444 Comments

Methinks following Russian money will lead into the pockets of many of the Republican lawmakers now deciding what US response should be to potential Russian militarism in Ukraine. I include Mitch McConnell in that list. It certainly would explain much of the otherwise irrational devotion to Trump by so many Republicans.

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Excellent point. I keep forgetting about the Russian money in the pockets of American politicians. Shudder.

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We all should be aware that Putin and the Russian mob have financial control over our Republican politicians. Then it all makes perfect sense. Donnie has for years been a Putin puppet. He wants to grow up to be just like him. This country is in dire trouble they have torn us apart with this civil unrest about racism and soon they will bring us to our knees. I am not being over reactive. I am just exhausted by watching my beautiful democracy turn to fascism powered by greed and fueled by hate. All we ALL need to do is stand against this evil. It will not be easy but we must. I have asked the media to stop posting pop up polls on our President and talk about all the good he does and is trying to do.

We have to stand together against this evil.

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I have taken to referring to him as RTrump. It acknowledges his ties to Russia, since RT stands for the Russia Today network, and also my feeling of his closest analogy on the human body - the rump.

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The derriere is actually a very nice part of most human bodies. It evolved so that we could run (other primates have nothing comparable) which we needed to do to catch prey animals, along with the achilles tendons and the nuchal tendon, which keeps the head stable when we run. (See Daniel Lieberman of Harvard for more on this.) Somehow the derriere became sexually infused. I'm with you on the RT though.

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Granted, it would be better if his name was Tass, but you have to work with what you get!

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Perfect! Thanks

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Yes! The smoke is getting thicker and if we don’t snuff out the fire it will be too late too soon!

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In plain sight and historical. The Politicians seem to be stumbling on the next step. Politicians as in repub party. What’s next determines now and decades to come. The press better move on from criticizing the Biden Administration and Democrats and focus on the Truth. And the American people need to focus. The distractions at this time are not only the “wasted time” on critical public health issues that should be givens, masking, vaccines, Honesty, safety, but excessive press about administration failures, which are mostly from obstruction and lies. How we move forward is for the history books and our children. These are scary times.

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I agree with you about the media. They are doing it for clicks and revenue too. It’s infuriating.

The whole world is burning from climate change and our democracy is being ripped apart. All for money and thus power. You can’t eat it and can’t take it with you when you go.

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"SNUFF OUT THE FIRE" DO IT! Put maximum effort in promoting "GET-OU-TO-VOTE" Organize, contribute, knock on doors over and over and over again, create hand outs to explain the consequences of not voting in 2022 & 2024...put MAXIMUM effort into record breaking voter participation BEGIN NOW...TODAY...PLEASE!!!

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It's interesting (according to some reports) that Ivanka called Putin to get her dad to stop the insurrection & he refused.

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Asked the marionettist to stop marionetting?

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Does anyone have a link for that?

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She called Putin on this???!!! I find that hard to believe.

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What?! I never heard about that?! Tell me more!

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Once again. My obsessively thinking about and worrying over what is happening in the United States is counter productive. Me becoming exhausted will only make me ill. Trying to stay on top of every single issue and reading book after book on those issues does not sound effective in the long run.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a politics/life balance. In fact we are more effective in the fight to save Democracy.

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I think one telltale sign that Drump leans toward the authoritarian leaders is the fact that the one book he covets is Mein Kampf. In his own "autobiography" it is mentioned as the only book by his bedside.

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Surely he never read it….

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Exactly.

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Jan 25, 2022·edited Jan 25, 2022

...and let's not forget the Republican Senators who had dinner w/Putin on JULY 4 2018: Moran (KS); Shelby (AL); Thune (SD); Kennedy (LA); Daines (MT); Hoeven (ND); Rep. Kay Granger (TX); Jill Stein (Green Party candidate who ran for President); and last of all Mike Flynn (who was paid $45K to speak @ the dinner.) Notice all the Congressional members are from southern or rural agricultural states. (IMHO, a real slap in the face, given the date they had the dinner.) Other than Flynn, we don't know if they took money.

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Ah yes, I had forgotten about that. Not surprised about the Rs. The interesting person to me was Jill not green Stein. She was costly to Ds and I know people who were conned by her.

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I know people still conned by Dr. Jill Stein.. Hearbreaking and democracy killing.

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She's naive and a magical thinker. I suspect she has major regrets about that meeting with Putin, and I'd bet good money that she's never going to run again.

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She'll never run again, but she lives well on Putin's money, having done her job for him. At least Henry Wallace admitted before he died that he'd been wrong about Stalin.

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One can only hope.

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Stein is typical Green scum. Sineman is another. They'll take Republican or Russian (in her case) money to run campaigns against otherwise-electable Democrats and see a Republican victory because it will "speed the revolution." You can't trust a Green further than you can see them with your eyes closed.

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Revolution is an overly used word. It's beginning to affect me like fingernails on a chalk board. I had to explain to one person after he voted for Jill not green Stein why that was a mistake. People can label themselves anything. Watch what they do and where they get their money.

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The original green values included democracy but they were sabotaged and subverted from the start. Petra Kelly was murdered because she linked human/animal rights abuses with the oligarchy.

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We have been helped to forget about it. You would think there would be documentaries about investigations into it. Did Fox report much about it at the time? And gosh, it was hardly a bi-partisan fact-finding mission, was it, unless you count Jill?

