642 Comments

“Greedflation” is the most under-reported economic news in years. This is largely because it’s hard to quantify. But it’s an indictment of unfettered capitalism and legions of CEOs.

It’s great that the Biden administration has accomplished so much economically for the country. But the sad reality is that so many basic needs remain obscenely expensive, causing widespread hardship.

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Greed will never be covered as it should be because those who would be covering it,..... wait for it,....Main Stream Media themselves are the biggest offenders by pushing the lowest value, non-educational, waste-of-time issues (translation: 24/7 Chump and GOP nonsense) instead of that Dems in the WH have our economy rockin', stock market at record highs, unemployment at record lows, etc. Why? It gets ad clicks - $$$. It's not news. It's just negative blank space to keep you tuned in between their main content,... which is the ads.

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Ads take up more time than content. I doubt many remember a time when we had three 15-second ads for a 30 minute show.

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Some even remember a time when the evening news consisted of 15 minutes of local, then 15 minutes of national news.

To be honest, it might have been the other way around. The original Huntley-Brinkley report was fifteen minutes. I can’t recommend a return to those simpler times.

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I can't either, but I can recommend a return to the fairness doctrine and truth in advertising (especially political advertising).

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

A scan of the internet on the Fairness Doctrine brings a wide and polarizing account and how it was vetoed by Reagan and hasn't been seen since. Most give that veto the reason for the rise of Murdoch's Faux "news" channel shortly after. Now, not surprisingly, all right-wing groups like heritage found, cato inst, etc have large, funded reports filled with hysteria & wildly-biased views on why its return would be terrible. And, it likely would be,...for them whose existence depends on lies and the ability to spread them unchecked with no consequences.

Among the sane and reality-based world, however exist intelligent Americans whose research and experience show how well it has worked in other countries and would again here if Democratic leaders only had the courage and will to do it. The following is one such author. The issue has only compounded since written. IMO once Dems and democracy are firmly in control (majority) of our government again (all 3 branches) it would be wise to begin the rewrite of this much-needed policy. I agree, with you Jeri!

https://www.socialeurope.eu/fake-news-and-the-fairness-doctrine

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BK.. I agreed that there is a need to dilute or get rid of false news. As a person with a broadcast degree the problem is, the fairness doctrine was established for the “airwaves.” The airwaves belong to the people and that’s where the fairness doctrine fit very well. Being regulated by the FCC. The problem is that Fox News is on cable. The fairness doctrine does not cover cable at all. And in beginning there was a lot of money being put into cable and a lot of lobbies were able to eliminate the fairness doctrine. The FCC is regulates the airwaves which belong to the people of the United States. Therefore, they should have equal time, but cable and all of its materials belong to the company, laying the cables or broadcasting over it have very little government regulations. I would like to see Fox News go the way of say go go boots and disco music.

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Thanks BK - I really had no memory or knowledge of the Fairness Doctrine - read about it here. Obviously, I paid NO attention to anything during the Reagan years other than working and raising two kids as a single mother! So I can understand people who currently dont follow whats going on - up to a point.

Sounds like a really good thing to have in effect - getting it back would be quite a battle - unless Dems were in charge AND actually made the effort to get there.

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How true. Bill Moyers often addressed this issue. I listened to every word and he was honest and forthright. It's why Murdoch went after him and Dan Rather. Rupert, with Reagan's support took over our communication system. Now others have joined and our free press and been bought. by money with no heart for Democracy.

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Truth in advertising might be an oxymoron.

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Best laugh of the day. Thanks

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What is this word "truth" that you use? Especially in the context of advertising, where it is easiest to arrive at the truth by taking the opposite of what you see in the ad.

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Does anyone besides me remember the ads for Hadacol?

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Huntley Brinkley was 30 minutes, as I recall. David used to walk south on Park Avenue past 778 for a stroll... I think Chet broadcast from a distant point, Good Night, David, Good Night.

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Our emotionally heathy, tolerant grandchildren will remember the gentle Lawrence O’Donnell, brilliant Rachel Maddow, the artistic genius Ari Melber and the MSNBC family, those less fortunate may recall the departed Tucker, the bulky bully Sean, and the FOX crowd of departed sexual offenders and fascists... if they survive past their 40th birthday.

Examples matter. MSNBC is ours.

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Thank you. These days MSNBC is about all there is.

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Ah, thank you for sending me down another memory rabbit hole (I'm not trying to quibble, I just found all this fascinating).

Wikipedia states "The program ran for 15 minutes at its inception but expanded to 30 minutes on September 9, 1963, exactly a week after the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite did so." Let's see - I would have been about 15 when that happened. I couldn't resist looking for an old broadcast.

The one I found at https://youtu.be/Bjr7v0snSvs?feature=shared seems almost charming now with its coverage of a revolt in the House over the Republican speakership. I even vaguely remember Rep. Halleck.

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Those ads are costly!

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The cost structure for cable TV advertising is far less than that for broadcast stations, at least it used to be. Many would be surprised to know the number of people who watch cable TV between midnight and, say, 6:00 a. m. There are a ton of infomercials which are probably in the lowest cost tier of any cable TV network. I've said it before on "Letters..." that Democrats are failing to get the word out on the progress that's been made with respect to the economy. Yet, many (most?) people think their personal economies are 'stuck,' and they blame the government when actually, American businesses are reaping healthy profits by the pricing structures we have to pay at the supermarket. BTW: Take a look at the roll of toilet tissue that's in your bathroom. How much room is there on the spindle - end for end? If you think the rolls are smaller now, you are correct. Take any packaged food or commodity. It's all the same, except the price hasn't been reduced. If anything, it has likely increased. What visuals the Dems could capitalize on, and in my opinion, should be producing them widely, across many platforms - Now! And, finally, they should be bombarding the major locations of Trump's base of voters (which could be anywhere, I suppose). They would like picture stories because they won't be doing any research that demands reading! What is there by railroad crossings that attract attention? Billboards! When waiting for a mile long train to pass, people are going to look at the billboard facing them...before or during the time they spend checking for messages on their mobile devices. Nice, big, and colorful ads, many of which are now digitally (motion pictures!) produced.

