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And yet. Democracy continues to prevail. Good and fair laws are being passed. The fake election extremists were soundly defeated in the 2022 midterms. Our President let the World know who's in charge. We are in wildly better shape than we were in 2017-2020. What the grim parts of the past teaches is that there is nothing new that is occurring today that can't be overcome. For hundreds of years Democracy keeps prevailing.

Walking around frightened is no way to persevere. I refuse to do that.

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"Walking around frightened is no way to persevere. I refuse to do that."

Walking around angry without many tools to fight back now that the Republicans own the media narrative is my problem. Not being frightened.

Where Republican lies, deceit, corruption, money grubbing, groveling, and BS are relevant, I am just angry.

I read a post a couple of days back about how Reagan's 8 years was filled with economic growth. What a lie.

I graduated in 1982 and 2/3 of my engineering class could not get jobs because of the Reagan recession that went on from 1981 to 1987. How is that economic growth? How is leaving behind a $5 Trillion dollar deficit in today's dollars after 8 years of Reagan "fiscal responsibility"?

Seriously, people "believe" all that stuff Republicans have been shoveling out for 40 years. Belief is more powerful than truth.

So, I am PO'd most of the time around a Republican. Not fearful.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

Mike, I'm with you - not frightened, but angry that this farce continues. Probably the worst of it concerns the packing of the Supreme Court with uber conservative idealogues, who are making it impossible for sane people to challenge the manipulation of our laws that favor the suppression of voters and enable the advent of authoritarian rule. We have a fight on our hands, and despite Biden's impressive work and the results of the '22 election keeping the barbarians somewhat at bay, we must keep working - we're by no means out of the woods yet.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

Anger is ENERGY! Focus it on one thing YOU can do to make a difference. Yes, every one of us needs to take what we learn here and translate it into action, no matter how small. That's how democracy wins.

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Yes we here need to act. But so do Schummer et al. Writing letters like Schummer did is like waving a feather at a charging elephant. Won’t work. Where are the folks LOUDLY calling out the lies??? Biden is trying to voice things calmly as in pointing out the train wreck is the result of weak regulations. But that isn’t strong enough. I get tired of feeling that the GOP owns the narrative

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I could not agree with you more. Where is the outrage from the left? I love your analogy. Thank you!

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Me too. We have to take the bullhorn away from the bullies. Creeps like Carlson and McCarthy wouldn't last five minutes in an authoritarian regime. That said, I'm going to write to my congress people and write some more register to vote postcards with Seniors Taking Action.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

President Biden is plainly saying what needs to be said. He is not being forcefully echoed by people in the house, senate, and his administration. This is what happened to President Obama. We Democrats left him out to dry. As individuals, each one of us has to put our voices out there as a chorus behind our president. I'm telling myself that, really. Time to write a letter. We even have back-up references which are so helpfully produced by Ms Richardson and Ms. Vance. I will continue to write "postcards to voters". Please check it out. It is a tactic that is working to bring Democrats out to vote. postcardstovoters.org

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Nonsense. The GOP doesn't own shit.

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Corporate America owns our shit now.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

Fear, Outrage, Anger….You name it, but Lethargy on the Left is a Lousy and Losing Legacy that we cannot afford to pass on to our nation’s future.

Lethargy is Lethal. Take a hint from Joe. He painted the Republicans into a corner on Social Security and Medicare. On national television. To a huge audience.

Yes, MaryPat, we must focus whatever emotions we are feeling and take action. Again, Lethargy is (will be) Lethal.

The first thing I would eliminate is the Biden Is Too Old BS. Why?

1.) The Republicans are afraid of Joe Biden. THEY want a weakened Joe Biden. Why would the Democrats help the Republicans weaken him?

2.) His brain, his ideas, his interpersonal relationships (at home and, especially, abroad) are strong. Geezzz - he just visited Ukraine with air raid signals going off. Imagine Ron DeSanctimonious or the Trumpster taking a 10 hour train ride from Poland. Trump would only do that if the RR potty had gold-plated toilet seats.

3.) He has proven record of success - legislatively, electorally, and internationally. C’mon, man….BRAG A LITTLE, huh?

4.) Our Founders had found a solution for Presidential Succession - right from our Founding. C’mon, man…. And I love the growing (and apparent) upgrading of Vice President Harris. The Munich Security Conference was a Big F-ing Deal, man…C’mon.

Hey, I’m going to add LAUGHTER - unabashed LAUGHTER as a recommended emotion and maybe let LAUGHTER let Fear, Anger, Depression, and Emptiness (FADE, get it) disappear from our democracy.

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YES!!!

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Let’s have LAUGHTER Radio/TV replace HATE Radio/TV. Yes, hate is a strong emotion, but laughter, joy, celebration is so much more uplifting. Todays Borowitz Report:

Fox News Announces Acquisition of Kevin McCarthy

Rupert Murdoch said that he was “delighted” by the purchase of McCarthy and noted that Fox had snapped him up at an attractively low price.

By Andy Borowitz

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Thank you!

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Amen, Paul. Amen.

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Speaking of focusing on what you can do to make a difference:

Democratic Senator Jon Tester announced last night on Lawrence O'Donnell's show that he has decided to run again for his senate seat in Montana.

As most of you probably know, Tester is a sort of miracle politican being elected twice as a Democrat in heavily Republican Montana.

O'Donnell made it clear we need to keep Tester in office to keep the Democratic majority in the Senate. It's more important now than ever and this race is supposed to be highly competitive as Republicans push to gain control of the Senate in 2024!

I don't live in Montana, but when Senator Tester requested contributions, I contributed what I could to his campaign. He's a good guy and we need him to stay in office.

If you are able, please donate whatever you can by logging onto his website at https://www.jontester.com/

Thank you very much!

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Done. Thank You. I really respect his work in the Senate (and on his farm)!

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Thank you! Yes, he's a real down to earth, "what you see is what you get," honest, nice and hardworking man.

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I have done it with your prompting!

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Thank you very much!

