624 Comments
Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 21, 2022

Heather, I've been reading your synopses for months now, as well as viewing your video chats. I have just now become a subscriber to your "Letters from an American." It's about time I did so. Why? First, I now feel that I am part of a very special community, and being in community is very important to me. Second, I truly appreciate your hard work in pursuit of getting the truth out about contemporary political events against the backdrop of American history. You are clearly a person of great integrity and are performing such a valuable service to me and many others whose understanding of the political underpinnings of American history needs boosting. I was raised in a small farming community in Western Minnesota (famous only as the home town of the renowned poet, translator, and social critic Robert Bly, who was also a Harvard alum). Growing up in relative isolation from national events, much less world events, I received (like many others) a very inadequate education regarding the history of our country. Thankfully, my horizons were broadened significantly by my higher education at the University of Minnesota, Union Theological Seminary in NYC, Penn State, Indiana University, a German university, and considerable travel throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Nevertheless, it is YOU I want to thank for providing me, on an ongoing basis, with a deeper understanding of our nation's great achievements and its oft-hidden flaws. I am truly grateful for your insights. I wish you good energy as you persevere in sharing your perspectives and your vision for a renewal of our democracy as one that is "of the people, by the people, for the people."

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Welcome, Michael. HCR's Substack community is like no other--great brain power, heart, and respectfulness. Out of this community evolved, "We the People, All of Us This Time!"

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Do tell about We the People, All of US This Time. Thanks

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

We at "Heather's Herd" have embraced "We the People, All of Us This Time" as our motto for political advocacy. Jeff Carpenter is a wonderful artist who created a beautiful logo for it. Ellie Kona, how do we get mugs?!

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Yay! I didn't realize we have a mug! I just ordered it.

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Me too!

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Marcy, I did find it. You made it easy. I made it hard. In any event if people are interested in a different design by me with custom ink’s help, I would be happy to do that. Like I said there’s no cost to us and they will give us a free quote

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Yay! Thank You Marcy!

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I’m not having any luck ordering. It says no longer available.

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Jan 21, 2022·edited Jan 21, 2022

My 3 mugs arrived yesterday! Maybe I should have only ordered 2?

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How much of the proceeds from mug sales is given to Heather's 501c3 organization?

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First I didn’t even know she had a 501(c) three. In any event this is not a profit making venture for us. I believe custom ink has some provisions for sharing income from the purchase of these proposed mugs. Let me be clear I have absolutely no financial interest in trying to come up with a nicely designed coffee mug or have any interest in making money. I am a retired attorney and have no need for any profit making ventures. if people are potentially interested I would be happy to be the focal point between us and custom ink or Zazzle if that’s better. I contacted custom Ink and they are willing to help come up with a design with me and thereafter making a proposal to us meaning this group of ours. If there are any proceeds from mug sales it certainly could be given to Heathers 501(c) three as far as I’m concerned. I had a couple of T-shirts made just for me from custom Ink So I am a little bit familiar with how they operate. Obviously the more of an item you purchase the less it costs. The other thing they mentioned to me is that if other people wanted my particular design There could be proceeds from that. Since I had no interest in selling my T-shirt design I never followed up with trying to market it. Perhaps that might be a way to get proceeds for Heathers 501(c) three. In any event I think taking this one step at a time would be best. I assume Zazzle would do the same.

So George what do you think? Since there’s no cost I may well go ahead, create a design and get a proposal from custom ink and or Zazzle.

Who created the other mug that was referred to here? I do recall they used Zazzle. Perhaps they could give us some additional input. I really don’t want to get in a conflict about this but I felt I would like a different design. Hopefully no one is offended by that.

While I’m at it I was thinking about in addition to words nicely displayed “letters from an American“ and maybe HCR also, I was looking for some symbol related to the state of Maine. I think the white pine is the state tree but I was looking at other possibilities. Maybe some here and could suggest some symbol. I would prefer The symbol not be obvious in this sense. If the tree was used it would simply be the tree no other words describing the tree. It would kind of be an inside understanding in this group. Meaning those of us herein would know that the tree or other symbol of Maine was representational of where HCR lives.

Ok feedback please.

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Here is a link to a mock up for the cup and other info. Tell me what you think.

https://www.customink.com/designs/mug/hej0-00cj-4h4p

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Where do you sign up for Heathers Herd ?

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Ally, appreciate your wanting to let folks know about us, but we've got a pretty good system for recruiting and vetting applicants to weed out trolls and other disrupters. I believe you have been in contact with us, but not actually attended a meeting where we always talk about our process. Please contact us through the private email previously provided to you by Ellie.

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Heather's Herd nothing - make that Heather's ARMY!

