of itself as above the law. Just ask their Profit and Dear Leader, DJT. It is manifest in just about everything they do and say.

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One of the issues raised was if the State courts can 't decide on state election issues because of the "independent legislatures" interpretation then they would be brought to the Federal court system and clog up the works. And of course the states could always amend their constitutions--the issue there being how difficult it is to do and how problematic it would be in states that are solid red.

One of the more mindbending bits of argument in support of the independent legislatures argument was why should things like redistricting be overseen by state courts where judges are often elected and would bring partisanship into the process.

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The Federalist Society and the rich people who fund it have been working for 40 years to arrange things so that SCOTUS and Congress are extensions of their organization. Right now Democracy is defended by a two heartbeat majority in the Senate. If Republicans ever gain control of both branches of Congress, what sorts of laws and regulations do you think will ensue?

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The wealthy could not have done this without the votes of the white working class, which has supported Republicans at the ballot box, two to one, since 1968. If white working class votes had, instead, been equally divided, there would have been no Republican president since Eisenhower, probably no period of Republican control in either chamber of the legislature, and a Supreme Court with decent human beings in every seat instead of having six low-lifes bent on ensuring white-dominated, minority rule. The wealthy are a pack of cynical manipulators, yes, but the white working class has bought into white minority rule from the get-go. They sunk their own ship to preserve systemic white advantages.

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"This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon “moderation” in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H.L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." - Dwight Eisenhower 1954

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because we didn't

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nope. we did not.

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Dec 8, 2022·edited Dec 8, 2022

The authority of the Constitution was never about what the Founders intended; nor do they say so. They composed a statement of principles, not prophesy, and to their credit they did an admirable job of incorporating Enlightenment social philosophies of human rights into criteria for law, "a government of laws, not of men" despite personal inconsistencies.

The Enlightenment explored the benefits of logic and science as opposed to the alleged absolute authority of doctrine; yet social "Conservatives" are always trying to push this back, seeking legitimacy from the opinions of allegedly exalted persons, rather than from evidence and logic based principles.

"We the People" are the ultimate engine of legitimacy for the Constitution, and the document itself recognizes that, in part because it was deliberately not set in stone.

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I listened to the oral Moore v. Harper arguments this morning on the SCOTUS website and took careful notes of the historical context statement by JUSTICE KAGAN & the oral arguments & brief of former US Solicitor General, NEAL KATYAL. Both are strongly recommended.

The following is Justice Kagan's verbatim statement to the Court & all citizens:

"And, in all these ways, I think what might strike a person is that this is a proposal [the self interested power theory] that gets rid of the normal checks & balances on the way big governmental decisions are made in this country and you might think it gets rid of all these checks & balances at EXACTLY the time when they are needed most" [caps added to reflect Kagan's tonal emphasis].

"Because legislators as we all know, have their own self interest. They want to get re-elected. And so there are countless times when they have incentives to suppress votes, to suppress votes, [Kagan repeated the phrase twice] to negate votes to prevent from having true access and true opportunity to engage in the political process."

NEAL KATYAL's oral arguments addressed each Justice & the Chief Justice & was the apex of constitutional argument. With precision citations of 233 years of case law, opponents briefs cited by page & line number as well as demonstrating complete fluency in amici briefs, NEAL KATYAL's work could be a game changer.

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I adore her and this isn’t the first time she’s gotten her point across. Was it not Justice Sotomayor who proclaimed there was “stench”on the bench?

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Neal's presentation was a master class in preparation and true grit.

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Absolutely right; oral argument goes at light speed & there is no time for written notes.

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Thank you, Bryan. I had a terrible feed, so gave up trying to listen after about 20 minutes.

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My cable company had a major outage fortunately their calamity came AFTER Katyal's work!

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