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Russian stocks take a dive, JP Morgan closes out trading the ruble, Russian businesses prepare for big losses. It seems the only Communism left in the world exists in the paranoid imagination of the Republican Party.

The real red scare is a significant plurality of US voters in red baseball caps.

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lol...

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Russian citizens have been struggling for quite a while. I can’t image what further sanctions will do for them.

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Maybe they'll throw out the czarist regime currently running things; a second Russian Revolution of sorts. That possibility must be ticking away in some corner of Putin's brain.

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There's an article in the Atlantic about the similarities of anti-vax propaganda to other forms of mass human sacrifice.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/human-sacrifice-ritual-mass-vaccination/621355/

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Thank you! What an interesting and enlightening read, contemporary and historical. As an aside, if the no-vaccine crowd continues, one wonders if they will soon be in the minority. Led to the altar of human sacrifice by their own leaders. Sad.

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I checked my notebooks (from November 2016 till now) and found seven mentions of the words "Human sacrifice".

One referred directly to HCR's lucid history of the National Rifle Association on March 23rd 2021. At the time I noted:

"Despite knowing some of the history, I had long wondered exactly how the right to form 'a well regulated Militia' evolved into a custom of amok and thence into a crazed, haphazard cult of human sacrifice.

Were not the words 'well regulated' of the essence?"

But that's just scratching the surface of the problem: mass madness.

As for the mass sacrifice to which you allude, monstrous leaders exercise their power in such a way that they take thousands, even millions down with them when they go. Hitler is an obvious case in point.

But look closer to home.

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Human Sacrifice; an age old form of Social Control.

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Exactly.

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Yes, but they keep breeding.

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Yes, Sophia, but nowhere near fast enough.

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Yes, but so slowly, though it appears that hospitals are filling up with un-vaxed red-hatters.

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Taking beds from vaccinated people with heart attacks, strokes, etc., resulting in a lot of deaths that didn't have to happen except for the boneheadedness of the unvaxxed.

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The lack of beds and attention to “regular” and emergency procedures has created or exacerbated health problems for everyone. Are health facilities making adjustments? Some hospitals are beginning to make different decisions. Or maybe decisions have been taken out of their hands. How difficult for medical staff to have to choose to allow sick non-COVID patients to wait because unvaccinated COVID patients are taking up beds. Maybe that’s changing. A judge recently ruled that an unvaccinated heart transplant patient would have to wait, as a vaccinated candidate would be more likely to not only survive the surgery but to live.

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My stance; a special Covid ward for the unvaxed in cots out in the parking lot. We’ll send a nurse down if one has a few moments.

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Dear Heather,

You wrote: "Tonight is not an imperative read, if you need a break from politics. It’s just more details emerging in ongoing stories." And yet, it was riveting from beginning to end. Everything you write is an "imperative read"!

If Russia is ejected from SWIFT, the blowback -- along with the other sanctions -- should cause an economic tsunami. Signs that Putin's position is beginning to teeter are hopeful -- perhaps the noble Russian people will take the opportunity to oust him and his bully tactics.

It is heartening that movements to bring TFG to justice are not waning. Go, Georgia, and way to go, 6th Jan. Committee! I love the way that committee continues to persevere! Newt Gungrinch can sputter all he likes. What made him crawl out of the termite-infested woodwork anyway? Is he running out of money or just greedy for more?

All this to say, Heather, you nailed it once again. You're a star, and I can't miss a night of your captivating letters. Thank you!

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When Newt gets pulled out of the FOX closet they are either getting desperate for people to come on and defend (after all it is clear to anyone with a bit of common sense that it was a coup) or their over 75 demographic is falling.

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Don't undersell Gingrich. He single handedly changed the rhetoric in politics that persists to today. The two people I fear the most who can destroy Democracy in this Country are Murdoch and Gingrich.

From Wikipedia:

A number of scholars have credited Gingrich with playing a key role in undermining democratic norms in the United States, and hastening political polarization and partisan prejudice. According to Harvard University political scientists Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky, Gingrich's speakership had a profound and lasting impact on American politics and health of American democracy. They argue that Gingrich instilled a "combative" approach in the Republican Party, where hateful language and hyper-partisanship became commonplace, and where democratic norms were abandoned. Gingrich frequently questioned the patriotism of Democrats, called them corrupt, compared them to fascists, and accused them of wanting to destroy the United States. Gingrich furthermore oversaw several major government shutdowns.

University of Maryland political scientist Lilliana Mason identified Gingrich's instructions to Republicans to use words such as “betray, bizarre, decay, destroy, devour, greed, lie, pathetic, radical, selfish, shame, sick, steal, and traitors” about Democrats as an example of a breach in social norms and exacerbation of partisan prejudice.[6] Gingrich is a key figure in the 2017 book The Polarizers by Colgate University political scientist Sam Rosenfeld about the American political system's shift to polarization and gridlock.[

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I am old enough to know every word is true, he had help from Atwater, Frank Luntz , etc. with his dividing verbiage and he knew plenty on his own. The turning point was Rupert getting control of so much of our communication systems and getting rid of Fairness Doctrine, and then along came Roger Ailes. This has been decades in the works. Joy Reid had one of my favorite stories on last night. Smedley Butler and the Business Coup of 1933. Check it out, Google knows.

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Yes I am too. I remember when Gingrich came on the scene with his divisive rhetoric. I remember thinking something akin to: "What is this? This is an awful way to talk in politics."

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And yet his (3rd) wife was the ambassador to the Vatican under TFG.

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He enjoyed every awful thing he did..

