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I am following Marcus Flowers who is running to defeat MT Greene in Georgia. Usually, candidates running for office send urgent pleas for $$, expressing dire circumstances if they don't receive your support. I was pleasantly surprised to receive this message from Flowers' campaign yesterday:

"Did you know that the Georgia State Legislature passed a map that is going to make Marjorie Taylor Greene’s district SIGNIFICANTLY more Democratic? This means my campaign for Congress now has an even better chance to flip this district.

"These new district lines mean that thousands of new Democratic and undecided voters are now going to be in play -- and we’re launching a bold new initiative to reach these voters wherever they are. If we’re successful, we WILL flip this seat and defeat Marjorie Taylor Greene."

Is this cool or what!

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Oh that little Marjorie 3 names would be defeated, along with gun girl Boebert, scummy Cawthorn and Gaetz. These people do not function as legislative representatives. They are the political version of some Bravo reality show like Real Housewives of wherever. They are all about as real as those “housewives” too.

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With luck, Cawthorn will not be able to run given the current suit against his candidacy because he violated his oath.

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

And somewhere there is an investigation against Gaetz......still out there.

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Hang in there, Kathy! As of today the plot thickens!!! Watch the news!!!!

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I'd love to see this suit succeed, and similar ones against *all* elected persons who did the same or more so.

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“ he (Perko who voted for her) doesn’t think Boebert cares all that much about his union members.” I’m sorry, this is where this whole article went into QAnon for me. Politico holds far too much sway as a bastion of left wing thinking when it is more akin to a Libertarian stealth propaganda front. Just sayin’.

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This is why I like you more and more, OFC. You sneak new ideas into the mix, plus you echo things I’ve been noticing.

I have been viewing Politico articles less and less often, and with more and more skepticism, as time goes on. Calling them an undercover (“stealth”) libertarian propaganda outlet is remarkably similar to what I suspect I’ve been noticing.

I haven’t read the piece that Spooky linked to, but in general, Politico consistently strikes me as Republican, so I am inclined to accept your “Libertarian” label.

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Hi Roland! Nice to see you’re still around! I once saw someone make the claim that Politico seemed liberal to Republicans and Conservative to Democrats. That may, in fact simply where we are politically in this country. That said, I have frequently thought they leaned right. But again, it always helps to know what the other side is thinking! Can’t wait to hear about McConnell’s comment on Biden’s Voting rights speech being “unpresidential” brings forth — besides gales of laughter.

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Dear Sen. McConnell -

Unpresidential - compared to who exactly?

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I think they’re also getting sloppy, and hyperventilate over “sightings” in restaurants that are abjectly false. And they really do seem to skew right, though they are so often wrong.

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HA! Nothing would give me more pleasure than to have Marjorie Three Names out of Congress and in prison for having the biggest dirtiest mouth!

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But prisons would be even fuller and massively overflowing if that was a crime.....not nice of course but not even her worst defect.

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The louder the voice typically vomits from the mouth of the most stupid, Eh!?

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The bully's sycophants trying to curry favour and hide their fear while only exposing themselves to the bully's future pleasure as "vomiting" is not very useful to him. He requires that people do his dirtywork for him without being asked and hand him his pleasure on a platter.

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And even some who claim they don't want to do his dirty work any more are fools enough to do it anyway.

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Are you quoting Shakespeare, Stuart? Morning!

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Indeed i could have been. Just goes to show that little changes in life's eternal spiral as the lessons we haven't learnt comme back to haunt us in different forms. Top of the morning to you too, Lynell.

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And preferably to do his dirty work FREELY.

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Guilfoyle!

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Spooky - funny how language aimed at protecting one from the chopping block for daring to openly disagree with a Devine Right King morphed into it’s just fine to spew the invective of Nazism that led to the deaths of over 65 million people.

We seem adamant about riding the right for anyone to spew hatred, bigotry, racism and theocracy as we line up in front of the ditches of our collective graves.

Karl Popper - one of the greatest Philosophers on Scientific Process and a survivor of Hitler’s Germany had the following to state about tolerance:

“ Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” - Karl Popper

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I agree Spooky.

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$10.00 a month until Nov 2022 will surely rid Congress the despicable balloon-rump minion

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I am too, Lynell. Even thought of a slogan for him: Compost Greene and get Flowers!

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I sent your slogan by messenger to Flowers campaign; told them to feel free to use it. Hope that's okay with you, Grace.

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Of course!! You are a powerhouse, Lynell.

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Love it, Grace! Should we try to get ahold of their team to use this clever slogan?

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And in Colorado, redistricting has made Lauren Boeberts district a deeper shade of red.

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Morning H.A.Rose. It seems you cannot even give a spot of good news (redistricting favoring the boot to Taylor-Greene) a bit of time before throwing in a dark cloud.

Actually a deeper shade of red means blue is being added to red to create something closer to purple.

Strengthening and supporting democracy calls for affirmation and enthusiasm!

Let’s celebrate every reporting that unites us with goodwill!

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Christine, assuming H.A. Rose is reporting a fact, then, that is not a "dark cloud" it is just a fact of the landscape.

Let us welcome all facts and all truths and not decide what truths are acceptable for this board.

Now, if something false is posted, different story.

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Nope. Not allowing dark clouds on my vista this morning. Just sayin’. And HA knows of what I speak. You do not rain on my parade of enthusiasm, Mike. That’s my fact and truth.

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Alright, Alright, Alright!!!

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I deal in political reality and a thousand smiley stickers can’t change reality.

Here is some more reality about upcoming midterm elections.