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It takes being FRIGHTENED for many people to become ANGRY enough to use their ENERGY to challenge and defeat the forces poised against democracy in our nation. Until such FRIGHT seizes them and they see the parallels with how totalitarian governments have come to power elsewhere, many Americans will sit on their butts and do nothing. The Republican right-wing can motivate them to get off their butts by FRIGHTENING Americans into doing so.

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Jack, I'll take fright over apathy any day of the week, if it motivates action.

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I agree, and I'm doing that.

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Agreed. We have to work together to overcome all of this baloney. There are so many really good ideas out there for making our country (and our world) more just and balanced. I'm tired of hearing more bs coming from the guys with the bullhorn.

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Nancy. Packing the court was brilliant.

That is the one entity in our government completely sans oversight or democracy.

Controlling the Supreme Court is real power.

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I'll have to admit to hoping all of that anger displayed in Alito and Thomas will cause them to implode and necessitate their vacating their cushy lifetime positions so that they can be replaced by candidates who have souls and morals. Besides, wouldn't it be lovely if Clarence could spend more "at home" time with his lovely wife? They're such a well-matched couple.

Back here in reality, what could Obama have done to outsmart the Grim Reaper in his masterful chess move with Merrick Garland, and could he have persuaded RBG to retire when her health began to fail? Was there any remedy?

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

I am hoping that Thomas will retire soon with his wife in their joint cell.

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Now I'd buy tickets to that. What a toxic pair they are. I read the other day that Clarence considered entering the priesthood years ago. Imagine the damage he could have done there!

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Mike S. We’re about the same age. I clearly recall before Reagan I was looking at good job opportunities. After Reagan, they dried up. It was a disaster those years. Whenever I hear, “Reagan was a good president” I usually reply with, “Only if you’re a rich, white guy”. I remember my father being so upset with Reagan’s policies. He was upper management with USS and voted for Reagan. He was flabbergasted by what came with corporate raiding, tearing apart good, solvent small companies. Stealing employee’s pensions and selling the business for scrap. Then USS started making steel overseas. My uncle, a Col. in the USAF, and working in D.C. told dad, “Reagan is selling us off to the cheapest supplier of substandard steel, goods, and lining his donor’s pockets”. Reagan and his cronies ruined us. I blame Gerald Ford for pardoning Nixon. Had he been indicted, Republicans wouldn’t have been so emboldened as to continue to commit crimes they’ll never, at this point be held accountable. It’s lead to insurrection fomenting, illegitimate POTUS. With seditious members of Congress still holding seats.

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That those members of congress are still holding seats (and were reelected to boot) infuriates me.

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Reagan’s people knew exactly what they were doing and that their economic “policies” were not going to work but they didn’t care because they wouldn’t be around to deal with the mess they were creating. And now here we are.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

Karen.

Correct on all. Reagan actually sponsored the demise of an America that took 50 years to build after the last Republican fiasco. The Great Depression.

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Reagan was a kinder gentler Barry Goldwater. That he has (falsely) gone down as a great president is a large part of the reason we are where we are.

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He was after all a good “B” actor.

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An excellent summary of what St. Ray Gun did. How I despised that guy. By the time he was president, I had a job. But I can remember students crying (including the one I mentioned above) because the school budget took forever to pass.

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Everything you’ve said is very true. I wish it weren’t but it is. All of this has been boiling a long time with a lot of witches stirring(sorry Witches, I’m going for the Shakespearean analogy here)the pot.

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This has become the Christian National Party , they are RINO. In Mt the Legislature is proposing a bill to make it a crime for anyone who donates blood who has had the Covid vaccine, just one among many CNP bills. The house representative posted a happy lent on his fb page. When I pointed out that it belonged on his personal page, separation of church & state, condemnation rained down. So many stated that we are a christian nation. Just amazing living here where it is so in your face.

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Good for you for addressing separation of church and state to your rep! If we all continue to make a point of this basic tenet of our country, which is crucial to our survival as a democracy, perhaps some people will begin to think about how important it is. Then again, perhaps not. But we cannot give up bringing it to their attention.

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It is a basic tenet of the Enlightenment - of the 18th century when our Forefathers “brought forth on this continent a new Nation, conceived in Liberty...” which requires leaving the Middle Ages (superstition, burning witches, auto-da-fe, etc.) behind. Liberal Education, neglected for immersion in science, needs to be revived across America. It’s what universities are supposed to be about STILL! It’s how we got to be who we are. The ignorance of those who cannot hear the word “liberal” is sad at the same time as it is appalling. Autocracy will bring grief to all of US.

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I marched for Science.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_for_Science

I think the “new age of denialism upon us” has created the need for a science activists advocating for progress in our search for truths.

https://amp.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/03/denialism-what-drives-people-to-reject-the-truth

We need all of it. Education and more education. Less TikTok. Less mindless video games. More engagement in conversation. More knowledge of our brain and its vulnerabilities and how to ensure good health. I’m more worried about the push for job training erasing public liberal education than Science!

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Agreed. I’m happy with science as part of the liberal arts as math is. But when it becomes job training, it loses its roots. What if we taught classics again for “grounding”?

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

Thank you for this. I could not agree more. The Guardian article is quite profound.

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“neglected for immersion in science” seems not to have produced a large enough population who understand and respect science as a means of getting to the truth. STEM may be relatively new to show much effect, but whatever it replaced has not fostered significant scientific literacy in this country.

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I learned from someone in one of these blogs about a group called Faithful America which is a ecumenical group pushing back against White Nationalism and the Christian Right. They have lots of good petitions to sign if anyone wants to check them out.

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Thank you, Susan, for the information.

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I am SO SORRY this is occurring.

Covid and other vaccines are in fact miracles.

Sometimes I think these people want others to die.

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I think you have touched an essential factor of the right wing movement. We are all expendable other than themselves. It's a factor of authoritarianism. Note how Putin's ruthless war kills civilians and children without mercy. I think this belief is being passed along the dark internet to self-authorize mass murderers and mayhem. When women (as in the incel movement, anti-abortion crusade, and domestic assaults,) and BIPOC are considered expendable, then it's all in the righteous cause of establishing white male christian supremacy. BS!