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"On Corruption in America" by Sarah Chayes. And we don't have to look away..

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A most excellent source!

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Honestly I don't read that genre. There just comes a time when I have to put away all that is going on and give my mind a break. Or read a novel. Or talk a walk. etc.

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We should never forget!

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Corrupt politicians are not a subject that is foremost in my mind on any given day. Sure is a lot to never forget these days.

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Like Mitch's aborted Aluminium works project in his home state.

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Jan 25, 2022·edited Jan 25, 2022

I just read up on that situation. Still hasn't been funded; Russian company suspended investments. Please read the March 2021 article if interested: https://www.wuky.org/local-regional-news/2021-03-18/russian-company-bankrolling-troubled-kentucky-aluminum-plant-suspends-investments

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I didn't know about that!

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I thought Mitch was anti-abortion? :-)

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It depends on who he's talking to and which way the wind is blowing, like his "position" on any other issue other than his personal interest in power.

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Money and Power. We should pay more attention to LBJ’s rise

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I don't know what that means.

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LBJ gained his significant Congressional influence funneling campaign funds from wealthy Texas businessmen to his colleagues in exchange for their support on specific legislation beneficial to those men. A little cajoling mixed with palm grease and a few winky nods to future cooperation. Power

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It means he doesn’t know much about LBJ

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He started out pro-choice--in his first election. But then the wind started blowing the other way.

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Put maximum effort in promoting "GET-OUT-TO-VOTE"

Organize,

contribute,

knock on doors over and over and over again,

create hand outs to explain the consequences of not voting in 2022 & 2024...

put MAXIMUM effort into record breaking voter participation

BEGIN NOW...

TODAY...

PLEASE!!!

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I am ashamed that I didn’t see, it was right under our noses, but it’s so obvious that Russia got Trump elected in 2016! We talked about their influence, but is there any doubt!?!

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None. Both Russia and trump want to disband NATO. The common goals evidence the connections. No surprise.

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No doubt what-so-ever.

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Russia flooded social media with divisive propaganda that mostly appealed to racism in white America. Nobody should be surprised that it worked. Racism, whether exploited by Russian propaganda or Republican political maneuvering, has been the basis of Republican power since 1968. The blame for Trump resides with the 60% of the white electorate that put him in office.

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But I don't understand how our intelligence wouldn't have picked up on this and done something about it before he was elected.

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They did pick it up. They didn't feel that there was a legal, Constitutional way to prevent it.

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Sort of seems like that makes our so called superior intelligence capabilites rather useless, doesn't it.

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Yes. I couldn't understand how the government could let trump get away with it, when they knew that a foreign, malevolent power was behind his rise.

Did you see the video of trump and President Obama sitting next to each other, and President Obama just shakes his head in horror that drumpf was elected?

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But it wasn't in the press/media. Maybe they kept it silent?

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Jan 25, 2022·edited Jan 25, 2022

The Obama administration kept it silent because the republicans threatened that if the administration said anything, they would accuse the Democrats of trying to influence the election. So the Administration backed down. I think it should have been brought to light - - Russia's involvement, republican threats, etc.

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I'm a little late to this comment, but that's how I saw it play out. The whole time I wanted to yell "Call their bluff!" The Dems always allow themselves to be hemmed in by Repugnicans' willingness to aggressively play loose with the facts, rather than stand up and call them out. It's pretty sad, but they've been conditioned like Pavlov dogs. The R's are very effective with their tactics.

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Always the $$$

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Interesting.

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Me think you’re right.

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McConnell has been a conman from the start. I read an article about him. In the article it said his children have nothing to do with him. (I am not sure about that.) However, after his divorce from his first wife his plan was to marry a wealthy woman. And he did! She walked when the heat turned on in the last few weeks of the Trump Administration. She should meet with the committee and tell what she knows. I am sure it would be a lot.

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I don’t know if we can believe anything she might say… she certainly wouldn’t betray mitch…

And I thought she jumped ship because the spotlight was on all of them and maybe she had something to hide! Can’t believe she would really be offended by anything that TFG did… after all, it’s been keeping her in the lifestyle she’s known all her life… ?

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Elaine Chao appears pretty criminal in her own right. Also with a father complex...

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I would say she grew up in that type of environment. Entitled compared to her peers.

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What is that all about?!

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His children having nothing to do with him is common knowledge.

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They must be good people!

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I’m sure she won’t do that because they were so in cahoots and her wealthy family as well. I didn’t know she completely walked away.

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She resigned from her cabinet position during the Trump Administration. I am sure she is still involved since her darling husband is a conman too.

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And she still wakes up next to the creature…I guess.

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How could she? Yuck!

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Almost threw up at the mental image... /gag

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She's a True Believer who would sit in prison for contempt of court for not answering from now till Trump got in office and pardoned her.

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I am not a mental health therapist and I am at a loss as to how and why RFK, Jr. and others of his ilk have plunged into the Dark Side.

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An aside that could be relevant: my Portuguese son-in-law just told a dRumper (from Chicago that moved to Arizona a fortnight ago…they all have COVID now) who railed about Fauci over the holidays. My SIL said to her as she lamented: “Lisa, we have the exact same dynamics in the covid symptoms in Portugal, but we don’t have a Dr. Fauci. How can that be true?”

She got *quiet*….and slowly admitted he had a point.

If he had been a Democratic Party member, I think she would’ve wave handed him away.

