551 Comments

As I have mentioned before, I have a good friend who spent his career adjacent to and then in the upper ranks of the Imperial Bureaucracy. Specifically, the military wing/ Today he told me that the reason the ten living ex-Secretaries of State wrote the op-ed in the Washington Post is because there is fear that the far right radicals Trump has promoted over at the Pentagon, who are serious Trump Loyalists, are trying to find lower-level military officers or civilian leaders in the military bureaucracy who might be amenable to orchestrating a coup, who they could reach down to as they fire the senior leadership, which will refuse such orders. As a matter of fact, the event was orchestrated by Dick Cheney (of all people). They didn't just "write for the record." They wrote to remind people over at the Pentagon that regardless of who they are, if they got involved in this shenanigan, it would (legally speaking) mean their heads.

Trump cannot pardon himself from state crimes, and he has now committed several state crimes - and one can bet that Governor Kemp is no longer among those who are subservient to him, which means Georgia could do something about this. Also, this was done less than two weeks before there is a new Attorney General at DoJ. No matter how "go along to get along" Biden wants to be, this is not something that can be swept under the rug in the cause of "looking ahead."

It will be surprising if there are not more than one Impeachment Resolution submitted in the House tomorrow. There's also talk of a bipartisan group trying to put together an Official Rebuke, calling on Trump to resign.

By god, finally his moron stupidity led him to go too far. A lifetime of "getting away with it" is coming to an end.

One way or the other, but the end of this year, he's going to be doing 20 years somewhere, or will have fled to either Brazil or Russia (no extradition treaties with both).

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Bring on the honorable Sally Yates!

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From your lips to God’s ears....

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Thank you TCinLA for your input and clarification of motives. I profoundly hope you are right that Trump has gone too far for his federal crimes to be overlooked. Let’s give NYC and NYS some DoJ assistance in prosecuting the Orange Mobster. I’m prepared to gold leaf the “perfect” handcuffs. ❤️🤍💙

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At least twenty years.

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Because of the politics involved, I doubt that there will be any federal prosecutions, though there certainly could--and should--be thorough and public investigations. Clearly if the Georgia AG is sufficiently wealthy to give up public service and move to some nice undisclosed location, the state could bring an indictment based on state law. As you suggest, one thing that could happen tomorrow is the House bringing a bill of impeachment. I don't know if there is sufficient party discipline to maintain a majority behind it. But even if the clock would inevitably run out due to Senate delays, it would be good to have history mark Li'l Donnie as the only twice-impeached president.

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There should be prosecutions of anybody involved in the events surrounding the GA phone call - Mark Meadows and the Trump attorney(s) in on the call. Then, this should also work backwards to the call with Vladimir Zolensky (the original perfect call). Even when Nixon was pardoned, his conspirators suffered the legal consequences.

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"finally his moron stupidity led him to go to far" -- I wonder how the election would have turned out had he not been so stupid. Has Our Dear Leader shown the way for a more competent person to take over the country?

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"Dear" and "Leader" do not suffice for this sideshow president --- One has to be a leader to earn the title. -- I agree with the moron stupidity part and certainly the more competent people who will take over the country on January 20th --- be damned all the circus --- hopefully the "Sedition Caucaus" will be indicted too -- love the previous post about the thought of Ted Cruz Harvard professor being called as expert witness to teach him the rule of law before he heads to prison.

What does the federal prison for these kinds of people look like? I harken back to the day when Martha Stewart became the poster child for insider trading -- maybe they (the criminals) can consult with her to make their living quarters more aesthetically pleasing:)

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Reminds me of Ghislaine Maxwell who says that being in a low security prison where she’s allowed out for 8 to 10 hours a day is just too overwhelming for her. Child molester. She needs to be in Rikers

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Well stated, but I think you need to qualify the statement that "finally his moron stupidity led him to go too far."

We've had four years plus the 2016 campaign during which we've heard or seen things from Trump that were through were surely the last straw. From language that was contemptuous of immigrants, non whites, women, his own team, our allies, and the entire nation to his lies, cruelty, ignorance, lack of empathy, self dealing, bad mouthing the military, profiting from use of his own properties, breaking treaties, insulting governors, dismissing science and any experts in any field, ordering attacks on legal protestors, strong arming foreign leaders, pardoning criminals, and bestowing Medals of Freedom to undeserving recipients - need I go on? You get it.

And yet - impossibly, he hasn't suffered any consequences. And the ONLY that this seems to far is that her only has two weeks left in office. Censure? Articles of Impeachment? Doesn't matter. At a federal level he will never have been held accountable. He's flipping the bird at all of us.

With any luck he'll be dinged by state charges but there's almost no chance he'll ever receive a penalty beyond a fine. He won't be imprisoned although his transgressions are certainly worse that those of some who are serving many years for possession of pot or stealing food for a hungry family.

So while I agree that he blatantly stuck his foot in it in a most egregious and clearly illegal manner, nothing's going to happen. And they just is a travesty.

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Why are we ( I mean a collective we) so apathetic that DT will not be held accountable? Reading the litany of his transgressions is exhausting -- I'm a lifelong DEM and sometimes in the attempt to "move on" we are not as aggressive as we need to be --- somehow, I feel with Kamla as VP and a former prosecutor, we may have the perfect person to see that DT get his proper justice. --- "a bald-faced, bold abuse of power" --- It will not serve us to let by gones be bygones -- if we do so, then DT can stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot anyone he pleases without consequences. The Repubs think they are upholding the law and know the constitution but are subverting everything for personal gain. The latest appointments to the Supreme Court states they are constitutionist (originalist) -- what does that mean for the rule of law?

I say we give Brad Raffesnsperger man of the year for his integrity.

An aside - I've been gifting memberships to this forum --wish I could do so for the Trump base too.

Thank you Dr. HCR and all the enlightened and thoughtful readers here whom I continue to learn and discern with.

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Aye and with everyone going oooh omg he said that.. he did that (wringing their hands) and yet this moron is still at large. when is any Dem going to have the guts to take him down and throw him in a cell

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THANK YOU TC! Would it be okay to repost this, removing ID?

