540 Comments

The Republican’s offer of 600 B as a compromise should be considered with appropriate solemnity, and a counter offer of 2.0 T should be made by President Biden. The President and his spokespersons should highlight to all Americans that are in food lines, homeless, cold, desperate and disillusioned that it is Republicans that feel enough has been done. Every governor and mayor across the land should speak to the needs of the states to provide resources to get vaccines to the people. TO PREVENT FURTHER DEATH of innocent people.

West Virginia has the lowest average family income in the country, if I read the articles properly. Manchin and his family make millions off of energy holdings every year. He is a two term governor and now must be in his 3rd term as senator. So what indeed has he done for his people? Protected them from having their guns taken away, from having transgender bathrooms, gay marriage? Not of course improving school systems or health care, or curtailing mining practices that destroy state resources. Not sending new generations into mines that destroy lungs.

Biden and his team should go to every red state to hold seminars and press briefings weekly. Press the issues to the real people who are suffering. Put it in the face of every republican voter.

Biden and Harris should invite Manchin and Sinema to tea. They should also invite Stacey Abrams.

Finally I wish again to call attention to the fact that we will see the death toll of INNOCENT AMERICANS reach 500 THOUSAND by the end of February!

This is NOT an ecomomic crisis. This is a NATURAL DISASTER causing and ecomomic crisis. We cannot spend ENOUGH MONEY FAST ENOUGH to fight covid. There is not any room for rational debate.

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I love you Bill. Have I told you that recently? " . . . a counter offer of 2.0 trillion . . ."

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Yes! Every time they undercut the funding, raise the stakes!

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Yes! I did this at my yard sale for my father's estate. Anyone who would lowball me I would up the ante. Way fun and satisfying🥰

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Knowing the "loyal opposition" is going to take an axe to any legislation the 2020 election winning team puts on the table, to show their home-voters they're very serious gum-chewers (and I should talk with my $2/day Orbit gum habit), a good strategy is to add some boiler-plate idiot must-have programs for the axe hackers to have something to wack on. I suggest, provision for a committee to study the idea of getting the Earth to reverse its direction of spin; fund a foundation to promote the cause of supporting motherhood and fighting death. My fall-back for a super-spender event relief spend-away winner is the (in development) do-it-yourself prefrontal lobotomy kit, small, medium, or large, with a high-tech kazoo and self-guiding instructions about how to whistle while you work as a come-on.

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I'd like to add a major project to build a wall around the edge of the earth, so that when people come to the edge, they don't fall off.

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Why is there no "laugh" emoji? As she laughs.

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I agree that there need to be someone(s) going to red states to hold press briefings and seminars or whatever on a weekly basis. “Press the issue to the real people who are suffering. Put it in the face of every republican voter.” Yes! Get local and hammer on the facts and the message. This needs to be done.

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Since I can 💙 only once, here it what I really think of your observation: 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

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💜💙💚💛🧡❤

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"Biden and his team should go to every red state to hold seminars and press briefings weekly. Press the issues to the real people who are suffering. Put it in the face of every republican voter."

I like this idea! Do you mind if I pass it along to my Senators (Murray and Cantwell) and Representative (Larsen)?

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Spread the word!

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The pandemic I would agree is a natural disaster. But the failure of our government to provide for its citizens is a "failure by design" enacted by radically dangerous Republicans for the last 50 years. It is time politically to return these dangerous anti-democratic minds to the underside of the political rock from which they emerged, working to make as whole as possible all those seriously wounded or killed by their rapacious and reckless actions.

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Which is why I have mused several times about manslaughter. Absolute dereliction of duty. Every elected Republican is complicit!

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Your musing is not some wild concoction. There is moral substance to it. Politicians should be held accountable for egregious actions which harm people and our republic. At this time, our congress is struggling with that very question, and we can see how averse the practitioners of predatory capitalism are against having to answer that question.

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On human-made "natural" disasters:

Neil Coleman, Johnstown’s Flood of 1889

Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

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Negligent homicide?

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In most states, Homeless people.cannot vote.

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Ah, there you are, Judith! I've been looking everywhere for you!!

I could not for the life of me locate your post in this avalanche, the post which says "Really? The U.S. problems and the threat to Free Enterprise are the Biggest Problems in the World?? The manta Rays and sharks are dying off as they swim in the heated oceans, and the threat to freedom is the Biggest Probl . . . " and then it was cut off. [I corrected a few of your typos]

So here's my reply.

"Of course Judith, you are correct. Allow me to rephrase.

I listed the biggest political problems in the world, the biggest problems of policy in society. We are on Heather Cox Richardson's platform, in her living room.

The number one biggest problem in the world is overpopulation. Overpopulation and mismanagement of the planet by human society is way more important than society's problems, OF COURSE. You are absolutely correct."

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Hello Roland, I deleted my comment because I realized before I finished since this is a history and political thread, you probably were focused on the largest political problem.

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😲😥😡

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I see 2T. and 600B. as opening bids in this extremely high stakes poker game. I see the numbers as where compromise begins. And it’s not just money; it’s each side needing to say for political reasons that it negotiated itself into being the winner and its opponent is thus the loser. Both parties need to stop operating as if this is a “game” and a zero-sum game at that. Otherwise, compromise, so badly needed now, will never be seen as a positive, valuable, and essential approach to legislating.

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Tell Repugs that opening bids start at $1.5 trillion.

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heck, counter with original proposal plus checks for the full $2000 now, and again every 6 weeks for 6 months.

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People are suffering, dying every day! People seem more concerned with Reddit, Robinhood, and integrity of the stock market. EVERYTHING IS RELATED TO STOPPING COVID! Remember that we can barrow FREE money. Interest rates near zero.

And climate change will make Covid look like a picnic. We must control the virus and it’s offspring now and start re-tooling for for the climate changes in a continuous effort.

This is the logical outcome of “government is the enemy”. Government is the means to stop wars! Agreeing to honor law and elections peacefully.

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There is no "compromise" to be had, since if Biden was stupid enough to take the bait, after they knocked his package down, they wouldn't vote for it - the same trick they pulled with the Recovery Relief Act in 2009.

Every single one of them needs to be sprayed in the face from a distance of 2 feet with Mace aerosol. A good 2 minute dose. Then leave them writhing and screaming in agony.

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He has to try. He also has to make it known that he is trying to help the American people while they are not. He’s not stupid and he and his people are politically savvy.

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This idea that $600B is a "compromise" proposal is ridiculous and insulting. It's 1/3 of what Biden is planning for. The Republicans are saying either, a) the plans are bloated with 3x inflated estimates, or b) 2/3 of what's in the plan is unnecessary and should be eliminated. Either interpretation is a slap-in-the-face insult. If that's the best the Republicans can to toward "bipartisanship," they need a little picture drawn for them to explain exactly where they can put their bipartisanship.

How do you cut 2/3 out of the estimated cost of rebuilding a basic house? Eliminate three walls, tilt the fourth wall to serve as as a lean-to, roll in a couple of 50 gallon drums full of garbage for heat, and dig a privy in the back yard?