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It just shows how good the Republicans are at brainwashing. Look at the vaccine refusal. Could you ever imagne so many people conned into believing the vaccine is dangerous despite millions with no lasting issues. They are willing to risk their lives and those of their family because they honestly believe what they are being told. It is terrifying.

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I just had a similar experience with someone I had not heard from for several years. Sent an email to see if she was at the same email address. Her response this morning was that "Brandon" phrase. We had been close friends for years working together. My response this morning was "Oops. Guess you don't want to communicate. Sorry."

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Jan 25, 2022·edited Jan 25, 2022

Our condolences on your loss.

Moral character is so very telling. I don’t compile stats or have expertise in poly or any other science - so I can’t argue specifics on any number of topics. But from attitudes, words and behaviors, I can discern character - and that informs who I trust and distrust.

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I was on a FB group for the school I used to teach at. It's parents and such, but it's call the Freedom Edition because the original group would constantly take down idiotic stuff some members posted. I was impressed with Heather's one year summary of Biden's presidency and posted it on this group. Oh. My. Goodness. I brought out each and every Trumpster. The crap they spewed was amazing. One woman stopped reading when Heather mentioned democracy stating that this word proved Heather was in idiot because America is a republic. And, only a republic. I got called a libtard several times. Another stated I probably believed that COVID wasn't planned by our government. It went on and on. I stayed a few days, but because they kept reinforcing each other's misinformation, I deleted the post and left the group. I worked with "socially & emotionally disturbed" children my entire 35 years of teaching, and these kids were never really delusional like these parents.

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Stephen Greenblatt provided a good explanation in his book 'Tyrant'. The sycophants are willing to trade their personal and professional integrity in order to stand, if just for a moment, in the shadow of the object of their infatuation.

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Heather is too polite to explicitly call out the GOP's incentives.

Multiple investigations and court cases have indicated Russia spent money on behalf of the GOP in USA elections, especially in the 2016 cycle. If the USA's response to Russian aggression against Ukraine is heavily financial, it could impede that financial support. If there is a hot war instead, Republican donors at home (not many Democrats control the finances of big defense contractors) stand to make a lot of money from it and there will be plenty of chaos for foreign money and influence to sneak through.

Of course the GOP wants Biden to go for a military solution right away.

I live in the UK. We get some of our natural gas from Russia. Continental Europe gets a bigger proportion of theirs from Russia than we do. Russia will retaliate by cutting gas supply. Our already-spiking heating prices will spike even worse and that will cause a lot of pain. But Europe remembers what it is like to have a world war fought all over its lands and peoples. A choice between cold houses with financial pain and another great war is not a difficult choice at all.

Take the Republicans on a field trip to Kiev without their body armor and maybe they'll start to see it this way.

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https://www.tampabay.com/news/crime/2022/01/21/florida-businessman-with-giuliani-ties-gets-year-in-prison-in-foreign-donor-case/

“ As part of the plea, he admitted soliciting a million dollars from a Russian entrepreneur, Andrey Muraviev, to donate to Republicans in Nevada, Florida and other states as part of an effort to launch a recreational marijuana business.“

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Let's remember that both Lev Parnas & Igor Fruman pleaded guilty to or convicted of breaking campaign finance laws by illegally diverting Russian money to Republican campaigns.

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Let’s remember, from Dr. Richardson’s early days of these letters, that Kevin McCarthy took money from Lev Parnas. I’ll be fair and add that he eventually returned it, but still.

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I wonder who else is on the take? I have a feeling it's a majority of the GOPutinista party.

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Would he have returned the $ if Parnas hadn't been in the headlines? Hahahahaha....... No!

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If we can only shake out about 1000 more, which would be a drop in the bucket, but maybe some people would wake up?!

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You have an important perspective. Thank you.

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You're welcome. I don't often have much to add to what Heather says. She's awesome.

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Excellent commentary, Bonnie. Every American needs to read your comment along with HCR's history lesson. Sending our hearts across the pond to you and yours.

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Thank you. I don't have Heather's depth of knowledge, but I do happen to be living in an allied nation rather than inside the USA. Things do look different from here.

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Thank you so so much Bonnie. Opening eyes here. 🙏🙏

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Thank you. Do a majority of folks in the UK agree with you?

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I'm an odd character here, a dual citizen (originally from USA) with far more interest in politics than is normal for Brits, and I don't have that British reserve about expressing opinions. I think the majority here are so busy trying to stay afloat that there isn't much bandwidth to spare for thinking about this type of thing... so the majority want prices to come down *and* want not to have a war.

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I find that the "average working US citizen" also has very little information about the daily happenings of our country. Sad.

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Rachel Maddow covered the Russian "research" ship and naval ships in the waters by Ireland. There is a major underwater line there that powers a vital satellite that the European continent uses and needs. They fear that this ship is there to cut it. The feisty fishermen are parading their boats out in an organized manner to make this difficult.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60130486

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

So if Russia wants to start a war, a good way to debilitate Europe is to cut off oil/gas supply and to cut the cable.

For safety concerns alone, Russia and any other nation should be forbidden from conducting military exercises in that area.

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Was listening to Maddow about this today. I am disappointed that the BBC did not lay out all the context that Maddow explained. The BBC is not what it used to be, so disappointed is not the same as surprised. I saw a map somewhere that shows the major cables with Russia's planned naval exercise area shown in red. It's squarely on top of an area where multiple cables are close to each other.

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OMG

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Thank you for posting this. Passed it on.