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Pretty sure he is grooming his grandson to step into his shoes/political aspirations ... it's a family thing.

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It's great to see the name of Smedley Butler once again. I came across his story about 6 or 7 years ago and thought, "Why weren't we taught about him in school?" He was a true American Hero on the battlefield and off of it. The "Liberty League"--corporate leaders, e.g., DuPont--tried to recruit him to lead a half million veterans from WWI to overthrow FDR, the U.S. Government, and the New Deal. Butler's story is so impressive that every American should study it. His accomplishments and experiences should be taught in every public and private schools' civics, history, and government courses. His military accomplishments are beyond legendary. Yet his civilian follow-up was even stronger. He was a brave man, and his commitment to true democracy was beyond the beyond. His classic book, "War Is A Racket" should be required reading for all. And taught in all the school courses I mentioned above. The story is a soldier who came to his senses after having served the U.S. government and military for over 33 years and multiple wars in Central America. Having been a two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor and every other award the Marine Corps had to recognize bravery. He simply deserves to be heard.

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I have images of these private GOP meetings where they are intensely fed talking points that work on their base. They put so much effort into their propaganda machines. Imagine being a conservative elected to Congress, taking an oath of office to uphold the Constitution, then doing nothing but working to destroy everything in the Constitution. I’m sure they’ve been well-prepared by the election machines that helped them win but do you think any of them are ever surprised or disappointed that they’re not really there to do anything worthwhile?

My county supervisor is up for re-election this year. He is a conspiracy nut and I’ve listed to his BS for 2 years on Covid and taxes for road improvements, but get rid of mass transit. He thinks everyone can afford a car, gas and insurance and autonomous cars will take care of the traffic. White, elitist, privilege in action. We’re in San Diego. His salary is $152,000. Our state legislators only get $114,000 and I think my husband said same for Lt. Gov. This position is way overpaid. I’m backing his opponent, she is in line with our beliefs. I may volunteer for her campaign. They’re collecting signatures now.

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Sharon, I just looked up the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and read each bio. As soon as I read “former mayor of” a particular city, I knew exactly who you are referencing here. I’m in Nor Cal but know of the regressive, ultra conservative pols - how many books have been banned in the schools there? - in the North County. The citizens of SD county deserve better, but unfortunately, you get what you vote for. Hang in there!

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Yes, I am in that former mayors city. There are plenty of issues he caused. I have not heard of any book banning yet but when I met with our future candidate she told me they have had problems at school board meetings from the anti-mask crowd. We discussed open positions and how to get on some of these boards. I’m pretty sure it was her that told me they are going for positions on library boards to take control of reading materials next. I had not even considered a library board.

We had the house set on fire of 2 of the current supervisors a couple of weeks ago. Racist rants in a meeting. In every meeting they are the exact same people with the continued conspiracies. He actually encourages this behavior. He appeals to them to come out.

And I learned that he goes to do all these photo ops of helping the community but he doesn’t actually give any of his allocated funds to the groups.

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The book banning goes back many years, mostly in a neighboring community if I remember correctly. James and the Giant Peach was a hot button issue. Sheesh…

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Let us know when the opponent's campaign is ready for outside people sending postcards etc.

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Autonomous cars may never arrive. And if they do, their main raison d'etre will be to monetize our movements for the big companies that will own them.

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

No argument for me. He and Norquist. Destroyers, haters, and bullies. I think Gingrich has become a hanger on. Making a few bucks where he can. He is a true believer in himself (narcissistic) and of course will speak in defense of the indefensible.

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I really hope so. I believe they have brought in Gingrich to up the ante on fighting dirty. Those comments about imprisoning the January 6 Committee were just the warm up.

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This is the headline in the Insider "A longtime Gingrich aide got a January 6 subpoena two weeks before Newt called the committee a ‘lynch mob’ whose members could go to jail." Now we have an answer...this might be too close to home because Newt himself might have advised to ingratiate himself with the Fuhrer.

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I think they are throwing speggetti at the walls. Childish idiots. Our opposition is starting to realize that they can't defend him so they are starting to distance themselves. That leaves Gingrich - and his pals from yesteryear to promote the Fox foolishness.

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Only thing he's good at, wouldn't put anything past them

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I have a friend who was in first grade with Norquist. He was a shitty little bully then...

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Why have I always thought that???

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Nasty personalities often stay that way

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And he is an A-hole!

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I don't believe in name calling in politics or anywhere. Trump introduced derisive name calling into our national culture. I am so sorry it stuck. Kudos to President Biden for apologizing to Doocey for calling him a name.

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Martha, that was a sensitive number, over 75. The reason is I am 76 and many of my friends are in that demographic. We are reading Letters from an American every morning, watching PBS, listening to NPR and voting Democratic. Even though I live on the left Coast I do have friends in Mississippi and Alabama. We fight over who got my nickname, Lefty.😎

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I did not mean to offend, I am 65...I was thinking about my Fox watching aunt's and uncle's and business mentors who use to swoon over him. Maybe I should have said 65...I just thought he was older than me and I don't think my own children know who he and Norquist are.

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He was all that was left after the Reagan skeleton disintegrated.

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Gungrinch—perfect. What a sack of spluttering self-importance. So tiresome.

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The fact the Republicans have recruited him is troublesome indeed. It's going to get really nasty (if that is even possible.) He got Clinton impeached when Clinton should not have been. Bannon and others want to impeach Biden. Hang tight.

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Gingrich is doing what Gingrich does, everything he can to destroy any semblance of democracy. He lies, slanders, and probably taught Rupert a thing or two with his Contract on America.