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There isn't really much to add to this. To my mind, there is very little ambiguity here; people who continue to support Trump and his enablers cannot, with any credibility, claim ignorance as to the meaning and intention of their actions. The only thing supporters of our democratic republic can, or should, do now is vote, stay at home, and hope this meteor from hell doesn't obliterate our country.

Let the venal and the violent take the streets for the next few days, let them declare their intention to overthrow our government. As individuals, we must not meet them in the streets. Instead, our institutions -- police, military, church, courts, and civil government -- must strain themselves to the breaking point to hold our society together.

Vote. Pray. Love each other. Hold fast to peace.

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"Vote. Pray. Love each other. Hold fast to peace." Love that. But I do want to scream out that this overt sedition against our democracy, by the Trump Sedition Caucus, during this deadly pandemic, is the worst of all the act any elected of these officials and their followers could inflict on our country. They need to be stopped and held accountable, immediately.

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Yes.

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Yes, stay home... as my mon always say, ‘ no good will come of this!’

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The meteor from hell— good one!

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Stay home and watch the CNN special Rock ‘n’ Roll President. What an incredible statesman President Carter was. And such a decent man. What a Mench!

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I adore him as an elder statesman, but he made some extremely erroneous moves vis à vis foreign policy.

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In a way, the '70's recession and gas lines weren't all his fault. Those events go back to Nixon's economic policies, and Eisenhower's support of the Iranian Coup in the 50s. The dollar and the price of oil broke the economy. I think we place too much praise and too much blame on one office as a way to avoid the pain of trying to understand complexity of issues. But, now, this administration, all the blame certainly falls on one person. This resets a precedent. Biden has so much to fix, I'm forecasting he will get all sorts of blame and attacks from Drumpf'ers.

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He did make an horrific mistake with regards to Iran. Had he taken a different stance with Ayatollah Khomeini before he stepped on Iranian soil, the Islamic Republic of Iran may have never been established -- the country may have gone in the direction of democratic socialism.

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This is something I had to learn about later, it is never brought up in the HS classroom. Iran did have a fledging democracy in the 1950's. Read about Eisenhower and Iran. It was our CIA that overthrew the democratically elected government in Iran and restored complete power in the Monarch, the Shaw. This occurred in the 1950's because the democratic government wanted to nationalize their oil company's and protect their resources. Iran's natural resources belong to the Iranian people. I believe because of this, the USA sponsored Coup in Iran that gave rise to the extremism of the Ayatollah's. Carter never had a chance. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/19/eisenhower-green-lights-coup-in-iran-aug-19-1953-788012

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And the French Government "kindly" protected Khomeini while he was awaiting power in exile in France! Winston Chuchill helped the US in their "endeavours". The Prime Minister, Mossadegh's daughter was at the time working as an Au Pair at my Great Aunt's place in London!

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There was a book about this type of world order? Where corporations and business tells govt and militaries what to do. I’m sorry I can not remember right now the book and author who described this in the 30s or 40’s?

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Well said.

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Hi everyone! I subscribed today, finally, after reading since March. As so many have expressed, Heather’s letters and this community have been a life preserver in the stormy sea of 2020. I feel like I know some of you a little bit, who comment often. I am very grateful to all of you for your generous sharing of info, ideas and feelings... I am regularly inspired, always learning, and even occasionally amused😊 Thank you!

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You wrote what I've been wanting to say for awhile, but couldn't find the proper words. I subscribed a few weeks ago, but have been a lurker here for much longer. I don't feel I have much to add to the conversation, but it's nice to hear all of your perspectives on this crazy time we're living in. I'm grateful to Dr. HCR for these letters, and for this community. Happy New Year everyone. May we get through tomorrow's runoffs in Georgia, Wednesday's certification of the Electoral College, and on through the 20th. Better days are coming, right?

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Everybody's "voice" is heard here. Glad to hear from you, Mike!

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Welcome! And never be afraid to chime in...the more the merrier!

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Hello and welcome. I have so many thoughts, questions, and reactions to the information discussed here. Rarely do I find the right words, and sometimes go on. And on! But the other ‘members’ of this classy club of Heather’s constituents are very tolerant and often their comments give me the answers. I’m happy that you are here, happy that everyone is here... we are the ‘A’ team and our fight will not be lost!

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Welcome, Mike Webber!

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Welcome!

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Welcome to safe and sane harbor.

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Welcome to the community!

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So glad that you are ‘officially’ one of us!

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Warm welcome.

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Hola!

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WELCOME! (And I'm a HUGE fan of the original "Monet"!!)

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Welcome to the crew!

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Welcome!

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Welcome, Monet!!

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What a nice welcome for Mike Webber and I! Thanks!

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Sorry to hijack your introduction, Monet! You really did sum up what I've been looking to post. Thank you, and welcome to the best place the Internet has to offer (for me anyway).

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Hijack ANY time, Mike! I was flattered 😊 Lucky us to be here, right?!

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Welcome!

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For a while there I thought we were in the denouement of the Trump fright-fest. Turns out we might not have even passed the climax of the story. Good lord when will this end?.....

What befuddles me is: why wouldn't Meadows, at least, have had the premonition that Raffensberger would be recording the phone call, given Trump's Roy-Cohn-ish penchant for threats? He can't be that stupid. Or can he? Maybe the White House crazy is literally contagious.

I hope this elicits a change of attitude on the part of the incoming Biden team as regards "moving forward" from the Trump years by quickly putting his malfeasances out of America's collective mind. There's no way to parse this phone call other than as a clear case of attempted election fraud on the part of the highest elected official in the land. Biden's attorney general -- and I hope it's Preet Bharara -- needs to pursue Trump and his whole sick crew with the determination of the Furies. If this does not happen in the first year of the Biden administration, he is setting himself up for failure. Jes' sayin'.....

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I think any one should expect a government office especially at this level to record all their calls.

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I think you'll find that it is already the case and the transcript and audio are placed in Trump's super-secret server! They were stupid enough to think they were being clever and wouldn't be found out in time to be incriminated......Nixon lives!