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Put maximum effort in promoting "GET-OUT-TO-VOTE"

Organize,

contribute,

knock on doors over and over and over again,

create hand outs to explain the consequences of not voting in 2022 & 2024...

put MAXIMUM effort into record breaking voter participation

BEGIN NOW...

TODAY...

PLEASE!!!

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Aren’t there other sources for oil ? If you (and the European countries) could get their oil from someplace other than Russia, that would be ideal!

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Are we between a rock and a hard place? The battle for oil and coupled with environmental destruction and against legislation to address Climate Change? We have had enough time. Except foreign policy and military solutions are again distracting USA. Not a surprise if we look at history.

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Surplus natural gas in the US and Middle East. Liquified natural gas more expensive as you have to cool it, then ship it on specialized ships.

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Natural gas is the big sticking point, more than oil, and Ted you're on target. The UK made a 20+ year deal about a decade or so ago to be able to get LNG, when desired, from the Cheniere facility in Cameron Parish, LA, across the border from Sabine Pass, TX. My rough calculation at the time was that it could go high enough to cover about 1/4 to 1/3 of UK household demand. But price isn't the only hassle. It takes time to transport that LNG here. Everyone got spoiled to pipeline delivery and that's what will dramatically fall off.

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There's certainly enough liquified natural gas here to make up the Russian shortfall.

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That is an absolute fact.

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Breaking News! An article was just published by the NYTIMES saying that The U.S. is finding alternative sources for oil and fuel for European countries!

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It’s not about oil, it’s about natural gas, that’s used to heat homes and run factories. Right now it’s winter and they need more of it, most of the supply crosses the Ukraine in pipelines or crosses the Baltic in Nord Stream One. The Ukrainians can not be prevented from using some of it for their own needs, they pay for, it but they can’t be raped over it like Putin want’s to do because he wants money from the rest of Europe. Nord Stream Two is an effort to bypass the Ukraine and there by starve them of a commodity that they desperately need. The Germans unilaterally shut down their nuclear reactors after Fukushima despite the fact that they are not in an earthquake zone, making them much more dependent on the Russians for natural gas.

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Anymore, the idea of an “earthquake zone” can be misleading, as The Netherlands was not known to be an “earthquake zone,” but has become one as a result of “Shell Oil” drawing natural gas from under the ground in Groningen, which is not far from the German border. Thus, as with “fracking,” earthquakes can be induced.

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One would think that Western Democracies would create an atmosphere of free trade in energy supplies… many suppliers and buyers, with competition to keep prices moderately low and ready supplies, a free market! But that is exactly the opposite economy of our global energy market.

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Great idea!

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Possibly Norway? Sweden and Finland purchase oil/gas (not sure which) from Norway.

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HERE IS A MORE PRACTICAL METHOD TO RID AMERICA OF ALL OF THE CORRUPT R's IN CONGRESS

SEE LINK

Dear MoveOn member,

A message I sent you in December hit a nerve with Fox News and the Republican Party.

Last week, I found out that Fox News officials had read my message—and that it sent Fox News and the Republican Party scrambling, starting with writing a hit piece about it.1

You see, MoveOn is doing something it's never done in its 23-year history. The powerhouse grassroots organization has launched a multimillion-dollar campaign to protect our elections by stopping Donald Trump from replacing the top election officials in battleground states with his own loyalists.2

You may remember from my message in December that Trump is focusing on a previously obscure elected state official: the secretary of state, who in most states oversees vote counting and certifies—or decertifies—election results.3

At his first rally of the year, Trump stated outright: "There's a famous statement: 'Sometimes the vote counter is more important than the candidate.'"4

Trump has already endorsed candidates for secretary of state in multiple battleground states, and the candidates all spout the Big Lie of a stolen election.5 As disturbing as it is, you need to know that candidates endorsed by Trump nearly always win the GOP nomination—98% of the time.6

That's why MoveOn's campaign meets the moment and why our message last month hit a nerve over at Fox News. A GOP spokesperson responded to MoveOn's campaign by saying the GOP will "accelerate our fundraising efforts so we can stop them."7

That's what is concerning, and it's why I'm writing to you again today. Because if we allow Republicans, their billionaire donors, and dark-money groups to steamroll our efforts with their fundraising, Trump's plot to use secretaries of state to install him to another term as president might just work.

Will you join me in rushing an emergency donation of $20 to MoveOn to power their campaign to defeat Trump-backed secretaries of state? On top of fueling this critical effort, your donation will show the GOP and Fox News that their tactics won't intimidate us.

Let me tell you a little bit about just two of the candidates that Trump is working overtime to elect to these positions.

In Arizona, Trump has endorsed an extremist named Mark Finchem, a GOP state lawmaker who attended the January 6 insurrection; continues to work to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Arizona; and is linked to the Oath Keepers, the white supremacist extremist group whose leaders were charged earlier this month with "seditious conspiracy" related to their involvement in the insurrection.8,9

Finchem spoke at a Trump rally this month in Arizona, parroting Trump's lies about a stolen election and saying, "With all the evidence we have, the Arizona election should be decertified with cause...."10

And in Georgia, where Trump famously asked then-Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes" for him in 2020, Trump has endorsed Jody Hice, a member of Congress who attempted to stop the certification of Georgia's election in 2020, has supported the blatantly racist voter suppression laws being passed in the state, and claimed that Raffensperger "compromised" the 2020 election by refusing to bow to Trump's attempted coup.11,12

Imagine how different the 2020 election could have ended if Jody Hice had been secretary of state in Georgia and agreed to "find" those votes for Trump, or if Mark Finchem refused to certify President Biden's victory in Arizona?