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Peter I ran for a local office in Indiana. Of course we are a Red State. My advertising was over $5,000 for a job that I didn't get. I had the most experience but the other girl was a Republican. Maybe $5,000 doesn't sound like much to you but it sure does to me. Few people in my area that I was concerned with contributed very little. Most donations were not from my county. I was thankful to those that supported me that has never stepped foot in my county. It is possible that they drove through very fast on I-70! LOL

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I smiled when I read your 'reply' to my post. I, too, ran for public office in MN. It was for an open seat from my State House of Representatives district. I, too, live in a very red district. The fact that I had many years of local government experience, (City Council, Planning/Zoning Commissioner, Mayor) didn't matter. My opponent, who had no experience, beat me handily. The only thing I can say is I know the MN Republican party spent a ton of money to get that seat and quite frankly, it may have been a blessing in disguise that I didn't!

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Money, probably from out of state, can change the complexion of the state. Repubs figured that out long ago.

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You are so right. Passed a billboard with chump's ugly mug starring down at me. Message said "Born in NY, but his spirit is Texan.' What a load of crap. LBJ, Sam Rayburn, Millie Ivans, Ann Richards, etc would be spinning in their graves. Great example of big hat, no cattle. Except he has red cap, no scrupples. Dems, billboards are a big part. Stop with the emails to me and put up competing billboards. The magats will see them, so will sane people in Texas, and there are some.

I hate infomercials, but many watch the crap. Can't imagine, but blast them with Dem messaging. Railroad thru Aledo, Texas has long waits, love a billboard there, I would donate to pay for one there. Red with purple tinges.

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"big hat, no cattle" -- Love it!!

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A brief and direct Biden Ad on the direct impact of the "Pharma Bill" on reduced cost of catastrophic perscription drugs for those on Medicare and Social Security would open a few eyes to current economic benefits of the Biden Administration

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So many possibilities, so little action. repubs practically write the ads themselves.

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It's hard to get the attention of the representative (Senators and House representatives). They really are bombarded with an overabundance of issues brought forth by many people. I suggest working at the local level with the rep's state director. Let that person funnel up some of the ideas shared on this platform. For the most part we are of a like mind and get some 'feel good' about what we write. If our ideas make sense then they should be brought to those who make the rules.

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My reps have no eyes or ears. And don't want any.

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The Main Stream Media (MSM) are largely owned by the oligarchs and large corporations as are most of the social media platforms. They stir up conflict with their reporting to keep their audiences engaged so they can make more money. What is their motivation for telling us how good the economy is or that it is not Biden's fault that the Israeli's are killing civilians in Gaza and that the Palestinians started this damn conflict killing innocent Jews, Christians and Muslims as well as raping and torturing them.

Trump killed over a million people in the US with his mishandling of the pandemic and we barely heard a word about it. Biden supports our Israeli ally and he totally responsible.

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MSM owned by big pharma. Ever wonder why they never do any investigative reporting on that Industry? We're one of two countries that allow advertising of pharmaceuticals to people who cannot buy them. Perhaps they're not buying us...

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Jen, I remember a time when we did not see pharmaceutical ads on TV...now they are prevalent along with bad driving during car ads. Give me the Autolite marching batteries and spark plugs. We do laugh at a few, usually insurance ads. As an aside, Mayhem Like Me plays a priest in Monsieur Spade now streaming on Acorn. We do watch the local and usually the national news on NBC. I mute ads and also death star and any of his minions. The mute button still works, but "mute" has long been worn away.

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Anything I watch is always on time delay so I can ff through ads and of course my mute button is worn. Replaced two remotes in the last year. I CANNOT hear the orange cocksplats whiny little high pitched voice or look at his tiny grubbing little fingers on his white hands next to his dyed orange face.

wtf is wrong with a people who will adore a "man" who wears bad makeup?

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Trying to cover up total emptiness. The real black hole.

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Acorn is a great diversion

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We are watching The Night Manager right now which has a splendid cast.

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Gary, it’s almost as if these media outlets have hired screenwriters to create a virtual Reality TV program aired daily as “the news” based upon the snippets of news that support the prearranged script; ignoring real news that refutes the story they designed to attract more viewers

We should ask TCinLA if he knows any of these mongrels

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Try MSNBC. Other than the ads, there are some very interesting ex-judges, prosecutors, members of Congress, lawyers on daily.

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We ditched cable

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We did as well, kinda sorta. Spectrum is so desperate for subscribers, when I cancelled my cable they lowered my Internet charge by $5/mo (big whoop) and threw in 79 channels for free. Of course they are not any channels we will ever watch, but for $60 off my Internet bill, what the heck.

I listen to MSNBC, CNN, Progressive radio, Sports and lots of music on Sirius XM in the car and while I'm in my office. Sure, it's not free, but it's super convenient in the car and Progressive radio has John Fugelsang and Them Hartmann as hosts and they are both very smart and well, progressive.

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BK, "negative blank space" perfectly describes the MAGA extremists.

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If it bleeds, it leads....simple.

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It has certainly caused me to tune out of all MSM. I only show up to my subscriptions to awesome Substack authors to keep an eye on America. I can’t stand the churning cortisol belly I feel looking at any ReTHUGlican let alone hear one word they say. They are demons.

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trumplicans? "When the infrastructure measure passed in 2021, just 13 House Republicans supported it." Now the NO vote trumplicans are taking credit for it while conveniently forgetting how they voted on it.

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I record anything I want to watch - do NOT watch live tv. Fastforwarding thru commercials - by the way, how many are there between "segments" now? Used to be about 12 - appears to be lots more now. Big money there!

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I used to skip commercials until my daughter did the voiceover for a national one. They did pay her well. It is a good drug.