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And now GOP Congress members are not just championing deaths of the elderly because of Covid. News to me from today’s letter is the championing of deaths due to child abuse. It’s no wonder we’re all numb. How many times do we vomit due to their despicable revelations before we become as despicable ourselves. I really want to leave my vomit all over the front steps of David Eastman. 🤮

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Very dark, but unfortunately true. Hard to go there because it is so hard to comprehend,

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Oh, they do. With COVID, however, I think that has backfired on them as many of them have passed on, some in denial to the bitter end. I am really appalled by the legislator in Alaska who wants to save money around abused children. Something is truly wrong with this guy. But then there is one of my ex-students who calls fairly frequently to talk. She loathes Rs, but in the course of our last conversation, she basically told me that old people should just die....and I will be 80 in less than two months. Her mother is older than I am. I know her comments were about population to a degree, but talk about tone deaf.

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"Stupidity kills, but not fast enough." The problem with that is that it has the power to take a lot of the rest of us out as well.

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I could not understand this. Shocked me, until I learned that, often, the belief driving vaccine aversion is, as I understand it, that these "vaccines contain aborted fetal tissue". IF anyone else has been similarly perplexed by this dumbfounding anti science stance, here's a helpful fact sheet: https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/you-asked-we-answered-do-the-covid-19-vaccines-contain-aborted-fetal-cells

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They do. See Alaska State Rep. Eastman’s comment.

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He apparently doesn't understand what Lent is.

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HAPPY?? LENT??? That's like wishing someone a "Happy Good Friday", or a "Happy Memorial Day". These are not "happy" occasions! I guess I need to remember to "be happy" as I'm wearing my sackcloth and dining on locusts and honey...

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Like saying : Happy Crucifixion observance month!...Happy Dying for your Sins Month, Happy smearing ashes on your forehead to remind yourself of your sinfulness Month. Happy Stations of the Cross Month! Oh my that hit me too!

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It reflects the rampant ignorance within the Christian community, most often among the more fundamentalist/evangelical branches, of other denominations that are more liturgically based. They (the evangelicals, et al) are about nothing but praise, praise, praise ALL the time, which is why we tend to call them the "happy clappies"....bless their hearts.

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Carole.

A real problem is that belief is so, so much more powerful and sustainable than truth.

Truth is work. You have to gather info, analyze critically, fact check, confirm. I mean. Truth is work.

Belief on the other hand is effortless. No proof. No evidence. No critical uncomfortable thinking. Not even a need to read.

Just believe the white man at the front of the church standing in the podium making it up as he goes.

It is why Fox News is so powerful. They sell belief wrapped in hate served on a platter of demonization.

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Well said, Mike!! From both of us here, since i read it aloud to hubs.

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Maybe they should label blood as leaded or unleaded, so to speak so people can choose whatever kind of blood they want: red, green, purple, cat lover, dog lover, so long as they accept the consequences of their decision.

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Thanks for making this distinction, Carole. This helps me understand the nature of the absurdities. Using the word Christian in this case, is, of course, the antithesis of Christianity. It's enough to put me off religion all together.

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I find myself paraphrasing Mahatma Gandhi; I like your Christ, but not your Christians, they are so unlike Christ. Personally, I feel the judgement they heap upon others is projection. I loathe televangelists and false prophesying. Their followers are being taught to hate anyone they relegate as “different” in many ways. I respect peoples constitutional right to practice their beliefs without interference from the government, but when you have them funding politicians, it’s time to tax them as a corporation.

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Applause!!! Thank you, Karen!!

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Christian Nationalist Party happening right out in the open. This is a party and movement that started centuries ago, different names, same reason for being, goals. When it’s fired up will it be one more Inquisition in our historical timeline? A Democracy isn’t a Democracy with party factions that eliminate or exclude groups of citizens, residents, immigrants who do not match the profile. If I were younger I would leave. My grandkids aren’t Jewish like me. But remember that Nazi rule about a drop of blood. Actually it started in our country. What made Human Beings white? I would like to cry. But there’s too much that makes me cry in our world, our free country with the Statue of Liberty that welcomed my grandparents to America after they escaped Ukrainian terror. .

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Thank you Mike S. Same here.

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I’ve been fighting a post Covid syndrome for a few weeks that includes waking up nauseous. This morning I woke up feeling pretty good. Then I read HCR’s excellent newsletter and the nausea returned. Hard to tell anymore how much what my body feels is Covid and how much is my disgust at Republican bald-faced lies and hypocrisy.

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Same here, but my COVID gift is 3 a.m. anxiety, when the only activity available is reading HCR, and Steve Schmidt, and ... Think I will start putting the comics on my bedside stand instead of my smart phone.

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Knock on wood, I haven't had COVID, but I too have the "gift" of anxiety- it is probably the "gift" of being informed and educated, having empathy, and then frustrated anger because we are in a Hitchcock movie and they were terrifying because the viewer knows what is happening, what is going to happen, and is essentially helpless to stop it!

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I had COVID.

It was like a high school fist fight that you start into confident and exit all beat up.

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I was never in a fist fight, but I do think that, after 3 years of escaping Covid and following all CDC guidelines, I was feeling pretty confident. Then, on the day before a long awaited knee replacement surgery, I turned up positive. That was in January, and I still feel pretty beat up. Surgery postponed twice. It seems the rest of the country has moved on, too, which really stinks.

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That's where my Hallmark Movies and Mysteries sometimes fits the bill, especially Rip in Time, a time travel fantasy of Rip Van Winkle II showing up on his family farm....in 2022!!! I don't say that out loud too often.....

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

Existential anxiety is an interesting subject. Once I put the reading down, I turn to comedians...Steven Colbert, John Stuart, Seth Meyers and they give me the chance to laugh at the insanity of it all. Adding to that mix, I've found a little Zentangling (for some odd reason, lol, I'm sure the latter will one day be explained by some deeper psychological anxiety but "it do do the job"!) Notebook and pens by the bedside always.

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Sounds good. I'm just back from my first session of botanical painting. Looking carefully at a beautiful plant and trying to make a painting of it for three solid hours is an excellent way to refresh and reboot.