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Trump makes Nixon look like a saint.

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It is ironic if a revealing tape is what brings DT down like Nixon! Ah, the ego of these guys is their downfall. Of course, DT might have classified it as top secret but a little hard to put the genie back in the bottle at this point...

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“Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” - James Comey, June 2017

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/opinion/lordy-i-hope-there-are-tapes.html

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No, they think - based on plenty of evidence - that Trump can get away with saying and doing anything he wants.

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Right— well that’s how his life was as a real estate developer. When things didn’t go his way sue your way out of it or bribe your way out of it. This is the first time he finds himself completely stuck and one thing he’ll keep doing is get revenge wherever he can in the final days. His main regret most likely is the tarnished Trump brand.

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So apparently did Gordon Liddy until it caught up with them and there is always a "deep throat" lurking around somewhere.

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I wonder if those political figures supporting the contention that Trump was unfairly denied his election, will face the endless, scornful barbs directed at those who voted FOR the invasion of Iraq?

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My answer to your befuddlement question is, in my opinion, the Seditious Caucus is blind drunk with (wannabe) power.

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Thanks, Kimberly, that article by Nichols is interesting! I think his premise about the seditionists is accurate.

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Good thought - PB as AG!

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Ah-ha ! Yes!!!

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Very well said!

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I hate that we cannot edit. I deleted, so I could make a correction.

Buckle up everyone, this week is going to be one heck of a ride. Wow! Committing criminal acts as if no one cares what he does. Oh, wait a minute. He's gotten away with this type of behavior all of his life and last year during the Impeachment trial in the Senate. Of course, he will continue to be brazen in his actions. He knows he will get away with it, and to that I say the new DOJ starting on January 20th needs to begin the process of holding these people to account. Georgia law was broken by Trump and all on that call, and Georgia as a state could absolutely charge them on January 21st, correct? The House and the Senate on January 21st need to call out and name every single member of congress involved in this clear and unmistakable attempt at sedition. The Constitution clearly gives remedy to such behavior in Amendment 14 Section 5 - if these members are not going to be unseated and prevented from ever holding office again, then they should absolutely be stripped of all roles in committees, denied access to classified information that other members of Congress in good standing would be entitled to have, and introduced as Seditionist, TX Sen. Ted Cruz. (wishful thinking, but wearing that S on their title is warranted). These people must be held to account if trust in our government and the rule of law is to be restored. When people of power continue to get away with criminal acts that the average person would be prosecuted for, especially people of color who would be and are always prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, it is hard for the main street American to trust the system.

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Title 52 U.S. Section 20511: That law states: “A person, including an election official, who in any election for Federal office … knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by … the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held” is subject to imprisonment of up to five years.

Threatening Raffensperger with criminal consequences is also arguably extortion. Title 18 Section 875 of the U.S. Code reads: “Whoever, with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

Alternatively, the state attorney general of Georgia might investigate and bring applicable charges under state law. That would have one clear advantage: Trump cannot receive a federal pardon for state crimes.

Trump can't sue the state for being illegally taped as Georgia has a one-party consent law regarding taping conversations. If one party knows it's being taped, it's completely legal. Trump needs to go NOW. Congressional Republicans need to get on board to defend the country against this criminal and demand he resign immediately. Even if he has to face courts in NY for his financial shenanigans, it'd be sweet if GA could prosecute him for breaking its laws. My state could REALLY make me proud.

HOWEVER...my fear, based on experience here, is that even though state GOP leaders like Kemp, Raffensperger, et al may really not like to rock the Republicans' boat too much with this Senate election tomorrow, and with primaries for the '22 elections scheduled for 18 months from now. Republicans are still petrified of Trump's large base here and won't want to do anything to rile them up, including not prosecuting someone, even a sitting President*, for committing crimes against the state. Republicans' massive fealty to Trump, STILL, in spite of everything he does is simply mind-boggling. Witness: Sen. Cruz. Trump greatly insults him, his wife and his family with the most awful stuff...THEN, Cruz turns around and becomes one of Trump's most dedicated boot-lickers. I mean, WTF???

Anyway, this week could be one of the most interesting in a LOOOOOOONG time, hence lots of popcorn at the ready! (I still prefer making mine on the stove, BTW...)

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Stove popcorn is definitely the best!

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With real butter.

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Bruce, thank you for the clarification on whether Georgia could prosecute, and sadly, I agree that the GOP officials, even if in deep disagreement, will do anything to challenge Trump. Ugh...really disheartening. And yum on the popcorn done on the stove!!!!

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Absolutely! The criminals need to be held accountable. Yes, we are all tired of the Trump and his cronies side show who have no concern for taking care of the USA. Trump does not know the first thing about governing and when he is no longer president, he can and should be prosecuted for all of his criminal transgressions. His day of reckoning is hopefully very near. If charges can be brought against him today, it would be perfect.

I was wondering, what would have happened in 2016/2017, had the Dems kept crying foul over the election results. Are we 100% sure that election was fair? Dastardly Mitch would not allow any witnesses during the impeachment trial, so here he is in a pickle because he thought he was playing his cards okay then.

This drama is tiring and we do all want to move on and we will keep moving forward towards more sanity with Biden and Harris at the realm. I feel we must not let Trump and his cronies go free. It is time for him to finally be held accountable.

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I agree with you ... but frankly, it'll happen "when pigs fly."

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Afraid I agree with you, Jacob.

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Predicted and scheduled events:

January 5 – 2020–21 United States Senate election in Georgia and 2020–21 United States Senate special election in Georgia.

January 6 – The 117th United States Congress is scheduled to convene and certify the Electoral College results of the 2020 presidential election.[6] Thousands of Trump supporters threaten "wild protests."[7]

January 20: Joe Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated for a four-year term as President of the United States, along with Kamala Harris as Vice President.

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Here in Washington (the state), it is pouring down rain like a monsoon and we are battening the hatches for a stormy week.