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Hello, Michael! I too am a UTS alum and got sent to Wiesbaden Germany, ostensibly for a year, right after graduation in a 1-year partnership role with the UCC-NY and the EKHN. That was 2013 and I'm still here, having landed in the only Confessing Church in the entire area - The Bergkirche. Wiesbaden was very brown. It's fascinating to be living in a social democracy of the type I hoped for when I stuffed envelopes for Michael Harrington's presidential attempt back in the 70s. The only somewhat positive outcome for the US that I see right now is knowing that Germany had to totally collapse and rebuild in order to come out from under the stain of an authoritarian madman.

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They acknowledged their period of horror, So many in America never have. Ike made sure of it “Get it all on record now - get the film - get the witnesses - because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.” And he did get the films and the witnesses. And still the bastards yelp

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I, too, am a UTS alum. Probably quite a few of us here.

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I'm sure of that! And I even "met" a woman who with her husband are friends with my advisor, Gary Dorrien, who wanted to be a baseball player!

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 19, 2022

Thanks much for the comment, Rosalind. After my junior year in college I spent three months at the Gossner-Haus (part of Germany's "innere Mission") in Mainz-Kastel. On several Sundays I attended worship services at an "evangelische Kirche" in Wiesbaden-Biebrich. The minister was an older man and was extraordinarily friendly to all. He shook everyone's hand following worship. The sanctuary was packed every Sunday. That amazed me in view of the fact that, ordinarily, Germans seldom attend church. BTW, that was in the summer of 1964.

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Was that the baroque Hauptkirche in Biebrich? There are some churches in Wiesbaden that are well-attended. The Bergkirche is one of them and still has a "different" feel to it. For example, they took on an aging theologian for a year where none of the other congregations in the deanery had any interest in me. It was, as they say, a match made in heaven. That was in 2013 and the English Community Outreach was the first non-German speaking offering, as far as we know, within the Evangelische Kirche structure in Germany.

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It might have been the Heilig-Geist-Kirche (am Kupferberg 2), although the building appears to have been renovated since the mid-1960s.

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Then I think I know which church you mean.

When I was here in the early 1970s there was a strong Mormon presence, likely still is.

When I arrived in Wiesbaden, 2013, there were southern baptist, presbyterian and other conservative services in English. There was also the 1835 built St. Augustine of Canterbury anglican episcopal church, which has a very healthy congregation and tons of music (the anglicans have the the best church music anyway - at least we classical singers think so ;-}.

But our little English Community Outreach was the first to partner with the Evangelische tradition through an english language worship. It was a thrill to gently tweak the traditional service into gender-inclusive (ex: G-d of Love instead of God the Father - little things that made a difference, especially to the ears of Germans and was welcomed by folks who weren't so friendly with church talk.)

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Interesting. Thanks for filling me in on some of the ecclesiastical geography of Wiesbaden. I have wondered what the church in Germany has been doing regarding using inclusive language. Furthermore, just how large is the English-speaking population in the Wiesbaden area? I recall that the USAF has had a base there for a long time. What about nonmilitary ex-pats? If I were to retire to Germany, I would choose either Wiesbaden or Ulm (with its famous Protestant minster). I spent an academic year in Bochum thanks to an exchange program between my university (the University of Minnesota) and the Ruhr-Universität, but I didn't much care for the environment. I did get to know some wonderful people there, though, and I still stay in touch with the only German family I know; we have a 43-year history together. The aunt of the family (born in 1907) was a retired English teacher at a local Gymnasium and became a close friend. Like her niece and nephew, she was a "PK" and regularly attended one of the local Protestant churches (through which I first became acquainted with the family). "Tante Gertrud" shared a number of her experiences during the war and even had me read (aloud) portions of the diary she kept during those horrible years. She wrote (and talked) about) the many air raids over Bochum (where the Krupp steel works manufactured armaments). When the sirens sounded, she and other residents took shelter in the many coal mine shafts that honeycombed the subterranean regions of the city and suburbs. She was a pacifist and a Quaker through and through, and therefore was unable to find work except for doing some private tutoring. I found it remarkable that she exhibited no sign of bitterness over the devastation of the city she loved or her dismissal from the Gymnasium. Rather, she showed nothing but kindness. Truly, she was a person of deep faith and uncommon generosity. I am thankful to have known her.

In a previous comment I mentioned the Goβner-Haus on the banks of the Rhine in Mainz-Kastell. I lived in, and participated in the life of, that institution for three months in the (hot) summer of 1964. I grew very fond of that place, as well as the area in general. Goβner housed a few foreign students, but mostly young apprentices in various industries. Most of them didn't know their fathers, some of whom had been American GIs from WWII. While web-surfing yesterday, I learned that that facility had been transformed into high-end condominiums. Prime real estate, I guess.