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Watching local affiliate network news (which I call the happy-face news) where the newscasters gush about rescued puppies and never run out of things to chuckle about...it occurred to me that they should have an applause and laugh track to underscore their reportage

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Or at least and "Awww" track.

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Yes, the profit motive is driving the media, but MSM isn't winning. It is losing share, and as a result the old newspaper mantra of "separation of church and state" - meaning ads and editorial - is dying.

TV killed the radio stars and the internet is killing print publications, and slowly TV. And anyone can be an internet start up their own media operations.

Joe Rogan makes a lot more than Jesse Watters on Fox does, that is for sure. And until he went too far and finally got what he deserved, Alex Jones was richer than all of them.

Put another, no one is getting rich owning stock in the TV part of the Murdock empire. In fact, FOXA's stock price has fallen. Which shows you hard it is to make money even while lying for ad dollars. And that is a huge change from when the Grahams owned the Washington Post and were part of the capitalist elite.

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Yep.

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Michael,

Republicans claim the economy is bad but ALL of the Republican men I know, and some women, have purchased giant, new, shiny pickup trucks with sticker prices more than my first home cost.

So, if things are so bad for working Republicans, why are there millions of pickup trucks sold for $72,000 each to Republican men and women?

Yep, that is how much those trucks passing you at 56 mph in a 25 mph school zone cost.

The reality is: The economy rocks, Republicans know it and Republicans have wasted millions, perhaps trillions on pickup truck trinkets they do not need.

Republicans really just want to hate. And, so, they make stuff up that allows them to do so.

Like, "The economy is bad". So, "Democrats are bad".

For a Republican, hating is the goal.

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Thanks, Mike, for this explanation of the truck bonanza. I thought I had somehow missed the day when the sky opened up and trucks fell out. They are many and everywhere.

Environment be damned!

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The beds of said pick' up trucks have never seen a 2x4 much less a load of mulch. But there's stupid inside.

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And the stupid inside says you WILL look at me because you will hear me because I have installed LOUD exhaust pipes. But you can’t see my face because the windows are tinted very dark.

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And you can't miss me because I'm also flying an American flag.

It disgusts me that the flag is now nazi signaling of righteousness. You see one on an house, you know there is stupid living there, not patriotism.

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Not at my house, Jen. I fly the US Colors full time (correctly presented, properly illuminated in the dark, and replaced when worn or tattered) alongside a Ukranian Flag, or an inclusive Pride flag, or the COPS flag (concerns of police survivors; a black standard with a single blue line honoring police officers killed in the line of duty; flown during the month of May). Between the flags is an "In Our America" sign: In Our America: All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants and Refugees Are Welcome, Disabilities Are Respected, Women Are In Charge Of Their Own Bodies, People and Planet Are Valued Over Profit, Diversity is Celebrated.

I will not fly the flag from the bed of my shiny new (now four years old) pick up truck that mostly hauls trash, yard debris, stone for more yard projects, delivers CostCo runs to friends, and hauls multiple musicians and instruments to gigs. I am a stickler for proper flag display, and absent being in a parade, flying it on my vehicle is not proper.

https://www.inouramericalovewins.org/shop

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I agree that flying the flag in most cases means some wing nut R which includes our awful neighbor across the street. The problem with the flag has been around a long time. After 9/11, the newspaper put in a flag you could put in your window which we did. Our surrogate daughter wanted to complain about it, but we told her why it was there.

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There are many thousands of Americans who display the American flag who want nothing to do with Trump or the republicans. We have one, right next to our Black Lives Matter sign.

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We have a few of those around here. One of the loudest is a motorcycle and he has to shift constantly to make the most noise. Our dog also hates this and we try to explain that it's just the a.hole.

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And while much bigger, the beds are much smaller than you remember as a kid - can't buy a pick-up that can pick-up a load.

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Nicely put. Totally stupid and a cult member for death star.

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These days those Republican Tricked Out Gas Guzzlers actually cost $85k to $90k out the door. Greedflation.

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Some money is saved by using the "turn signal delete option", also commonly used by Cadillac and Lincoln buyers.

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🤣🤣🤣

I just say they forgot the blinker fluid.

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Gotta remember that one! Thanks Ally!

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Then we get complaints about the price of groceries. Republicans are too stupid to recognize climate change and think groceries are “grown” in the grocery store. Big Ag isn’t going to tell them otherwise as long as they can keep selling greasy snack “foods.”

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

Nailed it. The pecking order, somebody to look down on. What if we couldn’t identify any “lessers?” Our egos would crash and burn. Think about it. What if we really had to assume that any creature that we came across was as deserving, as valuable to the community as we are. It would turn our world upside down. In fact, just giving some “lessers” a shot at a chance is more than most fancy pickup owners can abide. We have, not only the rich, but the newly affluent (or majorly in debt) “deserving” ready to stomp into the muck, those with their noses pressed to the glass for a chance to pluck our chickens, and labor in our behalf. Sort of what our ancestors did. Except for chump. His ancestors were grifters, mob bosses, military deserters, and pimps. Skills they passed down to any greedy bastard without a conscience.

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"...any creature that we came across was as deserving, as valuable to the community as we are." Jeri, this is the crux of the Circle of Life we strive and strive to practice. It is balance, it is how we survived here for eons before the "western" ways swept it aside. You have hit it smack on the head. If we can only get us all on that path, we will be able to light the Eighth Fire.

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It is also the thought that strikes fear into the hearts of those who have been able to ascend one rung up on the ladder. What happened to "there but for the grace of God go I."

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Oh, it's been replaced with "I'm rich because GOD MADE ME rich (and didn't care that I got that way by exploiting the weakness and folly of others)."

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Bad omen

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Thanks for the Eighth Fire reference, Elaine. (From Up North, married to Ojibwe). wehttps://arpbooks.org/product/lighting-the-eighth-fire/

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That's interesting, we are probably related. BMIC here.