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But…won’t thst just drive Putin to some other source of $ ? Arab? or what? Asking ‘cause I don’t know …

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Apparently North Africa, S.E. Asia are working with the Alliances to provide heating oil and gas to European nations in hopes of ending dependency on Russia

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Well, yes... and analysts I'm reading say that the US penchant for trying to strangle national economies with sanctions (Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Afghanistan, China, Russia etc), if creating blowback by scaring allies and nudging countries into new alliances of resistance, in order to bypass the US and UK grip on money flow.

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Best way to move forward?

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One might be to respect national sovereignty and human rights as an ethical principle and not use pretenses of human rights advocacy as a weapon. It's not impossible, but it does require peace advocates challenging jingoistic politics.

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I doubt that. What sources are you using ?

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Thanks, your question returned me to a fascinating interview with economist Michael Hudson, by Ben Norton. Even if you were to dismiss 80% of the content, the details are familiar and I think useful.

Naked Capitalism offers the transcript:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/01/michael-hudson-what-is-causing-so-much-inflation.html

30% down in the transcript comes this question:

BENJAMIN NORTON: Professor Hudson, let’s switch topics a bit here. I want to talk about an issue that we frequently address with you, I think it’s very important, and that is de-dollarization.

For the video, it can be found at:

https://www.unz.com/mhudson/what-is-causing-so-much-inflation/

and the relevant part starts at 39 minutes and runs to the end.

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After hearing Prof. Hudson discuss Germany repatriating its gold from the US [and France] I looked it up online and saw that the gold was returned three years ahead of the planned return.

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Well said Rowshan!

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Here in Minnesota this morning, the temperature in my backyard is -18 below with a windchill is in the OMG range below that. Tough to be outdoors for any length of time.

Russia and Ukraine experience those kinds of temperatures, as does northern Europe. When I think about Russia invading Ukraine again and the extraordinary pain they can inflict at this time of year, it makes my head spin. While I understand the need for economic sanctions and agree they are effective, I also understand that ordinary people like me, who happen to live in Russia and Ukraine and Europe, will be most affected. Putin will suffer yes but ordinary people might go hungry or freeze to death. Grrrr.

I have mentioned previously that I’m a bead weaver. One of the things I love most about my art is its nearly universal appeal. I have made friends around the world and even have collectors in Russia, Lithuania, and Poland.

I contacted one of my friends in Lithuania yesterday to ask how she was doing. Irina was born and raised in Russia, and moved to Lithuania after marrying a man she met in college. I met her via etsy- she sells all manner of vintage and antique beads and has relatives in Minneapolis whom I know. The relatives showed me Irina’s etsy site at dinner 15 years ago, a costly event as it turns out - smile

Irina’s message was brief- they are OK for now but worried. Sanctions will affect her and her husband- and they don’t have a lot of extra income to use to pay more for gas to heat their home or for food or medicine. Irina is never brief. That’s how worried she is.

Add in all of Russia’s efforts to overthrow our democracy here at home, and Republican politics that keep COVID spreading and killing people here, and my world seems bigger - and much smaller all at the same time. They just cancelled my favorite bead show in Tucson next week. I had already cancelled my reservations but it made me sad nonetheless. I won’t see my relatives and friends, and won’t experience that fabulous desert warmth I so appreciate at this time of year. A first world problem for sure but one that could have been avoided had Republicans not decided that killing people thru COVID was somehow acceptable - and science doesn’t matter.

All I can say is go Fani! Find a way to lock up Trump, and Eastman, Meadows, Giuliani, et al right alongside him. Find their connections to Putin and shut them down. Time to nip autocracy in the bud.

I’m going to help register voters tomorrow. Should be fun!

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Thank you. One of the positives of global economy and communications! Who would have thought that the beading art and business would be, in your hands, this amazing networking window to how real people on the ground are caught and suffer in the machinations of governments. It takes an alert networker like you to bring it to the surface. I loved this post for its empathy for the ordinary...you brought it "home".

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Excellent comment, Sheila. I read about these political issues daily, but you have given them a personal, human, perspective. Thank you.

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I salute and echo your concern for the "ordinary" (and each extraordinary) persons who will be hurt in so many ways as a result of Putin's aggression and power lust. I was struck yesterday by Ukrainian government messaging about the harmful side-effects of all this on Ukraine's economy.

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Albert Schweitzer “Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.” SheilaB does this in spades, I try. It appears that the focus on money interferes with republican’s humanity gene.

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I really like your comments, Sheila. Winter in eastern Europe and Russia reminds me of when back in the early 1800s, Napoleon attacked Russia, but was defeated mostly by the dread Russian Winter. Moving forward to 1942, Hitler decided to fight WW II on two fronts by sending his troops to the east to attack Russia. They reached Stalingrad as the Winter arrived at the same time. His war machine was wiped out by the Winter, also. Clearly, Hitler was no student of history. That was a major reason he lost the war. We are so fortunate he didn't know about Napoleon's defeat in the same place. May we hope that Biden and his NATO buddies are better students of history. Also, a dictionary definition ought to be added to the word "Sanction:" - a weapon used to cause starvation and death used to prevent the danger of having one's own troops injured and killed. In modern times, countries use sanctions to deprive their opposing countries of money and supplies, particularly of food, with total disregard of the people, particularly the poor, of the "enemy." Sanctions are a huge part of the modern way of doing war, which is called "hybrid." It is quite effective in the effort to bring another country, even without declaring war, to its knees.