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If there is a good part to post acute Covid syndrome (and there isn’t), it’s that my body is so exhausted, I never wake up early anymore. Sorry about your “gift,” MaryPat. I am starting on a second round of prednisone today.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

I also was gifted with "memory gapping" but I am very happy to report that that has improved considerably in the past 2 months. Wait. Was it at Thanksgiving? No, surely after that...

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Hugs and all the best!!

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And, YouTube DryBar Comedy . . . :)

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That would be a good move.

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Hope your symptoms go away soon and you are feeling better.

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I feel the same - physically ill and in pain.

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You are simply not afraid, Michael. That’s why you are mad. And rightly so. I would be much more at ease taking McCarthy’s and Carlson’s punk asses to the woodshed for a damn good whuppin’. First,line them up behind DeSantis.

Remember the words of Ogden Nash….

“The door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly.”

We keep the pressure on. All of our hands are on that door closing it. Snugly. I affirm this every day. I am not afraid of the bigoted, racist, ignorant punks.

Salud, Mike!

🗽

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 24, 2023

Salud as well and thank you.

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Graduated in December 1981 with a BS in Finance. It took until 4 months after graduation before I started. No one was coming to campus to recruit.

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Pat, I graduated in 1983, BBA in Finance, and it took me four months as well, which also required relocating from the Midwest to the East Coast. Four increasingly desperate months. And I graduated with honors from the number two business school in the country.

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I graduated in 1968 and new I would be employed upon graduation for the previous four years😳

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I had to relocate from PA to TX and wasn't very happy about that.

"increasingly desperate months." I get it! I had no idea where I was going to live or how I would eat. My mom threatened to start charging me rent. With what money, I asked.

She was a new widow and was at her rope's end, too.

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I was so lucky that I had an uncle in DC who let me stay with him until I found my feet.

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And all your credit cards were at 18% interest.

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I remember an acquaintance, fresh out of his PHD program, driving a cab to make ends meet. Jobs were not easy to come by for certain sectors.

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Yeah my feelings exactly Mike - and nobody PO's me more than McCarthy. He is a dangerous person right now - vey dangerous. This formula of creating one's own reality and then selling it to the media with lie after lie after lie, repeat after repeat after repeat - it is so obvious to the astute pragmatic viewer yet it seems to work all too well. We are witnessing one of the most deplorable political scenes in our history I think, and Trump unleashed it all. Reagan too in his own way. We progressives have our work cut out for us.

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With AM radio locked down by nuts and cable locked in with Fox we do have a real problem.

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What I remember about Reagan was how fast the common sense policies of Clinton cleaned up the Reagan mess and brought us back to prosperity.

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I graduated in '81 and it took 4 years to find employment in my field of study.

Sincerely held beliefs are indeed stronger than any truth can ever be.

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I agree. Beliefs are how we define ourselves and we get very attached to that (unless we’re willing to question that…it seems very few are). That’s why people are so willing to kill or die to defend them. They think they are defending their self. Truth is open to discussion and investigation. To be open to questioning anything is to have an identity that is separate from beliefs and feelings and thoughts.

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Yes!

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Maybe…

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

Mike, I agree. I'm not frightened. I'm angry. I'm disappointed.

I refuse to Pollyanna our current situation because it's not how I want it to be. Call me a realist. I am.

I know you are as well.

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Correct. Recognizing a real threat is appropriate.

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Yes Mike Believe at your own peril! Faux will protect their own complicity. Wondering how much tucker will benefit.

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I was registered Republican when Reagan ran for president. My idea was as a Republican I could vote in the primaries to select a better Republican nominee. Also, I had some libertarian tendencies at the time(but I am now cured). I never voted for that mean dolt Reagan and I changed my Registration to Democrat. As naive as I was then I was able to see what a disaster Reagan and the Republican cult was. Thank you so much for your eloquently expressed comments. Jay

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Exactly! And, how so many of us feel. "Walking around angry without many tools to fight back now that the Republicans own the media narrative is my problem. Not being frightened."

And, the words of Peter Finch as Howard Beale in the 1976 movie "Network" resonate as loudly today as they did 47 years ago. "I'm Mad As Hell and I'm Not Gonna Take This Anymore!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRuS3dxKK9U

Of course, it still is all about the news ratings and unfortunately-the last line in the film: "This was the story of Howard Beale: The first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings."

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Anddo't forget the debt pil up during trump's term,

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And by spreading the idea that the media is a monolith and it's all republican, you are spreading bot propaganda that is intended to make us lose energy and quit.

1) you're wrong, and 2) it may feel self righteous and good to you, but that does harm. Check out other news sources, they aren't ALL the same, and for heavens sake, look in the mirror for the problem.

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You put that really well. Thank you.

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This simply is not the case. When confronted with a real attack on the nation, duplicitous, America First, Nazi sympathizers slunk silently back into the dark. Now, with Russia threatening Europe as they did in 1939, Republicans lead by “Speaker Carlson” are in open support of Putin, using his tslking points to influence a large minority of heavily armed, angry, racist white men who have all ready begun to violently assault government employees and facilities.

Saying it isn’t happening doesn’t make it so.

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Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

– John Adams, Argument in Defense of the British Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials, Dec. 4, 1770.

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They were losers then and they’re losers now. The sky is not falling.

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They only start to care when death strikes close to home. Death is ok for other families, especially outside the neighborhood.

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"...extremist capitalism" SPOT ON!!

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Great reframe, but the truth is that the evil has metastasized in ways that keep upping the ante. The MSM and their both sides Schitt, are no match for the practiced propaganda of the Goebbels ilk.

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And goodness keeps rising to meet the challenge. I use President Biden and his brilliant speech in Poland, his mesmerizing visit to Ukraine, his resounding SCOTUS performance, his transforming Infrastructure Bill, etc etc. You and I both know Jeri that we have risen from the terror and death of the trump years and have accomplished amazing things in the 2018, 2020 and 2022 elections. We continue to thrust and parry and prevail with every single evil thing the malignant right throws at us.