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You could be related! During the time I was consulting with the Bay Mills nurse, she was excited about a big tribal reunion with their Canadian Ojibwe relatives. But, sadly, when the large Canadian group got to the bridge, the U.S. Customs wouldn't let them through. Since then, when my husband goes to Canada, he just shows his "Indian card" and the customs officer at either border can't even ask him a question much less delay or deny his passage. You probably know more about this than I do. Just thrilled for Native power.

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He is Mississauga First Nation (where his mother was born). In my public health nursing and advocacy career I worked with the Bay Mills clinical director, as well as with tribes here in Northern Michigan.

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Billionaire welfare is an approved Christian value.

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Just what Jesus advocated. Maybe when Paul started spreading the word, things got garbled beyond recognition.

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Ya think? As in Biden's description of tfg that's just come to light (to my glee), the former tax collector was IMO a "sick f---."

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Yup.

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Jeri, that’s a bazinga.

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Don't know what that is, but thanks, I think...

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Good for you, Jeri, for your notes on the "pecking order."

If schools continue to be ruled by and for standardized tests, of course there's always "somebody to look down on," because life as only sets of numbers and categories has no room for seeing how "any creature that we came across was as deserving, as valuable to the community as we are."

To see and value others as individuals requires some skill, training, readiness to see and value others, life, as you do. Requires essay writing, discussion, humanities.

When the people of Finland determined to have the best schools in the world, they made it policy to hire only the best as teachers and, at the same time, to trust the teachers to decide everything themselves -- books, lesson plans, everything.

And the first thing the teachers decided? To abandon most all standardized testing in all schools.

Also, most teachers in the now-world's-best public schools assign no homework, as that really exists only to keep youth enslaved testing (and thus to the billionaires and corporations which ever reduce life to numbers and categories only).

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Thank you. I know they don't teach empathy in school, but just being in the midst of so many others taught me that people come in all stripes. It most assuredly starts with parents. It doesn't take a genius to see that some struggle so much more than others. I always thought that a helping hand was much preferable to a crippling kick for most. Sorting, rating, and ranking have their places, but are so defining to an unnecessary extent. People are complicated. In fact, I used to get sort of upset at Sesame Street when my young child watched the song "This one thing is not like the other, one of these things does not belong." Useful and educational, but I think people generalize the concept to too many aspects of humanity. Sorry for another rant.

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Rant on, dear Jeri.

Love how you draw from life experience, and from our culture.

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Thank you Phil. Just old, seen too much, and fed up. Hard to believe how other "elders" have been bamboozled by non-stop bull schitt, from the ugliest specimens of humanity.

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So, so accurate!! Thanks ❣️

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To own those $72,000 trucks they borrowed big time, along with huge mortgages and large credit card balances. The redneck life ain't cheap and if Republicans gain control and the economy crashes, these people are going to be in deep trouble financially. Of course, their deep seated resentment of Democrats will be who they blame for their financial woes. These boom and bust cycles, largely created by the wealthy robber barons, will continue until We The People force politicians to reign in "greedflation" and pass stringent campaign finance laws.

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And enforce anti-trust laws already on the books.

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Oh, and my pet peeve - trucks in today's world are mostly made for show, and are priced out of the working woman's price range!

My truck is so high off the ground I can't reach into the cab or bed without a step stool, and its still difficult even then. Forget my dog being able to jump in either.

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I drive a 20 yr old 4x4 Tacoma 4 cyl (cheaper to work on) w/ just over 200,000 miles on it. I’d consider a new truck (I can only afford one vehicle & I haul yard goods like chips & mulch, etc., so need a truck), but they are awful! Full of widgets & do-dads & sometimes a computer screen in the dashboard—ha, what could possibly go wrong w/ that (not talking ‘bout back-up screens). Some of the trucks have hoods that are as high as my shoulder & have been shown to be more deadly to pedestrians, bicyclists & smaller vehicles. Other countries still make and sell small vehicles, but here in the USA we super-size everything. I liken the current truck size trend to the sci-fi movie Transformers (ginormous) characters. A pet peeve of mine….OK, end of rant!

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Our Chevy suburban has 546,000 miles. The brake lines rusted off 🤣 so we had to buy a newer vehicle. We bought a Toyota Tundra. We have 10 acres, we need a truck. I'm a techtard, so figuring out how the operations work...eek. I don't touch anything. My husband loves to drive that goodness. I hate it. I've hit 11 deer and I've had too many accidents. I have given myself PTSD from my own driving.

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I checked out some used trucks, but none had manual transmissions (dislike automatics for mountain driving—they never shift when I prefer to!) & all had electric windows. Where I live, driving alongside a river is common & one “oops” can land you in the drink….so I prefer manual hand-crank windows if I needed to escape the cab….don’t think they even make them anymore. I prefer knobs & buttons because muscle memory can guide turning on/off things (heat/cooling/radio) w/o having to take eyes off the road. My only upgrade from my first truck (a 1990) to my 2003, was getting air conditioning, something I do use.

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I learned how to drive with old pickup truck with a manual transmission. I couldn't reach the pedals very well and hit a couple mailboxes.

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

I got another truck a few years ago - it does have power windows but nothing else except the basics. 8' truck bed, because like you, I haul and don't need anything to distract me. Yes, a backup alarm or camera is a must

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Where did you get an 8 ft bed?

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

Ram has what they call a 1500 Classic Tradesman truck - standard cab with 8' bed. I don't know of anyone else that offers that anymore AND one more thing - that's hard to find that this truck has, no carpet and vinyl (instead of cloth) seats. I want to be able to open both doors and hose it out!

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I only watch old Brit dramas and I laugh when the police crusie down the streets in little mini cars! My town has a bunch of scary looking retired military vehicles they haul out during a storm. I feel like I am watching playground activities when the coppers drive them.

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Also ranting here in northern Michigan.

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Henry Ford would be proud though.