As for deleting a post in order to edit grammar, spelling, or other problems - I agree it would be preferable to be able to just edit. I wonder though, does the 'deleted' notice appear on the public thread for others to see? Because I don't see a notice for your deleted post.

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I think the deleted post disappears as soon as you press Delete. But it seems that any replies to it remain in place, and the readers just sees "Deleted" instead of the original post.

It would be great if Substack caught up with the edit function, especially for the supporters of their #1 revenue source, HCR!

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I could see it on my end as a deleted post, but don't see it now. Hmmm.

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As I understand the law, if Raffensperger did not inform all parties he was recording the call, the recording cannot be used as evidence before a grand jury or court. (The court of public opinion is quite another matter.) Since Trump's lawyers were so incompetent as to allow him to make the call in the first place, and to possibly incriminate themselves by listening in, maybe they wouldn't have objected to it being recorded. A trifecta of legal incompetence.

That said...

Shouldn't a Georgia or federal grand jury hear evidence for a possible indictment on federal and/or state charges of election tampering immediately, as in today, against lawyers and staff who participated in the call? (Disbarment proceedings should be scheduled by lunchtime.) In sixteen days presidential immunity ends for Trump, and the grand jury(s) can consider him for indictment as well.

SDNY attorneys might start screaming, "We get him first! We get him first!"

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In GA it is legal to record a conversation/phone call without consent, as long as the person recording the call is part of the conversation. I forget what the legal term is for this. So yes it was legally recorded.

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It’s legal under federal law as well: “ As long as the person hitting “record” is aware and part of the conversation, recording conversations is legal under Federal law. ... It is illegal to intercept or record a conversation without at least one of the parties being aware.Sep 15, 2020

www.cflblaw.com › 2020/09 “

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If the recording of a conversation is legal if only one party is aware of the recording, it means it's ok to make the recording. Does it also mean the recording can be presented as evidence against the unaware party in a legal proceeding?

I think there is a difference.

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The other participants on the call were witnesses and can be called to testify.

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I think it is legal and can be used as evidence. I have never agreed with this law, but I am glad for it today!

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I wonder what the chances are that Trump also recorded the call?

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Isn’t that automatic?

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I can’t answer to that. Needs to be researched.

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From what a lawyer told me, it does hold up in court. Thank goodness, I didn’t end up needing it, but was happy to be able to get evidence.

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Thanks for doing the research.

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Federal law permits recording telephone calls and in-person conversations with the consent of at least one of the parties. See 18 U.S.C. 2511(2)(d). ... Under a one-party consent law, you can record a phone call or conversation so long as you are a party to the conversation.

From 2011 so I don't know if it still applies:

In 12 states—California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington—all parties involved need to consent before one of them can record the conversation.

There are some exceptions to the two-party consent rules.

Georgia

It is illegal under Georgia’s wiretapping and eavesdropping statutes to record an oral or telephone conversation without the consent of at least one party. Violations are felonies and can subject the offender to fines and/or imprisonment.

From Justia.com

link: https://www.justia.com/50-state-surveys/recording-phone-calls-and-conversations/

GA Code § 16-11-62, § 16-11-66 (definitions), § 16-11-69 (penalty)

t is illegal under Georgia’s wiretapping and eavesdropping statutes to record an oral or telephone conversation without the consent of at least one party. Violations are felonies and can subject the offender to fines and/or imprisonment.

Washington

Washington law requires the consent of all parties to legally record in-person or telephone conversations. Consent is considered obtained via a reasonably clear announcement made to all parties during the recording. Violations are considered a gross misdemeanor and can also lead to civil damages.

WA Rev Code § 9.73.030 (definition), § 9.73.080 (penalty), § 9.73.060 (civil damages)

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Might be the best news of the day, especially if someone acts on it.

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I just saw on WAPO that a Georgia election board member has called for a probe into this recorded call. I cannot access the article because I do not have a subscription.

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We need to support GA election board member David Worley!!!

From WAPO:

"The sole Democrat on Georgia’s state election board has reportedly urged Raffensperger to investigate possible civil and criminal violations committed by Trump during the call in which Trump ordered Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse his defeat in the state. David Worley told The Washington Post that the call gave “probable cause” to believe that Trump broke Georgia’s election code, adding: “It’s a crime to solicit election fraud, and asking the secretary to change the votes is a textbook definition of election fraud.” Worley cited a specific law that makes it a crime to solicit someone else to commit election fraud in Georgia—and, according to the Post, that can be punished by as much as three years in prison.

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Thank you, Ellie! This is (rather sickly and sordidly) wonderful! And I like that they included Lindsey Graham as another person who tried to interfere in the GA election!

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I will find it, but I guess I can’t post it...?

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Thank you for clarifying this, Margaret. I was not happy to hear that it was recorded without all parties knowing, as that seems devious. But I'm still glad to hear that was not illegal in GA.

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I didn't suspect any devious intentions to the recording; I assumed BR chose to record it to protect himself from the lies Trump might tell about the conversation. As turned out to be the case.

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Would anyone go into a meeting with DJT without a chaperone or lawyer and a recording device?

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Oh, thank you for this info, Margaret! Phew!

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Good news! Thank you.

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Hooray!

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The SDNY has access to a lot of lawyers who are chomping on the bit!!! And, no “Club Fed” for trump and his cohorts in crime. They can “retire” in a state prison system.

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I'm sure Preet Bharara and Anne Milgram will sort this out this week on Cafe Insider but for now the cat is out of the bag. Finally what goes around has come back around for a flailing T**** making his last dying gasps to avoid the reality he has been able to avoid for the most part of his life.

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The President's saying in his call to Raffensburger that "I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break" is the plea of a convicted and sentenced felon as he sees the court baliff approaching him with the handcuffs .

The President indeed deserves "a break," the same one he gave to the caged children of parents seeking asylum, to the demonstrators for democracy and racial equality at Lafayette Square, to the women he demeaned, to the allies he betrayed and the scientists he insulted and obstructed for disagreeing with his approach to the coronavirus. Back in the schoolyard in Newark, when someone said "Gimmee a Break," the standard reply was, "Sure, both legs."