That is what is at stake in these midterm elections, and why—for the first time in its 23-year history—MoveOn is dedicating millions of dollars to help elect secretaries of state who will put our democracy first and stand up to wannabe tyrants like Trump.

Please, if you are able, will you chip in $20—or whatever you can—to take down Trump's plot to put his loyalists in charge of overseeing elections?

Thanks for all you do.

–Robert Reich

Sources:

1. "Trump helps thrust once-ignored secretary of state campaigns into big donor spotlight," Fox News, January 10, 2022

https://act.moveon.org/go/160149?t=4&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

2. "How Trump-backed secretary of state candidates would change elections in the United States," The Washington Post, December 1, 2021

https://act.moveon.org/go/159806?t=6&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

3. "After attacks on the 2020 election, secretary of state races take on new urgency," NPR, November 4, 2021

https://act.moveon.org/go/160153?t=8&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

4. "An Arizona Trump rally and voting rights march underscore the fight for democracy," CNN, January 17, 2022

https://act.moveon.org/go/160078?t=10&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

5. "How Republicans became the party of Trump’s election lie after Jan. 6," The Washington Post, January 5, 2022

https://act.moveon.org/go/160080?t=12&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

6. "Almost Everyone Trump Endorses Wins Their Primary … But Is He Padding His Record?" FiveThirtyEight, August 26, 2020

https://act.moveon.org/go/159840?t=14&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

7. "Trump helps thrust once-ignored secretary of state campaigns into big donor spotlight," Fox News, January 10, 2022

https://act.moveon.org/go/160149?t=16&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

8. "An Arizona Trump rally and voting rights march underscore the fight for democracy," CNN, January 17, 2022

https://act.moveon.org/go/160078?t=18&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

9. Trump gives endorsement in Arizona secretary of state race," Associated Press, September 13, 2021

https://act.moveon.org/go/160079?t=20&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

10. "An Arizona Trump rally and voting rights march underscore the fight for democracy," CNN, January 17, 2022

https://act.moveon.org/go/160078?t=22&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

11. "Jody Hice tried to overturn the 2020 election. Now he wants to be in charge of Georgia’s elections." Vox, March 22, 2021

https://act.moveon.org/go/160152?t=24&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

12. "After attacks on the 2020 election, secretary of state races take on new urgency," NPR, November 4, 2021

https://act.moveon.org/go/160153?t=26&akid=315558%2E34742813%2EgUT24r

Want to support MoveOn's work? Donald Trump's preparations for being able to steal the presidency in 2024 are well underway and include working to replace top election officials in battleground states with his own loyalists. Which is why MoveOn is doing something we've never done in our 23-year history: We're launching a powerful, multimillion-dollar effort to defeat Trump-backed secretaries of state across the country and elect individuals who will count every vote and ensure fair elections.

Will you chip in to power our campaign to defeat Trump and protect our elections in 2022?

Click here to chip in $20, or whatever you can afford.

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Love your field trip suggestion. Can we contribute money?

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Maybe Putin would sponsor it. He did have some of them over to visit in Moscow for a 4th of July...

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So then, Russian money is the impetus behind Republicans' devotion to Russia. Russia funds their campaigns. Thank you for your post.

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More than cold houses.... I suspect that the vast majority of Europeans cook with gas as well.

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Well, yes, we do in our house.

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Hope that memory is true for the current generations of Brit and Continentals, Bonnie?

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I hope fervently that younger generations over here have listened to their elders enough for the nature of the choice in front of us to fully sink in. Although people alive during the war are dying off, it isn't just war itself that scars a country. Post-war austerity in the UK was deep and painful. The UK did not benefit from the Marshall Plan, so its economic recovery was slower than on the Continent. "Austerity Britain: 1945 - 1951" is a long slog to read, but was the single best thing to help me understand how the UK went from what it was during the war to what it is now. The UK didn't fully pull out of it for decades. People who remember post-war austerity are still around. I think the Continent has different memories, more bombed-out devastation but then the Marshall Plan. Having only done brief work trips there, I don't have as much of a sense of how they remember it. Just quick snippets, like the man who mentioned his mother had been in Dresden during the war.

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

It might be helpful to compile the stories of those still living, who lived during WWII. I think the younger generation doesn't have a clue of what war is like.

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I think you are right about that, with the exception of asylum seekers. Your father's memories of what happened at Dresden would be the type of story no listener could ever forget.

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No. He was very saddened by it, and never forgot. It especially upset him that Americans bombed Dresden around the perimeter, so that the whole city would go up in flames and no one could escape.

But what do you mean about the asylum seekers?

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Some asylum seekers are from a targeted demographic where they come from, and some are from war zones which magnifies their danger. For that matter, many refugees are from war zones. They are often young and they know at first hand what war is. They don't need to learn about it from their elders.

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Thank you. I recall a fellow student who was in Dresden when it was ignited. Though an America citizen when we at college, he held that memory large. Have wondered if his children or grandchildren could imagine the root causes as well as the aftermath. As he said, for them the old Dresden never was

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My father lived outside of Dresden when it was ignited. It was horrible. There were no soldiers in Dresden when it was ignited - only women and children. He still remembers the horror.