During his first midterm election Obama lost 63 House seats. He lost an additional 13 during his next midterm.

Trump lost 40 House seats at midterms.

And this was all before redistricting , voter suppression, etc.

Now throw in high inflation, high gas prices, and other kitchen table issues.

There is no possible legislation that is going to change midterm reality.

I’ll vote democratic from top to bottom and donate money to anyone opposing Boebert but reality says she will very likely win.

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She may not be eligible to run again if found complicit in an insurrection. It’s happening to Cawthorne right now and may have legs.

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I’m well aware of Rahm Emmanuel’s actions that totally lost the huge momentum that Obama built for the Democrats.

There’s all kinds of political reality. You don’t necessarily have the edge on it in what you call the “smiley sticker” world.

😁

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🤣 and 1,000 😀😊😃😁 may we witness… Thanks I just © my new blog “One Thousand Smiley Faces.”

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Ha! Love it.

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surely the mortified good in Grand Junction, Durango, Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Ignacio and Pueblo, outweigh the pathetically deceived bad so that all of the good becomes united in riding Colorado of the Blowburp embarrassment. Eh!?

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“Blowburp” — nicely done, George. Gave me a chuckle.

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Yes, George! United!

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"Actually a deeper shade of red means blue is being added to red to create something closer to purple." That's a worthy fact, Christine!

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Where's the "Unlike" button?

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Truth. Morning, Lynell.

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Hahahah!

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She knows better, just flat out evil.

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could that possibly mean that an adjacent district has become a little less red? And, what has Boeberts actually accomplished, under all that bluster? Is it possible that her constituents might be less satisfied than before if she hasn't actually contributed anything of value in the way of legislation? There are more ways to lose voters than one.

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We can hope. More moderate Republicans are coming out to oppose her during midterms but she has strong appear to Trumps base.

We shall see.

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And an old White guy has thrown his hat into the ring.

https://coloradonewsline.com/briefs/state-sen-coram-to-run-against-rep-boebert-in-primary-election/

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H.A. Colorado News Line is new to me. I do subscribe to The Colorado Sun, though. Encouraging that both are independent non-partisan news sources.

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Let’s not forget that she is more than likely a criminal. She led a group of “tourists” through the Capitol, pointing out the offices of the Speaker and of the chamber.

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I'm pretty much on a downer today, Lynell, this information is encouraging to me. Thanks, and please keep us all up to date with this campaign.

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I know the feeling, Miselle. Had to take a 3-week pause myself a while ago. Nothing is a sure thing, but agree encouraging news is...well, encouraging! Take care of yourself.

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Lynell, my brother is dying of COVID today. He has been in a facility with dementia for 2 years. It was going to kill him eventually, but this is hastening it. Mottling occurred last night and his breathing, I am told, is erratic. We are Catholic, a priest is on the way. It is not all "bad"--he's become aphasic and his quality of life is extremely poor. This will be a release for his soul.

A year stuck in his room during the worst of the pandemic plummeted his condition. There are too many targets for my anger over this pandemic. It could consume me. I have to just let it go.

I last saw him Wednesday before he was diagnosed. Though well masked with an N95, I still chose to quarantine, and I tested negative yesterday. I can't risk being there with my niece right now, I have preconditions, and will babysit my grandkids who are toddlers and thus cannot be vaccinated, on Saturday.

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Words fail me to express my sorrow for the burden you are holding, Miselle. You are right to keep yourself safe for you and for your grandkids, something I'm sure your brother would approve of.

If it's of any comfort, when my mother was ill and dying of cancer several years ago, her battle was as long as your brother's has been. Her kids cried and grieved throughout. When her final time came, it was - as you say - a release for her soul, as well as a release for those of us she left behind. There were no tears at her funeral service, nor at her burial or the gathering we had afterward. In fact, we celebrated her life with song and dance and, yes, laughter. It is what she would have wanted.

Come back to us when you are able. We will be here for you.

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Holding him and you in my heart. So, so sorry - which is never adequate.

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Thank you.

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Miselle, I send solace to your brother, you, family, and medical staff, during this time of “release for his soul.”

💙

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I am so sorry. Losing a loved one is never easy, but when it is compounded by multiple tragedies as is the case with your brother, it is even more difficult to bear. I speak with some experience, but won't burden you further.

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Thank you. Disclosure: I am an "Ellen" too (not a lot of us out here, but, IMHO, not a bad one in the bunch), but I chose my moniker here in honor of a good friend who passed a few years back from both breast ca and lymphoma. Her nickname for me was "Miss Elle" which she used to call out (we worked together) "MisssssElllleeeee!"

I miss her. She had my back many many times.

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What a sweet story! You're right...so few of us! When I hear my name, I know it's me and not someone else being named! I don't know a single Ellen in this town and over the years, I could count them on one hand! Wonder why?

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You are strong and wise Miselle. Love and support to you.

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You mention The Beatles later. Always a good choice.

“get back to where you once belonged”

Mmmm, think I’ll sing that to a few Republicans gone crazy that I know!

https://youtu.be/IKJqecxswCA

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Hi Miselle. Are you listening to your favorite music? Please take a few quiet minutes of solitude. Love this there.

What are you saying about the vaccines? Have you had 3 shots? I remember you worked for many years as a medical technologist, does not mean that you have done everything necessary to take care of yourself?

Peace and Love.

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Yes, Fern, Vaxxed and boosted. But he is so very, very sick, feverish and coughing, I feared becoming infected anyhow and somehow giving it to my 1 1/2 and 3/2 y/o grandkids, and then them to their other elderly, diabetic, grandmother with whom they live. I can't take that chance.