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Hitler eventually lost the war not only because he didn’t know about Napoleon’s defeat but because the West and European countries found him out. Daughter of Holocaust survivors here.

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Hitler also lost the war because the US was so incredibly productive of tanks and fighter planes as compared to Germany. Our then three major car companies pivoted on a dime to making war materiel, which is why virtually no 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945 American cars were manufactured, and few 1941s.

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Except for Ford. Henry Ford was a huge admirer of Hitler and provided him with vehicles. Mercedes and VW did also but those were built in Europe. My grandparents perished in one of the vans the Nazis used at the gas camp called Chelmno.

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Ford was also involved in manufacturing war materiel for the US, and certainly would not have been permitted to manufacture such for Germany. (If you have info to the contrary, I would be VERY interested. You can respond here or email me at HolzmanDC at gmail dot com.) But you're absolutely correct about Henry Ford having been an admirer of Hitler, and it wouldn't surprise me if he'd provided him with vehicles before we entered the war. (And I'd be interested in anything you have on that. I write about cars.)

I'm very sorry about your grandparents, and all the other people who perished in that nightmare. (I'm Jewish, but unaware of any relatives who were in Europe at that time--the last of my forebears to immigrate came in 1905, and all of his multiple siblings came here as well, although at different times. His parents were my only great grandparents who were not born here.

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David, Ford had a plant in Germany during WWII. I am sending you a wiki page. Scroll down to where it says “Berlin” and read about the trucks manufactured there. Also talks about slave laborers. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Germany

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Another reason why the slogan on the signs we carried in 2004, “WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER” is true. We destroy through property damage and death or death from starvation and the elements. Thank you for the reminder that sanctions are still deadly for many people in war torn and poor countries. Why death of civilians is called collateral damage is beyond reason.

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We carried those words when marching against the Vietnam War in the 60’s and early 70’s.

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Sanctions cannot touch the world's most wealthy. They are impervious. Putin does not care. His oligarchs dare not speak, President Biden seems blissfully oblivious, Trumpets and Tucker Carlson are thrilled, and fascism is sweeping the free world. Two Terms of Obama and Joe Knows Us did it... the pendulum is swinging, as monetization leads to inflation and devaluation of the common denominator... and the West flirts with a second Crash... that would cause our GOP to say to run Mussolini here... again.

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A balmy 1F here this morning, birds and feral cats need extra attention.

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🤣 As my friend Jon Foley, the former head of the California Academy of Sciences says, its a balmy 280 degrees Kelvin here. Lol. Extra food for those kitties and sunflowers seeds for the feathered ones, got it. Thanks for the laugh!

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Thank you for caring for your animal neighbors.

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"We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.3–4.0 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually. Un-owned cats, as opposed to owned pets, cause the majority of this mortality. Our findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought and are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals. Scientifically sound conservation and policy intervention is needed to reduce this impact."

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms2380

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Bless you - and may no harm come to Irina and her loved ones. 🙏🏻

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Thank you for bringing “world problems “ to world reality. Humanity. Somehow we have more ability to see the world and less empathy to feel it. Internet and televised news specials bring this reality into our homes, but as politicians know, that remoteness keeps us apart. Grateful for what we have, charity and prayers for the less fortunate. Today I must sound cynical. So I’ll go for a hike and hope.

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Sheila, I am confused. Lithuania is a part of EU - there are no sanctions against them. Irina will be impacted by Russian aggression, not sanctions - Russia always threatens to turn off the gas in winter , if they are not allowed to invade someone (and Lithuania is next on the list).

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If Biden sanctions Russia and Putin, they have threatened to cut off natural gas to Europe as you say. Without those gas supplies, heat and the movement of trucks will also be affected - which is how food is transported there. Yes, Lithuania is part of the EU but it borders which countries? What do you think will happen to their supply lines if sanctions are put in place and Belarus decides it needs them more than their puny, non-Russia supporting neighbor? Irina is Russian-born and understands that Putin doesn't care about anything except power and money. Lithuania is vulnerable and Irina knows it. Maybe she worries in vain? Hope so.

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Oh, I think she should worry harder, but more strategically!

What is really terrifying is what happens if Biden and EU don't impose sanctions - Putin will just take Ukraine, and can move to the next blackmail - let's say "Expel Lithuania from NATO and EU, or I cut the gas/throw a fit/down a plane etc". Dictators like Putin and Lukashenko don't do reasonable things. Look, we don't even discuss - don't impose sanctions, and we'll back off Ukraine. They are escalating.

We all need to be clear whose causing Irina's distress - Putin and not Biden and EU's sanctions.

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Amen. I agree that sanctions are necessary and understand they can be very effective. Just don’t like the effects on the “innocents.” And Irina is well aware of who the villains are sadly. Putin

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Miss that cold weather!! Should be back in the midst of it in a couple weeks.

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Enjoy that Arizona sunshine while you can, then go back and enjoy the tundra. It's a good mix; just wish I could get there this year.

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Kathy, I grew up in Maine and suffered through many extremely cold winters, so cold that cars would not start. You can have it!

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I grew up where the only way in or out of the village in the winter was by dogsled or plane. Could use a boat in the summer. Our family did not have a car until I was eight. Love to downhill and cross-country ski.

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

I truly appreciate your compassion for the "ordinary" people in E. Europe who have already suffered so much. And you have my respect for getting involved in registering voters! (By the way, I am a native Minnesotan.)