Geez....

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Manchin is profiting from the scalping and shaving of Beautiful West Virginia mountains. A friend in Richwood where I once lived said that their "100 year flood" which ruined our town a few years back, was actually caused by big mining and forestry corporations denuding the mountains up river so there was none of the normal rain absorption (he hikes back in to his old family homestead). Thousand out of work and homeless. Oh, well.

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This thing that we have been living with for the past four years is not over. I cannot understand the thinking that drives people to support this - it is utter insanity to me. But they will not go quietly into the night and I fear our country is in further danger of being ripped apart by this hate that walks among us. I never thought we would see this kind of evil in our country, in our lifetimes yet, here it is. Every bit as ugly as the evils we fought in WWII, if not worse. I don’t know how or where to run for safety but I also don’t know how to fight.

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Here’s another option Karen. This week is really important. There is no safe place from crazy and fighting won’t work against truck fuels of guns, but you can call and email your reps and the White House and let them know where you stand and why. Especially the Republicans.

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I emailed my Trump Sycophant Republican twice last week. I don't know why I bother, however someone has to

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I'm glad you do bother to write! My husband was a Congressional staffer for many years, and he always told me they carefully track and count calls and emails on the issues. It matters what you're doing - thank you. In my blue state, I need to be better about regularly calling my Democratic reps and senators to say I stand with them and thank them

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Thank you, Claire, for telling me this. Really appreciate encouragement that communicating with them matters. ❤️🤍💙

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I also need to be better about contacting my Senators. Both are Democrats and Biden supporters

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The times I've called my Democratic Senators, I can almost hear the staffer's shoulders relax a notch when I tell them I appreciate their work and everything the Senator and her/his staff do for us. It makes me so sad that they're now literally risking their lives as Members and Congressional staff

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Yes, I get lazy about calling Hickenlooper, DeGette and Bennet. Boebert, from the other side of the state is a real nut case and most Coloradans that I talk to can’t stand her. I also thought this was over. Biden CANNOT COMPROMISE! But I think he knows that!

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Yes, I tend to take the wonderful Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters for granted (and then we almost lost Peters to Republican deception and lies and mendacity and ...)

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I wrote to Upton, Stabenow, and Peters last night.

Feel free to use any of my text.

I said household because we have 4 registered voters here.

In hindsight, I should have listed more than MTG, but it was late!!

" I appreciate your stance to vote in favor of proceeding with the impeachment of our former president. I hope you remain steadfast in and vote to convict. Our household believes that the former president should be held accountable for his words and actions."

The second issue is that our household is vehemently against Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene. It is appalling that she has been assigned to an education committee. She should not serve on ANY committee. She may be an elected representative and my opinion can't change that. I urge you to denounce her rhetoric, and vote to remove her from ANY committees. Again, this household is politically engaged and will monitor your actions. Please consider the opinions of this constituent.

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Yes. And the Peters race was WAY too close.

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So glad you did. I have a state senator who is a Republican. It takes extra thought to contact him. I remind myself that I'm his constituent and that a careful, firm, reasoned, passionate statement FROM HIS CONSTITUENT at the least tells him that not every voter in his district supports nonsense.

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I contacted Fred Upton (R) with this:

I am your constituent in Name of City....

We have 4 registered voters in our household. (3 of the 4 did NOT vote for him in the last election.)

Message:

I appreciate your stance to vote in favor of proceeding with the impeachment of our former president. I hope you remain steadfast in and vote to convict. Our household believes that the former president should be held accountable for his words and actions. We will monitor your stance and votes going forward. Your decisions will affect our future votes for you should you run for office again.

We share concern and hope for your continued safety. It is awful that this is another issue for you to monitor. Stay safe and well.

The second issue is that our household is vehemently against Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene. It is appalling that she has been assigned to an education committee. She should not serve on ANY committee. She may be an elected representative and my opinion can't change that. BUT, I urge you to denounce her rhetoric, and vote to remove her from ANY committees. Again, this household is politically engaged and will monitor your actions.

Please consider the opinions of this constituent. Thank you.

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A very sound template, thank you, Julie. One small suggestion is to keep the messages short if possible.

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Well said!

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I am inspired! I was cleaning out papers yesterday and came upon a response in 2019 from my (pre-seditious) congressman, which ended with "I will keep your thoughts in mind should any legislation related to the Green New Deal comes before me for a vote in the House of Representatives...I am here to help in any way possible...I look forward to hearing from you again." Well guess who he's gonna be hearin' from again and again, as Biden's matter-of-fact environmental measures, which "cleanly" resemble the GND, hit Congress! The Republican party is now split 3 ways to Sunday - NOW is the time to Act! Write, Call, March, Donate..."

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MaryPat and I was having such a wonderful fantasy of your congressman being a doofus . . Ah well. I am not faulting you for rapid typing--I have to be vigilant about my own posts!!

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He is a doofus though, a smart idiot.

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Everyone should. If you vote in Florida, here are two numbers to call: Sen. Rick Scott - 202 224 5274 and Sen. Marco Rubio - 202 224 3041. You can leave a message which will be counted.

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I'll exactly that.

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Tik Tok, Tik Tok!

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I feel the same way. But they’re all I’ve got.

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We all must!

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Twenty years ago I read that the White House considers each call or communication as representing opinions of 100 other people. Congressional offices make similar calculations. Write on!

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Zowie MaryPat. I knew that illiterates were running the show but that is stunning. Do you think he wrote it and had an intern send it out without spellcheck enabled? Or the other way around?

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Okay - spelling errors are mine and I was too lazy to delete and repost but I will!

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Yes, this! 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻Keep calling and writing your Senators and Congressional Rep. It can make a difference.

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trucks full of guns (to save democracy)

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Rep. Kinzinger says that people who used to be friends have declared that he's joined Satan's army and they won't have anything to do with him anymore, and he's very conservative.

So maybe it's hopeless, but I figure a lot of these guys think everyone agrees with them because we don't take them on and they never get out of the echo chamber. I've decided to fight them, not let this nonsense go unanswered. I find a popular political video or article then scan for the Q-crazy/Trumpian comments--they're always there, and they're all outrageous, but they're repetitive (it wasn't MAGAhats at the Capitol, it was Antifa, etc.), and I've got a collection of good sources to back me up. Most fight back but some concede, which makes my day.

Let's just take them on, point by point, claim by absurd claim, and just not let them carry the day by our silence

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If you don't convince the True Believers to change their tune, at least you demonstrate skillful persuasive conversation. Invite them to join you in joyful sanity.

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The later it gets the meaner I get, but it seems to work better when I don,'t call them Deplorables and do address the issue rather than their, shall we say, gullibility--take the attitude that they're just lacking data

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Use your anger to fight. There are many more of us. We need all the seditionists to be removed by legal means. I have written or called every one of them and demanded they step down as they are demonstrating they do not support our democratic republic. They do not deserve to be civil servants of our country. Take them down for seditious acts. We have their signed statements that they want to throw out our 2020 election despite 60+ courts that said they have no proof. Reasoning will not work with fanatic cult members. We need our laws to support our democracy.