My son's wedding had to be postponed last year, FIVE days before it was to occur when our state shut down, which we ALL fully supported. We waited another long 15 months, but they married in the "sweet spot" end of May, when we were able to hold a much smaller, but yet an unmasked wedding. (We know--they asked--that virtually every person there was vaccinated as they were either old enough or first responders.)

As you know, I vented last week--pressure was building up. So much of all this pain and suffering of this pandemic could have been avoided!

Funny you mentioned music, my husband and I binge watched the Beatles Get Back documentary in the last few days and it took me away for awhile.

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Great documentary. Good choice.

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How about a musical celebration of our friendship? I hope that you can open and hear the link below. Let me know what you think of it. Music, music, music and more music! You and the family are in my heart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyTpu6BmE88&list=RDHyTpu6BmE88&start_radio=1

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Jan 15, 2022·edited Jan 15, 2022

Miselle, I am reaching out to you from first place I could find you on the forum. How are you? This is a note to bring you caring feelings -- that's what friends are for.

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Lynell, It would be useful to post a link for donations to a candidate you recommend for support. Cheers!

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Thank you Heather for the shout out to NARA archivists and librarians. There are so very many thousands who work hard to maintain our honest and fragile democracy but who are generally invisible to the general public. To all those who defend our constitution, bravo!

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Thank you, Dr. Richardson. The shout-out for NARA is so well deserved. I've done research there and they are very disciplined, have strict rules, require registration prior to researching and are overall serious civil servants. It is great to see them lauded and to see them in support of the democracy.

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I remember when GW Bush wanted libraries to turn over the records of their patrons. What followed was a fight that the librarians won very handily. Yes, kudos to NARA!

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As a former high school librarian, I can tell you that some view libraries as dangerous places. I had one person who is very intelligent, but also very religious, constantly complaining about various things. She noted that abortion was first in a book about what to do when you find yourself PG. I noted that the list was in alphabetical order. She wanted creation in the science number; I wouldn't do it. Now it is even worse for teachers and librarians....what to do with all those books about slavery, Native Americans, same sex parents, etc. Kudos to the National Archive people for being true professionals and standing up against those who submitted false documents.

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“what to do with all those books about slavery, Native Americans, same sex parents, etc.”. Can’t those books be housed in an area that requires parent permission to check out? I think kids would really want to take a look at them if they were restricted.

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Bonnie, don't you see that getting parents' "permission" is exactly the problem here? Thank goodness I had a big brother who took me along with him to our public library when I was just 5 years old. He taught me to read, too, so I was reading at age 4. At the library he showed me the science fiction books - and I loved them! Fantasy! Liveliness! So I read Ray Bradbury BEFORE I read that stupid Jack & Jill story in first grade. I'm a solid reader - of just about everything now, a lifetime. And I absolutely ADORE librarians. Yes, they helped me reach the books I couldn't, showed me the card catalog. KEEP UP YOUR GOOD WORK, MICHELE!!!

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Thank you. I did my best. I am long retired. The person who followed me didn't know squat about libraries, just computers. He even won teacher of the year. I did laugh. Now the person there may not be a certified person and I think is religious, so I am wondering how many of my purchases were "weeded" out.

The Salem library used to be outstanding and then it fell into the hands of someone who seemed to think that she was running a popularity contest. She got rid of books, despite lots of complaints, and sold them for practically nothing. The library was closed for a long time for earthquake upgrades and I don't know who is running it now. I confess to loving libraries, but loving to own books. So we have books all over the house in nearly every room piled high; our den is essentially a library. I am in the process of reading my Christmas books as we buy each other books and then hand them out one at a time as we finish reading them.

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The books we had which were not on the shelf were those likely to be stolen. I realize that forbidden fruit is sweeter, but parents like the ones I am thinking about would never give permission. I am also reminded of our senior lit teacher in high school, who mentioned that he could not teach The Miller's Tale. Of course, we all went to the public library across the street and read it and it is hilarious. I also know of one home schooled person who was very sly about reading what she wanted. The home schooling cost her dearly as she wanted to be a vet, but didn't have the background. She is a vet's assistant, so there's that.

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Of course they are dangerous places; full of ideas, knowledge. And knowledge is power, might motivate someone to recognize and fight injustice, inequality, adopt new ways of observing and contemplating the world around them. Ignorance supports autocracies. Gotta view those libraries with the suspicion they deserve!

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LOL. Very dangerous. And those librarians, probably socialist sand communists. Knowledge is power was the motto over the entrance to my high school....now a parking lot.

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McConnell's threats today in response to Schumer's vow to push for setting aside the filibuster had a pronounced whiff of desperation and fear. HIs hypocrisy is, of course, beyond breathtaking after doing the same thing to have three Supreme Court justices approved. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/589186-mcconnell-vows-retaliation-if-democrats-change-filibuster

Also, Dan Rather had perceptive take on the filibuster, imagining how a Senate might work if — gasp — it was ever eliminated entirely. https://steady.substack.com/p/filibusted

As for the House J6 committee's work, the fast-growing findings remind me of old Tarzan movies I watched as a kid. The native people would make a ruckus as they moved through the jungle, and frightened animals would stampede into a clearing. The committee is flushing the coup plotters out of the darkness and into the light from which they cannot hide.

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Michael,

Both posts are excellent and well worth reading.

The points made by Rather around the Senate Filibuster rule definitely support ending it.

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Michael, thanks for the Rather link.