I haven't been back to the Mainz-Wiesbaden-Frankfurt area since my university days but would love to visit it again. As I said earlier, I have even considered spending at least a portion of my later years in Germany. But time is passing quickly, the pandemic endures, and, although I am lucky to be in excellent health at age 78, I don't know how much time remains to me (although I guess I shouldn't worry about that). Furthermore, my wife would never want to move away from home (we are native Minnesotans). So, life is always somewhat more complicated than appears on the surface.

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The church I was referring to was a post-war structure. I don't remember its name. At that time (1964), worship services were held only in German. I probably have a photograph of it somewhere.

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A hearty Welcome to the community, Michael. I have read some of your posts - and even replied to one or two - and have deeply appreciated what you have contributed. I look forward to reading more, and learning from what you have to say.

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

Welcome Michael. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

If you have some time, HCR's "To Make Men Free: History of the Republican Party" is absolutely sterling historical reading.

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Thanks for your comment, Mike. Having read "To Make Men Free," I fully agree that it is "sterling historical reading."

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Welcome Michael from another recent member of this amazing community. I'm 76 and only newly aware of how woefully lacking has been my education in the history of this country. For the first time I feel that I have a daily source of good information about the present day, firmly rooted in a clear vision of our past. PS Re your mention of UTS in NYC, I am a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, with a love for NYC as a born and bred Long Islander!

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Gammon at ITC. We could form a caucus, but I think just being here is enough.

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GA, by way of IL, NJ, CA, NC. Outrunning the law all the way. Oops....

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Thanks for the LOL - I take it wherever I can find it!!!!

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Amen! Dr. Richardson is a premier example of what really makes America great. All of us who follow her analysis form a cadre that that will have to begin the long effort to clean up the nearly fatal desecration of the fundamental progressive ideals that have inspired the American impulse toward democracy and justice. Let's all work to really make America even greater than it was prior to the election of our last President, what's his name.

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Thank you for joining our community, Michael Burwell. I look forward to your comments and exchanges with subscribers should you participate on the forum.

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Morning Fern.🦋

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Good Morning, Marcia. 🪴

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Are you thawing out ? Looked bad up there ?

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With appreciation for your thoughtfulness. The sun is shining, and I cannot wait to be outside. I'm working on three different issues unrelated to the Letter, so will not be on the forum again today. We had a lot of wind and water, but I'm still above ground. Thank you, Marcia. You sound/write with spirit and conviction as usual. Cheers, Fern

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Amen Michael. Your voice will be wonderful to have here.

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I'm so glad to have joined this group.

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Welcome, Michael, to our thought-full group! Looking forward to your insights and perspectives. My wonderful mother was born and raised near Currie, MN, south of your family's home. She is the one who instilled a fever for justice in me and my siblings, for which I am so grateful.

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“You are clearly a person of great integrity and are performing such a valuable service”

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Welcome to this fine community, Michael. You will enjoy the wide range of knowledge and wisdom put forth here.

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(Sweden)

Robert Bly! One of my favorites; quote him ever so often. And now you Michael Burwell!

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 19, 2022

Greetings, Olof! You probably know that Robert Bly (who died in December) was of Norwegian heritage. He performed a great service in introducing Scandinavian poets to American readers. Our home community of Madison, Minnesota, was populated primarily by Norwegians and Swedes. This is true also for the communities surrounding Madison. I am Norwegian on my mother's side. My maternal great-grandmother emigrated from Solor (NE of Oslo) in 1882 at age 24. After she was widowed, she lived with our family until her death in 1956 (I was 13 at the time). She never learned much English; she didn't have to, as her circle of friends all spoke Norwegian. Even my maternal grandmother grew up speaking Norwegian and was confirmed in the Norwegian language in nearby Dawson. Incidentally, to give equal time to the Swedish, I hasten to add that my wife is half-Swedish. Her mom grew up listening to the cadences of the Swedish language in Southern Minnesota.

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I learnt to know Robert Bly at a poetry festival here in my home town, Malmo. He told his story of going to live with his maternal grandfather, so his father would not beat him to death. After not seeing his father alive again he read the poem of reconciliation that he had written and read at his fathers funeral, and he then said: "I don't think a man can love a woman without being reconciled with his father, and I think it is similar with a woman and her mother", which I have often quoted.

I spent a year at Montana State University (1963-64). One day I heard a student speaking with a Stockholm accent, and asked him in Swedish if he was from Stockholm. I had to repeat it in English because he didn't speak any Swedish, but he said: "my grandfather was from Stockholm"! - Sometimes amazing how traces of history is coming through.

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Welcome Michael. You will find this a true community like few others gathered on the internet. Insight. Caring. Commitment. Look forward to hearing more from you!

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Glad to have another Midwesterner along. I got hooked on the plain intelligence in Heather's daily work and that of the community's members. Love to listen to the discourse. And share.