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I used to drive a ‘96 Silverado C1500. Loved that truck. She finally died 4 years ago. I miss her to this day. My son took me to the car dealership, because, retired or not, I needed a vehicle. The salesman asked if I wanted another truck. My son looked at me and said, “Do you want something you have to climb into, or something you can fall into? I’m getting older and shorter. Easy decision. I got a Toyota sedan.

I miss that truck to this day. When my grandson was a toddler, he got to sit in the front in his carseat and see the road out the windshield. He would look at me and just laugh. Good times.

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I really wish the manufacturers would bring back the small trucks of the 1990s. My understanding is they quit making them because of the EPA emission standards. I guess the regulations for the heavier trucks are easier to meet? And they make more money on the big trucks. So frustrating.

My husband still drives his 1990 Mazda pick up. It is low to the ground and has a large bed. Everyone I know wants a small pickup and you just can't find them.

My mom's circa 1980 Ford F250 is still going strong. She sold it many years ago to a friend when she got she got out of the horse business. My daughter rides with the woman who owns it. She is driving it this weekend. I know my mother (who died at age 94 in 2020) is smiling.

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Mike, Agreed and the giant Pick-em-Up Trucks movement is a great metaphor that helps show the hypocrisy of their kind. But, it is also one of many symptoms for the disease of Hate you rightly point out they carry and intentionally spread.

More than just a school of thought, many believe at the core of it lies a malignant tumor the basis of which comes from their disdain for real equality among citizens. And since Dems believe in equality as our founding documents say, they Hate Us. Their belief that the white race is "superior" (although the flags on those big trucks suggest otherwise) is what binds them,...like the one ring in Tolkien's LOTR,..."and in the darkness bind them"

Chauncey DeVega of Salon describes it pretty well in this recent article:

https://www.salon.com/2024/02/01/maga-is-fueled-by-disdain-for-democrats/

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Mike S. Perfect. I cringe thinking how many of these truck owners have no interest in the environment.

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...as exemplified by the trucks driving across beaches -- where shorebirds and turtles nest -- in places like Texas and North Carolina.

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I live where everyone has a truck. What I notice is all the cars lining up @ drive thru coffee places & casino parking lots

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Carole that drives me nuts.

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Oh, those sexy huge boxy trucks with so much space that is never used. They are marvels of engineering and marketing genius. In Texas, more young women would have given me the time of day had I been driving a Ford F150 instead of a Mazda.

When looking for a vehicle in 2019 just before the pandemic, I sat in a souped up Ford that looked like a Transformer waiting to unfold into action. Seriously, I was grinning ear to ear just sitting in it, in the showroom. And then I thought about my senior citizen's spatial perception, my gasoline budget, the too-small 2-car garage in Texas, and oh yes, what do I really need, and decided to keep my 2007 Toyota (230,000 miles). But it was fun for a few minutes.

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Mike, thanks for confirming my suspicion that those huge shiny pickups that tailgate me at high speeds are Republicans. The ownership of these vehicles is one demonstration of their need for power; their reckless driving is a symptom of their unceasing anger. As someone who has been rear-ended four times and has the injuries to prove it, I have a hard time not focusing on the rear view mirror when it fills with the grille of yet another Republican vehicle!

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I agree Mike, especially about the trucks which tear around on city streets like they are on the freeway. Sometimes they have jacked up wheels. I not only see bad driving, but I also see low gas mileage. There is a local ad from a store in Portland which specializes on all the silly and expensive accouterments for such vehicles. And often they have big flags flying as well. We had a phone meeting with our financial advisor yesterday who told us that the economy is doing fine and he explained some about how the Federal Reserve works. He had some very apt and funny metaphors about how they go about things.

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Not to mention those pretty new House pins they're all sporting. Essential business only for our House Republicans!

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Mike, remember the movie “Time Machine”? I was little when it came out. I had nightmares about the Morlocks for years. Much later there was a trailer for a movie I refused to go see with a little girl staring into a fuzzy tv screen, “They’re baacck”

It seems that Horror Stories fascinate us cuz we thought we were safe cuz they’re real. We are mistaken about the reality part

“They’re Baacck”

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Florida’s greedflation is unfettered with a Governor who is MIA and has taken political contributions from many corporations in order to fill political coffers. People are being driven out of their homes and communities because of it. It’s corruption on every level.

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Now DeSantis says he’s sending a battalion of the Florida National Guard to Texas, as well as the State Guard to assist in Abbott's razor wire border barrier antics. Wasting more money, manpower, and resources on something that could be resolved much more diplomatically, sanely, and effectively than this Republican penchant for “nihilism and performative politics" as Jennifer Rubin of the Washingtion Post said today.

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Isn't he breaking some federal law? One more day I feel so glad I escaped from Florida.

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Me too!

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Yes, SCOTUS confirmed that only feds have jurisdiction over borders. So naturally Abbott has doubled down and says if feds cut the razor wire, he’ll just have it replaced.

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Admit it, DeSatan, you are just the runner up to best hater. The Abbott trio has a lock on the title.

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Remember when the Covid-19 vaccinations were first released and DeSantis offered them to his rich donors if they contributed to his campaign. Quid pro quo much?

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📣 Let’s make sure struggling Floridians are aware of our free-spending governor.

168 MILLION !!!

“The failed campaign and expansive political operation aiming to make Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis the Republican nominee for the White House cost $168 million, according to filings reported to the Federal Election Commission late Wednesday.”

https://apnews.com/article/desantis-2024-trump-election-campaign-25c1c062f2646020cce743acf42233a7

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Unfortunately, the campaign funds were not from tax dollars, Floridians will only get their heads out of the sand when an income tax is needed for the state to survive!

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Yes. We once had a financial consultant whose retirement plan was built on moving to Florida. We left her.

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Did he get to keep the White Boots…asking for a friend …

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“TALLAHASSEE (The Borowitz Report)—Faced with mounting campaign bills and dwindling donations, Ron DeSantis revealed on Friday that he had been forced to sell his beloved white go-go boots.