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Love his experienced analysis, but it’s why Rupert picked him as first MSM figure to tar and feather, in my humble opinion. I remember the 80’s well.

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Let’s not forget, tho, Jeri, Dan Rather poked a hole in his own damn boat, got himself fired CBS. Kind of like Brian Williams. Both of their heads filled, they got out over their skis.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/dan-rather-reflects-his-dramatic-829780/

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Yes, they both made mistakes — and paid a price for them. But considering the totality of their careers, both were credits to their profession. And Dan Rather in particular was an inspiration for a generation of journalists as a dogged take-no-prisoners reporter for years.

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Ooo. Really a good visual, Michael. I actually enjoyed a victory chuckle at the picture it created.

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In Heather's chat yesterday, she opined that the filibuster will be returned to a talking filibuster. I'd prefer a carve-out, but am fine with this solution. Besides, by the time they finish carving out things, there won't be anything left to filibuster. LOL!

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McConnell's threats are similar to Putin's threat if the Ukraine continues to oppose him.

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Moscow Bitch, Eh!?

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This "ham-fisted coup attempt" (my term) actually seems to be much better organized and multi-pronged than I thought. The rioters at the capital on 1/6 were organized on a national level and some of them trained for weeks prior to the event. Justice department officials were subverted, state level officials were as well... and the coup failed anyway. Oddly, I am both heartened and terrified by that.

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Unfortunately, when I wrote in depth in several posts on this site that concurred with HCR that General Millie head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated openly that Trump was plotting a “Reichstag Moment”; it logically went right over the head of about 90% of the Democratic Party Electorate.

This was a well organized, scripted in detail, coup of the United States - the goal was to sustain Trump in office and establish a National State of Emergency to deal with the pesky nuisance of decent Americans like us.

This thing is far more dangerous than the plot by Capitalist Fascist of the 30’s to overthrow FDR ( Google Smedley Butler and don’t have liquid in your mouth when you read about his saving this nation).

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Thanks for this bit of info, Cracker! I'll read about Smedley Butler for context - and maybe a bit of hope. But this BS going on now - for how long now? since Trump was elected in 2016? Yeah. Scary AF PS I am FROM Fla, so condolences

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The forged second group of electors that are referred to in this letter also seem to have had help as in a coordinated effort. AZ, MI, WI, NV, GA all sent in a list of electors for Trump/Pence using the same form and words. States do not use the same form and words to officially state their authentic list of electors; those states anyway.

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Every single individual who was a signer to those fake elector certificates in every state where this took place should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Please understand that is a real federal crime, not simply “bad form.”

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Rachel Maddow has been reporting on this as well. She pointed out in the last day or two that there was even a second set of forged "Electoral College" "votes"in AZ!

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Second set was from a Sovereign Citizens group. It did not follow the template of the other five. I already wrote a more detailed comment on it upthread.

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I am reminded of the quote attributed to Abe Lincoln: " You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time!"

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Hope, I hope you're right, but a lot has changed since then. Y'know, Facebook, Twitter, FOX etc.

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"I am both heartened and terrified by that"....... me too. How close the coup came to being a success.

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Steve. Well said. It was never the haphazard group of violent morons that it appeared to be and what the higher end insurrectionists hoped we thought it was and would soon forget.

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I’m seeing more clearly that there is a national hub of some type directing traffic or issuing marching orders.

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A major nucleus of it is described in Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains, Jane Mayer’s Dark Money and Anne Nelson’s Shadow Network. Authors are on YouTube as well discussing this. These books outline a decades-in-the-making infrastructure supporting a ‘stealth plan” to replace democracy with government by an elite few. The range of its power is staggering. Koch is major player, but he has many other well-heeled allies. Tfg is a useful tool.

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Yes, and other bizarro wingnuts like the Mercers, Murdochs and Russian oligarchs investing in homegrown terrorists here to destroy us at the same time—lots of dark money invested by hate and power-mongers. Just in time for America to wake-up and smell some very strong coffee and take action.

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Thank you! I snapped a screenshot of our convo to remember your trail of resources. 😊🌷I feel so energized by being able to express my solidarity both in things I fear AND embrace with folk who understand both the concepts as well as the lexicon. Sigh of solace and refreshment. Many thank yous.

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Incredible amount of information in those books relevant to what’s happening today. Hope you enjoy them, but they can keep you awake at night at times.

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Indeed, Steve. Geez …

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President Biden pointed out the 16 Republican Senators support the 2006 renewal of the Voting Rights Act still sitting in the Senate today.

Let’s send each one of them asking them to explain themselves. Why have they lost belief in United States as a democracy?

https://www.accountable.us/news/report-16-republican-senators-abandoned-prior-support-for-voting-rights/

Sixteen sitting Republican senators have previously voted for reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act but now refuse to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

1. In 2006, Sens. McConnell (KY), Grassley (IA), Shelby (AL), Crapo (ID), Collins (ME), Burr (NC), Inhofe (OK), Graham (SC), Thune (SD), Cornyn (TX), Blackburn (TN), Blunt (MO), Boozman (AR), Capito (WV), Moran (KS), and Wicker (MS) voted for the 2006 reauthorization.

2. In 1982, Sen. Grassley both voted for and cosponsored the VRA reauthorization.

Note: Senator Blackburn was a member of the House in 2006 and voted for the VRA there.

Note: Senator Murkowski voted for the VRA in 2006. She is also the only Republican Senator to vote to start discussions on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in 2021.

Note: Senator Crapo was in the Senate in 2006 but was one of two Senators who did not vote (neither Yea or Nay) on the VRA.