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Sheila, your comment made me remember this that I had come across sometime ago. You might enjoy it: https://www.theactivetimes.com/travel/coldest-cities-in-the-world

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GO FANI‼️🎉🎉

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

Some years ago, a friend sent me an Alex Jones link. I’d no idea who he was and the rambling hysterics between him and another guy made me think it was a comic skit. But it went on and on and the punchline never arrived. At which point it finally occurred to me that it wasn’t a joke. At least, not on purpose.

Alex has done so much harm to US. His assertions following Sandy Hook as but one example. May his attempts at covering his ass be in vain and may he be exposed as the fraud he is.

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I thought nobody was stupid enough to buy his Schitt. Wish I had been right…. Hope is is forever banned from his children.

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I thought no body was stupid enough to buy trump’s Schitt, but I was wrong.

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Yes, I didn’t think he stood a chance. We both underestimated the size of that segment of the population. In the vicinity of just under half of America.

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That one parent that he kept going after, they sued his sorry butt and won ! His wife divorced him. Him and the ‘Pillow guy ‘ . Not sure if 1/6 C. wants the Pillow guy ?

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Instead of a full Wikipedia page, the one and only line that should ever appear next to Alex Jones name is "batshit crazy"; don't even waste the ink with a picture of a rabid bat!

What he did to the parents of the children massacred at Sandy Hook is beyond criminal and incomprehensible. There is absolutely no reason in the world he should still be walking around - another blatant failure of the legal system. He should be in a strait jacket in a padded cell.

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Amen!

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The other hate mongers heir!

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Thanks for an offer of a break, but that seemed like a must read to me

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Off-Topic Update on the DOJ case against 19 'Oath Keepers' whose 'MO' is to recruit ex- military & ex-law enforcemet personnel and first-responders. Per the DOJ prosecuting US Attorneys DC District, the case has been split into three (3) separate cases: (1) the Seditious Conspiracy case against Leader, Elmer Stewart Rhodes (age 56) and 10 others ; (2 ) the Seven (7) original Defedants case whose case is now set for Trial; and (3) a conspiracy case against one (1) Defendant to disrupt Senate & House proceedings specifically on January 6, 2021. The Seditious Conspiracy case pinpoints numerous overt acts that started a few days after the November 2020 Election & are alleged to have continued through January 6, 2021. Merrick Garland marches on.

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Thank you. The “cream” is rising to the top.

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Thank you & your entire Substack.

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What will interest me a lot is if and when the investigative journalists will be able to turn over the rocks in Delaware, Wyoming, South Dakota and elsewhere that are hiding the nominee trusts holding the assets of Trump, the various Repugs who are still supporting the Big Lie. Those state legislatures have created legal bulwarks beyond what Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, BVI and elsewhere ever devised. I have no doubt that the empty high-rise residential condos in our coastal cities such as NYC, Boston, SF, and Miami are owned by the Trump/Putin gang of international criminals all contributing to the re-election campaigns of the numerous reluctant recipients trying to avoid testifying. When Putin and Trump can no longer access their funds to pay the attorneys submitting the responses to the investigators the plea deals will begin to surface. Hopefully the freedom information requests will result in Pulitzers for the journalists writing the stories we have not seen yet. Let’s hope that HCR and LFAA are on that short list for awards. Nobody deserves a Pulitzer more than HCR.

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"When Putin and Trump can no longer access their funds" - yes, the idea of barring them from SWIFT was very shrewd.

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It can also be something of a "double-edged sword" as with most sanctions there are costs to the rest of the world too. It would still though impact most strongly Russia.

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Economist Michael Hudson sheds important light on this... glad you bring it up. How many countries are being strangled by US sanctions? The effects could be parallel to the decision to overthrow Libya's government, leaving the people stuck with deadly consequences. There are figures on the economic casualties and deaths of Venezuelans from Washington's strangulation policies. Accuracy.org reports on the CEPR study finding that 40,000 perished thriugh the "success" of US sanctions. https://accuracy.org/release/report-us-sanctions-on-venezuela-are-responsible-for-tens-of-thousands-of-deaths/

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"Not imperative", right. Hey everyone this stuff is for sure to be on the test. ;-)

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Christopher Johnson, you got me laughing out loud this morning. Thank you!

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wait, wait, I was asleep what isn't imperative? lol

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There's a test?? I thought we were just auditing the course. :-(

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😂

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Fascinating, the details coming out...each email, text message has an author, presumably a recipient, often a respondent, sometimes a c.c.'d recipient or recipients. I'll bet most of those engaged in the grand scheme were not thinking "security" at the time those messages were flying back and forth during discussion/planning of the plot to substitute electors. Noone has control of the "forward" button. Noone has control over what gets saved by recipients, before or after replying. The emerging truth is better than fiction. Eventually there will be more smoking guns, like that recorded conversation with Raffensberger. Can you imagine the back-story developing amongst all the staffers of the January 6 committee members? The number of dirty fingers out there in Washington DC and elsewhere must be staggering...

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At this stage of 1/6's diligent revelations it would seem, based upon the Guilt's Law of self-preservation, that those "dirty fingers" will begin the typical pointing at each other with the greatest of deception's vigor.

A rather perverse, (but none the less satisfying comfort in seeing the arrogance of criminals being deflated into total fear), great show of justice stomping out the dirty-rats from all the dark corners conspiracies' covert, Eh!?

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So far, so good. I'm awaiting handcuffs and orange overalls before allowing myself any feelings of satisfaction. Ask Mick Jagger....

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I doubt the story will end there David - possibly the beginning of an even more challenging chapter ....

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"...possibly the beginning of an even more challenging chapter ...."

INDEED!