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I agree. Our passionate clear firm statements of the facts of the matter, and our statement to officials, elected or appointed, make a huge amount of sense. -- Flood the zone with good sense. --

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Q believers and their slightly less psychotic brethren -- the ordinary Trumpists -- don't respond to any zone that is flooded with good sense. I think they must turn around and walk the other way when they get to one of those zones.

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Extirpate them root and branch. Legally and nonviolently, of course.

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Apparently the Proud Boys replaced their usual costumes with all black for the attack on the Capitol. Some people may genuinely mistaken them for antifa as a result. That's in addition to all the outright lies blaming antifa, which were quickly shredded by the rioters themselves.

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Good for you and thank you. It’s not for the faint of heart.

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I have been observing this for quite some time now. There’s a lot of tribalism involved here. I think that you cannot browbeat people into agreeing with you. You cannot shame people into changing their mind. I think that many are very uneducated and relying on a false sense of religion a false idea of Christianity, of which I am not a member. But I do know that shame and confrontation when use together does not work to change minds.

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I don't think I'd respond well to shaming and browbeating either

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Sounds like a sound approach, Pat. Who do you write to -- elected officials, newspapers, friends or acquaintances? Maybe all of the above?!

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My elected officials at the moment are all on the side of the angels, but whenever they ask for comments, I definitely oblige.

On the other hand, my own sister voted for Trump and asked me a while ago what I thought about the story that Hillary had had her aide killed--I silenced her with a barrage of outrage but now realize that I may never again get the chance to convince her because she might never again tell me what she's thinking.

Like most of us, though, I'm surrounded by people of similar beliefs, which makes us lazy about putting them into convincing words and lulls us into assuming that our rationality will carry the day. We're our own echo chamber, which leads us to be shocked into silence when we do hear the lying messages from the other side.

The fighting I was talking about, though, is with strangers on the Internet, not Q Anon sites per se, just articles and videos, like Schwarzenegger's speech, or even Washington Post articles, which attract a lot of comments from both sides. I comb them, groom them from top to bottom and answer/argue with any I find to be untrue (not just angry).

Only one person so far has noticed that I appear over and over on the same string--they're mostly just interested in responses to their own comments. Some people do battle with me day after day, and one got frantic when I'd been away for a while, assumng more and more heinous reasons for my silence. Still, after a while, many calm down and find something to agree about.

The Q people (or maybe just Fox Trumpites) have a set range of responses on every issue, and these people just feel they're asserting absolute truth when they put one of those statements out there. It's become easy to counter them (at first, I would have to do research--what on earth is this loony talking about?) even using sources they might respect (a local Fox station, for instance) as well as the fact-checking sites. For the Capitol incursion I've saved a set of links for every occasion--BLM murdered thousands (nope) and cities are still burning (nope) so why don't you criticize those? (many did), just stating the counter-facts clearly before giving the link (to stir them up enough that they actually look at the source that's got them so outraged). When I'm tired I might slip up and call them idiots, but usually a flat statement of fact gets more of a reaction.

And it's fun. And addictive. Some nights I forget to go to bed. I like the sites that let you go back and correct an earlier post--those late nights are no friends to grammar and syntax.

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I do exactly that, too. Recently I did a lot of commenting on another substack blog, one run by Matt Taibbi. He has attracted a lot of Trumpers as well as a few anti-Trumps. Usually only the pro-Trumps comment, but a few anti-Trumps might back me up from time to time. However, I've quit that now because it turns out there are just not enough thinkers, mostly just troll types. Very disappointing. Here on Heather's substack, I get real conversations with real people! On the Taibbi blog, some of the commenters actually seem to be bots! So silly, really. What is the point? Well, I think those trolls and their troll-bots basically want to disrupt our dialog. It's just one more way to weaken the US.

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Thank you, P and R. I came here partly as a refugee from the Boston Globe's inanities and trolls; not worth the aggravation tho I kept the subscrip. There is much value in congregating among like-minded folks. There is an echo-chamber aspect, but also many good insights and phrasings that go beyond simple reinforcement. And so many helpful links, book titles, resources. Keep them coming.

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I subscribe to the Dispatch on Substack and there are mostly anti-Trumpers, some real died in the wool conservatives/Republicans and a good number of those left of center who are veterans of battling on NRO. There are a few proTrumps but they end up incensed and tend to flounce. Anyhow, I have found that Trumpers and Qholes are generally impermeable to facts and the only reasonable people left on the Right are Never-Trumper Conservatives. We disagree but it is good to keep the conversational and debate muscles working because worthy intellectual opposition is what protects us from our own excesses. It also keeps me in practice of understanding others and keeping in mind we are all Americans with many other things in common. Some things I learned is that we all do not want the same things with just different ways of getting there. I have no illusion that anything I post will cause them to reexamine their own beliefs or opinions on points of contention. They have their litany of democratic sins which appear to leap across decades and decades with an almost reptilian memory.

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cheerio, thank you for your reply.

By NRO do you mean National Review Online? It seems you and I might have some common factors in our politics.

With respect to Never-Trump Conservatives, I am favorably impressed with some of them. I never admired Reagan-style conservatism because of the religious fanatics, racists and other bad types who climbed onto the Reagan bandwagon.

But when I was younger there were decent real conservatives who had nothing to do with these various mad factions, and some of their ideas were not bad.

Unfortunately I've never been able to vote for a real conservative because they basically either disappeared or signed up with one or more of the other "Republican big tent" extremist factions.

Now, when I watch the never-Trump Republicans finally show some honesty and backbone, I can forgive some of their former excesses.

At the moment I feel very unsure about most Democrats. My impression is that Democrats right now seem able to survive without taking strong stands on much of anything, so they seldom have to reveal their political beliefs. One strong point In favor of Democrats is that they do not seem to be mixed up with too many cult-like factions, which is indeed a relief. Currently I am cautiously optimistic about Joe Biden.

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That sounds like a pretty good idea, as long as you can be calm and methodical, not angry and emotional. Usually I can do that in a comments section like this one. Unfortunately in person or on the phone I'm not so great at it.

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The difference between now and WW2 is that the evil is here, not there.

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You are exactly right. This is why I find this so incredibly distressing - we were the ones who fought the evil in WWII so now that we have become the evil it is hard not to despair. This feels like a truly existential crisis for humanity and the world.

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Thank you Claudia, for the reminder.

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https://indivisible.org/ Karen, this is worth the read.

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Thank you, R Dooley.

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I hope you find it helpful - I did.

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Great reminder!!

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Be involved as much as you can. Your vote counts also. Do not let the craziness rule your life, this does not change who you are and what values you stand for.

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Karen, my mom and I write postcards for PostcardsToVoters.org, an organization that started in 2017. There are 80,000 of us across the country now writing millions of postcards to Democratic voters. We have made an amazing difference in races that likely would have gone to the Republican candidate. There is something about getting a handwritten card that affects people: They put the card on their fridges; they bring them to the polling station.