I wish everyone a good day. I've made my point twice and don't see any reason to keep at it. If people want to believe in the other view I respect that.

Shanti

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I agree with you. The last elections are proof.

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Thanks, Barbara! Don't quit making your point. The words we speak make a difference. They change our feelings (and make it possible to sleep at night for one thing) and even our actions. I love your comment "We continue to thrust and parry and prevail with every single evil thing the malignant right throws at us."

We're in a fight and we have to be willing to fight back and quit bemoaning it, as Biden is doing, and as Zelensky and Ukraine are doing: David against Goliath and winning!

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Never stop, Barbara! I plan to hammer 🔨 the FACT there are seditionists seated in our House and Senate! I will not stop until they’ve been harshly dealt with. That has my productive anger flowing into what I hope becomes a river of discontent that washes them all away, never to have the chance again to try to turn us into a fascist nation.

I see hope in President Biden, statesmen like Jamie Ruskin, who I consider one of the most able, intelligent, formidable Congressmen we have and many others like him. I would list all my faves, but we know who they are. Hope is what keeps us working for a more perfect Union. I will not be cowed into accepting this wickedness as normal. Ever.

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There are “good” folks working mightily to overcome Republican dysfunction. Yes. At this point I am one of them.

One method is to recognize the dangers that they offer, speak to it and work to turn through various methods. Get on your library board to insure quality reading at public library. Etc.

Recognizing the Republican threat and acting, is, I guess, a form of believing in them.

But. Republican “policy” as a threat is also a provable reality as well.

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I agree with everything you have just said here Mike. Where I will part ways with anyone is when the hate and outrage and hopelessness kicks in.

Looks like there was a good debate today in Dr. Richardson's LFAA.

Have a good evening

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Always a pleasure Barbara.

😊

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Same here Mike.

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Shanti. Look toward the light. At least some of the time!

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One of the highlights of Biden’s visit to Ukraine is the date he chose, February 20. MSM refers to it as almost the one year anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Rachel Maddow seems to be the only one to point out that February 20 is the anniversary of the slaughter of 100 protesters (the Heavenly One Hundred) in the uprising that led to the ouster of president Yurokovich (sp?) and the democratic election of President Zelenskyy.

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I am a cautious optimist, but I also know things can and do go horribly wrong. There is plenty to worry about, but solidarity will always give us our best shot at putting it right.

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Interesting debate here. But I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

To Barbara M:

I say that we should indeed applaud the progress being made. There are many things to be grateful for - to celebrate and build on. Our President is behaving and leading in an exemplary manner. I am so proud of him and his team that sometimes I find tears in my eyes. Have we forgotten the "lost years" when a narcissistic devil creature claimed to be our leader? Barbara...thank you for keeping that and so much more perspective in mind.

To Mike S:

I hear you! Some days my anger is so powerful and I feel so helpless that I just need to scream. Sometimes I feel better. Sometimes my wife asks me: "are you OK?" My short term view is that we may have a chance at preserving some sense of democracy and decency in the US. But ultimately, in the long run, it won't matter because humans are destroying their home and slaughtering zillions of creatures that took millions of years to develop. It brings me to a furious rage daily. I am beyond pissed off. I am disgusted, disappointed and disillusioned. For part of the day.

I have found that limiting my time reading about the current political dramas and horrors is my therapy. There is still so much of life to be enjoyed. For me it's the simpler pleasures of a life with the girl of my dreams (and her amazing, entertaining huge family), our loyal doggie, growing good food, cooking yummy food, eating well and being grateful for it. Finding small ways to help others.

So I do both. I live a positive life and appreciate it. And I participate in the national rage against the Christo-Fascists monsters who threaten our precious existence. Walking, chewing. Enjoying, raging, helping, crying with anger, crying with appreciation... We can do both. We can do it all.

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I too at times feel the anger you describe. For me it is the powerless feeling that comes with the rage. I have been somewhat active all my life trying to move the ball forward in a positive manner only to end up in the middle of this poop storm. Lately I have no stomach for even my go to podcasts I usually listen to while at work. Sanity first these days. Like you I am grateful for all I have especially the pups and friends!

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I watch Biden clips when the news gets me down. He's got this.

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Thanks Bill, normalcy does revolve around normalcy and here’s to girls of our dreams come true. Life is good.

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Yup. That girl didn't join me until I was 50. But it was worth the wait. And I think I was finally worthy of her. 50 years of lessons.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

O lucky man.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

You and me Bill. And what James said.

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Hey Bill.

Nobody who has reasonable health is helpless!!!

So many ways to make a way. Look at Carter.

Find an org and cause and people and join in!

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I'm walking with you Bill. Your sentiments are mine as well.

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Barbara, Whereas ordinary people by the millions do not believe that the ruling class in this country is addressing their interests, they don’t believe in what goes on in Washington anymore, they question why they should believe in democracy when life expectancy in their communities is actually going down while billionaires become richer, I don’t suggest we “walk… around frightened,” nor do I advise we be complacent.

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Perfectly said.

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Mike, Thank you for your kind words.

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In researching, I came across a briefing by the Department of State to the foreign press that is rich in characterizing the polarization of American voters. The presentation, by a Senior Researcher for the Pew Research Center was made January 27, 2022. In addition, questions from the foreign press about the country’s gun policy, race, voting restrictions, etc., make this briefing worthwhile for citizens like us with strong interest in knowing who we are as a people and how that impacts the U.S. as a democracy. The following is an excerpt. A link at the end of this comment affords the opportunity to read the briefing in full.

‘UNDERSANDING THE AMERICAN VOTER IN 2022’, a presentation by the U.S. Department of State’

‘Foreign Press Centers’ 2022 Midterm Elections Series, this briefing helps journalists understand the unique demographic factors and voting blocs in the American electorate today. The briefing also explores key findings from Pew Research Center‘s recently released 2021 political typology report, which analyzes the diversity of views that exist within both Republican and Democratic partisan coalitions, and highlights the fact that many Americans do not fit easily into either one.  Briefer Bradley Jones, is a Senior Researcher for Pew Research Center where he primarily works on U.S. public opinion about politics.’