That challenge will be victorious when all Democrats challenge themselves to commit to maximum support of the "Get-Our-To-Vote" national/local effort by contributing to fully vetted action organizations, local voter registration efforts, volunteering in every way possible, Etc., Etc., etc.

FOR EXAMPLE:

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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Thank you George - here are the links to donate:

Monthly: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/pac-footer-ab

One Time: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/pac-footer-ab-onetime

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Already happening in Clark County, Nev; saw a bit of CNN interview wit Republican election officia, who supported Trump, l re the Oath Keepers assault on his office and continuing threats to take over all elections…scary stuff. Couldn’t find the link, sorry, but I think it was Anderson Cooper.

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Donated today!

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Ok George. I will re enter the MoveOn org world. You couldn't be more right. I was once a regular donor ...wow, has it really been 23 yrs?

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How about convictions and life sentences?

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Not sure ... could just feed the fires of resistance to institutional constraint of 'individual freedom' boiling up from just beneath the surface ... people connected on the inside can play their way to freedom through networks of communication and channels of influence manipulating vulnerable targets within the system - very hard to uncover revealing truths (evidence) as loyalty is paramount, whistle blowing is not tolerated - retribution is severe/deadly - even if people acknowledge the facts, getting them to testify under oath may be an exercise in futility - look at all the people taking the 5th amendment ... what are their choices - inside or out, probably one reason so many are playing along ... who knows if 'witness protection' can protect them - besides, who wants to live a lie ...? Courage and determination to live in truth ... whatever the cost/ consequence might be ....

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They all want to live a lie looks like to me. You describe going after mobsters. Yes it's hard, but the rest of us paying our taxes and respecting our laws want to see all the criminals in jail. No matter how long it takes.

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Wow. So true - all of you! Why is it, in what is reputed to be the wealthiest nation in the world ({by what standard?!}) vital resources are so scarce and inaccessible? It seems like one way or another, everything has a price tag - people are trying to sell something, or asking for donations to a cause (including legislators and social servants who by rights ought to be supported without having to spend the better part of their time fundraising) and people on the ground are locked into work that rarely pays enough to keep up, running a hustle that nobody needs, begging for a handout, or just giving up and dying - and even that costs more than we can afford.

What kind of sadistic, malicious personality supports and promotes this status quo?!

I see no easy answers ... it really boils down to each and every one of us doing the best we can with what we've got -working individually and in community with others whose interest we share - to make a difference ... and trust sincere efforts are not wasted if we keep watering the grounds, pulling weeds and turning soils so seeds of our dreams can grow.

Here is something happening Thursday (short notice!) probably worth attending if we have time - and following as it grows:

MEETING THE MOMENT - BUILDING A MORE RESILIENT NATION

“Winning Change that’s Built to Last,” a free virtual convening from the Progressive Caucus Action Fund on Thursday, January 27th at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT - (1-5pm ET (10am-2pm PT))

Join us as we bring together grassroots leaders, policy advocates, labor movements, special guest elected leaders, and artists from people-led movements across the country to look back on the successes and challenges of the past year and look forward to the year ahead. Don't miss this free virtual convening! View the full program of speakers and tune into the summit this Thursday at progressivestrategysummit.org starting at 1:00 p.m. ET this Thursday!

https://www.progressivestrategysummit.org

https://secure.everyaction.com/pPAyBPhJl0iaxiPJWA_y4w2

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How about revoking their citizenship ?

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I like “The Man Without a Country” by Edward Everett Hale. The traitor was not only stripped of citizenship, but sentenced to living the rest of his life on a ship, never allowed to set foot on land anywhere.

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I hope you're right.

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I’d bet they thought about “security”, but they were so sure they’d either win or be pardoned that they decided “meh”.

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Exactly, chump likely not the only one who can’t believe he lost. The election fraud was unprecedented

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That is to say it was "unpresidented" Eh!?

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I think Guliani was one of those. He doesn't have that pardon gold ticket...

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Brilliant point. In the fervor of the moment and in the need to fit in with those around you, clarity of thought and moral compass are washed away.

In order to stoke the outrageous, cut from whole cloth, canard that Trump actually won the election, hundreds and hundreds of people were pulled in to do service. No doubt there is a pyramid shape to this house of cards. At the bottom are hundreds of people, perhaps thousands, who served to prop up the ego of the guy at the top. They are now laying very low, hoping that their small part passes into history unnoticed.

But those above them can feel the winds blowing, gently at first and then with more urgency. At this moment Trump’s house of cards, a creation of supreme folly, still stands. But so many in the middle can feel that it’s all going to come crashing down and are weighing their odds for survival. One solution is to testify to as much of the story as you know in the hope of surviving the onslaught of the law in the coming months and in the relief of clearing one’s conscience at long last.

Trump did not build a monolith. He cannot control those he used not so long ago. Some will remain faithful because they identify personally with “the cause”. Their self-image is at stake. But others are more pragmatic and they will come forward or have already. And the picture emerges piece by piece.

This, barring an utterly supine DOJ, is going to be a smash-up of cyclonic proportions. Given the artificial deadline of the midterms that the Committee faces, Trump’s perfidy and downfall is going to be *the* story going into those elections, barring a meteor strike. Not inflation. Not Afghanistan. Not the usual dreary punditry of how the current Administration gets kicked around in the midterms.

The Democrats may do surprisingly well this fall.

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Hope springs eternal. After several cups of coffee I fantasize about a Hail Mary that will reverse the gloom about the November elections. Eric, you point out some of the rational reasons why this might occur. I hope that some of the 74 million who voted for Trump become rational (facts do matter!) and that Biden has a favorable wind for his ship of state in 2022.