Contact info:

Senator Minority Leader McConnell: https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactform

Senator Grassley: https://www.grassley.senate.gov/contact/questions-and-comments

Senator Shelby: https://www.shelby.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/emailsenatorshelby

Senator Crapo: https://www.crapo.senate.gov/contact/email-me

Senator Collins: https://www.collins.senate.gov/contact

Senator Burr: https://www.burr.senate.gov/email-me

Senator Inhofe: https://www.inhofe.senate.gov/contact/email-jim

Senator Graham: https://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=contact-form

Senator Thune: https://www.thune.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Senator Cornyn: https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/node/5853

Senator Blackburn: https://www.blackburn.senate.gov/email-me

Senator Blunt: https://www.blunt.senate.gov/contact/contact-roy

Senator Boozman: https://www.boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

Senator Capito: https://www.capito.senate.gov/contact/share-your-opinion

Senator Moran: https://www.moran.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-jerry

Senator Wicker: https://www.wicker.senate.gov/contact

Senator Murkowski: https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/contact/email

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Cathy, Though I am grateful for the list and thrilled by everyone’s commitment, as a point of clarification, contrary to the Freedom to Vote Act, VRAA is not preemptive and, therefore, cannot overturn state laws that already have passed. Conversely, the Freedom to Vote Act that Manchin helped draft, whose provisions provide the necessary safeguards against both voter suppression and election subversion, would supersede state law in conflict with any of its stipulations. In other words, unlike VRAA, the Freedom to Vote Act would overturn the voter suppression/ nullification measures that GOP controlled state legislatures unilaterally already have passed.

My point is not to devalue VRAA’s reinstatement of pre clearance for future voting law changes, but simply to emphasize that since pre clearance was gutted in 2013 we’ve seen a surge of restrictive measures that VRAA could not overturn. Hence, I believe I am one of many who would view passage of VRAA and not the Freedom to Vote Act as a devastating defeat.

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Did not know that, thank you

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Barbara, great post. I was not aware of these details. Thank you.

Also, apologize for my ignorance, but, what exactly does VRAA stand for. Voting Rights Act (but I am missing an R).

OK, is it Voting Rights Authroization Act?

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Hi Mike - it’s the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

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OK. Thank you, much appreciated!

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Barbara Jo Krieger, this is exactly the type of nuanced analysis I seem to miss when I listen and read about a current topic. Both sides of the political divide are labeling the other as fascist and as wanting the end of democracy. That hyperbolic, amplified, crafted message is what blares through on the “news”. Yet this nuanced crafting of legislation ( the Freedom to Vote Act) has so much merit and is so unsexy to report on. I’m uncertain about eliminating the filibuster to win our current battle. Harry Reid did that for Supreme Court Justices and we got royalty screwed by it. Yet sitting by as voting rights are rolled back and obstructed, and voting maps are drawn to secure minority rule? What are our true options except eliminating the filibuster? The lackluster support for this administration makes me worried to eliminate it because soon it will be back in the hands of the gop and we will only have ourselves to blame.

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Michele, We neither need to eliminate the filibuster nor even create a carve-out. We simply need to resuscitate some version of the talking filibuster, wherein the minority party would have to hold the floor to sustain a filibuster, that, eventually, would end with an up or down majority vote. Frankly, we should want to see reporters confronting Manchin and having him explain why he appears to favor the procedural filibuster, wherein one Senator can simply check a box to invoke the 60-vote threshold, instead of Republicans having to earn the delaying of cloture (the cutting off of debate). As for the inevitability of the opposing party retaking control at some point, in my view, while in power, we can’t afford to stay stuck for fear of what will happen when we lose power. If we are committed to democracy, we must be equally committed to accepting the will of the majority. As for Harry Reid, he made the right decision, considering McConnell was blocking confirmations on 150 or so of Obama’s judicial nominee picks.

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So given this important info should we write the senators to pass the Freedom to Vote act or that they need to pass both? thanks much. Also still hoping someone has list of senators retiring to write to. Thanks all

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Susan, My understanding is that the House intends to combine both bills. In the interim, considering The Freedom to Vote Act is Joe Manchin’s compromised version of S.1 For the People that he rejected and the Republicans filibustered, a letter could start by underscoring that in 2006 the Senate voted unanimously to reauthorize federal oversight of elections in states with a history of racial discrimination. That could be followed by some examples of the 34 voter suppression/ nullification bills from 19 states that have passed just last year, with more to come. In my view, the point is to show that the federal regulations these Senators deemed essential in 2006 are every bit as necessary today.

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Thanks

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An important distinction for sure.

And a question. Would a result of eliminating the filibuster result in more across party line votes (show folks were Senators actually stand) or stronger party line voting (Democrats act in concert as Republicans now do)?

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Fred, Were the filibuster eliminated and if Republicans knew that legislation would advance with or without them, it’s possible Biden’s more bipartisan deal-making instincts, much as they would frustrate the Left, might allow Biden to bring a handful of Republicans into his tent.

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Hopefully. There is such a lock on Republicans (pledge to party) seem almost scary.

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Not only direct letters to the Senator are needed but also public letters. Each one must be made to suffer their own "Have you no decency, Sir?" moment and a full exposure of their shame in headlines, breaking news, flash news as well as indepth leaders, articles and stories. The message has to be put out there for all to see...stark and simple!

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We already know that Republicans have no decency, add Manchin and the useless Sinema and not a trace of decency to be found. If there is a whimper, better make it audible or you die silently.

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Agree, Stuart. A local Florida group on this with letters to local and national newspapers. “Have you no decency, Sir OR Ma’am”.