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Wow. I can't even imagine what he experienced and how he feels.

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The involvement - ie geopolitical unity - of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia precedes even the Russian empire, let alone the Soviet Union. The territory of Ukraine has been dominated by Mongols and Turks, Poland, Lithuania, and the AustroHungarian empire.

The pull between East and West, Russia and Western Europe continues. There have been diplomatic understandings negotiated with Russia regarding the expansion of NATO, which have been tested/ignored.

George W. Bush's incompetent military adventurism weakened America's hand. Donald Trump's ignorant blunderings upset a delicately balanced apple cart overseas, while nearly demolishing the State Department at home.

Ukraine's Eastern European, former Soviet, neighbors have been sending aid to Ukraine and sending up red flags which were largely ignored. Germany, always leery of sending troops into countries the Nazis had invaded, has committed to a field hospital. The rest of NATO is scrambling for a coherent policy.

Russian groups, parents who wearied of their sons coming home from Afghanistan and Georgia in zinc coffins, have been on social media opposing the deployment of Russian troops.

Then there is president for life Putin. With memories of Soviet domination and dreams of Russian empire - happy to stir up the pot in a distracted world.

It is not an easy thing to deal with schoolyard bullies - with their hands on the levers of government and their entourage thinking only of their own advancement. We should know. We've seen it in McConnell's Senate and Trump's administration.

It is always more difficult for those who want to be reasonable, ethical, and play by the rules. America is out of practice in balancing flexing one's muscles and playing with the team. Especially with the Republican party and entire right wing apparatus on auto pilot to obstruct any Democratic administration. And not minding destroying democratic administration in the process.

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Deep Throat. It always comes back to “follow the money”. Without money, the criminals that wield power have no “stick and carrot” to get their donkey’s to move

Leaders come in many forms with the Emergent style being ethically effective in motivating people. Least effective is the autocrat that only gains influence by bribe or threats

Take away their currency and the donkeys won’t budge

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I disagree. The GOP 'currency' to get votes is ideology and irrationality. The GOP base of racist right wing religious extremists are not making money off supporting Trump - they are getting practically unregulated access to weaponry, legitimization of venting their resentments on minorities, criminalizing womens health care, and inflicting the evangelical version of shariah law.

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My point was the relative effectiveness of leadership styles, ie an autocrat has power only as long as he has money, or has the ability to withhold money. Once that is removed, the incentive to follow der leader begins to evaporate. I can’t speak to the power of propaganda in the short term, but we see it is short lived. The Emergent Leader gains authority via respect; doesn’t require bribes or propaganda

Turning the GOP base away from Hero worship and fear mongering becomes the challenge and sadly, the deep seated White fear of the “Other” is probably generations away from occurring

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Jan 25, 2022·edited Jan 25, 2022

Can't help but see this as a win, Lin, if you are listening to conservatives (and independents, possibly) outside places like DC and NYC and LA, for example. For so many in our rural red areas, all the other is noise or hyperbole.

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Oh yes. Absolute win for them. Racist rightwing religious extremists worked hard for decades to get the Supreme Court. Voting, running, and volunteering AS REPUBLICANS. And remade the party in their image - Trump.

While the *pure conscience/clean hands* Left voted with their gut rather than their brain- following purity tests, pipe dreams, and Pied Pipers, and giving government to racist right wing religious extremists.

And I am Left of Bernie who ran as a Democrat

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Thanks for your assessment. My knowledge of that part of the world is woefully ignorant.

I believe that America’s hubris in thinking it can transcend thousands of years of history (thinking of the GWOT, but extending it into Eurasia as well) with its bandaids of support for the “good” side in these conflicts is unbridled. As the Professor stated (I’m going to summarize here, then go reread and edit if necessary) we must decide on whether we believe that nations have the right to exist or cater to the powerful oligarchies.

**the Professor’ language was “ rule of law that says sovereign countries have the right to determine their own alliances.”

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Actually, most of us are pretty ignorant about eastern Europe. Having been a partner with a proud Lithuanian the past 26 years, I have had my "horizon broadened" about the region, and becoming friends in recent years with my fellow "model geeks" in Kyiv has educated me about Ukraine. And the result of that is seeing Russia as the enemy they have been to those countries and that region since at least the time of Peter the Great. The Ukrainians are NOT "natural Russians." They were taken over by Catherine the Great and have been "restive" ever since. They remember Stalin created the famine of the 1930s, they remember Krushchev as the Ukrainian traitor who did Stalin's bidding in killing his fellow Ukrainians. They made a mistake welcoming the Germans in 1941, but it was "the enemy of my enemy...." They're very much "people on our side."

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Me too, ignorant of Eastern Europe. Just learning in the past year. Lots to learn. I keep linking to Greg Olear because his heritage is from that part of the world. I like his expertise

https://gregolear.substack.com/p/the-ukraine-fallacies-with-victor

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Thank you.

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

Prior to being forcefully subjected to become part of the USSR, Latvia and, I think, Estonia and Latvia, were among the most highly educated countries in the world. The cultures were more similar to Scandinavia or Europe than Russia.

The USSR pushed the Baltics into poverty. They split up large, beautiful homes into numerous apartments, forcing 2-3 generations of a single family to live in a couple rooms. Living rooms doubled as bedrooms under Russian rule. Autocrats have to destroy the soul to survive.