'So if you look here, this plot begins in 1881 and it goes up to 2021. And you can see the sort of widening gap, especially in the last 30 or 40 years, between the two political parties at the congressional level. They look very much the same in the Senate, where the distance between the average senator and the average – the average Republican senator, average Democratic senator has increased pretty substantially. And this plot just shows that distance now over time rather than the average positions.'

'And so over the last – since the 1950s really, there’s been a pretty steady divergence of the two parties in the United States, and that is certainly reflected in the public opinion data that we’re going to be looking at.'

'So when we’re talking about the public, like I say, we’ve seen this same pattern emerge. So these – what you’re looking at here are the distributions of an ideological score that we came up with based on ten items that sort of span a lot of different substantive areas in the United States. And you can see in 1994, when we first asked this question, there was actually – or asked these questions and came up with these measures, there’s actually a fair amount of overlap between the two parties. So you have many Republicans that are to the left of the average Democrat and the same thing on the other side where you have a fair number of Democrats that are actually to the right of the average Republican in 1994. Fast forward – the last time we did this in 2017, you see that there’s basically no – there’s very few people who remain to the right or the left of the average Republican and Democrat. So this slide sort of highlights that more clearly.'

'So in 2017, 97 percent of all Democrats were more liberal than the average Republican, and 95 percent of all Republicans were more conservative than the average Democrat. So these distributions have really separated over the last 30 years we’ve been tracking it, and it goes back, like I was showing you in that first couple of slides, even before that.'

'Another way to look at this is to compare the average difference across these groups by different demographic categories. So we’ve looked at the difference between men and women, for example, in this kind of gray line, and the difference between white people and black people in this darker line. And you can see over this time period there is very little difference. The gap hasn’t changed much when we look across these 10 different items.'

'So in 1994, the average difference between men and women was 9 points, with women being a little bit more likely to take liberal positions than men. And I should clarify also, given the international audience, in the U.S., right, when I say liberal I mean on the political left and conservative on the political right. And by the time we get to 2019, that gap has really not changed much. It’s increased a little bit to 11 points but not substantially.'

'We can look at the same thing across other categories. So religious attendance, education, age: people who attend church regularly versus those who don’t, people with a college degree versus those who don’t have a college degree, and people over 50 versus those 50 and under. And we can see across all of these different demographic categories there’s basically been no major trend in the differences in terms of their politics.'

'What has changed over this period is party. So when we look at the difference between Republicans and Democrats, in 1994 it wasn’t much different than if were looking at the difference between white people and black people. Today it stands apart as the main cleavage in American politics. There has been a real sorting of the two parties where Republicans have become – have adopted positions on the political right and Democrats have adopted positions on the political left. And part of that is changing their own views. Part of it is generational replacement. Part of it is people changing their party affiliation to match their views. But it all adds up to this – to partisanship becoming the single dominating factor in American politics.

This is just another way of looking at this across a range of different issues. So this – the data I was showing you before comes from our telephone surveys. We’ve basically discontinued our telephone surveys and moved to internet surveys, which I can talk about more if people are interested in, but we see the same thing when we look at that data. So across a range of different policy positions and issue areas, we see enormous gaps between Republicans and Democrats. Those gaps are largest in things like gun policy and racial attitudes and climate. They’re a little bit smaller when it comes to foreign policy and religious values. But across the board, we see big political differences between Republicans and Democrats in basically every policy area, and those differences dwarf differences by any other demographic category. So again, when we look at differences by race, religious attendance, or gender or age, partisan stands apart as the single most important cleavage in American politics.’ (USDepartmentofState) A link to the entire briefing is below.

https://www.state.gov/briefings-foreign-press-centers/understanding-the-american-voter-in-2022

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What is missing from this State Department briefing is any mention of asymmetric polarity. The right has shifted farther to the right than the left has shifted to the left. The partisan gap is not widening because people no longer distribute themselves across the political spectrum despite party affiliation, the partisan gap is widening because right wing policies have shifted so extremely far to the right that poles of the spectrum are to far to bridge.

It may also be worth examining the influence of media on observed polarization. Since the 1980s we have gone three major news networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) that all broadcast a commonly held view of reality to the current media environment characterized by two radically different views of reality: FOX/NewsMax/OANN on the "right" and CNN/MSNBC on the "left" ~ not to mention the profoundly polarizing effects of social media.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

'Asymmetric polarity', may or may not be the case. It is clearly an important possibility to look into. I believe that with some time and effort papers/reports, books, etc., will be found, which attempt to quantify whether and how asymmetric as well as about which end of the political spectrum has the scale tipped in favor of. Social media as well as urban, rural, and educational differences... there are other factors and factors in conjunction with one another other that are all part of the equation. Withal, G. Mark, the main conclusion of that briefing and other solid research indicates how deep and dangerous the partisan divide is.

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Yep. It's been over 150 years since members of the U.S. Congress have advocated a national "divorce" separating states the way MTG has proposed.

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Why do I doubt that she's the first politician in a 150 years to recommend divorce?

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The important point is the notion of "divorce" has been simmering on a back burner for over 150 years and has once again started to boil. And we have to deal with it, turn down the fire. Liz Cheney pipes in to put MTG in her place; Mitt Romney tells G. Santos he doesn't belong in Congress & to resign. I'm hoping more Republicans do likewise. And that enough voters understand what's going on and will vote Democrat.

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I said "...members of the U.S. Congress..."

Of course there have been many state politicians (usually minor, fringe politicians and groups) advocating secession in the last 150 years but I have yet to turn up an example of a U.S. Congressperson doing the same ~ until MTG.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

This cleavage was perfectly aimed and armed by The Family and The Koch Brothers and The Federalist Society and The Heritage Foundation and Putin and Murdoch and... We had lots of help slicing this country in two. Something CAN be done about it, beginning with eliminating the deceitfully named "Citizens United."

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FERN MCBRIDE (NYC) - "In researching, I came across a briefing by the Department of State to the foreign press that is rich in characterizing the polarization of American voters."