We have not stopped just because the presidential election is over. We are involved in every level of elections. And as we now understand more than ever how important state legislatures are, state level judiciary election, local elections of all sorts, this is something concrete to fight for. We have the numbers in so many places. We just need to continue to get them out.

I have called Reps and Senators, and I do think that's important. But writing these cards feels much more tangible. There is an army of us, Karen, quietly writing these cards all the time. On the site, you can read about the races where our cards made a real difference. If you are not a phone banking person (I am not!), if you are not always sure where to send a limited amount of money, I invite you to join us.

Please know I am not dismissing anything you say here. Every bit as ugly as the evils we fought in WWII -- YES. And that feeling of not knowing where to run for safety but also not knowing how to fight? Wow, well put. I am living with that terror as well and it is excruciating. I'm only mentioning one way that I have found that gives me some sense that I can do my part in not allowing them to win.

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I'm not sure if I learned about PostcardstoVoters.org from you, Nomi, or from someone else on this forum; however, I did write 100 to GA voters and you have now given me the impetus to check the website again for other elections - perhaps even for my own state, which while predominantly Blue in national elections has numerous Red counties with at least two US Reps who signed on to the efforts to declare the Presidential election a steal. I'm not their constituent but I know there are quite a few voters in their districts that must be disgusted.

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Lanita, hi! At the moment, there is no active campaign. But do keep checking. We just wrote for a few special elections, and there will be others.

Having representatives from your own state who are supporting these dangerous lies must be maddening. And, yes, who knows, with more Democratic turnout, they may not have the support they need to get reelected. Wouldn't that be great.

(Deleted the other comments because I misspelled your name.)

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I feel the same Karen. The joy of the inauguration was very short lived and on that day I exhaled a lot but also felt an immense sense of foreboding.

For me, and for others for which the entire picture is just too overwhelming to look at, I have 2 causes I focus on: children with disabilities and protecting public lands. These topics are embedded in my career choice and my self care hobby of hiking and being an outdoors woman. In other words, I keep my focus narrow. I oftentimes remind others to choose a cause. There are many. Then roll up your sleeves and get involved in that cause. Or two.

And especially true during this plague, I find solitude and smaller amounts of time with only people who bring me joy to be good self care.

One of my most favorite quotes from Mother Teresa: ‘Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.’

Peace and love to you, Karen.

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Excellent advice. It's so easy to despair if you look too broadly and deeply into the current situation or into history. Pick an issue that you feel strongly about and concentrate there.

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Thank you, Tricia. I do try to keep focused on only one or two causes that are meaningful to me. It certainly helps to narrow the focus.

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I think we fight by being calm clear and persistent. We keep saying the things that are true. We stand in our strength and we do what we can every day to make this world a better place. I cannot think of anything else to do about this. I also try to educate myself and be an active listener.

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"We want to work in good faith...,” the senators wrote. After years in which Republican senators refused to discuss bills with the Democrats, this is a change indeed."

So here I'll say it once again - the GOP's failure to miss the irony in this statement was laughable at one point. It's now contemptible. For Susan Collins, of all people (yes, I know she's HCR's senator) to express her "concerns" about unity while presenting a counterproposal cutting the president's by 66%, after not pushing McConnell to even create a COVID proposal months after the House has submitted one, is pure farce. From whence does her moral authority arise?

We all had high hopes that Trump's exit would signal a period of less contention, if not actual cooperation. Yet each day brings news of greater intransigence, of more attempts to continue Trump's dismantling of democratic processes and norms, of efforts to whitewash, downplay, and evade accountability for those efforts, including the sacking of Congress, and of preposterous behavior by elected officials who don't actually have any constructive political policy agenda.

To anthropomorphize the coronavirus, many in the GOP have themselves become a virus, the symptoms of which are an onset of malaise, tone deaf ears, choking the oxygen from the political collaboration needed to protect the nation's well-being, and generally weakening our system's immunity to corruption and authoritarianism.

We're in the heart of winter, a time Fauci and others feared would exacerbate the damage of coronavirus because we'd be closed in, because the annual flu virus would also be active, because we're tapped out on the isolation of social distancing. I went to Charleston SC this weekend for a golf trip. Golf has been a godsend this past year as it allowed the chance to get out of the house, to spend time with friends while maintaining safe distancesc from each other. We wore masks in the car, walked or took individual carts while playing, and generally taking the precautions we've been advised to take. We made one mistake. We went into the city to go to dinner. In an area where police have occasionally ticketed people for walking in public without a mask, the restaurants and bars were packed, not three slightest pretense of distancing aside from requiring a mask to enter. Once inside one was free to spread contagion. I'm a cancer patient with a lymphocyte count at 40% of normal, even two years in remission. This was an incredibly stupid action on my part. Midway through dinner my anxiety about the environment overcame my desire for a nice dinner with friends and I left. I'm kicking myself for letting my guard down. No symptoms (yet) but it's clear that given half a chance, Americans will want to put safety protocols behind us as fast as we can, telling ourselves most people recover from COVID quickly, or have no symptoms, or just "it's gonna be some other person" who gets sick.

Biden must act on measures which, according to HCR's column, are or would be popular despite the objections of certain Republicans. He must make clear that Trump-like obstructionism doesn't control the conversation anymore. He must prove Robert Reich's premise to be true, that “the real reason Republicans want to block Biden is they fear his plans will work.”

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Scott, I feel for you. I am about to start chemotherapy, and my fury that I cannot get vaccinated before I become immunocompromised is pretty overwhelming. I think I’m probably looking at nine more months of isolation, unable to see my children as I embark on this battle. Many of us have let our guards down from time to time - the need for contact is real, too. My thoughts are with you, with fingers crossed.

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It is a strong statement of your courage for you to offer encouragement to Scott while in a situation that would move most of us to offer the same for you. It is well said that "what goes around comes around" and I pray that is the case for you and, nine months hence, you rejoin your family after a full recovery.

The ineptitude of our governments in distributing the vaccine is inexcusable, especially in cases like yours and Scott's.

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Thank you, Dave. We always knew the rollout would take time, and thank god we have competent people working on it now. I suspect that if I had been diagnosed in March instead of January, I wouldn’t have this problem. My misfortune. Luckily we are resilient, and with improving weather, maybe it won’t be so bad and we’ll be able to meet outdoors.

I’ll take your prayers, with gratitude!

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I love these stories. I too am a breast cancer survivor of just over 5 years. I too wish you health! BTW: people call chemo poison. I called it a lifesaver, albeit a somewhat unsavory lifesaver. Just an aside, I live in CO where marijuana has been legal for quite awhile. Edibles were my saving grace, just sayin’...

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Breast cancer survivor here, too. 2.5 years out, ~halfway through My 5-year Tamoxifen course, grateful for this drug. Sending you survivors all my support and good wishes. 💛

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Me too...I am. 2 timer; the last time was 11 years ago. I was on Tamoxifen for 4 yrs 5 mo.