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Welcome aboard. This is indeed a community!

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I'm glad you've joined our community, Michael.

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

Beautiful, succinct and frightening. I have been a lawyer for more than 50 years, and involved in politics for longer than that, but I did not fully realize how close we came to the precipice last year. As a certain former president would say, “Lock them up!” And as another former president would say, these events present us with the question of whether any nation so conceived and so dedicated as the United States can long endure.

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Hi Jon. That your comment, with which I predictably agree, appears on this site, which of course I also frequent, though I only occasionally comment on Ms. Richardson’s estimable letters, is itself predictable. Best regards. Bob

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Hey stranger! Small worlds.

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Well said.

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Attributed to Stalin “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how, but what is extraordinarily important is this - who will count the votes, and how.” The Memoirs of Stalin’s Former Secretary. The republicans are well-versed in fascists verbiage and evil actions. All in the open, there is not an innocent among them. Thanks to Heather for distinguishing between voter fraud and election fraud, now tell Rupert and the MSM. Way past time for them to acknowledge what we see with our own eyes. Well, those of us, not in the cult.

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Jeri,

Wow! Great and important quote. Trump and Stalin's quote are almost identical around the vote counting.

Stalin starved 38 million people in the 1930's with his failed collective farm experiment.

I wonder if Trump would also do that too?

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

Trump is a democidal sociopathic narcissistic maniac. Nothing would stop him from harming anyone standing in his way in his last for $ and power and to stay out of jail. Remember. This by Martin Niemueller

" First they came for the Communists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak out for me"

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Rev. Niemueller summed things up well--succinctly yet thoroughly.

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A fine poem. Am glad to be reminded of it. Niemoeller spoke at the seminary I attended back in the mid-1960s. Did you know that he had been a U-Boot commander in WW I?

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I knew of Rev. Niemueller's U-boat service in WWI. And, my father briefed me on the importance of Niemueller in taking on the Nazi regime. His stand on principle cost him eight years in prison and mainly in Dachau. Dad was a U.S. Army officer in North Africa and Italy during WWII. He gave me a great, official U.S. Army photo of Niemueller shortly after N was liberated from Dachau and was in a U..S. refugee center in Italy. In the photo, N is speaking with a U.S. Army lieutenant who, with his family, had been members of N's congregation in Germany before the war started. The lieutenant's family fled to the U.S. at that time while the border was still open.

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No. White men who are rural farmers are heavily subsidized with federal funds. Particularly during the previous administration. They, also, owe loyalty to cult Republicans or the new autocratic party.

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Especially after Trump tanked them with his embargo on trade with China.

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Generous welfare, often for people who don't need it.

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That's a good point.

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Collective farms would not be the tactic of the Trump cult anyway. They plan to accomplish mass extermination in a more direct fashion. Just ask them.

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The first victims? Journalists. Don't think for a second that they don't have an extensive enemies' list. But not extermination. Long prison sentences.

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In a heartbeat, if it offered any benefit at all to TFFP's wallet, his ego or the retention of his power. (The Former Failed President)

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Nah, only 850,00 in a pandemic.

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TFG is even a loser to Stalin! So far . .

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No kidding Ally. But there is a part of me that believes because of 1st Amendment Rights, they speak it to stay Relevant and “ Out Front”. And us talking about them in our disgust of them helps that. There is no level to low like the scum off the bottom of my shoes that they won’t go down to for the sake of “Winning !” And My own thoughts, I highly doubt you will get Ivanka or Mel ( if it really was her ?) to play again ? He’s just the “Snake Charmer “playing his Pungi “ for them.Swampy Trump. Oops ! I mean Swami. No, I was right the first time.

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I was having a fairly decent day, but of course, reality set in as I was reading today's column. Like many others, I don't understand why DOJ isn't going after the lead seditionists. I don't understand why more Americans aren't raising hell about the open planning for election fraud, seemingly aided these days by SCOTUS. Why are Congressional Republicans so scared of Trump and his extremist base? Then there's Mike Pence, who apparently was ready to go along w/ the insurrection plans until he realized he'd be blamed if it went wrong. I need chocolate. Or vodka. Or both.

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Recently, I watched a series of videos about dam failures. they start with faulty engineering and shortcuts in construction. Then, the pressure to perform in extreme conditions. The failure starts with little cracks, a trickle of water that undermines the integrity of the structure. Eventually the failure accelerates to a point of massive failure. I'm hoping that the house of cards that was the MAGA hoard's electoral fraud scheme will follow a similar path as a poorly engineered dam, attempting to withstand increasing pressure of public scrutiny, congressional investigation, investigative journalism and action by our justice department.

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There are already some signs that it will. Let's be careful not to be downstream when it happens. The MAGgots are going to feel betrayed and react with anger.