See also:https://tcinla757.substack.com/p/its-not-red-states-vs-blue-states?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

IT'S NOT RED STATES VS. BLUE STATES

"𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴 𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘯 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘱𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘶𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘫𝘰𝘣𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘕𝘈𝘍𝘛𝘈 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 90𝘴.

𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵, 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 (𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘭𝘺!) 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥, 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘷𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘴𝘤𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘢𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘮𝘱 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘩𝘦’𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘫𝘰𝘣𝘴. 𝘕𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵;"

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

Ron, I am a subscriber to TAFM and read TC's piece. It was amusing that it took a phone call in addition to his Canadian friend for TC to point to the rural - urban divide, which gets a good deal of print, digital and broadcast attention and has for the last couple of years. I mentioned it as well as a factor in my post this morning. It is an important factor, however, rural voters account for about 15 percent of American voters.

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FERN MCBRIDE (NYC) - "however, rural voters account for about 15 percent of American voters."

Ah, but if only that percentage held true in Congress and, more importantly, in the Electoral College.

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Partisan polarization is beyond our rural - urban borders. Voting reform, particularly, addressing the Electoral College has been crucial for a long time, however, given our partisan divide, how likely is it?

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Interesting. PBS Newshour showed a segment last night with 2 Pew Research analysts.

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Yet, the Election denying Insurrectionists are seated firmly inplace in the House. That is a fact that can't be spun.

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Firmly? They have a margin so small that they need to rely on George Santos. And they are split so badly they can't get anything done--leaving aside that the Senate is in Democratic (and democratic) hands.

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Jon, point being they were duly elected. I don't understand your denying the reality of the situation. They are playing to their base, loudly and are being heard. MTG kicked the shit out of her opponent. She didn't simply slid in by a few votes.

Matt Gaetz walked away from charges.

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Exactly. Like I say more and more and more of late…..

Yes. Things reported, congressional actions to subvert freedom, gun advocacy, misinformation, the effort to subvert public education and force christian nationalism into our schools…..all of it is scary. But Do Not Be Afraid.

That is how we persevere to wrest control from those that subvert to control us.

Salud, Barbara.

🗽

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Christine. Exactly. No fear. When we show fear, they win.

We must forge ahead, armed with facts and not afraid to use them.

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Facts win every time. If we're not using facts we will get sucked into the culture wars and those are fruitless and endless. We keep our heads. Being freaked out and outraged means they are winning.

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Barbara this is true. Always stay the course with facts and you dominate the conversation.

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Well said Christine. Thanks.

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I’m sorry to say this, but it is difficult not to feel some disbelief when people steadfastly insist to others that ‘“good” (umbrella term) has managed to prevail all this time…’

It implies that it will continue despite challenges. There IS truth in that, as there’s been evidence of goodness found in most all situations, but it fails to give a complete picture.

Of course there will be good, decency, democracy, etc., or some aspects of it remaining anyway. Like ‘good’, democracy too can be somewhat of a subjective word / concept. As a matter of fact, I read somewhere that countries can be peaceful and productive in both authoritarian and democratic countries, but problems generally occur when countries slide from one type to the other (as America currently is).

Unfortunately, being steadfast on democracy prevailing doesn’t take into consideration how difficult life may become for how many more people, or the nature of the hardships they face, while democracy is doing it’s best to prevail.

I don’t want you to not hold onto it if it helps you cope, but in my opinion, it can be as uncomfortable as those who steadfastly insist that “bad” will prevail. Just don’t feel too frustrated if people challenge it.

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Excellent and mature post. Thank you.

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The critical mass of conspirators insanity is mounting and our legal and media and systems are faltering.

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Barbara, thank you, I needed that reminder. I should never have read this edition while eating breakfast....my stomach is in a knot. It's starting to soften as I re-read your reminder of what I truly do believe. Love is stronger than hate; truth is stronger than lies; generosity is stronger than greed. It just takes a while sometimes to see this unfold....and to determine what is mine to do to support the process. Blessings,

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Thank You for your response Terry. After work today I read through the replies to my 2 comments. Doing a quick survey it looked like 2/3 supported the non-outrage, hopeful approach while others felt it necessary to employ outrage as part of activism.

I respectfully and humbly end with a quote from Anne Frank

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”

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You are welcome, Barbara, I didn't know this quote from Anne Franke. Thank you! I think If I had to pick between depression and outrage, I'd pick outrage. And I think if it's there, it must be felt. But I am completely convinced that for any action to have long term consequences, the energy of the outrage must evolve into fierce determination to act. Otherwise, the "other" will have to respond to the energy more than the content. Dr. King, "Hatred cannot drive out hatred; only love can do that." Blessings,

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Regarding my earlier reply:

I need to add that *some fear* is probably necessary as a catalyst to get the apathetic, lazy, and/or those who are typically disinterested in politics to participate in elections and voicing their wishes to our representatives in government. Just to be clear, I’m NOT talking about the unhelpful kind of fear which makes people think bad things are inevitable so why do anything or react unwisely. It would be unrealistic as sticking your head in the “and everyone will prevail happily ever after” cloud.

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Boy, did I need to read This!!!

Thank you Barbara!!! You just turned my Thinking

right around.

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THANK YOU! It’s all too easy to join the Chicken Little Caucus, which only plays into the hands of those who would do evil.

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Brighter perspective. Thx

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“Representative Barry Moore (R-AL) this week introduced a bill to make the AR-15 the “National Gun of America.”

Question: How stupid can you get?

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I’d like to see the company that paid him to say that. Surely, he is a shill for them. Thank you, William, for mentioning this.

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It just a favor thrown from the parade car to the kinds of kiddies that eat that stuff up.

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Probably the NRA who cares not about constitutional rights and has become merely a sales agent for gun manufacturers and gun stores.

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That has become very clear. Greed is a killer. Does anyone remember the Golden Calf? The story keeps coming back as I watch the parade of robber barons.

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Republican plutocrats are cultivating fools. It's the only means they have to get votes.

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I think you answered your own question...