The Florida governor appeared anguished by the loss of his go-go boots, which aides disclosed were by far the most cherished footwear he owned.

DeSantis said that he had tried to make cuts elsewhere to preserve his ownership of the boots but that, “in the end, the numbers didn’t add up.”

“In a perfect world, I could run for President and own white go-go boots,” he said. “Sadly, we do not live in that world.” 😂😂

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/cash-strapped-desantis-forced-to-sell-beloved-go-go-boots

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Just think $168 million is gone, it has been wasted for nothing which is what desatan is, a nothing, and those donors don’t have that money to pass around anymore, that’s a big chunk of change that won’t be put to more nefarious uses. 😎

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Did all that money maybe employ people who suppled services? Got to find some bright side to this nonsense.

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“Greedflation” is also the product of a less-competitive marketplace. In a competitive marketplace, competitors within an industry force each other to hold down prices; if they don’t, they’ll lose marketshare to companies which do. In the old, disproven free-market model, markets unfettered by govt remain free and competitive, but in fact, they are taken over by a few dominant corporations, and competition disappears.

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Just like the MSM Stanley.

The first year my company was in business CSC tried to bankrupt us by telling four of our clients in Nebraska that we weren't allowed to work on their computer systems. These four companies were all Fortune 100 companies headquartered in Nebraska. If we chose to fight them it would have quickly bankrupted us. (One of TFFG's favorite tactics).

Our brilliant attorney went to the NE AG's office and the AG wrote a letter to CSC telling them that they needed to rescind the letter ASAP since they were committing tortious interference with 4 large NE companies and our fledgling company.

Our rates were about half of what CSC was charging these companies and we were an easy mark. The day after the letter was delivered to CSC in Austin, TX their general counsel was in our attorney's office in Lincoln, NE. They wrote the letter to the 4 companies and gave us permission to work on their systems anywhere in the world.

We have no way of knowing how many companies and people TFFG has forced out of business with his greedflation and by being a "sick MF" as Biden called him yesterday, but it is likely a large number.

We were lucky that CSC wrote the letter to the Nebraska corporations and that our attorney had a friend that just happened to be the AG otherwise, we would have been finished.

This is one of the reasons why so many companies end up being monopolies charging whatever they can. The pharmaceutical industry has likely killed thousands of people with their overpriced drugs and yet Congress and the White House have done little until now.

Of course, another path to becoming a monopoly is to buy up your competition and jack up the prices on their products or to pull them off the market and jack up the prices on their own products.

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

Another way is to buy them and sell of the assets. Just ask Mitt Romney for more detailed explanation. Blue collar people lose their jobs and often their earned retirement.

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I was thinking about Mitt Romney when I wrote my comment. How many people lost their jobs so that he could get wealthy?

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And then Trump exploits their anger and gets re-elected.

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Thank you Gary for sharing your story. It is an important one, that I know the American public never hears. But, one we all should hear.

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I’m grateful to Biden for returning to pre-Reagan anti-trust, anti-monopoly policies. Example: rejecting Jet Blue-Spirit merger.

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I hope to see more of this practice in the future.

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The de-regulation of the airline industry has been a boon for about 5 airlines, and many a shareholder. And a horror for everyone else, unless you have your own jet.

So many good airlines swallowed up by the few that remain.

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Stanley, I am ecstatic about the antimonopoly positions of the Biden Administration. But it must certainly increase the support of those monopolies for TFG….

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Marge, what’s TFG?

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Well, it started out as The Former Guy, to avoid using Trump’s name. Some people use the F to symbolize a little more dislike. And there are those who combine those two and use TFFG.

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So true, the key elements of a true capitalist economy are missing such a competition for customer dollars! Exxon Mobil worst merger decision by federal regulators!

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Yes, especially greedy real estate industry and landlords. Housing prices are a nightmare. I also think property taxes need to be reviewed as they’ve gone up so much that people are forced out of their homes and neighborhoods.

Let’s also not forget employers continuing to underpay employees. It should be a crime to not at least compensate for rising cost of living. This is an ongoing disaster, especially for Generation X who are now in their 40’s - 50’s and who will start to reach retirement age in 15-20 years and the majority won’t be able to afford it.

Employers have mostly stopped pensions in favor of 401k, but many couldn’t contribute if they didn’t earn enough to cover their expenses. I’ve seen discussions on social media that many people are looking for an “exit strategy” for when they can no longer work but can’t afford to retire. I have no doubt this is not a new problem, but it’s largely been ignored by mainstream media and society, but I feel certain that the numbers of people who will actually do this is going to be alarming.

If younger generations think they’re are being held back by student loans, wait until they are suddenly having to support their non-employable family members who have under-budgeted for retirement or who have no retirement funds.

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Thanks for mentioning property taxes; mine are now over $10K and still climbing. I attribute this partly due to living in a city with many educational, religious and nonprofit institutions that pay no property taxes. But I suspect there is also declining interest by state legislators in Local Government Assistance - which used to provide funds for infrastructure to poorer cities. State income tax has been exceeding state budgets but politicians would rather give the excess to tax refunds and pet projects rather than LGA.

Just like freezing/cutting funding for poor people, it’s popular to treat poor cities the same way. So property taxes soar while streets are so bad that tires and axels are regularly destroyed.

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The middle class is being bled dry because of wealth inequality and unfair tax cuts to the wealthy & corporations. If they paid their fair share, they could reduce property taxes accordingly.,

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Yep. Absolutely. Property taxes are an outrageous way to support city services. Not to mention that increases in property values bear no relationship to the income of the homeowner. Retirees are particularly vulnerable to being taxed out of their homes.

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This!

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While you don’t want to chastise Wall Street too hard, corporations are investing $100’s of billions in America under President Biden, we also need to remember that lots of us have our 401K’s in the market, it is necessary to point out to the voters that prices not coming down is the fault of corporations. I don’t think there is anything the government can do in this regard.