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Flexing muscles is more than a government deploying its military or even economic sanctions. Multinational corporations and oligarchs, operating as what Anne Applebaum calls Autocracy Inc., have scary muscles to flex, often behind the scenes.

https://twitter.com/anneapplebaum/status/1460215744743067648?s=21

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Right as usual Ellie:) ThankYou!

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We easily have the votes to succeed in defeating even the biggest moneyed muscles!!!

Put maximum effort in promoting "GET-OUT-TO-VOTE"

Organize,

contribute,

knock on doors over and over and over again,

create hand outs to explain the consequences of not voting in 2022 & 2024...

put MAXIMUM effort into record breaking voter participation

BEGIN NOW...

TODAY...

PLEASE!!!

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Thank you for sharing this link. What a sobering and scary wake-up article.

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Ellie, do you have the HeathersHerd email? Someone mentioned it yesterday (you?) but I didn't save it. ThankYou.

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Thank you Ellie.

For readers: We can counteract and neutralize by being aware of malign influences here. On Lucian Truscott for example, a Putin-friendly propaganda piece floated to the bottom of Comments because it doesn’t have any likes. See if you can find it:

https://luciantruscott.substack.com/p/ukraine-dominates-the-days-news

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Put maximum effort in promoting "GET-OUT-TO-VOTE"

Organize,

contribute,

knock on doors over and over and over again,

create hand outs to explain the consequences of not voting in 2022 & 2024...

put MAXIMUM effort into record breaking voter participation

BEGIN NOW...

TODAY...

PLEASE!!!

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May I please *LIKE* this comment a Hundred Million Times!!!!! YES!!!!

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YES! X 100,000,000,000 !

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Excellent, lin, thank you 🙏

https://gregolear.substack.com/p/the-ukraine-fallacies-with-victor

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Thanks for the link. So much always to learn.

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Fiona Hill wrote a solid op-ed about Putin and what Russia wants in the NYT. While I don't quite agree with portraying Putin as this endlessly-brilliant Machiavellian mastermind (in some ways he is; rest assured he has his blind spots), I agree with her general take. What Biden MUST do now is get NATO on the same page. There CANNOT BE, in the event of an invasion any of the weak, meandering behavior/commentary from the alliance as there has been in the past. Hill is correct, and I stated this seven years ago (I'm paraphrasing my own quote) "By 2022, Putin will create an incident specifically designed to destroy NATO, by isolating its probably too-many parts, disparate interests; exposing its lack of fortitude and some of its members' legacy weaknesses. There will come a moment the alliance will either have to act decisively--and with real risk--or dissolve into a puddle of mud because it can't bring itself to do what it must. Oh, the alliance will continue to officially exist after that, but that will be the day historians note it ceased to mean anything." Rest assured THAT is exactly what Putin aims to do here.

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Of course the destruction of NATO was also a fixation of the Trump administration - wildly swinging between isolationism and domination. American policy in the image of Trump himself.

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Trump's "foreign policy" was created, then sold, in Moscow. Trump is a bought and paid-for "useful idiot."

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American policy in the image of tRump which is in the image of Putin himself.

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And if his stance helps Russia, so much the better in tRump's opinion (and apparently in the Republicans and the RW media's opinions as well.)

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Yes.

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My opinion is that we sometimes wrongly label a person, who is narcissistic and sociopathic with laser-like focus because they have nothing else to weigh them down (i.e. a conscience), a brilliant mastermind. The opposite of being narcissistic and sociopathic creates roadblocks and distractions in our brains, and stops us from doing the unthinkable. Possibly why all of these nut job dictators have been able to attain power.

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So, is Putin the first or the latter?!

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Sorry Cynthia, I don't understand your question.

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You describe the narcissistic person, and then you said ‘ the opposite of being narcissistic creates roadblocks… so I was confused?

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Putin is a narcissist and sociopath, like Trump and other dictator types IMO. The opposite is a fairly normal person.

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Putin does not have enough power to overcome us. We can easily defeat his scheme forever!

Put maximum effort in promoting "GET-OUT-TO-VOTE"

Organize,

contribute,

knock on doors over and over and over again,

create hand outs to explain the consequences of not voting in 2022 & 2024...

put MAXIMUM effort into record breaking voter participation

BEGIN NOW...

TODAY...

PLEASE!!!

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YES to all. But as you outline - MAXIMUM EFFORT. 'Cause It Ain't Gonna Be Easy.

Am painting sign right now to stand out in Maine 10F Winter day to collect signatures to get Democratic incumbents on ballot. I have the time and layers:)

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Fiona Hill's op-ed it a definite must-read if you want to understand the crisis. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/24/opinion/russia-ukraine-putin-biden.html

Here's another article, which builds upon the professor's letter, co-authored by Alexander Vindman. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ukraine/2022-01-21/day-after-russia-attacks

Also, I'm increasingly seeing experts on the region raising the prospect of things spinning out of control and becoming a much bigger war.

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Thanks for the link to the FA article. Whether you agree with all of their action recommendations or not, I think that their analysis of both domestic and international pressures on European actors is cogent and well worth consideration.

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I agree, Robert. I was waiting for her to weigh-in on this subject. Solid piece - required reading.

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Can you post a link?

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GUEST ESSAY

'Putin Has the U.S. Right Where He Wants It'

Jan. 24, 2022

By Fiona Hill

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/24/opinion/russia-ukraine-putin-biden.html

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Thanks! And Wow.