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My son has been encouraging me to try them! Spending the next few months in a happy fog sounds wonderful haha

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Yup. I am having a total shoulder replacement and will be using edibles, Tylenol and ibuprofen instead of opiates. There is a good podcast called “On Something” about marijuana legalization in CO. One of them deals with marijuana for post op pain.

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I am allergic to all narcotics and have paradoxical reactions (severe pain) and can't take NSAIDS because of a bleeding disorder. Thank the State of Michigan for legalizing marijuana!!

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Good to know!

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My holistic vet dispenses it for some of her patients...

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Leila, they're not legal where I live, so were not a treatment option at the time. I've tried them but have no way to determine what they would've done at the time.

I took Oxycontin for almost a year - most oncologists are very concerned to make sure patients don't suffer unnecessary pain. I personally dropped those without incident though I realize that's not the case for others. But I would've availed myself of gummies had they been around!

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Kathy, I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with cancer and chemo. Coronavirus has even had a different impact on the treatment process. I underwent 8 cycles of immunotherapy and chemo for what was diagnosed as "incurable Stage 4 cancer" in 2017. I had/have a form of non Hodgkin's Lymphoma that's statistically very likely to recur. At treatment sessions you got to know the staff and other patients, and there was a sociable element to it. Now, family members are not allowed to most sessions or procedures, and it's lost the communal fight vibe.

Thanks for your well wishes. It was a dumb move on my part. I've been fortunate. I haven't "been sick" since I was "sick." I try to stay as active as possible because I'm all too aware of what could've been. My kids are exceedingly cognizant of my immuno-compromised situation and are always trying to protect me, even if that's meant being apart. I love them for it but sometimes feel like I'm an adult, I'm being careful, and I'd take the chance to see you over precaution every single time. Yet I feel like I really let them down.

I can't offer you enough wishes for a successful outcome and a mild treatment process. I found treatment easier than the first 12 months after, but let's get through the first part first. You're facing a challenge but, of my experience is any example, you'll find a new strength in yourself. You're not the same person after treatment as you were going in. Please let me/us know how things go. I wish there was a way to offer you more support.

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Scott, thank you. I think I’m already a different person - it sure makes you think about what you believe is important and vital to your life and well-being. Interestingly, for example, my husband of almost 30 years and I are becoming closer and more united, and we had a good marriage to begin with. I’m grateful for our close family and our resilience. Of course I’m sad and scared, but here we are. You have my wishes for continued good health too.

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Best wishes for you and your treatment, Kathy. I'm a 30-year, 2-time colon cancer survivor, and my saving grace when recovering from surgeries was walking. The first day I went out to walk post-surgery, I made it three houses down the street and had to turn around and go home. But the second day, I made it to the fourth house, the third day the fifth house, and soon I was zipping around the neighborhood, including walking ten blocks to my local polling place to vote. I had such a feeling of triumph, walking into that voting booth. Please keep us posted on your progress.

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That’s great advice, Ruth, thank you. Mine is also colorectal. I’m very active - I have two horses and compete seriously at a mid to high level, ride 6 days a week - and getting back to that thing that I love is incredibly motivating.

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I don't know what cancer path you're traveling, but I have been there and done that. My journey was exactly 15 years ago (diagnosis 1/16; surgery 2/2; chemo 3/15; radiation 7/17 2006). It was a long process, not complicated in any way by a pandemic, and yet here I am, 15 years clean (although the clean date was the end of radiation was on September 1). I wish you success as you go down that path, and hope you come out on the other side both clean and virus free.

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I wish you the best Kathy. My daughter just started chemo, and thankfully was able to get her vaccine a few days earlier. But only because she met essential worker criteria. We are taking her nanny with us to get our shots on Saturday and hoping they will give her the shot as a tag along. My daughter's husband participated in a drug trial for Moderna and was just unblinded and he had had the real vaccine. So if we get the nanny vaccinated their family should be good. It is craziness trying to manage illness and hunt for the vaccine. I hope you can get it very soon. Keep trying. Get someone to help you. Bless you.

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Linda, I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. I’m so happy you were able to get vaccinated - that is wonderful indeed.

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Scott and Kathy - I feel for both of you and wish you the best. This isolation is so difficult.

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I pray that all goes well for you, Kathy. Keep us posted, if you can.

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Peace by with you. Prayers from Georgia.

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Welcome back into the Union!

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Oh, Kathy. I send you my most fervent wishes for comfort and success.

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My best to you, Kathy. Try and keep in touch with all of us, if you can.

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Scott, Kathy, and Ally, I'm right there with you: dealing with stage 4 cancer (25 years after my first cancer treatment) diagnosed in June and having to navigate that plus all the pandemic fun. I am fortunate: I was identified as the highest of high risk groups after essential health workers and I got my first jab on Saturday. But still double-masking and not going anywhere except places I know are vigilant about infection prevention. The crappy thing was that my oncologist was very leery about me playing golf because of the cancer in my spine but just cleared me to swing a club again. Of course, it is now winter but my hope is that I can hit the driving range in early spring and start to take lessons again. I agree: golf is one of those activities that can be therapeutic (and frustrating!) for a host of reasons! Stay strong, friends. We are in this together.

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I wish you the best Linda. My daughter is stage IV. The stress of that, plus making sure her family is vaccinated is almost unbearable. If we can get her nanny vaccinated Saturday with my husband and I, we at least will have everyone (except 4 year old twins) safe. Take care.

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Thanks Linda--and I hope all goes well with everyone. Stay safe!

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Bless you Linda.

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It's easy to get carried away by degrees. I'm impressed that you realized you had made a mistake and went home. I am sad to hear that you saw so many who are not taking the pandemic seriously. We're all in this together, and so many have given up so much. I wish you continued good health.

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Golf was a Godsend this year (except for the courses being packed!) with fresh air, distance socializing, and what I call “therapy ranting” (although we limited ourselves to no more than 20 minutes per round) and my game even improved. I teed that ball up as if it were trump’s head and crushed it! The image worked for fairway shots as well. 🏌️‍♀️ We had hoped to play a couple times each month over the winter (as we did last year) but Mother Nature is not cooperating so far. We can do cold but not snow!

Yes, everything is a potential exposure and at some point any one thing can be a “slip up” and then we beat ourselves up for a potential exposure. Been there! The most basic risk assessment is different for each of us. I go to the grocery store and had a tooth implant finished (started before) while one of my friends (who is is a cancer survivor) has not been off her property in almost a year except for a few doctor appointments. Ultimately it is impossible to “game a virus”. We try to rationalize each activity but the virus “doesn’t care”. Keeping a really tight bubble (we don’t see our friends, adult kids or grands), maintain distance when out, and wearing a mask (I started double masking weeks ago) are the most effective things we can do until we get the vaccine.

Any time I think it might be okay to stretch the parameters a bit (heaven knows it is wrenching not being able to do anything or help the kids/grands) I remind myself healthy people have been taken out by this virus or had lasting health issues and that is the risk friends, family, and I are not willing to take. Now, I can’t imagine life without Zoom!