Nikki Haley made a lot of noise in the lead up to the New Hampshire primary about a competency test for anyone over 75. She singled out the President in the ads. Besides trump, Grassley is the poster child for a competency test.

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Can we question a Grassley voter as to why the vote for Chuck.

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Probably only because Grassley has the R after his name. Habit and name recognition rule too many people's voting choices. And hey, Chuckie has been a Senator for 43 flippin' years...that is 8--count 'em EIGHT!!!--terms as Senator.

I don't particularly give a damn about his age, but 8 terms as Senator is more than time and far past to step aside and give the next generation a stab at helping run the government FOR THE PEOPLE (well, if Repubbies ever do remember how to actually govern, of course). The doddering old white guy has long been fossilized in his patriarchal, partisan thinking.

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"so many basic needs remain obsceinely epensive.." Please give some concrete examples.

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Child care, health care, education...need more?

OK. The cost of "living" in today's world. Add up internet (and cable if you still have it) cell service, electricity, water, heating and cooling, car repair - that's just to function.

And if you have a kid or two, they could stay home and wear rags - or they would participate in sports, grow out of their clothes in days, maybe have some special healthcare needs...

Oh, there I go again, rattling on about the healthcare that costs us twice as much as other developed nations - healthcare if you can find a doctor who isn't booked out for several months. We are being robbed. But we are "exceptional Americans".

https://billalstrom.substack.com/p/suffering-for-profits

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Fortunately I have very good healthcare insurance, however that company just reimbursed my retina specialist practice the Full amount billed over $10k!! The appointment took less than a cumulative hour of the practice time! The lions share of the cost is the medicine injected into my eye to hold macula degeneration in check.

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I am pleased for you. And I wish you well with your eyesight.

I have a question that can't be answered. Who was the evil person who originally said that for purposes of health insurance - your eyes, your ears and your teeth were not part of our bodies - not part of our "health". It occurs to me that if I can't chew, my health will suffer. If I can't hear, I would have trouble finding the job I need. If I can't see...

Who devised this diabolical device?

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The American Medical Association, 1930's.

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Suspect better lobbyists.

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Answer to your good Q, Bill, may be in biology as molecular only.

Most U.S. schools stress molecular models only in biology for the same reason most K-12 lets standardized testing order all teaching priorities.

See, Bill, it's a matter of seeing life as numbers and categories only.

I'm guessing the health and insurance industries leave out eyes, ears, and teeth as parts of the body because those things aren't as treatable by pills as are the other parts of the body. And pills are key to the molecular view of life, where everything -- everything -- is incremental. Just add more bits of this, bits of that -- more molecules, more pills, more profits for Big Pharma.

Standardized testing just doubles down on that view of life.

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Makes sense. You aren't suggesting that profits have been more important than the health of our citizens...oh no, say it isn't so!

Check out my latest substack to see how I feel. In a word? Outraged.

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NO SH-T! I ask this question repeatedly!

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I hope the injection works Louis!

I receive injections hopefully every 8 weeks in my eyes to the tune of 2,500 each cycle. Without these injections I blink non stop due a neuro problem known as blepharaspsams. I am currently on a 12 week cycle and fighting with insurance companies for injections every eight weeks. Otherwise I am losing about 4 months a year blinking!

I need to keep working to afford the real estate taxs that skyrocketed!

Best of luck Louis!

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Working two minimum wage jobs keeps you poor.

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Yes, Bill! Add housing to the list. The numbers of homeless families has increased in lockstep with rent increases, while TANF (previously AFDC) did not increase by a dime in 25 years.

BTW, that was possible because President Clinton’s “Welfare Reform” converted what had been an entitlement income supplement for the poorest families into a block grant program. This allowed states to spend the federal money on drug testing and parenting classes rather than cash that paid the rent.

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Our electricity ⚡️ bill went up 18% this month.

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Randall, did your price per killowatt hour increase 18% or did your power usage increase due to the winter weather thus increasing your monthly bill? We live in "the middle of nowhere" in the rural northern Arkansas Ozarks. Our power is provided by a member-owned rural electric cooperative. We pay 10 cents per killowatt hour for the first 500 hours used and then 8 cents per kilowatt for the usage above that. Because those who are served by the co-op are also the owners we do not pay inflated rates to provide profits to shareholders.

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Damn, cheating those greedy bastards, good for you. Ditch them and do it yourself. Good for you.

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The winter rates on electricity here in Connecticut are tough. My electric bills thru November were under $60. In December, it was $95. In January, $135. I keep my thermostat at 62°.

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We live in a condo in MA. Gas heat.

January electric bill just landed $332

July was $532

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Wow. Just ... wow.

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Between this, a big bump in RE taxes (cost of school system health insurance and SPED) and our auto insurance hike, we are getting priced out of life.

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WHAT! I live in MA and my utilities are kinda affordable.

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I live in CT too and I paid under $70. Use less pay less.

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By the way, I like your avatar photo!

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You did see the part where the thermostat is set at 62, right? It's an apartment with all electric heat. You may have a different supplier, too. Good for you! I never switched from Eversource. :-)

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I see. Electric heating I guess costs more. And thank you on my avatar and yours, too.

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My bill didn't change much but someone in this area received a bill from PG&E for >$950 for one month! The PUC approvef that increase!

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So do we need a PUD or something other than PGE?

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Randall, here in far northern CA I’m awaiting my PG&E bill…an PUC approved rate hike (what were they thinking?) is slated to go into effect w/ hefty increases expected. PG&E for all their profits have not been good caretakers of their infrastructure & have been held liable for deadly & costly BIG fires. I, too, would like to see our utilities be publicly held, with hawk-eyed oversight. Sure, the management and on-the-ground workers should be paid decently and have decent benefits as well (a “good” job), but w/o the massive profits going to shareholders instead.

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Perhaps Finland should govern the US. Not joking.

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That's a winter usage rate. Not inflation. Jeez. I don't pay anything for electric where I live. By far the highest expense is food since I don't cook much and delivery is expensive.