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It might also be said that the brilliance of Putin's macchiavellian profile is relative ...as it often appears totally absent in the current crop of western leaders.

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I don't understand what you wrote. Please say it another way. Your insights are too important to miss.

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I mean quite simply that current western leaders are more than somewhat mediocre and by comparaison Putin can look brilliant.

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Thank you. Now I understand.

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I didn't agree with her assessment of Putin (which is certainly arrogant of me given her qualifications!) What I wondered was if the extremely talented and brilliant Ms. Hill has developed a case of over focus on one thing--Putin.

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Watching her testify wrt tfg and Ukraine, I think her experience and focus on Putin is well placed. There are many moving pieces and Chess requires both awareness and focus

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I see your point. I still believe that Putin is not playing Biden. President Biden is no newcomer to foreign matters.

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Putin knows that Biden is formidable; not a dumba$$ Bankrupt stooge from NYC. Biden is a no nonsense foreign policy player who will listen to the experts

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Let's let Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity go live in Russia, under Putin's rule, with no ability to come back to the US. It's easy to sit here and criticize because one is allowed to. Just because both of them were in Trump's back pocket does not make them valuable to someone like Putin. He wants their dissension and misinformation here; in Russia? Not so much...

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Tucker Carlson is a narcissist. He does it, like Trump, for all the attention we give him. The problem is his viewers. They want to believe they weren't wrong about Trump and he tells them what they want to hear.

That being said, the most important thing for Putin is to get Trump reelected as our permanent president and destroy NATO. He will do anything he can to make Biden look weak, including invading Ukraine. He has done it before just before an election. He does these things to distract us...now we aren't worried about the vote, racist cops, January 6., Trump's multiple legal problems. Weaken Biden and Trump or Tucker might be the next president. I have no doubt that Tucker wants the job. He is following the Trump playbook. No, I can't imagine Carlson campaigning but I wasn't worried about Trump either.

I was curious about Barr's role in the coup and what made Trump say he was resigning. Curiouser and curiouser. The guns are circling on the former administration. Where has young Steven Miller gone? Start looking under rocks!

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I had been suggesting that for Trump too given his apparent love for Putin. He should go and live in Russia along with all the people that back him. In fact, I feel that all of the White Supremacists that support him should be invited to live on some of those empty Russian Arctic Islands to start their Nordic colonies in true Nordic conditions.

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What true Nordic conditions. The permafrost is melting in Siberia and elsewhere.

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As much as he loves Putin and other autocrats of the world, he would never live in Russia voluntarily. He would miss the glitz of Florida.

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I agree. He only loves Putin because of the money. He staying in Florida.

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Stephen Miller went to high school with my nephews. His creepiness and bizarreness was evident then. When trump occupied the WH, it is like we entered an alternative universe.

Way too often evil intent is the force to seize and maintain power. Those who win also have the weapons/military. Not to get into a gender spat and it is not all guys, but around the world and throughout history, violence and warfare is perpetuated by men. The stakes are so high today because of the type of weapons that are in the hands of the masses and the 9 (known) countries with nuclear weapons. It isn't a big stretch to think one of these ground wars won't eventually be miscalculated. A technological glitch could also set off some nasty volleys as well.

Wow, didn't meant to go down that path!! But, watching the stock market nosedive again kinda set me off - can't we all just play nicely in the sandbox?! 😫

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Miller should have been stuffed in a seabag and tossed off the end of the Santa Monica Pier during a storm back when he was 15.

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Further down a dark path that I would suggest or advocate. 😳 There are always going to be the millers, trumps, etc. The reality is, those of us without evil intent need to make sure those types never again glean the power that makes them so dangerous. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a time where it might just be too late.

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I have had a couple of students with those same psychopathic tendencies. One was eventually locked up for good after murdering an elderly couple in cold blood, one of the most brutal murders ever in the Houston area. I look for the same from Miller. He has just been too wily thus far and has managed to get his dirty deeds done without blood actually touching his hands. But. He's of that ilk and that nature and it's just a matter of time.

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This June 2019 Frontline interview with Miller's uncle describes a scary personality type . . . https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/interview/david-glosser/

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Oh please. Thanks for being considerate but it’s almost always guys. It’s a genetic gender-specific inferiority complex or something. 🙄

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Barr's resignation surprised Trump.

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I wonder how truthful he is being with the committee considering how he spun the Mueller report

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no need to ever worry again...we can end the threat to our democracy forever!

Put maximum effort in promoting "GET-OUT-TO-VOTE"

Organize,

contribute,

knock on doors over and over and over again,

create hand outs to explain the consequences of not voting in 2022 & 2024...

put MAXIMUM effort into record breaking voter participation

BEGIN NOW...

TODAY...

PLEASE!!!

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we can easily overcome their dissension and misinformation and completely eliminate their destructive plans forever...

Put maximum effort in promoting "GET-OUT-TO-VOTE"

Organize,

contribute,

knock on doors over and over and over again,

create hand outs to explain the consequences of not voting in 2022 & 2024...

put MAXIMUM effort into record breaking voter participation

BEGIN NOW...

TODAY...

PLEASE!!!

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Bravo ... again Professor Richardson (Heather, to all your indebted readers) for taking a complex issue and its bedrock history and making it understandable. The gift of a wirter, journalist, historian and most of all, educator. KUDOS!

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So, so true! I am thankful for HCR and her determination to share her evidence-based knowledge with us everyday!!!

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