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William, evidently pretty stoopit. Wearing assault rifle support pins? Who’s dim witted idea was that? It’s is predicted the Freedom Caucus and MAGA will burn hotter and more ridiculous as they burn out. People are dying at the hands of those who have been lead to believe it’s their right act out their anger by killing innocent Americans. These representatives are responsible for stoking the flames of intolerance, fear and false sentiments that lead directly to mass shootings. They proudly show their support for murdering Americans going about their daily lives. My new disgusting flavor of the day is one ill mannered member of the House is recommending Kyle for a Congressional Medal of Honor or some such absurdity. So far, they’ve been unfettered by our laws and the DOJ. Why is that? They asked for presidential pardons before being sworn in in to their House seats. Can any of us here in the real world expect that kind of preferential treatment? I expect not.

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William Burke, “ Republican Stupid”

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Yes, so all those who want to prevail with “happy thoughts” had better get clear that gun crazies take all the fun out of the party! William is correct.

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Aww, he is just “triggering” us libruls. Can’t we take a joke?

Maybe not. He is taking potshots at what is left of respect for our form of government. Who needs representatives if this is what they do all day? I hereby nominate the termite for our National Insect.

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😂😂😉🤓. Harder and harder to laugh these days Carol. I plan to vote for you for Congress.

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Thanks, you made my day, William. Save your vote, though.

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As far as politicians go, I doubt there's a bottom to that barrel. I believe it was Virginia's Senator Spong who called a national press conference to deny the report in the Village Voice (circulation 100,000, mostly New Yorkers) that he was the 'dumbest Senator', thus proving the point.

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It is not being stupid, it is being craven: a greedy psychopath reveals itself.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

How enriching is that pro-gun position for him?

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Amazingly stupid. All the fat you see goes to your brain also.

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thoughtless and cruel...

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Your common sense about firearms, Gayle, is supposedly reflective of views held by a majority of Americans. Yet somehow, the narratives of fear and threat keep sending Republicans to office where they undermine and even destroy our democracy. The proliferation of firearms, especially assault weapons, has us living in a culture of death.

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Gayle, I am a retired cop. I, too, see no reason for civilians to have access to the AR-15. It is a weapon designed to fire maximally lethal rounds very quickly AND to be light and easy to fire. It is designed for the sole purpose of killing people (so are handguns, but I digress), and a lot of people quickly.

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Sickened and enraged. I am overwhelmed by minutia. I keep adding to my daily list call rep and senators about not supporting Indiana’s terrible bills related to gun violence. And hearing bills which could be helpful in preventing gun violence, And just trying to keep up with my daily life I haven’t yet! And this is after much discussion we decided to make a gift to IU in memory of my brother-in-law Otto, who was murdered in 1977 in an act of random violence by a teen with a “Saturday night special”. Our gift is to create a center of research for prevention of gun violence. “If no me, who?” Today I will call!

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Gayle ! IN TOTAL AGREEMENT !! "71" VIETNAM was still NO PICNIC! WEAPONS! Designed for FULL TAKEDOWN DEATH , then EQUIPTED with high capacity Mags. ,THEN ILLICET Bump Stocks (Give Me A Break!!) On Civilian Soil!?? LOST MANKIND! Has Been OVERPOWERED! BY Complete TREMBLING FEAR!!

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I grew up in Los Angeles but have lived in gun free Japan since 1980. I had a few close calls in the 1970’s but I can’t imagine living there now, or even visiting. It’s beyond horrifying.

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Hi Gayle, I hope you can visit Japan. Visiting the land of your roots will give you a deep understanding of yourself that is full of surprises.

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I can’t deny there is that problem in Japan. But even full blooded Japanese who return after having lived abroad for a number of years experience discrimination. I think that’s a problem in many countries to some extent. I’m half Icelandic and French, but when I attended a party at the Icelandic Embassy in Tokyo, I felt distinctly an outsider since I couldn’t speak the language and my father had left the country when he was in his twenties. A French friend of mine who had been in the French Underground in WW2 went back to France after living in California for decades. He was planning to retire in France but was completely shocked at the rudeness he encountered. The discrimination is mostly from people who haven’t traveled and who feel threatened by differences.

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"qualification exams coupled with mental health exams to allow for the continued licensure and ownership of any guns". Yes! With annual retesting!

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My brother is retired from the New York Police and later the U.S, Border Patrol 1970's. In no way would he own a gun or keep one in his home.

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almost all police departments want fewer guns on the street, but the police have long since had no effect on legislation. even the most anti-crime politicians, who say they support and would never 'defund' the police, support the current faulty interpretation of the 2nd amendment. go figure.

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Thank you for the video link. I am sharing it.

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Excellent letter. Frightening but excellent. Be sure to read the Pro Publica piece on Norfolk Southern. It’s eye-opening. https://www.propublica.org/article/norfolk-southern-policy-safety-alerts-east-palestine-derailment

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Thanks for the Link Mary & I will read it. My undestanding is that were more than 50 coupled railcars stretching out over 1 1/2 miles. A Preliminary Report will be out tomorrow with details but, apparently, three (3) employees were aboard -- 1 in the Cab & 1 engineer & 1 Trainee far back on this railroad toxic centipede on top of a 30% reduction in total work force & profits way up.

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The reduction of railway workers is a national scandal. Will we ever learn? Profits over people putting a price on the health and safety of people. Norfolk Southern should pay dearly.

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And not just pay $$$ since they just see that as 'biz expense.' CEO's oughta be prosecuted... whoever makes those awful decisions. Should go for ALL the corporations 'providing' many of our essential products and services. Profits over everything.

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Well said, Seth!

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Another example of privatizing, profits and socializing risks. When are we going to stop this insanity? It’s not capitalism. It’s exploitation of the public good.

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exactly right

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I wonder how many affected Ohioans voted for tfg, who made this accident possible …

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Many of them most likely both still support him and blame Biden and Buttigieg for it.

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Columbiana County, home to East Palestine, voted 70% for Trump in 2020.

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Feb 24, 2023·edited Feb 24, 2023

Reading "Strangers in their own Land" by Arlie Russell Hochschild. ALL