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I do cook and a price shop. One of my healthy choices is making my own black bean burgers using dry beans and brown rice including lots of fixings. My patties cost per unit about .13 cents per burger. Opps, inflation must have sent the price sky high to .15 cents per burger.

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I do same! Much tastier too!

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OK, Bill, now I’m hungry!

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For you, I will only charge $5.00 a burger. Because you’re hungry. As a tire salesman once responded to my gasp when he told me their tire prices, “…You know I gotta eat steak.” I didn’t buy his tires. Wrong thing to say to a guy who loves cows.

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Housing costs, especially for rental housing. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, rent increases have been outpacing income gains. "Median rents have risen nearly continuously since 2001 in inflation-adjusted terms and are 21 percent higher as of 2022. Meanwhile, renters’ incomes have risen just 2 percent during the same period." The number of cost-burdened renters in the U.S. - households that pay more than 30% of their income for rent and utilities - is at a record high 22.4 million. More than 12 million renter households have housing costs that consume more than HALF of their income. Needless to say, this leaves little left over for food, transportation, and other basic needs.

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Butter at 14 dollars per pound.

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I live in the most expensive city in the US, San Francisco, CA and I have NEVER paid $14 for butter. I buy the most expensive brand and just paid $6.69 for a pound of Danish Creamery my preferred brand.

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Nicole, I LOVE Danish Creamery!

(Sorry, off topic. :)

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I stock up when it's in stock. It's the best and the only one that I've found that wraps each quarter in paper backed foil. Keeps it fresh! Never, ever paid $14.00 for Horizon brand organic. 😕

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Me either.

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In fairness, Nicole, the price of groceries in San Francisco has relatively little to do with why San Francisco is the most expensive city in the US.

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Sad to say, the renowned Fairway market in NYC has been charging $14 for Horizon organic butter and about $7 for non-organic. Not sure why. Probably a northeast problem.

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Average Price: Butter, Stick (Cost per Pound/453.6 Grams) in U.S. City Average (APU0000FS1101)

Dec 2023: 4.505

Nov 2023: 4.520

Oct 2023: 4.550

Sep 2023: 4.407

Aug 2023: 4.411

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Good "concrete examples", Janet!

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Go vegan, ditch dairy!

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Week of January 22-> 2024

CME GROUP CASH MARKETS (1/26)

BUTTER: Grade AA closed at $2.7600. The weekly average for Grade AA is $2.6230 (+0.0586).

CHEESE: Barrels closed at $1.4700 and 40# blocks at $1.5375. The weekly average for barrels is $1.4590 (-0.0023) and blocks, $1.5120 (+0.0295).

NONFAT DRY MILK: Grade A closed at $1.2200. The weekly average for Grade A is $1.1960 (+0.0091).

DRY WHEY: Extra grade dry whey closed at $0.4425. The weekly average for dry whey is $0.4380 (+0.0249).

BUTTER HIGHLIGHTS: Retail demand is steady, aside from winter storm activity negatively impacting demand in some northwestern parts of the West region. Food service demand across the nation is mixed. Harsh snow and ice storms in the West have lightened buyer activity in the region. Food service demand is reported as increasing slightly in the East region. Bulk butter demand is steady. Cream loads are readily available. However, butter production is mixed throughout the country. Some butter makers in the Pacific Northwest have contended with power losses and transportation difficulties from harsh winter weather. Some stakeholders note tight unsalted butter availability. That said, current salted and unsalted inventory levels are sufficient to meet most immediate buyer needs. Bulk butter overages range from 1 to 8 cents above market, across all regions.

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Where? My organic butter costs <$4.00 per pound.

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Agreed. I have been paying $3.99/pound for their butter at Trader Joe's for years. Organic butter at Wegmans is $4,29/lb. That price hasn't fluctuated in probably 10 years.

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I just paid $4 for a pound of butter.

Maybe you should shop somewhere else?

Or are you exaggerating?

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It is a fact of life in NYC.

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Lucerne European Style Salted Butter - 8 Oz

($0.46 / Ounce)

4.786 Reviews

Your Price$3.69 each/ each at a QFC store

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Horizon organic butter is still $14 where I shop. Dairy prices in general inflated far more than needed to maintain normal cut-throat, minimally taxed profits.

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Horizon butter is $8.08 a pound here in San Francisco. I don't know where you shop or where you live but I call BS on your claim. I personally don't like that brand which is why I pay $6.69 a pound. Again the MOST expensive city in the entire US. As for inflation? It has been documented to be under control and since I live in the most expensive city, I wouldn't say it if it weren't true. You are conflating and that is not useful.

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$7.57 at my local Walmart! Just checked.

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Why 'call BS' on my claim? Give me a little credit; why would I lie to you? Fairway market in NYC has been charging $14 a pound for Horizon organic butter for over a year. Not sure why. Prices might be lower now; I've been buying other brands.

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Sadly, the proportion of that $14 that goes to the dairy farmer is minimal.

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You are probably right.

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Clover unsalted butter is on sale at Lunardi's just outside San Francisco (San Bruno) for 6.69 a lb. Usually 9.99. I love Clover because it is locally owned. Never have I see any brand at 14.00.

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Things are different in NYC.

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Who are you kidding? And what fool would buy it. Use your head. Or are you just trolling?

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Not kidding. Fairway market, among others in NYC. have been charging$14 a pound for Horizon organic butter. Of course I've been buying other brands, non-organic. And by the way, Linda, think twice before calling someone a troll or a fool.

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I'm glad my grandson is finally potty trained. We bought a lot of diapers. I'm pissed off about garbage bags. Hefty and Glad bags are such crap. I was filing a bag with paper and it ripped. Paper? So I took a picture and sent a lovely email to these two companies. There answer is to buy their more expensive bags...$11.36 for a box of 20.

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Go to Costco.

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I used to when the kids were around. Now, it's just too much stuff. I'll never use it all. I'm trying to use and buy less products.

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