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I agree. Letters to them is ineffective. Openly calling them out daily is what is needed.

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Direct letters/emails/calls are tallied by elected representatives' staffers into pro or con on the issues. So yes, they are effective.

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Except for those held captive by lobbyists' unlimited funding assuring those sweaty white asses a parking spot in those cushy taxpayer purchased swivel leather executive thrones with padded leather arm rests for their "do-nothing" atrophied useless hands...

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Wow, George. Nice.

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Not to Cruz, Cornyn, or Granger. Like peeing in the wind. They are bought.

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Of no matter. Ricochet the pee and their nasty sh*t right back at them.

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Indeed, Christine.

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Agreed, short and not-so-sweet.

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It would be particularly useful to know and to publish exactly what carrots are being received by the two Democratic Senators so attached to the filibuster and the protection of minority voices and views that they seem to prefer minority rule; and consequently, what specific sticks came with those carrots… They, too, may be in need of protection.

For the rest, read the piece recommended by Michael Bales outlining the effects for legislators of a filibuster-free Senate:

https://steady.substack.com/p/filibusted

And the words of President Biden remain conclusive:

“Every senator — Democrat, Republican, and independent — will have to declare where they stand, not just for the moment, but for the ages.

Will you stand against voter suppression? Yes or no? That’s the question they’ll answer. Will you stand against election subversion? Yes or no? Will you stand for democracy? Yes or no?

And here’s one thing every senator and every American should remember: History has never been kind to those who have sided with voter suppression over voters’ rights. And it will be even less kind for those who side with election subversion.

So, I ask every elected official in America: How do you want to be remembered? .”

“So I ask every elected official in America: How do you want to be remembered?”

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Peter, the carrots are green, and the sticks appear to be shrinking a little every time I look at them. We have to get those green carrots out of politics....

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Jan 13, 2022·edited Jan 13, 2022

You know, Manchin's wife, Gayle was given a nice, cushy, 165k per annum co-chair appointment to the Appalachian Commission by Biden and sworn in in May 2021. So I'm wondering what Manchin is trolling Biden for now? The Manchin family is already doing everything humanly possible to suck the state of West Virginia dry. Maybe Manchin wants a cushy ambassador appointment to say, France or Germany. Not a ton of conflict but lots of social engagement.

https://www.arc.gov/staff/federal-co-chair-gayle-conelly-manchin/

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I. Barbara Jo Krieger's point appears to take the wind out of the sails of this otherwise excellent proposal whose only virtue would be to undermine the unity of the tRump Republican Party—I’m remembering Cromwell’s purged Rump Parliament, although that’s an insult to the Lord Protector and his Commonwealth—by making an ineffectual step in the right direction.

To make sense, action must surely couple this with passing the Freedom to Vote Act.

2. When Senators who supported democracy in 2006 are asked why they support its final suppression in 2022, that is surely a rhetorical question to which everyone knows the answer. First, attachment to their seat in the Senate, with all the perks and privileges that entails; secondly, attachment to 18th century views that were reactionary even at the time but have the advantage for oligarchs of firmly establishing oligarchy, rule by and for the few; thirdly, and most conclusively, fear for their lives

People seem rarely to have understood that those most directly threatened by radical Islamist terror were—regardless of their views or prejudices—millions of ordinary peaceable Muslims, trying to live their lives, but now caught between the western hammer and the terrorist anvil.

Likewise, those first and most directly threatened by DT’s neo-Nazis are the most prominent members of the hijacked Republican Party, soon, in any case, to be forced out by members of the extremist factions… and put out to graze in green pastures, so long as they declare fealty and do what they’re told…

It would surely be very much to the point if the FBI and all government agencies, together with members of the general public could gather evidence of death threats to Republican Congressmen and other public officials subject to racketeers’ extreme blackmail… and offer protection to those requesting it. Besides the DOJ taking the necessary steps. So many threats have been public and show evidence of who made them.

Once the GOP Congressmen, Governors and other officials have been dealt with, the net will spread and, step by step, they will come for the rest of us.

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Damn, Cathy, masterful researching, great standing up! I’m with you.

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Thank you. I just took the time to email all of them. With your handy links, autofill of my name, and the message I copy/pasted, it took no more than 20 minutes.

I encourage everyone else to do this as well, and I also hope that if you support this effort, you contact your friends with this information, and also help keep this visible to the many of this group by including this in a post today.

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Was able to copy and paste thanks We all here need to contact all of them thanks

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Resistbot does letters, etc

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Thank you Cathy for posting this information.

I just finished my e-mailing with the cut and paste approach too!

What gave me a chuckle, every once in a while, was having to pick from the obligatory "subject" list...

No "Voting" option from the senator's list?? /Pick "Other"??/ Heck NO!

How's about...Ethics?Congress?National security?Traditional Values? Education?

What'eva speaks to ya' baby

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Thank you for your work putting these links together.

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Thank you for this I ve contacted some but been asking for who to reach out to this is perfect Just not sure if can copy and paste?

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We'd like to add the lists of Republican Senators who are retiring, Moderate Republican Senators and former Republican Senators who are out of office now.

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Here's Annette D's list in LFAA of 1/10/22:

First: the more "moderate" Republicans like Murkowski and Romney. They may not read the entire letter but buzzwords like protecting all their constituents including the elderly, disabled and ill should be included.

Second: the retiring Republicans like Burr and Toomey using language like the opportunity to be remembered as a statesman..."history has its eyes on you" sort of thing.