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I am nervous about trump, an extreme narcissist now being ever increasingly backed into a corner…a position that causes narcissists to lash out, a time when they are most dangerous. The great Jamie Raskin said something akin to the J6 hearings “blowing the roof off” this week with new revelations. Trump knows what these revelations are, and I suspect he has a plan to respond/minimize the damage/divert the news headlines. I don’t want to sound alarmist, but this moron and his band of thieves should not be underestimated.

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If Jamie Raskin said something to that effect, that's **very** encouraging.

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Do you know him/them or what. He is easy to call, despite being a loose cannon. the cult is devotion personified. Bad combo.

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And a wolf moon tonight. How fitting.

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Cathy, I really agree with you. My hope is that a majority of MAGAts will not be willing to risk violence; however, a great deal of trouble can be caused by just a few of them, as we now know. I agree with you that there will indeed be a reaction.

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Actions deserve reactions. It will be up to each individual to determine its effect. Or affect. I will not have any trouble with that.

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Exactly

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Tragically, it's possible to read your comment as being about the current assaults on our democracy, whose integrity is being undermined by some of the very people sworn by oath to defend it. I hope I'm wrong and you're right.

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I would go farther and suggest that Nathan's dam is a perfect metaphor for our democracy itself, even an analogy. The faulty engineering we can blame on the founders, but despite amendments intended to shore up the document, cracks began forming about 40 years ago and now water is rushing through them and the whole structure is beginning to shake and shudder. And we are like a sleeping village downriver...

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This is what happened to a sleepy village in the Ahr valley this past august:

https://www.swr.de/swraktuell/rheinland-pfalz/koblenz/vorher-nachher-flutkatastrophe-ahr-100.html

The entire village is so destroyed, the government has decided to help the residents find a place to rebuild.

Realizing this as the Non Sequitur it is, I can't help but think of the Ashokan Reservoir near Woodstock. Several villages were drowned in order for New York City to have the water they've enjoyed lo these many years. Some days I feel like the US is being drowned so that the Dixiecrats Manchin and Sinema the former party of Lincoln can reassert their thievery of the US for big business and the dwindling white America.

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Let's bring back the Dixiecrats label!

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Yep, goos analysis. First cracks began to be VISIBLE in 1980ish.

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

Democracy swept away and forever buried under the the effluent of bigotry, greed, and the certainty of the foolish few. A bit too long to fit on a tombstone, probably, but, perhaps not too long for the last headline in the WaPo?

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Hey Fred, it's the effluent of affluence, too, excessive and poorly distributed. If we're lucky we'll all soon be fighting for mere survival, just like the good old days in the Horn of Africa. So much for large crania...

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I was imagining the scheme to undermine the election as the poorly engineered/constructed dam. I'm hoping the House select committee and the DOJ will ultimately wash that construct into the gutter and toss it's perpetrators into jail.

It may also be a useful metaphor for the key documents defining our republic and it's rules of conduct.

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Those dam seditionists...Thanks Nathan, and stay on high ground!

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

When I started reading your post I thought you were going to compare the dam to our fragile democracy.

Faulty engineering- A constitution written by and for wealthy white men.

Shortcuts in construction- compromises that left so much power with the states. Pressure to perform in extreme conditions-globalization, the rise of China, a new economy and the effects on the working class.

Little cracks-outsourcing, NAFTA, the Contract with America, the 2000 election, birtherism, the Tea Party, Shelby v. Holder, the Murdochs, Fox, Trump, SCOTUS

Massive failure- January 6…….

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That analogy rings true! So many destroying the "dam" of our democracy, and so many failing to protect it.

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from your mouth...

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"The cracks that let the light in."

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Systemic failure. Yep, that's where our political system is headed. See https://media.awakeningtowholeness.net/newusa-part-3/ for my humble opinion of what is about to happen.

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Well MSM

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It’s systemic. It must be. The letter informs us. I read it again and I almost throw up. So many R’s must be in on it. Even Grassley has been turned! I fear Garland can’t arrest them all. Would it be half the senate and 40% of the house, how many in the state legislatures? What are the optics to acting justly when their constituents are so disillusioned ? If Garland can get us out of this, he will be the AG GOAT. Yes, please another what ever ur having.

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I wonder if Garland is feeling a strong sense of destiny. I willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is working extremely hard on this. I'm sure he realizes he has one shot at getting this right.

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One shot. That’s the important part. Miss the Grizzley and you’re toast

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Garland may be worried about being put in a penal colony when Trump wins the next election.

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I reckon his best course of action is to ensure Frump is in prison by then

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we still have Guantanamo, perhaps we can repurpose it to "enemies of the republic, both foriegn AND domestic?

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In which case he is chickenshit. Yes, easy for me to say....