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Ralph, that wouldn't be true in the State of Georgia. Both parties do not have to have consent.

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I am glad that Professor Richardson is recording these events, giving context while laying out the facts.

These Letters can serve as a guide when Trump is finally gone, whether he resigns before January 20th and is pardoned by Mike – the scenario I believe is likely – or exits grumbling and threatening into the cold, January sky. They are a roadmap to name and hold accountable all those who have been accessories to his efforts.

He has behaved criminally and so have many Trumpist elected and appointed officials. There needs to be accountability. I don’t care that Tom Cotton is encouraging his colleagues to refrain from challenging the votes this week. He voted to acquit – that is enough, IMHO, to make him ineligible to hold an office of public trust in the country.

We must be very wary of Cotton, Hawley and the other Ivy Assassins who people the government at present. They are as dangerous to liberty as Trump, perhaps more so, packaged as they are in the laurel wreaths of our most prestigious institutions of higher learning.

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Wouldn't it be poetic justice if Trump resigned expecting a pardon from Pence and then Pence ended up not pardoning him????? Oh, and I love the phrase "Ivy Assassins'".

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And If Sally Yates becomes his prosecutor? I certainly hope so!

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GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has saved our republic for now. Say his name. Brad Raffensperger-

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He’s not as good as we’re giving him credit for... but he did the right thing here....

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Yes, Cynthia, thanks for helping us keep things in perspective. He still is part of voter suppression tactics. We must continually be able to separate issues, but I too am glad he recorded this rant.

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Exactly. Like the sayings go, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day..." and "The enemy of my enemy is my friend..." What he did was laudable, but never forget, he has been instrumental in GOP voter suppression tactics in GA throughout Kemp's term. Just ask Stacey Abrams. In another 18 months GA will be holding its primaries for the '22 election, which will more than likely pit Kemp against Abrams once again. And the Senate seat currently being contested by Warnock and Loeffler will be up for grabs in a proper election, with primaries and all. The thought of non-stop political ads on TV and everywhere AGAIN fills most Georgians with total dread, but it'll be interesting to see if there are any Republicans who want to go up against Kemp, and to see if Trump might have any effect on the '22 races. Again, Raffensperger was in the right here, but don't let that fool you. He's still a Georgia Republican.

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I'd like everyone's opinion about the fact that Stacey Abrams sister, a judge, refused to allow Raffensperger to purge thousands of voters from the list just recently. I have read only one article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution complaining that she acted improperly, since she's Stacey's sister. I'm not questioning the propriety of her ruling, but wonder why the Republicans are not being more vocal. Thoughts? Is the 2022 election too close for Kemp's comfort, in view of the fact that he maintained his Secretary of State position while managing to keep Stacey from winning? and Stacey's apparent plan to run in '22?

Bruce, I'm with you about the nauseating political ads - especially the one where Perdue is commenting on a clip of AOC explaining that if the Democrats win the runoff they won't have to compromise. Perdue looks incredulous and says "no compromise? Is that what you want? They'll be in total control, take away your healthcare, spread their socialist agenda, pack the Supreme Court. . . ." I guess he isn't aware that the Republicans have had 10 years of total control, haven't compromised, tried to decimate the ACA, and have a conservative super majority in the Supreme Court that has precipitated talk by Democrats of enlarging it.

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That Perdue ad is the one with the AOC clip that looks so obviously spliced to make her appear to say: "We win the elections in Georgia *splice* so we don't have to *splice* negotiate..." I would dearly love to know what she ACTUALLY said. Perdue's ads are especially odious. A writer friend of mine perfectly describes Perdue's manner of speaking as "oleaginous" (oily, smarmy, glib, etc.). I love it. Both Perdue and Loeffler's ads have been disproved and had tons of holes shot in them as to their truth/accuracy, but their campaigns and the PACs are still running them non-stop on our airwaves. Polls, which I now take with a grain of salt, show the Democrats up by around 7 percentage points in both races. That doesn't assure me, given the pollsters' dismal success rate in the general election. It remains to be seen how the 3,000,000+ voters who've already voted actually voted.

I genuinely believe ANYTHING can happen now, because no one can predict what exactly will happen now as a result of the past 48 hours. What will all this mean for Republicans in Georgia? It's a total crap-shoot. I'm expecting a nail-biter, and I expect whoever loses will contest the results. This is far from over.

I think 2022's races will be interesting to watch. Kemp and Abrams will be probably in for a rematch. However, depending on how Kemp comes through all this, there might be one or more Republicans who may take him on in the primary. Lurking over ALL this is Doug Collins. He is not going anywhere, and he is itching to get back into any form of power. A real over-ambitious, power-hungry SOB, in my opinion. Abrams only has here eyes on the governorship, as she has made very clear. She was close in 2018 and she might just get it if she gets everybody out to vote AND Republicans don't succeed in repressing too many votes. As I've said, Georgia may be the "canary in the coal mine" for Republicans as to what could happen nationally, and it has them deeply worried. As to Trump's effect? That remains to be seen. All I know is, I am TIRED of being at the epicentre of America's politics as we've been for the past couple of months!! Somebody else, PLEASE?!?

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Bruce, I'm beyond fatigued! These ads can't bring votes from anyone other than their base. The Democrats' ads are much better, and often quite funny. No question that voter suppression will continue to be an issue, but Stacey Abrams is all over it. I got a call from a FairFight volunteer in California, following up on my response to a survey regarding my voting experience in this race. I had said that I was very pleased with every aspect of the experience, and that I'd been in line for about 45 minutes. The woman asked if I'd object to her contending that I had waited too long, but I was ambivalent. While Cobb County's decision to reduce the number of polling places was suspect, Gwinnett County, where I live, made all locations available. My point is that FairFight is doing everything possible to force the state to up their game. That is encouraging.

You're right, scary Doug Collins remains a threat to be dealt with, and I agree that he is lurking, waiting to seize any opportunity. It will continue to be challenging here, but is looking more hopeful than years ago, when someone at Costco commented on the Kerry sticker on my car, and we agreed that we were probably the only two Democrats in Gwinnett County.