Third, former Republicans out of office, like George Bush, using Dick Chaney as an example of someone with courage and putting pressure on them to speak out.

Fourth and finally, media influencers.

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Ellie, I’ve been using the “history has its eyes on you” sort of phrasing in my letters to Rob Portman for five long years. Glad to see that it’s a good strategy. Another I often use is to include the oath of office in my letter. But I am sad to say that my years of effort seem so fruitless. That hasn’t made me stop, it’s just made me discouraged.

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Kathy, Battles are often won by endurance alone. Very effective with sieges!

Keep up the siege.

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Heck yeah, Gus! Way too much effort to stop now - and the stakes are even higher now than they were when I started. I’m sure they’re sick of me. Good.

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Portman changed his mind about gay people when his own son came out. The dismal lack of imagination on the part of these GOP Senators is striking, but if an issue directly involves them, it’s open to change.

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Portman seems so reasonable, and sometimes he even is, but I don’t think there’s much of a spine in there. Still, I’d much rather have him than Josh Mandel or JD Vance, who are both running to replace him. My money is going to Tim Ryan, who hopefully has a chance.

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So are these the retiring senators you suggest

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Roy Blunt (MO), Rob Portman (OH), Richard Shelby (AL), Pat Toomey (PA), and Richard Burr (NC) are all retiring Republican senators.

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Thanks

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Great ideas

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Thank you Cathy. Florida group I’m with on it.

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Yes please thanks

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You should be able to copy and paste. Expand the full comment then drag your mouse point from the top to the bottom of the comment. Do the normal Control-V and paste it into a document.

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I did just that. Again, thanks for all the links. I have already written a letter to McConnell that I am sure he will never see.

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Cathy,you rock!!!👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

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Thank you. Is this list somewhere I so that I can share it?

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Copy and paste and/or use the links to send a simple message, e.g. “Vote for the Freedom to Vote Act!”

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Thank you for remembering the service of archivists and librarians who are usually working behind the scenes but who perform an invaluable task in preserving memory, history, and heritage.

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I wish Biden had called out by name the 15 rethuglicans who voted for FOR voting rights back in the early 2000's. Yes, we can get access to those names, but why not make them available to all through calling them out?

On another note.....It appears Michelle Obama is on a quest to register 1M new voters. If they're all dems, what a difference that could make. Go, Michelle!

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I agree. However, if you are a VDR your responsibility is to try to get as many as possible registered regardless of their political sentiments. This is a fundamental difference between Democratic and Republican values. Democrats believe everyone is important, everyone should vote, and every vote should count. Republicans believe their only path to winning elections is to restrict voting and subvert election counts - they believe the secret to their winning is to cheat. Democrats do not have to cheat to win. They just need to show up, vote, be sure every vote is counted accurately, the final vote tallies are accurate, and accurate election results are observed followed by peaceful transitions of power. This is how democracies are supposed to work. THAT is the real definition of election integrity.

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Please spell out abbreviations and acronyms. Thank you.

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In Texas a VDR is a volunteer deputy registrar. These are the individual volunteers who are authorized and trained to take applications to register new voters or register those who need to change their registration detail due to a move. There are very specific guidelines for and training of these individual volunteers who are most helpful and welcomed to help with getting folks registered. Here is a link to the Texas Volunteer Deputy Registrar Guide that explains this - https://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/pamphlets/deputy.shtml

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Please!

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Look below, Bonnie. Bruce followed-up.

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Yes, a person registering voters must register all who ask. However, nothing (so far) prevents the registration official from setting up operations in areas where most of the passersby are likely to lean Democratic. That’s the way all the registration efforts I’ve been involved in have operated, and I hope Michelle Obama’s efforts will be similarly strategic.

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AND then we have Sinema and Manchin to deal with. Do NOT forget those traitorous Dems.

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

I urge you to read Robbert Hubbel’s Substack “Today’s Edition Newsletter” and this suggestion on how to deal with Manchin and Sinema on getting a cloture motion passed on a Senate Rules change motion to allow for a majority vote on Voting Rights legislation here - https://roberthubbell.substack.com/p/do-not-relent/comment/4440372

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Thanks, BruceC. Anything on this topic is WELCOME!

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I read his answer to someone asking "hey, if we don't make voting rights this year, next year will be great!" Hubbell agreed with that person's idiotic remark. WE ARE SO CLOSE TO THE EDGE OF FASCISM IT JUST ISN'T "OH WELL WE CAN WAIT" ANYMORE. We fight like hell now, or we will ALL be reading Masha Gessen's book on "Surviving Autocracy." Thanks just the same. Besides, Sinema and Manchin and SO bought and paid for - what would make them want to lose those uber-wealthy donors? DeVos family. Koch and the CNP billionaires behind him PLUS fossil fuels.

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Pam, I googled those SIXTEEN names right away. The list begins with Grassley and McConnell. You can do it too. Get those names and let them know YOU know who they are. 2006 was the year of that voting rights bill vote - that those 16 voted FOR!!!

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I know who they are for sure, but i really wanted their names to maybe reach some of those who don't follow HCR or who voted in 2006. I wanted Biden to call their names publicly

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I don't think that would be in Biden's best interest as President to name names at that point. He knows about google and just how easy it is to get info like that. It was already a BIG CALLOUT for him to say that. REALLY BIG!!!

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The vitriolic, heinous words and actions (or lack thereof) coming from republicans in Congress is unbelievable. It is like watching a Hitchcock movie . . . you know what is going to happen to the victim and you can't stop it from taking place and that is the horror! Relative to democracy, it is a very telling sign.