I feel much empathy for those who are struggling with cancer or other serious illnesses. All of this becomes even more isolating and the logistics more difficult to manage. You are doing the best you can. Hang in there and above all be kind to yourself. I find hitting a pickle ball against the garage door (because we’re not playing that indoors this year) is a good endorphin release and helps to deal with whatever is on deck!

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You gotta love this!! "I teed that ball up as if it were trump’s head and crushed it! The image worked for fairway shots as well. 🏌️‍♀️

[deleted post was faulty, left out the word "love"]

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Janet, in NC it was one of the few activities left open after the first wave of lockdowns. Between parents working from home, kids not at school, and just the general need to escape, our course was packed, even during weather that'd otherwise keep people home.

Your comment hit the nail on the head: "Any time I think it might be okay to stretch the parameters a bit...I remind myself healthy people have been taken out by this virus or had lasting health issues." And yet two guys we drove to the course with Sunday went on about"of masks work why is there still virus around" and "the masks are of inferior quality" and "people need education about masks." Look guys, this is not rocket science. I didn't bite by another friend did, much to his dismay. I just said, I don't care what you think, wear your mask when you're with me - at a minimum.

Many of these same guys were first in line to help when I was sick. I don't get it - they're successful, well educated people. I'm done arguing. Each of us can only control what we can control. Stay distanced, wear your mask, avoid crowds. If you're not comfortable, go. But try and cut yourself a break. It's okay to go outside. It's easier to avoid people out there. Same as above - If you're not comfortable, go.

Good luck to all of you.

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Roland, you "thought" you deleted this post!

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Scott, when we make mistakes with the virus, all we can do is quarantine, move on and promise to do better. Because so many others aren't following safe guidelines, the rest of us don't have enough visual cues to be perfect. Last summer we were high in the mountains of eastern Arizona, where we were safely alone in a cabin, alone traveling the backroads, staying completely out of restaurants and stores. So what do we do? We run across a hiker that just finished a climb up a mountain peak of over 11,000 feet. He came back down the wrong trail and was several miles from his car. My husband tells him to get in the back seat of our truck and we drive him to his car, let him out and to each other say, "Oh My God, what did we just do??" Picked up our first hitchhiker ever and during the pandemic. We still feel stupid 6 months later. Please take care. And thank you for the safety reminder.

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And I petted my first and last Pitt bull, and said to my friend ‘what have I done!?’ Your comment somehow reminded me of that, Linda.

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I hope you continue to stay well, Scott.

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Scott, I agree with every word you said, particularly regarding Susan Collins' tone-deaf (at best) comments and pretense when aid is so urgently needed. Your comments are always so well thought out and well presented.

I sincerely hope that your experience in Charleston doesn't impact your health. It's difficult to believe that anyone would endanger others by flaunting common-sense precautions. We'll all hope you have dodged the bullet. This has been so difficult on every front.

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It's hard to break the habits of a lifetime, to recognize the abnormal when life often still appears normal.

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We've all made choices we've regretted later. I just read this article on behavior and Covid, I think it helps explain a bit: https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2021/feb/01/loose-rule-breaking-culture-covid-deaths-societies-pandemic

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This was an interesting take. I get the author's point but would add that part of the "American Mystique" or "American myth" is that we are looser, but we're not without self control, that we pull together in times of travail. To the extent that was ever true, it was short lived at best.

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Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

—Emily Dickinson

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Thank Godo we have "Emily's List."

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One of my favorite poems !

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Just think about this for for a moment ......

“In an article in The Guardian today, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich dismissed Republican concerns about the national debt, noting that if they were worried about it, they could just tax the very wealthy. “‘The total wealth of America’s 660 billionaires has grown by… $1.1 [trillion] since the start of the pandemic, a 40% increase,’” he noted. Those billionaires could fund almost all of Biden’s proposal and still be as rich as they were before the pandemic hit”.

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Yes! When I read it I gasped and sat up, and if my husband had not been snoring so peacefully I would have burst out with this aspiration! Why can’t this be done?! Clearly so many of the great unwashed masses would lose nothing but gain so much. And the fat cats would effectively be told to sit down and pay piper back for the unconscionable robbery of the regular citizens for God knows how long?!

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I'm delighted people are taking notice. I am thrilled that Dr. Richardson is taking notice. The biggest problems in the world, no particular order, are the old-social-order (the deplorables) in America (because America is a global fishbowl, a showcase, for democracy and human rights), the corrupted nation-state run by the arch-criminal Vladimir Putin, the Orwellian society of the Chinese Communist Party, and the current structure of the economic system which exploits rather than serves (income disparity, economic injustice). I am taking heart, because now at least the community here on HCR is taking note of most of those issues.

If you doubt my statement about the deplorables in America, you underestimate how incredibly closely the rest of the world has been scrutinizing events in our country the last several months. DT and the Nov. election and Trump's Capitol riot (and aftermath of all that) is probably the #1 news item in the world right now.

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I should say I voted for Bernie in 2016 and in 2020, in the primary. Now I think we are doing even better than Bernie would have done. Biden is the wolf in sheep's clothing, he is Bernie hiding in plain sight. It's like those movies where people change bodies, say, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The decision to accept the agenda that the economic system needs a drastic overhaul has made me very happy. THIS is how we introduce prosperity in our society. THIS is how we begin to eliminate hunger and homelessness. We need to reform, drastically reform, the capitalism which allows the top tiny fraction to be filthy rich, at the expense of workers who truly deserve that prosperity, because they are out there EARNING it. Teachers, physical workers, not the parasites at the top.

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Roland, Thank you for recognizing the wolf in sheep’s clothing. There’s a lightness in Biden’s step and smile as he exerts his superpowers. Bernie is and has been my truthteller. Biden is my action hero. What a relief. So far. 🙏🏻❤️🤍💙

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What Roland said. I think the cracks in the edifice of consumer capitalism are getting bigger. Greed does strange things to people and just like a virus it eventually destroys its host. IMHO of course.

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Nicely put.

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Deborah I love your reply, thank you. Biden exerts his superpowers. Bernie as your oracle, Biden as your action hero. Love it.

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I admit that I was firmly in the camp that no one who would be over 70 during the term (Biden, Sanders, and Warren, who double parenthetically I feel will best be utilized in the senate, and possibly a cabinet role if she can be replaced by a good democrat in MA) should be nominated. Harris, Booker, Buttigieg, and Kobashar were my personal choices. I think that Biden was probably the only Democrat in that bunch that could have been elected, and have any sort of success at getting their programs through.

Reforming the structure of capitalism and getting ride of the tinkle down economics that have had the forefront since 1980 is a dang good start.

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If not for Bernie, and Warren, Biden wouldn't be nearly as bold as he is attempting to be right now. They both elevated the conversation around progressive ideas and I hope they will continue to do so, holding Biden's feet to the fire as Joe Burly said last week.