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"...we agreed that we were probably the only two Democrats in Gwinnett County." Not anymore!! Gwinnett is turning into a Democrat stronghold. I live in Hall, which continues to be virulently red. Democrats are scarce as hen's teeth up here. But, I saw a map somewhere (I think NYT) that showed the demographic shifts in the past 30 years or so. It was interesting to note how the counties surrounding the 5-county core of Atlanta had gradually shifted from red to blue. Places like Forsyth and Bartow had shifted dramatically. It wasn't so long ago ('80s) that Forsyth was pretty much all white (it, Habersham and White counties were very proudly ALL white for years when I was growing up) and they hosted KKK marches. Growing up I remember seeing in Cumming a large sign that said "N***er, don't let the sun set on YOU!" Yup, saw it with my own eyes. It has totally changed 180 degrees. As I said, I think the change that has gone on, and continues to go on, in GA (urban vs rural) may be a microcosm of what is happening in some places nationwide. I basically left the state in 1976 when I went to the Midwest to get my masters degree, then to San Francisco from '85-'88, then to Europe for 18 years. I came back to the state in 2004/05 and the changes were palpable.

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Thanks for the levity in the first sentence. I needed that!

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Exactly. This is a man with both a history and a planned future of voter suppression. I'm grateful he has what it takes to stand up to Trump on behalf of the election results. That is far too rare. It doesn't change what else he does. Really, most of us are a mix of good and bad.

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For one thing, he admits to voting for Trump in 2020. It's a measure of how far the bar has been lowered that we're cheering for people like him, Romney, Murkowski, Collins, etc., just for occasionally doing their job.

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Yep- I just read that there all kinds of measures continue to be taken/are in place to suppress the GA vote tomorrow. Like you said Cynthia... he did the right thing in this situation...standing up to the criminal actions of the current president.

In light of tp's Sat. phone call, Republican congressional members contesting the presidential election results and GA elected officials, must turn their ship around immediately and publicly admit they've been wrong. Oh, dear Jiminy Cricket, sing your song again loudly for all to hear! "Always Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide"

https://youtu.be/DOZzNOkcEgM

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Jiminy! The problem with the the trumplican GOP and supporters is that you have to have a conscience to begin with to steer your rudder. If you have no conscience, you flounder around on the ocean and are easy bait for a macho, daddy-type shark to "save" you and tell you what to think. With no real internal rudder, you become a perfect target to be sucked into their brainwashing/propaganda vortex. They do not want you to be virtuous or think critically. And one would think, with all these so-called GOP Christians and evangelicals, a very simple conscience trigger such as " What Would Jesus Do?" would help them grok something they must have learned in church. Jiminy Christus. (sorry, I promise to go to sleep soon).

The Golden Rule appears to be the simplest of all decision-making tools and should serve the benevolent narcissist in most of us.

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Thank you, Penelope. I should have been in bed an hour ago, but here I am. Glad, because your post is perfect to end the day with.

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Well, David Worley, GA election board member is requesting a probe into the call. He is the sole dem on the board. His name might need to be repeated as well...

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..And Worley made this criminal probe request to Raffensburger!

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And Raffensperger is quoted on MSN as saying Trump could be investigated for the call. I'll give Raffensperger an attaboy for his pushback at Trump, but his actions don't qualify him for hero status - he is still willing to suppress voters.

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He did the right thing at a critical moment, it may cost him is political career, but new doors will open for this man. No real opportunities for the sycophants. "Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change the world which yields most painfully to change." RFK

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I’m sure saying his name— my new superhero Brad Raffensperger!

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The devil went down to Georgia, he was lookin' for a soul to steal, he was in a bind because he was way behind, and was willing to make deal...CDB

They say art imitates life...in this case it pre-saged life...I give Brad R and his lawyer credit for standing up to an hour of an onslaught of stream of concisnous rambling puncuated by brief pauses to make thinly veiled requests to falsify American election results.

The tRumpists will simply ignore what he tried to do and blame Brad R. Hopefully the courts will get all over it. I suspect Biden will let the state courts handle it; why give 45 any more air time at the federal level than needed...Biden needs to get his admin up and running quickly...best to let the mad dog get buried by NYS and GA.

I agree with another post about letting the protesters rage and not confront them...at some point they will get tired and go home. Hopefully there is no property damage and no one gets hurt.

The effect of all the misinformation really bothers me...70 plus million people have been completely saturatrd with the koolaid...how we can de-program them all is beyond me...

They say our President is the most powerful man in the world...for the next 16 days he is the most dangerous...I hope all our military leaders keep their backbone, and 45 keeps digging himself in deeper without doing any real harm.

Praying for Democratic victories in GA runoffs...and you KNOW 45 will call that out as fraudulent if it does happen.

Oh well...time for breakfast...

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Thanks for the CDB quote. If you haven't already seen/heard this, enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EOb7UG3Asg

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Wow! Awesome...very well done...my hats off to the fiddle player!

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Perfect!

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I like the quote and suppose nobody in our military will support a coup. But does the fact that all ten former secretaries of defense put out that warning indicate the military is solidly loyal to the constitution or that that some of them are misinterpreting it?

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Well...clearly the ten support our laws and constitution...rumor has it that 45 has already tested the waters and received pushback from existing military leaders...but tRump has also installed his sycophants everywhere so who knows what he can get away with. He can try to keep firing people until he gets what he wants, but there is a limit even to that tactic...he can’t fire the courts, he can’t fire Brad R etc. It is clear when he is frustrated as he lashes out on Twitter. The Seditious Caucus is a “clear and present danger” in my opinion which is not helping at a time when we need more stability.

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Now I'll have that excellent song stuck in my head all day.

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What more shall we do in response?

All my elected Congressional reps are Republicans. I've already emailed Senators Cornyn and Cruz, not that it'll do any good. My rep in the House did not sign onto the TX lawsuit; in fact, he wrote strongly against it. I hope that translates into not being one of the 100+ House members planning to contest the election.

What more shall I do? Letters to the local newspaper? I donated to Fair Fight (and now receive gobs of emails everyday asking for more money.)