I posted the most of the following on Monday's comments; but it might be a bit more on topic for this letter.

Fareed Zakaria did a CNN special report on Sunday "The Fight to Save American Democracy". Can be watched via CNN. History shows that democracies fall from within; an eye opening comparison with the fall of Germany's democracy in the 1930's. This link has a written summary with an accompanying video conversation with Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham. https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/09/opinions/fareed-zakaria-the-fight-to-save-american-democracy-op-ed/index.html

As has been said repeatedly and explicitly through Heather's letters as well as commentary by folks in this Substack community, social media and said again by Kearns Goodwin "the fight of our life right now for this generation has to be to secure voting rights and secure a peaceful transition of power; that should not be a partisan issue . . . I don't understand why the country is not making voting rights the central issue of the time. . . "

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

"I don't understand why the country is not making voting rights the central issue of the time. . . "

Because 73 Million Americans voted for Donald Trump having openly embraced his white greivance messaging.

73 MILLION Americans have somehow convinced themselves that "their" country is under attack by a bunch of "rapists and murderers" from Mexico when actually the reason they can buy tomatoes and apples and squash during the winter is because of folks from Mexico.

Also, the reason Americans could still buy chicken and pork during the pandemic? Yep, people from Mexico staying on the job RISKING THEIR LIVES during the early phases of the pandemic. Folks standing shoulder to shoulder in meat packing plants chopping up dead chickens and pigs.

Anyone asking the question "I don't understand why the country is not making voting rights the central issue of the time. . . " has simply been asleep at the wheel for the last 15 years.

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I don’t understand why two DEMOCRATIC senators do not support voting rights.

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Unless they are getting perks under the table…

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I agree!

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We should abolish the Filibuster completely. The Founding Fathers didn't use the term but they baked a filibuster into the Senate. Today California with 11.95% of the population and Wyoming with 1.1% of the population each have 2 Senators. The 5 most populous States (37.3%) have a total of 10 Senators and the 5 least populated States (1.1%) have 10 Senators. The 21 most populous States (75.9%) have a total of 40 Senators and the 39 least populated States (24.1%) have 60 Senators. If you can get 51 votes in a Senate so constituted, then vote and move on.

Carving out a bill to be exempt from the filibuster is just the Senate playing games that both sides use to their advantage. Trust that the Founding Fathers know what they were doing. Let's protect the right of every citizen of the US to vote.

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And Trump pressured McConnell time and again to abolish the filibuster so he could get his legislation past the Democrats use of the filibuster. Time and again McConnell refused because he knew that the political pendulum was in constant motion and that in time Democrats would , once again, control the Senate. As it turns out for the Republican Party, his refusal to cave into Trump was a good decision .

Discussion of eliminating the filibuster depends on who’s ox is currently being gored.

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H.A., I think the DEMs did well to keep the filibuster while Trump was President, and they will do well to get rid of it now that he isn't. It's called hardball politics -- lies, corruption and no regrets -- and the GOP has been doing it for decades and winning elections, despite their demographic disadvantage.

The problem is that if the GOP regains the majority in both House and Senate -- most polls and pundits indicate this is likely in 2022.... oh damn, this already is 2022!! -- Biden's effective presidency will end after only 2 years, and the unlevel political playing field established by the Constitution will begin to look like the aftermath of the great Alaskan earthquake of 1964 (a 9.2 on the Richter scale).

The political pendulum happens when both sides play by the same rules, and those days have been over for a while now. If the GOP regains Congressional power in 2022, then adds the Presidency (you know who) in 2024, the Democratic Party will cease to exist. Hard to know what comes next, but it won't be pretty.

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Especially now that R's have gone so far as to FORGE EC votes!

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

The filibuster is an interesting academic discussion. Until Manchin and Sinema are onboard, it will remain academic.

Academic, or not, eliminating the filibuster is a serious roll of the dice. The stakes , as you pointed out David, are huge. All in?

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Getting rid of the filibuster is a done deal if 2 Republicans (real Republicans, not DINO Republicans) join the other 48 Democrats to get it done. At least 2 must see where this is all leading and what dire straits we're all in.

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Yep

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I love this straight talking:

Speaking in Lewis’s Atlanta district, Biden called out the people behind the events of January 6 as “forces that attempted a coup—a coup against the legally expressed will of the American people—by sowing doubt, inventing charges of fraud, and seeking to steal the 2020 election from the people.”

“They want chaos to reign,” he said. “We want the people to rule.”

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This is the kind of direct, forceful language we need every day from the nation's leaders.

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Kinda like when JFK said “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

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The voting rights advocates told Biden and Harris in plain and no uncertain terms, that they were not to come to Georgia unless they had a plan. Biden's speech was fiery and necessary. Ben Jealous stated he was very happy with what was expressed and said that Biden and staff listened to all of them.

McConnell is our thorn but Manchenema are our daggers. We are the swords that must be used to cut through the proverbial bullshit. I don't know about any of you, but white people, men in general, have displayed hatefulness and cruelty throughout the history of America and our lives. If it hadn't been for state-of-the-art cellphones and police cameras that recorded actual shootings and deaths of people of color, we would still have our heads in the sand. It comes down to us to bring about real change and we have to lock arms against the enemy...the Republican Party.

Time for these criminals to get what is coming to them.

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"The voting rights advocates told Biden and Harris in plain and no uncertain terms, that they were not to come to Georgia unless they had a plan. Biden's speech was fiery and necessary. "

Good reminder of who pushed Biden over the edge. Thank you

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The very left puts pressure on the center to act. It works.

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