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Beth Benham...I agree. Bernie and Warren set the agenda and don't forget Warren's killer takedown of Mike Bloomberg. Both of them appear to be holding the fort in the Senate. And pushing Biden by pushing progressive ideas that ARE popular with a vast number of Americans. xD

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Remember Heather Heyer. Her death inspired Biden's campaign.

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so sad....

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Love it! Biden is Bernie in plain site! Getting the (progressive, essential) job done!

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Judith Jordet, where are you? I have spent all kinds of time trying to locate her post in this avalanche, from an email notification. Here's what she wrote:

"Really? The U.S. problems and the threat to Free Enterprise are the Biggest Problems in the World?? The manta rays and sharks are dying off as they swim in the heated oceans, and the threat to freedom is the Biggest Probl . . ." and it cuts off there.

Of course Judith, you are correct. Allow me to rephrase.

I listed the biggest political problems in the world, the biggest problems of policy in society. We are on Heather Cox Richardson's platform, in her living room.

The number one biggest problem in the world's is overpopulation. Overpopulation and mismanagement of the planet by human society is way more important than society's problems, OF COURSE. You are absolutely correct.

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It’s even more ironic than you think. One of the “explanations” I once heard about capitalism: “whenever the lower classes get money, we always get it back.” Now there’s something to put on your gravestone!

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Will Rogers said:

The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover was an engineer. He knew that water trickles down. Put it uphill and let it go and it will reach the driest little spot. But he didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellows hands.

https://wiredpen.com/2015/01/30/will-rogers-trickle-economics/

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Elizabeth Warren's plan suddenly makes perfect sense!

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Yes--and that statement is something Reich has said numerous times in the past year. The mendacity of this "Republican" plutocrat "olive branch" should be obvious to anyone with half a brain. And it is the same play book they used on Obama--who alas fell for it because he was so worried about looking like a Black man who was determined to go it alone. Biden doesn't have the same worries and he knows better than anyone, after decades in Washington, how speed is of the essence. So is making noise. The Gross Old-and/or-white Plutocrats know that they are in real trouble if Biden and Harris proclaim loudly all the things they are doing to help "ordinary" Americans and carry out their agenda with speed. All the lies in the world won't help them.

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You nailed it, Linda. "The mendacity of this "Republican" plutocrat "olive branch" should be obvious to anyone with half a brain." Echoing your thoughts, Biden spent 36 years in the Senate and then 8 as VP, and he had a front-row seat, up-close-and-personal, to the slimy greasy stunts the Republicans were pulling to take advantage of Obama. Something tells me, based on all the accounts we are seeing, that the grease-balls are not going to get away with it again.

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The entire ethical root of Capitalism is the idea that capital SHOULD go to those who have the skills, the knowledge, and the ability to make capital wealth work for the good of the nation and all of humanity. If we take that as a reasonable premise, then it relies upon the EXISTENCE of people who have the skills, knowledge, and ability to make capital work for humanity, and the willingness to do so. By that measure, most of the successful capitalists in the world should be fired and possibly executed for incompetence and malfeasance.

It isn't a reasonable premise, however, any more than the premise of the "benign despot." In practice, both despotism and capitalism are a scourge.

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“We must settle this question now – whether in a free government the minority have the right to break it up whenever they choose. If we fail, it will go far to prove the incapability of the people to govern themselves.”

-- Abraham Lincoln, 1861

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One of our better angels with words straight from his soul. Thank you for posting TPJ.

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Thank you for this quote!

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Thank you all. The mutual support among LFAAers is most encouraging.

I'm quoting Lincoln, Grant and Julia Ward Howe a lot since we lost George Floyd. One key aspect of LFAA is that Dr Richardson recognizes and uses the marvelous corpus created by America's most insightful 19C political figures. Their words were quite timely then; they are timeless now and provide much guidance and inspiration.

Here's some more inspiration. Listen and you will feel exalted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VsE9T4Sr30

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This should be sent to every sitting representative and senator, not once but often.

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Thanks so much for citing this quote!

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"Reich suggested that “[t]he real reason Republicans want to block Biden is they fear his plans will work.” A successful government response to coronavirus, the economic crisis, inequality, the climate crisis, and poverty would devastate modern-day Republicans’ insistence that the solution to every problem is tax cuts and private enterprise. If Biden’s plans succeed, Reich wrote, Americans’ faith in government, and in our democracy, will be restored.”

Private enterprise can only provide jobs to some Americans and a paycheck to some. Private enterprise is based on employing workers to produce profits for wealthy investors and company officers. Private enterprise has ALWAYS left behind far too many, and destroyed far too much of our natural splendor. Mother Earth and her species are dying a slow death.

Government is the only entity that can try to repair the waste left behind from private enterprise. Government pays for every single road in America (save for private roads on private land). Government pays for the education of our youth. The only entity in our Western societies that can repair and renew our broken society, from the excesses of private enterprise, is our government.

Private enterprise has ALWAYS fought the greater good of society, in attempts to hoard far more than any individual ever needs, or deserves. In Buddhism, the expression of the “hungry ghost” are beings with massive bellies and tiny throats, and there is never satisfaction. In Christianity, hell is living for oneself at the expense of others.

imho, Joe Biden and Democrats understand the underlying sickness of our society. We finally are beginning to see a glimpse of the prescription .... that private enterprise must serve the needs of each and every individual and our commons, NOT the other way around.

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My wife and I rewatched "The Big Short" last night, and I got the distinct impression that I was watching a dramatization of the "business" segment of the Republican Party. In many ways they are more dangerous that the AR-15 totin' shaman-heads; while the terrorists only kill people in ones and twos, the "business" Republicans lay waste to whole societies.

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And of course the NRA was a business model based on fear and deceit, in collusion with the weapons industry. Oh, how did Pres. Eisenhower ever warn us of the dangers of the military industrial complex, with great courage and conviction.

Yes indeed, we are "the richest country ever” - and "out of sight, out of mind" is the poverty throughout the world, and in our backyards. But mainstream Dems, post FDR, took the bait to not challenge this violent nature of our “free market” economics.

I really believe Bernie deserves enshrinement (somewhere)! He unabashedly spoke to corporate capitalism. I wished he had ALWAYS mentioned the quality of life of social democracies, in comparison to our “poverty capitalism”, as a brand philosophical statement.

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With all due respect, I must take exception to your generalization, implying that "all" private enterprise is to blame for our "broken society". I'm retired now but, I've owned and operated a "small business" for 30+ years. There's a huge difference between small business which, if I'm not mistaken, generate the bulk of GDP and employment in the US. We usually derived very little direct benefit from tax cuts and the trickle-down effect, as we all know, is a joke! By the laws of nature, it's only water that trickles-down. It was only the money that trickles-up upThe mega stock-holder "public" corporations and the publicialy stock-owned

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I take you comment in all seriousness. I appreciate your efforts with your small business. In this hour, we just had a conversation about paying twice as much at a local furniture store as compared to the multinational Costco.