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"The Democrats may do surprisingly well this fall."

Praying your wish may come true!

BUT IT WON'T

Not unless every registered Democrat does everything possible to assure all of their neighbors likewise register to vote and then successfully participate in voting INTELLIGENTLY + helping those who require assistance in voting whatever that requirement may be.

All of this will demand an extraordinary amount of time and effort and expense and American "Can-Do" determined attitude without exception of every American Democrat who loves American Democracy's promise of freedom!!!

Do it now today before it is to late, contribute, volunteer, scrupulously vet every candidate and incumbent and issue...vote confidently...vote intelligently...PLEASE

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vote, yes. contribute?, no thanks. That will most surely result in a barrage of additional requests and quite possibly, my contact info will end up on some list which results in open season on me for other political organizations. Voting is what matters most.

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Gee...You may want to consider that if none of us contributed our time and hard earned money to scrutinized vetted Democratic action organizations.

Then what surely will happen in 2024, without any question whatsoever, America as a democratic United States of America would certainly become controlled by the moneyed elite's sought after authoritarian enforcement of strict obedience to their authority.

And then 95% of every American's contact info PLUS every bit of personal information about you and your entire family will be controlled by those Elites for their sole benefit and not yours.

If you finally choose to fight back afterwards you will discover it is way too late.

Your efforts of procrastinated rebellion will be subject to their enforcement of strict obedience to their authority. You will have no recourse then as you do now under the Constitution which you chose not to defend with your maximum effort today.

Think about the risk you are choosing in assuming you are protecting your personal information. Your information is, at this very moment, already scrupulously catalogued in most every major retailer, credit card company, financial/credit reporting agency and certainly in triplicate in a plethora of governmental agencies.

If only just one million people like you chose instead to give $10.00 a month to any of the Democratic political service groups then that would result in an additional $80,000,000.00 boost toward insuring the survival of our American Democracy.

Think about this, Please.

America needs MAXIMUM effort now, today from EVERY American voter in order to defeat ALL of those who would gladly destroy our American

democracy.

Please reconsider and chip in.

Thanks

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Ah, yes, but which organization(s)? Easy enough to give, much harder to discern what becomes of the gift.

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Your discernment of the effectiveness is very simple to obtain.

I have organized a simple to use outline for your review and/or comment.

There is no question about the viability of the four (4) resources unless, of course, a republican minion's lies have corrupted the truth of the matter.

Here you go:

O. K. Good question.

The answer to your question is listed below.

Everything you need to know to be assured that your monthly $10.00 donation is being used by the most effective way possible can be found using the four (4) listed resources,

My favorite is ACTBLUE.

I have an ACTBLUE account that I use exclusively to donate to any and every candidate or legislative issue I choose to support.

I select the candidate or incumbent or issue and push three buttons on the computer screen without referring to any of my financial reference numbers, (e. g. credit card numbers, address, etc. etc. etc.), and I receive almost instantaneously their emailed receipt acknowledging my donation.

A record of every donation I have donated is posted in a permanent on line account that I can reference any time I need too.

(1). The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is the independent regulatory agency charged with administering and enforcing the federal campaign finance law. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, Senate, Presidency and the Vice Presidency.

(2). https://support.actblue.com/campaigns/contribution-form-features/goal-tracker/

13,892,727 Democratic donors have saved their payment information with us via an ActBlue account.

(3). https://blog.actblue.com/2022/01/27/2021-numbers-recap-donors-stay-dedicated-to-fueling-change/

DURING 2021:

4.5 million unique donors gave 35.3 million contributions to 17,876 campaigns and organizations, totaling $1.3 billion.

(4). https://ballotpedia.org/Survey

I hope this gives you the confidence and comfort you require to donate your $10.00 a month to help American democracy survive the republican/Russian/Chinese attack on our American democratic method of living together in peace in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

Thank you.

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I have been wondering what Europe would do if Russia shuts the flow of gas down. I am glad to see that options are being explored. Perhaps Putin underestimated how fed up the rest of the world is tired of his bullying.

Alex Jones can't walk his rhetoric back fast enough, too bad a piece of duct tape can't be permanently affixed to his mouth.

Something that hasn't gotten a lot of airplay yet was a ruling yesterday by the SCOTUS

( 8-0)against Wall Street and in favor of common folk who have 401(K) pension investments "A unanimous Supreme Court ruling Monday in Hughes v. Northwestern University ensures that Americans will still be able to sue employers and Wall Street banks that bleed dry their retirement accounts — a landmark precedent in protecting the $7.3 trillion Americans hold in 401(k) accounts.

The 8-0 ruling, written by Sonia Sotomayor, found that 401(k) plan participants could continue to take legal action against employers for including high-fee, high-risk investments in their 401(k) lineup, even if they also included lower-fee, lower risk options. It is about time.

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8-0 ruling! Was the ninth robe occupier asleep? Brava, Sonia! She has a new children’s book released, her fourth!

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Isn't he always? Mother probably didn't tell him how to vote

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Have always been afraid of this. I always advised Ppl I knew “Not “ to put all their eggs in one basket.

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"Today, Jones walked back his rhetoric from early January and appeared to want to distance himself from the events of January 6. “Let’s get something clear for the committee and my audience and everybody else,” he said, “I don't want a civil war in this country, and that’s a terrible idea…. And I don't want lawlessness by anybody. And I don’t want anybody attacking anybody, OK?"