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I agree. I would expect given the complexity of the situation and the power of the people involved he has to proceed carefully and make his one shot count. I am not concerned with his slow, deliberative approach. The situation calls for it.

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Yes, Gina, but it must happen soon enough for the average American voter to understand and vote accordingly. Timing may be everything.

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The televised hearings, likely to start in February or April, are the linchpin. Hopefully, a compelling narrative of an attempt to end our democratic system through seditious conspiracy will rivet the nation.

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Agree, and hope that the Congressional Committee is able to reveal the depth of the conspiracy in a convincing manner as we wait for Garland to do more. The arrest of the Oath Keepers gives me hope.

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That Grassley was in on it really expands the breadth of this for me!

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Me too! Like any older Iowa grandpa gets conned out of his farm by a NY city slick hustler. It’s crazy!!!!

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I agree. One would think at this late, late stage of his career he would have maintained integrity. Is the prospect of fading from public life so horrifying old men will do anything (e.g., Giuliani, Grassley)?

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... how can anyone maintain what they never had in the first place?

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Marcy, nothing worse than old GOP men.

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IMHO, a more prompt and certain justice action would have made matters much more clear and quite possibly worse in the short term. I regret the time lapse. There are so very many collaborators: terrifying, actually.

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If it is prompt, then it is UNcertain justice. I have full faith in AG Garland, the DOJ, the Congressional January 6 Committee, court of the Southern District of New York, and President Biden.

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MaryPat, I am watching and waiting, lacking faith, hoping like hell.

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I feel you…I go back and forth especially after my governor race here in Virginia.

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Where and when did a democracy avert such calamity as we are going through now? I ask, cuz I only know the failed ones. Excuse me while I go throw up, again.

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Why is Pence so reluctant to talk to the J6 committee? He’s a hero in this debacle. Is it his wanting to be president someday (not on my watch)? Is it his religious fervor that makes him turn the other cheek (Jesus never said people should not be accountable)? It’s not hyperbole to say tfg would not have cared if Pence HAD been killed. Feeding his narcissism was most important.

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Pence wants in on the authoritarian government that is eventually established. He just did not want to help Trump be the dictator.

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Pence has an identity, and he is locked to it. To speak out is to incriminate himself in the plot, to do so he admits he is part of team seditious. To tell the truth he becomes like one of Nixon’s thugs.

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He went to Hungary , he agrees with the plan, maybe just not how he was involved in that part of the execution...he is lily white & knee deep.

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I agree, Pence is a bit of a question mark. I hope he has to give public, sworn testimony pretty soon.

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He thinks chump will run and win in 2024, or some other cretin will

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I'm in sorrow for your emesis, but I certainly identify.

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They don't refer to him as 'snake in the grassley' back home for nothing.

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Grassley spilt the beans and laid bare the conspiracy. Reporters should have followed up deeper and pulled on that thread.

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Me three!

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And Joe still calls them friends???

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That is political peace jargon ... " our 'friends' across the aisle ..." even though ....

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... Grassley? ... turned from what ...?

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Yes to that. He was giving president Obama fits. Grassley’s been getting much worse lately - all in for TFG.

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From whatever to a felon.

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Thank you Ted. I don't really know what his background is/was - never have been impressed with him as a power broker or man of remarkable integrity - he always has struck me as a pawn in someone else's game - so I guess it is no big surprise that he wound up in a position of influence, relied upon to play for the team, regardless of what that might mean in the big picture ....

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Grassley is old enough to know better.

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So are most of the cult nuts I know

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I doubt it has much to do with age ...

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I am so with you! Why aren't more people up in arms and trying to do something about the travesty of justice that could have happened. I am not a fan of Pence, but I am grateful he had the moral & ethical character to do what was right. Thank God! Imagine if he hadn't?!

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MJ, I think he was just trying to save his posterior unit. He realized that he was the chosen fall guy when he heard about the gallows being built....and he refused to get into the escape limo with the Secret Service. Didn’t want to be “taken for a ride,” and he knew very well what his raging boss was capable of. Everything and everyone touched by the former guy dies, and Pence knew his only chance was to run a legal electoral vote count.

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Gus-did you see Rachel Maddow's show last night? She discussed that it would appear he knew about the forged EC votes by the additional wording he added to the traditional phrasing of announcement of the Vote Count. Here's her discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPfcI9WYZzQ

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Pretty amazing. I missed TRMS last night, so thanks for including the clip!

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he did indeed

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Gus, I think you’re 💯%. Pence was at least smart enough to know his butt would be on the line. I honestly don’t see him as a man of integrity, but will take whatever personality trait made him say no to the coup.

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You got it Gus. My question is: who tipped Pence off? There is still more to this than meets the eye. God, what a cliff hanger movie this is going to be. Any screen writers out there?