So many concerns: the obstructed transition process, the Russian hacking, possible loss of peaceful transfer of power, Covid-19 death toll and botched vaccination distribution, etc.

I long ago gave up on Trump being the adult in the room -- I expect nothing "presidential" of him; but the sycophants and obstructionists that enable him must be held accountable.

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Ron Johnson is my rep, steaming heap of hot garbage that he is. How does one start a recall for an incompetent, corrupt senator? Asking for a state.

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The Lincoln Project has him in their sights.

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No can do unfortunately, Congress can expulse, members can resign but the constitution says no!

https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RL30016.html

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As I understand it, making a phone call to your representative's district office is the most effective way for a constituent to influence them. (I have that from memory of a Barney Frank document that I cannot now find a link to.)

This is confirmed by a series of tweets by Emily Coleman (@editoremilye at https://twitter.com/editoremilye/status/797243415922515970?s=20), starting with

"I worked for Congress for 6 years, and here's what I learned about how they listen to constituents."

"..the most effective thing is to actually call them on the phone. At their district (state) office. They have to talk to you there."

"...if your rep is a different party, you should still get in touch. We didn't hear from those ppl enough."

"Ask specific questions about their stance on legislation, don't just call to rant."

Along the way, she says to establish a relationship with staff.

IIRC, Barney Frank emphasized that a well-researched, well-spoken phone call says you took the time to think about it and make the call.

There's no guarantee this will "work." I call my Republican State Senator and express my thoughts. The staffer listens attentively and says he'll report my comments to the Senator. I think that lets them know they don't have 100% agreement among their constituents.

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In spite of my skepticism, good ideas. Marsha Blackburn, Trump’s girl, has shown she doesn’t care what I think. The new guy was just sworn in yesterday; he joined the Sedition Caucus BEFORE that. Tim Burchett is a good ol’ boy who signed onto the TX lawsuit. Tennesseans are sunk.

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Same here in Floriduh. Marco Rubio is not only a staunch Repugnant, but by his religious tweets to some non-christian diety he is loco.

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Loco rubio

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They all belong in Mar a Loco.

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I've got the trifecta with Rubio, Scott and Congressman Gus Bilirakis who has already signed onto the sedition caucus.

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Those seditious people need to hear from you even more so!!

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I know. They will.

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Thanks for all this great advice!

I regularly call, too; and though I try not to rant, I do stick to a single topic on each call.

When Trump was first elected, I called all three of my reps in Washington and found that the people answering the phones would actually engage in discussion and would answer my questions. That didn't last too long .... and sometimes I have to remind them to ask for my zip code. It doesn't give me confidence that my calls are worth my time, yet I persist.

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I have left voicemail messages on Hawley's and Blunt's phones but they are no longer actually connecting people to humans. I am fortunate that my congressman, Emmanuel Cleaver, is high up in the Dem leadership but the majority of the MO legislative group is a bunch of ignoramuses who think that following their Dear Leader will result in a return to the good old days of Jim Crow. The only way to get these [expletive deleted--I've been yelling at the radio a lot these days] out is the ballot box. OR indictment. Take your pick.

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People in every aRed state should be doing this now.

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Thank You. I will.

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Exactly. Action items? I’ve asked before…

I cannot imagine that writing to Senator Marsha Blackburn, Senator Hagerty, Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (signed on to the Texas lawsuit) will make a difference on any topic.

I've donated to Campaign Legal Center. They are non-partisan. They worked with the Tennessee League of Women Voters to sue (won!) Tennessee over burdensome restrictions on community voter registrations last year.

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Ah, I have an ally here. Substitute Burchett for Fleischmann, and voila!

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They need to hear from you!

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They Don't Listen!

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No, but their staff count the numbers.

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People in every Red state should be doing all of this. GO!!!

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Yes! Absolutely! But...?

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For the five years we have had to live with Trump’s erratic behavior and mood swings, there is one consistent pattern as predictable as the rising sun - his accusations mirror (and serve as a smokescreen for) his own misbehavior. He calls others liars when he’s about to tell a whopper, complains about “fake news” when he is peddling malarky, accuses others of cheating when he is breaking the rules. Does this pattern hold regarding his endless election fraud allegations? After all, he is the one candidate in the last two national elections whose proportion of the vote in battleground states far exceeded multiple polls. Maybe the Ds in Congress ought to take-up the latest Kamikaze Caucus calls for a commission to investigate election fraud, expanding it to all 50 states, making it bipartisan, inviting state secretaries of state to assist, appointing adults from both sides of the aisle, and for good measure expanding its scope to include voter suppression.

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Well that is classic narcissist and abuser behavior. There is even an acronym for it: DARVO. Been a subject of frequent conversation on FB these days among my group. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARVO

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That is exactly what we have been experiencing for the past five years:

"DARVO is an acronym for "deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender", a common manipulation strategy of psychological abusers.[1][2][3]

The abuser denies the abuse ever took place, attacks the victim for attempting to hold the abuser accountable, and claims that they, the abuser, are actually the victim in the situation, thus reversing the reality of the victim and offender.[1][3] This usually involves not just "playing the victim" but also victim blaming.[2"

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One has to admit that most American voters base their votes on false narratives. They are lemmings, programmed by liars.

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Yes. This is a critically important step going forward. Election processes and voting rights must be addressed in every state. Ensuring our elections are open and free is how we protect our democracy. The Elections Commission is a must.

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Yes. I've noticed this as well. He debates are something like schoolyard arguments. The opponent says "you did ..." and he responds "no you did".

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We all remember the Clinton-Tя☭mp debate:

He: "You're a puppet."

She: "No, you're a puppet."

She told the truth. If only people had listened and if only Comey hadn't interjected himself right before the election.

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Mim, wasn't it the other way around? I remember that Clinton was talking about him and the Russians and she said that he was their puppet...Trump then talked over her and said, "I'm not a puppet. YOU'RE a puppet." That's the classic "I know you are, but what am I?" At least, that's how I remember it...dodgy memory and all.