Well now, isn't that interesting. After spending years foaming at the mouth and promoting civil war Alex Jones has his tail between his legs...

"Jones has, for years, salivated over the prospect of a bloody second American civil war that pits conservatives against the left and “globalists.” In hyping the prospect of partisan violence, Jones has said that he will personally participate in the fighting and in the mass executions of members of the losing side afterward. While Jones has often tried to create plausible deniability against the charge he is threatening or intimidating anyone, typically with the claim that any violence he and others on the right would engage in would be legitimate self-defense..."

https://www.mediamatters.org/coronavirus-covid-19/alex-jones-promotes-far-right-extremist-who-calling-anti-government-violence

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All of a sudden the "certainty of immunity" is teetering on the brink. Their cage is being shaken to the limit and it won't stop there. Their problem is that now they are nolonger either sure that Trump will save them should he return and, also, they are nolonger sure that he will in fact return.....or at least in time to get them off the hook. Now they are on the cliff edge and it requires significant "guts" to step out into the void of faith. I don't see much of this around in the face of the steadily approaching "bulldozer" of the committee investigative team.

These people thought that their "bubble" was somewhere in a plotters "Nirvana", imperceptible to the none-nitiated souls and perfectly safe. Now the Piper of Hamelin has stopped playing and they are finding themselves at the mercy of the townsfolk that they defrauded, denigrated and defamed. Sounds promising but more should follow Georgia AGs lead and go for the piper! Once he is having to defend himself he will sell every one of his "children" and burn their escape boats while trying to clear his own flight path.

"It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood

Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak.

Augurs and understood relations have

By magot pies and choughs and rooks brought forth

The secret’st man of blood.—What is the night?"

Macbeth, Act 111

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Wow, Stuart..."steadily approaching 'bulldozer' of the committee investigative team," et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

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Top o' the mornin to you too Lynell.

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Awww, Stuart…can always count on you! Good morning to you.

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Being there when it counts is what it's all about, Marlene. A very good morning to you too. Mine's already well under way.

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If you have seen film "Don't Look Up" the Merrill Streep/Trump like President left her only child behind to face impending doom while she "escaped" on a flight to a Plan B planet --where she met true poetic justice!!

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Now that he’s said all that, he’s no longer “loyal” in the eyes of tfg.

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I had to smile at the thought of the 'bubble' that the fake electors and their puppet masters undoubtedly believed they were in.

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Well said.

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The fact that anybody took Alex Jones seriously as a man with a brain is the worst indictment of the cult on the right. A modern day snake oil salesman, and there truly is a sucker born every minute. His type of tripe should have been mocked and laughed back under his rock at his first utterance.

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Add Tucker Carlson to that.

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Absolutely. You can add a few more like Gym Jordan, Ted Cruz, Marjorie 3 names, etc.

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I was watching one of Jordan Klepper’s videos, interviewing folks at T rallies (if you haven’t seen one, do, they’re very funny and infuriating all at the same time). One thing that struck me was that one man in particular was spouting Carlson’s nonsense, but was also copying his odd, high-pitched voice as well. It was creepy.

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Astounding that they gobble it up without a question. They must not have learned that they should ask "who, what, when, where or why" when given "information."

I couldn't watch it. Just looking at photos of the crowds is horrifying.

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We watched this last week on CNN. I've always marveled at how Jordan Klepper does what he does... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STOlDRoYf_0

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That was the one I saw. The voice of the guy in the green jacket has similar inflections to Tucker Carlson - it's almost like a male version of vocal fry, and quite distinctive.

Jordan Klepper is just super.

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I too, think Jones has his tail between his legs. He got caught, big time, by the bipartisan Select Committee and he just couldn’t believe it. That’s one way to shut that SOB’s mouth!

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Didn’t Jones claim in his custody(?)

suit that he was just a “performer”?

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Yes he did but uh…a little too late for him to he claiming that title.

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Just like the tfg. I will march with you down to the Capitol..... All rhetoric, no meat.

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Daria, glad to see you back here. Your comment about Alex Jones is spot on. What a creep!

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Hi Pam🌷, thanks. Yes, Alex Jones is both revolting and dangerous.

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Not an imperative read? Hardly ;) You always put even the most mundane and maddening topics into straight-forward context-laden clarity. Thank you.

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Whenever Heather's letter starts with "not an imperative read", I immediately read :)

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Gingrich attacked the January 6 committee as a lawbreaking lynch mob is just one more example of Republican projecting. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Newt who??

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I shan’t forgive Newt for giving salamanders a bad name. They are attractive creatives, while Newt is slimy and dirty as he crawls hither and yon.

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😂

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What exact laws did he list that the committee was breaking? Oh yeah, none. That interview was pathetic.

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Typical GOP talk: all adjectives and feelings.

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Passionate bullshit

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"Curiously, Trump released a statement blasting the Georgia investigation and complaining that he is being investigated for “asking an Attorney General…to look for corruption.”" My opinion is that Trump knows this is the only thing that watchers of Fox News, OAN and the like will see. And he knows his followers will see this and repeat it until it becomes a Trump Truth.

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These are the statements 45 made to the Georgia SOS in the alternate universe existing in his mind. Thus they are the "truth"/

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HCR: Though I greatly appreciated you recounting, replete with context, the past 24 hours, considering the years of unrelenting chaos and threats, admittedly, the bit that most resonated was your opening remark: “Tonight is not an imperative read, if you need a break from politics.”

Blessings to this heroic and astute community.

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Perhaps finally appreciating that words have meaning and their useage has consequences.

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