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

Charlie, I think it was Dan Quayle! Apparently Pence called him, and Dan pulled no punches:

there was only one thing Pence could do, and he better do it -- the straight up constitutional way. Seems like the old potato man developed some actual wisdom during all of his years out of office....

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Costa and Woodward report that Pence rang up Quayle in late December to ask if there was any way he could give Trump want he wanted, according to the Washington Post:

Quayle was adamant, according to the authors. “Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” he said.

But Pence pressed him, the authors write, asking if there were any grounds to pause the certification because of ongoing legal challenges. Quayle was unmoved, and Pence ultimately agreed, according to the book..

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Ah ha! Makes sense.

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Lordy, just like Adolf killed off some of his boot lickers

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Exactly! Thank you, Gus. He was never a hero. He chose to save his skin.

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Is there chocolate vodka???

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I have a bottle of coffee flavored tequila …the “coffee” means it’s meant for mornings- right??

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😂😂😂😂

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😂😂😂😂😂

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Of course. Makes a yummie martini. I have a killer recipe for Christmas Eve.

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yum

want it

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1. Must have a real shaker and lots of ice.

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we are chilly up in the Olympic Peninsula

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Garnish the rim of the tall martini glass with chocolate/coca powder, & cinnamon, hint of nutmeg or allspice, Freeze and have ready. fill the shaker with ice, vodka, chocolate liqueur, maybe a splash of Kalua, splash of cinnamon something, $ hint of bitters, shake the hella out of it and pour. I can add a little flame to this but let’s not burn the house down just yet.

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Chocolate and espresso martinis a fave during the winter season. So delicious. I love making them.

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Mike Pence, with his many flaws, actually cares enough about democracy to refuse to kill it or step aside for Grassley to kill it. Credit where credit is due.

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

I suspect he just despised Trump and did not want him as President again.

I don't think he would have had a problem if another Republican, with more intelligence and less mental illness, would have pulled the stunt.

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Do you really think he despised chump, if so, he hid it well…

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

Yes, Trump treated routinely treated Pence like the village idiot in public. Pence could not have failed to notice EVEN given that fact that he almost 100% of the time was pretending to be retarded.

He is not retarded, just looks that way.

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Remember the fly in his helmet, er I mean hair. It’s how I will always remember him 🤷‍♂️

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A greatly needed moment of national hilarity, it was. 🪰

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... pretty sure he did what he had to do - and probably did not enjoy it much at all ... Pence strikes me as a good, obedient son, committed to serve the purpose of his station - following orders as given ... so 'who's your daddy now ...?'

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Didn’t Pence also refuse to leave the Capitol building on 1/6?

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Yes, he did, even though Trump and minions were threatening his life. It’s interesting how many otherwise horrendous Republican officials held the line and stood up to Trump and his thugs.

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I wonder if, in addition to waiving concerns for his own safety, he also did not want to surrender the Capitol to the rioters?

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I think he realized that it would have put him behind the eight ball…

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Rupert has never told the cult anything except that Dems are doing exactly what the repubs are doing. Exactly like he never showed chump except as a Superman caricature. Propaganda works.

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Chocolate ice cream with a splash of vodka definitely.

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We use to call this drink a mudslide.

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We might do better with a whole lot of vodka and a splash of chocolate ice cream.

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Wish we could share a serving!

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Laurie-did you see Rachel Maddow's show last night? She discussed that it would appear he knew about the forged EC votes by the additional wording he added to the traditional phrasing of announcement of the Vote Count. Here's her discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPfcI9WYZzQ

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I think there's some chocolate vodka in our cabinet - come on over!

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Our democracy hinged on: the military brass stepping back from Trump's attempt to mobilize them on American soil; election officials refusing GOP commands to hand Trump a win out of thin air; DOJ officials threatening to quit en masse rather than violate their oaths; and Capitol police refusing to be goaded into opening fire and giving Trump the bloodbath he so craved as an excuse to declare martial law.

Meanwhile, the entire apparatus of the GOP is at Trump's beck and call.

And Mancin and Sinema are obstructing passage of bills their party ran on. Mancin and Sinema are hell bent, or plain old bent, or GOP bound to let the rare opportunity to do good, necessary big things which we worked so hard for, slip away,

We cannot and many are not just spectators or commenters. We need to turn out in overwhelming numbers to vote. Meanwhile for every comment to the choir, please let's write more letters to the editors.

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lin your list of democratic players pushing back against the attempt to subvert our democracy is what the traitors would call “the deep state.” “The deep state” is their label for the forces of democracy.

LONG LIVE THE DEEP STATE‼️

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... and F—K the pieces of racist garbage occupying our country who are working so hard to return us to the Deep South dictatorship of pre-Voting Rights Act

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Fantastic summary, Lin. So few, knee-deep in it, doing their job, saved us from the brink.