As a general concept, private enterprise has NEVER had to pay for the external costs, such as the costs to the earth and neighboring communities for the effluents, which are real and serious costs to the community. As a cancer survivor, and the son of cancer deaths of both parents, having lived in W.PA. for 35 years, I have an appreciation of these externalities.

The fact that our society has accepted the demise of communities, due to solely "economic interests”, is a cancer upon the concept of our “free market”.

As I’ve stated before on this board, the free market means free from taxation, free from regulation and free from responsibility. I point to the poverty and starvation throughout the world, and our claim as the richest society ever in history, as proof positive of our delusional sense of economics.

So, we are the least healthy, least safe and own the most weaponry in all of history. Our private enterprise society has sold and bought tens of hundreds of millions of weapons , all in private hands.

A Christian might say, “Please help us Jesus"

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Sorry about the glitch! _______It was only the money that trickles-up to the mega stockholder "public" corporations so they could retain the majority of wealth, please stockholders and buy congressmen's favors! Small business paid their fair share of taxes, provided well-paying (for the most part) jobs with good benefits, produced useful products and supported a supply chain of other small businesses!

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The Republican Party, most of it anyway, is doubling down on the policy that cost it the White House and the Senate, and is openly, even agggressively, encouraging the mob-rule that gave us the Jan. 6th insurrection. They seem to have no agenda beyond putting Trump back in the White House.

This is a decent into madness, into destruction. Do they really think the rest of us, the popular majority, are just going to shrug our shoulders and think, "Oh well, American democracy was nice while it lasted, but now it's gone"? Trumpism inspires more who despise him to get to the polls than those who adore him. One would expect this trend to continue in spite of renewed Republican efforts to suppress voting.

Good for George W. Bush to come out from behind his easel to support Lynn Cheney. Whoever thought Dubya and a Cheney would be the welcome voice of sanity, but here we are. Hopefully both will inspire more Republicans to follow their heads and their hearts and stand up and spit in the face of the Trumpista mob.

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Ralph Averill, I thought hell would freeze over before I rooted for a "Cheney". However I am with you. I hope Representative Cheney's and former President George W. Bush's actions inspire other Republicans to oppose the Trumpista mob.

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Ralph Averill and Sharon Mudgett, I thought hell would freeze over before I rooted for a Cheney and agreed with a Bush. Now I am on the same side as Steve Schmidt and the Lincoln Project people, they are my heroes (sort of), and I have fallen in love with that guy and what he says now, but god forbid I ever take a close look at his politics.

It's another clear indication of the fracturing of the Republican Party, and a win for democracy. I remember constantly saying that having no less than 7 different Never Trump groups fighting Tя☭mp was a clear sign that this is an unprecented time in U.S. history, because that's never happened before. The Republican Voters Against Trump, and 43 for Biden (the Bush officials), et al. Now I am rooting for Mitt Romney, and Liz Cheney, and omg how I despise her father, architect of the Iraq war. That wasn't Bush's war so much as Dick's, although the Bush family sex affair with the Saudis and the oil elites obviously factored in.

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I would like to thank you for the "T---p" graphic/word. I will use it everywhere now.

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And very quickly!

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Liz Cheney. Lynn is Dick’s wife.

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Thank you for the correction.

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My enemy's enemy....and all that. It makes for surprising bedfellows.....but when in need.....all but the clinically insane who come in good faith are welcome! The sins of the father do not necessarily fall on the daughter....but....bite one's tongue in times of need.

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Reality is stranger than fiction.

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Yes! There should be hundreds speaking out! Where are they hiding from?

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What are they... ugh

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Robert Reich has it right. The Republicans don't want a Biden recovery and stimulus bill to work because it would destroy their beloved trickle down economics. If they get their way they will blame Biden for a slow recovery just like they did to Obama. Biden needs to stick to his plan of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. His only compromise might be to increase it.

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Those 10 Republicans will not vote for their own $600B bill. They’re just trying to bring it down to something that won’t work, then jump ship and force the Democrats to use one of their two budget reconciliation maneuvers to get the flawed Republican bill passed. It would be a double win for Republicans. The electorate would turn against the Democrats for failing, and the Democrats would probably abandon the most important thing they could do for the future of US democracy, which is to put national standards in place to keep Republicans from disenfranchising voters in Democratic areas through shenanigans like limited polling places, involuntary de-registration of voters, limited mail-in voting, gerrymandering, etc.

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No system of government, however nobly conceived, can thrive in an atmosphere of widespread corruption.

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The problem here is not corruption. It’s malevolence. As for corruption, it’s widespread in all human enterprises, but I admit that it has rarely been observed at current GOP levels.

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Too many politicians are acting out of unmitigated, craven self interest rather than doing what is right for the country. Isn't that corruption?

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That qualifies as a form of corruption but would be more precisely described, I think, as shameless pandering.

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Dereliction of duty from the Party of Treason. If they were in the military they could be court-martialed. Also violations of the oath of office.

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Some can manage longer than others especially if they are the sole users of force. However the comeupance at the end is the most deadly as no possible peaceful transfer can be imagined.

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Bingo. You've stated, very succinctly, exactly what they hope for and I fear.

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I want to shout, "Hold the line, Joe!"

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We hear you loud and clear.

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Not a bad idea at all.

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Dems need to go big or go home.

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Yes. It has been my observation (and I am OLD) that every time the Democrats have gained power in the Executive and Congress in my lifetime and been in a position to really do some things they have waffled. It's like they want to set an example of what they would like to see happen when the Republicans are in charge. Or they are afraid of making good on their convictions. Maybe it is easier to complain when they are out of power than really do things when they are in power. We all know that the Republicans have been wanting to undo FDR's policies ever since he succeeded in installing them and they have whittled away little by little. I think the time for waffling is OVER.

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Bullies often exploit the inherent decency of non-bullies.

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The key now is that BIDEN has seen the Democrats do this repeatedly over the past 45 years, and that wisdom is guiding him while he delivers (name anatomical parts) to Congress.

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Yes. We shall see.

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I don’t know about that, my own ignorance or lack of lack of perspective... can you expound on that? Thanks

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I am in my 70's. I have seen this more than once and have taken note of it each time. It is a pattern that I hope gets broken, finally.

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May I point out: Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Elizabeth Warren, and Dan Goldman (attorney for the House Impeachment Managers for the first impeachment).

They are terrific, persuasive speakers.

(And, of course, Steve Schmidt of The Lincoln Project is showing the way)

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Hey! There was an attorney in the first Impeachment hearing of Trump...Barry Berke! He was FABULOUS! I wish they would have him questioning Trump! He wouldn't stand a chance!

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Me, too, Claudia. It's like the bullies' behavior is so abhorrent to those who are not bullies that it prevents them (non-bullies) from kicking a** and taking names the way they should... If you get my drift...

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I've seen the same pattern you reference, although I would despair at compiling a list of citations for it. It's as if the Republicans, when they are out of power, are still able to turn just enough Democrats to gum up the works. I suspect the main tool for this is money and in this barely-a-majority situation, I wonder how much money one would have to dangle in order to persuade one, just one, cash hungry Democratic Senator.

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