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You're right, which just reaffirms how bad my memory is. Yours is fine.

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Are such moments capable of altering the fate of nations?

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Apparently yes re: Comey; no re: Clinton's perspicacity.

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So true! "I know you are, but what am I?" lol

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At the very least, in Kentucky.

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This is an important analysis of The Phone Call from Josh Marshall at TPM:

As with the President’s “perfect call” with President Zelensky of Ukraine, the Raffensperger call is so transparent and damning it rather defies commentary. What more is t here to say? The call is reminiscent of descriptions of Trump calls and ploys going back decades. I’ve actually been in calls like this with angry CEOs. One of them I remember most palpably was with a New York richie who’s a pal of the President’s. They’ve been puffed up on affirmations and theories by their yes-men and your job is to listen to them vent and yell.

I’ve said before that I don’t think Trump ‘believes’ anything in the way you or I might mean the term. We have things we believe and things which advantage us. Much of the moral calculus of our lives revolves around how we resolve the conflicts between the two. The two don’t exist as separate domains for Donald Trump. He’s like a particular, avaricious kind of salesman. He says and embraces what helps him. Asking whether he thinks this or that claim is ‘true’ would make no more sense to him than asking a novelist whether her latest chapter is ‘true’.

Listening to the audio or reading the words in this call the image is of an omnivore, a predator moving forward. He rattles off a litany of rumors, factoids, propaganda, lies which his toad ies and sycophants have been plying him with for months. But he’s not deluded. They’re simply a map, a storyline to guide his aggression and appetite for power, which emanate from the deepest depths of his being. He pitches from one side to the other, between aggressive and sullen, threatening and sarcastic. Hungry and desperate. Predatory.

As I mentioned earlier, perhaps the most striking thing about this transcript is not the criminal conduct. That’s not surprising. We’ve seen this from Trump many times before. It is that he still believes he can remain President and that enough threats or gifts can make that a reality. This is a private call, not playing to the Trumpite masses to build a post-presidential grievance movement. This portends a chaotic and quite likely violent final two weeks of his presidency.

This is about more than losing power or the prestige of the presidency. This is more existential. Leaving the White House is a terrifying vulnerability.

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Yes this is Trump’s existential crisis (though I don’t think he knows that) and the main thing is that he’s going to make as many people suffer as he can on his way out the door. Yes his ego is terrifyingly vulnerable but I have no pity. He’s a dangerous and unhinged man.

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So I just spent an hour listening to this call. Besides the crazy rumors and the fact that it sounds like Trump was trying to read off a script, which he did badly, the other thing that struck me was the fact that Mark Meadows tried to sound like a reasonable person, negotiating a deal. I know Mark is just another sycophant, but this call reveals how deeply he contributes to Trump's madness.

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Classic good cop bad cop...except in this case it was Laurel and Hardy

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"Asking whether he thinks this or that claim is ‘true’ would make no more sense to him than asking a novelist whether her latest chapter is ‘true’." That is so illuminating. Thank You.

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“He pitches from one side to the other, between aggressive and sullen, threatening and sarcastic. Hungry and desperate. Predatory.”

This entire analysis describes my impression after listening to the call. He is calculating and relentless, the way he snakes repeatedly from fabricated data to threat to back-handed complement, back to fabricated data, over and over and over, wrapping it all up with his presumptive close that went something like, “So let’s meet tomorrow and wrap this up quickly or many bad things could happen.” I fully expect that there have been countless conversations like this between Trump and any number of people from whom he wants something. He expects people to do his bidding and he will hammer them until he gets what he wants.

He is dangerous and should be impeached. At a minimum, impeachment would prevent him from running for office again.

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When is treason treason in this country?

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When it's done by the far off "enemy" and not the person pulling the levers apparently. Benedict Arnold has nothing on this one!

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It's only technically treason in this country when aid is given to an enemy with whom we are formally, by declaration of Congress, at war. The point of that is to prevent a thug getting into office and then using threats of punishment for treason to keep everyone in line. Sound familiar?

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Well, HOW MUCH aid does someone in our Oval Office actually have to give to an enemy to meet treason? We basically have had an beholden agent and his many sycophants, who is/was/were doing everything a Russian leader could possibly dream.

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Congress doesn't declare war anymore. President's just order incursions, that last for years.

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While seditious conspiracy is generally defined as conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state, treason is the more-serious offense of actively levying war against the United States or giving aid to its enemies.

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I would say this regime is guilty of both.

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Maybe Raffensperger should get the medal of freedom award instead of the undeserving Nunes and Johnson. A day that seems like years!

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And don't forget "Gym" Jordan of Ohio, so deserving <sarcasm>.

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Good point! What about Dr. Graham who helped design the Moderna Vaccine? Drumf is such a loser.

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I was in my 20s during Watergate. I never expected to see the likes again. Well, as you said so well, this makes Watergate look quaint! We are in for an interesting few weeks. Lord help us!

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I wonder what we’ll do when Biden is safely ensconced in the WH. A huge collective sigh of relief please.

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Immediately followed by getting to work reversing as much damage as possible caused by trump’s executive orders. I’d like to start first with stopping drilling in Alaska, and next cease construction of the wall.

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Not sure I will be able to feel relaxed enough to sigh for quite awhile.

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It is interesting that we now have lawyers participating in and enabling crimes in the state of Georgia. First, I would suggest writing a brief email to Jay Rothman, CEO of Foley Lardner LLP - jrothman@foley.com, Cleta Mitchell's law firm regarding the behavior of a partner in the firm. Second, she is admitted to practice in DC and Oklahoma. Here is where to file a complaint about her behavior for the DC bar -https://www.dcbar.org/attorney-discipline/office-of-disciplinary-counsel/filing-a-complaint. If she is such a wonderful election lawyer, it is time to see her chops as a criminal defendant.

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Meadows is a co conspirator now, as are the lawyers on the call.

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Great idea! Here is some action we all can take this week, if nothing else. Thanks for the idea and info to follow through, you made it easy.

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Thanks for the info. Will do!

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Done

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Thanks, I have also copied my two senators

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