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Yes, including notably in your state. Where we saw in Raffensperger, the self contradiction of being a 'good German' (ie voting for a Republican regime and a Trump administration, both of which are essentially lawless) and being an honorable person (upholding the election law.)

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Lin, I beg to differ. I, too, thought his principles were exemplary, but as it turned out, he was defending his shiny new voting equipment (and also was probably considering the downside of his cooperation - prosecution). As soon as he caught heat from the Deplorables for his "principled" stand, he jumped right into Kemp's plans for voter suppression, including the voter nullification portion. That he voted for TFG TWICE says it all. The title of his book, "Integrity Counts," is laughable.

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a portion of my communication with Sinema:

Yall are without intelligence.

"Thank you for contacting my office. I am proud to serve the people of Arizona, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Please consider this message confirmation that we have received your correspondence.

If you would like to stay connected to our office with the latest news, legislation, and other useful information, please visit my website at https://sinema.senate.gov. Thank you for contacting me."

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I've received the same response multiple times re: my emails to her about the filibuster and voting rights. More encouraging is the response I got from Patty Murray, which includes: "Since its creation, the Senate has only needed a simple majority to pass bills and confirm nominees. The exceptions to this rule are clearly spelled out in the Constitution. However, the Senate has changed its own rules regularly over the course of its history, including those relating to how it considers, debates, and votes on different types of bills and nominees. Although the simple majority threshold to pass a bill still stands, today’s Senate requires three-fifths of the body—60 senators—to vote to end debate on a bill or on a motion pertaining to a bill, a procedure known as cloture. In practice, this rule imposes a 60-vote threshold on nearly every piece of legislation that comes before the Senate.

"Notably, the Senate has created a number of narrow and limited exceptions to the 60-vote cloture threshold. These include adoption of an annual budget resolution, special fiscal policy bills relating to a budget resolution, and in some cases, trade agreements. For these and other things, including Executive Branch and Judicial Branch nominees, the Senate has agreed that a simple majority is enough. I believe that a simple majority should be enough to safeguard the right to vote, the right that underpins countless other rights in our democracy. And I will consider every legislative option—including an exemption to cloture and the filibuster—to pass long-overdue voting rights protections into law."

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I get similar responses from one of Wisconsin's senators, the reprehensible Ron Johnson.

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🤢

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Yeah, I got a similar response awhile back when I told her I regretted contributing to her campaign and that she would never get another nickel from me.

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Did so yesterday regarding the red herring of “federalizing” elections.

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Powerful letter. they were closer to overturning the election than any of us knew. Amazing that Pence stood up to them and did do the right thing. Praying voting rights bill passes. There has to be somewhere a republican senator who is honorable. Thanks so much. The details are shocking thanks for digging and bringing them out to us

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Maybe Pence understood he would be the fall guy if it didn't go well. But still amazing.

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My wonders are of Mike Pence's take of the situation since Jan 6th.... Always careful not to accuse Trump. That to me is the chilly factor....

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Maybe I'm hallucinating, but I thought Pence consulted Gerald Ford who said, "Don't do it."

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Yes! Makes sense now. Thanks!

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

Lynell is right. And one of the few times that former VP Quayle did not hem and haw or “I’ll get back to you.” It was an emphatic no. And that Pence must follow and honor his duty to the Constitution, not to the former.

I can only speculate that former VP Pence felt a sense of relief and duty for finding an escape hatch from the former’s nut house.

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And for that, Christine, Quayle should be "pardoned" for his spelling gaffe lo these many years ago! https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/64689/never-forget-time-dan-quayle-misspelled-potato

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Lots of cognitive dissonance, i betcha. Those adoring looks were real

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Could have “contacted” Ford …

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Last night Rachel Maddow discussed that it would appear he knew about the forged EC votes by the additional wording he added to the traditional phrasing of announcement of the Vote Count. Here's her discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPfcI9WYZzQ

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Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

Not Ford, that would be "seance-ing". He consulted former VP Dan Quayle who essentially said, "Are you nuts? You CAN'T do it."

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Susan, we need two senators. I am hoping! Right now that seems more plausible than SinaManchin.

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Exactly. It bothers me when people assume the only way to pass the bill is to convince Democratic Senators Manchin and Sinema to vote yes. The Senate has 100 senators. Fifty yes votes, not 50 Democratic votes, are needed to bring in VP Harris to cast her tie-breaking vote. An uphill battle, for sure, but another path to success is possible. Keep contacting those 16 sitting R senators who voted yes in the past. And keep pressuring Manchin and Sinema. And the corporate donors who support them. Hit them where it counts by participating in #Good Trouble Mondays (no purchasing from them on Mondays).

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